This Takes Time with Bipolar


You know, I was thinking of the expression, “Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.” Then I started thinking about how all the things I’ve done well took so much TIME!

Like going to college, right? That took four years! And you know I’m a non-competitive body-

builder, right? Well, it took a long time to look the way I do, and to stay at the weight that I’m at now.

Think about our government leaders – It took time for them to reach the high offices that they’re in now – they didn’t just get there overnight. I’m sure they thought the same thing that I did, that whatever is worth doing is worth doing right, and that those things take TIME.

I even thought about opera singers (I know, and I don’t even like opera!) and how long and hard

they have to train to get their voices to do that. It takes time.

It seems like everything takes time. It takes time for a flower to grow. It takes time for children to grow into adults. It took time for us to get through school. For people with children, it took time to learn to be a parent (that sure doesn’t come easily – I know, because of my goddaughter).

It takes time to learn how to be a good supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder. Growth takes time. Learning takes time. Maturity takes time. Advancement in a job takes time. Saving money takes time. Getting to retirement takes time. Having grandchildren takes time. Growing old takes time.


Yes. Recovery from bipolar disorder takes TIME.

First of all, just getting your loved one to agree to treatment probably took time. It’s important for them to be a part of their own treatment, and this, too, takes time. Even if your loved one is in treatment for the disorder, recovery isn’t going to happen overnight for them.

Hopefully, your loved one has at least admitted that they have bipolar disorder. But even to get to that point can take a great deal of time in itself. For some people with the disorder, it takes time to get over the denial part. Then, they have to acknowledge that they need help, which can take more time. Then, they have to agree to get that help. Which means agreeing to take medication. Along with agreeing to cooperate with therapy, which means agreeing to see their doctor and therapist. And taking their medication. That means being medication and therapy-

compliant, which many people with bipolar disorder are NOT, at first. It takes TIME.

And all this time, they’re hoping that you’ll be patient, understanding, and supportive. Now, being a supporter of that caliber definitely takes time! It definitely isn’t easy, either. Some of this support doesn’t come naturally to us. And sometimes our loved ones don’t make it easy to support them, either. It takes time to understand some of their bipolar behaviors.

Your loved one, even if they are willing and cooperative with their therapy and medication which they’ll need for recovery, will still need time for it to take effect. It will take time. It may take quite a while before you see changes in your loved one.

But hang in there: Recovery just takes TIME.

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:

First Person: Struggling for Normalcy While Living with Bipolar Disorder
DO> How do you feel about this article?

Winning a Race with Mental Illness
DO> Interesting an article

How Seasonal Depression Affects Bipolar Disorder
DO> Great article, take a look.

5 Signs of Common Mental Health Conditions
DO> Great article, look at these signs.

European Court: Right to Commit Suicide is among Human Rights
DO> WOW, do you agree with 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,



Name of the Game with Bipolar


I got this very disturbing email recently:

“My husband is bipolar and I can say yes I am embarrassed by him. I wasn’t at first, but years

after his diagnoses, he still doesn’t have a firm understanding of how it affects his family when

he doesn’t follow the “rules”. He still takes painkillers and doesn’t take them as prescribed – he

takes more… He was coaching our son’s t-ball team and during a game, had a complete meltdown on the field (needless to say he can no longer coach). Eight years after that he is now in jail for a DUI (had a bad accident and they found cocaine in his system, yet another manic episode). He received a year sentence.

During all of this he was still taking his meds. and seeing his therapist. I feel for our son who is very active in sports, scouts and music. There is a lot of upcoming scouting events that my son will now do without his father. There have been times,

depending on what mood he is in, I won’t let him go to family events, sporting events, etc. Our son has suffered enough and I won’t allow it anymore. Our son has even said the house is a lot calmer since dad isn’t around! He can also have friends over without having to worry about what his father might say or do.

I have filed for divorce 3 times and each time he promised he would do better or things would improve to no avail. I keep reading about high functioning bipolar people, but I have my doubts that he will be one of them.”


Wow. This was a very upsetting email to receive. Unfortunately, not all the emails I get are happy ones – more often they are tragic, or tell me stories of hardships or about loved ones who

struggle with their bipolar disorder or make it hard on their supporter and family, like this man

does. It is so sad. Especially when she says that all this time, her husband was taking his medication and seeing his therapist.

