Bipolar: Are You or Your Loved One a Bipolar Cry Baby?


I need to talk to you about something serious. I got an email from someone that says that so much of what I say is incorrect. That doesn’t bother me, because I know it isn’t true. Then the person says that they just want to be heard. Ok, a lot of people say that. I don’t mind that.

Then the person says how hard it is to live with bipolar disorder and that I don’t understand and it’s the worst. So then I had to ask myself, Is this person a bipolar cry baby like someone who has
bipolar disorder said to me? I mean, talking about your problems is one thing. Even a little complaining might be ok. But there are forums for that – like your support group. Or even your friends or family.

But too much complaining might be considered being a cry baby. Think about it – if someone comes to you and cries on your shoulder about their problems, you probably don’t mind, do you?
But if they go on and on and on about them (especially if you can’t do anything about them),
you might consider them a cry baby.

Is your loved one a problem solver or a bipolar cry baby? Do they come to you and complain about all their problems? About things you (or they) can do nothing about? And, if they do, how does it make you feel? So, you don’t want to be that way, do you? You don’t want to be a bipolar cry baby, I know you don’t.

So what’s the alternative? I know I’ve told you this before, but it bears repeating. You have to learn to be a good problem solver. One way to do this is to list out all your problems. Then you start listing out all the possible solutions, from the simplest to the most impossible, however
you brainstorm them.

Someone told me, “the impossible just takes a little longer.” I like that. That’s a good attitude to have. Now, I’m not saying that all these ideas are going to work, or even that you’re going to find
your solution the first time that you try this technique. But at least you TRY to find a solution,
instead of “crying” about it! And if you keep trying, I bet you WILL find a solution.

The important thing is that you become a problem solver instead of a bipolar cry baby, like that person said. So you make this list of options, of possible solutions. Then you go through these options, or possible solutions, and you see which ones are do-able, or which might work for you.

These are the ones you will try. And among these possibilities, you will probably find the solution to your problem. Isn’t this better than crying about it and doing nothing positive to solve it?

One person told me, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Good advice, I think.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. One suggestion: combine the concept of “what is within my control” with the concept of “problem- solving”. Too often people think they are problem-solving when they come up with a long list of what other people/programs/services could do with/to/for them that would help them or their situation. Unfortunately, we don’t get to be in charge of the choices that other people/programs/services make; we only get to be in charge of the decisions that WE make.
    Many thanks for all that you do to encourage and educate both those living with bipolar disorder and their supporters. 🙂

  2. Hi, Dave, Your helpful columns keep me from falling off the track when supporting my friend with bipolar!

    This email is in response to the person who said bipolar is “the worst” and that you don’t understand.

    Bipolar is a terrible malady — but following your practical, everyday advise is part of the solution. There are many other parts, too.

    I wonder if this sad, unfortunate emailer has found a patient, loving supporter. A good supporter is the first step toward everything positive.

    As you have advised many times, the person with bipolar needs a personal supporter,{a support team is best,)medical help, effective medicine, and a good therapist.

    People with bipolar who are alone and unstable cannot put all these pieces together. They lack the organizational skills. They need intense help at first. Then, when they begin to stabilize, they will be able to help themselves to a certain extent.

    But they will always need patient, intelligent supporters who are “in” for the long haul.

    I feel sympathy for this poor emailer. I pray he/she
    will find a supporter who will be
    kind, patient, and willing to learn about bipolar
    stabilization. It is a formidable task and supporters need support, too!!

    Keep your columns coming, Dave!

  3. Great advice today!!! Amazing what putting stuff down on paper can make you understand the problem so much better, and help to identify the correct solution. A little brainstorming to identify the “impossible” solutions is required, but a good exercise.

  4. I have been bi-polar for many years now. And sometimes
    It is worse than others. But my disorder does not difineme. I take my medicine like I should and I avoid situations that are non conducive to my disorder. And occasionally I talk about some issue I am having. But I realize I have to solve my own issues and I usually do. People who allow this disorder to define them are already defeated in my opinion.

  5. Oh boy, this is a topic I know well !
    As you correctly say, be a problem solver, which as an audio, video, & (nightclub) lighting Technician I deal with everyday, and I’ve always been a science lover. So, troubleshooting and narrowing down problems to their source are routine for me, causes and effects must be placed in the proper order, with my BD spouse I can see the things that, because they are going unresolved, lead to ever more problems. I see how not fixing something basic ends up snowballing, and she ends up with so many things to complain about that it wears me out, and frustrates me very much. Why ? Because so many of those things can be traced back to choices and decisions she herself makes, and they are things that Only she can do, and needs to do to improve her life. I could give many examples, here’s just a few, and they mainly revolve around her poor self esteem, she refuses to go shopping for Anything, but complains she has no nice clothes, and no warm clothes for winter, I’ve tried many times to get her some, but have ended up returning them almost every time, she sleeps all day, stays up all night ( I work all day) and complains she has no life, she won’t go anywhere there are people who might see her , why ? because she has no nice clothes, hasn’t colored her hair in ages, has put on weight from olanzapine, so she complains, but won’t do anything to fix any of the problems, these are things I just can’t do for her, she has to herself. I try very hard, but it just tires me out, and then she complains and criticizes me, and says I don’t “get it”, while I’M thinking she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t see how one little thing that she won’t do, like go shopping for clothes and enduring a small amount of unpleasantness would end up helping her feel better in so many ways ! Instead she complains. And, because she basically ends up denying herself things she likes to do, she very often cries (loudly) most of the night, waking me up and ruining my sleep, making it even harder for me, but then blames me for being tired !
    On the weekend she always wants to “go out”, but the list of things she will do is, only after dark, ; go for a walk ; go for a drive (I drive A LOT during the week working), and well, that’s about it ! Not much to choose from, in the summer we go for camp fires, but in winter no. Yet she seems to think it’s up to me to come up with great adventures for us, late at night, in the dark, where there are no other people !
    She IS on meds, although I doubt that they are the right ones for her, she takes olanzapine, wellbutrin, clonazepam, and temazepam. Her life is not going good, and she complains all the time, but no matter what I try I just can’t convince her to change anything, but she expects me to change and adapt in every way.
    How the heck can I get through to her ?
    After 8.5 years with her the world’s biggest problems seem so simple compared to this !

  6. Oh Happy Thersday to you!!!! Thank you for this reinforcement! You reinforce my employment!!!! one has to be a
    1. “good listener” – objectivity is Key!
    2. fair and patient analyzer
    3. willing recipient to help

    (like changing a crying baby’s dirty diaper, aint it is what I call unloading life’s not so pleasant treasures into our lives!!! Thanks You the answer to your question, based on What I do is this:

    Answer: Problem Solver

    Great to have your expertise and you have inspired “reinforcement”

    You and I kind of do similar work – you make others end up feeling good!

  7. I am at a loss, to how to get someone with this disorder to realize that they are having these symptoms of this disorder?? Im read some things out of a pamphlet to them, said no , I dont have that…. I have been doing research and learning more as I can about this disorder …..plz, f u have any ideas how to help me share with them, they have this, would so appreciate any help?? ty Linda Stllwell…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *