Bipolar Lesson: Report the “ugly truth” or suffer later

Hi,

How’s it going? Hope you have a good
Monday. Well today I wanted to talk
about something rather bad. Some
call it the “ugly truth.”

What’s that? Well here’s what it
is. When you are supporting someone
with bipolar disorder there are many
ugly truths. Here’s just a few of
them:

-There is no cure for bipolar disorder

-Bipolar can be very expensive and destroy
one’s finances

-People with bipolar disorder can go into
episodes and say and do things they normally
would not do.

Today I am going to focus on that last ugly
truth.

Here’s the deal as I see it. Tons of people
with bipolar disorder are great people to
be around and hang out with. I have lots of
friends and people who work for me with
bipolar disorder.

But like Michele Soloway who has bipolar
disorder always tells me, you have to
remember that a person with bipolar disorder
will always have bipolar disorder and could
go into an episode and say and do things
they would normally never, ever do.

For example, the Religious nun type
person that never cheats, yells, screams,
drinks alcohol or curses might start
screaming, yelling, drinking, cursing,
etc.

Why? Well it’s because bipolar disorder
is a mood disorder that affects people’s
thinking and stuff. That’s why it’s a mental
illness because it works on one’s mind. This
isn’t to say you should be afraid of people
with bipolar disorder or be worried they
will explode without any provocation.

Rather we do have to remember that it is possible
for people to go into episode and say and do
things they normally would not.

THE KEY HOWEVER IS THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE
NOT BEING TREATED

The person that is out of control is the person
who is not being treated.

What does not being treated mean? It means they
are not seeing a doctor generally, or therapist.
Not taking medication at all OR not taking it
right OR they are not taking it all the time.

This leads to a disaster and the biggest ugly
truth–violence and doing extremely bad things.

Some people with bipolar disorder who are not
treated can become very violent. Or they can
do extreme things like make up huge lies, threaten
people, steal, rob, etc.

THIS IS NOT ALL PEOPLE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER BUT
SOME.

And today’s email is going to urge you to report
this type of ugly truth and not to mask or hide
it.

GIGANTIC MISTAKE MADE BY PEOPLE

Is covering up, hiding or masking a major ugly
truth because you feel that it doesn’t represent
the person or that you think that if you report it,
they will get into trouble or reporting will make
them look really bad.

I believe this is a big mistake. There are people
that have been very violent and done bad things
and there is NO record of it. Why? Well every time
they do something a loved one never tells anyone
at all. As a result years go by and the person
never gets the right treatment and he/she starts
doing worse and worse things and eventually can
seriously hurt someone.

If you look at the bipolar news that I send out
on Fridays, you hear about people with bipolar
disorder killing people, running over people,
hurting their kids, etc. If you read the cases,
in almost every case, the judges throw the book
at them and sentence them to a long, long time
in jail.

Why? Well, well, first let me say I am NOT
a lawyer, doctor, therapist, financial advisor,
etc. Okay, now let me say that based on what I see,
the courts are not letting people with bipolar
disorder get away with doing really bad things
because they have a mental illness.

It seems judges are saying, “You know what you have,
and you did something really bad, and you will be
punished. Period.”

In almost every case that I review, or if I am
able to talk to people surrounding an incident,
the people saw for years a number of ugly truths
but never reported it. As a result, the system,
or person’s doctor, therapist never knew how
bad the person with bipolar disorder was and really
didn’t take any action to try to prevent
these terrible things.

For example, I personally know someone that
said, “my wife is not as bad as your mother.”
I hear that kind of thing a lot. People
suggest that my mom was really bad and
their loved one is not as bad.

When I questioned him, I found out this
guy’s wife is FAR WORSE than my mom. His
wife’s bipolar is totally out of control.
His wife:

-Hit him with a pot
-Cut him with an instrument and caused him to bleed
-Attacked him multiple teams
-Hits and punches him
-Calls the police on him after she attacks him and cries
-Tells his kids lies about him all the time
-Tells people around town that he is abusive and he is not
-Throws objects at him with regularity
-She drinks and doesn’t take her medication regularly

My mom was never this violent. BUT here’s the
deal. I asked the guy, have you reported this
to ANYONE but me? He said, “umm well, not really,
I don’t want to get her into trouble.”

So imagine that she is a parent and it’s obvious
he could have to get a divorce and when he heads
to court and talks about how she is a bad mother,
where will be the proof?

Also, how is the doctor suppose to do anything
if he/she doesn’t even know these ugly truths
are occurring?

Also, since she is not held accountable, the violence
and chaos is escalating each year. I told him to
fear for his life because she could do something
to him based on what he said. I highly encouraged
him to report all to the police, doctor, etc. and
speak with his lawyer and make a plan.

Anyway, he’s not the only one, there are thousands
of people on my list covering up for an out of
control loved one with bipolar disorder.

