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Donald’s journey through opening up about his bipolar, PTSD and substance use and mission to end the stigma

"Please keep on understanding, educating oneself, and signing the petition to stop stigma."

Written story

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

I am a recovering IV drug addict; I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. Although, at different times in my life. When I found out I was bipolar, many terrifying aspects of my past and present were finally put to ease. It explained so much about me and my life. I’ve made many bad choices, but have grown to learn to make positive and healthy changes and also have learned to do a lot of hard work to maintain my stability. It does however hurt so much to deal with the “drama” or chaos that my mind creates constantly. The older I get the more difficult things can seem, my family doesn’t quite get what having either condition, let alone both, is like at all. It’s hard to work and school is such a challenge at times. Learning to do anything it takes to maintain what keeps me at a level and logical human is very important. Thank you! To anyone educating themselves, their loved ones, friends, family, strangers, pretty much anyone at all, this is something that should and deserves to be seen as an illness. Thank you to anyone who is even attempting to learn about all types of mental illness, it’s more common than most think. To sum it up, I’ve had many humans use stigmas towards my illnesses and again, thank you for trying to learn more.

How did you overcome this experience?

It is a daily struggle that is constant and takes a lot of energy and work to even maintain. It will not go away but it can be maintained if you don’t give up, ask for help if you need it always.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Please keep on understanding, educating oneself, and signing the petition to stop stigma. Thank you to anyone who is here doing something to learn more which is an amazing things about humans, we all can help each other and love one and other.