Current Bipolar News


What’s new? Hope you are doing well.

To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

What’s A Mental Disorder? Even Experts Can’t Agree
DO> Do you think this is crazy or what?

Pregnant Female Veterans Twice as Likely to Suffer Mental Health Problems
DO> Very interesting and strange at the same time, don’t you agree?

Sports and Mental Illness: How Bipolar Disorder Can Affect Athletic Performance
DO> WOW, this is very interesting, take a look.

1 In 10 Teens Think Mental Illness Is ‘fashionable’
DO> What do you think about 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? What Works?

Hi, how’s it going? Hope you are doing well.

I know a woman who is a single mother who works at home. She has had a lot of difficulty in the past coming up with ideas for babysitting. The people that would have normally helped her out didn’t believe she needed it since she worked at home.

But she couldn’t focus on her work with a screaming toddler running around getting into things. If you have dealt with children very much, you will probably understand what I’m talking about.

So I helped her come up with a plan to figure out how she was going to cope. She swapped babysitting with some of her other friends who had children. She found a public play room that she could go work at while her son played. She found a babysitter who was willing to work for cheaper than the average going rate, and we determined that she could afford to pay her as long as she made sure she got her work done.

All in all, we found a babysitting plan that would work for her. It took a lot of time, ideas, and effort to make it work. It was very stressful on her. But in the long run it was worth it. She had almost lost her job at one point because of this, but now her job was going strong.

It’s the same sort of thing when you’re trying to find a treatment plan that works for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment plan. What works for you won’t work for John down the street. But when you find the treatment plan that will work for you, it will be worth the hassle.

It may be stressful in the meantime. That’s just a price that you have to pay to obtain stability. The process of finding a treatment plan that will work for you is more trial and error than anything else.

You have to experiment with other people’s suggestions and ideas you come across to find out if any of them will work for you. You can use many of the suggestions that I provide in my various services, but let’s face it, not every single one will work for you. I’m hoping a lot of them will, though. And chances are you’ll find some very valuable information in them – that’s why I write them. But until you find out if they work for you, they do you no good.

Make sure that whatever you experiment with is safe before you try it out. If someone gives you a suggestion that seems off the wall, then talk to your therapist about it and see what they have to say. If they say that it’s a bad idea, then chances are you should follow your gut instinct and steer clear. If they think it’s a good idea, then you might try it – cautiously. If they’re not sure, then be extremely careful if you do decide to try it.

Make sure that your supporters are behind you every step of the way, and make sure that you keep communication with them open. Despite any frustration you may come across in the meantime, you will know that it was all worth it when you are living recovery.

What are your thoughts on this?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Disorder and Lying


Boy, did I open up a can of worms when I wrote about whether or not someone with bipolar disorder is lying or not! I received more responses than I could possibly answer! I also learned a lot from you, and from your own situations.

One point that really interested me, because it was made several times, was the fact that you say that to the person with bipolar disorder it isn’t a lie, because when they say it, they believe it.

I was talking to Michele (who works for me) about that point, because she does have bipolar disorder, and she said that it’s like when her boys were little, and they would tell her a lie, but then they would say it was a lie, and then say, “Well, it’s not a lie if I tell you it’s a lie, right?”

That’s what this reminds me of. But how do we know when the person is lying or not? They aren’t little any more, like Michele’s small sons, are they?

Or are they? When someone is in a bipolar episode, they do tend to seem somewhat childish, don’t they? Or at least some of them do.

I have interviewed some people for my courses, and they have described this behavior in their

loved ones. I have also interviewed parents with children who describe this lying behavior in their children and teenagers.

I have talked about bipolar disorder and lying before, and have made the point that the person with the disorder should not “get away with” the behavior:

But what we’re talking about here is when this behavior is seen in an adult with bipolar disorder.

And what we’re really talking about is making them be responsible for their behavior. That’s what we really want. That they should take responsibility for their behavior, especially if it involves lying.

That’s what a lot of the responses I got were about. There are a lot of angry people out there, whose loved one tells lies, hurting you and others with their lies. Lots of the responses were like that.

It’s not so much that they lie, but that they get away with it. That’s what makes you so angry, isn’t it? That’s what made me so angry with my mom, anyway. That she got away with it. She would do all the yelling, manipulating, and lying, and I would get all the blame, and be the one left to “clean up after” her. I hated that. And I didn’t think it was fair. It really made me angry and resentful. And it hurt a lot.

I think a lot of you out there are really feeling hurt, more than anything else. And the worst part is that your loved one goes along not even knowing that they’ve hurt you at all!

In my research, I found that it is very common that a person with bipolar disorder will not remember what they said or did when in a bipolar episode, after the episode is over. I usually urge people not to take it personally, and that’s why.

Lying is one of the biggest complaints that bipolar supporters have about their loved ones.

