Bipolar Disorder? Skimping on What Counts?


How’s it going?

I hope you’re having a good day.

There is no doubt that we are in a recession, and that it’s on everyone’s minds.

Many people are skimping back because of it.

If they have two cars, many are going down to one car.

If they have a big house, they are selling it to move into a smaller one.

Those who usually take a vacation are skipping it this year for lack of money.

People are trying hard to hold onto their jobs, but some people have lost them anyway.

Then they are forced to skimp on things.

People who used to eat out a lot aren’t doing that any more – they just can’t afford it.

People who used charge cards, especially, are finding that they have to skimp on using them, because it’s hard to pay the bill when it comes.

More people are changing the way they handle their finances.

They are skimping on things they don’t need.

Because of our economy, many people have been forced to make changes in their lifestyles.

But if you or your loved one has bipolar disorder, there are certain things you can NOT afford to skimp on.

Many people with the disorder are getting worse, not getting stable, and going into episodes.

Do you know why? (scroll down for answer)

Do you think it’s because they want to?

Do you think it’s because they are forced to?

I’ll tell you the answer.

They are skimping on their medications.

Mary did this –

She cut down on her medications to try to save some money.

The next thing she knew, she was in a manic episode.

And then do you know what happened?

She started spending money excessively because of the mania.

So she ended up with just the opposite of what she wanted.

Now she owes even more money, and is still struggling financially to pay for her medications.

But do you know what the worst thing Mary did was?

She played doctor for herself.

She never checked with her doctor before messing with her medications.

You can skimp on eating meals out, because you can always cook at home.

But medications are something that you just can NOT skimp on.

In my courses/systems, I stress how CRUCIAL it is for you to stay on your medications, no matter what:







There are other options.

For example, if you explain to your doctor that you are having financial problems, he might be able to give you samples of medication.

If you have to pay for your doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist visits, you may be wanting to skimp there as well, and put off appointments.

But if you tell them what is happening, they may be able to put you on a sliding scale or work out payments with you.

Are you skimping on what counts?

Try to find other alternatives.

Current Bipolar News



Here’s the bipolar news. Enjoy.

To read this week’s news visit:

Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness Remains Despite bundant Pharmaceutical Ads

DO> This is soooo true.

Health Matters: Treating Mental Illnesses

DO> Good article for you to review. You should know all this already however 🙂

Bringing Bipolar into the Light

DO> Great article.

Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System

DO> This is completely true. Scary article.

Act Early on Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents

DO> Everyone with bipolar disorder who is an adult says this is the key.

Thyroid Hormone Helps Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression

DO> Interesting article, take a look.

For these stories and more, please visit:

==>Help with ALL aspects of bipolar disorder<<==

Check out all my resources, programs and information for all aspects of bipolar disorder by visiting:

Your Friend,


Bipolar? Did Someone Promise You This?


How’s it going?

I hope you’re doing ok today.

Do you remember a book or song awhile back called, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”?

Well, someone I was talking to said that when she was little, every time she would complain, or say that something wasn’t fair, her father would say to her, “Did someone promise you a rose garden?”

When it comes to bipolar disorder, did someone promise YOU a rose garden?

Probably not. Because there sure isn’t one, is there?

And if you are complaining about having the disorder, or that it isn’t fair, I would say to you exactly what this girl’s father said to her: “Did someone promise YOU a rose garden?”

Complaining about having bipolar disorder will not get you anywhere.

It’s like a car stuck in a muddy rut.

You can keep hitting the gas all you want, but you won’t get anywhere, will you?

Those tires will just keep on spinning.

But do you know if you put wooden slats over the mud, and if you ask for some help, you can probably get out of that rut?

Here’s the key phrase in that:

“…if you ask for some help…”

You see, the fact is that you do have bipolar disorder, and you can’t do anything about that.

You have no control over that fact.

But there are some things you can do to control the disorder.

Like asking for help. That is something you CAN do.

In my courses/systems, I talk about how important it is to have a strong support system, and how to build one.







There are other things, important things, you can do to control your bipolar disorder as well.

You don’t have to sit around and do nothing.

You don’t have to complain about it.

You don’t have to let the disorder have control over you – YOU can control IT.

But you cannot be passive.

You MUST take action on your own behalf.

Be objective for a minute.

Think about what you would do if you were someone else who has bipolar disorder.

Perhaps someone in your bipolar support group?

What things would you do if you were them?

First of all, you would take your medication, wouldn’t you?

Without your bipolar medication, you would go into an episode, and maybe even DIE!

So you can take your medication to control your bipolar disorder.

That’s something you can do for yourself.

What else could you do to take control?

Well, you could go to your appointments – always, and on time.

Seeing your doctor, psychiatrist and therapist is an important part of taking control over your bipolar disorder.

Another thing is that you’ve got to get and stay healthy.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big point, but ask anyone with bipolar disorder what it’s like to have the disorder and be physically sick as well. You DON’T want that!

If you already have physical disorders (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) on top of your bipolar disorder, make sure you get those under control as well.

Then make sure you are eating a healthy diet and exercising.

The diet is important, because many bipolar medications cause you to gain weight, so you want to eat a healthy diet to control your weight, as well as to stay healthy.

Exercise is important because it keeps you healthy, but it also has an added benefit especially for people who have bipolar disorder: exercise stimulates endorphins in the brain, which help with depression. That’s why exercise makes you feel so much better!

And you can control your disorder by controlling your sleep patterns. This is very important, as too little sleep can lead to a manic episode, and too much sleep can be a sign of a depressive episode.

No, no one ever promised you a rose garden when it came to bipolar disorder.

But you CAN control the disorder, instead of IT controlling YOU.

Have you found other ways to control your bipolar disorder other than those I’ve listed?

I’d love to hear about them.

What NOT to Say During a Bipolar Episode


Hey, how’s it going today?

You know, I get a lot of emails and calls asking me some of the same questions, and so those are the ones I try to write to you about.

One of the questions I get asked about most often is what to say and what NOT to say to your loved one when they’re in a bipolar episode.

I got asked this by one woman especially one time, because she said that everything she said seemed to be the wrong thing, that everything seemed to make her husband mad at her.

Well, maybe you feel the same way.

Maybe the same thing is happening to you.

If so, know that this is a common thing that happens when someone who has bipolar disorder goes into an episode.

So how do you know what to say and what NOT to say then?

I can tell you from my own experience with my mom, as well as from what I’ve learned from talking to other supporters and what they’ve written to me and told me.

For example, you should never tell your loved one in an episode that you know how they feel.

This is one comment that can make them angry at you.

The truth is that you do not have bipolar disorder, so there is no way that you can truly know how they feel.

It would be better if you said something like:

“I can understand that you might be feeling [ ] right now…”

And insert a word like frustrated, or angry, or resentful, or hurt, or whatever feeling you have noticed or think that your loved one may be feeling.

This way you’re acknowledging their feelings, but you’re not antagonizing your loved one, either.

Especially if you stay calm and say it in a soft voice.

You’re showing your support and understanding, but you’re not assuming anything either, which is what makes them mad at you.

In my courses and systems, I talk about the negative feelings that your loved one may feel during a bipolar episode, and how you can know what they are, so that you can be supportive of your loved one during these times.







Another thing you should never say to your loved one during an episode is, “You could just snap out of this if you wanted to,” or something along those lines.

I know you can get really frustrated waiting for your loved one to come out of their episode, but this is still not the right thing to say, even if you have to bite your tongue.

I know I did, when my mom was in her episodes.

I kept thinking things like, “If she loved me, she would stop this behavior,” or, “If she would just try harder, she could come out of this episode,” and things like that.”

But I realized that she WAS trying, and that she was NOT doing this to me personally!

If you say these things to your loved one, you’ll be making a mistake.

These types of comments can truly make them mad (hurt them) because, well, think of yourself in their shoes.

If it were you, don’t you think if it were that easy, that you would do it?

It isn’t that easy. That’s why your loved one is struggling.

You need to be more loving, supportive and understanding.

Try saying something like:

“I know this is a hard thing for you to be going through, but I just want you to know that I’m here for you.”

Your loved one may say things like, “Just leave me alone!”

Or even something as terrible as, “I hate you!”

My mom did that, too.

But you can’t take it personally.

It’s just part of their bipolar episode.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when your loved one was in an episode and you felt like everything you said was the wrong thing?

Have they gotten mad at you for it?

What did you do?

Bipolar? To Blame or Not to Blame…


How are you today?

I hope you’re doing fine.

Have you ever known a real complainer?

The type of person who has nothing good to say about anyone or anything?

Who couldn’t get along with anyone? (or at least not for very long, before they became critical of them).

Who would say things like, “Life isn’t fair.”

Or that someone else wasn’t fair to them, or they were in an unfair situation.

Someone who always blamed everyone else or everything else.

Who had a lot of unsolved problems?

Did it seem to you that they might be their own biggest problem?

I know someone like that.

My friend’s ex-girlfriend.

Now, I’m not a doctor, and I can’t diagnose anyone, but in my opinion, this girl showed every sign of having bipolar disorder.

She had terrible mood swings, for one thing, and that was obvious, even to someone who didn’t know anything about bipolar disorder.

She called me once to complain about my friend.

At first she talked like she really loved him, but the next minute she was blaming him for all her


Not just that, but she keeps getting into trouble in all aspects of her life –

Her family, friends, co-workers, etc. – she has conflicts with them all.

They think there is something wrong with her, but she denies it, blaming everything on them.

But think about it.

Do you think everyone else is wrong and that she is the only one who is right?

It usually doesn’t work like that.

If that’s the case, if everyone else is saying the same thing, she should stop and listen to them.

They can’t all be wrong.

Maybe they don’t know if she has bipolar disorder or not, but they do know that something is wrong with her.

Otherwise she wouldn’t have all the problems that she has.

But she is in denial, for sure.

In my courses/systems, I talk about denial and what you can do about it:







You may have faced this with your loved one, at least in the beginning.

Many people with bipolar disorder will be in denial when they’re first diagnosed.

They would rather blame someone or something else.

Like they would say it’s just stress from work that’s making them act this way.

Or, if it weren’t for [whoever], I wouldn’t act this way.

That’s blaming, and it NEVER helps someone with bipolar disorder to get better.

In order to get better, you have to stop blaming other people and other things for your own problems.

If you are having conflicts with most of the other people in your life, you have to consider that the problem is YOU, and not them.

You can’t change anyone else, but you can change yourself.

If you or your loved one are already on medication, but you’re still having too many problems, you may need a medication adjustment.

If you suspect this is the case, then you need to contact your doctor.

You may not have even been noticing these things about yourself, but other people have been pointing them out to you.

If so, you probably need help, because they can’t all be wrong and you be right.

Have you noticed the things I’ve talked about happening in your own life?

Important Update and Bipolar? Solve Your Problems This Way


I hope this is a good day for you.

I actually have to go to New York today. The good news is I am taking supposedly a short cut. 99% of the time I take short cuts they turn into long cuts. Hopefully not today : )

Anyway, I am going to a seminar to learn some things to help reach more people dealing with bipolar disorder.

Before I got, I wanted to talk about why I am stopping daily emails on Saturdays and Sundays.

Basically sending the daily email takes a ton of time. People think it’s done by someone else, a company or a computer program. It’s done by me.

Over I think three years, I have never taken a day off from doing it.

The daily emails require a lot of thought, creativity, planning and setup.

So, if I skip these two days it will give me some well needed rest and also allow me to work on other stuff that goes along with building and managing this fast growing organization.

After much thought and talking to a whole lot of people, we agreed this is the best decision.

This doesn’t mean however that I will never send an email on Saturday or Sunday. If there

is something really important I will.

If you have any question in this, please post them on my blog below.

Okay enough with that, now on to today’s topic.

There’s a funny joke about two men that I just have to share with you.

One man is telling the other one about all his problems, detail by detail, going on and on with his

sad story, complaining… and then complaining some more.

Every time the other man thought the first man was going to stop, he would go on about another problem he had.

Until the second man just lost his patience.

So he stomped on the first man’s foot, really hard.

“Ouch!” the first man said, “Why did you do that? That really hurt!”

“Well, said the second man, it got you thinking about something other than your problems for a minute, didn’t it?”


It’s sort of a funny way to get into today’s topic:

A different way of looking at your problems.

Because obstacles and problems are just a part of life, for all of us.

Some people just pretend they don’t exist – they try to totally ignore them (but, of course, the problems don’t just go away – in fact, they get larger).

Others just complain about their problems – to anyone who will listen.

Some procrastinate their problems until they have a mound of them, and then they’re totally overwhelmed by their problems.

And still others expect someone else to solve their problems.

But the single element connecting these four types of people is that they take NO action to solve their problems.

Effective problem-solving is crucial to healthy living itself, much less living with bipolar disorder.

That’s why I teach it in my courses:







Then there is the person who proactively solves their problems.

They are solution-oriented.

Of these people came the saying, “The impossible just takes a little longer.”

These are the type of people that might try the problem-solving approach I want to teach you today.

The principle comes from “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” by Richard Carlson, M.D.

I read this, and thought it was an absolutely revolutionary way to look at our problems!

Read what he says:

“True happiness comes not when we

get rid of all of our problems, but

when we change our relationship

to them, when we see our problems

as a potential source of awakening,

opportunities to practice patience,

and to learn.”

That’s what I want to talk about today.

Obviously we can’t solve all our problems.

But we can solve most of them.

But we have to take a different approach toward them.

Ignoring your problems, pretending they don’t exist, procrastinating them, complaining about them, or expecting someone else to solve them for you is just not realistic.

If you do any of those things, you will find that your problems will multiply and NEVER get solved until you finally decide to take action on them.

But let’s talk about this new approach to solving your problems –

Carlson’s idea of having a relationship to your problems.

I’ve also heard it called “owning your problems.”

It’s the same principle.

What the principle is, is taking responsibility for your problems.

Then, it’s your approach to your problems.

If you look at your problems as an opportunity for growth, a chance to learn, then you’ll have a positive approach to solving them.

You won’t be so intimidated by them, and then you can be in control of them, instead of them being in control of you.

Then you can be proactive, and be an effective problem-solver.

How do you approach your problems?

Are you an effective problem-solver?

Have you grown by overcoming the obstacles and problems that you’ve faced in your own life?

Are You Making These 5 Big Bipolar Mistakes?


I hope you are doing great!

I talked to a bunch of bipolar supporters recently.

We were having a good talk, and I learned a lot of things about the way they were coping with

their loved ones’ bipolar disorder.

But I also noticed that they were making 5 big mistakes.

And I wanted to pass on these 5 big mistakes onto you, to make sure that you’re not making them, too.

1. Doing nothing and hope the

problem fixes itself

Year after year, my dad thought like this.

He always thought that it would work itself out.

He ignored things that were indications that my mom was getting worse and worse – things that he should have noticed, before things got out of control.

He didn’t do anything, because he thought the problem (my mom’s “condition,” or the bipolar disorder) would fix itself.

He honestly thought mom would get better without him having to do anything about it.

That has got to be the number one mistake.

That’s like ignoring the elephant in the living room.

Bipolar disorder is NOT going to go away by itself.

You HAVE to do something about it in order for your loved one to get better.

2. Reacting instead of being proactive

My dad always let bipolar disorder run the show so to speak.

He never knew what to do, because he didn’t know enough about the disorder to help my mom.

Now, because I have taught them, my mom is in charge of her bipolar disorder, instead of IT being in charge of HER.

That’s why I teach in my courses/systems below that having knowledge of bipolar disorder is one of the most important things you have to do:







If you don’t have KNOWLEDGE of bipolar disorder, how can you fight it?

If you don’t realize what you’re up against, you will be reactive instead of proactive, just like my dad was.

He just plain didn’t know what to do, so my mom got out of control.

