Mr. Sullivan, Bipolar Disorder is a “Fad”?

Dear Mr. Sullivan,
You recently said on live radio that Bipolar Disorder is a fad. Please allow me to address your inaccurate description.

This is the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of “Fad”: An intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze

These are some FACTS about Bipolar Disorder as per the National Institute of Mental Health (which is a division of the U.S. government’s National Institute of Health). I’ve abbreviated and re-arranged some of the information only in an effort to save you time.

“widely shared” Sir, Do you think that 2.6% of the population is a large percentage (as someone who has Bipolar Disorder, one person is ONE too many)?

Bipolar Disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.

“enthusiasm” Sir, would you be enthusiastic about experiencing this?

Bipolar Disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide. Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar Disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.
Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood. (some) Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are described below:
Extreme irritability
Behavioral Changes
Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
Being easily distracted, increasing activities, such as taking on new projects
Being overly restless or irritable
Sleeping little or not being tired
Having an unrealistic belief in one’s abilities
Behaving impulsively and engaging in pleasurable, high-risk behaviors
Mood Changes
An overly long period of feeling sad or hopeless
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex
Feeling tired or “slowed down”
Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits
Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide

“short-lived” Sir, does the following indicate a temporary situation?:

Bipolar Disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Bipolar disorder cannot be cured.

Bipolar Fabulous-a devout follower of fads


It’s 3:34 am. I can’t sleep. No I’m not tired I can’t sleep. Why? Why.. Well there’s too much to do. I need to finish this six pack because, well, it’s an accomplishment. Clean my room? More like bleach every inch. Cut my hair? Yes just like I had last year with the pretty design I need to do that NOW. My thoughts can’t stop racing I need this I need that, I am becoming psychotic, but do I know it? No. I’m normal I’m stable I’m fine I’m… Fuck I need to go for a run. It doesn’t matter if I have osteoporosis I wanna run. NOW. I need to go I need to DO.

It’s 7:30am. Time for work. I haven’t slept. I chug my black coffee, no creamer, no food. I chain smoke 3 cigarettes before even clocking in. I pump out three clients in the first 40 minutes I’m on top today! I sit down for lunch but who fuckin needs food, more coffee? Yes. With a cigarette. Or five.

Everyone keeps asking why I’m so happy so outgoing today I can’t see what they are talking about

I’m fine
I’m normal
I’m calm
I’m stable

I’m fucking manic

Entering into a depressive phase. Bipolar sucks when this happens. Before anyone gets worried it doesn’t mean I feel sad. It just means that all I feel like all my creativity and energy has been used up! I’m working slower than usual (I usually work very fast), napping a lot and I don’t feel like working on any huge shoots with 5 people there. If anyone wants to do some chilled, one on one shoots though I am deffo up for that 😊 thankyou for being patient with me while I’m in a mini hibernating phase. #polamatic #polaroid #polaroids #bipolardisorder
Hospitals Don't Help: 5 Weird Realities Of Bipolar Disorder
We sat down with Wren Williams, a woman who suffers from bipolar disorder, and here's what she told us about living with one of the most stigmatized illnesses in the modern world.

I’m sorry to say that from my experiences with bipolar disorder in my family, these things are way too true and even those of us who consider ourselves compassionate and educated about the disorder sometimes contribute to the crap that those who have it have to deal with. 

I used to be really scared about how people will see me. How they will react if they see me. Their judgment scared me until I kept myself alone in my room for two month. I rarely going outside. And I don’t really like to talk with people. And I don’t know to make people stay with me. I don’t know how make friends with people. I’m already used to be alone. I don’t bother that because I seek happiness from my own, even I always feel depressed and sad. Don’t blame me but its all my mind fault. It force me to being so depressed and push people away from me. But now, I don’t care. I just font care anymore. I will strive to successfully achieve what I want and what makes me happy. Its ok if you had mentall illness to live with. Try to cope with and you will win. Trust me, things get better. (I’m very good at giving advice but I cant kept myself motivated) lol.

