Bipolar Lesson From Major Fire


Hope you’re doing well today.

Hey I wanted to tell you that Pascale is okay after her surgery. Lots of people have asked how she is doing.

If you don’t know, Pascale was one of the key people that helped me get this all going. She was right with me from day one. She is

a behind the scenes person. She never on any calls, writes any thing, etc. She is just behind the scenes.

She doesn’t have any disorder or any family member with a disorder. She is a friend and decided when I started to help out.

Okay, I have some good news. The good news is, we are coming out with a ton of new stuff to help even more people cope and deal with bipolar disorder.

We are coming out with new videos, new podcasts, new articles, new reports, and new teleseminars.

Just keep reading these emails and you’ll get links to where you can get the material.

The reason is, I have hired some really, really, really, really good people recently.

I mean really good. Amazing people.

One particular person has accomplished in one month what I thought it would take six months. NO this person is not in a manic episode. They just are super smart and super organized.

I also have a new person on board that is doing some stuff to help me locally. This person is amazing and has saved me about 12 hours a week. That’s 12 extra hours that I can put into things like articles, videos, etc.

Anyway, let’s jump into today’s topic.

Guess what?

My ex-girlfriend, Jackie, had a major fire in her house.

She came home one day to a house that was half-burnt down!

They had been doing some contracting work on her roof and somehow the house caught on fire.

Anyway, when the fire trucks came, they used a whole lot of water to save the rest of the house.

Lots of stuff was damaged by both the fire AND the water!

Now, should the neighbors have stopped the water just to save Jackie’s house from the water damage?

Should Jackie have stopped the firemen from using the water to put out the fire just to save her house from the water damage to her house?

Of course not!

It’s like bipolar disorder.

Like the water damage being a side effect to putting out the fire…

Bipolar medication has its side effects, too – its just a result of having to take the medication.

But just like the water saved the fire which saved Jackie’s house, the bipolar medication saves your loved one’s life!

Now, I know I’ll probably get hate mail again (I usually do) because there I go getting on my soapbox again about how bipolar medication saves lives, and how if you don’t take it you might kill yourself, but it’s still true!

And I know people say I don’t understand, but I do!

In my courses/systems below, I talk about the side effects of bipolar medication, so, see? I do understand:







But, yes, I still do promote taking medication for bipolar disorder because yes, it can save your loved one’s life.

Just like the water saved Julie’s house.

Was it pleasant? No.

Was it necessary? Yes.

Is taking medication, even though it has side effects pleasant for your loved one (so they probably complain about it)? No.

Is it necessary to save their life? Yes.

So they do have to put up with the side effects, and you probably have to put up with their complaining about it.

And I know you probably don’t like that.

And I DO understand that. I had to do that, too, with my mother. But it still was better than losing her!

And it’s better for you, too, isn’t it? Better than losing your loved one?

So the next time they complain about having to take their medication, about the side effects, remember that it’s better than them losing their life from bipolar disorder!

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the better good.

Just like Julie and her house.

She had to sacrifice water damage to her house just so the firemen could put out the fire.

Your loved one may have to sacrifice having to have some side effects so the medication will help their bipolar disorder.

And you may have to sacrifice some complaints so that your loved one’s medication will help their bipolar disorder.

Well, I better go now. I have to head off to the gym because tonight I have to volunteer with this mental health organization.

Catch you tomorrow.



David Oliver is the author of the shocking guide “Bipolar Disorder—The REAL Silent Killer.” Click Here to get FREE Information sent via email on how and why bipolar disorder kills.

  1. I hope this gets thru, I have had some problems getting my e-mails to take. I am very glad I found your site, as my son of 33 has just been releast from jail for position of a controlled subtance. Another bad choice made due to his non-medicated bipolar life. If this gets thru I will post more info on his bipolar and it’s effects on our familes life, thanks David for your site. I am looking to get one of your offers just not sure which one as yet.

