Bipolar Warning-The Big Mistakes Made With Doctors

==>>Help with ALL aspects of bipolar disorder<<==
Check out all my resources, programs and information
for all aspects of bipolar disorder by visiting:


How are you?

Hope you are doing well. Today I am in the
library and their is this one guy talking
on his cell phone super loud. When these times
occur, I debate in my head to say something.

I wish cell phones were BANNED from ALL libraries.
It’s so annoying. Anyway, I went up to the
reference librarian to complain and see if
she could shut the guy up.

I had a book about bipolar disorder in my hand and
she asked me, “Do you have bipolar disorder?” I said,
“No I don’t but I have an organization that helps
people dealing with it–both supporters and

I came to find out this woman had a sister with
bipolar disorder. She said it was a nightmare.
She had for like 10 years her sister hadn’t
done much, did drugs, couldn’t hold a job and was
in and out of the hospital. She had no money
and was constantly in a “bad state.”

I asked lots of questions and finally she
said, “You know, psychiatrists are a total
joke, they have no idea what they are doing.
My sister is suppose to be with this new
one that is suppose to be so good and he
can’t get the medication right.”

I asked her how long she has been with him
she said 3 weeks. Then I asked (below next
to Woman> are her responses):

How many times has she seen him?
Woman> Not sure

Who is are her main supporters?
Woman> Umm I guess me.

How did you find him?
Woman> Not sure

Who was she seeing before?
Woman> Not sure

Who besides your sister is reporting
what’s going on including any side effects?
Woman> What do you mean? Umm. No one I guess.

NOTE-As I type this, ANOTHER guy is talking
on his cell phone. GEEZE!!! If you do this
in libraries don’t!

What are you expectations with the doctor?
Woman> He can help her and help right away
if he is so good.

How long do you think it takes to find
the right medication?
Woman>A few days?

What is your sister doing that is making
you think the medication is wrong?
Woman>She doesn’t have a job?

Do you think your sister can be a success?
Woman> Omm, seriously not really.

Look at what I wrote and look at the woman’s
Talk about unrealistic expectations.
She is her sisters main supporter and she
doesn’t have a clue.

Then the woman was super negative about the
doctor. I can’t even type all the bad stuff
she said. I cut her off and basically told
her that she was wrong in blaming the doctor.

After 15 minutes she agreed. And she did
concede that she hasn’t really done anything
other than complain about her sister and
she kind of dumps her sister off to doctors
and hopes they will “take of her.”

Well I am here to say, that doesn’t work.
My dad tried that one for about 38 years and
it never, ever worked.

The bottom line is, with doctors that
treat bipolar disorder you have to be realistic
in what you expect. It takes even the best doctors
time to find the right combination of medication.

Also you have to be fair. Notice the woman thinks
the doctor is not good because her sister isn’t
working. Is that a good measurement of whether
the doctor is good or not? And, how the heck can a
person go from not working
to working after being in a major bipolar disorder episode
in 3 weeks. UNREALISTIC!

Don’t fall into this trap. And the other really
bad thing she has done with her sister is not
shop for a good doctor.

In my courses/systems below you know that I advocate
my doctor/therapist finding system:




And I advocate getting doctors/therapist to
contact you and sorting through hundreds at
the same time. I recommend shopping for a doctor
like you shop for a car, painter, etc.

It’s amazing that people will show more
for food that a good doctor.

BUT on the flip side it didn’t sound like
her sister had a bad doctor even though he
was kind of random and wasn’t shopped
for. I find that many times people put some
much demand on the doctors and they want
results that are not realistic or don’t even
make any sense.

A person once told me her doctor wasn’t any good
because he wouldn’t see her after 5pm on Sundays
each week. I asked this person when could he she
you then and she said well any other time but I
liked after 5:00pm on Sundays the best. I was like,
“Ever hear of the word compromise?” She thought about
it then felt dumb. Keep in mind this woman was totally
stable. She then said, well since he makes so much
money he should accommodate me. I just shook my head.

The problem is, she left that doctor and now had
to start over with someone else.

