Bipolar: In the Long Run


Lately I’ve been training, so I’ve been on this special diet, but I’m afraid it’s done more harm

than good. It’s sort of a “crash” diet, and it’s made me kind of weak and tired, and my memory seems to have even been affected. So I wonder if it’s really been good for me like it was supposed to have been. I thought it would be ok, since it was just going to be temporary, just sort of a “quick start” sort of thing. But you know…Sometimes you have to watch out for things like that. I guess I fell into the very thing I always caution you about. You know…The old “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Besides, if you start off with something like a crash

diet, or something promising quick results, chances are they are going to only be temporary results and not for the long term. Because results that come for the long term are results that come with: CONSISTENCY. In other words, someone who goes on a crash diet may lose that weight real fast, but chances are they will just end up gaining it all right back. While another person who begins to eat sensibly and well and exercises consistently will lose their weight over time and keep it off because they’ve changed their lifestyle.

I saw it way back in college. I saw students who would cram for an exam. They would learn just what they needed to in order to pass the test. Then they would promptly forget it. There would be no real knowledge gained, no real learning going on. Then there were other students like me, who would study consistently over time, who would earn their grades, who would gain the knowledge necessary to really learn over the long run. We would retain our knowledge.

Someone with bipolar disorder needs consistency in their lives if they’re going to reach stability.

And you definitely need consistency in your life as a supporter as well. Because if you’re anything like I was when I was dealing with my mom and her bipolar disorder, one of the things that will drive you crazy is the unpredictability of your loved one’s moods and behavior. So one way to fight unpredictability is with CONSISTENCY. You not only have to be consistent in your own life, but you need to desire and even expect consistency from your loved one as well.

They may not have it right away, but it is something that they can strive for, at least.

For example: One of the first things they MUST do is to maintain consistency in the area of their treatment. They absolutely MUST take their medication consistently if they hope to ever achieve stability with their bipolar disorder. That’s a given. But they must also be consistent in going to all their appointments with their medical and mental health professionals as well. And in doing what they tell them to do. That’s all part of their treatment plan. Another thing, and this is very important: Your loved one should develop a routine to help them get stable.

Routine is very important for people who have bipolar disorder. It will help them to stay consistent in the long run. You could even help them with 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:

When Mental Illness Becomes Part Of The Family
DO> Interesting article, take a look

Why Are Kids Suddenly So Sick?
DO> What do you think of this is?

Lawyer Demands Improved Support For The Vulnerable
DO> This is great, I agree, do you know

PCE In Drinking Water Linked To An Increased Risk Of Mental Illness
DO> Wow, did you know this?

Employers All At Sea When It Comes To Mental Illness
DO> Strange but 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 Supporter? Can I Really Forgive Them?

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

Forgiveness is a difficult thing to wrap your mind around. This is especially true when you feel hurt by whatever the other person did to you. Things can make this process harder, like for instance if whatever was done is something that they might do again, then it is easy to feel the need to protect yourself from it.

I think that’s part of the reason it’s so much harder to forgive someone who has bipolar disorder for the things they do over and over again. On top of the fact that chances are this is a repeat offense, it is easy enough to assume that they would do it again. In fact, it’s smart to prepare yourself for just that.

But it’s even smarter to help prepare them for the opposite. See, as part of their treatment team, you hold a toolbox for them. They can’t always see everything in the toolbox until you show it to them. Many of these tools are things that seem so obvious to you, that you sometimes can’t figure out why they haven’t gotten it.

But try to remember that there are things that you probably ought to understand better than you do, as well. Everybody has a place to start from. The important part is to keep growing.

So if we, as supporters, can take those places where they’ve caused offense, and help them turn it around, then they can grow in time that the next time around they might not make the same mistake.

So how can we do this? Well, it’s not easy. It usually means we have to put our pride aside and talk to them reasonably while we are still angry. If they were lying, you may need to find out why they felt they had to lie. Were they afraid of your reaction? Would they have been right? That is, if they had told the truth, would you have had that bad reaction? Be honest.

