We often fear what we don’t understand.

And it doesn’t help that less well known mental illnesses often become the butt of jokes or dramatized horrors in movies and TV.

But at our core, we’re all just people, living our lives and struggling with our struggles.

Sometimes those struggles are visible, and sometimes they’re not, but it’s time to normalize kindness.

Just like there’s been a movement in recent years of people talking about their depression, it’s time to start talking about Bipolar Disorder and other less known mental illnesses.

These 10 people were brave enough to speak up about their experiences.

1. It’s not easy to hear

Even for the person living with it.

They diagnosed me with Bipolar 1 with severe psychosis. I was more or less expecting the Bipolar, but I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the psychosis part.

Image credit: Whisper

2. But a diagnosis can finally provide some hope

No matter how scary it is, at least it’s a chance for change.

Officially diagnosedas bipolar, and prescribed medicine. I can't wait to feel normal again.

Image credit: Whisper

3. But not everyone wants to take pharmaceuticals

I get it. It’s a life sentence of being beholden to drug companies.

Just got the preliminary diagnosis for bipolar. Now I'm stress researching any natural way to manage it because meds scare me.

Image credit: Whisper

4. The important thing is to have support

Good friends can make all the difference day in and day out.

I love my best friend so much. She always accepts me for who I am, no matter what. I just told her I was diagnosed bipolar and she held my hand and let me cry. She's the best.

Image credit: Whisper

5. Some people can just roll with it

Makes me wish I was a Gemini to be honest.

Always thought my moods were just in the stars, then I got diagnosed bipolar lol. #geminiprobs

Image credit: Whisper

6. Even once you have a diagnosis, the journey isn’t over

The human mind is like a maze, with lots of twists and turns.

Diagnosis changed from Bipolar 2 to Bipolar 1 after telling the story of a two week relationship I was in to my therapist. Apparently I can only date when manic, fml.

Image credit: Whisper

7. But an accurate diagnosis can go a long way to providing hope

And sometimes, hope is the first step.

I was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder and I'm feeling hopeful about continuing treatment, now that I have an accurate diagnosis.

Image credit: Whisper

8. It can make you re-evaluate your life though

How could it not make you question things?
Absolutely heartbreaking outcome, but bravo on the selfless decision.

People need to mind their own business.

I wanted kids all my life. After my recent bipolar diagnosis, I gave up the dream for fear mood swings (and genetics) would make their lives too hard. When asked why I don't have a family, it breaks my heart.

Image credit: Whisper

9. The medication can be challenging to manage

As someone who gets annoyed at needing to take a vitamin supplement, I get it. That’s a lot.

I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and am now on 7 different medications. WTF??? I hate having to take so many pills.

Image credit: Whisper

10. The best outcome is when you can cut yourself slack

Normalize treating yourself gently. We’re all just doing our best.

Bipolar diagnosis... Well... at least all those bad choices I made when I was manic and undiagnosed aren't 100% my fault!

Image credit: Whisper

These definitely show how difficult it can be to receive a mental health diagnosis, even without the associated stigma.

It’s time to start talking about it, and I’m so grateful this group of people did.

Are there things in your life that you wish more people would talk about? Start the conversation in the comments.