I’ve been wanting to say this about mental illness for years:

The price of my monthly medication is more than the median rent in my neighborhood.  I am privileged with insurance.

It was factored in the 90s that Bipolar Disorder had an economic burden in the United States of $45 billion.  1.5% of the United States’ population survives with Bipolar Disorder.

As many as half of individuals with bipolar disorder attempt suicide at least once during their lifetime, and suicide is a leading cause of death in this group.

The unemployment rate for adults living with mental illness is 3 to 5 times higher than for those without mental illness.

I often struggle to comment at all in conversations about mental illness and its ramifications in my neighborhood.

It is difficult to admit how personal the issues are.  I don’t know what else to say:

My name is Dan

and I have Bipolar i Disorder.

My monthly medication costs more than the median rent in my neighborhood.  Mental health clinics have been closed and affordable housing options have been and are being replaced.  People of color, already faced with an inequality of opportunity, and those in poverty, already marginalized in thought and in action, face even greater challenges of access to adequate treatment.

I do not mean to diminish anyone’s individual struggle.

Everyone has a struggle.

My deepest hope only is that we will all make it.

I only wish to raise issue that some struggles have a greater risk of joblessness and homelessness.

It is with these considerations that I look forward to now entering the conversation.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated.

You can send me a note, here.