  2. i am in agreement with david about how medication saves lives. what if your loved one does not want to take it?? i encouraged and encouraged my loved one to take the medication, but she won’t.

    instead she drinks and takes street drugs. i spoke with her therapist and the therapist went ahead and told my loved one that i spoke with the therapist.

    my loved one’s parents to do push my loved one to take her medication. the issue is not addressed at all. it is as if the condition does not exist. denial by family members is just as dangerous as someone with bp not taking their meds.

    do you abandon someone like this. because, when they stop taking their medication, they make really bad decisions. do you stand by their side during this time or do you just let them go, because they are not taking their meds.

    please help.


  3. Dear Dave,

    I appreciate your comments about medication. sometimes I wish I didn’t have to take medication. But I know I would get screwed up without it. I learned the hard way.

    I have a question, did you send an email on 26 Aug 08? I didn’t get one. I always look forward to your emails everyday. Well everyone deserves a day off. You should take Labor Day weekend and enjoy youself. Take care.

    sandie porter

  4. Hi There,

    Dealing with mental illness for years I know how hard it is ans the stigma
    I have a son that is bi- polar and a son that is borderline
    both diseases are chronic and dificult .
    The biggest problem we face
    Is othe people .
    Mental illness is real like high blood Pressure
    It is not just in there heads
    we need better treatments better therapy and better medication
    looking for an answer always

    Roxanne Maclean

  5. So I subscribed to this so my husband could get some insight on my disorder. He however does not want to understand it. Anyways I agree with taking the meds. My risky behaviors have been easier to control and yes I have side effects. I did want to kill myself before, but with the meds my depressive states are not anywhere as low as they were. It is worth it.

  6. I just wanted to say that everything you put in your article is true. I was diagnosed with bi-polar 15 years ago, when people didn’t even know what bi-polar was……But I can tell you that when I don’t take my medication, I can feel myself going downhill every day I don’t take it. The medication is a must because every year the bi-polar will progress in some way. The episodes I had years ago aren’t the same as the ones I have today…..they have progressed, and I only know that when I fool around and don”t fill my perscription.

  7. But what if it’s just a small kitchen fire that baking soda would put out and you’re allergic to the mold and die from a reaction to it because no one ever told you to just use baking soda! Some of us have been made worse and nearly died from the medications. All 6 of my actual suicide attempts came on medications. I’d be happy to take a medication that actually made me a more productive human, but in 12 years of looking, they’ve all made me worse!

    I was a functioning mild Bipolar2 married 13 years, raising 2 children and had held down a job for over 6 years straight. I only tried street drugs a couple times as a teenager and I can count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve been drunk as an adult. I’ve never been in jail or gone on uncontrolled spending sprees. My best success has come with natural treatments that have had no side effects.

    After letting a “friend” and doctor convince me to try medication about 12 years ago I became fullblown manic for the first time then after 3 1/2 months of sleep deprivation I then spent about 20 hours a day sleeping for about a year and I’m now a rapid cycler. My husband of then 15 years then divorced me and took my children from me because I had after about 30 years of always talking myself out of it, I made my 1st suicide attempt (on Paxil) and could barely function for the first time in my life!

    I know I’ll probably always have to take the supplements now and most days are a struggle, but I’ve made no suicide attempts and I usually have only one episode a year severe enough to miss work but do not need hospitalization.

    After 7 years of avoiding romantic relationships I finally allowed myself to fall in love with a man I’d known for 3 years who accepted my condition and though not very educated on it yet, has been amazing in his support!

    I hope you have and will put effort into researching treatment methods other than the latest product the medical industry wants to use to profit from our misery!

  8. I to as Kay above me, am a type 2 rapid cycler. and i found that the medication side effects ( i was on lithium and seroquel) had far worse side effects than merely a controlled diet and other herbal remedies. On the medication i missed more work experienced more episodes, and all my doctor ever did (sorry my psychiatrist) was increase my dosage. despite all the negative side effects and problems i was having.

    since ive been off of my medication, i do at times have sleepless nights, i do sometimes get overwhelemed, but my suicidal thoughts and self harm have gone away,and im working more and more on my money management problems.

    I thoroughly hope that everyone out there is truly researching their treatment options further then the brand the doc is trying to push on you that day.


