Bipolar? This Simple Gesture Can Mean Much

Hi, how’s it going for you today? I hope you’re having a great day.

You know, I get so many emails and comments from supporters complaining about the way their loved one treats them. That’s why this email was such a surprise to me:

Dave, I know that it’s more normal to complain about your loved one’s behavior if they have bipolar disorder, but I just wanted to give you the other side of the story. My husband has bipolar disorder. But because he does this one thing all the time (between episodes), things aren’t so bad when he is in one, because he’s used to being a certain way. It’s such a small thing, now that I’m writing about it, but I think if more couples practiced this, things would be better for them. What I’m talking about is simply being polite to each other. I don’t know how hard it would be to start doing it from scratch, because my husband and me have been doing it naturally for so many years, even before he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But that’s it – we are polite to each other.

It’s easy once you’ve practiced it as much as we have. It’s things like “Please” and “Thank you” and “Would you mind…” you know, things like that. For me, it’s a sign of respect, and I’m polite to my husband in spite of his bipolar disorder out of respect for him. For him, his politeness carries him a long way when his emotions tell him otherwise – like when his bipolar is acting up and he gets moody or irritable.

I know this is a really simple suggestion for your readers, but maybe they could try it. I know that it works for us, and makes a big difference in our relationship, despite his bipolar disorder.

Anyway, maybe you could pass on this suggestion.


Wow, this was sure a different email, don’t you think? That something as small as being polite to each other could make such a difference.

But MaryBeth has a point. Being polite to each other is a sign of respect, and everyone likes to be respected.

Some people lose respect for a person who has bipolar disorder. So if your loved one is being affected by stigma, or not being shown respect from other people, it can make a big difference to get it from you. And what a simple way this woman suggests, too! Just be polite to each other. Like you would be to a stranger or any other person. Your loved one deserves at least that, as do you.

Common courtesy is what I’m talking about. You know, like the old Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I know it can get kind of frustrating at times dealing with a person with bipolar disorder… But maybe you can try this woman’s suggestion of just being polite to each other, and see if it makes a difference.

Well, catch you later.

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? Deal or No Deal


How’s it going? I hope you’re doing ok.

Have you ever seen this TV show called Deal or No Deal? Each time, the contestant has to choose whether to open a suitcase or not, that will have a dollar value in it. The idea, of course, is to choose correctly and win the game.

So how does this relate to bipolar disorder?  I’ll explain. If your loved one has bipolar disorder, they are sometimes going to act in ways that you don’t like.  Especially when they go into episodes. And really especially if they need to go to the hospital, and are refusing to go.

When my mom was like that and she needed to go to the hospital, I had to make a deal with her for her to go.  It’s ok to make deals with your loved one. In fact, it can be very effective.

In my courses/systems, I go over strategies to helping your loved one, including hospitalization.




Some people say that it’s playing dirty to make a deal with your loved one to do certain things.  I don’t think it is.  Especially if it works. Some loved ones are more receptive than others. But why not try this with your loved one? It could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Other supporters say that making a deal with your loved one is like making a deal with your child – like you promise them candy if they behave in the store. They claim that you’re treating your loved one like a child. But I don’t agree with that. I think this idea works.

Say your loved one has to go to the doctor today, and they are refusing to go. You could make a deal with them. Tell them that if you go to the appointment together, that afterwards, you can go out for lunch, or something like that.

It’s not childish – it involves cooperation.

And, in this case, getting a person to agree to cooperate with something they don’t like or want to do.  You can use this idea with other things as well. What if they are not wanting (or forgetting) to take their medication? Well, if you’re on medication as well, this is easy. You just make a deal that the two of you will take your medications at the same time.

Even if you’re not on medication, you can still make a deal with them to take their medication. It’s not only important, but it’s crucial to their stability.

What if your loved one isn’t sleeping right?  Make a deal that you will go to sleep with them, or offer to give them a backrub or some other enticement to go to bed. (Although this might get old, so you’ll have to think of something else.)

I know it may be hard for you to treat your loved one this way (making deals), and you may not like doing it. But I can tell you from experience that it IS effective! Why don’t you try this idea and let me know how it goes – I love success stories!

Current Bipolar News


Sorry the news is late. I was out of town yesterday.

To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

California Bipolar Foundation Seeds Huge NIMH Grant

DO> WOW, incredible they got this, isn’t it?

“Take Your Medicine” Kids Brochures Embarrass British Health Service

DO> What do you think of this?

Teen stress masks illness

DO> Great article for parents

New bipolar disorder research from PF Bell et al outlined

DO> It’s great that more research is being done

FDA Approves Abilify for Children with Autism

DO> Great article

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? It’s In The Small Things and Happy Thanksgiving


How are you today?

