Bipolar Shame Suicide Stigma….

***Trigger warning.  We’re talking sui y’all.***

If a physical illness almost takes a life…

If a person with an illness experiences a crisis in that illness and almost loses their life….but is saved

it is celebrated.

They are given compassion and sympathy.

That person feels relieved, grateful, celebratory

If a person has the physical illness, Bipolar disorder,  and experiences a crisis in that illness…

When Bipolar disorder almost takes a life….but it is saved

People judge this person

People treat this person as if they have done something WRONG

As if they had a choice

The person experiences shame, guilt, despair…

Wanting to hurt yourself is a symptom of Bipolar disorder.

Hurting yourself is a symptom of Bipolar disorder.

It can take your life.

People don’t see it like this.

It isn’t viewed in this way, as an acute system failure in the brain…

It is viewed as that person’s weakness, character defect, attention seeking behavior….

“Gosh that person was just so sad they wanted to die? How odd? I wouldn’t do that.  I’m tougher than that.”

It is often dismissed as A cry for help….

People often say “a cry for help” with a hint of derision or dismission. As if it shouldn’t matter as much.

The way people like to blow off (and therefore relieve themselves of the need to deal with) a child who is having a tantrum by saying that they “just want attention.”

Often when a person who is suicidal courageously goes to the ER….. they are made to wait forever….every other problem is more important than this person who looks well in body. This person who for some bizarre reason wants to kill themself. They can wait.

This is wrong. This is cruel.

When a person with Bipolar disorder attempts suicide and is saved (even involuntarily)….that is a call for celebration….


That person deserves all of the compassion and sympathy given to someone who almost experienced heart failure.

That is what happened…there was a crisis of health in the physical body and…

A life was saved.


and start understanding that it is a symptom of an ILLNESS

that we did NOT ask for

And cannot control

NOBODY likes the idea of not existing anymore…..

unless there is something extremely serious going on.

This is why we NEED more understanding.  It is actually life or death.

We need them to understand this…

And WE need to understand this…

WE did nothing wrong

We did nothing wrong

We did nothing wrong

You did nothing wrong

You did nothing wrong

You did nothing wrong

There is no one to BLAME here.

This is no one’s fault

no one’s choice

This is Bipolar

We don’t shame people with physical illnesses when they almost die from their illnesses.

So why do we get shamed?

Because nobody gets it

Because nobody really wants to get it…

It is weird



It is just too strange for most people to contemplate…

It is too hard for them to imagine a pain so great that it………you know

And they don’t understand the other aspects of the illness….

that it is not actually about WANTING to die, that it may not even be about escape sometimes…..

(Though what sane person could stand being trapped in a box and constantly beaten without looking around for an escape hatch. I mean isn’t that a NORMAL response?)

But people are not able to understand being in the illness enough to understand that it’s goal is to destroy you.

(Just like every other illness!)

They don’t understand what it is like to have voices, thought insertions, intrusive thoughts.

Hawks. Predators wearing you down and waiting to go in for the kill…..

That you may not be able to stop it…

That this NEEDs help. Serious medical HELP. Not because we selfishly want to do this bizarre counterintuitive thing….because we have this invisible, make believe, stigma ridden “illness.” But because ….


I think this merits a repetition for the Bipolars….

You may not be able to stop it, control it, get better on your own…..


It is not because you have failed, are doing something wrong, or are just being crazy.

They also don’t know what it is like to have a pathway to suicidal ideation plowed through their brain.

Once it has happened that first tragic time… comes back easier and smoother the next time…..and the next….and the next…and sometimes penetrates a baseline brain in the bliss of normalcy…out of the blue….

Like a marble rolling into a groove…..the feeling hits the thought and is off on its own…again.

What if a person with a physical problem  goes to the hospital because they are at risk of losing their life…hemorrhage, heart failure, insulin shock, seizure, stroke….and they were told they were just crying for help.

it wouldn’t happen.

because that is absurd.

When someone is on death’s door and they receive a new kidney….it is a miracle! They may feel like they have a new lease on life!

They stood at death’s door and got to turn around and inhale again….precious life…

Why should it be any different for us…….?

It shouldn’t be any different for us

Hey world!

Stop judging us and treating us like losers because our illness is a deadly one.


Hey world!

Next time you want to say we are just “crying for help”…..

Why don’t you have a nice long think about why you are making us cry for it.

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