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TOPIC TITLE: How can we break the stigma?
Created On 8/5/14 11:33 PM
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hopeforbipolar
Junior Supporter

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2014

8/5/14 11:33 PM
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I am so thankful to the creators of this amazing website! I feel strongly that it is so important to connect with others and give chizuk to those who are suffering and have suffered with similar experiences. We all have our own journeys in our illnesses and I know from my own experience it is a very painful (to put it lightly) experience. This is a lifetime illness and can be brought up at any time and it can be scary. I never thought that my worst nightmare would now be the best bracha I received in my life. I never would have been the person I am today if I didn't have this illness. I have bipolar 1 and have had many manic episodes leading me to hospital stays, ECT treatments, countless medicine changes and the worst - just not knowing who I really was. I constantly asked myself Am I the manic one? Am I the depressed one? I kept saying, I just want to be the real me but I never went past the identity of "I'm bipolar" B"H it is because of my bipolar that I now know who the real person I am inside. This took a long time for me to come to this but I do have a lot to thank for the 12 step program of Recovery (I did it with OA but it's really stems from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous) It's really a complete miracle.
I won't go into my whole story on this forum but I would be more than thrilled to speak or email anyone who wants to talk and that I can help just as a support.
I do want to share that when I first was told I need to be on medication I said "no way!" Someone who went through a similar experience asked me, "If you had strep would you take antibiotics?" I said "Yes." So she said, So how is this different than strep? Just think of it as if you have strep and then you will take the meds." She was right. I did take the medication. But what she told me meant so much more than just referring to the meds. Why do we have to live in a world that we are embarrassed to say we have bipolar but we're not embarrassed to say we have strep? What makes bipolar or any mental illness something to hide? It's an illness, a challenge, a test and B"H I am realizing an opportunity that is given to us.
So I ask anyone reading this What can we do to break the stigma of bipolar in the frum community?

 
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keep climbing
Senior Supporter

Posts: 704
Joined: Apr 2013

8/6/14 6:18 AM
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Hi! Welcome!
That was an amazing post! It's good that you can be so positive. We really need that here.
My experience with breaking anything (stigma, stereotype) is that it's one action at a time. Each of us moves forward one step, and the results can be huge. Many drops make up the ocean........
Also, we have to break the stereotype in our own heads first, and that's really hard. I always have to battle the feeling that I am weak because of my MI. But I Know that MIi is NOT weakness. And I'm still struggling with that.
 
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