Throughout my life I have had acquaintances, people who would speak to me in class who I would have a joke or a deep conversation with, but I’ve always had very few friends. I think this is mainly down to the fact that I don't push myself in many ways and actually prefer to stay in than go out to parties – yes, I'm a granny I know, but there is something about lighting a candle and putting your slippers on! I’ve struggled to fit in or be accepted by others.
I’ve struggled with mental health problems for 4 years now. I started my first year at college, being that independent person my parents always wanted me to be, but then everything just came tumbling down. My family and I all went through a very traumatic time and that’s where it all began.
When we think of stigma and mental health, we tend to think of hurtful societal reactions and prejudice based on negative stereotypes. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Those with mental health problems also frequently suffer from self-stigma. This is where a person takes on wider social prejudices about mental illness, internalizes them, starts to believe and incorporate them into their self-image.
A strange thing happened with me when I was in school. Now, I call it strange because I was completely unaware of what actually it was. This strange and new thing for me was the beginnings of bipolar disorder, something I had never heard of before.
People call it a disorder and the statement that goes is generally like “XYZ suffers from it” - but now I can firmly say that bipolar community does not suffer from it, rather fights it as a brave soldier.