When you do this, you don’t do them any good
or yourself. Not to mention you put yourself,
your family, your friends and society at risk.

SUPPORTING AN ADULT?
Visit:
http://www.bipolarsupporter.com/report11

SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN?
Visit:
http://www.bipolarparenting.com

HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Visit:
http://www.survivebipolar.net

Your Friend,

Dave

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:
http://www.bipolarcentral.com/supporterblog/

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.
http://bipolarcentral.libsyn.com

  1. I did something REALLY bad one time, and ended up signing myself into a private psychiatric hospital. I was definitely in a mania episode, and attempted to run my Mom over with my car. If my brother hadn’t stood in front of me, preventing me from hitting him OR my Mom, I probably would have done it. They had attempted an intervention, but I was not ready. As soon as I realized what I had ALMOST done, it scared the devil out of me.

    I wrote on a previous blog that I had almost struck my Mom in the face when she was cursing my therapist on the phone. Normally, I am NEVER violent – but as your article said, a bipolar CAN become VERY violent without realizing the consequences, and SHOULD be reported. If a violent bipolar is not taken to task for his/her actions, they WILL continue to disrupt a household…

    I KNOW what I am capable of in a mania; I also know the symptoms of an episode, and try to get to my local community mental health center BEFORE it takes over. I have NO supporter, so am liable only to MYSELF when/if an episode occurs. Hopefully, I will NEVER again become violent – but one never knows…

    Before it’s too late – report ANY bizarre actions/episodes to the police, your bipolar family member’s therapist/shrink, ANY BODY who can take a report and see to it that that person is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, or is immediately hospitalized for treatment. I’m VERY glad that I knew enough to sign myself into a hospital at that time.

    Use common sense, people; if a stranger attacked you, you would report it. The same goes for the bipolar person who is out of control. A word to the wise is sufficient.

  2. As a child was always looking out for the underdog, standing up for others when they could not, saving ugly looking bugs, etc. As an adult, I am a loving a caring mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc. I donate to charities, I volunteer in the community and I take a very active role in my church. I do all of this with a heart of gold. I also have BPD. Several times over the last 20 or so years, however I have become extremely violent to my mother, sister, friends, and yes even my oldest daughter, who at nineteen is now in therapy for all of the cruel things I have said and done. My family sat back and watched with disbelieving eyes and hearts, wondering if I had multiple personalities, yet never stepped in or called authorities until about 2 years ago, by then you can imagine how much damage was done. I have taken a very active role in preventing the possibility of becoming violent or out of control again. My family since reading the emails I send from this site and anything I order from David’s stuff, now knows the IMPORTANCE of extreme tough love. I have another daughter, now 2 and believe me I am scared ******** about history repeating itself, as the disorder has certainly evolved the older I have gotten. BUT, I do things so much differently now, I have a diagnosis I have eluded for years, I have a great doctor, whom I NEVER lie to anymore, a therapist, a support group who is getting themselves up to speed (including friends from church), I read these emails and stuff I order from here with an OPEN MIND, and I have been working diligently on a solid plan in the event I get very sick again. I also own up to my behavior and apologize w/ my dignity in tact because the people around me are no longer in the dark about my “issues”. I wonder sometimes how much different my oldest daughter’s childhood would have been had I been held accountable many many years ago, or even before she had been born. But I look back as a learning tool, refusing to beat myself up about it anymore. I agree with Dave and Suzannewa, REPORT REPORT REPORT. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that my family will TELL on me if necessary. For some reason when I am “called out on the carpet” something inside my brain seems to “snap out of it”, where if I were left to continue, my brain and my behavior is completely unpredictable, much to my embarrassment. Apologize for the “wordy” post, but I believe in this topic very much. Thanks for all the emails, and the comments. Nice to know I am SO NOT ALONE ANYMORE!!!!!! 🙂

  3. i was just diagnosised w/ Bi-polar this yr(2007) I have been seeing a psychiatrist for over 15 yrs..i have been taking anti-depressants..anti-anxiety medication for yrs…once truly diagnosed..what a difference the medication made!!! I unfortunetly had to go w/o my medication for 4 days..i went into an ‘episode”!! i finally had the “script” refilled(yes it is expensive) and am back on the right track!! but w/o i was doing things i normally wouldnt do..plus ANY thing would make me angry…my 10 yr old son has noticed a difference!! I dont have much of a support grou[p..so this system has helped ME out tremendiousily!!! No you do not know when or IF some1 will go into an episode or not..or even how long they last!! I thank you for ALL this info I have gotten from here!!

  4. I have had to disassociate myself from my daughter, who is bipolar.
    It seemed like every time I tried to seek her some help, I just got used and abused, financially, mentally, and physically.

    She has stole from me, forged checks on me, stolen peoples cars, and even used one (a Car) as a deadly weapon. She will not go to the doctor and will not seek help. She has been in jail 5 times in the last 3 years.

