The Internet and Bipolar Disorder

Hi, how’s it going? I hope you’re doing well.

Remember the “good old days” before computers and the Internet? We actually had to do real research in the library! We had to read things from books! I love the library. There are five of them that I go to, and I go all the time. To me, it’s always been what a playground is to children.

I can find anything I want. And sometimes, the harder stuff to find, well, that’s like searching for lost treasure to me. I think a library is one of the greatest places to go.

But kids today are raised on the Internet, with instant results. So people growing up like that have a tendency to expect instant results from everything.

How does that relate to bipolar disorder? Well, think about it.

People who grew up using the library instead of the Internet are used to a slower way of doing things. They’re used to waiting, and waiting patiently I might add! (Remember those lines to check out books?)

But others expect instant results. And they are not patient, either. So if they have a loved one with bipolar disorder, they are going to tend to expect instant results.

But results from bipolar recovery do not come quickly – it takes TIME to recover from bipolar disorder. If you are the one who has the disorder, and you are of the Internet age, you might lose patience with your medication too quickly and think it’s not working, and want to go off it.

But that would be the worst thing you could do. It takes time to find the right medication. It takes time to find the right combination of medications. It takes time to find the right dosage(s).

It takes time for the medication to get to a good level in your system. It takes time for that medication to do what you need it to do. You can’t lose patience.

And if you go off the medication, you’ll just have to start all over again. And hopefully, in the meantime, you don’t go into an episode.

If you are a supporter, and are of the Internet age, your impatience might show with your loved one. You want them to get better. You want them to be better now. It’s hard to be patient and wait for them to reach stability, which can take a long time. But you can’t lose patience.

You need to be supportive and understanding and hang in there. You will eventually see results,

you just won’t see them right away.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? Are You Doing This?


How’s your day going?

I hope it is a good one.

Yesterday I was talking to an old acquaintance, and I was shocked to hear just how annoying she had become. I’m not meaning to sound rude, but it seemed like the only thing she did the entire time we talked was complain.

Apparently her new boyfriend couldn’t do anything right, and her babysitter was causing problems. There were other things she complained about also, but I won’t bore you with all of them.

I was surprised by how inconsiderate she was being by complaining constantly, but I was even more surprised to realize a bitter truth. That truth is: how often are we, as bipolar supporters, complainers just like she was?

How often do we spend so much time complaining about the things we don’t like, when we could be focusing on the things we do? How often do we waste our time that way, when we could be doing something more productive? That’s right, wasted time.

How many better ways could we be spending our time? I can think of a few. Can you?

I know it’s easy to fall into the pattern of complaining. I’ve certainly done it a few times. I think we all have had at least a few moments when we just need to vent everything that’s been going on with us lately. Everybody has those moments, whether they are a supporter of someone who has bipolar disorder or not. And as long as it stays an every-once-in- a-while thing, there’s nothing wrong with it.

But sometimes we let it go too far. Sometimes we let ourselves get so carried away in complaining about our loved ones that we forget that there are good things we can be talking about also. There is, after all, a difference between venting and complaining.

And there is a point where we spend so much energy complaining that we even forget that the person we are talking to might have something to say also. That’s when we run the risk of being as annoying as that old acquaintance of mine.

So what can we do to avoid all of this negativity? I know some people who would call that “negative energy” – I don’t really know what that means, but I know it isn’t something we want to have.

One of the things we can do to avoid negativity is simply to be positive. Go figure, right? It seems so simple! And guess what? It is!

All we have to do is think about the things that we really do love about our loved ones, and focus on them. That doesn’t mean that we have to ignore the bad things, or forget that they exist. It just means that they shouldn’t be the center of our focus.

Instead, when they do things that we can’t stand, we should allow ourselves to cope with the problem at hand, and then calm down and remember why we love them. After all, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

No one would be reading these emails if we didn’t love our loved ones. I wouldn’t even be writing these emails if I didn’t love my mother! But we all know that I love my mother, and you love your loved one.

So why do we complain about them? Most of the time it is out of frustration. So instead of complaining to a third party about something we are frustrated about, why can’t we just calm down and then talk to our loved one about what frustrates us?

This has to be done very carefully, of course. And it should be done when they are not in an episode, if that is at all possible.

But if we could just carefully approach our loved ones and say something like “Hey, you know it really frustrates me when you do this, do you think we can talk about what could be done instead?” How much of a difference do you think that would make? I can only imagine (and hope) that it would make a huge difference!

