Bipolar: When You’re Discouraged


I know that there are a lot of bad days that come with being a supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder. I know, because I went through it myself, when I was helping my mom. It seemed at times like there were many more bad days than good. And you know what? Sometimes I just wanted to give up. I really did. Yeah, me. The guy who never gives up on anything. It was just so discouraging, you know? There was so much that I tried with my mom that didn’t work. And it was just really, really frustrating. But you know what kept me going?

It wasn’t just the fact that I loved her. I mean, I did, I really did. But I didn’t want to let her down. Her doctor had already let her down. And my dad had let her down. And my brother had let her down. So I just couldn’t let her down too. I had to keep going.

But the thing was…Sometimes I was very discouraged, as I can imagine you might be with trying to help your loved one. Some people think it’s an easy thing to be a supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder just because you love them…But we know that it just isn’t that easy.

For every one thing you try that works, there were several things you tried that didn’t work.

But the main thing is…You can never give up trying.

If you feel like you’re alone, you’re not. I got this email recently:


Thank you so much for your emails. They really help me. It’s so hard to deal with my sister sometimes. I mean I try to be a good sister but sometimes she’s just so hard to deal with because of her bipolar. She does such crazy things sometimes some even dangerous things some things that I could even hate her for like calling me names and saying really hurtful things to me. But I always forgive her. Cuz I can’t give up on her. Everyone else has so I just can’t. Even tho she makes it so hard I just can’t. I think sometimes of you and your mom. I mean you never

gave up on her and look where she is now ya know? I keep hoping that one day my sister will just snap out of it and be better like your mom is but some days I just get so discouraged and frustrated and like I said I want to give up. Will she ever get better? How do I keep from giving

up when I feel like that? Thanks, Nancy.”


Wow. You know what I would say to Nancy (and to you if you’re feeling discouraged)? Never give up hope. I know it sounds easier said than done. Still…You’ve got to hang on. It may be easier for me to say, since I’ve seen so many success stories. But I’ve seen some of the worst cases of bipolar disorder turn around and become success stories! So that’s how I can tell you:

Never give up hope. Yours could be a success story someday. That answer could be right around the corner. If you just don’t give up trying.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. You see the bipolar person in this once “mutual” relationship was my life partner so I totally understand today’s point. You see, my life partner is the person who’s mom was bipolar and she was as well so I saw what she had inherited.

    I empathized with her Father more because he understood completely what I was going through being that he actually walked in my footsteps. I, on the only hand like her Dad have a mother who is not bipolar and neither are we but when dealing with life partners that are “habitual liars” or whose emotions go anywhere from 1 to 9 any little sound environmentally sends them goofing off and much understanding is needed. I know of a friend who is thinking of cultivating a romantic relationship with someone with bipolar and rather than discourage him, I decided to forward this info to him as a mere concern from a sincere friend who wishes ‘be careful” as you proceed. Wasn’t that nice

  2. My husband is bipolar and we recently had an appointment with his psychiatrist. Seems my husband likes to use the excuse of having bipolar as crutch when in fact he just makes very poor decisions. I don’t know which is worse.

  3. Mom son has bipolar I and has very serious manic episodes, mostly. I keep this quote on my desk…
    “No matter what is going on, never give up. Develop the heart. Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind, instead of the heart. Develop the heart. Be compassionate, not just to your friends, but to everyone. Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and in the world. Work for peace, and I say again, never give up. No matter what is happening. No matter what is going on around you. Never give up.
    The Dalai Lama

  4. Hello,
    It has been a long time since I wrote anything here.
    I think I really messed up. I recently lost my best friend for whom I was a supporter.
    I had a feeling that something was going on with him living a double life but I chose not to believe it.
    About 5 to 6 months ago my friend went to Florida where he appears to be much happier. I actually encouraged this because I want him to be happy.
    I recntly discovered that he might have D.I.D. Disasociative Identity Disorder.
    I know I shouldn’t have but I did some investigating and discovered through his email address that he has another identity. One identity is a totally different person than what I know.
    I immediately wrote to him in a accusing tone instead of asking what was going on.He became furious with me, calling me names and telling me he would call the police saying I was harrassing him. I saw pictures of both of them and they are identical in facial features, but very different in stature, behavior and personal lives.
    My question is, is it common for someone with Bipolar Disorder to have D.I.D.

  5. thanks so much for those words i needed to hear them ecasue it seems like everyone have given up on my husband the church family his family and my family all but our daughter and myself but thanks you so much

  6. Hi Dave thank you for all your encouragement
    U are right I can’t give up on my 20 year old son
    He has had a tuff life his dad died of a Brain tumor
    Fortunately my son was only 10 month old and didn’t
    Have to deal with the pain and suffering of Of Seeing his 29 year old dad
    Getting worse every day. Then I married a man who adopted my son make
    Me feel secure instead this man abused him phisically and emotionally.
    My son has been hospitalized many times where he goes does the treatment take his meds but once out we go back to square one he totally stops his meds he becomes unpredictable anyways he just refuses meds
    Counseling everybody is crazy and don’t know what they are doing. The days continue the same I’m up to the point of telling him he needs to leave basically kick him out but my heart don’t let me. The physical and mental abuse he experience when he was little now is comming back to me estronger . I pray every day he understand he needs his meds
    Please give me an idea on what to do next I can’t give up on him he has a
    Beatiful heart but when the anger gets to him is like a total different person . Please help me . God bless you today and always.

  7. well, it’s nice to actually say something positive has happened since the last depressing thing I’ve written. My son went “way out of control” because he was not taking his meds he finally was committed to a locked mental unit (one he had been in before). Sad to say it was a happy moment for me. At least I knew he was safe and off the streets while he was manic. He refused treatment at first but finally accepted the help through the medical staff who are awesome professionals working with the mentally disabled. So at the moment he is taking his medicine and is “normal” I know that’s not quite the right term but he actually holds a conversation without saying nasty things and screaming. He says he will stay on his meds and now realizes how important they are for him and that he admits he is bipolar bla bla…well, I really hate to be negative but I’ve heard that song and dance for ten years…I just say thats great son, and give him all the positive reinforcements of staying on his meds will bring him…only time will tell, but for now “life is good” he’ll be getting out soon, going to a group home for a while then maybe back in to live with his girlfriend…I just say a prayer every night that this is the “wake up call” and he see’s the light and all will be good and no more manic episodes……….you can only live in the moment.

  8. Not a comment but a question. I am not going to give up on my husband.He has been taking his meds and going to both marriage counseling and individual counseling.He just got a job, which since he is now on meds, I hope he can keep for more than a month. But my question is pertaining to those in the family who say mean things to me because I do not want to give up. They call my husband abusive, my own daughter is so angry with me for staying with him (he is their stepfather) It breaks my heart that I have to make a choice. How do I deal with the guilt I feel for the past behaviours that occurred between my husband and my children? The yelling over little things was at times so intense and uncomfortable. Please give me some input into this aspect of dealing being a bipolar supporter.

  9. ohh, exelent topic for today. Thanks to wrote it. today i am so tired to hear those names calling and her tricyness. and mind games. and it is hard for us to be bipolar supporters. sometimes I do cry when none sees me, because it hurts when she says those names to me. but I do know that it is many times at that mental desease.. but how you can be sure. sometimes I cant. and she will be this way rest of our life. today I do choose to be with her. well, we are sort of one.

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