Bipolar Disorder Lesson From Junk Food

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How’s it going? I really have a
number of problems that I am currently
dealing with as this organization grows
and grows fast. That’s’ why I am actually
writing you about bipolar disorder
at 5:17am on a Saturday morning.

I wanted to write you about something
that I was thinking about yesterday
when I was food shopping.

So yesterday I went to good old A & P.
A & P is a company that sells food. They
use to be huge back in the day but through
lots of bad decisions and mismanagement they
aren’t that big any more.

Anyway I went in to A & P to get my weekly
food really quick. I only have 23 minutes so
I seriously had to make it fast.

I went up and down the aisles and found
what I needed right away. As I was
walking by, I was thinking to myself,
“Food places are so big and it’s so
amazing how much junk they sell…
And the junk looks sooooooooo good.”

I won’t even look at the gym, I kind of
turn my head because they are so good
at packaging junk, they actually make
it looks like health food.


Please keep reading…

So going food shopping may be thinking
of going to my friends house the other
day and these two events made me
think of this incredible bipolar
disorder lesson you must know
or else.

The other day I went over a friends
house. It was the strangest thing.

Okay so I went inside and was going to
get something to drink…I always drink

I couldn’t find any. I thought almost
everyone has water in the house.

Not my friend.

I thought he was out. So I went to get
some tap water. If you are out of the US
tap water is the water that comes out
of your sink.

So I had some of that. Then I went to
look for something to eat and it was
amazing what I saw.

Try to guess what I saw and then
scroll down for the answer…

Guess then scroll….

Tons and tons and tons and tons and tons and tons
of junk food.

It was amazing. I have never seen so many colors
of food in a closet and cabinets. I seriously
thought my friend worked as like a sales rep
for a junk food company. I was so shocked
I didn’t know what to say.

He said, “Dude, what’s up?” I said, “man you
have a lot of junk food.” He said “well
it’s not all junk food and I really don’t
eat it dude. I just have it.”

I was like “yea right. you keep it for
decoration right?”

Then a bunch of thoughts came to my head
about bipolar disorder and something
that’s so important.

Before I tell them to you, I want to tell
you a few things about my friend.

First he has gained a lot of weight
since college. He keeps on gaining
weight monthly it seems. He claims
that he is losing weight but he is not.

He really does eat a lot of junk food
and doesn’t eat healthy.

The problem is, his environment has
bad food in it so he is so likely to
eat poorly. He needs to get rid of the
junk food because if he did, it would
increase his chances of eating right.

Now when you are talking about bipolar
disorder, many people have so many things
inside their home that are bad for
bipolar disorder or temptations. Let’s
talk about a few.

1. Alcohol. If you are dealing with
bipolar disorder or are a supporter you
should not have alcohol in the house.
There is no reason.

2. Guns. I don’t think you should have
these either. I have heard so many stories
of a person going into a depression or manic
episode and grabbing a gun and killing themselves.
Take a look at the old bipolar news and you’ll
see story after story.

3. Illegal Drugs. I don’t even have to explain this
one. Get rid of them.

4. Weird knives and dangerous things. Some people
have lots of killing instruments for show or
something in their place. Like guns, these invite
problems with depressive and manic episodes.

These are my top 4 things you should get rid
of in your house if you are coping and dealing
with bipolar disorder.

You know I use to be 282 pounds when I played
football. After my last season I didn’t want
to be a big giant whale of a former lineman
like so many of my friends so I decided to
get down to 220.

One of the secrets that I learned was to
take out temptation from where I was living.
Today I don’t have temptation. That’s what I
call junk food. I also only have water in my
place and one or two bottles of soda for
friends that wine and complain they hate

I have no other junk food.

BUT, I did violate my own philosophy the
other week. I bought a box of wheat thins
and some crackers. I don’t know why. I just
did. I figured that I could handle it if
they were in my place and that I could control
myself. Well I didn’t and wound up eating it
all really quick.

Shame on me. There is no question if I have
junk food in my house I am more likely to eat
it. If it’s not there, I won’t.

With bipolar disorder, if you have 1 or more of
the 4 things I talked about, trouble is likely
to come soon.

In my courses/systems, one thing that I discovered
when interviewing lots of people featured
was how they “took control of their environment”
by getting rid of things that could create problems
for bipolar disorder.

Actually this is where I got these ideas from.
Person after person that I interviewed warned
of drugs, alcohol, guns and sharp objects
so to speak.

There is one interview that’s in all my courses
with an older person who is a major success and
is really good at teaching how to become high
functioning with bipolar disorder that used a gun
to shoot himself when he wasn’t stable.

He is grateful he is alive but said to me,
there was no reason to have a gun in his place
and if he didn’t have it, he would greatly
reduce the chances of something bad happening
again even though he is stable now.

If you got my courses, I am sure you remember
his story. If you are interested it’s in
the bipolar supporter course for adults and
bipolar success course.




Right now, think about your environment
and is it good for bipolar disorder? If
not, make some changes.

Well I have to run. Have a great day and talk
to you soon.

Your Friend,


P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:

P.P.S. Check out my F.ree blog with copies of emails
that I have sent in the past and lots of great
information for you:

P.P.P.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.

  1. u r so coooooool
    wish i had seen ya when my daughter first displayed systems. she is not a she. transitioned a couple of years ago
    you do a good job explaining

  2. What is it with people with bipolar and self indulgence? You are so right David! It can be anything that the person with bipolar feels like they need be it junk food, gun’s ect. And I do not want to offend but my dad was bipolar and my soon to be ex-husband and they both were and are very self indulgent people. Growing up we either had a fridge full of food in the house or no food at all. My dad did not collect one thing. No he collected many things. When I say many you have no idea. Be it books, tapes ect. anything he thought he liked. He would seem to buy that kind of stuff before he paid bills. His needs always seemed to come first. My mother spent many years cleaning up the messes that seemed to follow his need to have useless things over paying the bills. My dad had lots of health problems that I feel were brought on by some of his self indulgence. He smoked, drank, took any kind of medication given or not given to him except meds for the bipolar. Funny, The drugs that might have helped him he refused to take. My soon to be ex husband chooses gambling over his need to pay our bills. Now after 10 years of marraige and $15,000. in debt.(That’s the least amount in the ten years.) We are now seperated. Of course I will continue to clean this mess up for years to come. We have a 9 year old son. My husband has never admitted he has a problem. He somehow seems to make his failures seem like my fault. His self indulgence has caused our family so much needless grief. O God I married my father! My poor mother. My dad blamed her all those years and I didn’t see what was really going on until I lived with my husband. Not only do I see but I am living just a small amount of her pain. She had to raise three kids and deal with my fahter and his sickness. I am praying that my husband see’s for himself the pain he is causung and that for himself will get help. He has way to much pride to admit he could have any kind of bipolar or depression but because I am trying to stop being the enabler maybe he will see.(Trying is the key word in that phrase.) The point to this whole thing started because I see that my husband is in the junk food phase of his illness right now. He just lost about 100 pounds by not eating anything. Now he has already gained about half of that back by eating junk food all day whenever he feels like it. He has high blood pressure and a back problem and he knows this is unhealthy but it’s his way of dealing with the depression or let down. It’s hard for him to see the result of his actions.It’s always eaiser blaming it on others. I pray and refuse to give up hope for him but I have to stay away from it and that is hard to do when you have a son but I will take it day by day. Thanks for your e-mails. I feel you do understand because you know what this disease does to the person with it but most of all the people affected by it. Thanks again!

  3. hi dave I just wanted to say Thanks for youe free info, as I can’t afford your course. I would sure get it if I could, you make more since then the DR,s.

  4. Dave-
    Wish you’d said more about junk food and bipolar other than “get it out of there”. Yes, I know, “You’re not a nutrition” lol. Ok, this is what I KNOW – (1) salt retains fluid; a lot of the bipolar meds may cause people to retain fluid (2) sugar, caffeine have an “upper” effect and will dramatically effect a manic episode. I have to confess to “pushing sweets” when my daughter is depressed just to get her out of bed. BIG Mistake… cause there’s a crash. You get that quick hit that gets you out of bed and then whammo, if you’ve not put some protein in with it, you’ll crash lower than you started out.

    I just met with a nutritionist because of my own health issues and boy, if your insurance will pay for it, a good nutritionist can really help you work on timing, quality and frequency of eating. We’re all a lil different. My “best”, for example is 5 small “meals” a day. Protein is a must as i’ve poisoned myself with sugar for too many years. Sugar is an addiction almost as tough to get past as cocaine.. seriously. And many addicts go to sodas and chips when they’re first clean. ZERO nutrition at a time when your body desperately needs it. At a minimum, if you can’t get to a nutritionist, MAKE yourself eat protein every time you have sugar to balance the high. ie, a good b’fast would be oatmeal with some fruit and shave up some nuts (walnuts are best) in your coffee grinder. A good snack might be apples and cheese. Veggies are freebies. I’ve had several dieticians say “eat as many veggies (minimally 5-7 – and i’d bet most of us don’t get near that) as you want… if you have room for anything else.. go for it”

    Switch your crunch (chips) to apples, carrots, other “good” crunch.

    It’s tough. It takes discipline, but if we’re gonna get healthy (supporters and bipolar alike); gotta do it.

    I’m sharing what i’ve gotten from numerous dieticians.. hope its helpful to someone and a good heads up for me to keep the junk out of the house. sniff, sniff

  5. hi:)my name is christal
    I have a 13yr old daughter who is bipolar.I was told it can be a learned mental disorder x said I let her get out of control.When she is having an episode I do what i can for her but I and she cant control it can we?.She is on meds and that seems to help but when she doesnt sleep watch out.How can I help with her sleepless nights without adding more meds.

  6. Hi:)I have a 13yr old daughter who has bipolar disorder.She is under doctors care and has meds.But my x had said I enable her to have this disorder and if i change the way I deal with her it will go away and i can take her off her meds.Is there any truth to this?

  7. It is strange what is happening while you talk about buying stuff at the store. Yesterday I went with my cousin shopping, not a problem. The day before I have to share with you something strange did occur?…. It was early in the morning about 5:30 and a grouchy along with scquaky sounds woke me up. I did jump off of my bed and went outside to check out what was all that noisy to wake me up. I realize that in the mango tree at the yard, a litlle kinda small tiny quail flown down…. then a second one…. and suddenly a litlle tiny feather-less one almost hit me in the head came down and as I was watching it died…. and I was thinking what was all about… suddenly a big bird we call it “pianas” which have white feathers underneat and on top are brown and are one of the noises of the forest species and it was throwing out all the small quails out of their nest, a small kinda crow was afar squacking too but not throwing them off.
    WOW… then….I thought of scaring the thing away… so it eventually would stop from throwing out the litlle tiny birds out of their nest and…. yes it went away flying around the mango tree squaking and gnagging and making all kinda noises… I guess it was cursing me because as it was flying around kept looking at me. Well the litlle tiny thing died and I didn’t know what to do… but suddenly a litlle tiny cat from the house… meouwwww at me, and the I realize it was his breakfast, so I gave it to the cat. That was the day of the oppening of your Inner Circle. I wanted to get bad into that circle…. but I couldn’t. Today I realize what was all that about.
    I don’t know what to tell you about all this. But it is true.
    What can you learn from this and what is the lesson God wanted to show me?

  8. I can feel the pain of each one of you, because I have been there and it hurts so much. On sept.6 my husband and I were on vacation and two days later we got a phone call from my brother-in-law saying my daughter was in the e.r. with pneumonia and after checking her records they said she was going to be sent to a mental hospital. She was fine when I left her on the 6th. The doctor said she was manic and would need to get back on her meds. Well we were shocked that they could do something like that without anyone’s permission. I told Kim to walk out of the hospital which she did. We came home a few hours later and took care of the problem. When she was 19 and going to school in NY she replied to an ad about donating eggs. She was accepted. She did it three times within six months and I believe this caused a hormonal inbalance that maybe triggered the bipolar to start. Her grandfather was also bipolar, but he has been dead for 44 years and she was the first since then to have this horrible thing to change her life. She will be 24 this year and has been hospitaized twice. Five years of change. It has been hard. Prayer helps so much, so please pray and let God know how you feel inside. He already knows.

  9. I suffer from Bipolar and I try to stay away from junk. I’ve learned to stay away from negative things. Being negative friends or family members. I have no support system because no one cares to educate theirselves about Bipolar. When I have episodes it is so hard because my kids are the ones who suffer. I have alienated myself from all of my friends and most of my family because they stress me out. When I get stressed out my face breaks out, I can’t eat or sleep. I know that being around many negative things brings on the episodes. I recently went through one and I almost didn’t make it. I struggle daily with this. I need more support.

  10. Debbie-Good Morning afternoon Dave i finally can write back to you all of youre` info is great i have a ex siter inlaw that has had biopoplar for 25rs and her parents are finally reading the info i get from you and they see judy as they read the info ive` been giving them and i will continue with it.Thanks Again Dave,have a great week-end.Debbie

  11. We have always had a mixture of health foods, regular foods, traditional medicines for bipolar as well as herbal teas and other things to support good brain function like amino acids (which they found out I am deficient in and it causes that feeling of brain fog or brain fatigue). And since depacote can be hard on the liver I take in droplet form Milk Thistle, and Taurine. Blood tests have proven the benefits of the health foods and supplements that I use, and have somewhat astounded my primary care doctor and psychiastrist. Only problem is supplements can be expensive especially if one is on disability. I am fortunate to have a daughter who helps out. Hope this helps you out there to research what natural products might help support whatever medication you are on, OR help counteract the medication’s side effects.

  12. Hey, remember me? I am bipolar and try to enjoy life with my boyfriend and his great grandson. The three of us live in a nice apartment. The current email you sent me was about junk food. I fight the possibility of eating it but my boyfriend keeps it around for his eight year old great grandson and asks me if I want it all the time. I can say “NO” if I am offered junk food but if I am alone I can’t fight the craving. My boyfriend knows I shouldn’t have it and his great grandson has ADHD so he shouldn’t have it either. What can I do about the situation? Grant you he did mention yesterday that after this junk food is gone he isn’t going to buy anymore. That would be great if he sticks to it. Thank you for the email. God bless you. Darlene Richardson

  13. So I’ve been getting your emails for about 2 months now, ever since my wife was hospitalized for the first time for her bipolar disorder. She was diagnosed prior, but had an episode before her meds could get adjusted correctly. She’s now pretty well adjusted on topamax, cymbalta, and and klonipin. However, something happened the other day that shook me up. A friend of mine at work, who I’d known about a year, took his own life. He didn’t seem depressed at all the last time I had seen him, so after I got the news, I started suspecting that he was bipolar and had never said anything to me about it. Upon questioning some of our mutual friends, I found out that this was indeed the case, and that he had been self-medicating. I’m learning more and more every day from your emails, and I take the responsibility of being my wife’s bipolar supporter very seriously. Events like this only stress to me how important it is to not go AMA (against medical advise) once you have located a good doctor and therapist. So far we have been very fortunate in this area, and my son, who had been diagnosed ADHD previously, was diagnosed bipolar two days ago. You better believe that he is going to learn at an early age (he’s 5) about managing his bipolar, and doing what the doctors tell him. Thank you so much for your emails, they have been invaluable to me.

  14. If you don’t buy it,you won’t eat it.My BP step-son is off his mes(self-medicating)and just fascinated with guns,swords,finger gauntlets,, you name it.Thank God,he does not live here. I check every afternoon to make sure he is still alive. Monday we are to go to the Central Management Unit to see about meds and getting him off the street for the winter, He is 21 and has an IQ of 136. His mother did coke when she was pregnant with him. His father’s side of the family is schizo or BP Got to get him back on meds and back on the system.