Sometimes we may have to work on ourselves. Other times it has nothing to do with us. It just depends. But either way, if trust needs to be built between you two, then you might want to work on that.

If they have done something that affects you too personally, such as physically hurt you, then you may need to get outside help. At that rate, you may seriously need to decide whether they should be forgiven.

There are hard choices when the offense was something that is hard to deal with, but not necessarily life-threatening. For example, cheating on a romantic relationship is a very individual experience, and should be judged individually.

The two most important things to think about is whether the problem is their bipolar disorder (or just misbehavior), and whether it is something that can be worked on. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with things like this. It gives a format for them to work on these behaviors, and ways to see what kind of progress they are making.

If your loved one already has a therapist that works with them in that type of therapy, then you might suggest that they work on the problem behavior during their sessions. If they don’t have this type of therapist yet, it might just be time to get one.

Ultimately, it depends on you. It is easy to base how you react on your emotions, but remember, doing that is exactly what often gets your loved one into trouble. And there are always going to be things that you will need forgiveness from, too.

It’s almost always better to forgive your loved one and try to work on the problem. But this only will work if they are willing to work on it with you. It is, after all, their recovery (not yours.)

Well, what are your thoughts on this?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Can You Trust Your Loved One With Bipolar?


Today I want to talk about a very important concept when it comes not just to bipolar disorder, but life in general: TRUST. Did you ever do that trust exercise when you were little as a game, or in a corporate setting where they did it as an exercise like in a seminar setting? What you did was have someone stand behind you, and you just let yourself kind of free fall into their arms, just trusting them to catch you. It sounds simple, and it is, really, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do, because it’s not. Trust is certainly not an easy thing to do. Especially not if you’ve had a hard time doing it in the past. Maybe something happened to you that caused you to stop trusting, for example. Maybe even something tragic…Like a past history of abuse. That can happen, and cause you to stop trusting altogether. Which can be causing problems for you now.

But also…If your loved one with bipolar disorder has lied to you…You could be having problems with trusting them as well. That’s one of the issues, a common issue, actually, that comes along with bipolar disorder. But if your loved one has lied to you, it could feasibly have made you very upset…Even to the point that you no longer trust them at all. For example…

They may have gone into a bipolar manic episode…Which caused them to spend money excessively…And then they lied about it to you. So now you don’t trust them with the money at all any more. This is a common problem with people who have bipolar disorder. Sometimes they don’t get caught until the credit card statement comes in, for instance, which could be

some time after they have actually spent the money. But they do get caught. The thing is…

You have to ask yourself…Did they mean to lie to you…Or is it the bipolar disorder?

That’s one of the things I get asked about most often by supporters of a loved one with bipolar

disorder. And all I can tell you is…It’s usually a judgment call. They could lie out of fear.

Usually the fear of getting caught, or the consequences. That’s usually the case with money, or sexually related offenses. Or they could lie from the bipolar episode itself, in which case, they may forget it totally when they come out of the episode. This makes it much harder on you.

Because then you really have to ask yourself was it the bipolar disorder or was it them? Did they mean to lie, or did the bipolar disorder make them lie? In my opinion (and this is just my opinion), I think it should be that, whether they meant to lie or the bipolar disorder made them lie, the result is the same, so either way they should have to pay consequences for their action.

But it’s up to you. The thing is, that you have to live with it – you have to decide to trust them again, and when you will do that. And what they have to do to earn back your trust.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


You Get What You Pay For With Bipolar Disorder


I’ve been seeing this commercial lately for a new chocolate candy that is made up of AIR in the middle! That’s right, just AIR! And they’re marketing this like it’s a desirable thing! Like you’re supposed to want it, and want to pay more for a candy that’s nothing but AIR in the middle! Am I wrong here, or are they just insulting my intelligence, but I don’t think that this is a really good thing here. I think this is an EMPTY thing (just air) that they’re trying to make us believe is something new and desirable, something we should want and think is really cool. Well, I for one, don’t think it’s really cool. Or desirable. I think it’s a rip-off. I don’t think in this life that you get something for nothing.