    The last time that I had to have her committed, the therapist told her that she was headed down a road that had only 3 ends, the nuthouse that she was in, the jailhouse that she had just came out of and the graveyard that she was headed for.

    I am praying that the next time that I have a chance to offer help that I will be able use some of this helpful advice that David’s website has shown me to help her get her life back in control.

  5. My son went off his meds for 1 day and had drinks to celebrate his birthday. For weeks now he has been paranoid and disoriented even though he is on his meds. Now he lost his job. I am trying to get him help but he refuses to go to the psychiatrist until later. Unfortunately he hadn’t seen him in 6 months because things were going great.

    I am seeking a lawyer to help with money and legal issues because an episode always costs me a lot: financially, emotionally and physically. My family doctor is trying to help get him back on track. Are there any suggestions as to calling his psychiatrist myself or checking up to find out why he lost his job? Privacy issues are becoming impossible when we try to help.

    Others do not understand how difficult this can be when a child becomes an adult. They see the parent as not letting go, but he has done some strange things including attempting suicide.

  6. Just read your post. I am in the midst of handling 3 family members with BPD. To say the least I am not popular in the family, for the simple truth, I make everyone face the UGLY TRUTHS. I am the PI, checking in and asking the hard questions and demanding, YES, demanding the truth.

    My husband’s cousin has been in and out of treatment, once I stepped in, I found out how much everyone was hiding her stunts and the tales she would tell each of us. She was a professional patient, a script addict, going from doctor to doctor and not allowing family members to give a history. This had been going on for over 3 years. Her family would not communicate with one another and took her word as gospel. She is now under one doctor and progressing.

    My son who is 14 hit a crisis point earlier this year. The only thing I can say is thank God I did not just accept he was just being a teenager. We are finally reclaiming our family, which this almost destroyed. With him, we did not just think he had to do all the work. We had to look in the mirror and do some changing as well. Everyday is therapy and I go each step with him. I set limits and boundaries and honor my committments which sets the example for him. Not everyday is easy because I do have to remember that he is a teenager still. It is a matter of re-learing some basic social skills and planning as well as maintaining a schedule. I also have to deal with the dissappointments he experiences from his father, I am re-married, and he takes them out on me. But we learned one thing in family therapy last week, the gernade that is thrown, why and what do we each hope to gain from it. My son & his brother are really good at this and what is the purpose was the focus for about 10 minutes. It is almost like fireworks, they want to see the show. Once this was brought to our attention, the gernades stopped being thrown.

    AS for the last family member, my sister, she is still in denial but I can honestly thank her because had she not stepped back into my life I would never had known what to expect in regards to my son. AS with all who suffer from BPD, there is always more to the story as they are very good at being revolving people. The float in and out of one’s life but basically they only call when they are feeling good or are in need, usually it is money, never true help. Her violence was very scary because she attacked me one day for no reason. My experience with her as an adult was my first lesson in being a supporter of BPD. She never calls but keeps tab on me through another sister as I do her. It will take a long time before we reconsile because she knows I know about her disorder and I told her I would be a part of her life on one condition, she get help and stay with it. This may seem harsh but as I mentioned there is a back story. She created more havoc in my homelife in 6 months than my own son did. She is an alcoholic & script addict. Need I say more….

    The UGLY TRUTH are the things you don’t want to see the light of day but the UGLY TRUTH is not just about those who suffer from BPD but those that are supporters who SUPPORTED THE UGLY TRUTH BY OMMISSION. You do not help your loved one or yourself by not reporting the behavior. You the supporter are being abused as well. It is no different than when a spouse abuses their family and it is not reported, it is still abuse. Also, just a thought, believe it or not, those around you already suspect there is a problem and probably want to help. It is just a manner of which you seek help.

    To get help, make a plan, seek medical help, you may not find the perfect fit in the medical field but keep trying and ASK questions and do research. I was able to get my son help because I did not bury my head in the sand, asked questions, did research and put his treatment on a timetable. Treat the treatment like a business plan and make changes as needed, nothing is set in stone. Things should begin to stablize within 3 months and continue treatment because treatment is ongoing.

    Best of luck to ALL. Keep your strength up. God says that we will have suffering in this life but turn to HIM and HE will give you the strength.

  7. Reading this I wonder about a relative of mine – I have bp, too – but have never been violent, myself – I do think it may very well have to do with backlogs of inner rage that get tapped in an episode – so it seemed for my relative…

  8. I am seperated from my boyfriend who is bypolar. I believe he fits the Nun type of person menchoned in the blog. He was a nice boy, shy, quiet, easy going, very polite, well dressed, very religious, and some how he spun into a manic episode and now has turned into a completely different person. He cusses at his parents, he is rude, interupts people when they are talking to other people, etc. He sees a doctor regulary and is working on some issues. But he thinks everything he my family’s fault and nothing is his fault. This is scary i never thought it could get this bad. i only hope he can seek help before it gets too out of control.

