Bipolar: Critical Email to Me


You know, I come out with new material on bipolar disorder all the time, because I want to help people with the disorder and their supporters.  That’s my bottom line. I want to keep you up-to-date and give you new information all the time, information I think you need to know. And most people thank me, telling me how good the material is, and how much they enjoyed it, and how much they learned from it.

I’ve even had people tell me how a report or course saved their life or the life of their loved one!

Others have told me how a report or course even saved their marriage!

But look at what this person wrote me:

“I don’t belive in what most of what you say. unsless of course you DO have the SUPPORT of others ( like you say ).Tell do you get that?!!!! Amanda”

Well, what do I say to that? What would you say, if you were doing what you believed in most, and you thought you were helping a lot of people, and someone came along and trashed what you were doing? First off, I read the comment again very carefully. I tried to read it again without my first emotional reaction.

Look at the first line: “I don’t belive in what most of what you say.” MOST of what I say. Well, that means that she at least believes in SOME of what I say, right? That means I’m getting some good information out to her, and that’s encouraging to me.

I never said that everything I write is going to please everyone. I know that some of what I write, that some people might think I’m crazy for writing (especially when I talk about some of my friends! lol) Or when I talk about some of the things that happen to me (and, yes, they really do happen to me). Or how I tie everything in to bipolar disorder.  Even the strangest of things!

Or when I post some of the comments, like this one, that this lady wrote to me. But the important thing is that I’m honest.  That’s the one thing that I am.  Because I believe in what I do, and that’s who I am. I assume you’re honest, too.  Would you be defensive about that?  Would you defend yourself against the comments that this woman made if she made them about you?

Many times, I talk about the importance of having a strong support system. I only bring that up because it sounds to me like this woman doesn’t have one, or else why would she ask me: “unsless of course you DO have the SUPPORT of others ( like you say ).Tell do you get that?!!!!”

So let me ask: How DO you get the support of others? If you have bipolar disorder, you get it by developing a strong support system, like I was saying before. How does a supporter get the support of others? By developing their own support system. By not isolating, by not letting the world of bipolar disorder overwhelm them…By having their own set of friends, etc.

How do I get the support of others? I give them good information that they need to know. And everyone should have the support of their family behind them, whether they have bipolar disorder or are supporting someone who does.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,



  1. I enjoy your emails and look forward in reading them all the time. I share them often with others. I have suffered bi-polar for years and it is compounded by PTSD (I am retired military). So please keep the emails coming.

  2. Hi David

    Sorry, that women said what she said. You put a lot of time, effort and you do care about bipolar people or you wouldn’t do as much as you do to help. You have helped me in the pass support my son’s illness. I for one appreciate all that you do. So hang in there.


  3. many thanks for all your valuable amy has battled/denied her bi-polar.she cannot keep a job.she lost custody of her baby girl.her ex put her in a mental hospital for a week,lost another job.she owes everyone that knows her a lot of money.especially family,they are all done/finished with her lies,tantrums,outbursts,disrespectful,hateful can I get thru to her? I am afraid for my grandson.please can you help??

  4. Hi- My concern is just the opposite. I have a child who will not believe that he has a problem. He is an adult, but his anger is all funneled towards me and his father because we encouraged him to go to the hospital 2 1/2 years ago. He had gone off his meds 9 months before and became suicidal and unable to care for himself. Hospital was the only option in our eyes. Of course they medicated him and because he feels that the medication completely changes who he is, he again is not taking it and refuses any medical help at all. How can I deal with this? He was turned down for disability because they needed more convincing evidence from the medical community.

  5. Hi Dave ,
    Very difficult to get the support as often family and friends are completely overwhelmed with symptoms of a loved one with bipolar disorder . My family members who suffer shut me out and I have to walk on eggshells . I know the answer would seem to be. “Don’t be taken advantage of ect ” but very complex illness and supporters cannot be strong for ever . So said young lady maybe feels deserted but supporters probably can do know more . It is hard to hang on in with this disorder. Sorry to sound negative . Your emails have been a wonderful help to me in understanding the crippling depressive illness along with the associated addictions . Thank you Dave and good wishes to all who suffer and those that succeed .


  7. Just wanted to let you know that the info I have been reading has helped me to better understand my situation with my husband. As for support sometimes
    I feel alone because the people in my life don’t understand what it’s like living with someone who is bi-polar. Frankly I find it a challenge even with medicine individuals aren’t ready to for lack of better words “live up to” everyones expectations…
    “behavior” isn’t what one would “expect” it to be.
    Sometimes I wonder if it’s pity or love that’s holding us together after 35 years of “lots of stuff”
    I still want to believe life will get better. Your
    info is helping me to believe and have hope one day we will work through some of our/my issues dealing with this disease…Thanks for the info you’ve provided. Maggie

  8. I am the supporter of a son who was diagnosed bipolar 8 years ago. Unfortunately a couple of months after he was diagnosed he went to prison and will not get out until 2016. His was a case of needing care & treatment not prison. He has the support of family and I as a supporter have immediate family, church family, and your emails and newsletters. I have learned so much from your sharing and just being honest. That’s the way I prefer it anyway. Thank you so much! I wasn’t sure where to turn to find the help and education I needed so I can help my son. Just like you’ve said many times, most people don’t understand people who are bipolar or manic. I appreciate being able to learn so much from you and can hopefully help my son get the help he needs when he comes out.

