Bipolar: It’s Important to Laugh


Let me ask you something: When was the last time you laughed? I mean downright belly laughed?

I was watching this commercial the other night, and I swear I laughed till there were tears in my eyes!

The commercial showed these different people giving verbal commands to things, but they didn’t work.

Like one man said, “Close blinds,” but the blinds didn’t close, and the man was standing in the window naked, looked up, and his neighbor was staring right at him!

The most hilarious one was this woman with a to-go cup of coffee in her one hand and a briefcase in her other hand, walking up to a glass door of a building. And she says, “Open door,” and the door doesn’t open, and she walks right into the door, and the coffee goes everywhere, all over the glass! I’m telling you, this was hilarious! I just couldn’t stop laughing!

So, I’m asking you, when was the last time YOU laughed like that?

I go to so many bipolar support group meetings, and I get so many negative or complaining emails that I know that this is true – Too many people with bipolar disorder and their supporters stop laughing once the diagnosis is made.

I mean it! It’s like the disorder steals all the joy they have, like pulling the rug right out from under them.

Now, does that seem fair? I don’t think so.

But I see it this way. Having a sense of humor is a choice.

It kind of goes along with being a positive or being a negative person.

I’ve heard from some people who have bipolar disorder and their supporters who paint the

picture that their lives are so dark and gloomy that it’s more like they’ve got cancer than

just bipolar disorder!

Then I’ve heard from some people who tell me they’ve learned to manage the disorder

so well that they’ve gotten to the point of success (stability) and actually have a pretty

happy life!

And guess what the difference is?

At least for some people, they’ve been able to put the joy (the joy of life) back into their lives.

Let me tell you this: You NEED to laugh as much as you can in this life! Even experts will tell you that people who laugh more live longer. People who only see the doom and gloom side of bipolar disorder are like a self-fulfilling prophecy – They go through more depressive

episodes than those who have learned to have a more positive attitude.

Now, this isn’t medical advice, for sure, but I bet if you did learn to laugh more, you really would

have less episodes.

Think of all the things you have to face. Apply the laugh theory to them.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Life is Not a Bipolar Emergency


Here is a simple truth for you: LIFE IS NOT A EMERGENCY!

I’ve had hundreds of people who have written or called me and they are so upset and there is so much drama surrounding them that you would think that to them, life is an emergency!

But as they go on with their story, I see/hear that it is only an emergency to them.

These people come to me for advice, but they are so upset and so caught up in their stories and what is going on in their lives…and their or their loved one’s bipolar disorder…that they don’t even let me get a word in edgewise. Now, I’m just a third party, so of course, whatever they’re telling me is not an emergency for me. But even though they wrote or called me for advice, they can’t get it, because they won’t even stop long enough to listen to me!

These people remind me of the Type A personalities we hear of in business who work 80 hours a week, who are so driven, who have such high expectations, that if they don’t meet that 80 hour work week, that they have failed in some way.

They are always walking around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, afraid that everything won’t get done, because to them, everything is an emergency!

I had a supporter who called me who was like that. She was so upset over her inability to be

perfect that her doctor had prescribed her anti-anxiety medicine. She was acting (and feeling) like there was a gun pointed at her head and the sniper was demanding that everything she did as a supporter had to be perfect – or else! Again, the silent assumption was that, this is an emergency!

The truth was, no one other than her had created the pressure she was experiencing. The truth is that: LIFE IS NOT AN EMERGENCY!

I’m not saying that some of us have never done it, sometimes we’ve jumped to conclusions before getting all the facts, and maybe overreacted, making an emergency out of something that wasn’t, but not all the time!

Sometimes we take our own goals so seriously that we forget to have fun along the way, and we forget to cut ourselves some slack. We take simple things and turn them into conditions for our own happiness. Or, we beat ourselves up if we can’t meet our self-created deadlines.

The first step in becoming a less stressed person is to have the humility to admit that, in most

cases, you’re creating your own emergencies. Life will usually go on if things don’t go according

to plan.

John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” I’m sure he would have agreed that life is NOT an emergency.

You need to cut yourself some slack. Remember that your goal is to stay relaxed, to not get too

worked up or concerned about how you are doing. As long as you’re trying your best to be a good supporter, then that’s all that matters. No one is a perfect supporter all the time.

Practice what you’ve learned, keep your strategies in mind, and don’t worry about being perfect.

