Category: Stigma

Finding Therapy That Fits Me

Finding Therapy That Fits Me

Author: Natalia A. Besier Therapy has benefitted my mental wellness journey by teaching me to reclaim my mental health “toolbox” by rethinking and restructuring my negative thoughts.  I find that I benefit most from cognitive behavioral therapy and this focus causes...

Not a Surprise

Not a Surprise

Author: Claire Gault   I didn’t recognize my ableism until I began meeting others who have mental illness, like myself—all people that didn’t fit my perception of “that kind” of person. Through movies and television, I’ve grown to build a stereotype of what...

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Author: Ashley Sievewright This years theme of Bipolar Together for World Bipolar Day reminds me of when i was first inspired to talk about my mental health after watching the television documentary Stephen Fry – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive back in...

Connecting to What Heals Me

Connecting to What Heals Me

Author: Neil McCarthy   Living with bipolar disorder often means I keep a layer of separation between others and me.   Some close friends and family might know details of my illness, but not even my eight-year-old daughter knows why I spend 15 minutes every...

What I Wish People Knew About Bipolar Disorder

What I Wish People Knew About Bipolar Disorder

Author: Sarah Ross   Bipolar Disorder is a complex mental illness, and it often gets categorized into solely consisting of sudden mood changes. But it’s not as black and white as that. Although we do experience mood changes, our days don’t involve our emotions...

We Are Awesome!

We Are Awesome!

Author: Jeffrey Johanishing   That’s right! You’re darn tootin’. We are, I am and you certainly are, Awesome! Why? Well, I’ll explain.   I sincerely believe that people with bipolar disorder are extremely impressive, inspire great admiration and, truly,...

Why I No Longer Feel Alone

Why I No Longer Feel Alone

Author: Ana Gimber In a 2022 survey, respondents reported that living with Bipolar l Disorder can be a difficult and isolating experience that impacts many aspects of their lives. Approximately four of five respondents (81%) agreed** that they felt like no one...

Getting Mental Health Right in Black History Month

Getting Mental Health Right in Black History Month

Author: Jayson Blair While Black Americans tend to experience similar rates of mental illness compared to other racial groups in the countries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are strong important contextual differences that...

It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not Okay

It’s Okay to Admit You’re Not Okay

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) Bipolar disorder can strike virtually anyone, regardless of gender, race, education or class, from pre-teens into our sixties. It is an equal opportunity destroyer of lives and health, marriages and...

Sit Close to the Fire

Sit Close to the Fire

Author: Melinda Goedeke We don’t have bonfires. We have scorching, searing conflagrations that silently raise our internal boiling points until we are nearly cooked and charred.   We scoot back only an inch as we don’t really want to leave the warmth despite the fear...

Nothing to be Ashamed Of

Nothing to be Ashamed Of

Author: Natalia A. Beiser “Bipolar is not a disability.  They can take a pill and be okay.  Those people just need to go out and get a job.” The ignorance displayed in the above sentence is unreeling to me.  That person does not know of the financial devastation of a...

How Much Honesty Is Too Much Honesty?

How Much Honesty Is Too Much Honesty?

Author: Maria Eva Jacobs My name is Maria Eva Jacobs and I have lived with Bipolar Disorder my entire adult life. I’m here to tell you, there is life after diagnosis! Though still on medication, I live today in remission and while that is not a perfect walk, it is...

Ending the Stigma Starts Within

Ending the Stigma Starts Within

Author: Dayna J. When I first became ill with bipolar disorder I stopped talking with many of my friends and family. I also hid my diagnosis in the workplace. I isolated myself in embarrassment. I was filled with shame. I was grieving the person I thought I had lost...

Support Someone In The Crowd…

Support Someone In The Crowd…

Author: Serena Goldsmith, LCSW As someone who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder thirty years ago, I used to be someone in the crowd who did not know that there was hope for recovery. I wish that there had been an organization like International Bipolar Foundation...

The Importance of Peer Support

The Importance of Peer Support

Author: Lisa MacDonald I was diagnosed as a young teen with a mental illness but I hid it from others. I was so ashamed and embarrassed about it. Even my best friends didn’t know how badly I was suffering. I didn’t realize this until much later, but...