  15. Hey Dave,
    Thanks for the letter. I have yet to go talk to a doctor about the possibility of being bipolar. I would like to understand the disorder a little better before a doctor tries to medicate me.My fiance’ thinks i need to go see a doctor asap but I feel more comfortable finding out more info on this subject. What do you think i should do? look forward to hearing back from you!!! Thanks again!

  16. I think that not having temptation within reach is good advice for every one, whether or not they are bipolar. It is also important to everyone to understand their limitations and weaknesses. Having banks that are too willing to lend to a bipolar can be a big problem. Friends and supporters of bipolars, need to leave banking issues to be resolved by the patient. What my mother was advised to do, was to ensure that lenders could not force her to pay for my father by debiting her accounts. That was not nearly as easy in the 50’s and 60’s. Probably credit cards are only acceptable if there is a very low credit limit. Big spending was usually a symptom of the onset of a manic phase in our house. I have a bit of SAD, in my own life, and sometimes I try to chase the depression by shopping. It is not so bad if I stick with dollar stores. My bipolar father also had seasonal influences on his mood. Apparantly this is common in northern latitudes, and is often relieved by the exposure of the skin to sunlight. This is difficult at -25C, My father’s crises frequently occurred just as daylight was at the shortest levels in in the Fall and winter. As an unrelated matter, he died in early spring.

  17. Thanks to David my family has just calmly gotten through a crisis.

    My sister, Estelle, called our sister, Nancy, at 7am and asked to be taken to the hospital. She felt like killing herself.

    After a period of a year and a half or two years of not seeing a doctor and not taking meds, we took her to court and gave her care over to the county. She is 52 years old, but it worked. She could stay with our sister, Rosie, if she agreed to being supervised, taking her meds, and seeing the doctor, and NO GAMBLING. She agreed.

    But the last couple of days, she was all over the place emotionally. Our town hospital does not take psych cases. We have to go to MPLS or Rochester,MN.

    Rochester said give her a blood test first (to check for other problems) For the first time she can remember she had the blood test. And guess what…blood sugar was 500. She had to be stabilized before she could go to Rochester.

    Turns out that things like diabetes can dictate what meds they give her. Didn’t know that..

    For today and tomorrow she is in a regular hospital until she is stabilized.

    I have told her and my sister what I read in your newsletters.

    like: no meds, no doctor = suicide
    and: don’t take what she says and does personal.

    Today for the first time in 15 years, Estelle said she had come to terms with the fact that she has this illness. And a crummy one it is.

    I told her I was proud of her for that decision to call for help and go to the hospital. Her diagnosis is schizophrenic something, but it is close enough to bipolar that I can’t see any difference.

    Thanks to David we. her sisters, are calm. She is calming down with more meds and getting the blood sugar under control.

    I wish I had known all this 15 years ago, the first time she was hospitalized. They live in southern MN and I live in South Texas. Now I will tell the sister she lives with about “the knives, etc.”

    God bless the work of your hands.

    Karen, Pharr, TX

  18. Well, Dave, I’m a “junk food junkie!” Yes, but NOT proud of it. I have Kettle Chips with onion and sour cream dip TWICE a day. And it shows!

    Two years ago, I weighed 115 lbs (I am 5’9″, so I looked like a refugee). I went to the DR for a check-up, and he couldn’t find anything wrong, so he said that might be my optimum weight. I tried to think of ways to gain weight, but since he said I’d be there the rest of my life – I didn’t think about diet or nutrition.

    One of my mystery shop jobs was at a burger joint downtown. I had to eat there at least twice a week. For a year, that didn’t seem to do anything for my weight problem. This, on top of the chips&dip intake, and now I weigh 142!

    I knew I was growing out of my jeans, and didn’t look like I wanted to in my neglige’ for my boyfriend. I am NOW going to TRY to limit my caloric intake and get to at least 135 lbs.

    By the way, I am bipolar. This chip&dip eating has become a habit that is hard to break. I eat them in the afternoon while I’m doing my mail (I am self-employed, and my mailbox looks like the Post Office Annex every day!). I also eat chips&dip after I take my night meds, as it helps to calm my stomach.

