Bipolar: A Dream Book


There’s this movie with Queen Latifah in it where her character is diagnosed with a fatal tumor and told she is going to die. She’s told she doesn’t have much time left, just months. Well…She has this book. It’s like a scrapbook. A sort of “Dream Book.” In it she put all the things she would like to do someday. You know, like visit Europe, learn to be a great chef, get a nice car, fall in love, etc. So when she found out she was dying, she took all her money and decided to go to Europe to visit this great chef (at least two of the things in her Dream Book). She had a great time!

Well…I’m not going to tell you how the movie ends, because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But I was thinking about this Dream Book idea in relation to bipolar disorder (I know, I know, I think of everything in relation to bipolar disorder). But so many people let bipolar disorder stop them from pursuing their dreams. That’s one of the reasons why I tell people not to let bipolar disorder overwhelm you or take over your life. There has to be more to your life than bipolar disorder. But if you’re not careful, it CAN take over your life, and it can easily overwhelm you. Sometimes to the point where you can’t see beyond it. Some people get so taken over by it that they no longer make any plans for fear of the bipolar interfering with them. So they just stay home. And that’s no answer either.

Even though with bipolar disorder does come the possibility of bipolar episodes, there also exists the possibility of stable periods. Periods that are fairly normal. That’s when you should take advantage of the situation. Do the things that you’ve been planning to do. Do the things that you’ve put off doing. Do the things that the bipolar has kept you from doing.

Here’s my idea: I think you should make up a Dream Book like Queen Latifah’s character did in the movie. Get together with your loved one when they’re stable. Cut out pictures from magazines about things you’d like to do when they stay stable and are in a normal period for X amount of time. Do you want to take a cruise? Cut out a picture of a cruise ship. Do you want to visit the beach? Cut out a picture of the beach. Do you want to visit family? Cut out a picture of a happy family. Do you want to visit the mountains? Cut out a picture of the mountains. Do you want to fly to Alaska? Cut out a picture of a plane.

Do you see what I mean? Let your imaginations soar! Just think of all the things that you’d like to do! Have fun with it! Just remember that bipolar disorder doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things that you’d like to do during normal periods.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,




  1. I think this is a great idea. See I volunteer to help people with mental illnesses. I think the dream book will help lots of people dream a little. It will be fun to see how others dream.

  2. Wow! that’s amazing Dave. My girlfriend is writing a comic book – she’s still working on it but one point you made that got my eye ‘never put off for tomorrow what you can do today” the happiest I’ve seen my girlfriend was when we celebrated her birthday at Ihop, then we went to prospect park and then an amusement park. Time is sooo precious and always a great thing to value so we did all we could just in case, we run of of money or worse yet break up (i don’t think that is a concern); point being I wanted to show her the happiest time ever. Whew! at least the birthday thing is done with! We are taking it one day at a time. I am the one with the bipolar episodes and she noted a change in my behavior so I’m very alert as to not let this “overwhelm” and consume my life!

    Now we only talk about “nice things” instead of my disturbing past relationships.

  3. Please read rethinking madness by Paris Williams it is never too late to learn about the latest research and the hope in that book that doesnt come from Big pharm but is a true recovery and lasting!

  4. Hi Dave,
    I think you are awesome. What a fantastic idea. My mom is bipolar and just sits at home exactly as you described. I’ve been amazed by you for years. I am a 42 year old recovering addict (almost 2 years clean). Long story and kind of shocked everyone as i’ve always been so anti drugs but this isn’t about me… last night at the regular NA meeting I attend there was a young guy (19) who has been diagnosed bipolar due to excessive drug abuse. He was using with his mother and they are both addicts, however he’s taken it upon himself to ask for help and go for treatment. He’s now clean and recovering but has these terrible bipolar episodes and the parents don’t know how to cope or deal with him. His mom is still using and it seems she cannot cope with this “new” illness. Very sad. I hope to see him next week so I can tell him about you so he can subscribe. He’s feeling very rejected and his parents are telling him if he acts out they don’t want him to live with them. He has nowhere to go he’s a student. This could cause him to relapse. So, thank you for your inspiration! I am sure if i see him next week he will be blessed to have this kind of support. Kind regards
    Sam, from South Africa)

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