I hear about it all the time, at the support groups I attend, in emails and calls I receive, from people who talk to me, from people who write to me, etc.

And, like I said, I think it boils down to two things: The hurt it causes. And the fact that they are getting away with it.

So what can you do about it? You have to make your loved one take responsibility for their actions. Whether they remember it or not, they must take responsibility for the behavior they did during their bipolar episode. And there need to be consequences to pay for lying or not owning up to responsibilities.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar – Can You Tell?


I was thinking about something today. I was thinking that I have several people who work for me who have bipolar disorder, and how I always brag on them, about how you would never know that they have the disorder, unless they told you. They tell me, too, that when it comes to

being around other people, that others would never know that they have bipolar disorder either unless they told them. It just doesn’t come up.

Of course, I live in New Jersey, and they live in other places, all over the map. But I was wondering about what they look like in person. I mean, not their looks, but whether in person, that you can or can’t tell that they have bipolar disorder. So that made me think about you and your loved ones.

If there’s over 6 million people with bipolar disorder, chances are that you know more than

just your loved one with the disorder. Can you tell or can you NOT tell just by looking,

if someone has bipolar disorder or not? I mean, what does someone with bipolar disorder

actually look like? Interesting question, don’t you think?

See, what made me think about it, too, was the many emails I’ve gotten from people like

you, asking me about whether “it” is the bipolar or the loved one, and about whether they are “faking” it or not. That’s been a real big issue, according to the emails and calls that I’ve gotten.

So I give it to you. What do you think? What has been your experience? Can you tell just by looking, if your loved one has bipolar disorder or not? If so, what is it about their behavior that gives them away? For those of you who can’t tell, what is it about your loved one’s behavior that is different, that doesn’t give them away?

This is what I think – that the difference in people is that some are high-functioning and some are not, at least by what the people who work for me are concerned, this is what makes them different.

High-functioning behavior can make a person with bipolar disorder NOT stand out as someone with the disorder. Does that make sense?

Whereas, on the other hand, someone who has bipolar disorder, but is NOT high functioning, would be someone who you can tell DOES have bipolar disorder.

I have seen this firsthand – in the people who work for me, those I have interviewed for my courses, those who I have talked to at the support groups I attend, and others I have heard from via email and phone.

I’d like to say that everyone with bipolar disorder can be high-functioning. Unfortunately, not everyone can… But I believe that a majority of them can. They have to try really hard, though.

They have to take their medication religiously, go to all their appointments with their doctors,

psychiatrists, and therapists, eat a healthy diet, exercise, keep a good sleep schedule, stick to

a good treatment plan, have a good strong support system that they go to for help, be productive, and do all the other things they need to do to stay stable. And they need to do all these things for the long term.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: This Isn’t What You Think


If you are in a relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder, there are many feelings you can feel; some of them even negative ones. For example: bitterness, resentment, hostility, anger, and even revenge.

If you have these feelings, you may think that you are making your loved one “pay” for what

they’ve done to you that has caused you hurt. But if you are “stuffing” these feelings, or holding

onto them for a long time, you can be doing more harm to yourself than to your loved one.

If you stuff your feelings, and are not able to communicate them, they can not only affect you emotionally and mentally, but they can affect you physically as well.

You need to get out your feelings and stop stuffing them. If you cannot communicate these negative thoughts and feelings with your loved one, maybe you can with someone else, such as

a close friend or family member, or clergy person. If not, maybe just writing these thoughts and

feelings in a journal would help you.

Some supporters who are having problems communicating negative feelings with their loved one have sought out their own therapist and have found that has helped them.

Otherwise, if you keep stuffing your thoughts and feelings, and don’t take one of these suggestions, you may feel the physical manifestations of stuffed feelings, such as:

• insomnia

• migraines

• ulcers

• stomach problems

• body aches and pains

• etc.

One of the biggest things you need to take care of isn’t what you think it is at all, surprisingly.

It’s forgiveness.

I bet you thought forgiveness is a feeling, but it’s not. Actually, forgiveness is a decision.

It is a decision to let your loved one free of the hurt they caused you.

No, it isn’t like a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card where you relieve them of the responsibility of what they did that hurt you or justifying their actions.

There is a difference between forgiving them and forgiving what they did. You can forgive the person without forgiving the act.

Do you get that?

You can forgive your loved one without forgiving what they did to hurt you.

Forgiving is not necessarily forgetting. You may never forget what happened that hurt you. But that’s ok. You can still forgive your loved one and not forgive the act. Forgiveness is a decision, remember. If you forgive them, it’s not a matter of relieving them of the responsibility for what they did, it’s a matter of making peace with it – of having a sense of peace within yourself that you desperately need in order to get past it. If you can get past it (even if you still remember it), you can get on with your life. The way to do this is to forgive your loved one.