Living With Bipolar As a Person of Color

Living With Bipolar As a Person of Color

Author: Mariko Hewer Trigger warning: Brief discussion of suicide The past 18 months (and counting) have been remarkable by any standard — we’ve battled a worldwide pandemic, faced natural disasters dramatically heightened by climate change, and begun the hard yet...

Self-Stigma and What If’s

Self-Stigma and What If’s

Author: Claire Gault For me, self-stigma comes from the what if? questions I ask myself. What if my manic episode never happened? What if it happened, but I decided to remain at my college instead of transferring to another school? What if I made different choices,...

Men’s Mental Health- Living with Bipolar Disorder

Men’s Mental Health- Living with Bipolar Disorder

Author: George Zou As a 30 year old single man, I can tell you Bipolar Disorder affects men in a special way. Having a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis means staying away from the lively parties and concerts. During this Covid pandemic, Bipolar Disorder has prepared me for...

Men at Work and Mental Illness

Men at Work and Mental Illness

Author: George Hofmann Men have a poor track record for seeking mental healthcare. The result is higher levels of disability and higher rates of death by suicide in men than in women. Men are less likely to seek treatment than women are, and they seem much more bound...

Mental Health Stigma

Mental Health Stigma

Author: Nikta Niazi I have very much faced mental health stigma as a female. Actually I have come to the consclusion that each gender has their own obstacles when it comes to mental health issues. I was reading one of the blog post on the website; a psychiatrist...

Being Kind to Myself

Being Kind to Myself

Author: Kassy Nguyen When was the last time you have practiced self-kindness? Often more than I am sure most of us would like to admit, we are quite self-deprecating and harsh on ourselves. Although, it is often time normalized by the media to be self-deprecating and...

Black History Month

Black History Month

Author: Jayson Blair, IBPF Honorary Board Member Forgive me for thinking I had fallen backwards into a time machine. It was June 2020, but it could have just as easily been June 1865. In a hearing on the higher incidence of COVID-19 among black Americans, an Ohio...

Being Brave By Being Vulnerable

Being Brave By Being Vulnerable

Author: Courtney Casal I’ve found the stigma to be true, at least in my experience: having a conversation about your mental illness with your professors, much less anyone, is incredibly daunting. No matter how confident you might feel, you are immediately fearful of...

Living with Comorbid Diagnosis’

Living with Comorbid Diagnosis’

Author: Lauren Meredith I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) when I was 21 years old. I was a senior in college.  I had testing problems and lo and behold it was due to testing anxiety which was also manifested in various other aspects of my life.  My...

The Stories of Men with Mental Illness

The Stories of Men with Mental Illness

Author: George Hofmann It seems that today a man with a mental illness in his middle age is without a voice. So many of the stories told about the struggle with an incoherent mind are from the point of view of the young and mostly female. For so many older men the...

Bipolar Disorder, Stigma and Suicide

Bipolar Disorder, Stigma and Suicide

Author: Valéry Brosseau  The gym smelled a bit like a warehouse would smell, but mostly like sweat. I came to this gym 5 times a week to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but tonight I was not feeling it. I struggled through the warm up. My anxiety was making me irritable...

Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health

Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health

Author: Caoimhe Mercer This month (May) is Mental Health Awareness Month 2020. There are many differences this year, however, due to the concerns surrounding Covid19. With the need for social distancing and isolation, people’s mental health will likely suffer as a...

You Are Not Bipolar

You Are Not Bipolar

Author: George Hofmann How do you relate to bipolar disorder, and how do you describe yourself? Language can have a powerful influence over self-definition, revelation, and healing.  The way we describe ourselves and our condition speaks volumes about our outlook and...

#BipolarBrave, Today and Always

#BipolarBrave, Today and Always

Author: Violette Kay This World Bipolar Day, I look back at all the ways bipolar disorder has impacted my life, and the variety of these experiences is so vast I don’t know whether I should mourn or celebrate. Bipolar disorder has ruined my life a million times over,...

#BipolarBrave

#BipolarBrave

Author: Rebecca Lombardo  Up until very recently, the last thing in the world I would call myself is brave. I’m still having difficulty accepting it some days. What I saw is what my Bipolar Disorder told me to see: me, curled up in a ball on my bed in tears, too...

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