There will be many times when you lose it, when you revert to being uptight, frustrated, stressed, and reactive – get used to it. When you do, it’s ok. Life is a process – just one thing after another. When you lose it, just start again. It doesn’t mean that it has to be an emergency, though!

You just don’t have to make little setbacks into large emergencies – cut yourself some slack. Look at your mistakes as learning experiences, not emergencies.

All that’s important is that you do your best and that you are moving in the right direction. Keep your perspective, be the best supporter you can be, and eventually your loved one will respond to your support and will be able to manage their bipolar disorder.

This way, you can learn to live with your own imperfection, give yourself a break, stop trying to be perfect, and remember that:


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:

Major Brain Similarities Found In Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia
DO> Wow, very interesting article

Extreme Pregnancy Nausea Linked To Emotional, Behavioural Disorders In Kids
DO> Wow this is an interesting discovery.

Best Treatments for Manic Episodes
DO> Kind of a boring article 🙂

Stem Cell Research Offers New Hope for Unlocking the Secrets of Bipolar Disorder
DO> Do you agree or disagree with Stem Cell use?

Glitch Leaves Medicaid Providers Unpaid
DO> How do you think this is going to affect things?

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: Approach to Life

Hi, Today I want to talk to you about something important. It has to do with how you approach life in general, and what a difference that can make. There is a story of two boys who were separated almost at birth. Their parents got divorced, with one boy going with their mother, and one boy going with their father. The father had a very good job and was able to provide a nanny for his son, so he was raised in a warm, loving environment. When his father came home from work, he paid much attention to his boy, and they had a very close relationship. That boy grew up to have a “normal” life, getting married and raising his own family. He had a very positive attitude toward life, was very happy in general, and was a success in business himself, like his father had been before him. His brother, on the other hand, was not as lucky. He had been raised by their mother, who struggled with being a single mom. She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder late in life, and kept going off her medications every time she felt better. Because of so many bipolar episodes, it was very hard for her to hold onto a job for very long, so they always struggled financially. When she was working, that boy was in day care, or with babysitters. When his mother was in depressive episodes, she could not offer him the kind of loving he very much needed. So it was very difficult for this boy growing up. When his mother was in manic episodes, it was very confusing for this boy, as he watched his mother exhibit behavior that he didn’t understand. He grew up not understanding how to be a “normal” adult, and had many up and down moods himself. He had a terrible life. He was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder himself until later in life, when he finally understood what was “wrong” with him, and what had been wrong with his mother. By that time, however, he had a terrible view on life. He believed he could never be truly happy, could never really trust people or have a normal loving relationship, and could never be successful. He blamed everything either on his mother, the divorce, his past, or the bipolar disorder itself. He was a very negative person. So here are two sides of the same coin, so to speak. Two boys who had the same choice in life, one of them even with bipolar disorder. Both these boys had the same chance in life. Although the one boy had bipolar disorder, had it been caught in time, he could have gone on medication, and his whole life would have been different. Part of it, however, had to do with his attitude. In other words, how you approach life. Each boy grew up with a different approach to life. One boy had a positive approach to life, in spite of the divorce and the way he grew up, and he became a success and was happy. The other boy had a very negative approach to life, because of the divorce and the way he grew up, and he did not become a success and was very unhappy. However, there are many people who have bipolar disorder who, no matter what their past was like, or in spite of the fact that they have the disorder, have a very good life. Look at my mom and me: My mom struggled with bipolar disorder I think for most, if not all, of her life. Before I started helping her, things were really bad for her. My whole life growing up was really confusing. But I did not blame my mom… And I did not grow up with a negative attitude toward life. I am a positive person. I am happy, and I am a successful person. And my mom eventually learned how to manage her bipolar disorder, and became happy and successful, too. She never blamed her disorder for her problems in life or was a negative person. How you approach life is largely your decision. You can decide to approach it with a positive or a negative attitude, in spite of your past. Well, I have to go! Your Friend, Dave

Bipolar Supporter – How You Look At Things


You know, when you’re little, your parents have high hopes for you. In general, parents always have high hopes for their children. Not that they want them to become the astronauts or ballerinas or Presidents that the children themselves want to be…But they do want them to be successful and happy in life. That’s because they love them.

Well, if you have a loved one with bipolar disorder, you naturally want them to be just as successful and happy too. That’s because you love them just as much. But can you love them TOO much? Well, can a parent love their child too much? If you have children, ask yourself this question. Parents are accused of spoiling their children all the time.