If you don’t like a doctor, seriously sit and think
if what you are thinking makes and sense, you are
being fair and realistic. Don’t get on the doctor
merry go round for no reason.

With that said, I have to take off and the library
is closing.

Don’t forget, Friday, tomorrow is the bipolar news.

Your Friend,


P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:

P.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:

P.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.

  1. Hi. Well I had that same problem as the libraian’s sister you know the drug scene and all. My family pretty much gave up on me and some family members like my mother and sister still won’t have anything to do do with me, as they don’t understand the disease. It took being in trouble with the law even for me to know about my own disease, as the san diego court system basicly took a chance on me and court ordered me to go see a doctor. I’m happy to say I’m doing a lot better now, and my drug problem is a thing of the past, thank the good lord, and the law officals for seeing the good in me.
    Debra Diehl

  2. David:
    I found a really great doctor. But I have to take responsibility for seeing him and not have unreasonable expectations. I have to see him during his business hours. So this meant going to my boss explaining my condition, and explaining how important my doctor follow-up appt.s were. I now have no problem getting time off for these appts. It is unbelievable to me that someone would expect a doctor to see them on Sunday at 5:00pm. Get real! and Get tuned in to your loved ones situation! Unbelievable.

  3. We are beginning this journey of understanding bipolar disorder which we think affects our daughter. Emphasis on “thinks”. My husband is reluctant to accept this as a possibility and even though my daughter suspects this may be the issue we are dealing with, she doesn’t want her friends or other people to think she is a “head case”, to put it into her words. The last two and a half years have been very difficult. My daughter is 21. WE have been to two psychologists, but have worked with the same physician through it all. We have been through a rehab program for alchohol and drug abuse as an outpatient. We have treated STD’s, we have been through several jobs, however she is now holding down a part time ajob. We have been through overdrawn bank accountsto the point that she doesn’t have her own checking account anymore. Not to mention the phone calls at work where she is having a panic attack or some sort of dramatic crisis; I retired from teaching this fall and hope to have more time to help her figure all of this out. Then of course there have been the sleepless nights that might involve 3 a.m. trips to the gas mart to get a wine cooler to help her sleep, etc. , followed by a day of staying in bed all day in a dark bedroom. Then there are the aches and pains that seem to come from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Yes the smallest things that can instill hostility and rage in her. Because of the HIPPA law, I really don’t know much about her last psychological assessment. I had a heart to heart with my daughter and asked her if he menationed bipolar.
    she was very nervous, scared, reluctant to discuss it. Finally she confided in me that he said she could be. I went with her to her doctor’s appt. 2 weeks ago and I had my daughter share this with our physician. Our daughter has been taking lexapro and buspar, but at her choice, anot as the dar. perscribed. The dr. also gave her depakote. We have had two weeks of diahrea some vomiting and extreme joint pain. We go back Fri. p.m. I really want to help my daughter get a handle on this if this is what we are dealing with…how do you know?…or do you somehow just know??? I want to start a journal for my daughter’s behavior. She is really journaled ouat from all of her thereapy sessions and it is hard to get her to want to read anything or discuss with me her feelings. She and I do have a close relationship and I have told her sthat I will stand by her no matter what, but she has to become educated so she can read her body signals and help minimize the depression and manic episodes. We have dealt with legal issues and fees as a result of two DUI’s one which resulted in a 5 day jail term because she became so hostile and violetly disrespectful to the officer who pulled her over. We’re talking about a 99 pound, 5 ft.tall girl who thinks she can take on the world at times and a mouth of a sailor at times, then there is my little girl inside crying out for help that tugs at my heart strings because I haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem and help make it better. ANy suggestions are greatly appreciated.


  4. I guess I’m pretty lucky that I have a good relationship with my doctor. I can say that most of my bad times can be attributed to skkipping doses of my meds, slipping back into the drug world, or lack of sleep. As with a lot of patients, my success depends on me holding up my end of the bargain. The doctor cannot succeed unless I do. I feel very well today…….

  5. A response to CAT:
    At first I was afraid of the stigma attached to the label “bipolar”. I have since found that it’s OK to be bipolar. It can be successfully treated.The label helps people to understand the variances in your moods and outlook on life. I make it a point to let my friends and coworkers in on my little secret. It just makes things more relaxed when people aren’t having to try and figure out what’s wrong with you if you are unusually quiet or the opposite. Bipolar diagnosis does not mean you are insane, it just means you need to take medicine like a diabetic does to live a normal life. I hope you can communicate this to your daughter. The correct diagnosis can save her life-literally. It did mine.Drugs,alcohol,promiscuity,spending-Ive beenthrough it all. I am OK now, and my family is stillwith me. There is hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hi, I have a great doctor whom works with me evey 6 weeks. Last visit I was told I was doing better, but now I feel out of wack. I have a great family support. Of course some family doesnt understand, and give me a hard time about it. But I guess the most important thing is how I handle it.So far soso.
    Danielle Sergent

  7. Dear Cat, I can totally understand where you are coming from as a mother myself of a 26 yr. old My son had a hard time with this also, and admitting he had a problem. Just this week after taking me to the dr. office and having the dr. tell a few things and ask him a few questions, and it’s not the first time for him at the dr. office he’s heard the concern my has had for him especially when he’s threatened to take his own life quite a few times. So I understand your heart felt concerns come from, but just pray alot, thats if you feel comfortable with chritianity. Thats what has worked for me anyway, and the love and support my friends and family gave me, well except for my sister and mother. It’s not easy by any means, but in time I’m sure she’ll be fine. I hope I was able to give some kind of peace of mind, and if not I’m sorry. Good luck and God Bless! Debbie

  8. I feel for the girl that has bipolar I really hope her sister the one that you talked to will help her and become a real supporter to her sister it sounds like she needs it. Being a supporter of bi-polar is not just sitting around waiting for them to get better. I wish becasue my life would be so much easier it is about understanding this crazy illness which I hate by the way. And being a supporter is about helping them with the Dr they have. I go every so often to my husband appointments to make sure he is telling them everything and telling them about the side effects that he often does not see. Infact his Dr. wanted me to come to the first appointment. He often asks me about how I think my husband is doing. I was really happy that I had this relationship with his drs when he was hospitalized a couple months ago.

  9. I have been married to a bipolar man for 38 yrs. It has not always been easy. I did not know about this when i married him, but actually had people to call me and tell me to reconsider because his mother was a nut.

    My fiancee was such a gentle, loving man i could not believe he could ever be anything else.

    Now i can look back and see the things he did that were bipolar. I was so ignorant of what this was then.

    Now i read everything i can find about bipolar.

    I see a therapist, a psychatrist, and i take meds to deal with the roller coaster life i live.

    Life is not easy on this side either but i just wanted to say to you to take care of yourself not only for you but for the people who love you.

    Thank you for the emails and information.

  10. While I was being supported through the onset and roller coaster medication ride of bi-polar the greatest thing anyone did for me was hug me, and say I love you, and you’re going to beat this. I am here for you even if no one else is. Encouragement goes a long way. After all you may be the only pot of gold at the end of a faded rainbow. If they just grunt or say something sarcastic as a response to your attention just know that they don’t mean it. They are truly thankful you care. Acknowledge the little good things they do to take care of themselves and others. They hate who they are worse than you do having to deal with them on a daily basis, remember that! Once they are properly medicated and therapy methods are working they will thank you for your support and apologize for the way their illness affected the relationship. Help bi-polars forgive themselves and others it opens up a doorway to peacefulness. May mountains be moved to heal your loved ones who suffer in mental anguish.

  11. sounds way familiar! i was misdignosed and being treated for major depressive disorder with scitzophrenic tendencies. was 2 years before diagnosed with bipolar and another 3 years before the right medication was found.

  12. To CAT: I can utterly understand where you are coming from. Your daughter DOESN’T want to be thought of as a “head case;” well, neither did I, at 20, when I did a stint in a psychiatric ward for “exhaustion.” My fellow peers told me that once you ARE hospitalized and are on medications, you’ll be “in the system” the rest of your life. I resisted this thinking, believing that the delusions and actions I was “acting out” were real and I wouldn’t be considered mentally ill.

