Bipolar disorder forces Unlockd CEO Matt Berriman to step aside

Bipolar disorder forces Unlockd CEO Matt Berriman to step aside

Matt Berriman, co-founder of Melbourne-based startup Unlockd, has decided to step aside as its chief executive officer. In an open write-up, the 33-year-old cited mental health issues as the reason for resigning from the top post. “Throughout the journey I began to experience symptoms, which I attributed for far too long to stress, lack of sleep and the start-up roller-coaster. What I did not know at the time was I was fighting a battle with bipolar disorder,” Berriman wrote.

Berriman, who launched the company in October 2014, is stepping down with immediate effect. He will continue to serve as the executive director and will take care of major shareholder relations, corporate development and overall strategic direction.

Berriman said that he had been struggling with the mental disorder for the past 15 months. Talking about the stigmas associated with mental illnesses, Berriman regarded them as the “most misunderstood” and underrated epidemics prevalent in today’s time. His decision, as he suggested, to publicize his mental condition was intended to raise greater awareness about psychiatric problems. Matt asserted that his decision would help the community better understand a mental illness that can affect anyone – from a professional sportsperson, a high profile executive to a person employed at a local butcher.

The outgoing CEO regarded the call as a painful decision both at professional and personal levels. However, he asserted that Unlockd, like other “great companies,” is not dependent on one individual. Berriman attributed the company’s success to many people, including the clients, partners, suppliers and consumers. He, in particular, mentioned the name of Jane Martino, who has been playing a key role in Unlockd’s success. Martino, who became the chief operating officer of the company recently, will be the next CEO of the company. Berriman credited Martino for effectively handling the CEO’s role from “behind the scenes” while he was struggling with his personal health challenges.

Understanding bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a psychiatric problem characterized by a manic (an emotional high) episode. Generally, physicians prescribe a combination of antidepressant and an antipsychotic drug or mood stabilizer to treat depressed phase and prevent a shift to a manic episode, respectively. Experts say misdiagnosing bipolar disorder as major depression is likely to cause manic episode in the absence of a safeguard mood-stabilizing drug.

While some people may experience distinct manic or depressed states quite frequently, some may live without symptoms for extended periods, sometimes for years. Generally, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be divided into two major phases – depression and manic. Depression phase is characterized by symptoms like feeling sad, worried, or empty, lack of energy, irregular sleep patterns, eating too much or too little, suicidal thoughts and having a hard time making decisions. Manic phase represents rapid changes in moods, making the person more irritable and unpredictable and suffer impaired judgment. During manic episodes, people behave impulsively more frequently, take unusual risks and make reckless decisions.  

Dealing with bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a debilitating condition affecting nearly 2.6 percent Americans, with around 83 percent of cases classified as severe. It worsens in absence of timely treatment. However, people living with this problem can lead a normal life with early identification of symptoms, followed by effective treatment.

Encourage your loved ones with bipolar disorder to seek proper treatment at one of the reputed bipolar rehab centers in California. Sovereign Health, one of leading bipolar treatment centers in California, offers evidence-based treatment programs for the mental condition. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 954-0529 or chat online for more information on our treatment facilities for bipolar disorder.

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