How can I find people who understand?
I’ve asked myself this question many times. It is a given that other people with the same or similar affliction understand, but what about those who have never been exposed to it or even somewhat educated about it?
How can I find people outside of the mental health community who understand?
The conclusion I have drawn is to make them understand. I am very open about my bipolar status (obviously). I do not care who knows or who does not and most importantly I do not care what anyone thinks about me as a person with bipolar disorder. It has taken me a long time to stop taking other people’s analysis of me as being absolute truth. I make up my own mind about who I am now. I understand myself and that is the first step to finding others who will understand me or at least accept me for who I am.
I don’t shout from the rooftops that I’m bipolar. However, I tell people flat out that I’m bipolar if our conversation gets personal. After disclosure I immediately begin educating about what BD is and what it is not. Shortly thereafter they begin understanding. I’ve yet to have a bad reaction… no one ran away from me screaming, ‘keep that crazy bitch away from me!’
One of the best places to find people within the mental health community who understand is DBSA support groups. DBSA support groups are groups of people with mood disorders, their families and their friends who meet to share experience, discuss coping skills and offer hope to one another in a safe and confidential environment. People who go to DBSA groups say the groups:
• Provide a safe and welcoming place for mutual acceptance, understanding and self-discovery.
• Give them the opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have been there.
• Give them new hope and belief that they can recover.
• Motivate them to follow their treatment plans.
• Help them understand that mood disorders do not define who they are.
• Help them rediscover their strength and humor.
People who had been attending DBSA groups for more than a year were less likely to have been hospitalized for their illness during that year, according to a DBSA survey.
There are also NAMI support groups, church support groups, etc.
On this day..
- 10 Things You Can do to Fight Stigma
- Bands I've Seen Live (well, the ones I remember)
- Wellness After Hospitalization
- Understanding Hospitalization for Mental Health
- Mental Illness Facts
- Mental Illness Awareness Week 10/7-10/13
- Rebuttal to Jordan's Accusations
- Types of Bipolar Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder Statistics
- The Horror of Blimps
About BipolarChick (599 posts)
I’m a thirty-something bipolar woman, an advanced tech agent with a pay tv provider, tax preparer for a local charity, current Tulsa inhabitant, and I’m one credit shy of an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. I’m working on recovery from self-injury and working toward stabilizing my bipolar symptoms. Recovery is very important to me. I’ve been mostly single the past few years and plagued by a seemingly never-ending series of jackasses, assholes, and married men. I have no children of my own, but I have lots of nieces and nephews I love to spoil.