    However, so many advances have been made in the field of mental health – even though the stigma remains – that, once diagnosed and put on the correct meds and therapy – your daughter can lead an almost “normal” life.

    “Bipolar disorder” is now a “designer illness;” it is no longer looked upon as something that you’re “locked up forever” but CAN beat, with a “little help from my friends.” It is IMPERATIVE that your daughter be seen and evaluated by a PSYCHIATRIST, NOT a psychologist. The shrink can prescribe medications to control the “roller coaster rides,” but it takes time. She won’t get better overnight, and there will be relapses until she is regulated on the proper medications for her system. Side effects are a real BIG problem with antipsychotic medications – if you journal, it would be important to note her reactions – physically and emotionally – until the right meds are found.

    I know you love your “little girl” and want only what is best for her. If she needs to be hospitalized to regulate the meds, then by all means see to it that she goes to a reputable ward or mental hospital. Being hospitalized is not admitting DEFEAT – it may mean the difference between life and death – and WILL defeat the “demons” of this disorder.

    I highly recommend both of Dave’s books – the one for Supporters and the one for Survivors, as I have read them both. His mother’s story is a gem…if you absolutely CANNOT afford them, then these emails are PRICELESS in the information they deliver – it IS the truth about bipolar disorder and how it affects those WITH it and those who suffer right along with their loved ones.

    As far as supporters are concerned – my mother NEVER accepted my diagnosis, and said her daughter was NOT a maniac! But – after each hospitalization, I had to go live with her to recover, sometimes for a year or more. She did treat me like a little girl; I had no independence; she told me what to wear, what to eat, when to go to sleep, took me everywhere she went, etc. Unfortunately, it was only after she got Altzheimer’s, that I felt I was grown up – at 40!!

    I feel that right now – at 59, and being a bipolar for 30 years – I am a highly functioning “mental patient” owning my own condo, raising two cats, having a boyfriend and maintaining wonderful relationships with my friends. I am on Social Security Disability, so I don’t work a 9-5 job; my therapist said that would be too much stress, and as long as “it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!”

    I’ve been on BOTH sides – a supporter for my Mother, and a survivor of bipolar disorder. It takes a lot of LOVE and PATIENCE, but once you are stabilized on a treatment plan, life can/will be better than you ever dreamed it would be…

    BIG HUGS to all bipolars and the ones who love them. My prayers are with you all.

  13. Cat–

    I also have a bipolar daughter not diagnosed until she was psychotic and it took 30 days in a lock down psych hospital to stabilize her. My beautiful baby girl is 29 and i did a lot of “we”.

    As mom’s of ADULTS, we HAVE TO back off and find that nebulous gray line of support versus taking over their life. She has to GET IT in her gut, which she won’t do if you’re running in circles getting her what she needs. Going to the drug store for a wine coolar at 3am.. come on now, what would you tell someone else.

    The choice is… try breathing exercises, meditation, a walk around the block, TAKE YOUR MEDS AS PRESCRIBED and if you’re still in a major panic attack, you really do need to go to the ER. It really is a medical emergency, becuase we both know at some level, they’ll flee looking for drugs and alcohol and the immediate fix.

    My daughter stopped her meds 6-8 weeks ago and did ok for a while… cause most of them have a half life and linger around for quite a while.

    She immediately hooked up with a guy and practically started living with him… read that as LOTS of sex; sex at an addictive level.

    next came the cutting.

    Yesterday she shoplifted groceries. Now she had $100 in her checking account and she had just gotten a big SSDI payment.. the money was there !!! But those are all signs of her manic edge… drugs & alcohol (thank g’ness shes not used, so that doesn’t muddy the picture); addictive sex, cutting, shop lifting.

    Poor baby.. its really going to cause her problems. she was about to be able to get her own very affordable public housing.. unless i intervene; or her attorney intervenes. But, i’m thinking she needs to learn the lesson. She needs to feel the pain of the consequences cause she refuses to see it as a sign of her bipolar.

