Moodscope's blog

6

March


What I have, not what I am. Tuesday March 6, 2018

In trying to do my part to reduce stigma, I am openly talking to others about the fact that I have bipolar 1 disorder. Typically, I will get to know someone a little before disclosing my condition but sometimes it happens spontaneously.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not running around saying "Hi, I'm Maria and I'm bipolar". I think people would look at me strangely and perhaps run away. However, more importantly, I AM NOT bipolar. I am a person who happens to have a bipolar disorder. I have never heard anyone say I am cancer, so why should I promote my illness as my identity. I am so much more than that. In fact, I will make the distinction very clear to someone to whom I'm speaking to for the first time. I will straightforwardly ask them if they noticed that I said I have bipolar 1 disorder not that I am bipolar. I want them to be clear on the difference.

A lot of times I get the remark that I don't look like someone who has bipolar disorder... Clearly, they haven't seen me when the black dog is sitting so heavily on me that I'm suffocating. Or when my spending almost catches up with my rushing thoughts, but it presents me an opportunity to educate others, just by talking. I think that it is especially important here in America where the news is populated by mass killings.

Unfortunately, people with pre-existing mental health conditions here have access to firearms but not health care. That's a tragedy but I digress... I really want to stress that having a mental health condition does not define us. I have bipolar 1 disorder but I AM:
• Loving
• Smart
• Caring
• Loyal
• Trustworthy

I know it's easier for me to reveal my condition being that I don't work outside my home. I also select where and when I talk to others about my condition. However, I was recently asked if I would mind being interviewed by our local paper about having bipolar 1 disorder. I responded yes but was very anxious that all who read the paper would know what I have... even some people I would rather they not know. This prompted some soul searching and I have come to grips with a public disclosure, and I'm now comfortable with anybody/everybody knowing about this one aspect of my life.

I'm curious, do you talk to others about your mental health condition(s)? How would you describe yourself when saying I AM...?

Wishing All love and peace,

Maria
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


Permalink  |  Blog Home

Comments

Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 36 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.