Bipolar? You Can’t Hide From This


How’s it going for you today?

I was reading an article in Reader’s Digest recently on ways to hide all sorts of things.

For example, they talked about how to hide extra weight just by the way you dress, or by
the way you accessorize the way you dress.

And how to hide your personal identity (especially on the Internet) so that you don’t fall prey to identity theft.

This was an important one, and if you go online a lot, you can check with your Internet provider for help with this.

You can hide from phone solicitors by getting on the National Do Not Call Registry by calling: 1-888-382-1222.

You can hide your phone number from people by having it unlisted by the phone company.
Then it doesn’t even appear in telephone books.

You can even hide your bad breath by nibbling on a sprig of parsley or lemon rind, or
drinking a cup of black or green tea.

But although this was an interesting article to read, and it did have some practical information on how to hide your things (and yourself)…

It didn’t tell you that there are some things that you can never hide.

Like your bipolar disorder.

In my courses/systems, I talk about how telling people whether you have bipolar disorder or not is a personal choice.



And that’s true, it is a personal choice.

But if you have bipolar disorder, you still can’t hide it from yourself.

You’ll always have the disorder (unless they find a cure for it).

You can’t hide from the fact that you have to take medication every day for the rest of your life in
order to keep from going into bipolar episodes.

Even if you choose not to tell others that you have bipolar disorder, they can usually tell –
especially those closest to you, like friends and family.

And you will never be able to hide your bipolar disorder from your supporter.

Unless you’re perfect, which none of us are.

Even with medication, there will be times that the signs and symptoms of your disorder will
be there anyway.

And you can’t hide them from your supporter.

You shouldn’t even try, because for one thing, the stress of trying to do that will just make you worse.

But mostly because your supporter cares about you – they wouldn’t have stayed with you if they didn’t.

They just want to help you, and they can’t do that if you try to hide your bipolar disorder from them.

Your disorder isn’t going to go away.

There’s no use trying to hide from it (or to hide it).

Are you still trying to?

Is it helping you or hurting you?

Have you stopped trying to hide your bipolar disorder? What happened?

If you are a supporter reading this and your loved one is trying to hide their bipolar disorder,
how do you feel about that?

  1. When my husband was diagnosed ten years ago, we decided not to keep anything secret. That only adds to the stigma that bi-polar disease is a shameful condition one has by choice. People could choose (their choice) to stop or continue being our friends. NO ONE CHOSE TO STOP BEING OUR FRIENDS! They were very supportive and wanted to help and asked questions in order to learn about the disease. Since we were still learning ourselves, it was an education for all of us. We are members of a very wonderful and awesome Christian fellowship and Sunday School class and church. Their constant love and support and prayers helped and continue to help us through our rough spots. Our awesome, loving, Heavenly Father walks with us every step of the way. It was a personal choice that we chose to share with everyone. You are right, David, everyone can tell something is wrong anyway. We just believe that truth is always better than speculation. My husband had retired before he was diagnosed, but he had been cycling for a few years and everyone at his workplace knew something was wrong.

  2. As a supporter of someone who will not admit they have a bipolar disorder, I feel like a parent watching their child bleed very badly right in front of them, but not being able to touch them to stop the bleeding. It is awful.

  3. I have mixed emotions on whether or not to hide the bipolar disorder. Like I have mentioned before my 8yr old son is bipolar and I have a hard time with wanting to tell people. I know our close family and friends are aware and his school (which is the best school in the United States) but I don’t know if I want anyone else to know. I know other people that have this disorder and I listen to the comments people make about it and I don’t want anyone to think that my son is “crazy” which is what the people in our town say about the ones that are bipolar. My son is NOT crazy, he is a very intellegent little boy that is above average in his school when he is not going through a “phase”. I want people to know him for who he really is, a loving and caring person. He can not help that he has this problem and people judge before they get to know the ones that have the disorder. The only time I want to let people know (but at times don’t) is when he acts out of control and is going through the phase. For example, he played football last year and the coaches were really hard on him when on certain things that he could NOT control. I was going back and forth on whether or not to tell them because I didn’t want to them to look at him like there was something wrong with him. I did end up telling and it actually made the situation worse. After that they quit working with him in making him better. So I just think people to think about what could happen in telling people that don’t understand the disorder which most don’t

  4. In response to your e-mail, I do not suffer from bi-polar disorder. I am a therapist who has patients with it. Just want to receive your newsletter. Thanks.

  5. My wife has a textbook case pf BP-1. The Dx has been confirmed by several doctors, psychiatrists, therapists and other professionals as well as by mutual friends with their own experience of the disease.

    Yet she persists in complete and absolute denial.

    For the mment she is in a relatively calm state which is wonderful but all around her are “walking on eggshells” waiting for the next “episode” to happen. And it WILL!

    She has come close to destroying our marriage, has mentally harmed our children and seriously damaged our finances at a time when like most people, we need all the reserves we can get.

    Now that she is stable, she probably thinks that she can hide it, can continue the denial but at the slightest sign of another manic episode, we will have to act

    In order to protect the children, lawyers will be brought in and she will be forcibly removed from the home. Her previous episodes have given more than enough “expert witnesses” to enforce this.

    So if there’s anyone else out there who thinks that he/she can hide BP, thinks that they are clever enough to pull the wool over the eyes of those around them – especially those who care – Don’t fool yourself – For the sake of those around you, those you care about and those who care about you – GET TREATMENT and TAKE YOUR MEDS!

    Any and all side-effects are way better than what will happen if you do not.

  6. I don’t believe people should necessarily hide their bipolar, but when is the right time to tell an employer or friend that you are bipolar. My son is bipolar and has a hard time keeping a job because he gets stressed out and walks out. He can GET a job easily. How and when do you tell an employer, can they fire you for this?

