At Voxel we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen to Javi Martín, a known television host, who explained how bipolar disorder pushed him to the limit and nearly killed him.
On 24 November we were visited by Javi Martín, actor, journalist and TV host of the popular television program “Caiga quien caiga”, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This event is part of Adecco Foundation’s “Encounters for Diversity”.
With this we wanted to go a step further in raising awareness about the reality faced by people with mental illnesses, with the aim of promoting the inclusion of this collective in the job market. For over one hour, Martín relayed his experience with this disease and the talk left many Voxelians mesmerized.
Javi led a very normal life, his work as an actor and TV host occupied his time and it made him feel fulfilled. He was a happy and cheerful person until he began having different thoughts and feelings. He began asking himself some very existentialist questions (What are we?) or seeing things in a very negative way. Explicitly, Martín said “when I was acting, I was able to disconnect from the suffering to interpret a role”.
He reconciled his job as an actor with this new reality: bipolar disorder, characterized by extreme mood swings, ranging from extreme highs “mania” to extreme lows “depression”. During the toughest periods, he felt like he was in an emotional hole and completely hopeless. It was hard for him to find a reason to live. On one occasion, he even attempted suicide.
With a lot of therapy and two hospital admissions, Javi became aware of what was happening to him and slowly began to get better. “One month I counted the number of good days I had had and discovered that there were more good days than bad.”
After years of living with bipolar disorder, Javi is happy and faces life with humor. Also, he reiterated the two lessons he had learned. In the first place, the actor got to know himself very well. The second, that “life is a gift and we must live the present”.
The actor thinks that it is essential for society to lose the fear of talking about mental health. He also expressed the important role of companies in terms of being much more inclusive and hiring people with mental illnesses. “We are able to contribute significant value”, added Martín.
For this reason, currently, Javi is often invited as a speaker at schools and companies to raise awareness about mental health.
Space for debate
The session was highly applauded in Voxel. During the round of questions, many comments were of appreciation for having explained bipolar disorder so easily and in such a fun way.
One of the ideas that were raised was to question the appropriateness of the term “disability”, which is widely used today. By the contrary, we need to begin using the term “functional diversity”. This term references characteristics present in society that can affect all its members equally. Because we all have diverse skills.
Thank you, Javi Martín, for your courage and for being a role model. And also, thanks to Fundación Adecco for proposing such rewarding activities.