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.


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.

My experience on a psychiatric ward was not what people expected

‘You’re being admitted to a mental health unit’ were words I struggled to comprehend. How can I be so high functioning in the legal profession and simultaneously require admission? One minute I was at work and the next minute I found myself at the local Accident and Emergency. I felt vulnerable as the ambulance took me to the unit, and then terrified as I stepped inside the unit and the doors locked behind me. The fear of the unknown consumed me. I felt like the tiniest fish in the biggest ocean.

People with mental illness are real people too

There is a secret; one that nobody is prepared to talk about; one so shocking it may bring down society as we know it. Am I talking about a scandal, or some sort of political corruption? Am I talking about some secret society that quietly rules over us, or perhaps I am talking about the fact we are all lizard people. While I would infinitely prefer to talk about any one of these things, I am in fact talking about the truth that, literally, nobody is talking about. I am talking about the fact that people with mental illness walk among us.

Bipolar is an illness, not a personality

I’m Jade, I am 26 and I have bipolar type 2.

I am NOT Bipolar, but I live with bipolar.

It is a strange thing that seems to occur in our society ‘do you know that this person is bipolar?’ What?? They are the embodiment of a whole illness? Great news, at least we have now isolated it to one person, wait what? There’s another person that is also bipolar? NO! Just flat out no, we do not suddenly lose our identity at the diagnosis of a mental health problem.

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