    So as one mama to another… be very careful of doing so much that they don’t feel the pain; cause they won’t truly “get” taht they have a chronic disease that THEY, not WE have to figure out how to live with.



  14. I am looking for a really well versed doctor in the bipolar field in or near Atlanta, GA. It has taken my brother being incarcerated after stopping his meds for three months and being on a rampage to ask for my help in monitoring his meds and his doctors visits. I also realize that we have “MANY” family issues to resolve in therapy due to the fact that I am truly convinced that not only my father but my grandfather and my great grandfather along with my fathers aunt have all been suffers of this disease. My father’s aunt was actually institutionalized for “FITS”, I believe her fits were her bipolar disorder. I need to find someone that is very educated and understanding of this disorder as my brother is an extremely educated and intelligent man and will not listen to someone unless he feels that they are worth listening too until he has been on his meds for some period of time. If you know of anyone that would be helpful in this area, please email me at I was also wondering if most major cities have bipolar advocacy groups and where I can find a list of them. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much and my prayers are with any and all survivors and families. I hope I will be able to say my brother is a survivor soon. Thanks again. Loree

  15. Hello, I live with my common law husband and he has Bi-Polar, lately i have been seeing a BIG change in his moods, we have been together for 4 years, and never seen any of this until just a couple of months ago i started to notice his mood changes, very irritable, cranky, shouting, etc. i read Davids aticle on omaga-3 fatty acids, i have a question, what if he is alergic to fish. is there any other way to get him to take omaga-3 fatty acids, we tried this 3years ago with cod liver oil pills and he broke out into hives, so if there is anyway he can take it another way i would love to know…i want to help him as much as possible.

  16. Thank you all for your comments and support. Just to clarify, I didn’t know she had left the house at 3 a.m. for a wine cooler until after the fact.

    She has also been a “cutter”. She hasn’t done this in several months.

    I have discussed going into a treatment center to regulate her medication and help her establish some sort of a routine. I have also told her that it has to be her
    who takes the intiative to educate herself and learn how to monitor her body’s reaction to different situations.

    She left the house to go to work at a clothing boutique just a few minutes ago. That is the first time she has been out of the house in two days.

    She truly is a beautiful girl. She was a dance Pom in high school. That became too stressful…and it seems we have been dealing with identity issues and all of the other forementioned issues since that Junior year in high school.

    It helps knowing that some of you have experienced these situations with your children as well. I know that during one of our family sessions during her rehab therapy, my guilt was so bad that all I could ask myself is “HOW” as a parent, did I not see this coming. At that time. I still didn’t know exactly what I was dealing with. I just knew that her life was out of control and as a result, our whole family’s life as we had known it was out of control. Our son and daughter used to be so close, but her eratic behaviors as well as the drug and alchohol issues have divided them to the point where I don’t know if they can ever be close again.

    I guess it is “one day at a time”.

    Again, my thanks to all of you and David.

    Prayers do make a difference.


  17. Thank you, Jag510 for ur comment but i dont know if he would go for that, actually i know he wont, is there anything else like a pill that has that in it.


  18. not that i know of crystal i take the fish oil pills. good luck.
    DHA EPA is equvalent of omega 3 tho and dont do DHA-E interacts with many meds.

  19. Thank you again..this is awesome, to beable to talk to people who have it or who is dealing with it with a loved one, i am going to look this up, to see what we can do. so thanks again jag510

  20. Loud talking bothers me anywhere, but especially in a birary. They are kind of a special place. My husband talks loud when he doesn’t want to answer a question, (yelling really) then changes the subject or just starts lieing to cover his butt.

  21. Most of society does not take the time to gain the knowledge to understand bipolar. I sure didn’t until I studied and studied…I didn’t even know why my boyfriend of the past 10 years (best friends since we 14 now we are 47)was acting the way he was for so long until his family finally came out and told me “after” a very bad/violent episode where I actually had to leave him.

