The blog behind my #stigma tweet

So today I stepped out into the unknown and told someone who I didn’t know very well that I suffered from bipolar and that I was experiencing a depressive episode at the moment. Normally I would be open with people after an episode if they asked but never whilst being unwell as always felt so vulnerable.
At Church today I was on the prayer list – I have been on the list for a few weeks and this in itself is positive and a step forward as often I ask not to be on the list in case of difficult questions.
This time however I had decided that it is important to be honest, to get people talking about mental health and to help reduce stigma. Today someone who I didn’t know that well and who obviously didn’t know about the bipolar asked me how I was and expressed real concern as I had been on the list for a few weeks. I was nervous as always worry about telling people but as soon as I did I knew it was the right thing as I was given a hug and given real encouragement and genuine sympathy.
I also worry about telling people as someone once said to me that people might be offended by my honesty – I now believe this isn’t the case for the majority of people and it is right to keep the conversation going. I would be interested to hear people’s opinion on this as I really never want to offend or embarrass – just let people know how common mental illness is and how it can affect anyone.

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