My Name is Laurie

My Name is Laurie

My name is Laurie and I have bipolar disorder. This is a blog I’ve wanted to write for some time but did not have the courage. Why now I wonder. Maybe it’s because I just had another birthday and another year in the shadows after a lifetime with this illness. Some friends here at Senior Chatters know this about me as I do share it occasionally depending on the situation. But by and large I have kept it hidden here in cyberspace as I do in the real world.

Why do so many of us with mental illness feel the need to remain in the closet? It seems to me our society has come from the Dark Ages into the Middle Ages concerning this problem, both in its medical treatment and in the general public’s attitudes towards it. In other words although great strides have been made there is still a long way to go. Thus many of us who suffer from this affliction do not wish to make it known. There is still a great deal of stigma attached to psychiatric illness as well as a profound misunderstanding of its nature. As long as we internalize societal attitudes about our illness and hide it in shame, these stereotypes will continue. The more honest we are about it, the more light will be shed on the subject from which will come a greater understanding and acceptance.

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Published in Senior Health


  1. patak

    Laurie you are brave women and agree entirely with the sentiments you have expressed so eloquently. My daughter is also bi polar and I understand what the effects of this illness does to people. Many people have no idea the distress it causes to those with this illness. If only a tiny proportion of the money spent on weapons was used to carry out research into mental illness then I believe treatments could be developed to ease the effects dramatically. You stay strong Laurie and thank you for having the courage to speak about this.

  2. tania

    Laurie, I do not think that you need to remain in the closet. My daughter is 44yrs of age today… she was given four days to live at birth and she has battled all odds… she is slow in some things. She did have a massive breakdown 6yrs ago and it was mentally and physically as well. This set her back a lot but, she still battles on. I wish you all the best Laurie and you have nothing at all to be ashamed of xxxx

  3. nmod

    Laurie ,I applaud you ! I wish others with mental illnesses would have the courage to do the same , but many suffer in silence , in fear of rejection and labeling , I have two family members that I know of ( there could be more ) who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and they are both suffering and trying to live as best as possible .
    These two …are wonderful men ,smart , well educated , hard working independent and very caring …society however has labeled them in a negative way .
    God Bless you Laurie ,and thank you for this blog xx

  4. annemarie

    Laurie , I applaud you also and it is wonderful that you are able to write about your condition. I don’t know anyone that is bi polar but they could be and keep it hidden from me and other people. Thank you for having the courage to write this blog and all the best to you.

  5. KayBee

    Thanks for sharing Laurie. You keep following your heart in regards to sharing your story.
    I have finally said the D word to a couple of people recently, meaning that I know I am depressed. I haven’t been diagnosed by a Doc, but discussed with a minister/counselor and he said believes that I am and have reasons to be. It was difficult for me to admit to myself, much less to another person! I feel better now that I have.
    What have I just done?? Confessed publicly. Thanks for your honesty and inspiration. You are a very special lady.

    1. lani36

      Laurie, I am so proud of the courage you disply for coming forward and discussing this condition, i am also proud to be your friend, the inteligence you also display with your knowledge of the arts and poetry puts many to shame ….including mysef. All types of illness be it physical or mental is just that an iIlness, great progress is being made into diseases of the mind and depression which causes quite a few young men mainly, to suicide, these aflictions are being overcome In Australia by a service whis is called Beyond Blue ,a ring in service with specialists standing by to assist when neccesary.. We in the Red Cross, man phones from time to time , the trained Counsellors only.. they are there to help at all hours… the brave wonderful people that ring in when they are having a troublesome time are given all the assistance they need, and people such as yourself Laurie by coming forward brings this type of illness to light and progress can be made in understanding these ilnesses. well Done Laurie so proud of you …..xxxxxx

  6. waylander

    A very brave lady to just come out with it in a blog.

    I have known a few with your affliction and invariably they are all secretive about it.

    Perhaps if more came out, so to speak, and said “this is me, take it or leave it” as you seem to be there would be more understanding in the general population than there is.

    You’ve started the ball rolling and I applaud your courage

  7. vonMichael

    Hello Laurie,

    sorry I am not sure if I am entitled writing a comment to your blog or not?
    But I would like leaving some words and thought here for you you can take
    as as a little help from a friend.

    Your illness appears often, not very often and specialy young people are
    hit by it. The number of illnesses in total round the globe is to little for
    spezial research done by the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to that
    bipolar disorder has different characteristics and expresses itself differently
    from person to person. One reason why the research for spezial medical
    treatment turns out to be so difficult.

    My unimportant meaning tells me another factor is hurting you as much as
    the illness itself? The factor other people can’t make a picture themself why
    your mood turns from on extreme into another? They don’t scrutinize for
    the behavoir why you are so and not different, they don’t even take the
    time themself of going a baby step deeper into that ** Why **?
    They choose the easiest way for them to go and turn their bag round..

    But here Laurie, here with the SC you find understanding for the situation
    you have to face and to live in. Here you find not many ( which is not important )
    but qualified answers and comments and that should make you a little
    proud and your daily life more comfortable. All the others as I presume will
    become envious if they knew more about all the friends you found
    here with SC. So please hold your head up and be proud of your courage
    giving us a tiny view into your life. Each comment you find here is a little
    candle in the darkness of your mood. TC xxxMichael

  8. laurie Post author

    Thanks to one and all for your wonderful comments. I am blessed indeed to have such special friends as all of you are. Laurie xxx

  9. CSweet51

    Blessings to you to come out and share your story. Knowledge is power and the more that people learn about your illness and that of many others helps people understand and hopefully accept it.
    I accept you as you are Laurie….an awesome individual!

  10. jcb1

    laurie it was a brave thing to do writing this blog and i admire people like you that are open and honest about things. i wish a few more would be the same. well done sweetheart.

  11. Postman73

    ‘Now you gone and dunnit Laurie !’, hahaaa. Good on ya kid, and you Kay, no need to be such a shrinking violet anymore, ‘Heads up, shoulders back, chests out’, and be proud of yourselves. All three of us know each other very well, well enough to know our ‘little secrets’ that we live with each and every day. As proud as i am, i still think it’ll be another 50 years until this stigma ceases to be, at the very least, but the pair of you will always be major women who’ve been a part of my life. If it were up to me, i’d put you both up on a pedestal for all to see. Wonderful blog !.

  12. Gautama

    I hope all of us can make this a place where people like Laurie can speak openly. I live in Australia and a recent survey of people living with a mental illness revealed that for 90% of them their greatest problem was lonliness. I can attest to that as I have been involved in the psychiatric system as a patient for over forty years. Well done Laurie. From the responses I’ve read here you are among friends. Make us of that….If you have something to say I’m a hell of a good listener.

  13. Gael

    I have friends and former inlaws with the disorder. It is usually manageable in most cases with proper diagnosis and care.

    But the stigma society places on bi polar patients unfortunately remains intact and education and exposure of this needs to be brought forth.

    And we should note the long list of famous, talented people with this disorder which include: