Bipolar: When Enough is Not Enough


Let me ask you something: When is enough not enough? In other words, do you sometimes

feel like you’re giving all you can, but it’s still not enough? Do you sometimes feel like it’s

not fair?

That’s what Mark told me about his wife Dianne one day while I was working out at the gym.

You see, Dianne has bipolar disorder, and Mark is her main supporter. Usually, Dianne is pretty good about taking her medication, going to see her doctor, and doing all the other things to keep her bipolar in check. And usually, she treats Mark pretty good. But sometimes, she gets in these

awful moods, Mark was telling me, and then she takes them out on him.

She doesn’t go into a full-blown episode or anything, but it’s like she just has a “bad day,” and just doesn’t act like herself. Then, no matter what he does, no matter how much compassion he

shows her, it’s just not enough. She gets really angry, for example. Taking it out on him, Mark gets on the defensive, and before you know it, they’re in a fight. He usually doesn’t even know what they’re even fighting about, but there you have it – they certainly are fighting!

And sometimes Mark can’t control his temper, so even though he knows he shouldn’t fight back, he does it anyway, which just makes matters worse, because Dianne just gets madder and the fight just goes on. But then Mark tries to end the fight, even admits he was wrong, and Dianne just keeps fighting. No matter what Mark does, it’s not good enough. She’s just in this bad mood, and she just keeps taking it out on him!

He says that it’s just so frustrating for him. He tries to show love and compassion for her, but it’s like it’s not good enough when she gets like this. He just doesn’t know what to do when she gets like this, so he was asking for my advice.

I’ll be honest, at first I didn’t know what to say. Then I explained to him that sometimes a person with bipolar disorder is going to have a bad bipolar day. That’s just going to happen sometimes.

It’s just really tough when they take it out on you. And, unfortunately, sometimes that will happen as well.

Because when we’re not at our best, we tend to take it out on the person closest to us, and for someone with bipolar disorder, that’s their supporter. I explained to Mark that it doesn’t mean

that Dianne doesn’t love him, or that she is even doing this on purpose, but that it’s part of her disorder.

Sometimes, when someone with bipolar disorder has a “bad bipolar day,” they take it out on those around them. They just aren’t themselves. However, this can leave their supporter

feeling like no matter how much they do, no matter how much compassion they show, that it’s just not enough. What I told Mark is the same thing I’ll tell you: Don’t take it personally. It’s just a bad day. They happen.

Try to keep your loved one separate from their disorder and remember what they’re like when they’re not manifesting symptoms of their disorder, and try to have more patience with them than usual.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Current Bipolar News


What’s new? Hope you are doing well.

To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

Glenn Close on mental illness: ‘Say it out loud’
DO> Do you agree with this?

Who is Bipolar? Learn the difference between mood swings and the disorder…
DO> Very interesting article, take a look.

Teen stress doubles depression risk in adult life
DO> WOW, did you know this?

Visiting Astra Zenecas “Bipolar Journey” exhibit…
DO> Do you think this sounds good?

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 Supporter? How Do You Really Feel?


You know, there are a lot of people in therapy today for stuffing their feelings. Do you know what stuffing your feelings is? It’s when you’re afraid or unwilling to share or to show your feelings, so you keep them to yourself, shoving them down inside yourself, keeping them hidden, unshared.

This can be dangerous. If you stuff your feelings, they can sit there and fester and eventually boil up to the surface and come out in all kinds of negative ways. For example, this is one of the places that rage comes from. Violence comes from keeping things in for too long a time until they just explode from inside you too.

The point is that feelings have to be shared. If you just stuff them, you can make yourself sick as well. Holding things in for too long without expression can make stress build up inside you and you can develop ulcers, migraine headaches, insomnia, and other physical ailments.

Again, you need to share your feelings. But in order to share them, you need to know: How do you really feel?

Too many bipolar supporters get used to putting on a certain “face” before their loved one, trying to show that they’re strong, that they can take it, that they’re being supportive and understanding, that they never get angry or resentful. When the opposite could be their true feelings.

It’s normal for a bipolar supporter to get angry. You can get angry at the bipolar disorder for

making your loved one act the way that they do, or for making your life the way that it is. You might resent your loved one for staying in bed all day sleeping while you have to go off to work to support both of you. You could get angry that in their last bipolar episode, they spent all your financial savings, and now you have to start saving all over again.

