Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-26

Disabling aspects of bipolar

I am 23 years old and was diagnosed as bipolar two years ago when I had my first manic episode after a long depression.

I have since managed to complete my degree with excellent results and even won a university class medal.

However, the saddest thing is that people discard bipolar people and sometimes it is very lonely. This can lead to suicide. It is not easy to live with someone who has bipolar disorder but people must remember that we also have a contribution to make to society and that when we are manic or depressive we need understanding and support.

I also find that no one realises the extent to which mental illness disables one. I can produce excellent work but it takes me twice as long. Unsympathetic people will often get impatient and I lose hope.
Physical disability gets more support than mental disability and there needs to be more activism around this. Too many productive lives are lost because no one wants to be involved with mental illness.

I am lucky to have a loving family, a devoted twin sister , a wonderful doctor, medication and a therapist but there are thousands of poor people in South Africa who are afflicted with this disease and have no hope.

I hope government hears my voice and seeks to put measures in place to find these people and help them.

What are the chances that bipolar could be recognised as a disability so that we can have rights and protocols that help us to maximise our potential in society.

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Our expert says:
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I agree with you that it must be very difficult to cope when people look down on you or avoid you. I understand that this can lead to loneliness and despair. I would suggest that you find a support group or even that you start a support group. You can contact the S A Depression and Anxiety Group for help to do this. Their number is 0112626396 or write to them on Always remember that bipolar people have a gift, they are usually very bright and creative - you have proved that.
Take care and all the best.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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