Then when she went into the worst episode of her life, he had to react to the situation and take drastic measures and put her in the hospital.

I’m not just picking on my father here, I see other supporters making the same mistake.

You need to learn as much as you can about the disorder and about your loved one’s symptoms,

so that you can be proactive, and head off an episode before it becomes full-blown.

3. Not realizing how serious bipolar disorder

can be.

Just like I was just saying about having to put my mom in the hospital, my dad didn’t realize

how serious bipolar disorder can be.

If he had realized it was something that could actually make my mom that out of control, I think he would have taken it more serious much earlier than he did.

Bipolar disorder is a very serious disorder.

It can destroy families. It can destroy lives.

And supporters need to realize how devastating an illness bipolar disorder can be, and how dangerous it can be for their loved one.

Some supporters don’t take it serious enough, until they’re sitting in a hospital waiting room,

like my dad.

4. Trying to change your loved one, looking

for a quick fix

Many supporters are looking for a quick fix.

I don’t blame them. Many of us do, when we’re faced with a difficult situation.

But you have to understand that you can’t change your loved one – they can only change themselves.

Getting stable takes time – it will NOT happen overnight.

It will take patience on your part as a supporter to wait for your loved one’s treatment (medication and therapy) to work.

There is no quick fix to recovery from bipolar disorder.

5. Not realizing your loved one can be “normal”,

stable and successful

Yet, along the same lines, some supporters give up too soon.

They think that their loved one will never get stable, and this is just as big a mistake.

NEVER give up hope on your loved one.

With your help and support (and a lot of work on your loved one’s part), there is ALWAYS hope

for stability and recovery from bipolar disorder for your loved one.

Just like I said before, it won’t happen overnight, it will take time, and there will be set-backs and probably more episodes before it happens, but your loved one CAN become stable, normal,”

and successful.

My mom did it!

Have you noticed yourself making any of these 5 big mistakes?

How do you see them happening in your life?

Bipolar? Lesson From a Polished Stone


I hope you’re having a good week.

A friend of mine just got back from vacation and was telling me about it.

She was on the beach collecting shells and found a smooth, polished stone.

She explained to me how these stones start off as rough and what we think of as normal looking stones, but after time and the ocean tides, the stone gets washed until it is smooth and polished.

The key phrase here is “over time.”

That’s what made me think of bipolar disorder.

Because if you’re thinking that your loved one is taking a long time to get better, you’re right.

And that is normal.

Because you can’t get stable from bipolar disorder overnight.

Just like that washed stone, it takes time for the “ocean tides” to “wash” your loved one into stability.

Let’s compare the two:

First the stone starts off as a normal looking stone – rough and unpolished, unsmooth.

That would be your loved one before stability.

Then the ocean tides begin to wash over the stone and start the process of reshaping the stone.

That would be your loved one getting used to their medication and changing, adapting to the bipolar lifestyle.

Then, a little more time goes by, and the stone begins to get smoother, with the tides washing the rough edges right off.

That would be your loved one learning how to manage their bipolar disorder.

Then, after enough time has gone by, that rock has weathered the ocean tides, and emerges a smooth, polished stone.

That would be your loved one reaching stability.

In my courses/systems, I talk about how stability is a process – it takes time to happen.







No, stability doesn’t happen overnight.

And it’s hard, as a supporter, to be patient, I know.

And you do have to have a lot of patience as a supporter during this process.

You have to watch your loved one as they struggle first with their diagnosis.

Then with their mood swings.

You have to watch them when they are in episodes, and that can get very hard.

When your loved one is depressed for a long period of time, and it seems like nothing you do is helping them, what do you do if they won’t go for help?

That’s one of most difficult things that a supporter has to go through.

Or if your loved one won’t take their medication.

Because these things lead to bipolar episodes.

Then you’re back to square one.

And it’s hard to watch this happen.

But remember the ocean tide – it goes out and comes back in again, over and over and over.

Remember that stability is a process that happens over time.

When your loved one goes into a manic episode, things can get very difficult.