Yes, I do tell you (your loved one) how important taking medication and seeing a therapist is to

stability with bipolar disorder, but that is not the whole story.

I also talk about all the other things that you need to do for stability with bipolar disorder, like seeing a psychiatrist, having a good strong support system, getting the right amount of sleep, being productive, and being balanced: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, among other things.

It’s not any one thing alone, or any magic pill or just a combination of only one or two things that will make your loved one stable – it takes many things, and it takes a lot of effort to keep those things in place and working to reach and maintain that bipolar stability. If it were that simple, then this woman’s husband would be ok just taking his medication and seeing his therapist, but obviously, he is not.

The name of the game with bipolar disorder is COMPLIANCE.

Your loved one needs to not only be medication compliant, but treatment compliant and compliant to all the things that make up their stability. They also need to be compliant to all the things that make up a good relationship with you, their family, and their children. They need to be compliant to “rules” of conduct at work, as well as in the community and in society.

Too many people with bipolar disorder think they can just do things their own way, and that can lead to damaged relationships, lost jobs, and problems in the community – possibly even legal problems.

This is what it sounds like is happening to this woman’s husband, at least to some degree. And,

unfortunately, if he doesn’t change before it’s too late, it may cost him everything.

Another thing that her husband is doing that is a common problem for people with bipolar disorder is substance abuse. Many times it can start with a manic episode and, before they realize it, they are addicted even after the episode is over. Now they’ve got two problems,

and both need to be treated. In order for his bipolar disorder to get better, his problem with substance abuse will also need to be addressed, or he will never get better. He will need to acknowledge that he does have a problem, however, and be willing to go into treatment.

Too many people with bipolar disorder have had to lose everything (like this man having to go to jail for DUI and his wife threaten to divorce him) before they were willing to admit how bad the problem was and that they needed help.

At the end of her letter, the wife says, “I keep reading about high functioning bipolar people, but

I have my doubts that he will be one of them.” One thing I always tell people is: Never give up hope!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


We Sometimes Have to Do This with Bipolar


Are you familiar with The Serenity Prayer?

It goes like this:

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.


Well, today I’d like to talk about the “accept the things I cannot change” part. This is probably the hardest part for most of us to do, especially when dealing with a loved one who has bipolar disorder. It’s natural for us to want to change things we do not like, or the way things are going if we don’t like them, or to even want to change our loved ones if we don’t like the way they are acting. The problem is, we can’t do any of that. We especially cannot change our loved ones, because you can’t change another person – they have to change themselves.

It’s trying to change the things you CAN’T change that leads to stress and anxiety, which are bad for you. They are even worse for your loved one, because if they try to change things that they can’t change and they experience stress and anxiety over it, this can even lead to depression, which can lead to a bipolar episode for them. So both of you need to learn to accept the things you cannot change. Because for both of you, stress and anxiety can be bad.

So how do you do that (accept the things you cannot change)? Especially when it comes to your loved one and their bipolar disorder?

First, let’s look at some truths about change.

There are some things you CAN change, but there are other things you CAN’T change.

You can’t change other people. It’s up to them to change themselves. And that’s only if they want to – you can’t do it for them.

You can’t always change the situation around you (although sometimes you can, and I’ll talk about that in a minute).

You can’t change the world, as much as you might like to sometimes.

You can’t change the place you’re in, usually. Especially in this economy. Most of us are lucky to be holding on to our homes these days, and couldn’t afford another house even if we wanted to.

You can’t change things. Things just are the way they are. For example, you just can’t change the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder. It’s just a fact. You may not like it, but you also can’t change it.

The only thing you can do about things you can’t change is to accept them.

A friend of mine told me this quote from one of her daily readings, and I think it applies here:

“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.”

I think that’s what it’s all about. Finding serenity, or peace of mind, in whatever situation you’re in. In other words, accepting what you can’t change. If you can come to the place where you can accept that your loved one has bipolar disorder and you can’t change that fact, then you can do something about it – You can start learning how to manage it.

