Current Bipolar News


What’s new? Hope you are doing well.

To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

Using Genetic Profiles to Predict Medication Response in Bipolar Disorder
DO> Very interesting article, don’t you think?

Helping the Mentally Ill to Quit Smoking
DO> This is a huge problem, with mental illness

Texas Jails Fear Influx of Mentally Ill After Budget Cuts
DO> This is so sad, isn’t it?

Charlie Sheen Donates Money to Bipolar Disorder Organization
DO> This is great, especially during these times.

Demi Lovato, Like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Has Bipolar Disorder
DO> Do you even think this is a big deal?

For these stories and more, please visit:

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

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? Stay on Top of Things

Hi, how’s it going? I hope it’s going well for you today.

You know how the smartest people know so much? They stay on top of things. You know how the richest people stay rich? They stay on top of things. You know how the best business owner gets the most business? He stays on top of things. And do you know how the best bipolar supporters become the best? They stay on top of things, too. That needs to be you.

For one thing, you need to stay knowledgeable about bipolar disorder. With information so plentiful, it should be easy to stay on top of the news and latest research on bipolar disorder. But you have to make the effort, and you have to take the responsibility. Anything new that you can learn might help your loved one to get better, you never know. So stay on top of things.

Stay in contact with your loved one’s medical and mental health professionals. Make sure there is a signed Medical Release of Information form on file at all of them, giving them permission to talk to you. Then periodically “check up” on your loved one to see how they think your loved one is really doing. This is especially important if you notice that your loved one is behaving differently from their normal self. How will you know? Well, you’ll have to stay on top of things.

Be observant of your loved one’s behavior, so that you can tell at the first sign of any kind of

irrational behavior as soon as it starts. Especially if your loved one is hallucinating or having delusions. These are easy enough to spot.

As their supporter, it is your responsibility to stay on top of things when it comes to your loved one. Because you know them best… And because you know so much about bipolar disorder…

And if you stay on top of things… You could very well mean the difference between them being

treated at home or in the hospital.

If you can catch an episode before it begins or even as it first starts, you can get your loved one the help they need before they go into a full-blown bipolar episode.

You just have to stay on top of things!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar? I Dare You to Do This


Here’s an interesting challenge for you to think about: I dare you to be happy.

Yep, just like when we were kids, and somebody dared you to do something. Or double-dared you… I dare you to be happy.

You might ask me, “Well, Dave, how can I be happy when I suffer from bipolar disorder or

depression?” Well, I still dare you to be happy!

See, happiness is a state of mind – an attitude. It doesn’t depend on whether everything is going

right in your life. It has to do with how you FEEL about your life.

Everything doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be happy. You don’t have to have everything going your way for you to be happy. You don’t even have to have everything under control

for you to be happy. And your happiness does not depend on whether you are cured or not.

I know a person who has bipolar disorder, and she still has episodes from time to time, but she is still happy. This is because she has a good life, and even though she still has episodes (because she still has a chemical imbalance in her brain), she has learned how to manage her bipolar disorder. This woman is one of the most positive people you’d ever want to meet.

See, this is what I’m talking about. This woman still has bipolar disorder, but she is HAPPY!

It’s all about your state of mind (your attitude) towards life and your problems in it. You can choose to focus on the negative or you can choose to focus on the positive. You can choose to be unhappy or you can choose to be happy. Yes, happiness is a CHOICE. One that YOU can make!

So…I dare you to be happy!

In life, there are some things you have control over, and some things that you don’t have control over: Your attitude is one of the things you DO have control over. Regardless of your moods, or the mood swings that come with bipolar disorder, that is. And for supporters of loved ones with bipolar disorder, who might suffer with depression, it’s the same thing. You could be depressed from time to time, but you can still be happy.

I know, that sounds weird, doesn’t it? But depression is a temporary state of mind – it will pass, if you let it.

But generally speaking, you can be a positive person. You can make a CHOICE to be happy.

You can control your attitude, and still be happy with your life, you can still be happy with yourself, you can still be happy with things in general. You can change the things in your life that you have the power to change. This will make you happy. Or you can accept the things that you cannot change, which will also make you happy. Acceptance is a powerful force in itself.

And acceptance can bring happiness.

So, despite bipolar disorder, despite depression, you can still be happy, that’s what I’m saying.

So… I dare you to be happy. I double-dare you!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: What’s the Problem?


I was talking to someone the other day, and this person was complaining about her bipolar disorder.

I asked, “What’s the problem?” and she said, “Everything.”

I said, “Do you have alligators in your front yard?”

And she was like, “Huh?”

So I asked again, “Do you have alligators in your front yard?”

She said, “Umm…no. Are you ok?”

I said, “Absolutely. You just said everything was wrong, so I wanted to see if that was one of your problems.”

I asked her numerous questions, all centering around if she had clearly identified her problems and if she was thinking of solutions. She did not. So she really had no clearly defined problems.

She was just complaining about everything in general.

Guess what? If you don’ have clearly defined problems, do you know what happens? You will never have a solution to any of your problems. If you don’t have a clearly defined problem, you can’t have a clearly defined solution. It’s that simple. Not easy, but simple.

In my courses/systems below, I talk about problem-solving

and how to come up with solutions to your problems:

So let’s tackle this one step at a time.

Obviously, you don’t have alligators in your yard (at least I hope you don’t). So let’s stick to bipolar disorder.

What if you’re frustrated with your loved one? Now that’s not a clearly defined problem. That’s just a feeling. Look at it this way — Try to get away from feelings, and be more objective.

What’s the REAL problem? What are you frustrated ABOUT? Then make a list of the things that frustrate you about your loved one.

For example:

1. He won’t take his medication.

2. He keeps missing his appointments.

3. He won’t go to his support group.

4. He doesn’t listen to me.

5. He thinks I’m an idiot.

6. He doesn’t help around the house.

7. He doesn’t help with the children.

8. He feels sorry for himself.

9. He won’t go to family functions.

10. He sleeps too much.

Now you’ve got something to work with. You’ve identified some clear problems. Not all of them are clear problems, though. So then eliminate those things you can’t do anything about

and look at your list again.

For example, look at #5 (“He thinks I’m an idiot.”) How do you know he thinks that? You’re not a mind reader, so you don’t actually know what he’s thinking. This is a feeling, not a real problem. If it were a clearly defined problem, there would be a solution to it. So you eliminate #5.

But look at #4 (“He doesn’t listen to me.”) This is a clearly defined problem, because it indicates a breakdown in communication. Communication is very important in a relationship with your

loved one with bipolar disorder. You may be feeling like they don’t listen to you, but they may

feel like they are. Still, it means that you aren’t communicating, and that indicates a problem.

Clearly defined problems have clearly defined solutions, remember. So once you have found a clearly defined problem, you look for a solution.

What if you were to sit down with your loved one and say that you feel like they don’t listen to what you have to say? Or if you clearly define the problem as they are ignoring you, say that. If

you feel like they don’t turn away from the TV when you talk, say that. If you feel like they don’t respect your thoughts and opinions, say that. But be very clear about what you think the problem is. Remember, the more clearly defined the problem, the better the solution.

Are you getting the idea?

Now here’s a real important one. #1 (“He won’t take his medication.”) First of all, and this is a real important point, you can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. However, you can express your feelings to them, and you can do other things.

You can remind them how important it is for them to take their medication in order to get better.

You can tell them you’ve read the statistics (1 out of 5 unmedicated people with bipolar disorder will kill themselves). You can tell them that you’re worried about them. You can tell them that you want them to get better. You can call their doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist and tell them that your loved one isn’t taking their medication.

You see? These are solutions to a clearly defined problem.

So first, you make a list of your problems. Then you eliminate those things that aren’t clearly defined problems. Take one clearly defined problem at a time and work on solutions for that problem. When you leave out feelings and get to a clearly defined problem (that is, you think with your head instead of your emotions)…You can find real solutions to real problems.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: Do You Always Need to Know?


Have you ever heard the question asked, “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it fall, does it still make a sound?”

Or what about the question, “When you shut the door on your refrigerator, does the light still stay on?”

Do you believe there are people who really worry about the answers to these questions (and others like them)?

Maybe it’s because they’ve got nothing better to do with their time, or maybe because they’ve

got too much time on their hands. Maybe it’s because these types of people always have to know what’s going to happen ahead of time or they feel insecure. O maybe they just have to know all the answers to everything. These are the types of people who can’t deal with unpredictability.

But as a supporter, you have to live with this (unpredictability) all the time, since bipolar disorder is not a predictable illness. Wait. Let me take that back for a second.

Yes, you can know predictability in two ways:

1. You CAN know the signs and symptoms of the


2. You CAN know your loved one’s warning signs

and triggers.

But you CAN’T predict when a bipolar episode is going to happen. Not even a psychiatrist can

predict that. It’s like a fortune teller predicting the future!

You also have to live with unpredictability (usually a lot of it) when your loved one is in an episode. There’s no way to predict the behavior of a person in a manic episode. Nor is there any way to predict the consequences of that behavior. (Unless, of course, you are familiar with the behavior, and you are the one who has set down the consequences for the behavior, like if it has happened before, or something like that.) Otherwise, you just have to deal with the unpredictability of it.

Your loved one may go off on a spending spree. They may exhibit sexually promiscuous behavior. They may go gambling. They may exhibit other impulsive risk-taking behaviors.

They may take the checkbook and/or credit cards and put you into debt. They may make foolish business decisions or ventures. They may do other behaviors that you can’t predict during their episode.

