Living with Bipolar Disorder: You Are Not Alone
Monday, March 5 2018 Hannah Blum
Realizing and genuinely feeling as though you are not alone living with bipolar disorder is life changing. I understand the pain of feeling alone and misunderstood in society. I want to remind not only myself, but those of you reading, that those of us who live with bipolar disorder are not alone.
Why Do We Feel We're Alone with Bipolar Disorder?
Mental health statistics show that one in five American adults experience a mental health condition, and 2.6% of American adults live with bipolar disorder (NAMI). These calculated percentages are significant and reveal that many individuals struggle with their mental health. However, one in five may live with a mental health condition or bipolar disorder, but the majority are not open about it, justifiably.
When I received my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder, it was almost as if I was slipped a note under the table with a box checked yes for bipolar disorder and text beneath it saying, "Shh, don't tell anyone." It makes sense that a majority of people living with bipolar, depression, anxiety or any mental health condition feel alone in this world - regardless of statistics (Living with the Stigma of Bipolar 2).
As someone who has always been socially active, for many years after my bipolar 2 disorder diagnosis, I still felt alone; even when surrounded by lots of people. It was not until I began doing research on mental health and getting involved in mental health advocacy that I started to see that I am not alone as someone who lives with a mental health condition.
Realizing You are Not Alone in Living with Bipolar Disorder
Realizing you are not alone in life with bipolar disorder is something that takes effort. In present-day society, the majority of people who live with bipolar disorder do not reveal that part of their life to anyone. I started to feel as though I was not alone when I began researching mental health, bipolar disorder, stigma and got involved in the conversation. Getting involved in the mental health community opened my eyes up to how many people live with a mental health condition. Those statistics started to become very real in my mind.
I met beautiful individuals living with bipolar disorder. People, I would hang out with even if I met them outside of volunteering in the mental health community. It was comforting and inspiring. When I decided to become a mental health advocate, family members and close friends opened up to me about their struggle with mental health. It is not necessary to be open about bipolar to feel as though you are not alone. Blogs and social media are great tools for finding individuals who live with a mental health condition. Concluding that you are not alone is life changing because you don't feel so isolated in your way of thinking and living. This type of realization is a gift, and will also help many individuals seek treatment without feeling ashamed.