- Anna x

My brain is The Incredible Hulk

The passing of comedy icon, Robin Williams, in August of 2014 truly encouraged people to educate themselves. It seemed unbelievable and shocking to most that a man who brought joy to so many, could have been suffering. Unfortunately, through Facebook comments about his tragic death, I was educated on just how many of my friends, colleagues, and family members were brutally ignorant about mental health. Feeling personally wounded, I posted this response: “Yes, let’s talk about suicide. Let’s talk about how brave and how difficult it is to talk about it and to ask for help, because it’s stigmatized. Let’s talk about mental health and how hard it is live with an illness that is easier seen than understood. Let’s talk about the fear of hurting others by admitting you need help and the fear that when you do talk about it, you are categorized as selfish. Let’s talk about ignorance, insensitivity, and stigma. Let’s talk about how we can be more receptive and more supportive to others. Let’s talk about how and where to get help. Let’s.” And I meant it.

Sure, I have Bipolar Disorder and this is for me, but this is for you too. This is for the millions of veterans who come home from hell and are expected to assimilate back into society with fears no one can relate to: branded with the lettering: PTSD, more of whom take their own lives than are killed in action. This is for the eighty percent of new mothers who experience Postpartum Depression, holding a newborn they could not be more in love with in a time when they could not feel more alone. This is for students with ADD and ADHD being categorized as low-functioning when they’re fighting their attention spans, the school systems, and the odds to be successful. This is for the 124,000 American citizens, who suffer from severe mental illness that sleep on park benches and hold cardboard signs pleading for a moment of compassion from passersby and receiving judgment instead. This is for anyone who has ever felt like no one understands what it’s like to fight with your mind or feel hopeless; For anyone who has ever been personally offended or disgusted at someone’s lack of mental health education. And, of course, this is for everyone who has ever cared about someone with a mental illness enough to try to understand. -To say you mean the world to us would be understating your value. We would not make it without you. So let’s work together.

I’m not going to explain what mental illnesses are. I’m not going to explain brain chemicals to you. I’m not a doctor. I’m just going to start with, hey, here’s how we can treat each other like human beings and show some compassion. You don’t need me to tell you that the best thing we can do to support one another is to encourage communication. You know that. You just don’t know how to go about it, because it is incredibly difficult to talk about. So, I honestly feel like I can talk to people that care about me when I’m having a rough time with my disorder and I am genuinely grateful to feel like at this point, I am caring less and less about who knows and more and more about helping people who don’t understand mental health. So, I am going to use “I” when explaining why communication is so tough, but, please don’t worry. For the most part, the communication in my life has greatly improved in the last few years. So here goes.

There is this horrible misconception that exists that says being brave and being strong is to appear like you have everything together, try to hold everything in, never let people see you break down, drown in your pain, and suffer in silence. (There is a huge difference between maintaining composure and harboring emotion. I’m talking about the second one.) We’ve all been there. This is widely accepted, because for someone like me, with mental illness, if I suffer in silence, I’m avoiding judgment and bypassing ridicule. I don’t want to deal with the demeaning stigma and stereotypes. I don’t want to be a psycho. I don’t want people to think I’m violent. I’m escaping the embarrassment and vulnerability of opening up to someone that might not say the right thing at the right time and yes, I’m going to be sensitive and defensive about it, because what I go through is difficult and even if  I’m not always understood, my experiences and feelings are still valid. No one can infuriate me by calling me crazy or telling me it’s all in my head if I just don’t talk about it. No one can cause me to break down by telling me I’m overreacting, too emotional, or that I’m just handling things poorly if I just keep it to myself…and this is a very sad and very dangerous ideology that is generally mistaken for “coping.”

Ultimately, by allowing myself to be silenced by fear, I am becoming a time-bomb instead of giving the ones that care about me the most the opportunity to help me, because it could be horrifying and humiliating- because it has been horrifying and humiliating before and will be a few hundred more times before I die, because of lack of education. I feel like letting people know that I have a mental illness and that I’m not always okay makes me look weak and gives them ammunition. I live with so much shame I feel like no one can relate to. And we’ve all been in a situation where we really needed help and we tried to talk to someone who just flat-out let us down. Too often this paralyzing fear of how other people will respond to us silences us until it’s too late to talk.

