About Bipolar India

lets-walk-togetherIt all began when I began blogging in 2012. What was initially a a medium of creative expression and 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’. I was flooded with surprised reactions, advice, positive comments and of course the odd skepticism on my story about how Bipolar had disrupted my life.

Importantly, a counselor friend from New Delhi asked for my permission to share it with Psychiatric Hospitals there. I readily agreed. 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, as a result of my writing, I began to come to know of specific cases as disclosed by close friends. There was one common thread about the cases I heard. Virtually NONE of them was in a stable condition. Many had flatly refused to seek professional help or had quit midway. For one who been through the horrors of it all, this state of affairs disturbed me.

It was then I realised how fortunate was I to have recovered from a prolonged dark phase. I thank my Medical team of Psychiatrists, Counselors and the support of my family members. On the other hand, the lack of awareness or media attention on the growing threat of Bipolar/mental illnesses in general as compared to other illnesses begged for a solution. 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 creative writer helped my cause. Moreover, feedback from many of my readers was that my writing motivated them.

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 a big vacuum. The stigma isolates those already suffering. I was encouraged by dear friend and mentor Puneet Bhatnagar to set up this site and he goaded me into action. Thus was born Bipolarindia, the nation’s first online community set up by a Bipolar for BD and Depression.

This Community is about us foremost- by us I mean, Bipolar and Depression afflicted who can learn from each other and Resource providers who interact on one common platform towards one goal:

Lightening the burden of Bipolar and Depression.

It is a bridge between resources and Patients: I cannot emphasise this more- any serious Mental illness (Bipolar or otherwise) needs immediate Psychiatric treatment. You can also expect articles about alternate healing methods. Our Resources Page is a rich learning ground for Bipolars or one close to them.

You can expect valuable, inspirational stories, hear about fellow patient’s tips and suggestions and post your own doubts and queries. Plus practical tips and suggestions to lift your mood.
Most importantly, it is a meeting ground where there is no place for fear. Voice your concerns without holding back. It is only by sharing our experiences can we grow and break the stranglehold of stigma and isolation.

From today onwards, maybe you have a reason to feel  less lonely.

P.S.~
Since this post had been written, a lot of water has flown under the bridge. I have written and published my first Book, ‘A Bipolar’s Journey~ From Torment to Fulfillment, which has inspired quite a few readers.

More heartwarming is the shape this Community has taken~
We held our first PEER SUPPORT GROUP Meeting in Mumbai in November. This will be held on a monthly basis.

Let’s Walk Together.

Disclaimer:
This site strongly advocates diagnosis and treatment only by  qualified Psychiatrists. There is no alternative to adhering to your Doctor’s prescribed medicines and check ups as advised on a regular basis.
Any methods, resources suggested on this site are at best supplementary in the healing process and NOT by any means an alternative to professional treatment under the care of a Psychiatrist.

  • hansyoga

    We all have ego problems, we all have selfish tendencies. Growing is actually about winning over this weakness. I think depression is essentially a result of too much mental preoccupation with ‘me’ and ‘mine’. Those who connect, who enjoy loving and serving cannot get depressed. That explains the Helper’s High, too. Comments, please.

    • @hansyoga:disqus, with due respect to your views, I tend to disagree.
      ‘Ego problems, selfish tendencies’ are an attitudinal aspect of a person’s nature.
      Bipolar Disorder is a grave Psychotic illness which cannot and must not be oversimplified by such generalisations.
      Although scientists have yet to come to any definite conclusion, research says among the causes of the onset of Bipolar are hereditary, chemical changes in the Brain, environment factors (esp. childhood trauma) and stress.
      Secondly, Bipolar and Depression are different illnesses.

      • Aham Setu Pune

        Try….

        Strenuous physical activities and exercise
        Checking thyroid levels especially hyperthyroidism, which can send people on a spin
        Sugar related problems (especially for young people, mania brought on by the various sugary drinks, junk food and sports drinks with hazardous substances)
        Immediately stop all those items from the diet
        Include omega 3 oils and lots of salads, vegetables and light meats
        Check how much of cereals and grains are in the diet… gluten intolerance and other allergies
        Definitely check vitamin and mineral deficiencies because that is the true Indian epidemic, not mental illness

        Bipolar ‘illness’ is a rich man’s disease brought on by a false lifestyle, so called ‘health foods’ and ‘rich foods’ that are hazardous, sugar and thyroid imbalance, and poor oil / liver metabolism.

