I recently wrote a post on things that you shouldn’t say to those of us with Bipolar Disorder. I want to provide some things that are useful to say to a family or friend with Bipolar Disorder, or any mental illness really, if you are worried about them or would like to open the conversation about their mental health.
I’m personally someone who will try to see the intention behind what someone is saying; knowing that they mean well is more important than the words they say. However, a lot of what people say can be stigmatizing without them realizing it or can be hurtful to those of us with Bipolar Disorder.
Having a mental illness and being high functioning can often mean that you are not taken seriously by professionals and by others around you. It can be seen as you not ‘having it as bad’ as someone else, that your illness must not be that severe if you’re able to function well. This is a damaging way of looking at things.
In my last blog post, I talked about how I have been free of any form of self-harm for four years now. The path to being able to stop was indeed a long one, it was truly a journey and it took time. There wasn’t just one magic solution or even just one thing that helped me to stop; there were many.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from the 13th to the 19th of May hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, and this year's theme is all about body image. In honour of that, I wanted to talk about confidence and how to build yours. Confidence is not just about your appearance but about your whole self, about how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. Some tips to build confidence are included below.
Raising awareness of mental health is so important and everyone can be involved, there are so many ways you can help to raise awareness in your everyday life. If everyone plays their part, we can make our world a much more accepting and open place.
Teaching children about mental health and what that involves can have a big impact on making them more prepared for life; this is important for a number of reasons in my opinion and can really help reduce stigma and raise awareness by starting with the younger generation.
Before I started my Bipolar medications I was a healthy slim size but was unstable mentally, always swinging up and down between two extremes, often self-harming and suicidal, often in crisis and generally very unhappy most of the time.
Having a mental illness is tough enough on its own but when you throw in navigating relationships with family, friends and partners alongside it, it can be daunting and difficult. Below are some tips that I have learnt through the years dealing with my illness alongside my loved ones.