I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving if  you celebrate it. I am actually visiting family in Texas today and have a limited internet connection.

I kind of have to make this short, okay, so here we go…

Think about these things:

  • A dollar is made of 100 pennies.
  • A year is made up of 12 months.
  • A week is made up of 7 days.
  • A career is made up of doing a good job over a period of weeks/years.
  • A car is made up of all of its parts.
  • A house is made up of several rooms.
  • A family is made up of several members.
  • A degree is made up of the courses taken to get it.

I’m sure you can think of some examples of your own. But you get the idea, right?

Have you ever heard the expression: “The whole is made up of the sum of its parts”?

It’s like stability with bipolar disorder. It’s made up of the sum of the parts that you go through to achieve it (and maintain it). In my courses/systems, I strongly suggest having plans of what to do in case things happen, like an episode, losing insurance, etc. Taking care of a small plan can avoid having a bigger problem later.

In other words, success is in the small things. Or, I should say, in the case of bipolar disorder, stability is made up of the small things done consistently over a period of time.

Here are some examples:

1.    Taking medication
Your loved one needs to take their medication each and every day, and eventually their moods
should even out.

2.    Seeing a therapist
Progress is only made in therapy if you attend all your sessions.  (Although you also have to be a willing participant in your own therapy, that is important, too.)

3.    Seeing a doctor
It’s important to have those shorter term general health exams than to have to deal later with a big physical problem.

4.    Seeing a psychiatrist
Your psychiatrist is the one who tracks and prescribes medications.  Your loved one needs to go to each visit, so that the psychiatrist can determine if their medication is working or, if it isn’t, trying something else.

5.    Being a part of a support group
A support group is made up of the sum of its members.  They help each other deal with the issues surrounding bipolar disorder.

6.    Asking for help from your support system
Your support system is made up of a number of people.  Each person has something to offer you in the way of help.  Tell them what you need.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

7.    Good sleep
A night’s sleep is made up of the hours in it.  Your loved one must have at least 8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep each night to stay stable.

8.    Exercise
Exercise is made up of all the things you do in an exercise session – whether it’s using equipment, or dumbbells, or just walking (made up of steps).

9.    A healthy diet
A diet is made up of each meal you eat.  If you take care of each day’s meals, and you are eating healthy meals at that, you should stay in good health.

10.    Having a good life (in spite of having bipolar disorder)
A good life consists of a lot of things.  Everybody’s different, so I can’t state specifically what would make up a good life for you.  What I can state in general is that if you do all the above things, as well as other things that make you feel good about yourself and lead to stability, you will have a good life.

It’s all in the small things.  Tend to what you need to on a daily basis, and eventually the reward will be stability with bipolar disorder.

What are some of your “small things” that your life (stability) is made of? Any suggestions that might help someone else?

Dealing With Bipolar Disorder? Thanksgiving Sale


We have having a HUGE Thanksgiving Sale. 50% percent off the ENTIRE Bipolar Central catalog.

There are tons of resources and courses.

From now until Monday, November 30, 2009, order anything from the catalog site located at:

And receive 50% off your entire order.

Just enter promo code “thanks1126” on the order form to see immediate savings. Please note that this does not apply to shipping and sales tax (if applicable).

Have a great day.


P.S. If you are from outside the US, Thanksgiving is a US based holiday. Run a search in google if you would like more information on it.

Bipolar Supporter? You Can Feel Better if You Do This


How are you today?

I hope you’re having a great day.

Today I want to talk about something you can do to make yourself feel better.

And that is self-esteem.

Self-esteem is how you view yourself.

How you value yourself.

How you believe you come across to others.

If you have poor self-esteem, you will not feel very good about yourself.

But if you have good self-esteem, you WILL feel good about yourself.

Good self-esteem will help you cope and deal better not only with your loved one’s bipolar disorder, but with your life in general.

For example, at a job:

A person with low self-esteem will probably not get promoted, because they will not be very assertive…

May not think they have good ideas…

May be somewhat shy…

May not think they’re good enough, etc.

While someone with good self-esteem will be just the opposite.

They will be the one who gets promotions at work, because:

6. They are self-confident

7. They believe they have good ideas

8. They will get along well with others

9. They will be outgoing

10. They will believe in themselves

Among other things, you need to have good self-esteem to be a good supporter for a loved one with bipolar disorder, like I teach in my courses/systems:







If you don’t have good self-esteem, negative things will happen.

You will not be a positive person.

You will not be optimistic about your loved one’s recovery from bipolar disorder.

You will not be the best supporter you can be.

You will not have a good social life.

You may struggle with family relations.

You may even become depressed, and then you won’t be able to help your loved one or your family.

