Bipolar Disorder Can Change


Did you ever have a time in your life when things were going along a certain way…But then all of a sudden things changed? For example: You had plans for a certain career…But then found yourself in a totally different career than the one you had foreseen yourself in? Or…Had you imagined marrying a certain type of person…But found yourself instead married to a completely

different type of person than the one you imagined you would marry? These are just examples. But you get what I mean.

The thing is…We can’t plan for every eventuality in life. Sometimes, no matter what we do…

The unexpected happens. Things change. And there’s nothing we can do to help that. There’s something important you need to know about bipolar disorder, in case your doctor didn’t tell you…Bipolar disorder can change. There are different kinds of bipolar disorder. And you can be diagnosed with one type of bipolar disorder, but as you get older, you can actually end up

with a different type of bipolar.

Here’s a case study:

Sylvia had bipolar disorder for most of her life, but wasn’t diagnosed with it until she was older. When she went into bipolar episodes, she always went into manic episodes, though. She never experienced the bipolar depressions she heard so much about. However, when she was well into her 60’s, Sylvia experienced a bipolar depressive episode that thoroughly confused her, since she had never had one before. It was a particularly bad one, where she couldn’t even get out of bed for three weeks. When she eventually came out of it, she asked her psychiatrist about it, and he said that since she was older now, her bipolar disorder had changed. They went over her triggers and found out that, in fact, her age did have something to do with her depression.


Here’s the thing about aging and bipolar disorder. As you get older, there are other issues that affect you other than just your bipolar disorder, but that can contribute to a bipolar episode.

For one thing…You’ve heard of “senior moments,” right? Where you start to have memory problems as you get older? Some people do get depressed over that issue. Another thing that can lead to depression in older adults is not being able to do the things they used to do just because of the aging process itself. At first there can be a sense of denial, and they might still try to do those things…But then get frustrated when they find that they can no longer do them. There might even be some anger before there is the inevitable acceptance. Or they might experience depression, especially if they have bipolar disorder.

The “Empty Nest Syndrome” can contribute to a bipolar depressive episode, too. As children get older and leave home, your role changes, and that can cause problems, even making you depressed if it’s hard for you to accept the new change and the fact that your children (and you) are getting older.

Physical illnesses beset older people more frequently as well, and that can be a cause for depression. There are normal things like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that older people have to contend with…But there is also the fear of stroke and heart attack as well.

All these things can combine to give a person with bipolar disorder the risk of having a bipolar depressive episode even if they’ve never had one before.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Making Bipolar Lemonade


You know, if it were summertime, my goddaughter would be wanting to have a lemonade stand and sell lemonade. Lots of kids like to do that. I don’t think it even matters whether they’re rich or poor, either. I’m not sure it’s even about needing the money, is what I mean. Like, they might want the extra money to buy something special…But mostly I think kids like to put up lemonade stands and sell lemonade just for the fun of it, don’t you think? Of course, to a lot of kids (like me), making their own money IS fun! LOL

Speaking of making lemonade…You’ve probably heard that expression: “If life gives you lemons…make lemonade.” Well…I think that can apply to bipolar disorder as well, if you

think about it. Because it means that you need to have a positive attitude, and that’s one thing that can be very important when you’re trying to deal with the ups and downs that come with bipolar disorder. Your attitude can determine many things. It can even affect your health, did you know that? It’s true. Even the American Heart Association promotes having a positive attitude. They say that having a positive attitude decreases stress. And since stress is one of the major factors in stroke and heart attacks…A positive attitude can actually prevent them! So to stay in good health, in other words…Have a positive attitude!

Your attitude also affects your emotional well being. If you’re in a negative frame of mind…

It won’t even matter if good things happen to you, because you’ll react to them negatively. But the opposite is also true: If you’re in a positive frame of mind…It won’t matter if bad things happen to you, because you’ll react to them positively. And, in that case, you will definitely react to them with a better frame of mind. For example: Say you have a major problem that comes against you. Problems sometimes need creative solutions. It can take a process to solve them. And you need to have the wherewithal to be able to do that. If you have a negative attitude, you won’t be able to think of all the possible solutions…Where if you have a positive attitude, you WILL be able to think of all the possible solutions to your problem…Even that crazy, “it’ll-never-work” answer that may be the very solution to your problem, you never

know! But the more positive you are, the more receptive you will be to even consider it.

Having a more positive attitude doesn’t just help you to solve problems better, like the major problems that come against you at times (like a major bipolar episode)…But it can also help you cope with the smaller day-to-day problems of dealing with a loved one with bipolar disorder.