  9. hi david, i love your way of thinking and i would have no problem with handling my b/f’s complaining as long as he was happy with his life again but he was on meds once for two weeks and quit b/c it made him tired b/c thats just the way he is, he s an adult but when he doesnt like a situation he emediatly pulls himself from it never thinking of the consequences. he distances himself from a lot. his family gave up a long time ago so im all he has. i put up w a lot of mostly argueing, he has no patience w our son and hes sitting at home living off his unemployment b/c his own family fired him. im at the end and im pretty much about to move but if i choose to for the sake of our son i would at least like to leave knowing he would be ok but he refuses to help himself. i just wish i could change the way he thinks but obviously its not that easy, thats why im always walking on egg shells w him trying tomake sure everything is in order or he flips out. my family says hes not worth what he puts me through but u cant help who u love, right? he s made so many wrong decisions that have had a tremendous efect on both of our lives. his mom works at a doctors office so he has had her trying to get him help and he knows that she knows what shes talking about but he always gets mad at her so she intern gives up. grwing up his dad told him all the time that hes never going o amount to nothing so he has grown up not tring at anything. hed laugh at me if i was to ask him to try it again what can i do

  10. My daughter Pat takes Zyprexa, and it has made it possible for her to leave the hospital and come home to her father and my girlfriend, Kathy, we apprecite what you write, we are poor people, I live on Soc. Sec,. my girlfriend works as a caregiver andmy daughter tries to get by on SSI. She did run up many bills oh her other meds, but now she realizes she made a mistake not asking about her meds. She is getting caught up slowly and at age 47 she wants to go back to College to finish what she started so many years ago!!

  11. I’m now going to be very naughty …

    … if Julie had let the house burn down she might have got a Brinx Matt truck full of $$$s from her buildings and contents insurance! If there is a lesson from THAT for people with BP or their Supporters … I think I’ll keep quiet lest it give them the wrong ideas!!!

    But seriously: I’m not advocating suicide and I’m not promoting declining medication! But people who end their lives are not all non compus mentis. Some are sane and highly rational. It is not so very uncommon for people with a serious illness to choose death over life. Yet it is assumed that everyone who does it when they have a mental illness opts for death because they are in a disturbed state of mind. Maybe most are but I don’t think it is true that ALL are in this category.

    I once read that people who are deeply depressed don’t kill themselves because they can’t be bothered to do anything, let alone make the effort to die. Their situation becomes more dangerous when they begin to recover. I can relate to THAT because cyclical depression is unending. Happy, sad, happy sad, happy, sad, ad infinitum. There is no end to it, even with medication, except when one sleeps the final sleep. So, why wouldn’t they consider bringing forward their demise? After all, from their point of view, it would save a lot of pain and anguish.

    Is that so selfish of them? Is it any less selfish for their supporters wanting them to stay alive and continue suffering? If you have a dog that is in terrible pain would you let it suffer? No. So, why do we let people do that especially when they express a reasoned, rational and desire for death when they are of a sound mind?

    NOTE: This is not something I am considering, so there’s no need to send the ambulance and some guys “with little white coats and they’re coming to take me away, ha!ha!” (I have that 45rpm record somewhere!)

    What I am suggesting is that we need to re-evaluate our thinking. To test it and see if we really ARE on the right track.

    Consider, are we right to fight to hold back loved ones from a premature checkout? Are we being selfish, thinking only of ourselves by stopping them? Are we at risk of being like the church filled with mourners, who are crying not for the deceased (who is beyond caring what any mortal thinks about them, good or bad!) but are distressed because of what they, the mourners, have lost? Because the comfort of the familiar has gone? Do we just grieve for ourselves because we cannot envisage life without them. It is as my Grandma said when my Grandad died, “What will become of me?” Of ME! She was not upset that he had lost a few more years of life but she was scared of being lonely, of not having someone to cook for, of losing someone who would do her shopping, who would talk to her and make her laugh (and cry!), if living in a house where he had been as familiar and a part of the place as the walls! Her grief was about HER loss, not HIS. Is that what we are afraid of when we fear someone will take their own life? If I had devoted my life to care for someone, their miserable life gives mine some purpose, because they need me. If they die, what will be MY purpose?

