Bipolar Disorder? Getting back on the worse


How’s it going?

I am going hiking today so I had to get this off early in the morning.

Okay, so, have you ever heard the expression “getting back on the horse”?

People use it when talking about having failed at something and then trying it again.

Sometimes, if you’ve messed up, it’s hard to get back to where you were.

But sometimes it’s CRUCIAL that you “get back on the horse” when it comes to things that you

mess up with your bipolar disorder.

Take, for example, your medication.

It’s easy to forget to take it.

If you do, that’s ok. You just take the next dose when it’s time.

But too many people will just stop taking it altogether, and that is a HUGE mistake!

Because that is almost a SURE way to go into a bipolar episode!

And also because when you’re ready to go back on your medication, it’s like starting at square one again.

Bipolar medication takes time to build up in your bloodstream, so if you’ve been off it for awhile, you have to start at a low dose again and build back up to the level where you were before you stopped taking it.

Some people mess up seeing their doctor, psychiatrist, and/or therapist.

They miss one appointment, then it gets easier to miss another, then another…

Then they stop going altogether.

And that is NOT the right thing to do.

If you miss an appointment, you have to “get back on the horse” and go to the next one.

There are so many parts that can be messed up in a treatment plan, but I’m not going to go into all the parts of a treatment plan here, because I go into them extensively in my courses/systems:







But I do want to talk to you about what happens when you do start to mess up parts of your treatment plan.

Let’s say you’ve started isolating again.

Isolation is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, and one of the top triggers to a bipolar episode.

But if you let this slip, and you start to isolate again, then you are in a dangerous place, and could be jeopardizing your stability.

Now you have two choices:

You can either close down, shut out the world, get all depressed, climb into bed, pull the covers over your head, feel sorry for yourself, cry, and go into a bipolar depressive episode…

OR… you can “get back on the horse” again.

Another example is if you start to slip with your sleep patterns.

Lack of sleep (or too much sleep) is another trigger to a bipolar episode.

But you can fix it if you catch it soon enough.

In other words, you can accept that even though you let a PART of your treatment plan get messed up, your WHOLE treatment plan is still working, and you can still fix it.

First you identify what went wrong. Then you can fix it (“Get back on the horse.”)

It doesn’t have to be anything really dramatic, but even small parts of your treatment plan, if they get messed up, can cause you to go into an episode.

Even if it does cause you to go into an episode, though, you can still recover from that episode and…

That’s right – “get back on the horse” again.

Start back doing the things you were doing before you went into that episode.

What do you think of the idea of “getting back on the horse”?

  1. Thank you for all your information, I was diagnosed with Bipolor depression not the mania part I do take Lithum and now he started me on the new one prestiq which seems to be working really well.

  2. I don’t want to get on a horse, just to get hose shaddy.
    You see I have problems on a daily basis by trying to get on that horsy primarilly and secondly, I have been isolating my self for months. Intentionally, almost as trying to get even at something or somehow to myself. Which is really weird. I know it.
    Thanks anyways

    Mr Edd

  3. Thank you sooooooooooooo much for keeping us ‘on the horse’ by reminding us that ‘little by little’ one can choose to go up or go down! As it is a choice we make & that we must take responsibility for.

    By reading you each day & ‘hearing what you have to say’-we can be ‘in control of our illness’ & NOT LET the ‘illness control us!’

    THank you,
    Dr Suzie

  4. Dear Dave,
    I support my daughter, age 27. She had been diagnosed with Bipolar in 1999. Many therapists and pshy. took away the diagnosis and left it at Drug addiction and an anxiety disorder.
    Just recently she has been re-diagnosed. This doctor said she has bipolar with mixed states. Things make a tiny bit more sense now, however if you support a person with bipolar you have to have train yourself TO GET BACK ON THE HORSE. I chissel it in my brain so as to not get discouraged. It’s like a relapse in drug addiction. You begin again, and TRY not to take it personaly. I liked your quote: “you plan for the worst and hope for the best”.

