I felt so ashamed of bipolar diagnosis but my friend kept reassuring me

JustineMy life seemed to change when I meet Claire. She noticed that something wasn't quite right but was unsure what it could be. She looked up my symptoms and her diagnosis was bipolar disorder. With all this info she made a GP appointment and pushed for me to be seen.

We were both amazed at what the doctor said. The doctor said I've worked with mental health patients and those with bipolar and they wear short skirts and bright red lip stick and you clearly do not. I just hung my head but Claire was not happy so we went back again and again until she got me referred to the mental health team and, to cut a long story short, I was diagnosed with bipolar.

I felt so ashamed of this and wondered how would I get a job. Claire kept reassuring me; telling me now that I had medication I could start my life over again but, because of what that doctor said, I felt unsure and frightened.

When I told my parents they were supportive but, similar to me, were unsure of what would happen but they had love for me and that was enough.

It wasn't until I started a Princes Trust Programme that I started to tell people about my mental health.

A gentleman named Graham really helped me with this and talked to me and reassured me that I could indeed have a future. And all the people I was on the course with liked me for me and never had a problem with my mental health issues. They were very patient with me and this helped my confidence to grow massively.

To them I was just ’Justine’ and not ‘bipolar Justine’. They helped me realise that this horrible illness wasn't going to stop me from achieving everything I could. Before I did the programme I had not left the house for 2 years other than for appointments. However, now I was suddenly organising trips and leading a team of people and supporting others. I felt great.

My future is looking great. I'm glad I told them about my mental health as they too opened up and we supported each other through our issues. It's sad that not everyone has this amazing experience. I now work in a job I love and they too know about my illness and couldn't be more supportive and lovely. It's never an issueand I thank them all for that.

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Comments

Wow thank u

Wow thank you time to change

Bipolar

I am not sure but i think i have symptoms of bipolar. Low moods Dark thaughts Worthlesness Deep depression No interest in anyone or anything No interest in relationships

Hi David, you can talk to

Hi David, you can talk to your GP about how you are feeling and also the Mind and Rethink Mental Illness infolines will be able to give you confidential, expert advice about what you are going through. You can call Mind on 0300 123 3393 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) or email: info@mind.org.uk and call Rethink on 0300 5000 927 (10am-2pm Monday to Friday) or email: info@rethink.org

Your Story is impressive and encouraging Justine.

Firstly I thank God for your life and where He has brought you thus far Justine. I am located in West Africa, Ghana. I have a brother with a mental condition, which i hardly can explain how it all started or the cause. We grew up together and were just like normal kids growing up. For some reasons we separated for a while. During our separation i was told he had convulsions on two different occasions and was revived. As he grew older he behaved strangely. Some strange behavior of his was a time he looked at his image in the mirror and hit the mirror so hard he had a deep cut on his finger, he always had a way of hitting you back in revenge when u hit him, even when u did it accidentally. Lately He paces up and down regularly and he could actually get very violent. To summarize the whole thing, we actually had family issues while we were growing up and i thought the long period of isolation and difference in environment made him depressed and probably deserted. It got so worse that my parents sought spiritual and orthodox medicine alike. Eventually we got a doctor who diagnosed his problem as related to schizophrenia or bipolar related disorder. It was very heartbreaking when the meaning of all that was broken to me, i wondered why it had to be him, i just could not understand. I tried to be patient with him , to understand him and love him emotionally especially when both parents passed on, but really it was not easy, He just does not hear or remember things i say to him sometimes. There are times i get impatient myself and become forceful and that worsens the case he becomes violent as he does not want to be forced to do anything. He has been on medication for the past 15 years or more from the doctor who diagnosed him of the mental condition. He takes some shots every six weeks, the sight and thought of that alone tears me apart. Seriously when the six weeks duration stretches further without the medication i realize the changes in him and increase in his loss of concentration and pacing up and down more. It's my duty now that he takes the shots and drugs regularly to keep him stable. Will check the name of the drug again and let you know about it. Sadly he hardly socializes with anyone, he prefers to stay by himself most times. He speaks normally, reasons normally when he is not violent and sometimes it's so hard to believe he has a problem. Now am wondering what i can do to make him lively again and live his life normally and be happy.

Thank you

Hi there thank u so much for the comment and thank u for sharing your story, I hope your brother is well, and ok! And that you are too it impacts on the person and family too people sometimes forget that. I hope that you find something that helps him socialise with others I know when I was going thorughndifficult times I didn't want to do anything but found encouragement helped me and although it wasn't full on I began to see that doing a five min walk was beneficial to me, maybe something like that will help. I'm so pleased that my blog has helped you/peoplee not only in the uk but around the world. Thank you again I wish your brother is well and happy. Justine

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