I think that “You get what you pay for,” as the saying goes. Like even with bipolar disorder: You get what you “pay for” even with bipolar disorder – in other words, you get what you expect. Here’s what I’m talking about: Say that you wake up in the morning, and you expect that today is just going to be more of the same, that your loved one is going to be just as bad today as they were yesterday, and there is just no hope. Well, guess what? You get what you pay for!

Chances are…Your loved one WILL be just as bad today then as they were yesterday. You’ve kind of “doomed” them to no improvement, because you don’t expect any more from them than

that. And if that’s the way you’re going to be, you’re kind of enabling them.

When you enable your loved one, you allow them to continue unacceptable behavior, because you don’t expect any better of them. So why should they even try to do any better if it’s not expected of them? I mean, if you don’t expect it of them, why should they expect it of themselves? Have you ever heard the expression: “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” It might seem obvious to you, but it’s true. Nothing changes unless you change it. But if you don’t see that anything needs to change, you’re not going to change it. In other words, if everything is going along, and you think that everything’s fine, you won’t see a need for change. That’s how your loved one will be. Yet they may be doing things that are unacceptable to you. They may be doing things like in a bipolar episode that have no consequences to them, so they won’t see any need to change their behavior at all, but these things can really hurt you.

And you may be feeling some really bad feelings inside because of this. Some negative feelings that you’re just stuffing. Feelings like: Frustration, anger, disappointment, mistrust, loneliness, self-pity, resentment, and guilt. And if you keep stuffing these feelings, well…You “get what you pay for” there, too. In other words, it could make you sick. It will come out in some way.

Like give you headaches, stomach aches, body aches, etc. So you have to do something about it.

You have to talk to your loved one about their unacceptable behavior, and even set some limits

or consequences to their behavior. I know it may be the last thing you really want to do. But still…For your own sake…You have to do it. Or you’re going to get sick, and you don’t want

that. The best thing to do is…Wait for a time when they are receptive to you, maybe a time when they are in a good mood, and just openly share your feelings with them. Hopefully, they will hear you and be willing to change and accept what you have to say. At least you have to try.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Patterns Can Change


There was an old lady who made the most beautiful dresses. Women would drive many miles just to buy a dress from this old woman. She would use wonderful silks and satins for the dresses, but that’s not what made the dresses beautiful. It was the secret pattern she used to make the dresses that made them special. It was an original pattern that she had made up herself.

This old woman became very successful in her own right…Just because of her pattern. Well…

Patterns can be good OR bad. If a pattern of behavior, say, is a bad pattern of behavior, and it causes negative consequences in the person’s life…Then it is a bad thing. Just like the opposite is true. A good pattern of behavior can cause positive things to happen in a person’s life. The good news is…That if your loved one has been exhibiting a bad pattern of behavior in their life…You should know that: PATTERNS CAN CHANGE. They can turn their bad pattern of behavior into a good pattern of behavior. The thing is, though, that they have to be willing to do it. Which usually means that they have to first acknowledge their behavior. Which can be a problem. Why? Well, first of all, sometimes a person with bipolar disorder doesn’t always know what they do when they’re in a bipolar episode. So they aren’t always aware of their own

pattern of behavior.

For example: CASE STUDY:

Virginia had bipolar disorder. She believed that she was very independent, but every month

she had problems with money. She didn’t know where the money went, but she knew, for example, that when it came to paying her rent, she was always short and always had to ask her mother for another loan (which she never seemed to be able to pay back). Every month, instead of getting her daughter help with money management, her mother would just give her the money she asked for. So Virginia would just keep repeating this pattern of behavior with money. Eventually, Virginia’s mother got to the point where she just couldn’t help her with money any more, and Virginia got evicted, having to move back in with her mother. They fought all the time. Mostly about how Virginia spent her money.


Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, it is a very common problem when it comes to bipolar disorder. The problem is with patterns. Part of the problem is with Virginia’s pattern of

spending money. But part of the problem is with Virginia’s mother, who keeps enabling Virginia’s problem by giving her money every month. The solution, of course, is to force Virginia to change her pattern of behavior. She needs to learn how to manage her money. Then she wouldn’t have to continually ask her mother for money to begin with. But first she has to acknowledge her problem. Then she can change it. That’s how it will work with your loved one as well, whatever their problem.

