Home Mental Health & Well-Being Heston Blumenthal Praised by National Charity for Raising Awareness of Bipolar

Heston Blumenthal Praised by National Charity for Raising Awareness of Bipolar

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National mental health charity Bipolar UK has thanked internationally renowned chef Heston Blumenthal for opening up about his bipolar diagnosis and raising awareness of the mental health condition across the country.

The celebrity chef runs restaurants including the three Michelin-star Fat Duck, two Michelin-star Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Hind’s Head, and the Perfectionists’ Cafe.

The 57-year-old said he was diagnosed recently with bipolar disorder, having previously received a diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 2017.

Announcing his diagnosis, Heston said he believes his neurodivergence is closely linked to his business success and hopes this can be the case for more employers and their staff.

While campaigning for key changes in the workplace, Heston said: “I hope that being open about my own mental health will raise awareness of the issue.”

Currently, over 1 million people live with bipolar in the UK. It is thought that fewer than half are diagnosed, partly due to lack of awareness of the condition, where symptoms can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed.

On average, it takes 9.5 years to get an accurate bipolar diagnosis.

Simon Kitchen, Bipolar UK CEO, added: “Getting as many people as possible talking about bipolar is vital, so we fully support Heston sharing his diagnosis because it helps to break down stigma.

“Talking about mental health and bipolar shouldn’t be taboo. With the support of incredible people like Heston, we hope more will understand the condition and realise that having a diagnosis doesn’t mean someone can’t be successful in the workplace, or indeed in any area of their lives.

“There are an estimated 500,000 people still living with undiagnosed bipolar. So it’s important that people experiencing any mental health symptoms, including impulsive spending, taking risks, disrupted sleep patterns, and hypersexual behaviour, ask the question, ‘Could it be bipolar?’”

Bipolar is a severe mental illness (SMI) characterised by extreme mood swings and changes in energy levels.

Someone with bipolar disorder can have long or short periods of stability but can then go into deep depression or experience hypomania, mania, or psychosis.

Bipolar mood swings go far beyond most people’s everyday experiences of feeling a bit down or happy. They can also experience a “mixed state”, where symptoms of depression and mania occur at the same time.

Kitchen added: “With the right support, people can live well with bipolar. It’s therefore vital that we work to reduce that delay in diagnosis.

“A diagnosis helps get people on the road to effective self-management, medication, and support. When these things are in place, it’s possible for people with bipolar to live a full and successful life.”

Bipolar UK offers support to anyone affected by bipolar with their free UK-wide services – a peer support linepeer support groups and eCommunity – and resources, including their “Could it be bipolar?” information and mood tracker app.

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