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. 

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 support people with Bipolar and provide valuable information for them and 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 can find Clair's page and read more about her brave fundraising act here

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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.