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:

42 Percent of Online Consumers Think Pharma Companies Should be Involved in Online Health Communities
DO> Do you think this a low or high number?

Links Between Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Pain Explained
DO> Wow, this is really fascinating

Illinois Nightclub Caters to Mentally Challenged
DO> Do you think this is odd or not?

Judge Ruled Mentally Ill Woman Should Get an Abortion, Sterilized
DO> Do you think this is fair?

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: Being Positive


Have you ever heard the following expression: “Today is the tomorrow that you worried

about yesterday.” It’s sort of a humorous way to look at a serious subject. It’s about how you look at life. Like whether you’re one of those people who are always worrying from day to

day. Or if you project from one day to the next what might happen. And especially if you tend to think on the negative side of things. You need to be a positive thinker if you’re dealing with bipolar disorder, because it helps you cope with the disorder better.

It just helps to look at things in a positive way when you’re dealing with life in general, because so much of it can be negative. But you don’t have to worry all the time, that’s for sure. If you do, you’re just going to set yourself up for negative things to happen. Because you’re going to be looking for them. Enough bad things are going to happen in life all by themselves, you don’t have to help them along. To fight them, you have to think and act positively.

For example, when your loved one picks a fight with you, which can be a normal occurrence

when you’re dealing with the rage of a bipolar manic episode, you can either react in a negative

or a positive manner. If you react in a negative manner, it’s just going to prolong the fight. But if you react in a positive manner, it might just de-escalate your loved one’s behavior.

So what I’m talking about are things that may be inevitable, but that you can do something

about just by changing your attitude and outlook about them. If you go around expecting bad things to happen, they probably will. You’d be a sort of magnet that bad things will be attracted to. But it can work the opposite way, too. Like with people. Have you ever noticed that negative people seem to attract other negative people? But that positive people tend to attract other positive people? It is like a magnet sort of thing.

Think of it this way: Your positive attitude can help change a negative situation. Like the example I used of fighting with your loved one. When your loved one is negative, your being

positive can have that positive kind of influence on them. Who wants to fight with someone who won’t fight back?

Now, I never said that having a positive attitude in the face of a negative situation would be

easy. It isn’t. But it sure gets you further, and with a whole lot less stress. And, hopefully, eventually, it will turn things around for you. Hopefully, given time, your loved one will even

change. Hopefully, they will begin to be more like you. And hopefully, you will begin to experience more positive situations than negative ones. And, like I said, a lot less stress as a by-product as well. Positive people just seem to be healthier, too. Probably because they have less stress, they are physically healthier.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: This Quality is a Strong One


I want you to look carefully at this word: CONTROL. Think about it. Just by its insinuation it’s a strong word. Webster’s dictionary defines control as, “power or authority to guide or to manage.” It also defines it as “direction, regulation, and coordination… restraint and reserve.”

These state important qualities of the word CONTROL. But today I want to look at the quality of SELF-CONTROL as it relates to bipolar disorder. I frequently talk about all the qualities needed in order to manage bipolar disorder successfully. And self-control is one of them.

Whether you are the one with the disorder, or whether you are the supporter, self-control is an

important quality to possess.

Just look at the definition per Webster’s dictionary. “Power or authority to guide or to manage.”

We all need that power and authority to guide and to manage ourselves and our lives, whether

we have a disorder like bipolar disorder or not. When it comes to bipolar disorder, though, you

need that power and authority to guide and to manage the disorder as well as your life in general.

If you are a supporter, you need that power and authority to guide and to manage your part as a

supporter to a loved one with the disorder. For example, you need the power and authority

to guide and to manage the finances for your family. You also need the power and authority to guide and to manage the home environment, as you need to make it as stress-free as possible for

your loved one.