And so, communication is hard…but, what happens when someone is ready to talk?  If you look up the definition of “brave” in the dictionary, it reads “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.”  Friends, family, loved ones, as advocates and allies, if someone steps up with a willingness to communicate and the desire for your understanding and acceptance, they are ready to face and endure danger or pain, and they need you to tell them that you understand that what they are doing is brave and strong and by no means, easy. I need you to tell me that I am brave. It’s very likely that during the conversation I may experience some shame and some guilt for even having to have the conversation. I appreciate you more than you know. Please, remind me that I am brave. When they come to talk, remind the veterans, the mothers, the students, the homeless, and anyone else you love that the brave thing to do is not to hold it all inside until it wins, but to face our fears and allow ourselves to become vulnerable and receptive to help.

When I decided to make a post about mental health, I sat down and bulleted a list of important things to include that was a page long. There is not a cause more personal or more important to me than promoting awareness and empowering those who are at war with themselves. I went through my notes trying to determine how I could write something that would be truly beneficial and I am trying to do my best. However! This article by author, Thu-Huong Ha, entitled “How Should We Talk About Mental Health?” seriously has every single thing I wanted to include in this post: Ending the stigma, avoiding correlations between criminality and mental illness, mental illness and suicide, avoiding words like “crazy” or “psycho,” talking about your own experiences, NOT defining people by their illnesses, separating the person from the problems, communication, humor. I mean, it’s literally perfect. I want you to go there. Read the article. And come back. But seriously, do not come back until after you’ve read it.


And now, just for fun. Here are some of the most ridiculous things that people have said to me about Bipolar Disorder:

1.“I mean, I have ADHD and that’s like for sure. But, how do you even know you have Bipolar Disorder? You can’t even tell. It’s not like they scan your brain. You’re just guessing.”

Oh, no ma’am. Psychiatrists identified that I have Bipolar Disorder in the same way that identify most mental illnesses, by examining behavioral patterns over a period of time. You should know that…unless they scanned your brain for ADHD.

2. “Bipolar Disorder is where you get like really mad, right? Like I should watch what I say or you’re going to become The Incredible Hulk or shoot up a school?”

Number one, if you were trying to watch what you were saying in the off chance that you might say something offensive, you failed. Also, no. Bipolar Disorder is also known an Manic Depressive Disorder. Typically my moods cycle between manic stages and crippling depression in varying lengths. The extent to which I try to control my emotions and try to rationalize everything before doing anything, just to be sure that I’m not overreacting sometimes makes me appear unaffected by questions like these, actually. But I do look really good in green.

3. “Yea, you’re Bipolar blah-blah. You’re using it as an excuse and it’s really hard for me when you do this.”

I’m about to use it as an excuse for murder…but then the guy who asked #2 would look justified in asking that question. And I’m not Bipolarrrrrr. It does not own me, I own ittttt. I am a person with Bipolar Disorder, just like you’re a person with poor people skills. 

And I apologize, if I am under a lot of stress, I can shut down, have panic attacks, and just flat out stop functioning for short periods of time if I like… don’t have exact change or whatever. It’s always nice to have friends in times like these. Friends with exact change.

4. “That’s such a first-world problem. So many people have it worse. You don’t have cancer.”

Do all of those people dislike you too? Hey, just because other people have issues, does not make my struggle any less important. And for the cancer comment, please go here. I wish it were a link to Hell, but it’s not. Ha!

5. “Do you hear voices?”/”Do you have multiple personalities?”

Go read a book.

6. Last, but not least. I hear this 100 times a day when someone is acting foolish. “________ is acting Bipolar.”

If you’re going to use Bipolar as an adjective to mean crazy, can I use your name as a synonym for ignorant, because honey, you are being so Linda right now.

If you have any further absurd questions or statements, please e-mail them to someone who cares. :) Thank you.

