Bipolar? You Need to be Oriented Like This

Hi, how’s it going? I hope you’re doing well.

Do you know a complainer? Someone who always complains about their situation and their

problems, but doesn’t seem to have any solutions for them?

Do you know a blamer? I think they’re related to complainers, to tell you the truth. They blame their situation and all their problems on something (or someone).

These two types of people are REAL people! I know, I’ve met them at bipolar support group meetings. They will complain about their problems with their loved one. They will complain about their loved one themselves. And/or they will blame all their problems on bipolar disorder. Or, worse yet, on their loved one.

There’s one thing that these two types of people definitely are NOT. And that is solution-oriented.

Being solution-oriented means that you don’t complain or blame. You take responsibility. You look for solutions. You even look “outside the box” sometimes for answers. It means that you are willing. Willing to admit you don’t know the solution right now… But you sure will look for

one. You are willing to try different solutions, too, to see what works and what doesn’t work. Like your loved one may have to do with their medications.

Being solution-oriented means that you will not always end up on the popular side of an opinion.

But you stick to your guns and do what’s right for YOUR loved one and family anyway.

You must be motivated as well. See, complainers and blamers just sit around giving “lip service” to what they say. They don’t look for or offer any real solution to their situation or problem. They are lazy.

Solving problems can be hard work. But worth it in the end. Say you look at a problem that you and/or your loved one have and you look for ways to solve it. You may come across a totally

off-the-wall way to solve it, and do that. It may not be the easiest thing to do…It may not be what someone else would do… But it WORKS for YOU! So you stay solution-oriented.

Being solution-oriented also means that you look at a problem every way that you can. Then you look at solutions every way that you can. The answer to your problems may not be obvious, but if you keep looking, you will find them.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Treatment Problems


I’ve been thinking about something I want to talk to you about. Because you know how I get so many calls and emails about certain subjects, right? And a lot of times that’s where I get my

topics for my daily emails. So that’s where I got the topic for today’s email.

So many people have talked to me about messing something up with their treatment plan. Then they don’t know what to do, so many of them just keep messing up, like staying off their medications, which, I’ll tell you right now is NOT the right thing to do!

Or they stop seeing their therapist, and again, that is NOT the right thing to do, or they start skipping appointments with their other medical professionals, and again – NOT the right thing to do.

There are so many parts that make up a treatment plan, and I’m not going to go into ALL the different parts, but I do want to talk about what happens when you do start to mess up some of the parts of your treatment plan, and what you should do.

It’s easy, like I just did above, to talk about what you shouldn’t do! So that part is easy. And in most cases, just do the opposite of that. So for instance, what should you do if you’ve messed up with your medication? You need to start taking it again, but here’s the problem. You can’t just start where you were, because depending on how long you were off it, you may need to build back up to that. So in that case, you need to go back to your psychiatrist and have him help you get back to where you were.

If you’ve messed up with your therapist, just make a new appointment, and start going back

regularly. If he/she accepts you back as a patient, then all is forgiven. If he/she rejects you, you will just have to start over with another therapist. And that’s ok, you can do that. Don’t let that

get you down. Just don’t let any more time lapse before finding another therapist, because you really do need to be in therapy.

But now let’s say you’ve begun isolating again. Here’s where it gets tricky. People with bipolar disorder are very good at isolating. It’s one of the top indicators for having bipolar disorder and one of the top triggers for a bipolar episode. Supporters who have loved ones with bipolar disorder watch for this trigger in their loved one. But if the person with bipolar disorder has let this slip, has started isolating again, then they are in a dangerous place – they have obviously let part of their treatment plan get out of control.

Now they have two choices when confronted with this by their supporter: they can close down, shut out the world, get all depressed, climb into bed, pull the covers over their head, feel sorry for themselves, cry, and go into a depressive episode…

OR…they can accept that even though they let a PART of their treatment plan get out of control, that the WHOLE treatment plan is still working, and they can still fix it!

If they are lucky enough to have a supporter who is still sticking by them through this, then they can both work on the problem together.

First you identify what went wrong. Then you can fix it. It doesn’t have to be something all dramatic and such. It can be something as small as just not sleeping right. But once it’s identified, you can work on it. And it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming that it drives your loved one to their bed – it only has to be faced One Day at a Time.

Just today. Only today.

Work on your treatment plan the best that you can only one day at a time. Just do the best that you can. That’s all anybody is expecting you to do. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect. And they are certainly not expecting you to be perfect overnight!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Different Bipolar Attitude


I just wanted to write today about something that’s been bothering me.

You see, I get a lot of emails from people who just complain a lot about being supporters of

a loved one with bipolar disorder, about how it keeps them from doing the things they want

to do, and having the life they want to have, etc., etc., and that bothers me a real lot.

