At OC87 Recovery Diaries, we seek to #buststigma around mental illness by sharing stories filled with encouragement, hope, and change. In addition to first person essays, interviews, reviews, and a mental health podcast, we also present original short films on what it’s like to live with various mental health diagnoses. Check out these links to learn more:
Before you enjoy these bipolar disorder videos from a wide range of creators, be sure to subscribe to our channel on YouTube to get new mental health films as we release them each month.
What is bipolar disorder? – Helen M. Farrell | TED Ed
A narrated film with animated infographics from TED Ed, this bipolar disorder video is an excellent starting place for someone who is new to this mental health challenge. If someone you know has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this short film will explain causes, symptoms, and possible treatments in an accessible and visually engaging manner. If you live with bipolar disorder, this is a great resource to share with anyone who wants to understand and support you in a more informed way.
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Young, Black and BiPolar | Episode 1 | Ivy McQuain
In this web series, Ivy McQuain speaks honestly, directly, and passionately about her long journey living with bipolar disorder. Through tears, Ivy explains the denial, embarrassment, and stigma she experienced around being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Writing a personal essay for OC87 Recovery Diaries, Ivy answers this question:
Why did I let it go on for so long?
Honestly, I was embarrassed and ashamed. Being Black with a mental illness is not the best thing to have. You can have a million other illnesses but NOT a mental one. You are instantly categorized as crazy or “throwed” off. It’s shameful. I am sure that’s why Blacks suffer the most from many common illnesses, because we refuse to (or are slow to) educate ourselves on the different things that afflict our bodies.
Successful in her professional life and a loving mother, Ivy says that it felt baffling to be diagnosed with a mental illness. Ivy’s series on YouTube is straightforward, no frills, and incredibly relatable for those reasons for people living with mood disorders.
More links on OC87 Recovery Diaries:
10 Signs of BIPOLAR Disorder: How To Tell if Someone is Bipolar! | Polar Warriors
This direct to camera, conversational talk on bipolar disorder is an excellent video for someone wondering if they are living with this mental illness before being diagnosed. In this bipolar disorder video, ten signs of manic behavior and ten signs of depression are reviewed concisely with some humor and also respectfulness to the serious nature of this diagnosis. In addition to mentioning disordered eating, possible addiction issues, and extreme reactions to daily life, this video goes over more symptoms that might be unexpected to someone not familiar with bipolar disorder.
Remember that this resource is not meant to be a medical diagnosis. Instead, if you resonate with this general guide, use that feeling as momentum to get in touch with a doctor, therapist, or trusted advisor.
OF TWO MINDS – Documentary on Bipolar Disorder | Life Issues
Different from the other bipolar disorder videos featured in this post, Of Two Minds is a full-length documentary film available on YouTube. Created by Lisa Klein and Doug Blush, the movie gives insight into the lives of three different people living with bipolar disorder over a three year period.
Liz Spikol is a writer and journalist who has written a first person essay for OC87 Recovery Diaries and done an interview for our website on her experience being part of the film Of Two Minds. Also featured is Cheri Keating, a celebrity stylist based in Los Angeles. The third film subject is Carlton Davis, an artist in his mid-sixties. Watch this film if you’re feeling alone in your bipolar disorder diagnosis to see how other people with this experience are able to navigate life through ups, downs, and in-betweens.
Links to Liz Spikol’s posts:
Bipolar Disorder and My Story – Mental Illness Awareness Week 2017 | Laura Fritz
In the first line of this video, Laura Fritz says that she’s a wife, sister, daughter, and friend, who has bipolar disorder. Explaining the basics of this diagnosis, Laura also shares specific details of her experiences with hospitalization, denial, medication, therapy, and family support. This five-minute film is a good place for someone new to this diagnosis to watch. Laura’s bipolar disorder video is also a useful resource for parents and friends of people who have bipolar disorder because she offers practical advice for those allies.
First person essays on life with bipolar disorder:
Bipolar, Bravery, and Joy: The Story of Josie Thompson (official video) | Josie Thompson Solomon (444 project)
With a small filmmaking crew, Josie Thompson shares her mental health recovery journey in this bipolar disorder video. Interspersing shots from a seated interview with Josie, the film includes personal photos, cell phone videos, and an explanation of Josie’s 444 Project. Josie has interviewed hundreds of strangers on a road trip across the United States, and then again in Italy, about happiness, mental health, and the power of sharing personal experience to make meaningful connections and bust stigma. Upcoming, Josie is bringing the 444 Project and her mental health recovery journey to the Philippines.
Part of Josie’s recovery story includes her spiritual faith. Here are more stories from OC87 Recovery Diaries on that topic:
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder | Monica Graham
A popular genre on YouTube is content creators talking directly into their webcams about any topic imaginable. Monica Graham is a young woman who creates videos on fashion, beauty, and now her own mental health. This is her first video talking about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder so she can participate in the effort to bust mental illness stigma.
Monica talks about the importance of receiving medical, therapeutic, and family support. Honest, earnest, and vulnerable, this bipolar disorder video is a good one to share with teenagers and young adults navigating this diagnosis.
More personal experiences with bipolar disorder: