Blogging101, Day1: Introduce Yourself to the World

About Me And Why I Am Here At Blogging 101

I am Amy and I was diagnosed about 7 years ago with Bipolar Disorder. I haven’t shared it with many people. Recently it seems that I am hearing about mental health and mental illness everywhere. I have been afraid for employers, friends and family to find out. I imagined their impression of me would change immediately. I am doing well at the moment. It really is an intense illness, and many people suffer horribly. Then there is the shame because of the stigma associated with people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses. I am blogging as an outlet to clear my mind, as well as to be another voice speaking openly about my illness. I will provide information and support for those with mental health issues as well. (Not there yet). I am hoping to learn valuable tools and tips that I won’t get fumbling along alone, as well as to connect with the community.

8 thoughts on “About Me And Why I Am Here At Blogging 101”

  1. I self-diagnosed with what was then called ‘manic-depression’ when I was studying psychology in 1979-81. I spent the next quarter century doing my best to hide my condition from friends, family and – especially – doctors.

    The isolation of stigma is pretty bad, but you can usually find people who can see through the label to the person underneath. Worse is what the diagnosis does to your human rights. No-one can force you into treatment if you’re dying of cancer, but get a mental illness diagnosis and they can pretty much do what they like to ‘protect you from yourself’. If you start acting out mania or psychosis around people who know you’re a crazy the chances are they’ll call cops rather than an ambulance (or emergency dispatch will send them anyway). That’s a response that all too often leads to tragedy.

    They say we’ve come a long way regarding stigma but I think most of that progress has been in the stigmatisation of families of people with a DSM diagnosis. In many ways the stigmatisation of the mentally ill has gotten worse – especially with the regular media reports of ‘breakthroughs’ leading people to believe that if you’re not controlling yourself with the latest therapies you must be deliberately inflicting the illness on yourself and groups like the Treatment Advocacy Center who try to link high profile violent acts with mental illness.

    I’m ‘out’ now – largely thanks to a catastrophic deterioration in my condition during 2003-2012 – but if I was still a young indigenous man with bipolar I’d be doing everything I could to hide it.

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    1. I agree. The media has incredible power. It is far to common for people to allow their perspectives to be formed so unquestioningly. Differences may not always need to be normalized. Life would be much more interesting if what we sometimes considered a “disorder” could be accepted and cared for instead of having to beat it into form through control. I have been terrified that anybody in my job would find out. I thought I would be let go, I though my friends would suddenly see me as a different person. It is absolutely wrong that anybody should feel that way because of an illness.

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      1. I was probably more afraid of what my family – in conjunction with doctors – might do than anything else. You should have seen how they treated my grandmother after her bipolar diagnosis in 1978.

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  2. I looked up the Wiki on bipolar disorder. I got to know that maybe I have 60% of bipolar disorder. Maybe others are at 40%. Maybe you’re at 70%. Doesn’t make a difference even if someone tells me I am 100%. It’s not chronic, maybe some days I am 100%, other are 200% and you’re 10%. 🙂 Wasn’t really aware of this. Medicine is there to find something even in the healthiest individual.

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    1. If you had it, you’d know there was something horribly wrong. If you are bipolar you are 100% bipolar. It is the moods that are on the continuum. The problem is that they go too far sometimes. During manic or depressive episodes people reach the point of psychosis. I go for days not needing sleep when manic. These episodes are nothing like the normal ups and downs in life, they are not situational (stress, loved one dies, etc.) They are unbearable and usually happen for no apparent reason.

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      1. Oh I see. Thanks dear for the grand elaboration. Continue doing what is the best for you, continue exploring what is good for you, keep maximum of your thoughts within a particular long-term goal only which is not based on the disorder but based on the optimistic view of being free of it – and you surely have a good long way to go Amy. It’s already nice to know that you’ve not chosen intense medications for a quicker / assumed cure. Present is the backbone of the future! Have a great day.

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        1. It is not an illness that you can be free of, there isn’t a cure. I have come a long way to get to where I am. I have found great care and am learning how to manage it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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