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I am "crazy" right now

Coming To Terms With Your Bipolar Diagnosis

It took a very long time for me to view my bipolar disorder as beautiful and there are many reasons for that. I was diagnosed in 2007 after a suicide attempt. Some of the reasons I kept it a secret may be the same as you have.

Basically it boils down to STIGMA

Stigma is the thought that a person with bipolar disorder is scary or bad or crazy. People don’t want to be associated with that. I mean, if you hang out with someone who has bipolar disorder then you probably live the illness as well. Now most of us know, if we’ve dealt with our illness long enough, this isn’t true. Our illness belongs to us, not those around us.

Frightened  by STIGMA

It tool me a long time for me to come out of the bipolar closet. I was embarrassed and ashamed and afraid of how people would treat me. Once you learn to accept your illness and can learn to share with others, all that goes away. You will grow tremendously more comfortable in your own skin.

Who sticks around

You will be surprised by those by those who stick around and by those that abandon you. You will find out who your true friends are. They will offer to be there for you when you are as well as when you are depressed. Some will walk out of your life altogether. You must be if, you come out of the bipolar closet is up to you. But I will tell you that exposing yourself will free you of a heavy weight you carry. But it can be scary – again who will stick around? Don’t feel like you have to tell everyone. There is no need to wear a sign notifying that you are mentally ill.  But it is important to share.

Build a support system

As soon as you are diagnosed, start building a support system. This can be a professional group , such as Depression And bipolar Support  Alliance{DBSA} or the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Perhaps your hospital or clinic has a therapy group.
Consider your professional team – psychiatrist and therapist – on your side. They what is best for you. Choose a few close friends who can handle your mood changes. Also, if possible, a family member or two.

Tell your story

Often, people don’t understand what it is like to live with bipolar. Set the record straight. You can do this on a one on scale or in front of a front of a crowd. Explain how your moods change. Share what it is to be an inpat11ient in a psych ward.

Coming To Terms With Your Bipolar Diagnosis

Elaina J. Martin


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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2018). Coming To Terms With Your Bipolar Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/being-bipolar/2018/09/30/coming-to-terms-with-your-bipolar-diagnosis/

 

Last updated: 1 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Oct 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.