Speaking to the person who has bipolar disorder for a second here…You absolutely need self-control when it comes to dealing with your bipolar disorder. Medication and therapy can only go so far in the management of your disorder. It is up to you to manage what you can, and

self-control has something to do with that. You need to have control over your behavior, for one thing. And you need to have control over your choices and decisions, for another thing. Because these are the two areas where you get into trouble when you go into a bipolar episode. The more self-control you have, the less trouble the episode itself will get you into. For example, in a manic episode, you will have a tendency to have grandiose thoughts and ideas. You may want to act on these thoughts and ideas because of your bipolar disorder, and what it makes you do during that episode. But the greater your sense of self-control, the greater the chance that you won’t act on them, and will make better choices and decisions, despite the bipolar disorder.

Now, to the supporter…You need to exercise self-control as well. For example, when your loved one is raging at you, which they may sometimes do in a manic episode. Your natural instinct will be to fight back, but if you exercise self-control, you won’t, and it will end the fight that much easier and may even de-escalate your loved one’s bipolar behavior.

Can you see how necessary self-control is for both the survivor and the supporter in the management of bipolar disorder? It can really make a difference. It’s not just the word that is strong…It’s the quality that is strong in the person. And it can make you strong.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter – This Indicates Growth


I was thinking about the seasons recently, and how they affect the trees (I’m a big nature nut, since I do so much hiking as a hobby and to keep fit). So I was thinking how a tree goes through its own seasons, what with being so full of green leaves in the Spring, becoming full of brightly

colored leaves in the Fall, and then losing those leaves in the Winter. But these things are important for its growth in the long run.

So it made me think of bipolar disorder in that these things signify change, and change is important to your and your loved one’s growth as well. Without change, things just stay the same forever, and that’s not good for anyone. Without change, you just keep making the same

mistakes over and over again. Change is an integral part of the therapy that your loved one should undergo as part of their treatment for their bipolar disorder.

But in order to change, you must first see the need to change. There can be no change without this. The great philosopher Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I don’t think he meant it bad like dwelling on the past, but as in looking at your past mistakes so that you can learn from them. And that involves change.

I think the next step after recognizing the need for change is to have the willingness to change.

Because some people can even acknowledge that some things need to be changed, but they’re not willing to make those necessary changes, so nothing gets changed in their life, and they just

keep making the same mistakes over and over again. But if you have the willingness to change, then you can do something positive.

Then you have to actually do something about it, because change doesn’t always just happen

by itself. Of course, sometimes it does…like inevitable things. For example, you age all by yourself, it has nothing to do with any effort on your part, it’s just a natural part of life. But as far as it relates to fixing past mistakes and not making them again…well, those things you can help. So those things you do have to decide willingly to change, and to make an effort to do so.

So after you see the need to change, and you are willing to change, then you decide to make

that change, and you do so. But the thing is, and here’s where it gets tricky…You have to exercise a bit of patience when it comes to making changes. Because many changes take TIME to put into place. Most changes don’t happen overnight. Even if the initial change does happen overnight, it doesn’t become a permanent change without taking time. So you need to understand that you’re going to need to have patience when you’re making changes in your life.

Especially when it comes to coping and dealing with your loved one and their bipolar disorder.

Say, for example that you want to make some changes there. For example, you’re not happy with the way your loved one acts during a bipolar episode, and how they don’t see that there are consequences for what they do during that episode. So far, everything you’ve tried hasn’t done any good to get them to take responsibility for their actions. They always seem to get away with things, usually because you “rescue” them, and you don’t like it. So you need to make a change in your approach to your loved one. So you want them to start taking responsibility for the consequences of what happens during their bipolar episodes, and to change your own behavior – in other words, you want to stop rescuing them from those consequences.

You can say something like: “When you’re in a bipolar episode, I don’t like the things you do, but I always seem to rescue you from the consequences of them. From now on, you’re going to have to pay your own consequences for your own actions and behavior.”

So you change your own behavior in hopes that your loved one will change their behavior. I’m not saying that this will work (sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t)…Because everyone with bipolar disorder is different (in fact, everyone, whether they have the disorder or not, is different)…And you can’t control anyone else, or control what they do. You only have control over yourself. So all you can do is to change your own behavior. And instead of getting angry about how your loved one acts during a bipolar episode and the consequences from it, you can simply stop rescuing them.

Making changes indicates growth.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,