Bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information Clair's World Bipolar Day Story My name is Clair. I am 41, I am married and have two teenage daughters. I love animals, walking my dog along Rimrose valley, crafting, playing the flute and going to the theatre to see musicals I also have bipolar. Diagnosis and living with bipolar When I had my 2 daughters it was thought that I had post natal depression, but after a few appointments with the psychiatrist he thought it was more than just PND, but because of the stigma around mental illness I was scared and discharged myself. As my daughters got bigger I was really struggling with depression and was referred to my Community Mental Health Team where I was quickly diagnosed with Bipolar Type 2. Looking back I could see highs and lows that I had experienced for many years. I have continued to struggle with bipolar and my moods. Finding the right medication combination has been challenging and I have often felt like a science experiment. This is not the case with everyone and when the right combination is found bipolar can be controlled with medication. I still have highs and lows. I love the highs! I feel great, lots of energy, I have been known to paint the fence at 3am, I feel very happy, but I am irritable at times and I act without thinking, often going on big spending sprees. As I come down from the high parcels often start to arrive that I have ordered, that a lot of the time I do not even want and I know the low will probably come. I hate the lows. I struggle to find motivation for anything; getting out of bed, cooking, cleaning, eating, pursuing hobbies. Sometimes I just want to die because living seems too hard. Mental illness is still met with stigma and fear although things are very slowly improving. I have experienced seeing fear in people's eyes if I disclose I have bipolar. I have also experienced discrimination. People sometimes think that people with a mental illness are lazy or need to sort themselves out. What people do not see is how hard people with a mental illness fight to stay alive and do very basic things. I want to raise awareness of bipolar, to help society see that I am not dangerous, I am not stupid and I still have something to offer. 30th March is World Bipolar Day. I wanted to do something to raise money for Bipolar UK so I am asking for sponsors as I have my hair shaved on the 30th. Bipolar UK supports people with bipolar and provides valuable information for them, their family and friends as well as raising awareness. I hope that by raising money I will help to end stigma and help to support people like me who are living with bipolar. You may also like to see: Donate to Bipolar UK today Your donation will help provide a range of services offering the support people need, when they need it. You can make sure there's someone at the end of the phone to listen, a nearby group to share experiences, a 24-hour peer forum and more. Together, we can support the person behind the diagnosis of bipolar.