  7. David, you were asking for supporters to exspress how they feel when their loved one tried to hide their symptoms. What if your supposed supporter panics if you have one sleepless night and wants to rush you in to be overmedicated? I do not tell my sister anything, ever. She does not want to know anything anyway. She is not a supporter of me in anyway. She is a stroke patient and puts me threw pure hell everyday. I have been so patient with her because I know she can not help how she is. Mean, argumentative, negative, she gets angry over imagined things and takes it all out on me. I have left home. I cannot take it anymore. It is killing me to be around such negativity and volitile emotions. I am walking across the country to get back home to my Montana Mountains. The peace and tranquility is waiting me there.

  8. Dave, thank you for all the information in the news letter.You see from all I can gather my daughter is Bipolar. She was married for 13 yrs. three beautiful daughter, a WONDERFUL husband that lived through 13 yrs. with her ,and suddenly got a divorce 3yrs, ago and almost distoyed the intire family. The girls are still so messed up emotionally.It is so sad for them .Their Mother is the most beautiful person you willever see,and the most disorganised person in the world.My heart breaks for the girls having to live in that confusion. Everything in her house is in disarray. The girls are 16-13-& 11. They try to help but its impossible,she leaves a trail,and it is so overwelming to them. They can’t have friends in because of all the confusion in the house.I pray some day for the children sake she will get out of denial and get some help!!Blessings, JoAnn

  9. It does help to tell people who care about us about having Bipolar. Its not excatly the best thing to tell your best friend…but telling people can sometimes be a good thing.
    If they really care; they will understand that some stuff you say or do isnt actually your fault. Its the episode acting up, and your actions is a result of the mood swings. At this moment it does sound like an excuse to get sympathy, but is not. People around us Bipolars do care…they just dont know what to do or how to react. Not telling them will make them afraid.

    Dont be afraid to tell your loved ones about having Bipolar. If they care enough they will understand.
    Fight On

  10. What do you do when your Supporter won’t even accept the diagnosis of bipolar disorder? My Mom stuck to her guns that I was NOT “mentally ill.” It was ALWAYS a “physical problem.” No daughter of hers’ was a “mani-ac.” (She skewed “manic depression” to “mani-ac.”). This made it doubly hard to even TALK to her about my moods and feelings. She wouldn’t even talk rationally to my therapist, swearing at her over the phone to the point where I almost slapped her for her actions.

    Most of our arguments centered on the fact that I DID have “issues” and I wasn’t “normal.” She was of the “old school” that you could “just snap out of it,” or “fuggedaboutit.” Although she staged an intervention at one point when I was definitely in a manic episode, she didn’t understand WHAT it was or how to get help. Even when I was a patient in the State Mental Hospital, she argued that I was there for “pernicious anemia” (which was one part of the problem), and there was NOTHING mental about my being a patient there!

    Now, there is so much information out there about bipolar disorder that Supporters have access to, as well as communicating with their loved one’s mental health professionals. I look back with regret that my Mom NEVER understood ME as ME, with all the symptoms that the bipolar showed up in me.

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and those who love us. May God bless you real good. I pray for my country.

  11. HI 1 AND ALL….
    Hide your flabb it a bit difficult when its stuck under your clothes. Or never mind. 🙂

  12. Hi David,

    There is a difference between hiding and engendering, my friend. Take care.

  13. I agree. There is no reason to hide it. You would not hide that you had cancer, you would be supported in taking the medication that can treat the cancer. You wouldn’t hide from having diabetes. You would take your meds or you would be having seizures and would not be allowed to drive. You wouldn’t hide from other diseases. Yet bipolar folks want to hide their diseas and not tell people because they have no insight that everyone can tell and it affects everyone quite negatively I might add. The kids it affects the most and yet it does not have to be that way if the right mix of medications are taken. It is like watching a slow death and there is constant grieving for those who refuse to follow a treatment path that represents stability and acting in such a way not to harm those around them due to the bipolar mania. They want parity but they don’t want to treat it like an illness everyone else treats like an illness. I don’t think they get that brain cells die a rapid death with mania.

  14. “All the side effects are way better than what will happen if you do not”.
    This says it all in one sentence.
    Thank you for putting it so concisely.

    But they don’t really care what will happen because they have been getting away with their bipolar episode behavior for so long. That is the real problem. And it goes back to holding them accountable for their behavior like the rest of the world has to be held accountable.

  15. My daughter tells me not that she is beginning to feel an episode coming on – but that she feels anxious or angry or sad – and doesn’t know why and she will tell me how many hours or days if ashe thinks that info is also important: I absolutely agree Rachel needs to be open and forward with the things she is experiencing, as her caregiver I appreciate being forewarned by Rachel of anything that she may be experiencing – because Im not a mind reader. 2 years ago things were very much different :Rachel never told me about anything -I had to guess, and even if I guessed rightly she would never be truthful about anything – since her realization she has BP she has also undertaken to inform me ( she lives with me now) so that together as a family we can proceed with plan A see the doctor Psychiatrist psychologist review drug regimes check for stress. Funniest thing is, about the same time Rachel may mention a change in her mood I would notice outward signs- like she was a little withdrawn or Rachel was
    sounding angry or had stopped caring for her self.Its great not having to second guess any more.

  16. I am supporting my boyfriend who has just come through mania,depression,mania,depression in the space of 6 months. Now he’s stable and wants to forget all about it and I’m the worse for talking about it. He takes his meds cos the doctor tells him,tho for what if he’s ok as he thinks. I’ve researched,helped all I can, but feel like walking away if another episode starts as it surely will. It’s not fair, his denial is frustrating but I am powerless. Just trying to take of myself.

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