You might feel envious that your other friends do not have the same problems that you have, all because your loved one has bipolar disorder. Maybe you feel lonely because even though your loved one is in the house with you, they are no longer the companion they were before they began suffering the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Perhaps you even feel shame and guilt for feeling these feelings. Then let me tell you what someone once told me: “Feelings are neither right nor wrong – They just ARE.”

What you are feeling is normal for a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder. Other supporters have shared the very same feelings with me. It’s normal to feel angry and resentful

at your loved one. It’s what you do with those feelings that counts.

Try to talk with them and share how you feel. Don’t be surprised if they already know! Then try to work out how you can work around your feelings so you don’t feel so bad. It’s important that your loved one knows how you feel, especially as it relates to them and their bipolar disorder. Then they might open up and share some of their own feelings.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar? It’s About the Quality


I used to have a friend in school who would get the words quality and quantity mixed up all the time! I just told him to remember that quantity has to do with amount, while quality has to do

with how good something is. Funny thing is, he always got the difference after that!

Today I just want to talk about one of them – QUALITY

Like I told him, quality has to do with how good something is. Or, actually, the opposite can be true as well. Something can have good quality, or it can have bad quality. If you buy your child a toy and that toy breaks all the time, you’d say that toy is of bad quality. If you stay at a motel, and the service was exceptional, you’d say that the hotel was of high quality. See what I mean?

Well, there is also a thing called the quality of life.

Some people, because of the recession, have to struggle really bad right now. They hardly have enough money to pay their bills, much less to put food on the table. These people get their food from food banks and use Food Stamps to help them out. They live in government housing, because they can no longer afford to pay a mortgage payment for a house of their own. They get their clothes from the church hand-me-down store. We’d say, then, that these people have a poor

quality of life.

Well, if you can imagine just the opposite of living like that, you can imagine what living a good quality of life would be. I’m not talking movie stars’ lives or anything, just your average person who has a good quality of life.

I’m talking about that because you shouldn’t let bipolar disorder rob you of a good quality of life. What I’m saying is that it IS possible to support a loved one with bipolar disorder and still have a good quality of life. Many supporters are able to do this. But it does take work, on both your part and your loved one’s part. This is something that you both have to want, enough to put in the effort for it.

In other words, your loved one can’t just lay around sleeping in bed all the time because they are depressed and yet still expect a good quality of life. They have to be active, they have to be

productive, they have to do things, go places, see people, interact with others. You have to be willing to go with them to these places, take them where they need to go, interact with others as well.

You can both do things that you enjoy, either by yourselves, or with each other (or both). Just because your loved one has bipolar disorder does not mean that you have to stay still, stay

at home all the time with the curtains drawn, and not do anything. What a poor quality of life that would be, wouldn’t it?

Within reason, you should be able to do anything you want to do and go anywhere you want to

do, despite the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder. Notice I said “within reason.” That means AS LONG AS they are taking their medication, seeing their medical and mental health professionals, keeping a good sleep schedule, eating right, exercising, staying productive, staying balanced, keeping stress levels at a minimum, etc. In other words, as long as they are doing all the necessary things to maintain their stability with bipolar disorder, nothing should limit them from having a good quality of life, and you right along with them.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: This Is Worth Waiting For


There are some things in life that are worth waiting for… Your high school diploma… Your first car… That special someone… Your first home… Your first child… Retirement… Grandchildren… And many other things.

Some things in life come easy to us… But other things we have to wait for… And it’s usually those things that are worth waiting for.

When it comes to bipolar disorder, stability is one of those things that is worth waiting for.

Sometimes it can be really frustrating as a supporter to wait for your loved one to reach stability.

Sometimes it can seem as if they have always been sick. But it might help you if you picture them as well. Picture them as they will be when they are stable. Try to think of some of the

things you will be able to do together that you aren’t able to do right now. For example, maybe you’ll be able to take that cruise you want to take… Or travel the world… Or just go across the states… Or visit the children (or grandchildren) without fear of an episode…

Maybe things are rough for you right now. Maybe your loved one is sick more often than they

are well. And maybe you’re finding yourself stressed because of it. If that is the case, remember

to take care of yourself first. Make sure to keep your stress levels as low as you can. It also helps to keep your loved one separate from their bipolar disorder. Remember, they are NOT their


Take out an old photograph from before they got sick and look at it. Remind yourself of what they are like when they are not symptomatic. The real person they are outside of their bipolar disorder. Remember who it is that you love. Keep that person in mind when you think of them.

