Bipolar Disorder and Fishing


I bet you’d never in a million years think that bipolar disorder could have anything to do with fishing, would you? Well, let me show you how this guy who actually has bipolar disorder changed my mind.

This guy really likes to fish. He goes fishing wherever he goes. So he was down in Florida on vacation, and he went on one of those excursion fishing trips where they take you night fishing out on the gulf.

Well, there was this one woman on the boat who’d been fishing for hours, and nothing was happening. Everything was so calm, in fact, that she had almost fallen asleep.

Then all chaos broke loose! Her line went crazy! She was losing control of it! She couldn’t keep hold! She just couldn’t do it by herself! She needed help, and she needed it badly.

Well, she ended up catching the biggest fish caught on the entire boat that night!

Do you know why?

Because the deck hands helped her reel it in.

And this guy was watching the whole thing happen from beginning to end.

So he told me (like I’m sure you’re wondering) how this made him think of his bipolar disorder. He said that usually, his life is really peaceful. Life goes along, and things are usually pretty good for him, no real problems to speak of. But then some things start to go wrong. He gets a little stressed. He might start losing some sleep. His meds get a little off. He just “doesn’t feel right.” Then all chaos breaks loose! He feels like he’s going crazy! He’s losing control of it!

He can’t keep hold! He just can’t do it by himself! He needs help, and he needs it badly. He’s headed for a full-blown manic episode!

But, just like the lady with the fish, he doesn’t have to go into the episode, because he gets

the help he needs. He has a great supporter and a strong support system.

He told me that remembering that fishing trip and that woman’s experience with the fish

helps him stay stable, because he remembers that he can’t do it by himself, and that there

is help for him if he needs it.

Each person with bipolar disorder is different.

For this guy, remembering his fishing trip in Florida helps keep him stable.

For others, unfortunately, it’s remembering the last episode, when they forgot that they couldn’t

do it by themselves, and that all they had to do was reach out for help.

Some stay stable out of fear of being put in the hospital again.

Some stay stable because they have a great family and gang of friends who make up their support system.

Other people stay stable because they monitor their moods, take their medication religiously, eat right, exercise, have a good sleep routine, go see a psychiatrist and therapist regularly, are part of a bipolar support group, volunteer, and have a balanced life.

Still others stay stable because to think of otherwise just isn’t an option for them, so they do what they have to do.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. hello Dave.
    my grandson has bipolar issues, just as you have described. he stays for a while on his meds them goes off. he also had previous drug issues. and just was mixed up he couldn’t do anything for himself. his parents are separate, so he lives from place to place, and in shelters.
    we did our best to help, but it was becoming very difficult to manage. I think we did to much, and we almost became an enabler, which I’m sorry about
    He did not appreciate our help, so it was time for him to get his life together and move on. we did are best,
    we can’t live his life. we haven’t heard a word from him in a long time. so we just hope he is fine and ok.
    helping bipolar people is a real challenge keep up the great work Dave.

  2. Great story, just like watching a movie from a front
    row seat.
    I never yet had the pleasure/horror of seeing myself
    go through an episode. Very scarry thought when you
    do live by yourself and you are not too good at asking
    for help.
    Through the years I have learned that it is best when
    keeping a balance in the daily activities of your life.
    Survival is a daily ritual that one can get really good
    at with a lot of practice.
    Thank you for being there for all of us still!

  3. HELLO,


    at first he thought he was cursed it had seemed like everything in his life went out of control — he didn’t like his Mother, didn’t appreciate his family, quit several jobs and finally got spiritual help.

    he didnt like opening up about himself but when he found a “true friend” he explained everywhere he went, women treated him as “less than a man” sort of like a kid or a child – and it dated back to a Parental experience he had that should have never happened and it continued as a supervisory experience on the job….really! you wouldn’t be interested in that info… turns out he had a sibling who also gave him that terrible experience – IT WAS THORNY TO SAY THE LEAST BUT AT LEAST HE IS FREE. I guess that’s what a good support system is for!!! I’m glad he discovered his support system…

    as a former acquaintance reminded me — all we want is to accepted as we truly are…. SINCE HE’S BEEN BACK FROM FLORIDA – HE’S IN A VERY FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP NOW

  4. My husband is bipolar. He cannot see that he is being aggressively mean, he writes sticky notes accusing family members of doing things. He is angry, he is judge, jury and sentence giver. I am in despair that I am allowing this behavior to happen. He does nothing all day for days. He gets more and more depressed and takes out all his shortcomings on everyone else. He does not understand why no one wants to be around him, the dogs growl at him. I do not know how much longer I can support him. These are my children he is causing to have fear and be uncomfortable in their own house.
    I cannot help him if he will not try and help himself and maybe he just cannot help himself. If he were the person fishing in that story he would end of tipping the boat and drowning. And everyone around him is being pulled down by his condition.
    I had to scream in my car before I came home from work. thats my comment.

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