It would certainly be better than complaining about them to people who aren’t involved (and let’s face it, people who probably don’t care!) So instead of complaining, I’d like it if all of us – including me – would try to deal with the problem at hand and focus on the positive.

What do you think? Does that sound like a plan?

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Piggy Back Revealed

Hi, how’s it going for you today? I hope you’re having a good day.

Remember when we were little and got piggy back rides? If you’re a parent today, you probably give piggy back rides to your own children. If you’re a grandparent, you may or may not give your grandchildren piggy back rides (depending on if you can or not). But the point is that you know what a piggy back ride is, though. Right?

Well, the term is used negatively in business. It refers to someone who gains success by riding on someone else’s coattails (or piggy backing). They don’t use just their own resources to get ahead.

This type of person generally gets no respect from their co-workers, because you can tell this type of person just by watching them for awhile.

So how does this relate to bipolar disorder?

Let me ask you this: Are you piggy backing your loved one’s bipolar disorder? Is the only way for you to get through to your loved one through their disorder? Is your loved one so dependent on you that they don’t do anything without you? That’s not a good sign. The answers to these questions could be a sign of codependency.

They need to be doing as much for themselves as they can. The more they do for themselves,

the closer they will be to bipolar stability, and the faster it will happen.

Your loved one probably pays a lot of attention to their disorder. They should, if they’re managing it correctly. But not to the point that they leave you out of things. And you shouldn’t be leaving them out of things either, just because of the bipolar disorder.

Here’s a good way to know: Is the only thing you ever talk about, the bipolar disorder? Or do you talk about other things outside of the disorder? Do you feel as if you and your loved one have good communication between you? Does your life consist of things outside bipolar disorder? Or does everything you do revolve around the disorder?

If you don’t have good communication with your loved one… If everything you want to say to them has to go by way of their disorder… Then that’s a huge sign that you are piggy backing on the disorder to get to your loved one. By this point, they should be doing some things for themselves that you did for them before. That’s how you know they’re getting better.

The point is, you DO want your loved one to eventually become independent. You don’t want them depending on you for everything, because that is just not healthy, for either of you.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Current Bipolar News


How’s it going?

To read this week’s news visit:

Here are the news headlines:

New Diagnosis Proposed For Kids Labeled ‘Bipolar’
DO> Hmm. What do you think of this?

Asperger’s and Bipolar changes in DSM
DO> Interesting article.

Hot line serves as local lifeline
DO> What do you think of this?

Kan. Senate adopts change on voting, mentally ill
DO> Do you agree or disagree with this?

Understanding the causes and triggers of bipolar disorder
DO> Great article, take a look.

For these stories and more, please visit:

==>Help with ALL aspects of bipolar disorder<<==

Check out all my resources, programs and information for all aspects of bipolar disorder by visiting:

Your Friend,


Dealing with Bipolar Disorder? This is the key

Hi, how’s it going for you today? Are you doing all right? I hope so.

Recently, I’ve been talking a lot about communication – good communication – and how important that is. Well, a key component to getting along with others is COMPROMISE.

I had shared about this guy I know who is always fighting with his girlfriend because he HAD to

be right! He didn’t realize that compromise was the key. So they kept fighting. But when I talked to him and explained about the AGREE TO DISAGREE concept, which IS compromise, I think he really listened, because I haven’t heard about any more fights lately!

Whether it is a relationship with your loved one or whoever, you need to learn the art of compromise. Whatever the situation, you may be called upon to compromise, and the more willing you are to do that, the less disagreements or uncomfortable situations you will have to face.

So the first thing is WILLINGNESS. You have to be willing to compromise.

Now, that’s hard for some people to do – Like the guy I told you about who had to be right all the time. At least until he became willing to compromise. Then he started getting along more not just with his girlfriend, but in other situations and with other people, too.

If you are willing to compromise, you will get along a lot better with your loved one who has bipolar disorder. Hopefully, you can teach your loved one about the AGREE TO DISAGREE

concept, or even show them the emails (that one and this one).

Then, as long as they are WILLING to compromise, especially if they agree with the concept, your communication will improve.

So, the first step is WILLINGNESS.