They can get very impulsive, making rash decisions, being promiscuous, doing risk-taking behaviors, going on spending sprees, etc.

It’s usually in a manic episode that your loved one will display behavior that has consequences to it – perhaps legal or financial (or otherwise).

Then you have to deal with the fallout, and that can be especially difficult for you.

You may have to deal with some negative feelings at this point; for example, you may start to feel that this isn’t fair, and thoughts like that.

But hang on, and remember that polished stone.

Remember the process.

After awhile, you will see your loved one start changing.

If they do the things they need to do to be stable – such as taking their medication religiously, seeing their psychiatrist and therapist, eating a healthy diet, sleeping right, exercising, being productive, etc…

Then eventually, they will have less and less episodes…

And, just like the polished stone…

Your loved one will be stable!

Current Bipolar News


Here’s the bipolar news. Enjoy.

To read this week’s news visit:

Chatting About Bipolar Disorder

DO> Interesting article.

New Book Helps Those with Bipolar Disorder Manage

Diets – and Lives

DO> This looks like a great book. I am going

to try to interview the author.

Renowned Dancers Explore Bipolar Illness

DO> Great article, take a look.

Local Study of Children with Bipolar Disorder

DO> Hmm. What do you think of this?

For these stories and more, please visit:

==>Help with ALL aspects of bipolar disorder<<==

Check out all my resources, programs and information for all aspects of bipolar disorder by visiting:

Your Friend,


Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol The Shocking Truth


I hope you’re doing ok.

I have had so many people ask me about bipolar disorder and alcohol that I felt that I should write an email about it to address the issues surrounding it.

For one thing, and this is very recent, so you may have read about it in my bipolar news, there was a report that came out that said that impulsivity (like the kind found in bipolar disorder) runs a risk for alcoholism.

In other words, if your loved one already has bipolar disorder, they are already prone to alcoholism.

During a manic episode, there is a tendency to be impulsive.

According to this report, that impulsivity

puts them at a greater risk for alcoholism.

Now, if there was already alcoholism in their family, they are at an even greater risk.

Here’s another issue:

It’s sort of like which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Some people, before they were diagnosed, self-medicated their symptoms with alcohol.

Other people drank alcohol before they were diagnosed.

Now they have two problems.

They have bipolar disorder AND they have alcoholism.

But were they alcoholics who later developed bipolar disorder?

Or did they have bipolar disorder and later developed alcoholism?

Here’s the point:

It doesn’t really matter!

In medical terms, it’s called “comorbidity,” or “dual diagnosis.”

What that means is that the person now has two diagnoses, or two disorders at the same time, and that BOTH disorders need to be addressed in order for them to get better.

In my courses and systems, I talk about what happens when you self-medicate, and how dangerous that can be:







Here’s another way that a person with bipolar disorder can be affected by alcohol – a very dangerous way:

During a bipolar manic episode, it is normal to feel very exhilarated, very “on top of the world,” so to speak.

The person might feel “invincible,” as if nothing could harm them.

It is not uncommon for them to go off their medications (which is probably what put them into the episode in the first place) and to start drinking alcohol.

But here’s where the problem arises.

They start drinking more and more, and when the episode is over, they find that they now have a drinking problem, or are an alcoholic.

But here’s the most DANGEROUS problem of bipolar disorder and alcohol of all:

Some people will take alcohol with their medication.

This combination can actually KILL them!

Whether you have bipolar disorder or not, you can read your prescription labels, and it will tell you, “Do not take with alcohol.”

There is a reason for that!

It has been proven that alcohol has an adverse effect on prescription medications!

Bipolar medications are some of the strongest medications around.

Combining them with alcohol can cause serious adverse reactions.

Like I said, these reactions can even be FATAL!

The reactions can also cause the person to become delusional, or even hallucinate.

They can even cause the person to become a danger to themselves or others.

For all these reasons, someone with bipolar disorder should stay away from drinking alcohol!!!

If you believe that your loved one with bipolar disorder also has a problem with alcohol as well,

then they need help.

Try to get them to see a professional as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.