Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Amy Wiseman 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Amy wiseman, and I will soon graduate from the BSc in Applied Psychology course at IADT. Throughout this course, I have developed a keen interest in neuropsychology, mental health conditions, and psychotherapy, which led to my final project focusing on bipolar disorder. Since 2023, I have been working in a homelessness and addiction service, which allowed me to obtain a place in a psychotherapy and counseling masters this coming September

Project Description

My final year project aimed to examine the lived experiences and complications of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD). There has been a lack of research on the misinformation about BD and how stereotypes, stigma, and lack of knowledge can have a drastic impact on the lived experiences and complications of individuals with BD. This study was done through YouTube interviews, which included seven interviewees (five females and two males). This qualitative study used Braun and Clarke's Thematic Analysis (2006) to provide rich data and obtain personal experiences with BD and how much it impacted their lives.

Project Objectives

My project was titled 'Exploring the lived experiences and complications of individuals with Bipolar Disorder.' The main aim of this study was to examine the experiences and complications of bipolar disorder (BD), specifically in the areas of stigma, treatment, relationships, awareness, and romanticization. I wanted this study to highlight the importance of further researching BD in order to create a better understanding of reducing stigma and improving the treatment and portrayal of this mental health condition.

Project Outcomes

A total of five main themes were identified within the data. These were stigma, treatment of BD, relationships, awareness of BD, and the romanticization of BD. Each of these themes discussed the interviewee's experience with these areas and how it impacted their quality of life. One of the most significant complications discussed was stigma, both self-stigma and public stigma. It was reported that a crucial start to destigmatizing mental health is to break the generational pattern of ignorance, avoidance, and dismissal of individuals' struggles. It was evident that the misinformation around BD had complicated their prognosis and caused further problems. Addressing the misinformation and stereotypes around BD may help individuals feel more comfortable seeking the professional help they need in order to gain better coping mechanisms, psychotherapy, and medication if needed.