        In any case, people should follow their own prescriptions of what is good for them. Is this blog run by a psycho-pharmaceutical company?

      • Symphonia

        I am exposed to bipolar people..have faced a couple of them and feel India very much needs to accept that this disorder, is just a disorder not the end of life..
        dDenial, beating the patient mentally, shaing is never a solution.
        One cant expect them to behave like you and me, they are suffering.
        BUT YES…it cause us suffering too and we do tend to lose our balance too.
        Would love to share my experiences here.
        I have lived seen the west and the east,
        I realised that Bipolar can be very balanced if taken care of.
        One can behave as good as you and me.
        Though I admit I have failed to look into them due to my exhaustion, at times, But then I rise again and stand up.
        Thank You Dr.Vijay, appreciate your thoughts..
        Cheers!
        Symphonia.

  • hansyoga

    A simple thing like jogging in fresh air can drive away the blues. Ever tried it ?

    • @hansyoga:disqus ,
      It is a well known and scientifically verified fact that even mild exercise, especially in the outdoors during daytime are a mood booster.
      This is due to the added Serotonin flow in the Brain.
      I have mentioned this in one of my Posts http://www.bipolarindia.com/helping-hand/

      • Symphonia

        Please dont let this site die…
        Please keep talking, people in india suffer silently…
        Lets keep discussing they will come one fine day….
        They are seeking help, and there are barely any indian sites, i wanted to support the Indians as I saw there were too many forums for the west, they accept and react and discuss brilliantly…i felt sad India was not waking up….
        I found this site…
        PLEASE PLEASE DONT LET IT DIE…
        It Could help so so many…
        Keep talking keep it alive Please…I implore…
        Thank You
        Symphonnia

    • Symphonia

      Dr Hansyoga,
      Your insight and inner wisdom could be a huge support to such a tribe, but I feel a bit of arrogance in your voice.
      Please take Bipolars Gently…
      They Suffer…You need to have one in the family to actually understand how it feels..
      Smiles, not wanting to sound rude..
      Do pardon me!
      Cheers!

  • hansyoga

    Soul-Happiness, the antidote to all depression : Wisdom Nuggets from my Master, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic ‘Autobiography of a Yogi”.

    “In a time of misfortune I heard Thy voice, saying: “The sun of My protection
    shines equally on thy brightest and thy blackest hours. Have faith and smile! Sadness is an offense against the blissful nature of Spirit.

    Let My life-transforming light appear through the transparency of smiles. By being happy, my child, thou dost please Me.”

    Remember that when you are unhappy it is generally because you do not visualize strongly enough the great things that you definitely want to accomplish in life, nor do you employ steadfastly enough your will power, your creative ability, and your patience until your dreams are materialized.

    The laughter of the infinite God must vibrate through your smile. Let the breeze
    of His love spread your smiles in the hearts of men. Their fire will be contagious.

    You have the power to hurt yourself or to benefit yourself….If you do not choose
    to be happy no one can make you happy. Do not blame God for that! And if you choose to be happy, no one can make you unhappy….It is we who make of life what it is.

    A strong determination to be happy will help you. Do not wait for circumstances to change, thinking falsely that in them lies the trouble.

    Do not make unhappiness a chronic habit, thereby affecting yourself and your
    associates. It is blessedness for yourself and others if you are happy.
    If you possess happiness you possess everything; to be happy is to be in tune with God. That power to be happy comes through meditation.

    Do not think that a little joy in silence is enough. Joy is more than that. For
    instance, suppose you are going to be punished by not being allowed to go to sleep when you are desperately in need of rest, and suddenly someone says: “All right, you may go to sleep now.” Think of the joy you would feel just before falling asleep. Multiply that one million times! Still it would not describe the joy felt in communion with God.

    Real happiness comes only when your will is guided by soul discrimination to choose good instead of evil, anytime, anywhere, because you truly want good for its own sake. Then you will be really free.