I’ll tell you why that bothers me so much. Because they don’t have to be that way.

I know someone else who is a supporter, who never seems to complain about it at all! She just goes along with her life as if she doesn’t even have a problem at all with being a supporter!

And she just has the best attitude of anyone I’ve ever seen. She has this real positive attitude, not like the complainers I get who have a real negative attitude about everything.

Which person do you think I would rather talk to?

You’re right!

Because the second person lifts me up when I talk to her, and makes me feel better.

So we have two different people, both supporters, both with the same set of problems.

So what’s the difference between them?

Their attitude!

I talk to many supporters about this. I talk about how you need to have a positive attitude, or it will just bring you down, and then nobody will even want to be around you. Your own health and well-being will suffer, and stuff like that.

In other words, it just isn’t healthy for you to have a bad attitude or to complain about being a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder.

So let’s look at the second supporter. If she has a bad attitude at all, it’s against the disorder itself.

I had a chance to ask her how she keeps her attitude so positive while being the supporter

of a loved one with bipolar disorder.

Here are some of the things she told me:

She says she’s not going to let the disorder rule her life – that she is the one who is going

to be in control, not the disorder.

She says that she has a choice in how she feels, and she chooses to feel positive.

I’ve asked other supporters about it, too, and here are some of their answers:

1. Separate your loved one from their disorder.

2. It’s ok to hate the disorder, but still love your

loved one.

3. Think about your loved one and how they are

when they are NOT in an episode.

4. Stay close to your loved one, so that they feel

your support.

5. Have your own support system, too.

6. Take care of yourself.

7. Do things that are fun for yourself.

8. Have good communication with your

loved one.

9. Make sure you have a life of your own,

too, or you might get swallowed up in

your loved one’s bipolar disorder.

10. Not everything is an emergency.

11. Take things as they come.

12. Live One Day at a Time.

13. Try to see the good in every situation.

14. Keep a positive attitude.

Well, I think those are some pretty good responses, don’t you?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar? Living with the Big D

Hi, how’s it going? I hope you’re doing well.

This is an excerpt that actually comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think you will be able to relate to it:

“…unless I accept life completely

on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.

I need to concentrate not so much

on what needs to be changed in

the world as on what needs to be

changed in me and my attitudes.”

Today I want to talk about living with the big D:


Disappointment is very common not only in life in general, but in bipolar disorder specifically. And learning how to deal with it is important.

Here’s another excerpt to illustrate what I’m talking about:

“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.”

What both excerpts are talking about is accepting things the way they are instead of the way you’d like them to be. And that’s where I hear a lot of complaints at some of the support groups I attend. Sometimes I hear more griping about the supporter’s loved one than anything else.


It runs rampant in trying to help someone with bipolar disorder. You might even be disappointed

in yourself, thinking you could do better. Or be a better supporter. Maybe because your loved one isn’t as far along in their stability as you think they should be. But bipolar disorder is funny that way. Stability with bipolar disorder doesn’t happen overnight. There are bound to be disappointments on the way. You have to work very hard for it, do the things you need to do for it. And that may include, like the excerpt said, “…accept life completely on life’s terms.”

You might not be able to control the people, places, things and situations around you, but you

CAN control your reaction to them.


Is that what you feel sometimes? If you do, first understand that this is normal for a supporter to feel. Your loved one might go into an episode, and that will bring on disappointment, because you may have been under the misconception that they would never have another one. But if you accept that they will have another bipolar episode at some point, and you plan for that, you can

avoid this disappointment.

Don’t expect your loved one to be able to be perfectly stable, because that is unrealistic. Nobody is perfect, and no one with bipolar disorder can have perfect stability. There will still be ups and downs. But, hopefully, gradually there will be more ups than downs.

If you “accept life on life’s terms,” however, things will go much easier for you. If you concentrate more on what needs to be changed in you and your attitudes rather than your loved one, that also will go much easier for you.

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:

Do We Stigmatize Ourselves?
DO> What do you think?

The Scientific Curmudgeon – Why Screening Teens For Mental Illness Is A Bad Idea
DO> Do you agree or disagree?

Pulitzer Prize Winning Musical Next To Normal Shines Spotlight On Bipolar Disorder
DO> Sounds really interesting, would you be interested?

Severe Irritability May Signal Syndrome Apart From Bipolar
DO> Hmm. What do you think of this?

Inflammatory Cause Of Bipolar Disorder Suggests New Treatments
DO> Interesting article, take a look.

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? Sometimes You Have to Wait for These

Hi, how’s it going? I hope you’re having a good day.

You know there’s research going on about bipolar disorder all the time, right? Sometimes theories work and sometimes they don’t. They say that researchers need to have the patience of a saint! Do you know why? Because they have to wait for their results. And sometimes they have to wait for a long time.

