As mentioned before, Buddy gets shaved every year to raise money for various causes. This year we were delayed first by weather and then emergency appendix removal for me. In the past we have focused on childhood diseases. This year we chose bipolar disorder.
14 years ago my diagnosis of ADHD & depression (which I had most my life) was officially changed to Bipolar disorder. I had just had a break down at University and had come home (19 at the time). I hated my medicine so my therapist suggested a deal which my Mom agreed too. If I would stay on my medicine, attend my Doctors appointments, and see my therapist weekly... I could have a cat.
Enter my saviour, the cutest kitten... who has never had eyes for anything but me (and the occasional bird). I fought the adjusting of extra meds over the years, but I never went off them again.
While I have now been stable for 10 years not everyone is that lucky. Last year a dear friend with bipolar died in his 40's. He was the big brother I never had and helped me out more than most. So this year we thought we would share some facts about bipolar disorder.
People with bipolar are twice as likely to die early from medical problems. Bipolar can't be cured only treated. More than 75% of bipolar patients are successful in work. Bipolar is not linked to criminal or violent behavior, but someone with bipolar is more likely to become a victim of violence or crime. There is no reason a bipolar patient can't have a normal family life.
So how can you help? Donate to organizations like: https://bbrfoundation.org/ Become informed. Remember bipolar is a manageable illness just as diabetes is. Ask a friend with bipolar if there is anything you can do, but don't force it. Listen to what people say. You may not know who has mental illness and who doesn't. Never dismiss anothers thoughts or emotions. Those with mental illness can still have valid points. Encourage those who are withdrawn to do things with you, pulling them out of themselves. Help people who you know are struggling to stick to a schedule.
Most importantly just love those around you without judging.