Bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information Personal experiences Three things to know about my experience of bipolar There are three key things Loren wants you to know about her mental health journey, and how she experiences bipolar disorder. I live mostly with mania Whilst I have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, I mostly live with manic episodes and not depression. I have had a couple of what I deem ‘depressive blips,’ where I could see what was coming and seek help, to basically nip it in the bud with a medication review and sometimes talking therapy. Mania, on the other hand, I don’t spot coming until it’s too late, and it can take months for me to recover. I have had long periods of stability between episodes The longest period was 7 years between 2012’s first psychotic manic episode resulting in a diagnosis, and 2019’s manic episode where I needed five months off work to recover. Between these episodes there were fluctuations in mood, but within what I deem a normal range, and not extreme or severe enough to disrupt my normal life and work routines. I do not consider myself as ‘brave’ for sharing my story I have luckily never encountered direct stigma about my mental health or diagnosis, and consider it to be part of my story – so why wouldn’t I share? Whenever I share personal stories about my mental health - be that on social media or in presentations at work, I always get people opening up to me about their own struggles. I continue to share because I want others to feel it’s okay to speak out about their own journey. So while I don’t feel like I’m brave for sharing my story, that doesn’t mean it’s not brave for others, when speaking out may be a big thing for them.