    Daily I will seek happiness more and more within my mind, and less and less through material pleasures.”

    – Hans Dholakia
    Motivational Life Coach Online
    http://www.hansyoga.com

    • Thank you for the beautiful words, @hansyoga:disqus.
      I have traveled from darkness to light using my Spiritual strength, spreading love and caring for others.

  • @ahamsetupune:disqus
    I do not know in what capacity are you commenting.
    Are you a medical professional? or a Bipolar yourself?

    This is not an attempt to go on the defensive but in fact an opportunity to highlight this Community’s very purpose.
    1) “Strenuous’ exercise is not called for: regular exercise is what is needed. Yoga and Meditation boost the brain.
    2) Thyroid related mood swings are very different from Bipolar Disorder and normally are not as lethal either: Bipolar takes a toll on the afflicted’s health as well as on the family: an approx 10% of Bipolars commit suicide besides their reduced life expectancy.
    3) Bipolar is a severe Psychiatric illness which goes beyond just mood swings (see the research links on the Page here, Resources). So please, sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lifestyle’ related moods are irrelevant here.
    4) Yes, a balanced, healthy diet is definitely recommended: however, that is recommended for even healthy people: strictly avoiding alcohol and drugs is crucial in BD.
    5) NO, most definitely, this is site is not run by any company with a interest in Pharma, or by any corporate (read about the persons behind it:
    http://www.bipolarindia.com/about-us/my-story/ )
    6) Your comment that Bipolar is a rich man’s disease: nothing can be further from the truth- it is all pervasive, across age groups and all classes of society.
    I hope this brings clarity.

    • Aham Setu Pune

      Hi, I was not commenting, but rather sharing my expertise, having worked in the field for about 25 years. I understand from your responses to all comments above that this particular site is for a medical view only, and even that, only a psychiatric view largely. Nutrition scores very low on the scale of wellness over here. But I sure am glad to know this site is not run by psycho-pharma. I was not particularly asking for clarity, thank you. Beware of ‘certainty’. Love, Ahamsetu, Pune.

      • Glad to know about your background, @ahamsetupune:disqus
        If I were so certain about anything, I would not have opened myself up to additional healing methods.
        It seems that you are basing your observations WITHOUT going through the posts on this site.
        Please do take at least effort of thoroughly going through this site before writing off a community’s effort.
        We do not advocate a medical regimen only approach at all.
        I have shared my own experiences of how powerful a role yoga, meditation and spirituality have played in my recovery journey.
        i’d go on to say that medication is fundamental in controlling the illness but by only depending on medical treatment, a sense of well-being is difficult to achieve.
        I have also shared how writing (a creative art) freed me.

        Also, I am not questioning your 25 year ‘expertise’: which you do not wish to elaborate upon.
        I am no expert: I am an eager learner, a communicator to our readers.

  • Guest

    Hello All,
    I came across this website while searching for psychiatric help in India, you guys are doing wonderful job in educating the community .
    My brother 24yrs old suffering from depression (that what we and his doctor think) from past 6 yrs and going through psychiatric treatment, however I think he is not getting right treatment and was trying to find a good psychiatrists in Mumbai, who can understand his case better, do correct diagnosis and besides just giving him medications can provide talk therapy sessions.
    If you can help us finding the right psychiatrists in Mumbai, that will be a great help.
    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Kunj

    • Hello! Our Professional Help page will give you all the help you need.

  • Kunj

    Hello All,
    I came across this website while searching for psychiatric help in India, you guys are doing wonderful job in educating the community .
    My brother 24yrs old suffering from depression (that what we and his doctor think) from past 6 yrs and going through psychiatric treatment, however I think he is not getting right treatment and was trying to find a good psychiatrists in Mumbai, who can understand his case better, do correct diagnosis and besides just giving him medications can provide talk therapy sessions.
    If you can help us finding the right psychiatrists in Mumbai, that will be a great help.
    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Kunj

    • Saurabh J

      @gunjanutreja:disqus @VijayNallawala:disqus
      Not sure if you had a chance to look at my post above. Could you share the details with me as well? Thanks.

