It all began when I started blogging. What started as a medium of creative expression, a platform to motivate others led to something unexpected. I’d been posting about how I switched between radically different careers. One of the posts in this series was At the Crossroads of life. which describes how my life had turned upside down a decade ago on the dreaded diagnosis of Bipolar. This Post was greeted with surprised reactions, advice, positive comments and of course the odd scepticism.
Importantly, a counsellor friend from New Delhi asked for my permission to share it with Psychiatric Hospitals there. I readily consented.
While interacting with friends, gradually a broader picture emerged. Obviously I was not the lone Bipolar out there, nothing new in that.
What did change is I began to come to know of specific cases as disclosed by very close friends, relatives and so on. There was one common thread about the cases I heard. Virtually NONE of them is in a stable condition. Many had flatly refused to seek professional help or had quit midway.
Some, who knew me well, found it difficult to digest that I was a Bipolar. One outcome was that their relatives who could not bear the suffering of their dear ones, approached me. I was touched especially by a close friend who wished I could in way help his brother (they live in another city) who was not responding to any treatment. Another friend shared that her husband had, on her suggestion, started reading my Blog and it was helping him. All this fuelled my desire to take the initiative forward.
I counted my blessings that I had been able to recover from a very dark phase. I thank my Medical team of Psychiatrists, Counsellors and the patience of my family members.
I had always toyed with the idea of some platform or community where such discussions could be held, where I could reach out to more people. Being a good communicator and writer helped my cause.
I was encouraged by a very dear friend/mentor Puneet Bhatnagar. He personally happens to have a few friends who could be helped by such an initiative such as this. In fact he literally goaded me into action. To begin with an online forum is his brainchild. Thus was born Bipolarindia.
Although there are many platforms/communities globally on Depression and Mental illness, in India, since openly talking about such issues carries a taboo with it, there is big vacuum.
This Community is about us foremost- by us I mean, Bipolar afflicted, Doctors, Motivators who interact on one common platform towards one goal:
Lightening the burden of those afflicted with Bipolar and Depression.
It is a bridge between Doctors and Patients: I cannot emphasise this more- any serious Mental illness (Bipolar or similar) needs immediate Psychiatric treatment. Crucially, the treatment needs to be persevered with. Where I can add value is my Insider’s view- ‘having been there, done that’ experience. I feel it will help those afflicted to relate to me more easily.
You can expect valuable, inspirational stories, learn about all the resources available, hear about fellow patient’s tips and suggestions and post your own doubts and queries.