Due to the success of the “It Gets Better” project, which focuses on improving the lives of gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender youth (LGBT), Healthline has begun the “You’ve Got This” campaign which focuses on young people who have been newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“The It Gets Better” project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better. The project has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama.
Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be difficult and even scary. The moment a doctor tells you that you have a mental illness can be one of the worst moments of your life. However, Healthline aims to help those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder with their “You’ve Got This” campaign — a public service campaign that, like the “It Gets Better” project uses user-submitted videos to support those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Those with bipolar disorder are encouraged to upload their own videos in support of those just diagnosed.
My mother was mentally ill. Looking back I am almost certain, she had bipolar disorder, or manic depression, as they called it back then. Unlike the large number of medications we have available today, there were few options when she was alive. As was the common treatment back then, she was kept doped up on Valium. “Treatment of bipolar disorder has come a long way,” said Tracy Rosecrans, vice president of marketing for the Healthline Media Group.
This initiative will help to get the word out that people can lead productive, happy lives with treatment. Mental illness is stigmatized, and we hope the community that ‘You’ve Got This’ forms will help to alleviate some of the shame and fear that individuals and their family members feel, especially after a diagnosis.
And if helping support those with bipolar disorder isn’t enough of a reason for you to get out your webcam, Healthline is also donating $10 for each video received to the charity To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit which aims to offer hope to those suffering from self-harm, suicidal urges, depression and addiction while directing people to treatment. According to Rosecrans, Healthline hopes to raise $10,000 for TWLOHA by the end of the year.
My only concern with the program is that some of the videos, I’ve watched, over-promise. Though I am happy with my stability I have not done well in college and both my psychiatrist and my therapist have insisted I am not ready to work. I started receiving care nearly ten years ago and there is a good possibility that I may never work again. I know many others with bipolar who are unable to work or can only work part time. Many of them have “jobs” working as volunteers at museums, hospitals, etc. Also, as some of the videos state they can a healthy happy family life, which is most definitely not true for many of my friends. Hell, I can’t promise ANYONE they’ll have a happy marriage and family life, much less someone with bipolar. So, I’ve got this, my life has greatly improved since first diagnose, however, the life I live is much different than most of society.
To view the videos that have already been posted, just go to the “You’ve Got This” website. You’ll also find information on how to participate. I plan to submit my video by the end of this week.
I’m interested in hearing what you have to say about the “You’ve Got This” project. Do you plan to upload a video?
6 comments on You’ve Got This
I hope that one day we will not need labels to describe people. One day the actions of a person will be the only barometer we need.
Amen to that. I think we got a lot of growing up to do first
Interesting article. I’m with you — a lot of those videos over-promise. I will probably never work a full-time job in my field of expertise…like, ever again. I doubt I could go back to school to learn something else, and relationships can be a toss-up (with or without bipolar) until you find the right person. I’m with you…the life I live is much different than most of society. But ya know, I’m okay with that. I just don’t think there should be more videos that are a little more honest.
I’m glad you agree, so I know its not just me. The worst one, that I watched, was the minister. He went on and on about how normal their lives were going to be once they got on meds. (normal is my word, not his.) He seems like a nice man and I’m happy that he is obviously high functioning, but he is very misinformed.
I plan to do a video and hope that I can tell a story that is my truth, yet not be negative.
I have been very moved by the “It Gets Better” campaign and hope, hope, hope that the audience are hearing and hanging on to the message. I have either read an article about the “You’ve got this” campaign or I have seen at least one. I hope with you that the presentations don’t mislead the viewers, or their family and friends. Treatment with meds and therapies and education can help enormously, but every person with lived experience of any mental illness is unique as is the recovery they make, the relapses they have or avoid, establishing and maintaining successful friendships and relationships, managing employment options, living arrangements, and self care. All of this requires that a team of professionals, friends and family and community with an understanding of the illness and who will be supportive during hard times. Oversimplifying these complex diseases in our world of twitter and other compressed delivery systems can’t be the only way we share real information and education about being on the team of someone you love. This is a long term project, very often life-long. I notice the same approach in NAMI’s “Recovery” programs and I am concerned that it can lead to unrealistic expectations, impatience and despair. So, Good first step in making people aware of a misunderstood group of illnesses, but let’s keep on providing information on more steps and stages.
Wow, Jean. You really hit the ball out of the park with your comment. There is nothing more I could add.