I know a man who is a very successful and prominent attorney in Florida. In other words, he is very wealthy. And this man has two daughters. He has raised his two daughters to be what most

people would call spoiled. But if you ever talked to the two young girls (teenagers now), you would find them to be respectful and intelligent young women who had healthy self-esteem and values in life and good goals as well. So, is that spoiled? Yes, they’ve been to Europe and went to private schools and all, but they also learned to do chores and to respect their parents and other adults.

So it’s a matter of how you look at things. How you learn to look at things. You learned to look at things one way… While your loved one, because of their bipolar disorder, may have learned to look at things another way. They may have a very negative view on their days because of their past, what they’ve gone through because of their disorder. They may have come to expect more bad than good, in other words.

But for you, things are probably different. You probably have a better outlook on things. The thing is…If you give in to the way your loved one looks at things, you will be spoiling them.

It’s better to bring them around to your way of thinking than to let them bring you down into


You may not have bipolar disorder, so you may not have bipolar depressive episodes, but that

doesn’t mean that you can’t still suffer from depression.

It’s all in how you look at things. If you let your loved one bring you down, you CAN suffer from depression, to be sure. You CAN get discouraged as a bipolar supporter. I know, because I went through it when I was trying to help my mom. I also know because I get emails and letters all the time from supporters who have loved ones with bipolar disorder who say that they are getting depressed and are scared that they are “catching” their loved one’s bipolar disorder.

Now, although it’s not true that you can “catch” your loved one’s bipolar disorder, it is true that

frustration and discouragement and feelings like it CAN lead to depression, even if you don’t have bipolar disorder.

So you need to keep looking at the bright side of things. You need to keep hoping that, as long as your loved one stays on their treatment plan and medication, that they will recover from their bipolar disorder and that things will get better.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter – Making These Can Hurt


I was thinking about something today. It’s about what we have to do to get ahead in our society. It’s what we have to do to reach the goals we set for ourselves. It’s what everyone has to do to make their dreams come true, if they really want them to. If anything is really important to you, you have to do this: MAKE SACRIFICES.

But making sacrifices can hurt. Here’s what I mean. I got the following email the other day from someone who tells it this way:


I have a husband Bill who has bipolar disorder. Usually he is pretty good. Well at least he was

for a long time. So I went out and got a job. This was good for awhile. But then he went into a deep depression. He wouldn’t do anything. He would get up and he would get out of bed, but only to go to the couch. When I left for work, he would be on the couch, and when I got home from work, he would still be on that couch. And nothing would be done around the house.

I started to get mad, because I would be tired from work and have to come home and do everything around the house, too. But this wouldn’t even bother him because he was so

depressed. I started to think that it was because of me working that he was so depressed, so I sacrificed my job just to stay home and take care of him. But he isn’t any better. And now all the bills from his bipolar disorder are mounted up and are getting bigger, and we don’t have any way to pay for them because I don’t have my job any more.

I don’t even know what to do. I can’t work because I need to take care of Bill, but if I don’t

work, we don’t have the money to pay for his bills for his bipolar disorder. I am so frustrated, I feel like giving up myself.

Help me, Dorothy.


See, the thing is…


In other words, you can sacrifice so much that it hurts.

Enabling is when you do something for your loved one that they can do for themselves. This is bad for both of you. Like with Dorothy in the email.

Yes, she made a sacrifice for her husband in quitting work to stay home and take care of him

and his bipolar disorder. And on the surface that seems like a good thing. It seems like something she should be congratulated for, actually. Like she’s being a super supporter. But is she really? Actually, she is being an enabler, when you really look at it. And she is hurting both of them (remember, she talked about the bills?) They are at least being hurt financially.

The better sacrifice would be if she got Bill the help he really needed. For her, she should be able to work if that’s what she wants. It is NOT her responsibility to stay at home and take care of her husband. He is an adult and he should take care of himself, in spite of the fact that he has bipolar disorder.

If he is in a depressive episode and is laying around on the couch every day depressed, he does need help. Rather than her quitting her job, it sounds like maybe he needs a change in his medication.

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:

Bi-Polar: You can’t Catch It! It’s a Disorder…
DO> What do you think of this article? Do you like how it is written?

Mental Health Matters: How Technology can Affect your Mental Health
DO> Interesting article, take a look.

Antipsychotics Best for Controlling Mania: Study
DO> Do you agree with this?

Woman Battles Bipolar to Publish Ghost Story
DO> Does this sound like something you would want to read?

Mental Health Disorders Prevalent Among Youth Worldwide
DO> This is the truth, don’t you think so?