Then you have to have the DESIRE to have effective communication. Like this guy I had told you about, it was either learn how to compromise, or to have to break up with his girlfriend, because they couldn’t just keep going along fighting all the time. If you have willingness and desire to have good communication, you will be more apt to have it.

You also have to have a GIVE-TAKE attitude.

Like that guy who learned in the end that it was ok not to be right all the time! Having a give-take attitude means that you will have a more positive attitude, not shutting the other person out.

You also need to have an OPEN MIND.

Understand that it’s ok for your loved one to feel the way they do. If you keep an open mind, it will be easier to separate them from their disorder. It will also be easier to see where they are coming from. In turn, if they keep an open mind, they will be able to see where you are coming from as well.

If the two of you can do these things, you CAN have good communication, in spite of the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? Learn How to Do This

Hi, how are you today? I hope you’re fine.

I was reading this article the other day about relationships. It was saying that, of course, good, honest communication is one of the most crucial parts to a successful and healthy relationship.

I already knew that, as I’m sure you probably did as well. Hopefully, your communication with your loved one is good. Because good, honest communication with a loved one with bipolar disorder is especially important. They need to feel that they can be honest and open about their thoughts and feelings when they talk to you. Many times, you are their “check and balance,”

Here’s what I mean by that. They may have disturbing thoughts that have them concerned. If they feel they can share them with you and you won’t judge them for those thoughts, or throw them right into the hospital, they will tell you what they’re thinking and get your opinion.

Sometimes, the thoughts of a person with bipolar disorder are not rational. And that can be scary for a person with the disorder. As their supporter, you can listen to what they share and decide whether these thoughts are rational or not.

When this happens, your loved one is asking for an honest opinion. This is not the time to hold back so that you don’t hurt their feelings. They may really be in trouble, and asking you for help.

If your loved one is having troublesome thoughts, it would help to have you as a sounding board. Especially if they’re concerned about their own thoughts. They may not trust these thoughts (or themselves), and they need to know that you will be impartial and tell them if there’s nothing to worry about or if there is.

You need to learn the difference between just a “racing thought” (or even just a normal thought

with nothing to do with bipolar disorder) and thoughts that are irrational and indicative of a bipolar episode.

That way, if you agree with your loved one that their thoughts are disturbing, you can get them the help they need before they go into a full-fledged episode. They may just need you to encourage them to go to their therapist and talk about these thoughts. Or they may need to be hospitalized, especially if the thoughts are about dying, hurting themselves (or someone else), or even committing suicide.

Usually, you should be able to just encourage them that their thoughts are just from the bipolar disorder, and that’s enough. However, as I was saying, if these thoughts are disturbing even to you, or cause you concern for your loved one (and their safety or yours), you may need to take

action. Encouragement may not be enough. You may even need to take your loved one to the hospital.

Especially if these thoughts go on for any length of time, as that can indicate a pending episode.

But it’s up to you to discern whether you need to take action or not. You need to learn the difference between thoughts that are just concerning, and thoughts that are from a bipolar episode.

Try talking to your loved one when they are between episodes and can explain what it’s like to have these thoughts, and what type of thoughts they have.

NOTE: If the thoughts are bad enough that they even concern you, it means you need to take


Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar? The Truth of a Man’s Character

Hi, how are you? I hope you’re having a great day

They say that the truth of a man’s character is what he does when no one is looking.

How is your character meter? Are you the same whether you are at home or with other people?

Are you proof that adversity can be overcome? Do you have a positive attitude? Are you an optimist?

I’ve talked about how your attitude determines your stability. Well, it’s not just stability that

your attitude determines. It goes further than that. Your attitude can determine whether you have a good day or a bad day. It can affect your relationships with other people.

Although it works if you have bipolar disorder by helping you reach stability… If you’re a supporter, your attitude (character) can affect your whole life. It can definitely determine whether you are a good supporter or not.

What do you do when no one is looking? Are you consistent in your character? Do you show the same strength at dealing with things whether anyone is watching you or not? Do you have the same stamina? Do you devote yourself to helping your loved one get better? Do you do things like trying to keep your loved one’s life (as well as your own) as stress- free as possible?

Do you keep your home relatively stress-free? Are you protective of your loved one? Do you try to keep junk mail and negative mail and calls from reaching them?

How are you at handling your problems? Are you a creative problem solver? Do you keep looking for a solution even though one doesn’t seem to be forthcoming?