See, a lot depends on how you see yourself.

It’s very important that you have a good self-image.

A good self-image promotes good self-esteem.

There are several ways to improve your self-esteem.

Here are some suggestions:

11. Do things you are good at doing.

12. Do things that make you feel good.

13. Have some good friends.

14. Maintain good family relations.

15. Take up a hobby that interests you.

16. Help other people.

17. Try to be as positive a person as you

can be.

18. Take things one day (one problem)

at a time.

19. Don’t dwell on the past or mistakes

you’ve made.

20. Be optimistic about the future.

If you have poor self-esteem, using some of these suggestions will help you improve it.

The better your self-esteem is, the better you will be in your role as a


Do you have any suggestions on how to improve your self-esteem?

What are they?

Bipolar Supporter? Let Go Of These


How are you doing?

I was thinking about today’s topic because I was thinking about how some people stay sick no matter how good the medication is.

That’s why therapy is so very important a part of treatment for bipolar disorder, so your loved one can get things out in the open, like their thoughts and feelings – then look at them objectively and change them if needed, or at least understand them.

Usually, however, supporters don’t have the same opportunity.

Although getting your own therapist is something I advise in my courses/systems as a way for you to deal with your own problems surrounding your loved one’s bipolar disorder.







There are TWO things you need to get rid of:

3. Resentments

4. Unrealistic Expectations

Some people hold resentments inside for so long that they get ulcers over it.

Others hold resentments against people and are stressed every time they’re around them, even though the other person has no idea of the resentment.

Resentments eat you alive from the inside and can cause physical problems on the outside.

Like, for example, the ulcers I was just talking about.

But you can also get headaches (migraines), body aches, indigestion, anxiety and even insomnia.

There are two ways to get rid of resentments:

3. Confront the person

4. Let go of the resentment

Like I said earlier, usually the person you resent has absolutely no idea that you resent them at all, much less WHY you resent them.

So one way of getting rid of resentments is to confront the person and get it out in the open.

The other way is to just simply let go of the resentment.

This may be a little hard for some people to do.

Especially if they’re used to holding onto resentments for a long period of time.

But if I told you that you could get really, really sick if you did just one thing, wouldn’t you want to listen and stop doing that one thing?

Well, I am telling you that you MUST let go of your resentments.

Resentments are like emotional poison, toxic to your system.

They can make you sick, both physically and mentally.

I have a friend who hated her ex-husband so much that it was eating her up inside – literally making her sick with stomach problems.

But there was NO way she was going to confront him with it.

She knew she had to let the resentment go, though, but didn’t know how.

Her therapist told her to think of just one instance where her ex-husband had shown her a kindness.

Then every time she felt resentful, she was to replace that resentful thought with the thought of the kindness he had shown her.

Eventually, she was able to let go of her resentment, and her stomach problems vanished!

The other thing you need to let go of is unreasonable expectations.

Maybe you’ve heard at a support group meeting that somebody’s loved one is doing really great with their bipolar disorder, managing it perfectly, and living a normal life.

You may feel a little jealous, thinking why isn’t your loved one that way?

This is an unrealistic expectation.

Recovery from bipolar disorder is a process. The other person’s loved one may just be further along in the process than your loved one, that’s all.

But you need to be realistic about your loved one’s progress.

Don’t compare them to anyone else.

Being realistic means that you expect that there WILL be set-backs on the road to recovery.

Being realistic means not expecting your loved one to be like someone who doesn’t have bipolar disorder.

Being realistic means that you must be patient in the meantime, as recovery is a process, and every process takes time.

If you can get rid of your resentments and your unrealistic expectations, you will feel so much better!

Have you found yourself holding onto your resentments?

Do you have unrealistic expectations of your loved one?

Current Bipolar News


To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

First proclamation in support of Mental Health initiative in the state of Tennessee issued

DO> Do you agree with this bill?

Bipolar Medication Doesn’t Impact Cognitive Performance

DO> VERY interesting article, don’t you think?

New guidebook on how to manage bipolar symptoms

DO> Sounds like a great book. Going to try to interview


MedicAlert expands to help the bipolar

DO> Interesting article.

Dr. Gott: Know signs of bipolar disorder

DO> You all should know already, right 🙂

No psychiatrist nearby? Turn on the screen

DO> What do you think of this concept?

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,


Dealing With Bipolar? What If This Were Up To You?


How’s it going?

I hope you’re doing fine.

What if the war were up to you?

I’m sure you would choose peace instead.

What if your financial situation were up to you?

I’m sure you’d choose financial stability.

What if your problems were up to you?

I’m sure you’d choose not to have any.

What if your loved one’s bipolar disorder were up to you?

