Bipolar: This Can Be Really Hard


I don’t have a pet, because I live alone and I’m in and out a lot. But I do know a lot of people who do have pets, and some of them treat them like their children or their best friends! I can understand that. It’s easy – I mean…You train your pet…And they do what you tell them to do.

It’s not like a person. You can’t train a person to do what you tell them to do. People are just going to do what they want to do anyway. No matter how much you want them to do something.

Even if it’s for their own good. Like your loved one with bipolar disorder. You can’t change your loved one, no matter how much you would like to. They have to be willing to change themselves.

But like I said: You may want your loved one to do certain things, especially if they’re for their own good…But you sure can’t make them. And that’s where things can get hard sometimes. That’s one of the really hard things about supporting a loved one with bipolar disorder.

ACCEPTANCE. It’s hard to accept things you don’t like. Or that you don’t agree with. Or that you see are harming your loved one. Or are harming your relationship with them. Or are even harming you. How can you accept the detrimental things that come with your loved one having bipolar disorder? Now, first of all, notice I said ACCEPT, and not like. No one says you have to like these things. Because obviously you’re not going to like them. Who’s going to like it when their loved one flies into a bipolar rage and starts screaming and yelling at them? But, unfortunately, I am saying that you have to accept it.

So how can you do that? By accepting that it’s just part of the behavior that stems from their bipolar disorder when it’s out of control. That way, by making it part of their bipolar disorder

and NOT them…It’s easier not to blame them for their behavior…And to not take it personally.

That way, hopefully, it won’t hurt you as much. Other things are hard to accept as well. What about when you see your loved one doing things that hurt themselves? Like not complying with their treatment? Say they start skipping their therapy appointments, for example? Then even stop going? This can lead to acting out behavior, then to bipolar episodes. Or if they stop taking their medication, because they “feel fine,” which can also lead to an episode. It’s really hard to accept that. But all you can do is try to talk to them and tell them how much you care and that you want them to be better and the way to do that is to take their medication and go to therapy, then hope that they will.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. Good Morning Dave,

    I dont have any kids but I alot of people with kids who treat them as their prized pets — you know how pampered goldfish are by their owners – it’s like having the more the merrier. My husband’s cousin is bipolar loves “excess” – magazines, records so my husband suggested why don’t you get a Fish Tank with several goldfish, one catfish to clean the very bottom and not OSCARS (THEY ARE KILLERS). Well this fella visits the pet store every week and comes back with a beautiful assortment of marble, catfish and friendly fish and the environment of the Fish Tank is sooooo wonderfully peaceful – I am almost envious watching how they get along and live sooooo richly.

    It keeps his mind off of so many negative factors because of this brand new ‘hobby’

    I thank you and I thank my Hubby for getting him a brand new career that keeps his disorder uder control and keeps him soooo happy.

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