#19 Living as Dignified

recovery Jul 25, 2019




When you have a bipolar disorder it’s only natural to feel alone with the labels. They are both ordinary and tragic. Which means that removing the labels accumulated by mental illness is going to take some deliberate work. And time.

In this episode Mike has a heart-to-heart about the very real experience of social and vocational stigmas. He’s lived through heartbreaking rejection and crushing disappointment. But he’s returned to life with some honest recovery tactics, which he readily shares.

If you’re looking to finally live beyond the label of bipolar, in harmony with friends, family, and fellow workers, you’ll be pleased to know that the dream is not far off. Stop letting harmful patterns get in the way of becoming the person you are pleased with!


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  • Mental health challenges create a stigma (negative association) much like homelessness, prison, divorce, dropping out, or addiction—and is commonly associated with them.
  • Stigmas of mental illness have far-reaching impact, including work life, family relationships, and personal perceptions of ourselves.
  • Break the pattern of mental illness by replacing broken relational bridges with connected ones. That way when you hit a rough patch, there’ll be a bond that goes deeper than circumstances.


Lifer Discussion Guide

This week’s discussion guide is a great place for your Lifer (your “super supporter” like an understanding family member or friend) to learn about your life experience through stigma. The questions will help them know how to give you encouragement. And together you’ll discover what it means to live beyond the labels.

1.) Tell me a story of when you first became aware that there was stigma attached to you?

2.) How do you think the people we associate with look at people with mental illness?

3.) Would you change anything in your relationship with your boss? / How could you open up that conversation?

4.) Are there any people in the family you need to build a bridge to? / What’s holding you back?

5.) Who is someone who lives with dignity that you admire? / What about their way can you copy in your own life?


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! We’re all making attempts to peel back the labels of stigma, one week at a time. So don’t miss out!


Other ways to enjoy this episode

Download a transcript