Dave is a life coach from Milton Keynes. He’s also an NCMH Research Champion, helping to spread the word about our research. This is his story:
I’m 57 years old and love music, sport and literature. I’m also interested in personal development and behavioural science.
I have 39 years of personal experience of mental health issues but was only diagnosed with bipolar disorder in June 2020. As such, I haven’t had much stability in my life.
I always knew on I was on the bipolar scale, however, I only presented to my doctor when I was low, so was only ever treated for depression. When I’m low I struggle to communicate so talking therapies didn’t work for me.
I heard about the National Centre for Mental Health through Bipolar UK when they were offering the self-management webinars with Bipolar Education Programme Cymru (BEPC) in July 2020.
It was an incredible piece of luck to come across the sessions when I did, so soon after being diagnosed. Sitting in on the first session felt like a revelation as I recognised so much of my experience in the other people with bipolar who spoke during the webinars.
I saw the sessions and everything I learned from them as another stream of support. As well as having a good relationship with my doctor, I’ve been able to learn from the sessions and am trying to follow the recovery plans that were mentioned.
After the sessions, I got in touch to see if there was anything I could do to give something back. I’ve taken part in the general mental health study and the COVID-19 study that asks about your experience during the pandemic.
I’m keen to contribute however I can to highlight bipolar and help to improve the public’s understanding of the condition.
It’s an empowering experience and I’d recommend taking part however you can. If by taking part in the research and sharing my story, I can help just one other person it will be worth it.
I really hope we can bring a wider appreciation of the condition.
An interesting fact about me that few people know:
I appeared on children’s tv programme Record Breakers.