  5. I really need help not a cleaverly dissguised addvertisment.Bugger off jerk!I have no money hypocrit.

  6. Very little good information that you give for free,allready know, If I could afford your book I would get it.Don’t need a commercial in my mail box. The time I have given is because I am serious about recovery.Only send serious stuff, what kind of bi polar would be able to have credit card? Give your head a shake.I’ll bet if you put a free book together and made it only availible to those with diagnosed perscription for the book you would be blessed by God(as you understand it) beyond all comprehension.I know if I read a book that helped me get my spending under controll and controll over everyday stuff I would send donations to the organization that got me there in hopes that they would continue to help others.Very serious!Please, no more cleaver adds.

  7. I have “gotten back on the horse” sooo many times, I can’t even COUNT them. I’ve had to start over from Square One, learning how to get back into the “real world” and go out and find jobs that wouldn’t stress me out.

    After my first hospitalization for mania, I went home and lived with my parents (at 20) for a little under a year, when I got a job as the Supervisor’s assistant in the local hospital. This was a FINE job for me at the time – until my father died in my arms a few months later. Then, my Mom decided to move within a couple of months from IL to VA, which threw me off.

    My second hospitalization followed the death of my father, the move, and acting in dinner theater while trying to do my job during the day. I had takem on TOO much at one time – that’s how mania slips up on you.

    The third hospitalization followed after I had been working in an acclaimed law office for 3 years. I changed jobs for a better salary – but lost THAT job because I was paying too much attention to “extracurricular” activities.

    Yes, I had to live at my Mom’s for various lengths of time before I got the courage to move OUT on my OWN and start to make a living. It was HARD to go on job interviews and learn new skills to fit into the work milieu. But then, SOMETHING always happened to throw me off-track and in to a major full-blown manic episode.

    Starting over (getting back on the horse) is HARD, but in the end, it is ALWAYS worth it. Now that I’m living on Disability, the STRESS isn’t there of working 9-5 to earn a good paycheck. My therapist even says I “can’t work” because of the stress. But – I always seem to be under SOME kind of stress that affects my body – like the month-long vertigo I’m undergoing now. I’m TRYING to figure out what KIND of stress I’m under, and it all comes down to “financial.”

    I encourage you to “get back on the horse;” yuu will feel better about yourself and your accomplishments if you do.

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

  8. It is so true that we all “fall off the horse” at one time or another. Some of us fall off more than others. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen before I learned the things I need to do to control my bipolar as well as understanding it better. I would like to give those who are falling hard that there is hope and now I don’t fall as much but just kind of slide off the saddle a little and then grab the reins and pull myself up again. Of course I do get a lot of help from my “team” members.I love the way you always break things down into understandable wrighting and you are definatly a part of my team. Keep up the good work Dave !

  9. This is to Suzanne: Suzanne have you heard from “Tried Them All? I am really worried about her. Please let me know if you have. Jeannie

  10. To JEANNIE: The last I heard from “Tried Them All” was about a month ago on this very blog. She asked me NOT to correspond with her, so I am abiding by her wishes. All I know is – she doesn’t care about living, or succumbing to an “accidental OD.” All we can do now, is pray for her, and wish her the best.

  11. My boyfriend has “fallen off his horse” a while ago and I wish I could help him back on. Right now he doesn’t want to know me and he is still in denial about his depression, telling everyone (including his psych) that he is fine. I saw him today looking really unwell and unhappy. There is nothing I can do but hope and pray. Even the psych doesn’t seem to notice that he is not ok. It’s been going on for a long time. For a short while it seemed to be getting better and now it’s getting worse again. The worst thing is that I’m sure I could help, if only he would let me.

  12. a loved one recently was court allowed to go off medication (which was prescribed following several weeks in the hospital following his mom’s death) 6 mos. after his mom’s death and no longer sees his psychiatrist or has to take his bi-weekly shot. i am concerned about him having a relapse w/o meds plus he has a lot going on in his life; moving to another apt., going to school part time and just receiving a car to drive for pleasure; also an unhealthy relationship with someone who has pulled him down in the past. since he is over 18 he can do what he likes but the reality of it is that he is in denial about his illness (bi polar) and his family history and his past visits to the psch ward makes me a bit nervous. i have limited information on his caregivers and the advise they are giving him and he resents me talking to them and snooping into his business. praying that he is successful without the medicine but i can see his vision seems to be clouded in the decisions he is presently making and feel frustrated in not being able to help.

  13. Going through financial difficulties at this time, tried to take advantage of free dvd offer, but when you’re asked to enter state, system does not allow , hmmm?

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