Bipolar – It’s Not a Good Thing


I had someone write to me the other day. He has a wife who has bipolar disorder. And he was telling me something about how she’s been acting. It sounded to me like she’s been in a bipolar

episode. She sure was exhibiting many of the signs and symptoms of one. And he was asking me for advice. But I’m not a doctor, so I couldn’t help him as far as diagnosis or anything like that. Many times, I talk to people about what to do to avoid going into a bipolar episode, like what triggers to avoid, and things like that. I even go into some things NOT to do…Like NOT to stop taking your medications without talking to your doctor first, as that is really dangerous –

usually it will make you go into a bipolar episode, and you don’t want that.

But this man was talking about that, and was saying that he thought they’d tried to do all the

things you’re supposed to do to avoid an episode…But that maybe they hadn’t avoided all the

things you’re NOT supposed to do…So I thought maybe it would be a good idea to go over some of them here so that you’d know about them too. You might even want to share this with your loved one.

Like…It’s not good to…Stop taking your bipolar medications without talking to your doctor first. It would be better to…Discuss any side effects you’re experiencing, or any desire to go off your medication for whatever reason, with your doctor, so they can help you.

It’s not good to…Go to different doctors. It would be better to…Find one doctor that you trust, and stick with them.

It’s not good to…Drink alcohol, as it can mess with your bipolar medications. It would be better to…Drink herbal tea instead, if you are feeling nervous, or otherwise desire to drink alcohol, or to drink soda if you are wanting to be social.

It’s not good to…Take drugs, as they could interact in a negative way with your bipolar medications, and also leave you with a substance abuse disorder in addition to your bipolar

disorder. It would be better to…Deal with the issues in therapy that make you want to take drugs in the first place.

It’s not good to…Eat lots of sugar or caffeine in your diet, as that can make you hyper, and also make you gain weight (which you have enough problems with, with your bipolar medications).

It would be better to…Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, as this will help you stay more stable and healthy physically.

It’s not good to…Neglect your physical health. It would be better to…Get regular physical check-ups, and to see your family doctor if you feel ill in any way physically, as well as to tend to any physical disorders in addition to your bipolar disorder, to keep yourself healthy.

It’s not good to…Sit around the house all the time with nothing to do, or lay around in bed or on the couch, as this can lead to depression and/or a bipolar depressive episode. It would be better to…At least have a hobby or even a volunteer job, or at least be productive in some way, like having a To-Do List every day with tasks to complete on a daily basis so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. I think these are all excellent suggestions. However, I think that sometimes we, who suffer from bipolar disorder, are entitled to take up with the couch for an afternoon, especially if we have been accomplishing much around the house. We had our first snowfall overnight, with rain and flooding yesterday, so I don’t plan on driving anywhere today, as many roads are closed. I am getting the laundry done, and some other smaller tasks, but otherwise I am enjoying cartoons, herbal tea and pop tarts! Soon I will be headed for the sofa to watch cartoons, and maybe even take a nap with the dog. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself with a day of relaxation that has been earned.

  2. This letter was very timely for me anyway. I never stop taking my meds, but sometimes it dosen’t feel like they are helping much. A journal of how the person with Bipolar deals with situations if very helpful especially this time of year. Thanks

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