One thing that might help with the problem of unpredictability in your life is to know your loved one’s triggers. Knowing your loved one’s triggers can help you as a supporter to help your loved one avoid a bipolar episode. Then what you can both do is that, after the episode is over is to look at what happened during the episode so that it doesn’t happen again. Or what you can do during the episode to minimize the consequences afterward. By doing this, you can take some of the unpredictability out of your loved one’s bipolar disorder.

This takes good communication skills between the two of you. It also takes a willingness to cooperate and to work at making things better. If you hold resentments against your loved one (say, for something they did during a manic episode), and you don’t forgive them, you will hold things in, and you won’t talk to them as readily or willingly.

The same goes for them. If they don’t feel that they can trust you, for example, they may hold their thoughts and feelings in, and not share them with you honestly and openly.

If this happens, you have a breakdown in communication. Then you’re not fighting on the same team any more. And there is no chance for being able to cope with the unpredictability of your loved one’s bipolar disorder. You need to be together on this issue.

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:

Catherine Zeta-Jones is dealing with Bipolar Disorder
DO> Great article take a look.

Using Mindfulness for Bipolar Disorder
DO> Do you know what this term is, if not read this now.

Stress, Big Factor in Bipolar Disorder, says Researcher
DO> I have been saying this for years and years 🙂

Mentally Ill Fall through the Cracks
DO> Do you agree or disagree?

For these stories and more, please visit:

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

Your Friend,


Bipolar and Humor


Let me ask you a question: Have you ever belly laughed? I mean, laughed so hard that you cried? Laughed so much that it made your stomach hurt? Laughed until you didn’t think you could laugh another drop? (and then laughed some more?) That’s the kind of laughing I’m talking about.

You know, we don’t do too much of that when we’re dealing with bipolar disorder. Everything is so serious so much of the time. It’s like we’ve either forgotten how to laugh, or we’re

just plain afraid to laugh! Like if we were to laugh, we should feel guilty about it or something, because when you’re dealing with bipolar disorder, laughter isn’t something you’re supposed to do.

Hmmmm…. Let’s think about that.

Laughter is one of the most natural things we could do in response to something. Think about a child. Think about how naturally they laugh at things. It seems like so much makes them laugh.

And they laugh so easily, too!

Don’t believe me? Just play a game of peek-a-boo with a child and you’ll see what I mean.

Laughter is a gift. And it is a gift that is necessary when you’re dealing with a loved one with bipolar disorder.

I knew a bipolar supporter. And every time I saw her, she was smiling, and had such a positive way about her. It wasn’t a visit with her if she didn’t tell me a joke or two! I asked her one time how she could be that way, you know, joking around and all, when she had a husband who had bipolar disorder, such a serious mental illness. And this is what she told me: “Dave, I have to be this way. If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry.”

Wow. That blew me away. But it taught me a lesson, too. That you need to deal with things realistically. Well, realistically can sometimes mean with a sense of humor.

For a lot of people, it’s what keeps them going. Like that one supporter I was telling you about.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to go around telling jokes all the time, or ignore the seriousness of your loved one’s disorder… I’m just saying to lighten up a little bit… Have some fun once in a while… Enjoy yourself when you can… Learn to laugh again (if you’ve forgotten, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve done it)… Think about some things that have made you laugh in the past, and maybe repeat them. Maybe just the memory will be enough to make you

laugh again. Just thinking about some silly things you’ve done in the past may be enough to get the ball rolling. Or things that your children did when they were younger.

If nothing else, treat yourself to a comedyfest! Rent some of the funniest movies you’ve ever seen, and just enjoy yourself! You know, movies like Young Frankenstein, or Monty Python and the Holy Grail or Ghostbusters – it doesn’t even have to be a new movie. Any movie that makes you laugh counts.

Here’s another idea: Take out your old photo albums. Write one-line captions under your favorite pictures. That way, you don’t just have a ha-ha for now, you’ve got one for any time you feel blue – just take out that old photo album for a good laugh or two!

I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas if you try.

Humor is one of the most important tools we have in fighting this dreaded disorder called bipolar. We need to use it more!

Your Friend,


This Does Not Mean Bipolar Failure


I want to talk about what happened to my mom one time, and the lesson that can be learned from it. At that time, my mom started noticing some things that were “off.” She wasn’t feeling too well, so she asked a friend to describe what she noticed about changes in my mom’s recent behavior (she was afraid that she might be going into a bipolar depressive episode).

Well, I’ve told you before that my mom has systems in place, right? So the first thing she did was call her therapist and asked her for an emergency appointment, and she was able to see

her later that afternoon.

Then she made a list of the symptoms her friend had observed, and she took that list with her to her therapist. Her therapist said that my mom was in a “rapid cycle” of bipolar disorder. Rapid cycling means that your episodes happen more frequently than usual.