  9. In my view the comment you mention is an expression of the frustration this woman apparently feels–a call for help. Perhaps she is isolated and has no one else in her life–at least anyone with the intent or enough awareness or caring to listen to her or support her in any way.

  10. Just like you, David, I work with a lot of people in a lot of pain & I think that is what we hear in this girl’s e-mail. Prov 18 in the first verses really sums it up as you point out as well. Isolation is a natural response to pain for people who don’t experience love or know how to give it. It then breeds self-pity & an effort to work things out within your own broken self that ends in despair. We weren’t created to be alone, but hurt people self protect as you know. There’s a story behind her response that has nothing to do with you : ) you do a great job! Keep it up

  11. I have a husband and son with bipolar and it has been a 22 year long journey. I stay sane by creating my boundaries and keeping them. Certain behaviors are absolutely not tolerated and that is it. I have amazing friends and have learned to create a life of my own outside of the chaos of living with bipolar. Educating yourself on bipolar is the first step and mandating that your loved one is regulated on their medication. If not, have a consequence and stick to it. It is not an easy life. But everyone has problems they deal with, whether it be illness or brokenness in their family.

  12. That’s all very well,but how does a supporter have a support system if no-one wants to know and they have no family?

  13. David ,everyday I read your email ,I’ve learned so much about dealing with my two sons and seven nephews with their diagnois .I attend support groups,I’m better equipped to address issues with doctors ,family and society .Living with loveones that has this condition is very challenging ,but with your emails ,keeping myself informed ,having support of others living through it like myself ,I feel more capable of managing the challange as to allowing the challange to manage me .We are striving and surviving one day at a time .Please continue to stay on line,there are 7 mothers in ALA.and 10 in Clev, Ohio one of myself truly look forward for your insight ,encouragement, and information to help us to help ourselves and our loveones.As a result of reading your emails,I took classes to become a case manager for families like my own ,it has proven to be very rewarding.We are not alone,thank you David

  14. Awwwwwe, so sorry to hear that – You are soooo good at what you do. I would offer you a lollipop but I dont want to insult you. I just think what you do is very impressive. Helping those that either really have this condition and it is seen by their Parents or Mates or those that simply imagine having Parents and Mates that they are actually displaying “episodes” with.

    My female friend just got a haircut, went to the bank (they were giving away free lollipops and managed to experience “road rage” – an episode. She was trying to be nice however there was situations where People and their lives “project” upon others what they ordinarily cowardly cannot give to the actual source.

    I had a Boss many moons ago (who came to the workplace just to harass and attack the innocent) that was her bipolar not ours. So your story is quite understandable. and Sometimes its not anyone specifically, but Life puts all yer stuff out there for all to see and you have to figure out what “criticisms” are worthy of a response.

    Me and a particular male friend of mine relate to this particular story of yours is the Actual Love Story of Our Lives……


  15. I don’t really have support from my family. We live a very distant lives. I’m lucky if I see my oldest sister once every months and my other sister every 6 months and I live in vancouver and they live in Coquitlam,45 min by train. >>>My boyfriend supports me he just calls the hospital when he thinks <I AM MANIC.

  16. I have found all the information from your books to be very helpful. My sons bipolar is out of control and he wont except the help anymore so i have had to distance myself. Our state does not have a very good policy on Mental Health Issues so i get led around in circles and getting nowhere. Its very frustrating.

  17. Hello Dave! I don’t live in the US. I do like to read your chronicles and what you write to supporters. (My fiancé is my supporter) but he also lives in another country, far away. I am bipolar, do not take meds as they make me sleepy and I have to work a lot, and I am my daughter’s caregiver. She has BPD and is often violent. My family is not here, they also live far away, and they live normal lives and con’t want to kn ow from me. I am alone, except for my fiancé, who my daughter campaigns against saying he is a psychopath. When we were together once, he beat me up several times and almost killed me by suffocation (closing all my airways) and I also have a heart disease and I almost died. He is my only supporter, but I think he is also in need of psychiatric help. He has no support network except for internet people who live in a distant country and support a local soccer team. So neither one of us 3 have any support from anyone. I struggle alone and trust my cat and dog. That is what I would like Amanda to know. You have no support group? Well, david Oliver supports us via the internet. Isn’t that a lot, Amanda? Regards and thank you

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