    Now, I KNOW there are healthier things to eat. Before I have my chips&dip, I eat a cup of strawberry yogurt (I think that’s healthy). And I have two cigarettes before I go to bed. Last night was hard – I went to bed early (10PM) and lay awake for about an hour before I could relax and go to sleep (I hadn’t had my yogurt and chips&dip). So, tonite, I’m going to take my meds at Midnight, eat my yogurt and chips&dip, and wake up at 4 tomorrow morning.

    I function my best with little sleep. I only pull an all-nighter once a week, and about twice a week get up at 4AM to shower, do laundry, go grocery shopping, sometimes get my nails done, etc. I’m only LOSING sleep because I choose to, not because I CAN’T sleep.

    I KNOW all the triggers of a manic episode; in fact, just last week, I figured out why I was getting “depressed,” and my therapist praised me for having such “discernment” of my own condition and what caused it.

    I work 5 hours a night on the computer. The operative word here is “work.” I answer surveys, open emails, and submit reports. If I don’t have a job the next day, or a DRs appt., I get up sometime after Noon.

    A very smart shrink told me in 2001 that at my age (59), and having had three manic episode hospitalizations, that, “You have the wisdom to know what will throw you into a manic.” And I believe him. I take my meds religiously, manage my stress, go with the “ebb and flow” of my sleep cycles, love my boyfriend, and make the most of my illness suppression. Right now, I feel I am a highly-functioning bipolar, and I can’t afford to have another hospitalization. Therefore, I TRY to take care of myself. I DON’T have a supporter – my boyfriend lives an hour-and-a-half away and only visits on weekends – but I have the local Community Mental Health Center to manage my moods.

    BIG HUGS to all those with bipolar disorder, and the ones that love them. May God bless you real good.

  19. Hi Dave, first of all thank you so much for all you do for all the people that have this disorder. I have a 28 year old daughter, I love very much. She recently left her husband of 10 years because of verbal abuse. It took every bit of self esteem she had. She has never been able to keep a job, because of being bipolar, which we did not know she had until last year, and other kidney disorders she has had since age 12. Anyway, I am having to help her and my 6 year old grandaughter financially to live each day, until I can get her well enough to get a small job, or disability. Im not sure which. But I think if I had your program it would help her tremendosly. The only problem is I cannot get it because I am spending so much money to just keep them living day to day. Do you have any kind of financial aid program for this kind of sutuation. I would appreciate your help if you know of anything. Thank you and God Bless. Becky Gatlin

  20. sandy1954

    I found out in 1995 I have bipolar manic depression and then in 1999 I found out I had MS. I am a nurse and a pharmacist. I was very upset for Lola who had to wait a week for one of her meds. That is terrible. A pharmacist should know their customers history and what meds they are on. The pharmacist should have made calls to other stores to see if the meds she needed were in stock or needed to be ordered. There are some meds that if are not taken as perscribed can cause seizures and or death. Not all of us pharmacists are lazy and do go that extra mile for someone. She should have called the store manager, the pharmacist manager or her doctor. If her doctor would have called, believe me it would have been filled. Anyone who needs their meds filled should not take no for an answer or have to wait. If the pharmacist or a pharmacist tech. needs to get THEIR meds filled believe me they find a way to fill them.

  21. Great tips today about junk of all kinds.
    I am a 30yr old Australian Woman who is struggling with many aspects of admittimg that I have this illness.
    The notion of removing all junk from our lives makes a lot of sense and the idea of looking after our health to the nth degree makes so much sense it’s scary.
    Thankyou to David and everyone with the courage to post their truths here.
    XXX Rosie

  22. Hi! I’ve just read your email about Junk Food and to get rid of those things that can harm him. My future husband (still thinking about it), had a gun for almost 3 years. He finally decided to sell it but buy a new one. For some reason he was able to sell it but never got the chance to buy a new one. Last week he had a mayor crisis that got him hospitalized. I just thank God that he sold the gun before this crisis started.

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