Bipolar Lesson From Kid Women Ran From

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What’s going on? How was your weekend?
I didn’t do much. Kind of boring.

I also had to work a whole lot with Andrea
on a lot of web stuff.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you this amazing
story which illustrates and important
lesson for someone with bipolar disorder.


Read this carefully. If you or your
loved one are struggling with bipolar disorder,
I seriously think you’ll find the reason here.

Okay, so there is this kid that I know. He’s
actually not a kid really he is mid 20s. Maybe
that is a kid?

Anyway, I met him about 6 years ago. 6
years ago, he revealed to my friend and myself
that he had never gone on a date. He had never
ever really spoken to a girl.

Years passed by and he still hadn’t. People
use to make fun of him and someone even called
him a “walking disaster.” Some called him
the “the face of Iraq.” I have no idea why
people called him that. I think because they
thought he represented disaster or failure.

I know that’s mean but hey in some of the gyms
I belong to, the people who are 30 and 40 act
like they are in grade school :).

Anyway, my one friend felt really bad for him.
He tried hard to help him. He gave him pointers
on how to ask a woman out, he found people in
the gym for him to go out with. He kind of
brokered dates for him.

I remember this one time, my friend introduced
him to a girl. To make a long story short, he
was suppose to go to I think TGI Fridays (if
you are out of the US, this is like a restaurant
chain that serves like American Food).

Anyway, the guy went, and guess what? The girl
never showed up. He waited hours. Not only did
she not show up but she never came back to the

I was amazed. I couldn’t figure out what was
wrong with this kid. I wondered was he cursed.
So this meant at one point he had never gone
out on a date and he was already older
than 22 years old.

So then this new gym opened up. I told him
he had to go because he needed a fresh start.
I told him there would be more possibilities
for him.

After he complained, I dragged him kicking
and screaming so to speak.

HERE’S THE AMAZING THING and the big bipolar
lesson is coming….

He went into this new gym that was in a different
location and he met a girl. Guess what?

Take a guess and then scroll

Don’t cheat. Guess than scroll….

She liked him. She told him he was good
looking and a cool guy. Then other girls started
to say the same thing. Over a few months, he developed
confidence and he went out on dates, and had a girl

I saw him the other day. He actually walked right
up and asked a girl for her number. I was amazed. I told
him how proud I was of him. Then I looked hard at him
and said, “What do you think the difference was?”

He said, “Dude I don’t know?” I told him I knew.

Here’s the deal. In the old gym he thought of
himself as a loser. He would say, “no one likes
me. I am a loser.” Then it became a self fulfilling
prophecy. That meant, he thought he was a loser
and no one would like him and he was ugly and
that’s what he got.

In the new gym, someone thought he was good
looking and cool so he started to believe he
was. Then since he thought he was, other people
thought he was. Make sense?

You may be thinking, “Dave what the heck does
this have to do with bipolar disorder?”

Good question and I am about to tell you.

I am NOT a doctor, therapist, insurance agent,
lawyer and I am NOT giving professional advice.
These are only my opinions.

Oh and I don’t work in the circus? Someone
wrote me and asked, “I think I saw you in the
circus…I saw a guy named David Oliver?” Odd.

Okay. Here’s the deal. With many people with bipolar
disorder, they think about themselves in the
following ways:

-I can never get stable
-I am disabled
-I can never be successful
-Bipolar disorder is the worst disorder and my life
is ruined.
-People will hate me because I have bipolar disorder
-Medication doesn’t work
-Doctors are bad greedy people
-There is no doctor in the world that can help me
-Medications have tons and tons of side effects
=I am doomed to failure

This is some of the “self talk” that some people
with bipolar disorder say to themselves. As a result
they get what they say so to speak.

These people really struggle. I noticed that
people with bipolar disorder do well when they think
like this:

-I accept I have bipolar disorder
-I can manage it
-I will manage it
-I will beat it
-I will have a great life
-I have some limitations but I can do a lot of things
-I can be successful
-People will respect and love me despite having bipolar disorder

See this type of self talk and how it’s different?

The kid I was telling you about in gym #1 had horrible
self talk. In gym #2, he had much better self talk.

I was talking about him to my friend Margaret and
she was saying how she was happy that he finally could
have a girl friend. She said to me, “It all started
with him and his head.” She meant that he didn’t
look any different but he was getting different results
as a result of his new thinking.

In my courses/system, almost everyone that I interview
indicates the importance of attitude and self talk
when it comes to bipolar disorder.

