Sharing interests apart from bipolar disorder is just one of the attractions of the eCommunity. Robert a keen cricketer finds he is never stumped for an answer to any issue relating to his condition.

Regardless of when you receive you diagnosis the eCommunity acts a rich source of help and support to help you across the line.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the ripe old age of 52. You might call me a late developer. My first episode knocked me for six, a scary encounter continuing the cricket analogy you might say I was bowled over by the experience. In a bad way.

My bipolar manifests itself in suicidal ideation and depression. Once I was put on mood stabilisers and stable I felt that I could then think about other remedial remedies. Early retirement certainly helped to take the edge of the stress. Also mindfulness and a more balanced lifestyle, exercise, sleep and less social contact where needed definitely helped.

My mood nowadays is very stable, however, I recognise I can relapse at any time. Not bad going so far, not bad going at all as I’m 8 years in remission and taking each day as it comes. The experience is a gift and a curse.

I often reflect on my experiences that bought me to where I am today. I’ve overdosed twice and was in a coma for 16 days. From that moment on I knew I had to get a grip of this and the penny finally dropped when I joined the eCommunity. We are likeminded individuals with shared experiences which we use to help, assist and prop each other up. I’m always learning but it’s also a great feeling to help others learn too.

We are all on the same road, our journey, because of the similarities keeps us grounded. It’s this sense of community that is so important about how we help each other. We are all in this together. In this times as we venture on a daily basis towards a more sheltered existence. As we watch the numbers climb there is a feeling of hope. Our community is strong so we are able to build on that strength through support that builds on the basis there are thousands of people I can rely on.

I use the eCommunity daily and I’d encourage anyone to join the eCommunity if they need the support that is on offer through a wealth of individuals with lived experience all batting, fielding and acting as each other’s keeper when we find ourselves in a sticky wicket.