It’s the same with bipolar disorder. Sometimes you have to wait for the results, too. When your loved one is on a new medication, for example. You have to give it time to see if it will work for them or not.

For instance, have you ever been on a diet? Weight loss does not happen overnight. You have to wait for the results. But here’s the point about that – You have to be consistent with that diet to get the results that you WANT.

So if your loved one has just begun in therapy, or has switched therapists, it will take time for you to see the results of it.

Sometimes you do get the opportunity to see results quicker, though. For instance, if you have talked with your loved one about the finances, and have decided that you should handle them, then those are quick results.

Some results your loved one is responsible for. Like the results they will get from consistently going to their doctor and therapist.

But some results you are responsible for. Like the fact that your loved one can depend on you. That’s a big responsibility, but a crucial one. You need to take your role as a supporter very seriously. And you want the things you do to have results. Positive results, at that.

So what do you need to do?

You need to keep the lines of communication open with your loved one. As long as they feel they can trust you, they will open up and talk to you when they’re not “feeling right.” Then you can get them help sooner than later. And the results will be that you can avoid a full-blown bipolar episode.

What else can you do?

Try to keep your home environment as stress-free as possible. This is something you need to be

consistent with, as well. The more stress-free the environment, the less chance of a bipolar episode for your loved one.

Some results you will see right away. But other results you need to wait for – like stability.

But if you and your loved one both stay consistent in what you have to do, stability will be the positive result from it.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


A Bipolar Mystery


Do you like to read mysteries? Or when you were young, did you like the Hardy Boy or Nancy Drew mysteries? Or what about Agatha Christie? She writes mystery novels. There are even train rides that offer mystery dinners with the ride, thrilling customers with a who-done-it mystery along with their fare! For those who love a good mystery, it never grows old.

But some people don’t like mysteries… So when faced with the mystery of bipolar disorder, they are truly baffled, and very much frustrated. Part of the frustration with the mystery of bipolar

disorder comes from the lack of knowledge about the disorder. What helps with that is learning as much as you can about bipolar disorder.

But here you are, trying to deal with someone who may, at times, seem like a virtual stranger…

At least when beset by their bipolar disorder (which can, during a bipolar episode, turn them

into someone you don’t know and cause them to act in unpredictable ways). That can certainly seem like a mystery to you. And can be very, very frustrating. So what can you do about it?

Well, if you are one of those people who always flips to the end of a story to see how it turns out

before you’re even halfway through, take it from me, this is going to frustrate you further. Because I’m going to tell you that you need to have patience above all else. And you may not want to hear that. But you need to. You just have to wait to see how the mystery turns out in the case of your loved one’s bipolar disorder.

Even if I were to tell you how MOST people’s bipolar disorder turns out, I still could not say

how YOUR loved one’s bipolar disorder will turn out, since everyone is different. What I CAN say, however, is IF your loved one does certain things, they stand a better chance of a happy ending to their mystery story.


They take their medications every day and as prescribed by their psychiatrist… They go to their appointments regularly as scheduled… They adhere to a good treatment plan… They have a good, strong support system… They stick to a good sleep schedule (8-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night, going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning)…

They eat a healthy diet and stay away from fat, caffeine, and other things that are bad for them…

They exercise, even if all they do is walk around the block every day (or at least 3 times a week) – you could even do this with them, if it will help them do it regularly…

They do things to help themselves, like keep a mood diary or journal, which can help predict

patterns and/or log triggers which can lead to a bipolar episode and catch one before it turns into

a full-fledged episode… They keep busy, and are productive, which will keep them from getting depressed…

They stand a good chance of reaching stability with their bipolar disorder.

Everyone needs to do something worthwhile that makes them feel needed and appreciated.

A To-Do List is good for this, as accomplishing things can make them feel productive at the end

of the day. If your loved one can no longer work outside the home full-time, maybe they can at least do volunteer work. Or they can at least help around the house, or do projects.

Hobbies are good as well. Doing something they enjoy will help them to feel good, and help with the sometimes downward swing of their bipolar disorder.

All these things will not only take the mystery out of bipolar disorder, but can lead to stability

for your loved one.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Nostradamus and Bipolar Disorder


Have you ever heard of or read anything by Nostradamus? He was a famous philosopher in the 1500’s. He made many predictions that some people say have come true with surprising regularity. He even has some followers today, who believe in him almost like a religious following, saying that his predictions are still true today. For example, some people say that he predicted 9/11, even way back when!

Well, the other day there was a program on the History Channel about Nostradamus and his

predictions for 2012. He predicts “In the sky will be seen a great fire dragging a trail of sparks.”

