This time of year with all the holidays and celebrations can be so tough for those of us with mental illness or anyone with any struggles. It can be so busy, filled with family, expectations, pressure, hustle and bustle.
Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong illness, it’s something that will always be with me and being a positive person by nature, I always try to look at the positive side of things when I feel able. I’m not saying by any means that I enjoy having this illness, there are so many severe negatives that come with it and it makes life so much harder, but I have found some positive aspects in amongst my struggles.
I have found that Twitter is a beautiful place to connect with others who understand your struggles and experiences in your life, whatever they may be. I have connected with other spoonies and others with mental health struggles, and I find the community there so supportive.
Trying to describe your illness and explain how it affects you can be extremely difficult I find, especially when it comes to mental illness. I can find it difficult to express how aspects of my bipolar disorder affect me and I find that sometimes, for some reason, it's easier for me to express myself through poetry.
When you have a mental illness like Bipolar Disorder it can be extremely helpful to track your moods. This can allow you to be more self-aware, as it can be all too easy to find your mood slipping or rising without being fully aware of it until you are in a full-blown episode, especially if like me the process can sometimes be very gradual.
There is so much stigma surround the phrase ‘attention seeking’ when it comes to mental illness. People use it in a negative way when in reality there is no negative meaning behind it. We all seek attention in our lives, it’s a fundamental part of human nature.
There is so much stigma around mental illness and it’s vital that we break this down. There always has been this stigma throughout the years and although things have gotten gradually a little better, there is still far too much stigma where there should be none. In its place should be understanding, knowledge, support and acceptance.
Today is World Mental Health Day, a globally recognised day to talk about mental health, to raise awareness about it and to try to break down the stigma that is associated with it. This should be something that is worked on every single day but having a day like this that draws attention to the subject, that gets people talking about it, can only be a good thing.