Having a positive attitude is just better for you all around.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: So Many Problems


I came across this post on my blog the other day, and feel like I need to respond to it, as this woman talks about so many problems:

“Hi Dave, this is a good one, really made me think about my supporter, oh wait, I do not have

any! I am all alone in dealing with my Bi-polar, even though I am married….my husband is so

not a supporter! he thinks Bi-polar is just all in the mind, and I need to be stronger, and not be so

weak! (and he is bi-polar to, but refuses to deal with it!) So I deal my Bi-polar on my own, read

your fanstastic information here, read books onto how to help control it. I am not on any medication, have not been for a while, I was many years ago…thinking maybe I may need to be, I am under a lot of stress and depression, as my marriage is failing, it feels that way, my husband and I are not doing very well, pretty far apart, argue, fight, all that great stuff in marriage. So I am not sure what to do with all of this, feel very alone and alineated, no one to talk to, no one to turn to, not sure how long this can go on, but dealing with it the best I can.”


So many problems! I feel so sorry for this poor woman. But let me address the issues one at a time. The first thing she talks about is not having a supporter. This is such an important issue.

You need to form a good, strong support system in order to manage bipolar disorder effectively.

Whether you have bipolar disorder or are supporting someone who does, it is so very important that you have a good, strong support system to help you. Especially if you’re the supporter.

Because if you are the only one your loved one has to depend on, you will burn out. And you also need others to whom you can turn so that you have support for yourself, just to take care of yourself, so that you can continue to take care of your loved one. So having a good, strong support system is crucial to being able to manage bipolar disorder. You just can’t do it alone.

At the very least, you need a team of medical and mental health professionals to support you with a good treatment plan in place to help you. And this woman says nothing about that.

In fact, she clearly states another HUGE problem: That she is NOT on medication! That could be the crux of all her other problems. No, there is no cure for bipolar disorder yet. But there is treatment for it. And the best treatment is still medication. But that won’t do you any good if you don’t take it. This woman said she used to take it, but doesn’t take it any more. I wonder if things were better for her when she did take it? Because things usually are. And she needs to get back on it for the best hope of managing her bipolar disorder. She says that she is dealing with things the best she can, but she would be able to deal with things so much better if she were on medication.

She would also be able to deal with things so much better if she were seeing a psychiatrist and therapist on a regular basis. A psychiatrist would help her regulate her medication and help her with any medication changes that needed to be made. A therapist would help her cope and deal with any issues related to her bipolar disorder, like the problems she is having with her marriage.

One of the biggest problems is that she says that her husband also has bipolar disorder, but won’t deal with it. He needs to get help for it, but she can’t make him. And that’s a big problem. So she also needs to learn to be a supporter to her husband, while managing her own disorder.

This woman has a lot of problems, but her bipolar disorder can still be managed. She just needs to tackle one problem at a time and they will fall into place, starting with getting back on her


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:

Pilot breakdown draws attention to mental health standards
DO> Wow, what do you think about this?

Terminated Employee with Bipolar Disorder Awarded $315000 in ADA Case
DO> Do you think this is too little?

‘Unsuitable’ Cops to Guard Police Stations
DO> I can’t believe this, can you?

Prenatal Antipsychotic Drugs Linked to Motor Delays: Study
DO> Take a look at this warning

Bipolar Patients, Family Members and Friends: 10 Things Not to Do
DO> Do you agree with these tips, let me know

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: You Can’t Count On This


There was this old saying I heard: “The only things you can count on in life are death and taxes.”

It was supposed to be a sort of funny way of saying that there really aren’t many things that you can count on in life. And that’s true, isn’t it? Basically, life is pretty unpredictable. I mean, look at your life now. Would you have ever predicted that you would be who you are now? Doing what you’re doing now? Being with who you are now? Working where you are now? Living where you are now? Even driving what you are now? See? Life is really unpredictable. Especially when it comes to a loved one with bipolar disorder.

One of the things I often talk about is the unpredictability of your loved one’s bipolar episodes.

In fact, that’s one of the most unpredictable things about bipolar disorder. Which can make it one of the most frustrating aspects of the disorder for you. But I’m going to tell you a secret. There is a way to make your loved one’s bipolar episodes more predictable. I know…This may sound like an impossibility, but hear me out.

Here’s my logic: If something happens once, there’s a better likelihood that it will happen again, right? That’s how we can determine triggers that lead to bipolar episodes. So think back…Try to remember what led to or caused your loved one’s last bipolar episode. Say for example that it was a manic episode. And say that it was lack of sleep that was the trigger. (I’m just using this as an example – your loved one’s trigger may have been something else.)

Well…Using my logic…You can now use this as a predictor for the future. In other words…

If at any time in the future your loved one loses sleep…You can predict that there is a chance that they may go into a manic episode.

