General Snobbery
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Watch The Snob Talk Mental Illness On Melissa Harris-Perry's Show (Video)

Sunday I was part of the latter segments of Melissa Harris-Perry's show on MSNBC, discussing living with Bipolar Disorder. I'm really grateful to Melissa for giving me the opportunity to share my story, as I really hope it helps someone. I know it would have helped me if I'd seen someone like me talking about Bipolar when I was in the hospital back in 2006. 

Check out the videos after the jump.

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While I joke a lot in my writing and about pop n' politics, I'm pretty dead serious about how just knowing there were people living with Bipolar and having full lives would have made all the difference for my treatment. I lost a good four years of my life trying to "accept" a form of defeat because I thought being chronically ill and depressed was just the "new normal." And, man, that was a dire "new normal" to try to accept. I'm glad I found other reasons to stick with my treatment (namely loving my family more than myself), but I mostly want people to know you can go through hell, come out the other side and find stability. You just have to find the right balance of self-care, medicine, talk therapy and coping skills that will work for you.

It's not easy, and it took me seven years to figure it out, but when it works, you'll be glad you stuck with it.

Whatever it takes, find a reason to stay invested in you and those you love.

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Reader Comments (7)

Good for you for talking about your struggle and for taking back your life. I have had two people in my life be diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and just like you all said, to those unfamiliar with the disease and how it works, you do think that the person is lying or playing games. Once I learned how the disease affected their daily lives, it was much easier for me to understand their struggle.

October 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirsten

I am a high functioning woman with BP1. I am a writer, editor and historian. No one would even dream that I have any kind of problem whatsoever. It is very stressful to keep up the front.. I would love to come out. I think I will, once I see what happens with my books. You are an inspiration to me and I read you often. I just wanted to say thank you for your work, and your soul :)

October 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

I'm a 44 year old African American woman just recently diagnosed with Bipolar in January of this year. It took an intervention from my wife, my homegirl and my best friend to finally make me shut up and listen. I always thought my high-intensity personality and lowest of lows was what made me tick, what drew people to me. My best friend said it best - 'you are gonna systematically destroy every relationship and friendship you have if you don't see/talk to someone'. She was right. Good for you for bringing Bipolar into the forefront and get people talking, hopefully to get people to take the step to getting help and getting better.

October 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterqueerdawg

I have bipolar and it's something I have to keep secret. People don't understand the illness and they make assumptions that haunt you, so you cant tell. I told a boss once the I was bipolar, hoping that once she knew, it would make things easier and her reply was "I don't know if you should be working this job". I told a friend and they jokingly said "you're not going to go all postal and come here and shoot us are you?" The illness equals ugly things to people's uninformed minds. That's why the thought of going on national TV and talking about it makes me want to throw up. I could never do it. You were an example to the world that our sickness is not what they may have thought. You were great and I was so glad to finally hear people talking intelligently about what it's really like to live with mental illness. Thanks!

October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

I am aware of your adventure in NYV. Now you are confronted w/ this storm. It's a good time to think your English. Keep calm and carry on

October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobM

Thanks Danielle. This 44 yr old white man loves your blog .Found it by accident while Googling "I hate Jenna Wolfe". (Don't ask).

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen P.

Very informative interview. Thanks for having the courage to share your story.

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNona/WOMEN AT LIBERTY
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