I was 15 years old when I put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I had started Bipolar cycling the year before. The delusion and false feelings that Bipolar Disorder created in my mind created and fed me the lie that since I felt so alone that I should cease to exist. The bullet turned out to be a dud.
My name is Dennis Heil. I am a High-Functioning Autistic with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder with severe Bipolar-Depression. In 2009, at the age of 29, I finally sought psychological help when a Mixed Cycle tried to convince me that harming a bunch of people was the best way to make other people feel as awful as I felt. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder.
In the 15 years I was undiagnosed, I had one active and six passive suicide attempts, destroyed two engagements to wonderful women, self-harmed, engaged in substance abuse, burned through dozens of jobs, was kicked out of college, destroyed friendships and relationships, was briefly homeless, lived in the ghetto, ate out of a dumpster, and much more.
I attained a high degree of recovery thanks to a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and the assistance of knowledgeable mental health professionals that enabled me to help myself.
Today, I offer the knowledge and experience I’ve gained through my life and recovery to enable people like you to more effectively face your challenges with mental illness. My work is aimed to be equally beneficial and understandable to not just the mentally ill, but to our friends, family, and loved ones who are also affected by our mental illness.
I do not believe that stigma is rooted in pop culture or “misunderstanding”. Instead, I think it’s rooted in the fact that there are very few meaningful resources to help loved ones understand how and why they need to preserve themselves from the damage that mental illness can do. Mental illness does not inherently make a person bad, but plenty of toxic people use it as a shield and leverage to deal devastating damage to the people that care about them.
After my diagnosis in 2009, like so many people, I turned to the internet for more information on Bipolar Disorder and how to recover. All I found was a sliver of useful information in the sea of stupidity, misinformation, noninformation, delusion, and assholes preying on the desperate.
In 2012, I decided to launch this website to try and offer people a place to start building their own knowledge so they can more effectively navigate the many obstacles and hurdles that are on the path to wellness. I believe that the mental health industry, despite its many flaws, is the most effective means to attain and maintain mental wellness. But, I also think that many mentally ill people do not understand that doctors, therapists, and psych meds do not fix us, they enable us to fix ourselves.
In 2016, I decided to adopt the brand of “Your Bipolar Friend” because it best represents what I try to be to my audience and the people that reach out to me: a knowledgeable, tactfully honest friend with lived experience who can offer context that an academic knowledge of mental illness cannot.