Bipolar Patterns Can Change


There was an old lady who made the most beautiful dresses. Women would drive many miles just to buy a dress from this old woman. She would use wonderful silks and satins for the dresses, but that’s not what made the dresses beautiful. It was the secret pattern she used to make the dresses that made them special. It was an original pattern that she had made up herself.

This old woman became very successful in her own right…Just because of her pattern. Well…

Patterns can be good OR bad. If a pattern of behavior, say, is a bad pattern of behavior, and it causes negative consequences in the person’s life…Then it is a bad thing. Just like the opposite is true. A good pattern of behavior can cause positive things to happen in a person’s life. The good news is…That if your loved one has been exhibiting a bad pattern of behavior in their life…You should know that: PATTERNS CAN CHANGE. They can turn their bad pattern of behavior into a good pattern of behavior. The thing is, though, that they have to be willing to do it. Which usually means that they have to first acknowledge their behavior. Which can be a problem. Why? Well, first of all, sometimes a person with bipolar disorder doesn’t always know what they do when they’re in a bipolar episode. So they aren’t always aware of their own

pattern of behavior.

For example: CASE STUDY:

Virginia had bipolar disorder. She believed that she was very independent, but every month

she had problems with money. She didn’t know where the money went, but she knew, for example, that when it came to paying her rent, she was always short and always had to ask her mother for another loan (which she never seemed to be able to pay back). Every month, instead of getting her daughter help with money management, her mother would just give her the money she asked for. So Virginia would just keep repeating this pattern of behavior with money. Eventually, Virginia’s mother got to the point where she just couldn’t help her with money any more, and Virginia got evicted, having to move back in with her mother. They fought all the time. Mostly about how Virginia spent her money.


Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, it is a very common problem when it comes to bipolar disorder. The problem is with patterns. Part of the problem is with Virginia’s pattern of

spending money. But part of the problem is with Virginia’s mother, who keeps enabling Virginia’s problem by giving her money every month. The solution, of course, is to force Virginia to change her pattern of behavior. She needs to learn how to manage her money. Then she wouldn’t have to continually ask her mother for money to begin with. But first she has to acknowledge her problem. Then she can change it. That’s how it will work with your loved one as well, whatever their problem.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. Absolutely agree that you can change the negative patterns of bipolar in to those that are less negative or even positive. Also agree that you have to hit rock bottom first before the person will start making changes – either rock bottom or so sick of your own behaviour, get so angry with yourself that you just HAVE to make a change.

    It is, however, very difficult for thier loved ones to just sit and watch them hit rock bottom.

  2. For Dave,
    Thanks so much for sending these emails. They help me tremendously.



  4. A very timely and useful posting David. You often explain things simply and well thanks, cheers.M

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