Maxime Perez Zitvogel, bipolar: "I've been through hell. I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to go through this moment"
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Maxime Perez Zitvogel, bipolar: “I’ve been through hell. I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy to go through this moment”

One in four people will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these unrest. To break the taboo, the characters and the unknown trust the yahoo microphone in purgatory.

Co-founder of the association “La Maison Perchée”, a place of exchange and mutual aid, Maxime Perez Zitvogel has been supporting young people in psychological distress for several years. At 29 and bipolar himself, he agreed to give himself away on his yahoo mic trip.

He clung to life and was able to accept his difference. Maxime Perez Zitvogel suffers from bipolar disorder and is now the president of “La Maison Perchée”, an association that helps young people with mental illnesses. This young man with a painful past faced many hardships that he agreed to talk about. In a yahoo mic, he remarkably returned to the first symptoms, the difficult moment of his diagnosis, and told how he struggled to live with this disease on a daily basis.

“I gained 30 kilos and partially lost my sight.”

Maxim would like to remind those who do not know: bipolar is a mood disorder, favored by biological and genetic factors, which is determined by the alternation of depressive episodes and manic phases. A change in behavior that he fell victim to, for the first time, during his trip to China, to Hong Kong. There was the appearance of the first symptoms.

Lack of sleep, excessive creativity, reckless spending of money: the young man, at the age of 22, began to wander. He dropped out of his business school to create four companies at once, associating partying with reckless actions. “I even made a marriage proposal that had no place to be.”He remembers. His friends no longer recognized him so much that they warned his mother not to change his face.

I spent 17 months locked in my room without going out.

Back in France, he is hospitalized and understands the urgency of the situation when he wakes up in a room, tied up, without knowing why or how. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. In that moment, I knew I had messed up, that I wasn’t there for nothing and I was scared.”He explains, thanking the nursing staff again for coming to reassure him. Soon, the psychiatrist discovers a cruel world from which it is impossible to escape unscathed.

He was placed in a double room, and experienced “hardcore” situations. His roommate doesn’t make his daily life any easier. “He was screaming every night because he thought he was on fire. It was impossible for me to sleep, he was violent.”. Aware of everyone’s psychological problems, Maxime waits to be informed of his problems. Quickly, the diagnosis goes down and there everything changes. “We show you that bipolarity is a real drawback. That you will have to take medication for life with severe side effects and that life will become complicated for a whole host of reasons.”. A scary case that you would have done just fine without. For him, it is the beginning of a long “fight” whose first moments are painful or even unbearable. “I spent 17 months locked in my room without going out, and I even attempted suicide,” trust. The sequel is completely dark. The side effects of his medication undermine him. Victim of tremors, he gained 30 kilograms and partially lost his visual acuity.

This madness of bipolarity allows me to have a clairvoyant side.

But since then, Maxime has taken a slack and learned to accept and live with his illness. His drug treatment stabilizes him and allows him to develop “normally”. “I’ve been strongly recommending to some corporate crooks to quit smoking, drinking, and living roughly. But I don’t necessarily agree. It’s all about balance.”He remembers explaining that in spite of everything he changed some of his habits. For example, he no longer uses public transportation and walks an average of 10 km a day, which is a beneficial activity that he feels the benefits of. As for the night trips he was so fond of, he didn’t stop but now respected the three hour rule.

“I master my abilities. I manage to work like no one else, even more than others.”he explains, proud of his career. And Maxim has reason to rejoice that he has managed, over time, to make his teams a powerhouse. “This insanity of bipolarity gives me a little clairvoyant side. Ideas flooded in and allowed me to set up a project that hadn’t been done before.” With hard work and determination, he co-founded “La Maison Perchée”, an association that supports young people with mental illnesses.

“I dream of being able to live in a world without having to hide from disease”

Today, Maxime dreams of a very different world, one “free” in which he can live without having to hide from his illness, and in which humans accept each other for who they are, strong in their differences. The young man even dares to imagine a future in which bipolar and schizophrenic people are co-opted by corporations for their creative side. “The machine works. A lot of startups get into it and start evaluating the potential of these people.”

This feature should be seen as a plus, not a minus.He explains as he recalls that across the Atlantic, many characters agreed to reveal themselves and make their “come out” like Kanye West, Mariah Carey or Robin Williams. For him, this taboo should not exist in France, a struggle for which information and awareness remain the best weapons.

Find the full interview with Maxime Perez Zitvogel here:

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