Again, though you may not be able to forgive the act, you can choose to forgive the person (your loved one). Make a decision to forgive your loved one. You may not feel the feeling right away, but at least you can make the decision. And the peace will follow. Eventually the memory will fade. Or at least the sting of the memory will fade. This will come with time.

There is a saying that “Time heals all wounds.” It would be good to heed that saying. Or at least to hope that it comes true!

It all starts with the decision to forgive.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Current Bipolar News


What’s new? Hope you are doing well. I am sending this out on Monday because the holidays got me all messed up.

Anyway, to read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

Illness, Injury or Surgery – The Effect on Bipolar Disorder
DO> Very interesting article, take a look.

Are Clinicians too Quick to Diagnose Bipolar Illness in Children?
DO> What do you think?

MRI shows dysfunction in bipolar, ADHD patients
DO> Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Police Urged to get Training Dealing with the Mentally Ill
DO> Of course, doesn’t this make sense?

Calls Renewed to Force Treatment on Mentally Ill
DO> Do you agree with this?

Blackwell on Health: Universities Grapple with Tide of Mentally Ill
DO> Do you think they are doing enough?

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 – To Tell or Not to Tell


Just by the very nature of the work that I do, working with people who have bipolar disorder and their supporters, people talk to me about all kinds of things related to bipolar disorder.

Like how to get their loved ones to take their medications, or how to get their loved ones to seek treatment, and that kind of thing.

But one thing they ask me about as well is whether they should tell people that their loved one has bipolar disorder or not. I tell people that it is a personal decision whether to tell people or not, as there are advantages and disadvantages to telling or not telling.

I recently read a book by Hilary Smith called “Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar But Were Too Freaked Out to Ask.” It was a really good book written by a young author with bipolar disorder.

In the book, she discusses whether or not you should tell people you have bipolar disorder.

I like the way she puts it. She says: “Being open and well-informed about bipolar yourself will make it much easier for your friends and family to be open and well-informed too. If they have pre-conceptions of or biases against mental illness, talking about it will help them realize where and how they’re wrong.”

That’s one thing we agree upon – being well-informed yourself. That’s one thing I’m always telling people, and why I’ve written so many courses teaching people all about bipolar disorder.

I think it’s important to have the right information and to be well-informed. That way you know how to inform other people, should you decide to tell them. You will have the right answers to

whatever they might ask you.

Hilary goes on to say: “You can’t force people to understand, but you can leave the door open.”

I really like that line, because it addresses the stigma that still comes against bipolar disorder.

We can’t help that some people, usually uninformed people, still hold a stigma against people with a mental illness in general, and bipolar disorder specifically. Unfortunately, it’s up to us to

educate them (should you decide to).

You can’t make them understand, like Hilary says, but you can arm them with the facts and let them draw their own conclusions.

Here’s what Hilary says about telling the people you care most about: “Getting diagnosed with bipolar is a great opportunity to become a more open person, a more honest person, a more caring person. Having all these people care about you makes you realize how much you value them – and how much you can return their love. If you can be open about bipolar, you can be

open about other touchy things.”

She talks about telling them about having bipolar as a sign of your love for them. Undoubtedly, they already know that something is wrong anyway. They’ve probably already noticed different behavior in you or your loved one. Perhaps even commented on the mood swings.

Of course, it is still your decision whether you tell them about having bipolar disorder, but honesty is usually the best policy, and you don’t have to worry about hiding things any more.

Your Friend,


Bipolar? You May Not Know the Reason for This


I got this email, and I wanted to share it with you, because the answer will show you something very important.

Dear Dave,

I’ve been depressed for three weeks now, and I’m starting to get really scared. I’m afraid I’m going into a depressed episode. The thing is, I have nothing to be depressed over – I’m basically

really happy with my life. Nothing’s wrong that I can figure out. No reason for me to be so depressed. So why am I still so down? Also, even though I’m sleeping, like, 10 hours a night, I’m exhausted all the time! What do you think is going on? What should I do?


The reason I chose this email to answer is that I don’t think this is so uncommon. Sometimes people with bipolar disorder CAN get depressed with seemingly no cause for the depression.

That’s because of the chemical imbalance itself. The chemicals just flare up at times with no trigger.

Most times, we can point to a trigger as a cause for a bipolar episode, though. When you get depressed, like the person in the email, the first thing you should do is look for a trigger, and usually you will find one. But still there may be times when you just can’t find one. Those are the times when you just have to accept that, like you learned in the beginning, bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance of the brain, and sometimes those chemicals are just going to fire off on their own.

Finding out what causes a bipolar episode sometimes is a process of elimination.

Like I said, first you look for a trigger. So, say, you go to your therapist first, and the two of you try to figure out if there was something emotionally that set you off that maybe you missed.

