Share your story

Share your story
0 words
0 words
0 words
*Required field

I have read and accept these terms.

I have read and accept the Make It OK website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. By clicking “submit” I confirm that I am at least 18 years old and give HealthPartners, Inc. and its related organizations (“HealthPartners”) consent to use and publically display the Personal and Health Information I share on this website (“My Information”), in whole or in part, on this website and in other commercial ways, including making My Information available to third party users of this website to promote the Make It OK campaign. I understand that HealthPartners may edit or choose not to use My Information and will only use my first name or a fictitious name when My Information is used. I understand that I will not be compensated in any way by HealthPartners or third parties for sharing My Information with Make It OK and that the purpose of the campaign is to help reduce mental health stigma. I release HealthPartners from any and all liability for any claims that may arise out of the use, publication or sharing of My Information for this purpose.


Filter Stories Done

« Back To All Stories

Jackie’s story

“Stigma is extremely isolating.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

I have bipolar disorder with a comorbid anxiety disorder.

Stigma is extremely isolating. My experiences with bipolar have been a big part of my life (and sometimes the Only Part of my life, during those all-hands-on-deck periods). It’s hard to feel like you’re not allowed to talk about it. In the aftermath of some of the hardest times in my life I felt like I spent a lot of time with my mouth shut, because when people would ask me what I had been up to or how I had been, all I had to talk about was bipolar and I felt like I couldn’t go there. There’s this whole litany of reasons not to talk about it: you don’t want to make people uncomfortable, you don’t want to open yourself up to hearing each person’s dumb opinion about your own mental illness and your treatment, and you don’t want people to treat you differently. So then nobody talks about it, and we all have to sit alone with it.

How did you overcome this experience? 

One thing that’s helped me a lot is rejecting the shame that’s placed on me and others. I feel like there’s a misconception that people with mental illness are weak but that’s the opposite of the truth — people with mental illnesses have to live their lives while navigating tremendous obstacles that people without mental illnesses usually can’t comprehend.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

You are not weak; you are so ridiculously brave and strong. Living with a mental illness doesn’t dictate your character and it isn’t the sum total of your life. Mental illness is rough, and you have to be really brave sometimes. Getting through that is no small thing.

Share This Story

Stigma Quiz

Can you recognize mental illness stigma?

Go To Quiz

Dive Deeper

Try the Make It OK Interactive Tool


21,985 people have pledged to stop mental illness stigma.

By signing this pledge, you’re taking a stand against the mental illness stigma. Pass it on. Print it out. Tape it up. It can serve as a reminder to start more conversations and stop the labeling. Together, we can Make It OK.

Take the Pledge