Firstly I should explain that I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and I write my blogs based on my experiences. I am not a medical professional or a scholar and as such my musings should be viewed as opinion/experience not fact.
On a big picture level, the stigma that surrounds mental illness, including bipolar, needs to be chipped away at. I hope that by sharing my story and my knowledge I can contribute to the demise of the stigma and open the channels of communication. I am also keen to break down some of the specific stigmas surrounding things such as treatment options, medications, electro-convulsive therapy, health insurance and so forth; by putting forward my views and experiences.
Closer to home, I am acutely aware of the abnormalities of my behaviours when I am depressed or manic. I cringe at the adverse affects my mood instability can have on my friends and family, and even acquaintances and strangers. My hope is, that by sharing my story, my experiences, my knowledge, my hopes and my fears, I can shed light on the behaviours that may have adversely affected my readers and gain some compassion, understanding, acceptance and even forgiveness. Further, by writing about my experiences and my emotions I can get them clear in my own mind and find solace and peace of mind. It is also much easier to write about these things than it is to say them out loud and I can use this blog as a tool when I am consulting with my psychiatrist to inform him of my thought processes and mood.
I am not the only person with a mental illness or with bipolar. I hope that in writing this blog I can assist others. Those with a mental illness may feel less isolated and alone, may gain some valuable (hopefully) knowledge, may find a resource they can share with their loved ones, colleagues or anyone! They may be able to avoid some of the pitfalls I have experienced, by reading about them. Those that don’t feel empowered enough to share their own story yet may be able to benefit from sharing mine, pointing out the sections that run parallel with their experiences of this disease. Friends, family, colleagues and other people who know someone with Bipolar may be able to educate and inform themselves on the types of experiences those with Bipolar endure. They can equip themselves to be more supportive, more effective carers and friends and they can diminish the fear (the ‘not knowing what to do to help‘) that may have previously strained the relationship with the Bipolar sufferer.
These are my goals in writing this blog, I don’t think I’m there yet, but I am going to strive to accomplish these goals. It is so powerful for a person with Bipolar to have goals, so I am doing something good for myself here too! Let me know if I have managed to achieve any of the above in your opinion, or if you have any suggestions for me, I would love to hear from you. Furthermore, if you have bipolar or know someone with bipolar, please share with me your experiences and thoughts on my articles, so I may learn from you too.
Today I am grateful for my pets, my dog Karma, my birds Clarisse and Mr Puppy and my guinea pig Eloise. Their unconditional love and devotion to me brings me great solace and joy and I couldn’t imagine life without them.