Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To share or not to share... that is the question

After over 20 years of living my life having Bipolar Disorder, I decided last year to start a blog about my life experiences and how it affects my life as well as others in my life. I decided that sharing my story would be helpful to promote a better understanding of mental illness. I started my blog for many reasons that I thought would help others learn more about Bipolar Disorder and how to seek help.  My main reasons were:
  1. To inform others about Bipolar Disorder
  2. Guiding others to find the help they need to promote better mental health
  3. To fight stigma that can often be associtated with mental illness
  4. To help others to not feel ashamed of having a mental illness and how to find support
I remember when I was only 16 and I was told that I had Bipolar Disorder that it was a very confusing time for me.  I was not quite sure what that meant to my life.  I remember feeling scared, and I did not know what to expect in the years to come.  Back in the 1980's there really was not much information out there about mental illness or Bipolar Disorder.   I was hoping to reach those today that are now in my shoes that day when mental illness walked into my life.  I also wanted to reach family members that have loved ones with Bipolar Disorder because I know back when I was first diagnosed that my family knew very little if nothing at all about this illness.  I really wanted to put a real spin on the disorder and share my life as painful as it can be at times with others with the hope that they might relate to my experiences and seek treatment.  However, writing the blog actually turned out to really help me get through many tough days.  During the past year I have connected with numerous others that have Bipolar Disorder and write blogs about it and it is another form of support for myself.  The most important thing to me with these new connections is that I never feel alone and they are very encouraging to me.

I thought when I started this blog if I could help just one person out there learn more about Bipolar Disorder than it was worth putting my painful feelings out there.  Well after hearing so many comments and questions from others I know I have done that and such much more.  I think of the Mom that wrote me about her daughter that had committed suicide 6 months prior to reading my blog.  The doctors thought her daughter might of had Bipolar Disorder and that my blog helped her understand Bipolar Disorder better and she just wished she could of found out more information before that happened to her daughter.   She told me she hoped that my blog would save other people's lives. I strive to do that each time I write a blog entry and to help myself from taking my own life.  I still have many dark days but support helps me get through those times.  My readers have also helped me find out new information that I was not aware of  before I started writing and encouraged me on the rough days.
Now that I have been writing this blog for about a year, I am encouraged to keep writing because I have had so many people write to me that my honesty about my illness has helped them to actually seek treatment.  So many people tell me that the stigma of having a mental illness stops them from seeking treatment.  This is the one thing I am most passionate about and have always tried to do what I can to on my part to help others understand it and not run away from it.  My dream is that one day Bipolar Disorder will be treated by the public, the media, and the medical community as just another illness that needs medical care and nothing more.  I think that having a day set aside to focus on blogging for mental health is so important to fight this stigma.  There is so much to be shared at and help others find out more about mental illness and promote better mental health. I encourage everyone to check this site out and share their own stories.


  1. wow that is very inspirational. its funny i tried to convince myself for so long that I didn't have bipolar, i bought every biography of people who had it and described their experiences and what shocked me was the similarities i had to them. so just wanted to say that its nice to read someone elses account keep up the good work.

  2. Thankyou so much for sharing, i really enjoy hearing about people which are going through the same thing, it's really helpful to me :)