About bipolar Your stories The value of peer support What is community? Katie talks passionately about the eCommunity, somewhere you feel safe, respected and listened to. It makes you feel part of something, like you’re no longer isolated or alone. The Bipolar UK eCommunity is all about respect. It’s a space where you can feel safe and secure, knowing you’re talking to a community of over 5,000 people who are affected by bipolar. The community is vital during a time where we all feel that bit more isolated, anxious and despondent about the future. An online forum is a chance to discuss difficult times and challenges we face. It’s also an opportunity to share experiences. There’s something powerful about sharing your story and what you’ve been through. It can feel like a release, to share an experience that has had a profound effect on your life. You could say that sharing in this way is like a form of therapy. Many of us with bipolar have had therapy. I had group therapy when I was first diagnosed - and you know what was the most helpful part of it? Talking to other people with bipolar. Sharing with people that I knew would understand, people who could empathise and relate, played a huge part in me accepting the diagnosis. Sharing with the eCommunity can feel this way too. It’s a non judgmental space to vent about what we’ve been through, or are going through right now. Sharing and writing out our thoughts can be a cathartic, therapeutic experience. Sharing our thoughts and feelings, is like decluttering your mind. It can feel like we have so many files filled with negative thoughts and emotions, it’s always a good idea to sort through them from time to time. It can, as it helped me, accept the illness and work through the ups and downs of living with a mental illness. It can give you a better understanding of yourself and encourage you to be more proactive and find coping strategies for everyday life. Basically, sharing our experiences, feelings and worries helps us manage bipolar disorder. Feeling like we can share our experiences is a vital part of managing our bipolar. Knowing we can do this in a safe space, where we won’t be judged is vital. Sharing our experiences is a powerful tool to understanding ourselves and helps shape our coping strategies. You don’t have to be alone and try and manage on your own. There are people that want to hear your story and might even have a similar one to share with you.