If you haven’t gotten my material, take a look:




Interesting huh? If you know any really
successful people with bipolar disorder,
ask them questions and you will see how
they think. I guarantee it’s much different
than people who are struggling.

I have to take off. Catcha you tomorrow.

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. First I want to thank you for sending me the information and stories you send everyday. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years back but I knew something wasn’t right with me for as long as I can remember. My family also knew that something just was a little off when it came to my moods. Mental illness runs in my family and my father actually committed suicide when I was 13 which definitely hasn’t helped matters any. He had just finally admitted something wasn’t right and went into a hospital. I believe he got to the point where he knew exactly what to say to get himself out and when he did get out, he hung himself in our house. Now he was never diagnosed that I am aware of. I have always wondered if it were possible to get information from his hospital stay to see if he was and what his diagnosis was. I’m not sure it even matters to be honest. I am so much like him that I may as well just accept he had bipolar disorder. Although it frightens me that he may have had something different and I may end up just like him someday. I am going through a rough time right now. My family has supported me(my mom and sister) in everything I have ever done. They have tried to be there and understand why I do what I do. This last manic episode that I had just a few months back has changed everything. I really believe they just gave up and said they cant deal with it anymore. I think they dont want to have to help me or be there, or watch me go through all my moods. I had left my husband for the 4th time and actually got my own place which was actually a house my sister owned. I tried to tell myself everything was ok. I was fine at first. Gone for about 2 months before I started to realize I wanted to go back. It is like 2 totally different people. My poor kids. I feel so bad for what I am doing to them. They don’t even know I have an illness, or why I do the things I do. I am so afraid they are going to grow up and hate me. I try to be the best mom I can be. I don’t take out my feelings on them…but I do everyone else. Im sure they see it. They see that my mom and sister don’t call or see me anymore. We talk every few weeks or so, but they dont come around. I feel like if they are giving up on me, then why not just give up on myself. Then I hear that other voice…from that little 13 year old girl that asks me…How could you even think that way? How could you do to your kids what your dad did to you? Thats just taking the easy road and being selfish and I knoe that right now logically thinking. Then i go back to without them I feel I am nothing anyhow. I don’t want to hurt people anymore. I hate this. I absolutely hate having to deal with this every single day of my life. I am so frustrated and need your help. Should I just leave them alone and try to deal with this? I dont’ want to hurt them anymore. I don’t want to be a pain for them. I just want to love them and they me, and be able to have things the way they were before. Please help me.

    I know this didn’t have much to do with the article, but I just need help. Anyone please. My email is for replies. Thanks.

  2. I have bipolar and so does my son and the articles here help me understand alittle bit more, my two children try to understand, but is very hard on them due to that I am in an episode right now, and I am always yelling and screaming at them not meaning to, I just get so mad in a short span over nothing, and what hurts me is my son is the same way, he thinks that he is stupid and dumb, and I tell him that he is not, that he is very intellegent and handsome, and he can not help his feelings it is part of the disease, but if I could only follow my own words, I am about to loose my job, and feel worthless and helpless at the same time, I am always tired which I know is part of the depression side, I need some fellow wisdom because, anyone (friends) I talk to really do not understand and they avoid me like I have the pleg, and so now I am basically all alone, the only person I really talk to and cry to is god and I beg him to help me, if any one has any advice please send me an e mail.
    Thank you,

  3. Thank you for your emails . It helps me greatly. Can you send some positive affirmations so that I can start to think more positively?
    You have sent a few but I need reassurance that I can do things on my own.
    All I have is myself for support really at the moment.


  4. Dave,
    I first want to thank you for your e-mails every day. My wife was diagonsed with bi-polor about 2 years ago. at first she was mis diaganosed with depression. Our first mistake was taking the word of a GP and not a specialist. After her first major event I took her to the hospital and there she was properly diagnosed. The problem was we did not have all of the answers and allowed the Dr. to priscribe the meds with little input from us. This was the worse mistake I made as the support person. Approximently 6 months later my wife calmly told me she was going to kill herself by driving herself into a tree. She felt this was a good idea because it would allow our kids not to be exposed to her behavior while we adjusted the meds. After being institutionalized for 2 weeks we found the first issue was the Dr. was giving her 3 times the prescribed amount. Sinc then with the right help and knowing the signs of her behavior we are able to manage it. The key here is to 1-MANAGE YOUR DOCTOR AND THE TREATMENT YOU EXPECT AND WANT.2 IF YOUR FAMILY DOES NOT SUPPORT YOU IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE SCARED TOO AND HAVE LIMITED KNOWLWDGE. READ READ AND READ TO GAIN THE KNOWLEDGE. ALSO HAVE YOUR FAMILY JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP. THEY ARE NOT ALONE NOR ARE YOU.