Remember the old expression, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, this is sort of the same thing. You can work with what you have, if you accept it. If you don’t, it won’t get you anywhere, anyway. And it might make you sick, trying to change what you can’t change, getting all stressed out. And that is something you DON’T want!

For a supporter, maybe stress won’t put you into a bipolar episode like it might your loved one, but the stress can make you not as good a supporter as you can be, if you don’t accept the things you can’t change.

The main point I’m trying to make is to accept the things you can’t change, and work with the things you CAN change, and you’ll be much more able to be the supporter you want (and need) to be.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Keeping Your Head with Bipolar


There used to be a saying about keeping your head when everyone about you was losing theirs.

Do you remember it?

It’s very important to keep your head at all times, and in every situation, no matter what other people are doing around you, or how they are reacting.

There’s something going on in my company right now that, I have to say, if I lost my head, the whole company would lose theirs as well! I mean, everyone looks to me to be the leader, and they model their behavior after mine. If I were to lose my cool, they would lose theirs as well.

But as long as I stay cool, like I am, they will stay cool, and the situation will get resolved.

That’s the way it needs to be. You have to have a leader who can keep their cool no matter what is happening. Can you imagine what would happen to this country if Obama were to lose his head for even one time? There would be panic everywhere! Because everyone models their

behavior after their leader.

Now, imagine this concept as it relates to bipolar disorder. This is kind of the same thing. Keeping your head when all around you everyone else is losing theirs…

As a supporter, you sometimes have to be the stronger one. If your loved one goes into a bipolar

episode, for example, that’s kind of losing their head. So you have to keep yours. You have to be strong. You have to be the one to make decisions for the both of you, because you can’t trust the decisions that your loved one makes during an episode.

Your loved one can fly into a manic rage when they’re in an episode. Now, your first reaction might be to fight right back… But the best thing, the most effective thing… is to keep your head and to respond in love and understanding, and to NOT fight back. In this case, eventually your loved one will back down, or run out of steam. No one likes to fight with someone who won’t fight back. What good is fighting with yourself?

So you have to keep your head about you at all times. This will help you to keep your own

stress levels down as well.

When you’re facing a particularly stressful situation and you don’t know what to do, keeping your head about you will help you to see solutions that you might otherwise not have been able to see.

If everyone about you seems to be losing their heads, but you are keeping yours, you might find yourself in a position to help them (especially when it comes to your loved one).

Your loved one can get agitated very easily sometimes. Keeping your head means that you are

in a position to help them. You can reason with them. You can calm them down.

Keeping your head when all about you others are losing theirs puts you in a position to smooth out situations, where other people can’t.

Your Friend,


Bipolar? Know Anyone Like This?

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

Have you ever heard much about anger management classes? Maybe you’ve been to one yourself, or maybe you know someone who’s been in them. Obviously, anger management classes aim to work on a person’s anger issues and get them to the point where they can express their anger appropriately (instead of just “blowing up.”)

But if you’ve never been in this type of group, you might not realize just how often anger is expressed inside the group. Conflicts tend to arise in a group where everyone has anger management issues. I guess that makes sense.

But it makes it both harder and easier at the same time to teach how to handle anger appropriately. It makes it harder because tempers have risen and people are less willing to listen in those moments that they are angry.

It makes it easier because it gives the facilitator a real-life example to use right then and there to show them how to manage their anger. It also helps the clients to practice their new anger management skills. The teacher might even have them replay the conversation with the intent that they will do better the second (or third) time around.

One of the things they teach in anger management classes is that your emotions, and what you choose to do with them, are your choice. No one can make you outburst in anger. They might provoke you, and they can certainly do bad things. But they cannot control your actions. Only you can do that.

And you can help guide a situation to go the way you want it based off your actions. If you act in a negative way, then the situation is more likely to become negative very quickly. If you act in a positive, constructive manner, then the situation is more likely to turn in your favor.

Now, this isn’t a guarantee, for one simple reason: You cannot control other people’s actions. Realizing this is a major part of anger management. When you get to the point that you realize that all you can control is you, you will learn how to manage your anger, and even some of your stress levels.