    After about a year and much research I made it my goal to help and guide him to recovery. Alcohol has been his sole medication until just 10 days ago he went into rehab…So far so good.

    Regarding doctors, bipolar is so diverse and such an individual illness. Much patience from family and friends is needed to all work together. There is no magic one pill or one theraphy. I feel as a person progresses through the healing process medications and treatment need to alter.

    I am on a new journey as he starts to recover and will take it one day at a time as he will need to do. Keeping the family and friends positive is another issue I deal with the same way.

    I have children from a marriage prior to us getting together and they are very unsure of the future. I spend a lot of time teaching them about the illness and hope they will learn and grow as adults to understand bipolar and become supporters as aposed to uneducated critics. I hope the librarian you ran into learned something and instead of complaining stepped up to the plate and starting learning. We all have issues some greater and more difficult than others.

    I look forward to future information and stories,

    Thanks Kim

  22. Hi again. I went with my daughter to the Dr. today. Today’s journey gave ua a report of a 4 pound weight loss in two weeks, still sleepless nights, still depressed, no appetite, but the positive newa is that we are setting up an appointment with a psychiatrist as opposed to a psychologist. Someone on here had suggested that idea and I was pleased when I heard the Dr. go in that direction. We also had a med. change which should help with the no sleep issue. I feel we are definitely on the right path of our journey and I thank you so much for your willingness to share on this blog.

    HEaring about your personal journeys and/or the journey you have been on as a supporter of your loved one has been very helpful to me as a beginner at trying to understand my loved one as she struggles to get her life in control.


  23. My Mom also has a problem w/ drugs, although it is all precribed drugs. So it makes it almost impossible to know if she has overdosed or if she is having a episode, or if is a reaction to the drugs, if her body is not medabalising the drugs, or maybe the drugs have just stopped working for her. My Sister and I have taken her to emerg countless times..most of the time they will make her drink charcole while they are waiting for the blood test to come back, only to find that all of her blood test are normall. Then Mom will say see I told you I did not take to many pills..when we know she has. We would go through her purse or brdm and find mt pill bottle of adivan or countless other drugs that she had just filled a day or two b4. I do not understand y her blood test come back normal?? If we do bring up her pill addiction or rehab she threatens that is she is going to go away for a long time..which means she is going to commit suicide. Mom has moved about 2 1/2 hours away about 3 years we have no way of knowing how she is doing..I mean you can tell just by a hello on the phone if she has having a good of bad day. I wish she would move back…we used to know all of her Dr’s when she lived her, as well as all the pharmasits…I think that is part of the reason she moved away…she still thinks that we are trying to control her live and we have no way of knowing all the dr and all the pharmists in Calgary…she talks about moving back here but has so many excuses to stay where she is. The reason she usually brings up is her own Dad told her that things have been better since she has moved that there is not as much fighting among the family. Her parents have also blammed her for her Dad’s heart attack. i have just come to the reality that Mom can not do this on her own and we all need to get educated in order to help her b4 it is to late. Things can’t get much worse:(
    I am thankful for the web site though, I am going to learn as much as I can..and get Mom back down here, so I can take care of her.

  24. Dear Mist,
    I also am a bypolarand I’m a mom too I am 48 yrs. old. I too had a drug problem but much worse than perscription drugs,I was medicating myself meth,&beer etc… and it took my son and my boyfriend, and the court system, (after 20yrs. of street drug use)
    to finally get the right doc and medication plus 5 yrs. of love and and making sure Stayed on a routine
    on a constance basis. I hope this helps you. God Bless Debra

  25. To Mist: I am a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, which is to say that I am the guy in the hospital laboratory performing the tests for the E.R. Usually, the tests for drugs that the E.R. orders are only for the six most common classes of drugs of abuse: amphetamines,cannibinoids(marijuana),benzodiazepines(valium,xanax)barbiturates,PCP, and opiates. If your mom’s meds don’t fall into one of these classes,the test will come back as normal.If you suspect a certain drug as being the problem, communicate that to the Doctor so he/she can order the specific test for that drug. I really hope this helps you.-Peace

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