In my mom’s case, this is her “bad time” of the year anyway, so we were watching her more closely than usual. That’s why she was using her system. And she did the right thing, that when she noticed that something was “off,” or didn’t feel right, she called her therapist and then went to see her. By doing that, she avoided a full-blown bipolar episode. These are what we call “mini-episodes,” or “relapses.”

But then my mom felt as if she had failed. So is a relapse a failure? NO. Especially if you’ve followed your system and done everything right. Remember that with bipolar disorder, there are things you can control, and things you can’t control. You can’t control the chemical imbalance in your brain. But you CAN do something about it when the chemicals fire off unexpectedly. You can do exactly what my mom did. She didn’t fail. She did exactly what she should have done. And that’s not failure. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

I’m proud of her for the way she handled the situation. There was a time in the past when she didn’t have a system, and she would have gone into a full-blown episode. But because of what she did this time, it shows me that she is following her system, and did the right thing.

We can call this rapid-cycling, or we can call this a mini-episode, or we can just say that my mom just experienced a phase of bipolar depression. But the point is, she did NOT go into a bipolar depressive episode. Because she followed her system.

Your loved one should have a system in place as well. And you should be a part of it. You can help them by watching for signs and symptoms of an episode. Even if they don’t notice that they’re “off,” you can, and you can point it out to them, and encourage them to seek help (early).

And as long as they follow their system, they shouldn’t be going into episodes, either. At least not as often as they did before their systems were in place. But you can’t predict what their bipolar disorder is going to do. Because there still isn’t a cure for the disorder, episodes are

going to happen from time to time.

They can be minimized, though, and mini-episodes, or relapses are NOT failures. Relapses should actually be expected, but if you catch them early (by watching for signs and symptoms of episodes), you can keep your loved one from going into a full-blown episode.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Disorder? The Difference Between These Two Things


Today I want to talk to you about two words:


There is a difference between “activity” and “productivity,” especially when it comes to your

loved one. Productivity, for the most part, involves having something to show for your “activity.” I’ll show you what I mean.

Scenario #1:

Lisa works as an office worker in a major corporation. Her co-workers are very busy, so no one has time no notice what Lisa is doing – they can’t tell if she is being productive or not. So Lisa walks around carrying files in her arms for most of the day, looking as if she is busy (just in case anyone happens to be looking). Is Lisa being productive? No, Lisa is showing some activity, but is not actually being productive.

Scenario #2:

Mary works for a virtual organization in the customer service department; in other words, she works from home. So there is no one looking over her shoulder, no one to see if she is really working or not. However, she spends more time on the phone with the other members of the virtual organization than actually talking to customers. Is Mary productive? No. Talking on the phone is an activity, but it is not really productive. In fact, in this case, it’s worse, because it’s a distraction to the other members of the organization who can’t get their own work done while they’re on the phone with Mary.

Scenario #3:

George has bipolar disorder and when he’s depressed, he tends to sleep more often. The answer may seem obvious, but is George productive? No, because although sleep is an activity, it isn’t productive, since there is nothing to show for it. In fact, in the case of bipolar disorder, it can be harmful to your loved one. Too little sleep can lead to a bipolar manic episode, and too much sleep can lead to a bipolar depressive episode.

Scenario #4:

Bill watches quite a bit of TV. His wife accuses him of being lazy, but he argues that at least he is doing something with his time! Is Bill really being productive since he is doing something

with his time, as he says? Bill is doing something with his time, as watching TV is an activity. However, it is not a productive activity, as once you are done watching TV, you really have nothing to show for it. So Bill is not really what I would consider productive.


You want your loved one to be more than the examples in the scenarios I just described. You want them to be productive, since that will help them manage their bipolar disorder better. You want them to be productive, because that will make them feel better about themselves. You want them to be productive, because productivity brings more quality to a person’s life (bipolar or not).

So how can you help?

You can encourage your loved one to start making To-Do Lists, detailing out tasks they want to accomplish. These can be things around the house, outside the house, or errands they can run.

The list doesn’t have to be long, but just something to make them feel a sense of accomplishment.

The difference between activity and productivity is having a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. And that can help your loved one feel better about themselves, increasing their self-esteem. Being productive will keep your loved one from being bored (one of the triggers to a bipolar episode). Being productive will also keep your loved one from getting depressed (which could also lead to a bipolar episode).

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:

Don’t add Alternative Treatments before Consulting a Professional
DO> I have been saying this for years and years and years.

Dealing with the Problem Pileup
DO> Great article about how to handle bipolar problems

Bar Set High for Committing Mentally Ill
DO> Do you think this is a good thing or bad thing?

Seasonal Episodes can Add to Burden of Bipolar Disorder
DO> Kind of common sense, don’t you think?

For these stories and more, please visit:

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

Your Friend,