People with bipolar disorder often have anger management issues, especially when they are manic. They are as likely as not to escalate a situation until it reaches a boiling point, so to speak. But there are things that both they and their supporters can do to minimize the situation and to build a constructive atmosphere.

For a person who has bipolar disorder and also has a history of poor anger management, I would strongly recommend taking anger management classes. You can decide with your treatment team whether a regular anger management class is more appropriate, or whether you need a one-on-one counseling session with a therapist who knows something about bipolar disorder.

For the supporters, there are some things you can do as well to help the situation along, without hurting your loved one’s feelings. Make sure to validate their feelings, even if you don’t agree with how they acted on those feelings. That by itself will often bring their level of aggression down.

Use “I” statements; never accuse, even if you know you are right. Remember that all you can control is your own actions. If the situation gets out of hand, especially if it gets violent, call for outside help. It may be a sign that your loved one needs more help than normal to stabilize themselves and to control themselves.

Take a break from the situation as needed. You’d be amazed what a break and a clear head can do for you. There are other tactics you can use, as well. The most important being respect: Respect yourself, respect them, and when you can, ask them to respect you as well. And then remember that, while it is perfectly okay to ask this, you still cannot make them do it.

What do you think about this?

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:

Well: A Doctor’s Mission to End Violence
DO> VERY interesting, take a look.

The Line Between Madness and Mayhem
DO> Do you agree with this article?

Faulty Drugs or Medical Devices: Do you go with the Group or Strike out on Your Own…
DO> Hmm. What do you think?

County Targets Mental Illness Myths
DO> 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,


Procrastinating This with Bipolar


You know how we were all taught not to procrastinate? That we should not put off till tomorrow

what we can do today? We were basically taught that procrastination is not a good thing. And, in general, that’s true. Because if you procrastinate too much, it can actually make you lazy.

But, with regards to bipolar disorder, I want you to look at procrastination temporarily in a new light. Think of it as “putting off until later.” And here’s how you can relate it to bipolar disorder. Say you feel a bipolar depression descending upon you like a dark cloud. Procrastinate that depression. Then it will not fully descend upon you, because you won’t let it! Do you see what I mean? In this case, procrastination has worked for you instead of against you.

It’s like fighting off a cold. You can feel the symptoms coming on long before the cold actually takes hold. And if you do something about it at that point, you may be able to actually avoid the whole cold! So that’s what I’m saying to do with signs and symptoms of a bipolar episode.

Be vigilant. Watch for them. Then be proactive, using the tool of procrastination in the way that I’ve described. You see the depression coming. You acknowledge that it’s there. You decide to procrastinate the episode. No episode!

Another way of saying procrastination is “putting it off until later.” Well, I’m talking about putting it off indefinitely! And you have the power to do that!

You can do the same thing with a manic episode. You are vigilant. You are watching for signs and symptoms. You notice that you feel a bit hyped up. You take action, like you would with a cold. You let your psychiatrist know what’s happening. They perhaps increase the dosage of your medication to help your symptoms. A few days later, you are feeling fine again. Episode avoided! Because you took action. You procrastinated, you put off, the episode!

You can use this method with negative feelings as well. You are going to experience negative feelings from time to time (everyone does). But if you have bipolar disorder and you experience

too many negative feelings, or experience them too often, they are going to have a bad effect on you – they can even be a trigger to a bipolar episode. So what you can do with negative feelings is put them off, or procrastinate them, until later, until you can deal with them in a healthy manner, such as speak to someone about them or write about them in a journal.

Do you see how in these ways, procrastination can actually work for you instead of against you?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Pretending with Bipolar Disorder


Remember when you were little and played Let’s Pretend? You might have pretended that you

were a ballerina… Or a cowboy… Or that your dog was your horse… Or that your coffee table was your spaceship… Or that something handy was your gun to kill the aliens… Or you dressed up in mommy’s clothes and pretended to be an adult… Or any number of things.

That’s what children do. They pretend. It’s part of their growing up experience. But as they get older, they learn that Let’s Pretend is only a game. As they get older, they learn that reality is a serious thing, and that they have to learn to face it. Those that don’t, have serious problems.

