Bipolar: Bipolar Disorder is Like Candy


You know, recently I heard this saying, “Bipolar disorder is like candy – if you don’t manage it right, it can make you really, really sick.” It sounds almost funny, but it’s true. You can almost compare the bipolar manic episodes to too much candy/too much sugar.

You get really, really high, really hyper. You feel great – on top of the world! All your ideas (grandiose ideas) are great ideas – you don’t understand why they’ve never been thought of before. You have so much energy, you could go on forever – who needs to sleep, anyway?

And money IS like candy – you think you have an endless supply of it, you go through it until
it’s gone, with no thought of how you’re going to feel afterwards (or of what the consequences
are going to be). And the fun – oh the fun! What a grand time you’re having! …until the inevitable crash. Just like the crash you’d have after eating a lot of candy. That high does not last forever.

And there are always consequences to pay (sometimes some pretty harsh ones). That feeling-great-on-top-of-the-world feeling becomes a deep depression. So deep, in fact, that you may even become suicidal (some people have even killed themselves).

Your great ideas are only great to you – to other people they may seem a bit odd, or even
crazy. After all that energy is gone, and that lack of sleep catches up to you, you may hit the bed
and not emerge for days (or weeks) at a time.

And that spending spree? The overdrawn checking account…The credit card debt…The loss of your car… your home…The loss of your/your family’s possessions…The bankruptcy…The financial ruin…

But worst of all…Is the loss of trust from your supporter. Because the consequences of your behavior may extend beyond everything I already listed. You may not remember what you’ve done during a bipolar episode, but your supporter, family, and friends do.

You may have done or said things that truly hurt your supporter, and they are still stinging
from them. They may be feeling mistrustful, hurt, angry, resentful, embarrassed (because of things you’ve done in public)…isolated, lonely… among other negative feelings/emotions.
All because of you.

You might want them to feel sorry for you, and may not understand their distance (after all,
they’ve been through a lot, too). What you need to remember is that bipolar disorder is not only your disorder. Because of you, it’s your supporter’s disorder as well.

They have to deal with the consequences of your behavior when you’ve had an episode. You may have even lied to them during a bipolar episode and not remember it now…But they do. There are always consequences from a bipolar episode.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,



  1. Good Analogy!!!!

    thanks for the warning – I’ll never go broke now that I see how scary it could be or look!!!!

  2. Very well written and very true. Great for you!!!!! You do a fabulous job in sharing insights and developing systems to help people with bi-polar and their supporters. Sincerely and appreciatively, Gabriele

  3. I’ve waited a long time to comment on anything, mainly because I’m a pretty private person. But this email I had to comment on, its probably the best analogy I’ve seen yet. I’ve tryed for years to find the best way to explain to my family what its like and I think you hit the nail right on the head… Thank you for your insight into my my mental illness, there are still things I’m learning about myself. Sincerely Shannon

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