Latimer: The Mentally Ill More Likely to Die from Physical Illness
DO> Would you have know this?

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: Look Around You


Today I want to talk about something that you may not think about, but that can make a big difference in your life and the life of your loved one.

First, let me tell you a story:

There were two girls. One was raised by parents who were very wealthy. She was very spoiled. She got everything she wanted, did anything she wanted to do, and went anywhere she wanted to go. She never had limits set for her, so as an adult, she never learned respect for other people. She just learned that she should get whatever she wanted out of life – she had learned to expect

that. She got very angry when other people did not do what she wanted them to do.

The other girl was raised by parents who were not very rich, and she was by no means spoiled.

However, all her needs were met, and she grew up in a loving home environment. She learned

to respect other people but even moreso, she learned to respect herself. She knew that she couldn’t make anybody else do what she wanted them to do, that they would do what they wanted to do. She learned that she may not get everything she wanted out of life, but that if she set goals and worked hard enough, she could meet them and be happy in life.

So what does this story have to do with bipolar disorder? It has to do with how content you can be in life, whether you have the disorder or are supporting someone who does.

Look around you. Are you surrounded by many things (belongings)? Things to which you’ve formed attachments? Maybe these things mean more to you than your relationships with people. That can happen when your priorities get out of order. Like with the spoiled girl who was raised by the wealthy parents and got everything she wanted with no limits.

If you are the supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder, and you do not set limits on their behavior, they will learn that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. That is not being respectful. That is not showing you respect, and is probably not being respectful even to themselves.

Your loved one needs to know that your relationship and the way they treat you is more mportant than the things that you own.

Look around you. If you have too many “things,” than perhaps you need to get rid of some of them. Maybe you need to simplify your lives. Send those things to Goodwill… Or try to sell them on the Internet… Or have a yard sale…

But consider that they may be cluttering up your lives as much as they are cluttering up your home. They can also be influencing your loved one and their bipolar disorder. Your loved one’s home environment should be simple and stress-free. The less things around, the better.

It should be warm and inviting. You could have some photographs around, as that will help your loved one to remember family attachments. Perhaps some bookshelves with some books on

it if your loved one (or you) likes to read as a hobby. If there is too much furniture in the room, it can seem overwhelming to them, so you may want to consider getting rid of some of it.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


10 Rules for Bipolar Health


Today I want to talk about the 10 Rules for Bipolar Health.

I know, I hate rules too, but I think this list is really important for your emotional health, whether you are the one with bipolar disorder or the supporter.

1. Take care of yourself.

If you are a survivor, you have to take care of yourself in order to manage your disorder. Get the right amount of sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise, are just a few examples. Same goes for you supporters. You can’t be any good to someone else if you aren’t good to yourself first.

2. Focus on the positive instead of the negative.

Survivors, if you stay negative, you will stay sick. Supporters, if you stay negative, you will be no good to your loved one, and you will be no good to yourself. You need to be a more positive person, in order to stay emotionally healthy. You need to take every negative thought and turn it into a positive one.

3. Let go of the past.

Yes, I know this is easier said than done. Supporters, I know you’re probably saying to me, “But you don’t know what he/she has done to me!” But remember, I am a supporter, too! There’s plenty of hurt and other negative feelings I went through with my mother.

I just had to learn to let go of it, or I would still be suffering from those horrible memories, and still be lost in the past, instead of living a good present like I am.

I had to make a decision to forgive my mother, as you need to make a decision to forgive your loved one now. If you don’t, you will keep that resentment, and both of you will suffer.

4. Be respectful and responsible.

This is more for survivors. You need to own up to what you’ve done and said in your episodes, even if you don’t remember. Your loved one has remembered everything you’ve said and done, and is probably still feeling hurt and resentful about it, so you have to be respectful and responsible and do the right thing, and make up to them for it.

5. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Supporters, living in the world of bipolar disorder can get to you sometimes – you can get to feeling like it’s all that’s in your life. But it doesn’t have to be. Trade all the negatives of the disorder and what it has done to your loved one and your lives, and develop an

attitude of gratitude instead. Be grateful for every day that your loved one goes without an episode and make the most of those days. Be grateful for the smaller things as well.

6. Develop one or two friendships outside the one you have with your loved one.

This goes for both of you. Go to a support group meeting. Meet new people. Get

out from the bipolar disorder that tends to overwhelm your life and isolate you.

You need to have other relationships outside of just your own. You need to learn to talk about other things besides bipolar disorder.