You can’t just play Let’s Pretend when you’re an adult and you’re facing situations like those that come with bipolar disorder and think that they’ll just go away by themselves.

You’re not a child anymore. And this isn’t playtime – this is real life. You may see this behavior in your loved one. They may get so stressed out that they start to pretend that their problems just

don’t exist anymore. They just don’t deal with them.

Say, financial problems. They stop paying the credit card statements. So what happens? The statements keep piling up – they don’t just go away because your loved one is pretending that they don’t exist. And pretty soon you’ve got bill collectors calling you for the money you owe.

Let’s Pretend isn’t funny any more. You are in serious financial debt. Your loved one isn’t dealing with it, so what can you do?

Well, for one thing, you need to cut off the credit cards, or at least freeze them until you can get the balances down to a reasonable level. And make sure that your loved one no longer has access to the credit cards.

Keep one card for emergencies, and in case you need to make hotel or plane reservations or rent a car. Then destroy the other credit cards. This way you will be protected and your loved one can no longer use them if they go into a manic episode.

Then begin paying down the debt on those cards until you are out of debt and the balances are zero on those accounts. Then cancel those credit cards, just keeping the one for emergencies. This will keep you out of future debt.

This may sound drastic, but financial debt is one of the biggest problems that bipolar supporters face when their loved one goes into bipolar episodes, especially manic episodes.

Taking control of the finances may be hard at first, but you will see that it will make things easier in the long run. Eventually, you will become financially stable.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Is Bipolar Worth It?


Many of us have heard the expression, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” But think about that…“Anything worth doing…” Have you ever had to ask yourself if what you’re doing is worth doing? Like going to school perhaps? Or doing the job that you’re doing? Or being in the relationship you’re in? Or training or keeping that pet? Or driving that car? Or living in that house? Or following that dream?

Now look back at those questions. Some of them, well, you just have to answer no to. Or, at least, you’ve had to answer no to in the past.

Some people have had to drop out of college because it just wasn’t worth it all that time and

effort to get that degree, when they could make more money in a lucrative career without

it (or start their own business).

Some people switched jobs because it wasn’t worth the hassle in the job where they were, or

it wasn’t worth the pay, or… well, for whatever reason, it just wasn’t worth it.

Some people have been in relationships that may have started well enough, but then got so complicated that it just wasn’t worth the energy they had to put into it to sustain that relationship.

Some people, and I know this may sound cruel, but for some people it’s just been necessary, have had to give away animals because it just wasn’t worth all the time and money they had to put into them to try to train and keep them, so they had to make that tough decision.

Some people have had to sell their cars (actually, a lot of people) because the maintenance on the car just wasn’t worth the money they had into it, and it was just cheaper to buy a new one, especially in this economy..

You know, the same can be said of computers these days, as well.

Unfortunately, many people have had to sell their houses, because so many things started going wrong that it just wasn’t worth it after awhile, and it was better to find another house instead.

And some people have even had to give up their dreams because it just wasn’t worth it after awhile to pursue them in light of reality, or in light of all the time and money and energy they had to put into making those dreams come true.

So how does all this relate to bipolar disorder?

After everything I’ve just pointed out, let me ask you to think about this question:

Is it worth it to continue to support a loved one with bipolar disorder, who may not be getting better? Who may be going into episodes, and you can’t help them? Or they don’t seem to even want your help? Is it worth it to keep hanging in there with a loved one who has horrible mood swings? Who has acting out behavior from their bipolar episodes? Where you have to deal with the consequences of what they do during their episodes?

I know what it’s like from what I went through with my mom. And I had to ask myself if it was worth it, too.

Is it worth it? Is it worth it when your loved one doesn’t want to take their medication? Or go to the doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist? Or sleep right, eat right, or exercise? Or do the things that will keep them stable with their bipolar disorder?

Well, it was worth it for me with my mom. And today she is stable, happy, productive, and


And so I challenge you: IT IS WORTH IT! If it was worth it to me, it can be worth it for

you, too. If your loved one can learn to manage their bipolar disorder like my mom did…

Then there is every reason to believe that your loved one can become stable, happy, productive,

and successful, too! Then it will all have been worth it! Just hang in there, it will be worth it.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,