  5. My mother has bipolar and I am at a loss for what to do- we have tried everything and she doesn’t believe in Medication and Doctors. I have gone through all the different emotions but maily anger in the fact that I have WASTED ALL MY ENERGY and time and life into her sickness and she won’t even accept she has a problem but yet I am a believer in Jesus Christ/God and it says in the Bible to “honer” our parents and so I feel the need to do something but the abuse is way to much for me and I am the only child and went through several years of physical and mental abuse by her but I am trying to get over that and just treat her as that “sick” and forgive her, and I am in the process of forgiving her but yet I can’t get real close again for fear of the abuse but there is no one else to help her. She has alienated everyone else and me but I feel the “obligation” to help her. Please help me

  6. Dave, thank you so much for all of the information and support you provide. It not only helps my fiance understand me better, but it helps me to understand what he is going through in having to deal with me, and makes me more conscious of my actions.

    My name is Amy. I am 27 years old and work for a mortgage company. I have BP 2, and I feel like I am 2 completely different people. I wrote this in my journal awhile back and I wonder if this is how others feel…sorry it’s so long.

    On a good day I wake up refreshed and am optimistic to start my day. I like to wake up way earlier than I have to leave for work so I can sit and watch my morning shows and enjoy my coffee.

    On a good day I like to take a shower. I like to take my time getting ready and I enjoy getting dressed up for work every day. I have fun picking out my outfit and finding accessories and then trying new and fun things with my hair. I have confidence in myself and look in the mirror often because though I am a big girl, I still have what it takes to put out a professional, respectable image, and I look damn good!

    On a good day I walk in the front door of the office and walk down the aisle of loan officers all the way to the back where my office is and I smile and wave and greet everybody as I walk back, sometimes stopping to chat for a few minutes.

    On a good day I am so glad that I have my own office and have the authority to make decisions as a supervisor. I am thankful for my raise and I feel that I am a very valuable and important asset to this company, and I really believe that my boss feels the same way.

    On a good day I am extremely confident in how well I do my job. I talk with lots of energy and spunk in my voice and I know that I can talk anybody who is qualified into being interested in refinancing their home. I can get 8 leads a day, like I did last Thursday. When people are rude to me on a good day, I just brush it off and not take anything personally and go on to the next call in hopes of getting a lead. I have pride in knowing that my boss knows this is why I got hired in the first place and I feel that he is proud of me.

    On a good day I am madly in love with John and I feel so lucky to find someone who could possibly love me as much as he does. I love the constant affection he gives me and all of the sweet things that he says to me and the way he touches me so gently and looks at me so adoringly. I am glad that he is open with his feelings and that we can talk about anything. On a good day I feel confident in the fact that no matter what kind of mood he gets in that it is worth waiting and being patient about because this kind of love doesn’t just come from anywhere. On a good day I just feel so lucky to have someone that I know will never cheat on me and to have someone who knows everything about me and accepts me for who I am.

    On a good day I like to keep up with my friends and family and to know whats going on in their lives, and also to let them know whats going on in mine. On a good day I like to know what my friend’s kid is being for Halloween or what they are getting from Santa Clause, or the cute thing that they did last week. On a good day I like to be social and talk about anything and everything for hours on end and I thoroughly enjoy myself. On a good day I have so much to talk about. I’m fun and interesting and charming.

    On a good day I don’t care how broke we are, because I know that things always have a way of working themselves out, and I don’t need money to be happy. On a good day I have fun finding crazy things to make out of the food that we do have and having fun making creative things for dinner.

    On a good day I care about the way that the apartment looks. I keep up on dishes and laundry and I like transplanting my plants and making clones and new plants. On a good day I will clean before I go to work because coming home to a nice clean home is nice and I appreciate that.

    On a good day I am absolutely amazed at some of the artwork I can come up with. I am able to focus on great amounts of detail and spend hours on one specific area perfecting it and working on it until it looks absolutely perfect. And then I look at my artwork in awe at the amazing thing that I have created and learned to do all by myself with no classes or training, and the pieces that I am especially proud of, I like to frame and hang in the living room for others to see.

    On a good day I know that I will have bipolar disorder for the rest of my life, but I take my medication on time every day and make sure to have money when I need to get refills. I like to read about other people with the disorder and learn new and different ways to keep happy and I am very conscious of when I am having a bad day, but I know that I will come out of it and be happy again.