  9. I understand that people with bipolar disorder can become violent when in an episode, but let’s not forget that you are only reporting one side of the story here. My ex husband told everybody that I was the “bad” one, right up until he introduced me to the doorjam face first. Suddenly people didn’t think I was the one with the problem anymore.

    Yes, when manic I do some pretty crazy things. I sing in the dentist’s chair, I love to have sex, I work twice as hard and get three times as much done. I probably even get out of control at times. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t abusing me.

  10. i just read your email and i was shocked. you could have been describing me. i have never been treated for bipolar disease before. i have been in treatment for 3 weeks and i am seeing no difference yet. i am on 200mg zonegran every night and in biofeedback therapy. i try to control my self but at times i cant. when i realize what i have done i feel bad and i cry but it is too late then. the damage is done. i love my boyfriend of 4 years and he tries to put up with me. he pays for all of my meds and all of my dr visits. when he drinks he says things to make me mad and instead of being able to control my self i start throwing things and hitting him. i slap him and yell and scream and cuss him. i try so hard to control my self. i have talked to him about checking my self into treatment but he says i dont need it. i have told my dr and he says i dont need it. but after reading this email and all the other comments i will think more about treatment because i dont want to hurt people. i want to get better but not at the cost of the ones i love.

  11. I sat down with my aunt this last spring and had a close, heart to heart talk with her and found out that she had just recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I had some questions for her on our family history and found out that bipolar and schitzophrenia run heavily on her side of the family (my father’s side). I have a long history of the symptoms described in the newsletter, along with some others that go along with the schitzophrenia. I also have some other siblings who have also had similar symptoms (to the bipolar). My poor mother has had to deal with us when we have not been on our medications like we should. And believe me, Gerry Springer looks like a field day compared to some of what we have put her through. Thank goodness she and we have been willing to call the police on us and each other when things got bad and out of control. Otherwise I am sure that one of us would have either ended up dead or we would all have ended up wards of the state and in strait jackets. Most of us who have bipolar or any sort of mental illness will show ourselves not to be happy when someone calls the authorities on us when we need them called on us. But this is what my mother calls “tough love”. If you truly love the person you are supporting who has bipolar or some other form of mental illness, you will do what is needed to take care of them at the time they need it. That is why it is called tough love. It’s tough for you and for the person you love. But think about it this way, if a person who has epilepsy has a seizure and falls onto a hot stove (which my brother has) wouldn’t you do what ever you could to get him off of the hot stove even if that meant burning yourself in the mean time? When someone is in a manic episode they are not in their right mind and must be treated as someone like a child. Believe me. From my own experience, we always appreciate it afterward. Thanx, and please don’t give up on us. Stop “letting us play in the middle of the street.” We really need you there to help us, and appreciate those of you who take the time to put yourselves out for us. May Got bless you.

  12. Oh man good point for getting things documented. I worry about the kids and if for some reason i needed to leave my husband i would need the prrof for the well being of the kids. thanks for the report.

  13. My sometimes boyfriend, I say sometimes because it depends on the day, has bi-polar. We will have 2 days of fun and talking and going out or to the beach. Then just as fast as the happy came he changes and wants to be alone, he calls it his down time. He has never been violent with me but he will say and do things that are not “him” during episodes. I have learned that there are no answers and there is no cure and to be with someone with this disorder is as challenging for me as his life is for him. I stumbble on to triggers without knowing that I have pulled one. As much as I know it is not about me it is still hard during the alone times when he wants to distance himself. Always within a few days he is back but for how long is always the question. Being with someone with Bipolar means having to have an unconditional love and understanding of something that is impossible to fully understand.

  14. In addition to my previous comment I want to say that the other day he gave me a Rose and a beautiful card, that was during the day. By nightfall I was in tears and scared, the man in the day was someone else at night. Nightmares trigger this and in the middle of the night I can be awakened by someone who I do not know but have met before on other occasions like this one. I pray for him and keep faith that I will adapt better to the other side but sometimes it is scary. He is a good man and kind with a huge heart but there is an angry frustrated person living in him who scares him as much as he scares me. Therapy helps, medication somewhat controls but the truth is there is no answer, there is just unconditional devotion and love.

  15. Quiting your meds for any reason other than very bad reactions to a, new to you, med. Then see your Dr. immediately.
    My last rough patch, 🙂 we, Dr. and myself were trying different meds and doses to get me best adjusted. It took 3 tries on the drug that worked best and a couple of dosage adjustments after that. I know that no one drug fits everyone. What is best for me might not work for someone else and vice versa. I’m sure not going to quit over a possibility, if it’s working why ask why, run with it. 🙂 Bill

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