It 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. Very few of them were 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 Disorder/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 we could reach out to more people.
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, in May 2013, was born Bipolarindia, the nation’s first online community set up by a Bipolar affected 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 celebration of our spirit, a reminder that we are all champions in our own right who win battles day in and day out.
It is also 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.
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~
~ You can now reach out to Medical Professionals such as Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists, who are now on the panel of BipolarIndia and are accessible through the Page: Professional Help.
~ A public Event to mark World Bipolar Day has been hosted by us for three years in a row, taking awareness outreach offline.
~ In order to spread awareness, several articles by me have been published in prestigious online fora and in new media such as DNA Web version.
~ We have a WhatsApp based Peer Support Group drawing those afflicted and their caregivers from all over India.
~ We held our first monthly PEER SUPPORT GROUP Meeting in Mumbai in November 15. This has been an ongoing series of meets, which has now expanded its reach to Chennai and is slowly finding shape in NCR too.
So, as our tagline goes,
Let’s Walk Together.
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.