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.

I put on a mask to hide my depression

Today I woke up and for a moment I lay still, staring at the ceiling. I lay there and felt my chest rise and fall as I breathed. It took all my will power to keep my focus on my breath, a mindfulness technique I have been taught. I did this for 30 seconds, maybe a minute, as my husband got up for the baby.

All I need is someone to be there

It is a sad fact that we live in a world filled with discrimination and stigma. It is everywhere, up every street and around every corner, causing hurt and impacting on so many people’s lives. Gender, sexuality, race, colour, disability, to name but a few, are all discriminated against and come with stigma attached. I personally believe that a lot of this is due to naivety, lack of understanding and fear of the unknown.

World Bipolar Day: Katie's story

There are many assumptions that people make about bipolar disorder that are false. The number one I’ve encountered is that bipolar is just mood swings and either being happy or sad, yet it is so much more than that. Hearing people jokingly say, “I’m so bipolar!” sets my teeth on edge. It is in fact a complex, long term condition with sufferers all having different periods of depression, hypomania, mania and stability.