I need all my followers, friends and family to help encourage me if you wouldn’t mind. Not only am I taking medication for a mental disorder, but also working out nearly 4 times a week. I would like it if whenever I feel “full of excuses” I want you all to be Bob Harpers or Julian Michaels. 💪🏼👍🏼🙏🏼❤️

#workout #bipolardisorder #health #clarity #goals #dreams #feelinggood #lookinggood #gym #weights #quotes #gay #gayguy #help #friends #family

So I watch this show on @showtime called @shameless and one of the characters is a gay teenager named Ian who develops bipolar disorder. I have the disorder but I’m more of bipolar depression than what he has. But he ends up admitting himself to a hospital in last nights episode and I remember when I went to one of those things but it was not all because of me. A shitty boyfriend of mine at the time had mentally fucked me in lies and made up shit that I believed. That guy is more fucked up and evil than anyone I’ve ever known. Fuck you. I am doing so much better and am grateful for anyone who has chosen to be there for me or talked me out of committing suicide even though I’ll have these scars for the rest of my life. All that matters is that I’m better off by myself than with that negative manipulative, abusive, compulsive liar. But as for the show’s character, Ian… I hope you get better quickly so you can get out and return to the people that love you. Love this show. #Shameless #IanGallagher #Gallavitch #BipolarDisorder #MentalHealth #BestShowEver

It’s “time to talk day"so I’m joining in with the #take5toblog 💕 My name is Erin and I have bipolar disorder. My mental illness has affected every part of the past few years. I missed out on a lot of my education and even just time with friends due to hospitalisations and daily struggles. I’ve had to deal with lots of side effects from different medication and Its stopped me from finishing my a levels,being independent,getting a job and even leaving the house or communicating with people at times.My biggest support has been my family and friends who put up with everything no matter what, my amazing mental health team and other patients I’ve met along the way. I’m hope for the future is to make it to university, grow my blog and learn to cope independently. I’m taking 5 today because I shouldn’t have to be afraid or embarrassed when people find out I’m bipolar. Mental illness is just as important/real as any physical’s not an adjective for someone you find anoying. It’s not attention seeking or an excuse. #endstigma #mentalhealth #timetotalk #take5toblog #timetochange #bipolardisorder

anonymous asked:

I just can't go on anymore. I'm in the middle of a meltdown. I just feel like I'm worthless. I have so many problems. I suffer from severe bipolar disorder along with other issues and my loved ones are sick of me because of it. I think it would be easier if I ended my life. I'm going to be on anti-psychotics for the rest of my life and I hate that. It makes me feel totally worthless.

Hey, sweetheart. xx

You’re not worthless, okay? At all. I felt the same way when I started anti-psychotic medication. But darling, let me tell you something. You now how people with physical illnesses have to take medicine to get better? So do we. It doesn’t mean we’re worthless. Our brains are chemically unbalanced, but that in no way lessens our worth, just like when someone has tonsillitis and they have to take antibiotics. It doesn’t make them worthless. They can’t help it. Neither can you. Neither can I. Even if we have to take the medicines for the rest of our life, it in no way lessens your worth, love. You have dreams, interests, hobbies. You have your own unique personality, and no one else is exactly like you. You are irreplaceable. There’s a line in one of my favorite songs that says; “You are more than the choices that you’ve made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than your problems you create.” I believe that to be true. You are so much more than all this mess. You are so much more than medication makes you feel.  

I promise.

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m here to tell the truth. I’m going to tell you this; It probably is easier to be dead than alive. 

But ask yourself this; Which one is more worth it?

There is so much ahead of you-so much you haven’t seen. Life is so worth it when you give it a chance. Even if you don’t think so now, if you just hold on a little longer, one day you will. 

Do you know how day by day, nothing seems to change, but when you look back, everything’s different? Think back to last year. See how much things have changed since then? Look back to when you were 10. Even more has changed, right? That’s how this is going to be. Every day it’s going to seem like the same old pain, the same old routine. It might not even be worth it, right? Wrong. Think about this. The Earth is spinning at approximately 1,040 miles per hour. We don’t notice it at all, right? We don’t always notice change. Even though you don’t see it now, things are changing this very moment! They really are; and even though you’re probably going to be taking these medicines for the rest of your life, your circumstances won’t be like this forever, I promise you that.

Your loved ones are incredibly wrong for “being sick of you”. They should love and support you through this rough time. You deserve all the good the world has given you, and none of the bad. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. xx

In the mean time, here are 1000 reasons to live. 

I really hope things get better for you, and if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Take Care & Stay Strong. xx