The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of bipolar disorder. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.

See the Bigger Picture - Jason's Story

Any diagnosis of a mental disorder is frightening, but so too are those crushing depressions when you can’t function, the times when life is simply too much or when you are simply out of control. It was after my second suicide attempt that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The crushing, life draining, depressions I had noticed (obviously), but somewhere down the line I seemed to have missed the mania.

Education is key in order to erase mental health stigma

Having a mood disorder doesn’t make you a bad person, or someone incapable of living a full and meaningful life. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder at the age of 25, after a long and painful process of navigating the mental health system. Since then I have had people ask me if I am violent, if I might ‘lose the plot’ and attack them, and if I am too vulnerable to do my job. I have always been open and honest about my illness, it doesn’t define me as a person and I don’t feel the need to apologise for it.

Talking about bipolar has helped both myself and others

“You have bipolar? I don’t even know what that is”.

It was at this second that I knew I needed to spread the word about bipolar.

I was diagnosed with bipolar in July 2018 and when I realised there was a lack of understanding specifically around bipolar as an illness, I wanted to share my day to day experiences with anyone who was interested to show the ups and downs of having it.