The stigmas associated with being bipolar can be paralyzing. It seems society at large typically only knows about the bipolar people that do not take their medication. Some take medications, become somewhat balanced but then stop taking them. Many who stop taking their medications can become emotionally erratic and unstable. Unfortunately, this is what most seem to believe to be the norm for bipolar. This is not necessarily so.
There are many healthy & very functional bipolar people among us. But, as a whole, they keep quiet about their condition because of the stigmas attached to their diagnosis. They begin to hear the whispers, every time they are the least bit out of sorts, even just having a bad day, “Oh well, he or she is bipolar.” They are often then judged as being crazy, unreliable and somewhat hopeless. To alleviate these paralyzing and false beliefs the functioning bipolar will need to speak up. This is beginning to happen all over the world.
It seems easier for most to be quiet and not have to hear the slurs. The statements are hurtful and set many of us back in our mental health. I also couldn’t number the times I have been sitting with a close friend that was unaware of my diagnosis and who would say about another that they had been “acting a little off” or “I bet he’s bipolar.” I love looks on their faces when I respond with, “Yea, so am I.” so that a healthy dialogue can begin.
I am bipolar, I take my medications, do my mental exercises and I am very vocal about my diagnosis. I hope to help others find the courage to speak up and especially until more people learn that there are some of us that function quite well. The rest will all suffer the ignorance of stigma and be left to secrecy and isolation. I for one refuse to allow others to be imprisoned with the fear of false ideas and judgment based on preconceived biases and lack of awareness.