Please stop embracing Bipolar Disorder and start fighting it!
The dictionary defines embracing as “accepting or supporting willingly and enthusiastically”.
It seems lately there has been a shift in society.
Yes, there is still a stigma.
For those of you who do not know, stigma is “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person” as defined by the dictionary.
More celebrities are opening up about their struggles with mental health. Specifically, many have divulged their Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. This helps to educate the public about Bipolar Disorder. Stigma is reduced to an extent, but it also does the exact opposite.
When an actor or actress endorses anything, there is always hype attached to the endorsement.
It makes me sad that it is almost an “in” thing to have Bipolar Disorder these days.
This does contribute to stigma.
When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, my doctor compared it to Diabetes. She said that I would have to take pills every day like a diabetic takes their insulin. She went on to say that Bipolar Disorder is a very serious debilitating illness. It is a chronic illness with no cure and degenerative if I do not take my medication.
I quickly learned never to let anyone minimize the struggle I face each and every day!
Fast forward to today. Let us look at the diabetes comparison again. It makes sense to say let us fight Diabetes. Let us fight Bipolar Disorder. Would you ever say embrace Diabetes? I would not. The same goes for Bipolar Disorder. You will never hear me say let us embrace Bipolar Disorder.
I fight this illness 24/7/365. I see it as a constant battle.
The various coping skills I have adopted I see as my supporting troops. They are my reinforcements to help me battle each day.
Some have accused me of being overdramatic looking at my illness this way. I beg to differ. It is a very serious illness that left untreated, can kill me. In fact, I have knocked on death’s door a number of times. I do not think you can get any more serious than that.
My take-home message is to not underestimate your illness. Do not minimalize it. Take it seriously.
An Extreme Illness
I think it is important to realize that yes, Bipolar Disorder is an extremely serious illness. I look at it as a war comprised of many everyday battles.
Each day I wake up with a sense of urgency. I need to take my medication as soon as I get up. That is the first action in a long list I take each day to fight.
As you know, some days are easier fighting than others. Many times, I just have to go through the motions knowing that I am being proactive.
For me, looking at Bipolar Disorder as a war creates hope in my heart. I have an amazing support team that is there for me. They fight right beside me each and every day. If you do not have family and friends around, you can still count your doctor, therapist and any other professional helping fight your battle right by your side.
Bipolar Disorder can be extremely frustrating to live with. I know you can empathize with that statement.
Just remember that with the proper mindset and coping skills, you can win the battle each day!
Until next time, take care of yourself! 🙂