Please welcome our new blogger, Scott!
My blog is called Scott Inside Out. It will highlight my bipolar experiences and strategies I use to have consistent natural mental wellness.
My name is Scott Walker. I'm 39 and live in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. I was labelled as being bipolar (diagnosed) on January 1, 2000 in Auckland, New Zealand. A rather interesting way to bring in the new millenium! I had three hospital stays between 2000 and 2007 for manic episodes. As with most persons with bipolar, I've been on many different medications and met with a multitude of medical professionals during my journey to wellness. I am at a point now where I'm the healthiest I've ever been mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Personal holistic wellness is what I give the most energy to in my life. I'm a huge believer in natural mental wellness and have been medication free for over two years.
This year I had some big shifts in being comfortable in sharing my bipolar experience with others. The more people I talked to about this the more I realized that there are MANY people labeled bipolar who are simply surviving...or worse. I truly want to give these people hope that life can be great. And normal! What is "normal" anyways? A lot of work has to be done to get well, in addition to consistent daily actions to stay well. The more proactive I've been with my health the better my overall health has become. For those of you looking for "the magic pill" it will not be in my blog.
I truly feel that my life purpose is to serve and support persons labeled with bipolar in going from surviving to thriving. It took me twelve years to get to where I am, and it is my intention to assist others in rapidly collapsing that time frame. At the current time I am writing out the story of my bipolar journey, supporting others recently labeled as bipolar, and setting up a business to fulfill my life purpose. At the current time my website is being constructed. Feel free to contact me on facebook at www.facebook.com/scottinsideout. I appreciate you taking the time to read this!
Even though I was diagnosed as bipolar in the year 2000, it was something that I felt too embarrassed to talk about until fairly recently. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve been comfortable telling people besides family about my bipolar diagnosis. In my experience, I’ve heard various terms that are sometimes said about someone with a mental illness. They could include any or all of weak, weird, lazy or simply not able to handle everyday life.
Last week in Canada February 12 was Bell Let’s Talk Day (http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/), an ambitious campaign to get people talking about mental health and in turn reduce the amount of stigma. Canadian multiple Olympic medalist Clara Hughes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Hughes) was one of the spokespersons for this campaign, and the more initiatives like this the better! As people feel more open talking about mental health, people with diagnosed mental illnesses will not feel as isolated and/or embarrassed.
As strange as this might sound, there were times in my past that I wished I would have been diagnosed with cancer or some other disease with much less stigma. I’ve definitely encountered my fair share of stereotypes and stigma related to mental illness, and at times it felt like I had a black eye.
You may or may not have noticed that the Scott Inside Out logo has a black “i” in the middle. This is very deliberate as it is the core of the logo. Read more about the logo (http://www.scottinsideout.com/about/scott-inside-out-logo/)
I do my best to talk about my bipolar experiences openly and honestly in the hopes that it will possibly bring more understanding, maybe even reduce the stigma around it.
What else can be done to reduce the stigma of bipolar disorder?