    Just a few thoughts ….

  12. Upon reading all of your emails at times i dont think that it is or was ever possible to be the person that i remember that person was held deep inside me for many many years. I lost pretty muuch everything that i ever worked for including my son. But with the right medicine i was able to over come alot of my fears and alot of tears alll the same. So i send a special thanks to you and i just want you to know that you are right about the water on that house it awas important just like our medicine is to us!!! so thanks alot

  13. Diane Donaghy Says:

    “David, was your ex-girlfriend’s name Jackie or Julie?”

    He’s had so many girlfriends he can’t remember! LOL! (Just kidding, David.)

  14. Speaking of Supporters …

    I’ve got Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, I’m half deaf, Dyslexic, I’ve got Dysthymia, BP, just been diagnosed as Diabetic/Insulin Resistant and it looks like I’m Vitamin B12 anemic, too! (I’m dying in installments! It’s a bit like a sub prime loan …)

    My wife – bless her heart – reckons if I stopped seeing doctors, carried on scoffing sugars and stopped taking medicines I’d be perfectly well. Now, ain’t that JUST DANDY? (Do you think she’s after my Life Assurance?! That’s a point – do insurance companies pay out death benefit if the deceased took their own life? Just wondering, not planning!!! I’m a curious cat.)

  15. To GRAHAM: To answer your question whether insurance companies pay in the case of suicide – it plainly states (in the fine print), that “suicide is NOT covered, whether sane, or insane.”

    Now, HOW can THEY determine what state of mind the deceased was in when they completed their “attempt?” This has always been a conundrum for me. But, hey, those are the facts, ma’am, and you have to live with them (LOL).

    Good point – Dave, is she “Jackie,” or “Julie?”

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and those who love us. May God bless you real good.

  16. Hey David,
    I’ve been reading your letters ALMOST every day. It helps even when I do not like all the answers. The truth does hurt much of the time from you and then the hearbreaking words coming from so many who have felt the helplessness and often hopelessness. Wondering who is the real victim by all of this….creation of a dramatic, no win situation when they chose to NOT be well, treated, medicated, and beg for HELP..Save Me…. hungry, unkept, dirty, panhandleing from one family member to another, no money, no home, no phone, no job, noone will hire them. Saying yes to any of those things will eventually turn us into victims for the dependancy never goes away without the treatment.. A very destructive vicious cycle.. draining the caregivers of all resources, time, and well being.
    But David I remind myself.. You confronted Biploar disease you didn’t invent or create the disease. So heck ya..Who wants to know the truths of it when they are not what we expect and demand them to be.

    However, the lies hurt more when a “episode” comes about with a loved one. As in the case of a member of our family, my son,; dilusions, twisted truths, and blatened big fat Porky Pie Lies become punishing as his way of controlling through manipulations ..within his mind his justified believability to humiliate others as a diversion to his mental illness. The blame game is so easy for him to attempt to have others in feel guilty for his life being the pits of hell.
    God Love Him.. Hopefully with prayers, participation, his treatment with medication, he will finally admitt to his addictions and mental disease. As tortureous as it is to us.. what it must be like visually to him from the other side of those eyes.
    How brilliant he is and was! How handsome he once was!
    ..Often I wonder which one of these many many brilliant and complicated minds have the cure for AIDS, cancer, ADHD or whatever..locked away in the channels now closed to them and us. Yet I refuse to believe that it is impossible to unlock them.. with treatment, a few possible miracles, dedications from those like yourself and professionals in the field, and interested parties, JUST perhaps…all things can be possible towards finding the perfect combinations for wellness.
    We are the one species which can examine our own minds and yet the probablity of the cures could well be amoung those who are busily avoiding it…including those who actually have the disease..
    That is my todays frustration.
    Hopefully a productive, positive plan can be better laid out to fund their own wellness through Can Do programs to bring better care in budget cutting times, allow those Who Can work towards their own remanufactured “+self esteems+” from their personal contribution to pay back what they entered empty in their pockets and personal value. As in many group homes often have a plan rather than hopping on the disability train to ride until the end.. (Which is not bad if necessary)..but for most..give people like my son a chance to expose their brilliance again..ITs so Valuable!
    I see opportunity.. with a plan and direction…cutting the B.S. of red tape pork filled bureaucracy rather than the cutting of funds for a program that will work. Allow people to designate to donate their money.. tax deferred, education contributors, gifted programs and educators for those who have yet to find their genius ..and time tax deferred .. allow jobs offering tax deferred with out lables of disabled or rehabilitating with opportunity work. With a better step program to a broader work base for assisted living and group home people. Better opps for for better odds for those not to be continually recycled…