    On a bad day I cannot even gain the strength to drag myself out of bed. So I go back to sleep and try and sleep as long as I possibly can, because I can’t feel the depression or agony when I’m asleep. And then I get mad at myself for sleeping the whole day away and missing all of my shows and having to rush and get ready for work when thats the last thing I want to do. So I get up and do nothing but watch tv, knowing that I should be getting ready for work.

    On a bad day I do not take a shower. I despise the fact that I have to look so nice every day and get angry that I am not allowed to wear comfortable clothes and my piercings, because how I dress does not make me any better or worse at my job. On a bad day I hate looking in the mirror because all I see is a fat short ugly blob with a double chin and a pregnant looking belly, with thin flat hair. On a bad day I go to work looking like I just got out of bed because I pretty much did, and that ends up making me feel even more like crap because I know that is not acceptable. But on a bad day I just don’t care to try any harder.

    On a bad day I sneak in through the back door at work and hope to slip into my office unnoticed, because I don’t want to make eye contact or talk to anybody. I turn my seat against the door and slump down in hopes of nobody noticing me.

    On a bad day I know that I’m just a telemarketer. I know that my supposed “office” is really just the storage room, and everyone takes my pens and files and notepads and moves my garbage can and chair around. On a bad day I know that though I am a “supervisor,” I am only the boss of one person and I am only making 50 cents more than her, despite the fact that I have been working here for a whole year longer. It makes me feel like maybe I’m really not a valuable and important asset to this company and makes me not want to try at all to impress anybody.

    On a bad day I don’t care how I sound on the phone, and most of the time it comes out boring and monotone. This gives people the chance to treat me like the scum of the earth that I am, just like all of the other telemarketers that call them every day. On a bad day I take everything personally and it really affects the way I do my job. And then I start feeling guilty for not putting forth the will or the energy to do a good job and I feel like I’m letting my boss and the company down. But on a bad day I just don’t care. On a bad day, I barely get any leads, and I don’t try very hard. On a bad day when people are rude to me, I want to write down their name and phone number and go home and have a couple beers and call them at 1 in the morning and tell them how I really feel.

    On a bad day all I can do is focus on the bad aspects of my relationship with John. On a bad day I wonder if I am even happy with him and I feel like he is suffocating me with all the affection he wants to give me. On a bad day I just want John to leave me alone, and sometimes I will even pick a fight with him just so that he will leave me alone. And I know that’s not right, but on a bad day i just don’t care.

    On a bad day I don’t want to talk to anybody. I want to zone out and watch tv and not have any kind of interaction with anybody whatsoever. I don’t even care to know who it is when the phone rings, nor do I want to talk to anybody. On a bad day I don’t care how other people are doing, and I don’t want them to know how I am doing in my miserable existence, and I don’t want anybody trying to cheer me up.

    On a bad day all I can think about is how broke we are. I wonder how am I going to survive the night without beer or weed because the thought of going all night long sober with nothing to make me feel any better makes me want to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself.

    On a bad day I don’t do anything around the house, and do not have the energy or the will to try. Dishes and laundry start to pile up, garbage and loose tobacco all over the living room, and the plants start dying when all I need to do is water them. But on a bad day, I just don’t care. And then John starts getting on my case because I’m not putting in my fair share, and then I start getting more depressed because everything is gonna be so much harder to clean now that it is so messy.

    On a bad day I don’t have the patience to work on my art. And when I do try I get frustrated that everything takes so long, especially great detail, and I start to rush things along just so that I can see results faster. But then I start getting messy and impatient and end up ruining a would-be masterpiece, only to go in the big stack of would-be’s to hide in a drawer and never be seen by anybody.

    On a bad day the thought of being bipolar for the rest of my life just makes me more depressed, and I’m sad that I can’t just live a normal happy life. I hate the fact that I have to take medication at the same time every day for the rest of my life. But on a bad day I become careless about taking my medication at all, thus resulting in even more craziness and severe depression. But on a bad day I’d rather spend my medication money on beer or weed or camping, so at least I have a temporary sense of something to be happy about. But then I have to call mom to help me out with my meds, and then I get even more depressed because I never pay her back and I am using up my good faith with her. But on a bad day I just don’t care. About anything or anybody. Not even myself.

  7. Amy, I think you’ve got “bipolar disorder” down PAT. My “good days” are just like your’s. and my “bad days” are, too. But getting back to David’s email…

    Positive affirmations DO work. I tell myself I’m a “highly-functioning bipolar” most days, and really BELIEVE it. I can perform my mystery shopping duties and submit my reports, and get a “10 out of 10” rating on all of them. This reinforces my high opinion of myself, and makes me feel good for the rest of the day, or week, or whatever. I have a boyfriend who cares about me, and shows it, and I’m grateful that he does. My two cats give me unconditional love, and I feed and water them with love. I have many things I’m grateful to God for. But NOT bipolar disorder.

