I still feel a bit apprehensive and ashamed when I say I have a form of Bipolar.
In an ideal world it would be no more embarrassing then saying ‘I have asthma.’
So why do I, still feel a bit tense as I utter the sentence and why do I insist on bringing it up?
Well for me it’s important that every time I feel a bit of ashamed that I challenge myself on those feelings and fight past them.
I shouldn’t be ashamed but for that to happen there has to be a greater change not just in myself but within society too.
I jokingly got asked if I was going to attack someone when I told them I had bipolar. Well no that’s not really how it works for starters and second of all, even in the form of a joke it’s still creating an environment where there is a stigma attached to admitting you have a mental health problem.
If I had a broken leg, I wouldn’t have to state it and wait with baited breath to see how the room was going to absorb it. I wouldn’t have to take a joke about me being dangerous in some way to other people in the room; it should be no different for mental health issues.
Sadly we’re not there yet. However I really do believe that in challenging ourselves to be open about it and by talking more and more about mental health issues we will get there.
It’s time to come out of the bipolar closet, and the depression closet and any other form of mental health closet.
Let’s talk openly and honestly about how we are to people who have no experience with mental health problems and let’s tell them how it really is and how we really are.
Open the door into our world and maybe when they see it’s not so scary the stigma attached to mental health issues will melt away too.