How many people do you know that are bipolar? Are they a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or your child? No? None of the above?
Well, maybe you just don’t know them as well as you thought. Maybe you had a great aunt known to be “crazier than a loon” or an uncle who drank entirely too much and committed suicide. Maybe even your own father who always had an unpredictable mood, so you and your siblings would hide when he returned home from work to see what type of mood he was in.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 2.6%, or at least 2 out of every 100 adults in the United States, 5.7 million people, have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Recently, they have discovered that children and adolescents are also showing symptoms of bipolar disorder, so their percentage is underdeveloped at the moment because they are just starting to be diagnosed, most misdiagnosed as ADHD.
If there are so many of us out there in the United States, how come I don’t know many? Where are all the celebrities and politicians that are diagnosed or show the symptoms OR have loved ones that have been diagnosed?
In this politically correct and socially accepting society, we still do not hear much about us. If I hadn’t made it a point to stop feeling ashamed of being bipolar recently, I would have never opened my eyes to this major problem that is growing potentially worse if certain key questions and problems are ignored.
One of the best lines ever written was “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”—The Usual Suspects.
So do we exist? Are we just as human as you? Then why is there this ever present, vibrating STIGMA hitting us like a hammer every time we try to find a job, look through our medical bills, converse with strangers, go to school or work, or walk the streets trying to find some sort of shelter to protect us from the approaching storm?
Do you think we should remain a secret, a dirty lie? Should we be afraid to let people know who we are or get help for what we think might be the most shameful aspect of our life?
Historically, we have been persecuted, burned at the stake, holes drilled in our heads, put on display to be laughed at, thrown into asylums where we are drugged to the point of nothingness.
But today, everything is fine, right? It all has changed. We are treated as equals in society. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Had a Dream” did not stop with African Americans. We also heard “freedom ring.” Right?
So why are we letting our existence and condition remain a dirty little secret? Why are we living in shame? Yes, you are living in shame if you do absolutely nothing to improve your way of life if you’re not doing something already. Do you have a goal?
No? Then you too are part of the problem because you fuel the negative opinion about us. So, when you discover what your goal and/or purpose in life is, do all you can to achieve it. If someone tells you that you can’t, tell them “yes, I can.”
If they continue to tell you “no,” just jokingly say “Don’t make me go bipolar on your ass!” That will leave them confused, so you can just walk away and smile. Oh, don’t forget to ignore them and prove them wrong.
Your homework assignment: So, how bad do we, those that are bipolar, have it in this world? Answer in the comment box or just write your comment about this blog in general.