As one supporter said, “I love my wife, but I hate her bipolar disorder.” This man always keeps the two separate. You need to do the same thing.

I know things are hard sometimes, but some things are worth waiting for. Like stability.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: Two Sided Coin


Let me tell you about a friend of mine. This friend of mine never loses a coin toss. Do you know why? He has a special coin. This coin is a two-headed coin! So he can never lose! Ha-ha!

Well, let me tell you about another friend of mine. This is like a two-sided story. But it isn’t funny.

Bill’s mom has bipolar disorder. And she suffers from depression much of the time. And when she does, she can’t even get herself out of bed. She is one of the sad stories. It seems like the doctors can’t ever get her medication right, and even when they can, she forgets to take it half the time. She really struggles with her bipolar disorder.

But let me tell you about the other side of the coin. Bill’s wife, Michele, has bipolar disorder, too.

And I want to tell you about Michele because I think it is important that you hear about a successful person with bipolar disorder.

There was a time when she was not such a good example, however, There was a time when she struggled with her bipolar disorder too. See, Michele wasn’t diagnosed with her bipolar disorder until she was in her forties. So before she was diagnosed, she went through many episodes where

she would be terribly depressed – so depressed that she tried to kill herself five times. Five times!

She would also go into bipolar manic episodes where she would spend excessive amounts of money, sometimes more money than she had, and she went into great credit card debt. She even got married in a manic episode more than once! She had terrible manic episodes. And then she would crash into even worse depressions. This went on for years.

She was even in hospitals and institutions five times for her bipolar episodes, all before she

was finally diagnosed! In fact, she was misdiagnosed so many times that it took until her

forties before she was finally diagnosed correctly, and by then she was really messed up! In fact, by then she was convinced that “they” were going to lock her up forever and throw away the key.

She had no hope for the future.

But finally, she found the right doctor who put her on the right medications, and she started to

stabilize with her bipolar disorder.

Today, Michele is stable, and has been so for many years. She is happily married to her best

friend of ten years, and they have been married for four years now. He is her supporter, and does a great job of it – he has been able to keep her out of the hospital for many years, even when she was close to full-blown bipolar episodes.

You see, Bill is a success story, too. He also has bipolar disorder. But he learned early on how to

manage his disorder, so much so that he is able to take care of not only himself, but a wife and a mother both with bipolar disorder.

Now Bill and Michele run a successful home-based business and live a relatively stress-free life

helping other people with mental illness by sharing their stories of recovery.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: Some Things Take Time


When you were learning to ride a bike, it took time, didn’t it? And when you were going

through school, that took time, too, didn’t it? It took time to get your first car… And your first home… And other things in your life, too, didn’t it? That’s because not everything happens overnight. Some things take time to happen.

Like getting better with bipolar disorder. Stability takes time.

Of course, there are things you can do to help the process along. You can do things like:

Take your medication; See your doctor, psychiatrist and therapist; Build a strong support network; Go to a support group; Keep a good sleep schedule; Eat a healthy diet; Exercise; Stay productive; Keep stress levels low; Stay balanced; Keep a mood chart or journal; Take care of yourself physically; Etc. And basically take care of yourself, meaning meeting all your needs – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

You should also do things that make you feel good. Like have hobbies, and do other things that you enjoy and make you feel good, such as: Reading; Listening to music; Watching TV; Going to the movies; Seeing friends; Visiting with family; Etc.

Having a To-Do list helps you to stay productive. It gives you something to do with your time, and at the end of the day, it makes you feel as if you have accomplished something. It keeps you from being idle, as being idle can lead to depression, and depression can lead to a bipolar depressive episode.

Work is important as well. If you can’t work a full-time job outside the home, maybe you can

work a part-time job or at least consider volunteering your time to a worthy cause. Some people with bipolar disorder have even found success starting a home-based business, where they can work within the limits of their bipolar symptoms.

