Bipolar? Accepting Imperfections


How are you?

I hope you’re doing well.

I want to tell you about a woman I read about.

This woman was so obsessed with perfection that she literally made herself sick.

The problem was, in her eyes, her body was fat.

Every time she looked in the mirror, she saw herself as fat.

Now, that didn’t make it true, it’s just the way she saw herself.

She would read magazines and want to be as thin and perfect as the models in the magazines.

She wanted a perfect body.

So she practically starved herself to get one.

There is such a thing as losing too much weight, however, and/or losing it in the wrong way.

Instead of simply eating a healthy diet and losing weight slowly like she should have, she just stopped eating almost altogether.

She did drink water, however, and lots of it.

The water only flushed out needed nutrients, though.

The next thing she knew, she was in the hospital with an almost fatal blood pressure and loss of electrolytes in her body.

She was down to 95 pounds.

But she still thought she was fat.

In the hospital, they had to give her several bags of fluids to get her blood pressure back up.

She was very weak, and very sick.

The problem was not in her body, it was in her mind.

She wanted to be perfect, and almost died in the process.


Imperfection is a fact of life.

It’s hard to accept our own imperfections, much less someone else’s.

This woman became obsessed with a perfect body.

You know I work out a lot, and I see men all the time who are trying to do the same thing.

Instead of just accepting that they aren’t Superman, they try and try to “buff up” not for healthy reasons, but for personal reasons.

Like this woman, they are unhappy with their bodies.

They think that if they just work out enough, they will have “six-pack abs” and all the rest, and then their life will be perfect.

That’s the wrong way to approach it, though.

It’s one thing to try to improve yourself.

It’s quite another thing if your motivation is to be perfect.

Sometimes it’s hard for a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder to accept their own limitations.

They want to be the perfect supporter.

In my courses/systems, I talk about what makes a good supporter. But never do I say that you have to be perfect at it.







All you can do is be the best supporter you can be, and accept that you’re not going to be perfect.

No one is.

If you’re looking for the magic formula that tells you how to be the perfect supporter, you won’t find one.

But if you can accept your own imperfections, it will be easier to accept your loved one’s imperfections.

No matter how much they try or what they do, your loved one will never be the perfect bipolar survivor, either.

There’s an expression that says, “It’s ok to strive for perfection, as long as you accept that you will never arrive there.”

If you accept your loved one as they are, understanding that they are trying their best to recover, things will be much easier for you.

Just don’t expect them to be perfect.

And don’t expect yourself to be perfect, either.

  1. David, Thank you for all your information and support. I would appreciate any comments you have regarding weight gain due to medication and overeating. Also, how do I help my daughter with this problem. Thank You so much, your friend Rosemarie

  2. “Perfecton is in the eye of the beholder.” As you mentioned the woman who literally starved herself so that she could be “perfect” in hr own eyes, there is the “striving” for perfection, as long as you don’t achieve it. Nature didn’t make ANYTHING perfect.

    During one hospitalization, the DR had me so overmedicated that I had no appetite, and my weight went down to 78 lbs. He told my Mom to send me somewhere to die. I landed in the State Mental Hospital, where a doctor there diagnosed pernicious anemia. I was put on a regimen of Vitamin B-12 injections twice a day, megavitamins, and extra helpings of food in the cafeteria. Slowly but surely, I gained up to 100 lbs in 5 months. Now, I WASN’T trying to lose weight; it just happened. I was labeled “anorexic,” which I never was. I was just mistreated by this DR, who later commited suicide.

    Sometimes our ailments ARE iatrogenic, as Troy has said about meds. If you’re not sick when you go INTO the psych ward, you’re sick when you’re ON it. Looking back to ALL my hospitalizations for mania, I was the SICKEST on the ward, what with my delusions and failure to come off the euphoria.

    We should all strive to be the BEST “us” we can be, NOT carry it to extremes. As long as you’re comfortable in your own skin, don’t let anybody tell you you’re not.

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and those who love us. May God bless you real good. I pray for my country.

  3. We’re certainly not perfect, and I know in my head that I’ll never be perfect, but I still try real hard. I use food as comfort, so weight loss is a real struggle for me–and my health IS affected. As a supporter of a bipolar husband who cycles quickly from one extreme to the other, life stays, “interesting.”

    When I have time to read the emails, the information is good. However, it takes a couple of minutes to read, and if I go to the suggested website I run out of time.

    Is there a “nutshell” version?

  4. David, the information you give all of us people who have any relation with Bipolar Disorder has been very helpful. Thank you so much!!! I amtrying to accept your generous offer but Neither I nor my sister can open the link to order the pack. ÇWhat can we do? Please help!!!

  5. Dear David,

    Thank you for your caring nature~ As I read the email about the woman trying to reach perfection with her body and how sad this truth is for many people; I couldn’t help but think about how my bipolar husband (in his own irrational thinking),expects his wife(me),his sisters, and his daughters also to have “perfect bodies”.Is this part of the “grandiose thinking”? I have heard him tell our thirteen year old daughter that she HAS to be perfect.I find myself angry about this all the time & it may even be contributing to my weight gain and lowered self esteem.My husband has always been very thin.His meds have increased his weight a tiny bit but he is horrified with it.Seems so shallow doesn’t it? THanks for your insight on this illness.

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