    Combating another disorder with another family member, Mom, 81, with Alzheimer’s. And MEDICATED!
    What can happen in a day? We have fun as if every day is Easter. We hunt more than eggs! It’s everything that Mom decides to put away for us. Sure it’s frustrating when ya gotta lot of things to do.. But .. I have to laugh she is so cute..
    My solution was to try to THINK like her in finding the eggs (things she hides) before they become rotten or forgotten, bills, forks, keys, and everything else. Haha..
    We have pridefull projects to have her look forward to another day. Remodeling and redecorating her bedroom and bath..She may not know what town she lives in .. But.. She knows she has a beautiful room she assisted in the project making her life more than another empty day.
    It took trial and error to find her interest and hold her attentions for her tomorrows.
    Bipolar is different yet medication is more than half the battle for either of the diseases to bring out the best in EVERYONE!!
    Awe, Thanks Ya’ll for listening to me if you got this far…. I’ll be reading and learning from you guys.. and enjoying your comments too.
    We all got a plate full. Just be Kind
    ..We can choose to Lead, Follow, Contribute, or..get out of the way for the positive things coming down the pipe..
    God Bless the mentors in mental health ..I need your experience!
    Bama Beth

  17. Aha! Juliet is the ex-g. So, who is JULIE?!! Come on, David, you can share this with us – we won’t tell your wife! ;oD <>

  18. It was good reading this blog over the last two days because along the way i know there are people out there that also have had bad side effects. I know im not alone!

    Thanks David

  19. From reading the daily e-mails from David and the responses from those who are bp and those who are supporters, i’m beginning to realize that all these shrinks have different ideas on how to treat this illness by using a variety of medications. I am a supporter and at times become overwhelmed with the episodes that i witness. Life is tough and dealing with someone who has bp is all the more difficult. My wife likes to travel and she goes on assignments every couple weeks which could last anywhere from four weeks to thirteen weeks. While she’s away, i can’t be sure if she takes her meds. Are they really working? I’ll never know b/c even when she’s between assignments she still performs in the same manner as when she did before the meds. Is there really one med that provides the proper amount of chemical balance that stabilizes the neuro transmitters?

  20. Hi Dave
    Ok this is quit funny. Everybody wants to know about your ex-girlfriend.
    I must say what you said today brings a lot of insight in my own situation and just want to thank you for that.

  21. My doctor recently recommendend i drop the anti-depressent end just use the mood stabilizer and supplement (Epilim/sodium valproate and Seroquel) and i’ve got to say i’m far more stable. Medication will save your life but you have to make sure your doctor is up to date!!!

  22. Thank you, David for your informative e-mails.
    My father was Bi-Polar, having passed away 5 years ago.
    I used to worry that I might be affected, but fortunately not, albeit having a father with bipolar and mother with schizophrenia. I am now concerned about my daughter(only child) almost 11 years now, an excellent student and wonderful little person. One day at a time……..
    I recently learned that my best friend’s son, who I helped to deliver, has Bipolar as did his father and his grandfather.
    The diagnosis was made after this young man was preparing to marry, but this major life event was too much for him. As an occupational therapist and a friend, I have sought all of the help for my friend that I could. Yet, I have so much more to learn and am open to any suggestions.
    This young man is finally eating and taking his medications and is starting to participate in life once again. Fortunately, his fiance did not leave his side until she had to resume teaching.She still plans to spend her life with him, but wants to wait for him to receive appropriate treatment.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I look forward to learning as much as possible to help those in need, especially my own friends and family. So much to learn.

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