I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder , last year while travelling abroad. My episodes are very manic followed by depression once my medication (Lithium and Olanazepine) have stabilised me. Being ill in a psychiatric hospital in a foreign country made it even more traumatic as my family had to fly out and I was literally jumping off the walls in the hospital!!! However everyone was very intrigued by me being English and very understanding. I had totally lost touch with reality and had lots of self beliefs that are very personal to me and which I still haven't shared with anyone other than my psychiatrist and partner because I know how people would more than likely respond. After this episode I started working in a new job however quickly became unwell again I think because of stress and definitely because of a lack of sleep. I lost my job as a result as they were reluctant to take me back despite being initially very supportive. I am now in a situation where I am probably at my fittest to work as I am well aware of my disorder now and accept it but justifying my employment which total a year is very hard as most employers become apprehensive. I have considered justifying this gap by not disclosing and using other reasons. However I feel that due to the stigma of having a mental illness and people not really understanding it and how we can live a normal life with the right support and medication, society and employers alienate people with a mental illness as being mad, crazy, dillusional when hearing the words 'schizophrenic' or 'manic depressive'.