This was a remarkable prediction for back in the 1500’s, and nobody knew what Nostradamus

could be talking about; however, in our time, people believe he is talking about a comet that

will come and destroy the earth in December of 2012. Now, whether that is true or not is what this program was all about. It was very interesting.

But what does it have to do with bipolar disorder? Well, I look at it this way. I’m not saying that we can predict the future. But I am saying that we can predict future behavior based on past and present behaviors. What I’m talking about are behavior patterns, behavior characteristics that you can expect from someone who has bipolar disorder.

I talked to a friend about this. This friend studied psychology in college. And she said that in psychology, you study behavior – specifically, behavioral patterns. The theory is that you can’t change a current behavior unless you understand what is behind the pattern of behavior. Makes sense, right? Well, let’s take it a step further. If you can know the pattern of behavior… Then you can predict that behavior in the future. That’s what my friend says that psychology

(specifically, behavior modification) is all about. You identify the specific behavior… Then you identify the pattern of behavior… (i.e., the triggers of that behavior) Then you can predict when that behavior is going to happen in the future… So you can stop it from happening, or maybe even change the behavior (if it is a negative behavior, you can change it into a positive


Ok… So here’s how it could work in your case with a loved one who has bipolar disorder: In the past, your loved one has had bipolar episodes, right? One of the things I advocate is that after the episode, you should look back at the episode and evaluate and analyze it, so that in the future,

you can use it to prevent further episodes from happening. In other words, you can use past behavior to predict future behavior. You can analyze and predict behavioral patterns. Specifically, you can look for triggers. So, for example, in a bipolar manic episode, loss of sleep is a major trigger to an episode.

If you notice that your loved one is losing sleep, or staying up later and getting up earlier, for instance, you can use that behavior pattern to predict that they will go into a bipolar manic episode (if that behavior is not changed). Do you see how this can help?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Lesson from Hiking


You know what a busy man I am, right? My friends are always telling me that I need to relax. My answer? I’m too busy!

But every once in a while I get to do something I love to do. And that’s hiking. I do it whenever I can get away to do it. Hiking helps me de-stress from the rest of my life. I think everyone should have something like that. Don’t you?

You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with bipolar disorder, right?

Well, I was hiking the other day and I saw this tree, and it looked really old, like it had been through a lot. Kind of like all the things you have to go through if you’re dealing with a loved one with bipolar disorder.

But it seemed so calm…

And I looked at all the branches. And they reminded me of each of the things your loved one has to do to become high functioning with bipolar disorder and what they have to do to recover. Like each branch was something else:


Your loved one needs to take their medication every day religiously and as prescribed. There

are ways to learn to manage their medications if they have trouble with this, and you can help.

Check the Internet for topics on managing medications if you need to.


It’s very important that your loved one attends all of their appointments – doctor, psychiatrist,

therapist, and anyone else they need to see. They also need to realize that they are a part of their own treatment team. Their doctors are not mind-readers – they only know what they’re told. Your loved one needs to notify their team if they are having any problems. You can help them see to this, or even call them yourself if necessary.


Your loved one needs to have a support team in place to help them get better. You can be part of

this team (the primary supporter), but you can’t do it all yourself. If you try to, you will burn yourself out, and if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of your loved one? That’s why it’s so important for them to have a support system – this can be made up of other family members, friends, a bipolar support group and its members, church and church members (or other affiliations), etc.


One of the most important ways you can help your loved one is to keep as stress-free an environment as possible at home. You can also help them by helping them stick to a healthy diet by what you cook. They need to exercise, which is sometimes hard for them to do, so it might help if you were to exercise with them. Sleep is very important as well. They need to keep good sleep habits. One way you can help is by being a good example. But you can also see that they go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.


It’s important for your loved one to be self-productive. Maybe they can still work, or maybe they lost their job due to their bipolar disorder, but they should still do something, even if they’re just on disability. They can join a bipolar support group, go to the library, meet with friends, go to family get-togethers, do projects, have hobbies, do volunteer work, work part-time, and maybe even start a home business. You can help your loved one with this by helping them put together a To-Do List each day of things they want to accomplish that day. It’s really a boost to their self-esteem when they get everything done on the list, and even if they don’t, it’s ok, they can still do it tomorrow!

The most important thing is that your loved one has a good attitude – like that tree that lasted through everything it had to go through.

What do you think?

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:

Teen brides more likely to develop mental illness; Panic disorder, depression ..
DO> Wow, isn’t this amazing?

Socially adapted people are less vulnerable to mental diseases
DO> This seems odd doesn’t it?

Pregnancy Planning for Women with Bipolar Disorder
DO> Take a look if this if you are going to have kids

Red Flags: The Common Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
DO> You should know this by now 🙂

Educator shares pain, passion of bipolar disorder
DO> Great story, take a look.

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,