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Suzanne Leighton

Complementary Therapist, special interest in bipolar disorder, Allied Health Professions Council, South Africa

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Is there a cure for bipolar disorder? Will we ever overcome the stigma?

I, like you John, have chosen to help others by admitting and talking about the problems of my past and how I overcame them. Mine is the other extreme of bipolar mania. Bipolar disorder is not a curse if you can learn how to manage it. If you can constructively channel the energy previously trapped in the illness it can become your greatest asset. I believe I have done this and, to give hope to others, I speak about in my DVD called 'ON THE EDGE OF MADNESS - Living well with bipolar." Ask for order form at integratingpolarites@gmail.com. I was told I had to be on medicaton for the rest of my life and now, years later, when I tell people I manage my life without medication they say I must have been wrongly diagnosed or that I will relapse. It wasn't easy and I had some wise help but with detremination and focus I have retrained myself into a stable and balanced life style which takes a lot of discipline and self honouring. Maybe it's not a cure but it's certainly management and maybe that's what we all need. As for stigma, talking and understanding helps to overcome the fear of what people don't know how to handle. The people I know who have been mentally unstable are also very sensitivity, creativity and have great intellegence - that's not something to be embarrased about, rather proud of unusual assets.

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  • Jul 15 2011: Hi Suzanne

    i have schizophrenia and have also overcome it. I find the best way to overcome stigma is by showing people how normal we are after recovery by self-disclosing to large audiences. I do it for a living and I'm on a website if you ever want to here me speak go to www.choicesinrecovery.com and then to video treatment and there I will be.
    • Jul 15 2011: Hi James I had a look at the website and your video and I think you can be rpoud of the work you're doing. I agree - the way to overcome stigma is to talk as much as possible - my workshops are interactive so everyone talks and all the different opinions can be heard. Well done, Suzanne

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