With the recent horrific events, there have been some very stigmatizing thoughts and words expressed about those of us with mental illness and the ‘risk’ we pose.
Today I want to provide some basics facts about bipolar disorder, giving ten facts as a basic starting point. From here I will be continuing this into some more factual based posts over the coming month, about various aspects of the disorder in more detail.
Having animals in your home can be so beneficial to your mental health in so many ways. I’m sure there are plenty of studies on the subject that explain all about the endorphins released when you are petting an animal and the science behind it, but purely from experience and opinion alone, it’s easy to see a marked positive impact on my mental health and that of others around me with animals around.
I think that when to disclose about your mental illness or if you want to disclose at all in the workplace is a very personal decision and I don’t think that there is any one right answer. It depends on your comfort level; on whether you feel they need to know; on the job you’re applying for or have currently; on whether you feel that it would impact your chances at getting the job or keeping your job; on how comfortable you feel with your boss and colleagues and so much more.
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.