There! The unpredictability factor of their bipolar disorder has lessened at least a little bit for you! You can do the same thing for all their bipolar episodes. Just work it the same way as I just did.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: Working as a Team


Somebody made this post on my blog the other day, and I wanted to respond to it to see what you think:

“It is so hard to be positive when my husband begins to show signs of depression. He does not

recognize it is happening and when I point it out he gets upset. Then he will begin to say bad things about my son, his stepson. I try and not answer him, I try and say we need to stop this conversation. He usually does this just at bedtime so it is not a time I can get in a car and leave. I am also exhausted and he pushes me over the edge. It is just so exhausting. He will say things that reflect what he is not accomplishing and place the fault on my children. Then he will sulk

for awhile and then apologize.. same old pattern. So very exhausting.”


There are several things going on in this woman’s life all at once, so I’ll take it one issue at a time. First, she says: “It is so hard to be positive when my husband begins to show signs of depression.” I’ve heard that before. In fact, I’ve experienced it myself when I was trying

to deal with my mom and her bipolar disorder. But what I had to do was keep my own self and my mood separate from hers. No matter what was going on with her, I had to not let it touch what was happening with me. Now, I’m not saying that’s easy. It’s not. But in general I’m a positive person. And I had to try to stay positive and not let what was happening with my mom bring me down. So that’s what you have to do. Even though it’s hard, you need to try to stay

positive even when your loved one gets depressed. Don’t let their bad mood influence your good one. Keep a good attitude even if theirs is bad. It will help if you maintain a positive outlook on

things, no matter what your loved one’s outlook is, especially if they have a negative one.

Then this woman goes on to say that it’s hard because “He does not recognize it is happening

and when I point it out he gets upset.” That’s common with a loved one with bipolar disorder.

One of the things you need to do in your role as a bipolar supporter is to point out bipolar behavior in your loved one, such as depression. You need to do this so they can avoid a full-blown bipolar episode. In this way you can work as a team to help manage their bipolar disorder, and that’s an important aspect. But that doesn’t mean that they’re always going to

like it when you point these things out. Sometimes they may even be in denial. Sometimes they may even want to blame someone else for their behavior, as this man does. This is common.

She says: “I try and not answer him, I try and say we need to stop this conversation.” These are both good approaches when your loved one is exhibiting inappropriate behavior. But look at WHEN he does it: At bedtime. When she is exhausted. This can almost be seen as manipulative. Which is one of the biggest problems that supporters have with loved ones who have bipolar disorder. He picks a time when she almost can’t “fight back.” A time when she can’t get in the car and leave. A time when she has to listen to what he has to say. This is NOT working as a team.

So what can she do? She needs to call him on this behavior, and tell him that from now on she will not discuss issues with him at bedtime, and that she will NOT listen to him if he chooses to talk to her then, but she will listen to him at another time. Then she needs to stick to this limit.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar: It Can Get Better


Have you ever looked at a quilt? I mean the real, old-fashioned, hand-stitched kind, not the new ones that are bought in the stores. If you look at the one side, they look perfect – All the stitching is right, the patterns are lined up, etc. But if you look on the back…You’ll notice that strands of thread are all over the place, and pieces of fabric overlap, etc. And, well, it’s just not so perfect, is it? You can see the real picture of all that effort of perfection on the back. In other words, the back shows the “real story” of what you see on the front. Life is kind of like that, when you think about it. You see people on the outside. Like you see the front of a quilt. But you don’t see what they’ve gone through to get where they are today. You don’t know their “real” story, do you? And most people hide it real well. They don’t want people to know that they hurt. That’s just how people are.

That’s how most people with bipolar disorder are, anyway. They don’t want people to even know that they have the disorder. They’re afraid of what other people might think of them.

They’re afraid of the stigma associated with bipolar disorder (or any mental illness, for that matter). Many people with bipolar disorder don’t even want to tell their family members that they have the disorder when they’re diagnosed. But I find that it helps to tell them, because it will give an explanation for the often bizarre behavior that has gone on during bipolar episodes.

Most people suspect anyway. So it helps to have an explanation. Education helps to dispel stigma in the long run. It will also help your loved one to learn as much as they can about their bipolar disorder. Not just to dispel stigma…But to help empower them. It will help them feel stronger. It will help them learn to manage their disorder better, too. And it should give them the knowledge that they can, indeed, get better.

No, it’s true that unfortunately, there is still no cure for bipolar disorder. But it’s like diabetes.

There’s still no cure for diabetes, either. But millions of people still live healthy lives that have it, too. The point is that it can be managed. Just like bipolar disorder can be managed. You just have to make some adjustments. Like you have to take medication for it. I know that your loved one most likely won’t like that, especially not the fact that they’ll have to do it every day for the rest of their life…But look at the alternative (bipolar episodes). I’m sure they don’t like the alternative, either. So, in order to stay stable, they have to take their medication. They also need to follow a good treatment plan, stick to a good sleep schedule, eat a healthy diet, exercise, be productive, and do other things that lead to stability. But the point is that if they do these things…They CAN get better!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,