7. Have some fun!

People who don’t have fun in their lives, especially people who have bipolar disorder, tend to become more depressed. This doesn’t have to be expensive, but just something that keeps your spirits high. I know a couple who have “Date Night” every Friday night, and sometimes all they do is go to the local mall and have a cheap dinner at the food court and watch the people! To them, this is fun. Other times, they just rent a movie, put covers on the floor, pop some popcorn, and snuggle together to watch the movie. And

both of them have bipolar disorder, by the way!

8. Remove yourself from hurtful or damaging (negative) situations.

For survivors, there are many situations that are negative, stressful, over-exciting/stimulating, and can trigger an episode for you. These are situations that you need to avoid. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you need to get out of

them right away.

9. Accept that life is all about choices.

Some choices are good, and some are bad. But they are YOUR choices. You need to learn to make good choices. The more good choices you make, the more emotionally healthy you will be, and the happier in the long run. If you make bad choices, there will

always be consequences to pay, and you don’t want that.

10. The future is up to YOU!

Have a plan for the future. Unfortunately, no one knows when your next episode will occur, although I have tried to teach you how to avoid episodes, how to watch for triggers, and how to manage your bipolar disorder. However, I have also told you that you most likely will have another episode. That’s why I always tell you to have a safety

plan in place for the next episode. You can make short term plans and long term plans for your future, and you should make plans just for yourselves that have nothing to do with bipolar disorder. Just make some kind of plans to have a healthy, happy, successful future – the future is up to YOU!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Accepting Bipolar Disorder


I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine who is also a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder. The topic was accepting the disorder.

His point was that you have to accept the disorder and you can’t really do anything about it. My point was that you can accept the disorder without “laying down and playing dead.”

So who’s right?

Of course, I think I’m right. Especially because that’s what I try to teach people all the time – that you can “fight back.”

But the point is, you don’t just have to “take it lying down.” You can do certain things to “fight back”. Like, for instance, you can take care of yourself, like making sure you get enough sleep. Not just the person who has the disorder, but the supporter, too. A supporter who’s tired all the time isn’t going to be a very good supporter, are they?

It’s just as important for a supporter to be on their toes as it is for a loved one to be.

Yes, bipolar disorder is a serious disorder with serious consequences. But there are so many

things you can do to make it harder for the disorder to have control over you.

Besides getting the right amount of sleep, you can make sure you take your medications, as

prescribed, when prescribed. And the supporter’s role is to help your loved one make sure to take their medications.

You can make sure you go to all your appointments and be a participant in them. Don’t just pretend you’re listening, either, if there’s something you don’t get. If you have questions, ask them. Your doctor isn’t a mindreader! If you don’t speak up, he’ll just assume you understand what he’s saying. Why wouldn’t he, if you don’t speak up?

So it’s your responsibility to ask questions if you don’t understand something. And this is where a supporter can help. If the supporter doesn’t understand, then maybe the loved one doesn’t understand, either.

It’s a good idea to go to your appointments with a list in hand of what you want the doctor to go over with you. It saves time, because then the doctor knows exactly what you want from him.

Doctors like this. It’s kind of a “To-Do” List for the doctor, and he knows what you’re concerned

about. Then he can go down the list and nothing is forgotten, and not a lot of time is wasted, either.

And the supporter can help make the list, and you know the saying, “Two heads are better than

one.” And it’s good, too, because then some of the supporter’s concerns are addressed as well.

For example, if you have questions about medication side effects, this would be something to put on your list.

Therapy is another area where you can “fight back,” and this is a big area. Therapy helps you learn techniques that help you manage the disorder. You might even go into family therapy, where your supporter attends with you.

Or individual therapy, where you can learn stress management or other methods to manage the disorder – specific ways to fight the disorder. Again, you don’t have to “take this lying down.”

Fight back! You are stronger than the disorder!

Get educated. That’s one of the most important things you can do to manage bipolar disorder.

The more you know, the more empowered you are. If the disorder were an entity, it would be counting on the fact that you wouldn’t know more than “it” does.

But if you turn the tables on “it” and do know more, then you have the power to “outwit” it!

You will have the knowledge it takes to overpower, manage and eventually become stable and successful with bipolar disorder.

Accepting the disorder doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything about it.

To me, accepting the disorder means that you do everything that is in your power to do to make

it acceptable to you.

In the case of bipolar disorder, your goal is to become stable.

Because the ultimate acceptance leads to stability, and stability is the name of the game!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,