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"A process of change through which
individuals improve their health and
wellness, live a self-directed life, and
strive to reach their full potential."




You are not alone

Stephen Puibello

click here for my blog




of the Bi Polar Bear


Welcome to my world

As a gay man living with HIV, mental illness and addiction who is navigating the rocky road of recovery, my mission is to help others who struggle with these issues. My message: You are not alone. Speaking out about your challenges raises awareness and gives you a sense of purpose. If I can talk about it, so can you!

My story began in 1996 when I lost my 66-year-old mother to breast cancer. Two months later I was diagnosed HIV positive and my life went gray. I was extremely depressed. What’s more, soon after that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder—formerly known as manic depression—which is a form of mental illness. I went for a walk on the Charles River in Boston, then went home and for close to two months didn't leave. I can remember early on needing someone to accompany me to my doctors’ appointments as I wasn't hearing what was being explained to me. I became detached from my community, stopped working, and really just wanted to let go, but I didn't and went on to create this Web site in 2004. It is a work in progress, and is the core of my recovery from both substance addiction and mental illness.

On this site I feature a blog with my thoughts on these issues as well as research on HIV, mental illness, and addiction – all for the benefit of my peers. After I was diagnosed, I was searching for answers. The more I read the more I realized I was not alone. I learned about the stigma associated with HIV and the compound stigma associated with HIV and mental illness. I hope this site helps you do the same. Please look around, read and comment on my blog, or send me an email to connect. I welcome your feedback.

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I'm not a doctor. I'm not a health professional. I write articles about health topics. Talk to a real, live professional before changing any health treatments or for any mental health questions or concerns.