Second, you look for something physical. Like the person in the email was saying, about how they felt exhausted all the time. There can be physical causes that can make you go into an episode – like drinking too much water can deplete your body of sodium and potassium, confusing your mind. Or dehydrating your body if you don’t drink enough fluids. Or a thyroid condition. And there are others.

So the next place you should check should be with your doctor, because they may be able to find something you don’t know about physically that could cause an episode.

Third, it could be your medications. For this you go to your psychiatrist. You may have been on the same medications for a long period of time, and they may not be working as well any more, or maybe one of them is out of whack. You may need a dosage adjustment, or to even to change medications. Only your psychiatrist will know what to do, and can advise you what to do about that. Then they can make an adjustment in your medications that can bring you out of your

episode, if that is the cause. Even if it isn’t the cause, they can still prescribe medications to help. The point is that they can work with you to get to the bottom of the cause of your episode.

Fourth, there can be other causes. Like isolation. Isolation itself can be a trigger to a bipolar

episode. If you isolate yourself, if you are alone too much, it can cause you to go into a depression, and too much depression leads to a bipolar depressive episode. If you are alone with your thoughts, with no check and balance to control them, those thoughts can get out of control, and can even become irrational thoughts. If you have no one around you, or no one that you visit or who visits you, you have no way to check and make sure that your thoughts are rational thoughts. Irrational thoughts lead to a bipolar episode as well.

So there are many things that can trigger an episode seemingly “out of the blue.”

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Does Bipolar Come Along With This?


I got this email and wanted to share it with you:

“I have a question/comment. Dave, you mention that bipolar disorder comes along with rages in several different blogs you have posted. I find this difficult to digest. I have never accepted the raging and abusing. It is simply not healthy for the family, as it affects the atmosphere of a home and makes the nervous system of the family members very unstable !

Someone with bipolar should be held to the same standards as someone without bipolar. We cannot walk in an AT&T store and rage and threaten and get away with it, nor would we want to. We cannot throw chairs and typewriters or get up in peoples faces, just because we feel like it, yet you write that with bipolar this is part of it. Perhaps no-one has held the bipolar person accountable for their destructive behavior. It is not normal and the minute we accept it as “well they have rages” it is us who have gone crazy.

Intolerable behavior should never be allowed, especially when it is used to manipulate you with. Family members can only take so much crap from one person. And another thing, there is a huge difference in someone who has bipolar and has episodes but realizes how they behave and wants to change their behavior or take the medications that hold that behavior in check. It is completely different when a person with bipolar et al, refuses to acknowledge how their behavior affects other people around them.

It is not normal to rage. It is not normal to verbally abuse just for sport. And it should not be tolerated in the name of “oh well, they are bipolar” or whatever. The behavior is stuck below 5 years old and that is the awful truth. You cannot have an adult relationship with someone who

behaves like a pre-kindergartener !”


First of all, let me say that I agree with this person. Now, that may sound contradictory, since I have said what they said I did at the beginning of their email, so let me defend myself here. I have said in certain blog posts that bipolar does come with rages. Manic rages. I’m talking about manic episodes here. And it does not happen to everyone, just to many people.

Now that I’ve got that straight, let me continue.

Much of what this person said in their email can be typical of a person in a bipolar manic rage.

They can fly off the handle over seemingly nothing. They can throw a tantrum in a store. They can embarrass you in public.

But one thing I think this person is missing that I do tell people about is that you have to set limits and boundaries. You have to decide what is tolerable and what is intolerable behavior and then set limits and boundaries on what you will take. Then you have to set up consequences for intolerable behavior.

The person who wrote the email talked about the loved one’s behavior being stuck below that of a 5 year old. So, basically, you treat them like one. If your 5 year old threw a tantrum in a store, what would you do? Would you tolerate the behavior? Or would there be consequences for the behavior because it is intolerable behavior? Then gradually they learn not to repeat the behavior,

don’t they?

It’s the same thing with your loved one. That’s what limits, boundaries, and consequences are

for. And if they do their job, eventually your loved one will stop doing intolerable behavior and will learn to act like an adult, like anyone without bipolar disorder would act. Like the person in the email said, about holding the loved one to the same standards as anyone who does not have bipolar disorder.

They also point out that there is a huge difference in someone who has bipolar disorder but realizes that they have this behavior and need to change it and someone who doesn’t see a need to change their behavior. You can work with the one who sees that they need to change their behavior. The other one is not ready yet.

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:

Failure of GPs to screen for bipolar is ‘deadly’
DO> Wow, what do you think of this article?

More bipolar tests could save lives
DO> Do you agree?

‘It was a black hole that I recognised’: A bipolar disorder sufferer recalls …
DO> Wow this is an interesting article, don’t you think?

Why you should not shy away from mental health issues
DO> I agree do you?

Bipolar Disorder Under-Diagnosed or Not?
DO> What do you think?

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,