I’m sure you would choose for them not to have it.

Unfortunately, in this life there are some things we have control over, and others that we don’t.

Some things we have to trust.

You have to trust that our President is doing the right thing to win the war.

You have to trust that, even though you’d rather not have them, that your problems have solutions to them.

You have to trust that if you work hard enough and are watchful over your finances, that you will have financial stability.

Only there’s something you deal with on a daily basis that you don’t have control over.

You do NOT have control over the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder.

But you DO have control over how you deal with it.

That’s what my courses/systems are all about. Learning how to cope and deal with bipolar disorder.







If it were up to you, what would your life be like?

I’m sure you’d choose that your loved one would never have another bipolar episode.

I’m sure you’d choose that you wouldn’t have any problems.

And I’m sure you’d choose that your life would be a happy one.

But a happy life does NOT mean the absence of problems.

It means that you cope and deal with the problems that face you, and you succeed IN SPITE OF


That’s how it is with bipolar disorder, too.

You and your loved one can still have a happy life in spite of the fact that they have bipolar disorder.

When the disorder is under control, like when the bipolar symptoms are successfully being managed by medication, for instance, you and your loved one can enjoy long periods of stability.

You don’t have to let bipolar disorder steal your happiness.

Happiness is a choice.

That IN SPITE OF what comes against you, you will still be happy.

Nobody is without problems.

Everybody has them.

But there is a satisfaction that comes from having solved a problem.

And each one makes you stronger.

You can choose the same thing with bipolar disorder.

You can choose to wallow in self-pity and wish your life were different…


You can choose to be happy IN SPITE OF it.

It’s your choice.

What choice are YOU making?

Dealing with Bipolar? This Can Make You Stronger


I hope you’re doing well today.

There’s a saying that goes, “Anything that doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.”

Now, here’s the thing about bipolar disorder that I tell people all the time:

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease with no cure (yet), but it is not a death sentence.

Some people feel like it is.

I feel sorry for these people, because they just “roll over and play dead.”

Then they don’t learn about the disorder or how to manage it. It manages them instead.

They think having bipolar disorder is the worst thing that could have ever happened to them.

I get quite a few negative responses like that.

But here’s one that encouraged me:


I never asked for my husband to have

bipolar disorder. Of course, he didn’t

ask for it, either. It wasn’t his fault.

Nevertheless, there it is, right smack

dab in the middle of our lives, with no

escape. But you know, I’m actually

grateful. It could have been worse, it

could have been cancer or something.

At least bipolar disorder won’t kill him,

and I still have my husband.

I think it’s how you look at it. We choose

to look at it like the glass is half full, and

try to find the positive things about it.

Like, he is much more aware of his health

because of his bipolar disorder. We make

sure he eats a healthy diet, exercises, and

keeps a good sleep schedule.

We go to a support group, so he can be with

others struggling with the same things that

he is (and so can I). We are close with our

families, so they are part of his support system


And we both monitor his moods, are careful

of his triggers, and watch for signs and

symptoms of an episode. And of course, he

sees a psychiatrist and a therapist who can tell,

too. We’ve been able to avoid much more

serious episodes this way.

I can’t really say we’re used to his bipolar

disorder, because how can you ever really get

used to it? But we have learned to accept that

this is something he has and will have for the

rest of his life, and it’s something we battle


I think my husband’s bipolar disorder has

actually made him stronger. With his medication,

he is very stable, and is very productive. He

helps me around the house, and he also does

volunteer work, which makes him feel good

about himself. We also believe that the disorder

itself makes him more creative, so that really

helps with us solving problems and other stuff.

I’m not saying that we like the fact that he

has bipolar disorder, but it has united us, and

I do believe it has made us both stronger,

fighting this battle together. Anyway, thanks

for listening. Barbara.”


Wow. What a testimonial about the positive side of bipolar disorder.

Bet you didn’t think there was one, huh?

I usually hear the opposite, people talking about how difficult it is, but that’s why I wanted to share this with you.

Bipolar disorder can make you stronger, just like Barbara was saying in her comments.

It’s all in how you look at it – you can look at it as something that ruins your life and makes you miserable, or you can do like she said – accept it.

How you or your loved one looks at the disorder has a lot to do with whether they will get stable, like I point out in my courses/systems:







When you accept something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you just lay down and take it.

Especially when it comes to something like bipolar disorder.

But acceptance is necessary when it comes to the disorder and the fight for stability.

Here’s the thing though –

Just because you accept it doesn’t mean you have to like it.

I’m not saying that. Obviously, nobody is going to like having the disorder.

But if you accept it like Barbara and her husband do, you can do things to battle it.

I think they have the right attitude, don’t you?