How Writers with Bipolar Can Make a Difference

An example of how we can all use images to show the real world of bipolar disorder.

I rarely comment on events outside of our bipolar community on my pages, but our current world situation needs to be addressed. I would like to share one way that the bipolar writing community can make a difference in our current times. Ten years ago I realized that almost all stock photos used on my online writings were white, young females with perfect hair and teeth. What the heck!
Bipolar disorder is the same all over the world- it has no racial profile at all. And yet, the articles and posts from the very beginning used images that only showed one element of the population.
I made a decision to specifically ask for the following when working with large websites that publish online mental health articles.
It is a big shocking I had to ask to be honest, but all were willing to comply.
1. All ages. These young, white females were not representative of the age range of bipolar. I asked for people older than 40. I had never seen this on any articles – and I started in this business in 2002.
2. I asked for every article to show a range of people. At first, I focused on the community I knew well from living in Asia for a long time as well as my African friends, but I eventually realized that even I was leaving out Middle Eastern and other nationalities. It’s a live and learn situation for all of us.
3. MORE MEN! And while we are at it – more non white men.
Here is an example. Look at the difference it makes simply by asking for a picture to represent ALL people with bipolar! As always, thanks to BP Magazine for Bipolar for being so open to my requests.
It is hard to know what to say or how to help or create change in any community, but one way I can definitely say all of us can make a difference is by thinking carefully about the images we use to represent our work.
Thank you,


Comments are closed.