Bipolar Supporter – You Should Do This


If a parent is a good parent, they will raise their children to believe that they can do anything that they set their minds to do…That if they want to be a doctor, they can do that…That if they want to be a lawyer, they can do that…That if they want to help people, they can do that…And that if they want to work with their hands, they can pick a profession (like auto mechanic) where they can do that. In other words, they see their child and that child’s particular gifts and talents, and they try to steer them in a direction that will use those gifts and talents, while all the time telling them that they can be anything and do anything that they want to. In psychology, that’s called positive reinforcement. Which is a good thing for a parent to do.

That’s a good thing for a bipolar supporter to do as well. You should be supportive to your

loved one and not let their bipolar disorder hold them back. But it shouldn’t hold you back, either. You should still be able to do anything you want to do, too. For example, if you still want to work a full-time job, you should be able to do that without worrying about what your loved one will do without having you around. If you do, that’s called codependency. If they get in trouble without you around, maybe they’re too dependent on you to keep them out of trouble, and that isn’t a healthy thing. You should be able to trust them to be ok when you’re not around, at least as much as to be able to work. However, I know one woman who tried to work, but her husband would call her 10 and 12 times a day at work, until she was let go from that job because they said they couldn’t tolerate it.

Your loved one needs to have something to do while you work so that they don’t do things like

that. They need to be productive in their own right so that they aren’t so dependent on you. They need to have their own strong support network, and their own social network as well,

some friends who they can hang out with and do things with, or like at a day center. They could even have their own job – either part-time, or even a volunteer position, just something that gets them out of the house – or even a home business might work for them.

You should also be able to have your own friends and family that you can see when you want.

It is healthy for you to have a social life outside of your loved one so that their bipolar disorder

doesn’t overwhelm you. Go to lunch with a friend every once in a while – it will do you good.

For your own mental and emotional well-being, you should be able to go out and do things on

your own. You shouldn’t feel trapped by your loved one. And you shouldn’t feel guilty at leaving them alone at home, or fear for what might happen.

They should be learning how to manage their own disorder, and to be independent to some degree. They shouldn’t need you to such a degree that you can’t do what you want to do, or it isn’t healthy. If you feel as if your loved one and/or their bipolar disorder is holding you back, then you need to talk to them about it. Or maybe even talk to their therapist about it, if you

feel that you need to. You need to be able to do the things you need and want to do. You need to have some freedom from both your loved one and their bipolar disorder. Otherwise, if you’re not careful, you may suffer from supporter burnout.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. That’s right, Dave!! I absolutely agree that when dealing with loved ones who (a certain angle of independence is required) it helps with their personal esteem. You should see the progress (i’ll call her sister, i met her in church) is making. She used to be very codependent on her lovers and would sometimes make them feel guilty when they did not answer all her calls (you see she was a primadonna from birth, so she’s used to undivided attention from those that loved her i.e. Parents, Teachers, etc.)

    Once she hit the real world of Employment (Bosses) and then Lovers — she got quite a rude awakening – YOU ARE NO LONGER KANSAS, DOROTHY AND THE PERFECT PARENTING STYLE PASSED DOWN TO YOU DOES NOT APPLY IN THIS WORLD. To make a long story short – she’s quite functional, gets in group settings with others her age (church, etc.) and she has learned what I call that Phase where she is enjoying “I can do it all by Myself” and That feels good!!!! She discovered it was what was necessary – she may not have wanted that but she got it – INDEPENDENCE.

    It’s as I explained to my friend this past Sunday, Your Neighbor will Thank you for this later!
    And you shouldn’t feel guilty at leaving them alone at home, or fear for what might happen.

  2. Is there any one that I can talk to about things and my disorder…. Some one that is real….

  3. Yes I agree. I used to and still do to some extent wonder what will trigger my husband when I am at work
    Then I will find other family members upset and crying.
    Once upon a time,if I would tell hubby about a problem at work, he would get my bosses phone numbers and call them. I almost lost my job!
    I am getting better with knowing I cannot control him and cannot guard him. I am still nervous.
    For example, he wants to take on a forman job. I encouraged him , but in my head I know if someone triggers him he may explode and lose that job! He had so many jobs! But I cannot protect him from himself. Maybe this time will be better because he is on his meds.
    Although sometimes I see parts of his behavior sneaking through his medications and it makes me angry!
    Now I have gone on a tangent. Oh. my. thanks for your emails. They really help center me lots of times.

  4. Thank you

    Thank you Sir. Thank’s for pointing out what I should be doing. I’m guilty of all of the above. I will now begin to see what I can do to get myself back on track. I just realized that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of my grandson. I’ll become a patient myself, if i’m not already one. Thank you for the reality check. Pam

  5. It’s nice to see posts from others who you can relate with and that includes the emails from Dave..My daughter is the one with BP and has had it from a young age..Currently she is 15. Recently she has been choosing to stay home alone at times during the day which is an approvement..When she succeeds without having to call and ask to pick her up or she realizes she stayed home without being scared she feels so proud..The sense of satisfaction and success is worth all the worries and stress alone!

  6. should be able to?codependsey or enabler?its tough when your dealing with an individul who sometimes thinks hes as good as gold then swings so badly that hes so needy.and you cannot force someone to take their pills or even accept that he has a problem even though being thing he is good at is his concitancey of being nasty in his i selfish to think ive just had enough?no i dont think see i had a relationship with this person and have a small child with him.i still care about how he is but am i the only one that can help him?and thats the thing its allways been me thats come to the rescue that he calls on when he hits a low.all his family just bury their head in the sand.but reallly how can you tell or ask a 41yr old wat to do.and when he does come into his oh i want to do something sbout myself,phase i truley feels he does i to just get wat he wants then cans it all together and im the one thats got the this is why i write wat im writting.i just think i gota move on!i think your advise is great and truly helpful to hear.but when is enough is enough for your on sanity and quality of your own life?

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