      • Done, @saurabh_j:disqus
        Please check my previous comment.

  • @gunjanutreja:disqus
    Thank you for your appreciation: My own struggle with Bipolar over the last decade has made it clear that support for the Bipolar Disorder community is virtually non existent in India.
    Let me clarify: a Psychiatrist typically looks after the medical aspect of treatment.
    As for the ‘talk sessions’ as you referred to, you need to consult a Clinical Psychologist for consultations. Sure, a good Psychologist also helps in recovery.
    About your brother’s issue, I’am sending you the details to you in private: please check your email.

  • Saurabh J

    Hi Vijay,

    What a coincidence. I live in the US and am exactly in the same boat as Kunj. I am visiting India this month especially for my brother’s treatment and need this information urgently.

    I am looking for the best mental health rehabilitation centers/doctors/psychiatrists in India (preferably in Mumbai). Do these rehab centers also provide neurological/brain scanning/check ups?

    Any help in this regard will be highly appreciated and it would be great if you could email details to me.

    Thanks again.

    Regards,
    Saurabh

    • Hi @saurabh_j:disqus ,
      Surely there would be centers in Mumbai too which offer the Scans you are talking about.
      Whether the same centers also offer rehab facilities needs to be checked.
      As for which are the best, your guess is as good as mine: I’d also have to rely on the Internet and maybe word of mouth.
      As about the best Psychiatrist, that would be a subjective choice.
      I’ll surely email you my Psychiatrist’s contact details: he could reply to the rest of your queries too.

  • minov

    I am a parent of a grown up end thirites, diagnozed bipolar. Getting treatment mainly pharama medication which has extrem side effects. No cure in site but only life long treatment. Do you have in indea other than that a remedy? Other methods. I do not trust the industrial cures.

  • radhika mehra

    I have been suffering from bipolar mood disorder for quite a few years but never realised its gravity until the last one year especially since I got married. Now feel lonely, disquieted and unhappy. Want to connect and share my thoughts with people suffering from this disease in india. Want to be engaged in the welfare activities for people suffering from bipolar disorder in india. Please help

  • Aarushi

    Hi,

    I found your site after doing some research on bipolar communities and treatment options in India. I live in the USA, and I have an older sister in Mumbai as well as some family in Delhi. My older sister is extremely affected by bipolar disorder. She is quarreling with my family on the phone several times a day and uses a lot of verbal abuse and threats. Her impulsive spending is out of control and it is getting extremely difficult for my family to support her steep financial demands. She is unable to find work, and also cant seem to adjust in any shared housing in Mumbai and so keeps switching back to a hotel. She has quarreled with every landlord she has met with so far, and has changed over ten different housing options in three months. We would like to find a viable treatment for her condition as it is clearly deleterious to her as well as ourselves, as you may very well understand. The key problem is that she is unwilling to accept any treatment, and refuses to accept that she has any mental disorder or that she needs professional help.

    It appears that this community is run by some very well-researched group of people and survivors of bipolar. I am seeking recommendations on psychiatrists, psychologists and any other resources you deem helpful, and that any of you may have had experience working with and achieved successful treatment or control of this disorder. If you are able to provide information about these medical professionals in Mumbai, and possibly Delhi, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Aarushi

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  • Deepak Karanth

    Hi,
    I’m suffering from bipolar disorder since 5 years. Now I’m 30. I’m under control and taking lithium 1.1mg per day.

    Can I marry?
    If yes, how to tell her about the disorder?

    Please help.

    Thanks

    • Hi @deepak_karanth:disqus !
      Glad you got in touch with us.
      It is reassuring that your condition is under control now.
      About marriage, this question has been asked by quite a few..

      See, there’s nothing that makes a bipolar who is managing his/her condition well from marrying. Plus you seem to be under regular treatment.

      How to pop the question?
      Well, the ideal way would be to first be familiar with your to be partner. I think an ideal way would be ask a counselor to address this issue. This is especially so if you are not confident to own up.

      Alternatively, your Psychiatrist could also educate her about the illness and explain to her that you are coping well.

      Hope this clarifies your doubt..

