Bipolar: A Woman with 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.
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,



Bipolar: The Hardest Part for Most of Us


Are you familiar with The Serenity Prayer? It goes like this:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.


Well, today I’d like to talk about the “accept the things I cannot change” part. This is probably the hardest part for most of us to do, especially when dealing with a loved one who has bipolar disorder. It’s natural for us to want to change things we do not like, or the way things are going if we don’t like them, or to even want to change our loved ones if we don’t like the way they are acting.

The problem is, we can’t do any of that. We especially cannot change our loved ones, because you can’t change another person – they have to change themselves. It’s trying to change the things you CAN’T change that leads to stress and anxiety, which are bad for you.

They are even worse for your loved one, Because if they try to change things that they can’t change and they experience stress and anxiety over it, this can even lead to depression, which can lead to a bipolar episode for them. So both of you need to learn to accept the things you cannot change. Because for both of you, stress and anxiety can be bad.

So how do you do that (accept the things you cannot change)? Especially when it comes to
your loved one and their bipolar disorder? First, let’s look at some truths about change. There are some things you CAN change, but there are other things you CAN’T change.

You can’t change other people. It’s up to them to change themselves. And that’s only if they want to – you can’t do it for them. You can’t always change the situation around you (although sometimes you can, and I’ll talk about that in a minute). You can’t change the world, as much as you might like to sometimes. You can’t change the place you’re in, usually.

Especially in this economy. Most of us are lucky to be holding on to our homes these days, and couldn’t afford another house even if we wanted to. You can’t change things. Things just are the
way they are. For example, you just can’t change the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder. It’s just a fact. You may not like it, but you also can’t change it.

The only thing you can do about things you can’t change is to accept them. A friend of mine told me this quote from one of her daily readings, and I think it applies here:

“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. 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.”

I think that’s what it’s all about. Finding serenity, or peace of mind, in whatever situation you’re in. In other words, accepting what you can’t change. If you can come to the place where you
can accept that your loved one has bipolar disorder and you can’t change that fact, then you can do something about it – You can start learning how to manage it.

Remember the old expression, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, this is sort of the same thing. You can work with what you have, if you accept it. If you don’t, it won’t get you anywhere, anyway. And it might make you sick, trying to change what you can’t change, getting all stressed out. And that is something you DON’T want!

For a supporter, maybe stress won’t put you into a bipolar episode like it might your loved one, but the stress can make you not as good a supporter as you can be, if you don’t accept the things you can’t change.

The main point I’m trying to make is to accept the things you can’t change, and work with the things you CAN change, and you’ll be much more able to be the supporter you want (and need) to be.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,