Taylor Tomlinson Felt 'Embarrassed' About Her Bipolar Diagnosis, Took a 'Long Time to Accept' It

Comedian Taylor Tomlinson said she grew up believing there was shame in needing mental health care

Taylor Tomlinson
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Taylor Tomlinson is opening up about coming to terms with her bipolar disorder.

The 28-year-old comedian recently spoke to E! News, explaining why it took her "a long time to accept" her diagnosis and to make it a priority. She said she grew up in a very conservative household with parents who taught her that mental health wasn't a priority, which initially led her to avoid getting the medication she needed.

"I had all this shame because when I was a kid, my parents were like, 'You don't get on medication. That's weak. That's not good for you,' " Tomlinson told the outlet. "So I think I felt weak for needing that."

"I was surprised that I felt embarrassed when I first found out," she admitted. "Because I think I'm very open-minded. I have friends who have bipolar. And you never judge your friends. You never felt like that was a big deal. But then when it's you, you somehow realize you have all this deeper stuff from when you were a kid."

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Taylor Tomlinson
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Tomlinson added that she also felt shame after realizing she hadn't been able to overcome the negative stigma associated with bipolar disorder and mental health struggles.

"Because you're embarrassed that you got this diagnosis. And then you're embarrassed that you're embarrassed. Because it shows that you, yourself are giving into that stigma," she said in the interview.

"I mean, it's like if you found out you're allergic to something. You wouldn't be like, 'Oh my god, I'm the weakest person alive. I'm broken.' You'd just be like, 'Oh, okay. So we just don't have peanuts. That's fine,' " she continued.

After getting "on the right meds" and listening to the information from her psychiatrist, Tomlinson said she's accepted her diagnosis and now uses comedy to joke about it in hopes of making others in similar situations feel more comfortable.

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Tomlinson recently joked in her latest Netflix special, Look At You, that she copes with it all by reminding herself that Selena Gomez has bipolar disorder too.

"When I got diagnosed, they started listing names," she quipped in the special. "They were like, 'You know who else is bipolar? Selena Gomez.' And I was like, 'That does make me feel better. She is very pretty. Okay, I'll be bipolar.' "

The comedian told E! that she typically tries to make her personal experiences funny for herself.

Tomlinson said, "I'm like, 'I want to make fun of this because it's something bad that happened to me and if I turn it into a joke, then it's taking the power back.' And now it was a little bit more like, 'Oh, I want to do jokes about this because hopefully it will make other people feel better.' "

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