HP TV Blog

Facing the Stigma of Bipolar Disorder

Written by Cristina Fender, our guest on the February 15, 2010, show on Bipolar Disorder.

We asked Cristina Fender to respond to the following question:
With all the stigma surrounding mental health and specifically bipolar disorder, why did you chose to come forward and talk/blog about having bipolar disorder?

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was ashamed. I told no one, save my husband. I cut myself off from the rest of the world and I went into hiding. I was afraid to tell my extended family because I was afraid they would turn to me with new eyes and I would be terrified of what I would see in them.

When I encountered the blogging world I knew that I was born to write about what I was experiencing. I wanted to blog about bipolar disorder so I could heal through writing, but I hesitated. I worried most about what my writing would do to my family. Would someone I knew find me online? Would my kids be taken away from me because of my mental illness?

I decided to put on a brave face and write. If people found out about me on the internet, then so be it. I wasn’t writing for the haters. I had to share my disease with the world, so some good would come of it. I wrote for the one that felt my shame and had nowhere else to turn. I wrote for the person who needed my brutal honesty. I wrote for the being that needed hope.

I started to hear from readers that they were glad I existed because now they didn’t feel all alone. I, too, was not alone. And that made it all worth it.

Watch the video with an interview with Cristina Fender.

Please join Cristina Fender in her journey to wellness. A new post on her blog, Bipolar Vida, is available every Monday and Thursday at 8:00 A.M.

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