  • ALOK SINGH

    Hello…
    I am 23 years old and I am suffering from bipolar disorder since i was 17.
    From the beginning and till now, I had three bipolar episodes and my medicines have changed four times.
    Now I am taking Li…300*3.5 mg everyday with lamictal 100*2mg and also betacap TR 40*1mg.
    I have been feeling weak, having heaviness and headache since 2013. Initially, I am hopeful and always thought positive ” that my condition will improve with time”.
    But this constant headache is killing me and I am losing my hope.
    I do not have any mood swings last three years, but this headache is frustating me every moment. For the first time in my life…….The thought of Suicide has come to my mind.
    I am not depressed and my moods are stable. It just the headache which is now unbearable.
    I don’t feel peace.

    • Hi @disqus_1fjRHbv9UB:disqus
      I can sympathise with your condition. However, have you brought up the headache issue with your Psychiatrist. Most drugs’ side effects wear off after a month or so.
      Have you eliminated other possibilities? Maybe you need to visit a Neurologist to diagnose cause of headache.

  • Abhay Bedi

    Dear Vijay Ji,
    I along with my father would like to convey my heartfull thanks to you, for your initiative to mentor the BP community and to bring us all in one platform. After attending the World Bipolar day event yesterday (30st March,2017), I feel I have an extended family and friends where I can openly discuss and share my problems as well as seek guidance from those who have been through the ups and downs of the Roller coaster ride of BP. While you spoke I felt a strong spiritual connect in your talks and really appreciate your vision and determination to help, guide and mentor those affected with the problem. I personally would love to provide as much support to this movement. God Bless all of us as we have to walk togeather and set an example to inspire / aspire for wellness of this community!!

    • Thanks a lot @abhaybedi:disqus for your kind words.
      As you said, the key is to know that ‘You are never alone’
      Yes, we have now grown into a vast family, connected online as well as offline. Together, we stand strong.

  • Riddhima Thakur

    Hi i need some help like therapy or so specifically someone who treats for bipolar. Currently i am under medication but i feel lost.

    • Yes Therapy along with medication is the ideal path to recovery,
      @riddhimathakur:disqus
      We have a Panel of experts on our ‘Professional Help’ page.
      Ms Hvovi Bhagwagar is a Psychotherapist, she conducts sessions offline and over Skype as well.
      Here’s the link~
      http://www.bipolarindia.com/professional-help/

      • Riddhima Thakur

        Thank you very much for your prompt response. Thanks.

  • Riddhima Thakur

    What i mean is there any one can recommend a therapist or a counselor who specializes with bipolar disorder please

    • @riddhimathakur:disqus , to my knowledge, therapists treat a spectrum of illnesses. Yes, they do have certain areas of specialisation though.
      You could have a word with H’vovi.
      Dr Milan Balakrishnan (Psychiatrist) is a Psychotherapist as well~ he has vast knowledge of the illness (his contact form on same page…)
      By the way, we have a WhatsApp Peers Support Group for BD.
      Would you like to join it? I’ll need your mobile no. in that case.

      • Riddhima Thakur

        can i have an email id to share the number pls

        • You can share it with me via the Contact Us page.
          I’ll get your mail :))

  • vaishali Singh

    Hello Sir

    Please recommend a Doctor in Delhi or Agra region, who has worked with bipolar patients and can guide us.

    • Unfortunately, I do not have any references for Doctors in that region.

  • vaishali Singh

    What is the easiest way to tell your family , about bipolar and how it needs a different treatment and not just for alcoholism.

    How to bring that knowledge to them.

    • It would depend on each individual, their level of understanding and maturity in such matters, @disqus_OSpe78mVyy:disqus
      Taking them to a Doctor who would explain it is a smart choice.

  • Vivek Mehlawat

    Please help me guys my family is admitting me in mental hospital without my concern they did it for the fourth time they are only sacred but they are ruining my confidence and will to live please get in touch with me ,I feel metally harrased

    • Hi Vivek.
      It is unethical for us to sit in judgment over whether you are right or your family is indeed wrongly admitting you to Hospital. This surely must be a step taken on your Doctor’s advice. You must learn to trust your family because they must be having your best interest in mind.