Karen's story

“I’ve got bipolar so I’ve got an invisible disability. I said to Cat at indelabilityarts, ‘am I disabled enough for you?’ and she said ‘why not! It’s not one you can see but it certainly affects people’. And I said ‘yeah every day of their lives’.

I’ve got a friend who has got bipolar and she won’t’ tell anyone that she’s got it. She hasn’t told her workplace. It really goes against her because she doesn’t get any support. She’s ashamed of it, that she’ll have a stigma attached to her. 

If you can’t talk freely and openly about what you are going through it will really affect you. Here in indelabilityarts we have so much support. If I’m having a what I call a weirdo day where I get a bit high then I’ll tell them when I come in ‘I’m a bit weirdo today. I was time travelling on the way to work’ and they know I’m not quite myself and they know that they need to work with that.

I’ve been extremely lucky. Everywhere I’ve worked has had mental health action plans in place and they’ve always known how to work with me. 

But yes, I’m one of the lucky ones. For others, there’s fear, stigma and myth about disability.”