All these things can lead to bipolar stability, but it takes time, too. The important thing is to know that stability can be achieved.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar? Worried About Loved One


I have a scary story to tell you that someone told me.

Jerry is a supporter to a mom with bipolar disorder. He hadn’t heard from her in a week, and he was worried. It turns out that he had something to be worried about. When he called his mom, he

found out that she had been in bed all week, and had stopped taking all her bipolar medications.

I told you this was a scary story!

When Jerry asked his mom why she stopped taking her medications, she told him she was just “tired of taking all those pills.” That was it! That was her whole reason – that she was tired of taking them! Jerry asked her if she had talked to her doctor, and she said no, that she didn’t want him to know. Well, that’s a red flag right there – that told Jerry that his mom knew what she was doing was wrong. And the fact that she had been in bed for a week was another indication that something was wrong, too.

She said that she was too depressed to get out of bed and do anything. Jerry tried to tell her that was because she wasn’t taking her medication, but she wouldn’t listen to him.

Two days later, Jerry’s mom was in the hospital. Her husband had found her in bed, hysterical, and hallucinating. The staff at the hospital put her back on her medications, and a week later,

she was stable and “normal” (for her).

Jerry had a long talk with his mom after that, about how important it was for her to keep taking her medications as they were prescribed for her. It was easier to get through to her this time, as she did not want to have to repeat the hospital experience.

It’s been several months now, and I saw Jerry the other day and asked him how his mom is doing. He said she is doing great! She is an active part of her bipolar support group, and she is even doing some volunteer work! He said she is more “herself” than ever before, and she seems really happy.

The difference? She is taking her medication on a regular basis now. It’s a shame, though, that it had to take a trip to the hospital to make her become medication compliant.

But that’s what happens to many people with bipolar disorder. They don’t want to take their

medication for various reasons, so they just stop taking it. This is very dangerous, and in

some cases, can even be fatal! In almost all cases, though, it will cause the person to go into

a bipolar episode. Sometimes there will even be hallucinations, like Jerry’s mom had!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: A Tale of Two Cities


Were you one of those people who had to read the book A Tale of Two Cities back in school? Well, today I have A Tale of Two Couples. Both couples are dealing with bipolar disorder. But both couples have different stories.

Bob has bipolar disorder. His wife, Mary, is his supporter. Bob has a hard time managing his

bipolar disorder, and Mary is not much help. You see, Mary holds things against Bob. She doesn’t forgive him for things he does while he is in his bipolar episodes. So things are very strained between them, which makes Bob’s bipolar worse for him. His moods are worse, no matter how hard he tries, even though he is on medication.

He has talked to his psychiatrist about it, but his psychiatrist tells him to talk to his therapist about it. He has talked to his therapist about it, and his therapist has even offered to have a session or two with Mary as well, so they can air out some of their issues. Mary has refused.

She still harbors unforgiveness towards Bob. Bob doesn’t know what to do.

Then there’s Jim and Cecilia. Cecilia has bipolar disorder, and Jim is her primary supporter.

Cecilia went into a very bad manic episode last year, and spent a great deal of money, putting a lot of financial pressure on Jim. At first, Jim was very angry at Cecilia, but then he figured it wasn’t her fault – that if she didn’t have bipolar disorder, she wouldn’t have done what she did.

So he forgave her. They worked through it, and have an even stronger relationship today than they had before.

Jim learned the lesson of forgiveness. Mary could learn a lot from Jim.

If you don’t practice forgiveness, you are blaming your loved one for something that isn’t their fault. Then you have a situation like Bob and Mary have.

Unforgiveness and blame can tear away at relationships where one of the people has bipolar disorder.

In Bob and Mary’s case, Bob has tried to apologize and make up to Mary for what he did when he was in his bipolar episode, but Mary will not forgive him. This has put a great strain on their

relationship. And Mary is not being a very good supporter.

Sometimes it takes a great deal of love and understanding on the part of the bipolar supporter, sometimes more than you think you have. But you do it anyway.

Perhaps if Mary were more able to separate Bob from his bipolar disorder, she would be able to

forgive him for what he did, realizing, like Jim, that he would not have done it if it weren’t for the bipolar disorder.

Separating your loved one from their disorder can help you to cope and deal with the things they do when they are in an episode. It makes it easier to forgive them.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,