    I am the world’s worst housekeeper. Even in a good mood, clearing the mess is overwhelming, because I’ve accumulated so much “paper” and magazines that I can hardly cross my bedroom floor. Fortunately, my boyfriend says, “I come to see YOU, not your apartment,” but I know he’s disgusted with me.

    I know the illness will haunt me the rest of my life, and I will be on medications every day. Taking them is NOT a chore, as I know if I DON’T take them, something awful will happen. But having bipolar is like Sisysfus pushing the boulder up the hill, only to have it fall back down again, over and over again. The illness is relentless; the specter of Damocles’ sword is over my head daily, and although I KNOW I’m being maintained with meds and therapy, the possibility of a manic/depressive episode is always there. Like David has said – even the highly functioning staff members he has, have “gone off” without notice, as it were. We’re constantly “on guard” against the waves/mood swings, and we can never escape. Treatment plans DO work, but there is always the possibility that SOMETHING will/can set us off…

    Mondays are the hardest. My boyfriend comes only on weekends, as he lives an hour-and-a-half away, and he’s usually exhausted on Friday when he gets here, as he gets up at 2AM for a magazine route that takes him over 150 miles that day. But after he leaves on Sunday, I go to bed and read the Sunday paper, and gorge on chips&dip. By the time I get on the computer Sunday night, I’m sooo blue, because I miss him, and it’s a let-down because he’s gone, and all the excitement of the weekend is over. I usually go to bed early Monday nights, because I KNOW I’ll feel better Tuesday morning – it’s the damn mood swings I can hardly deal with.

    To get back to positive affirmations. Yes, they do work. But – and here’s the funny thing – I can read Affirmations in the emails I get, and I can meditate on the Bible and it’s Psalms, but if I’m down, I’m REALLY down, and all the “positive affirmations” in the world won’t/can’t bring me “up.”

    I liked David’s story about the man who changed his whole attitude when he “started over” in a new environment. This CAN work for a bipolar. I have started over three times in my life after hospitalizations for manic episodes, and found myself being in a “new” environment by acting in a production of “The Odd Couple,” only to be followed by a manic episode. I started over by working with the local political organization, even becoming the President of the Women’s Club, only to be followed by a manic episode. It’s sometimes DANGEROUS for me to be enthusiastic about something, because it has, and it will, cause me to become manic.

    All I can say is – follow your dream, but – “don’t be too happy happy, it’s the happy happy people bust hard, and they do bust hard when they bust.” (eecummins).

    BIG HUGS and God’s blessings on all bipolar sufferers and supporters. God loves you, and so do I.

  8. Dear Dave:
    I agree that thinking positively helps so much; how we feel about ourselves tends to draw people to us or turn them away from us. I have a cognitive therapist; we’re working on changing my feelings by changing the way I think. She’s very very good and it’s working!

    But Dave, I have a question that’s unrelated to today’s topic: Have you heard of people not showering or bathing for MONTHS? Literally?
    My therapist has had a lot of brilliant ideas about how to get me into the shower, but I just CAN’T!! Have you ever heard of this before? I mean, MONTHS (it has been at least 3 and a half mos. since I’ve showered, and I have lots of dead skin cells, and I itch and am uncomfortable). This is a change for me; at one time in my life I showered daily (in the summer), or at least every other day. I truly don’t understand what’s keeping me from just getting in there.. I could understand it better if I were feeling depressed, but I’m not, and haven’t been for a long time (mood-wise, I’m stable). Is this something that happens with bipolar disorder sometimes, or have I just turned into a complete slob? I really hope you’ll answer me… Dave, do you hear me? I’m desperate!

    Thanks for all your help.
    Love, Susan H.

  9. People who suffer from bi-polar disorder have attendent problems through out their lives with low self esteem issues. This has been observed in clinical trials not only during an episode but while the patient is “well”. It is therefore vitally important to look after your self esteem. Take time to praise yourself for surviving such a serious illness. Your self esteem even in people with no mental illness whatsoever can flucuate. A baby is not born with self esteem, it is something that is learned. Your self esteem is like a muscle, and must be exercised regularly. In todays world there is so much to make you feel unimportant, particularly if you have been ill, that you must fight for your self esteem. Respect yourself first, and the world will respect you.

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