Are you embarrassed by your loved one and their behavior? Or have you learned to show

understanding, patience, and tolerance? Do you hide from the world or take it head-on?

Are you being the best supporter you can be? Do you admit when you need help, and then accept the help that is offered? Can your loved one depend on you? Are you really there for them? Are you a good listener? Not only listening to what they say, but also what they DON’T

say? Are you a good companion? A good friend?

Are you doing what is necessary for yourself? Are you taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your loved one?

I know, this all seems like one big quiz, doesn’t it? But your answers do matter. They determine your character. And you need to have strong character to deal with bipolar disorder.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? After the Holidays, Then What?

Hi, how are you today? I hope you’re doing well.

Well, it’s past New Year’s, and all the holidays, so you might be asking, “Now what?”

If your loved one made it through the holidays without going into a bipolar episode, that’s fantastic! Count yourself blessed. On the other hand, the holidays may have been a trigger for them, and things aren’t going so well. So now what? How do you help your loved one after the holidays?

The key, in my opinion, is to love them unconditionally. I know that’s hard at times, at least it was hard for me with my mom. There were times that she made me so mad that I wanted to hate her. But that was the hurt in me speaking out. I couldn’t really hate my mom. But I could hate the bipolar disorder that made her hurt me. Like I said, all I could do was to love her unconditionally.

It helped when I was able to learn to separate her from her disorder. I could blame her bipolar and not blame her. Which wasn’t easy, but was easier than if I didn’t. You see? There’s a big difference between hating the disorder and hating your loved one. If you can separate them from their bipolar, you can legitimately get mad, but at the right thing. You can be mad because of their behavior, and try to get them to change it, without being mad at them directly.

On the other hand, no one says that you have to take abuse, either. If your loved one is verbally

abusive, you can always separate from them in love. What do I mean by that? Well, you can love them, but hate their behavior. You separate the two, and when you are able to talk to your loved one (when they are past the episode), explain how their anger hurts you. Then set a boundary.

This would be something like telling them, “I love you, and I realize that it’s your bipolar disorder that makes you so angry, but it hurts me anyway. So when you act in anger toward me, I will have to leave you alone until you’re over it.”

You don’t have to say that exactly, but something like it. And then you need to stick to your guns. You have to be consistent. The next time they take their anger out on you, leave them.

Either go into another room or even leave the house if you have to. Then they will understand that they have to be accountable for their hurting you. And they should take responsibility for their behavior and its consequences. They will have to accept the boundaries that you set for them.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Dealing With Bipolar Disorder? Mistake Some Say Obama Is Making

Hi, how are you today? I hope this is a good day for you.

I saw in the news that many people are criticizing President of The United States, Barack Obama, saying he is “trying to boil the ocean.” (What in the world does that mean? LOL)

Well that means that they say he is trying to do too much too fast. (Here’s the link:

Don’t try to boil the ocean. How does this apply to bipolar?

Well, if you have bipolar disorder, you may have to focus solely on your treatment and a few other things. If you are a supporter, you may have to drop some things that you normally do, maybe charity work, some fun things, etc., in order to help your loved one. You can’t do it all.

I personally had to take off from work for almost a year. I had to stop hanging out with my friends. I had to cut back on many things. There just wasn’t enough time.

Some try to keep up everything and burn out and almost have breakdowns. You don’t want to suffer supporter burn-out. In order to avoid it, you have to set priorities.

Even more important than taking care of your loved one is taking care of yourself. Make sure that the stress of taking care of a loved one with bipolar disorder is not getting to you. If it is, you need to do something to de-stress. You may need a break. Not only are you entitled to one,

it may be absolutely necessary for you to take one.

Try to find someone else in your loved one’s support system who can “spell” you for a time, even

if all you do is take a drive in the country or something like that. You need to keep balance in your life, just as your loved one does. You need to stay stable as well. That means being balanced physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And you have to keep in mind that you can’t do everything by yourself.

Some supporters even have their own support group (for supporters of a family member or loved one who has bipolar disorder), and they find that that helps. Others go to their own therapist.

The point is that you do what you need to do to keep yourself balanced.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


Bipolar Supporter? Help Your Loved One Through These Times

Hi, how’s it going? I hope things are going good for you.

The holidays are not always easy for someone with bipolar disorder. All the excitement can “trip” one into a bipolar manic episode. The let-down after the holidays may “trip” one into a bipolar depressive episode.

You really need to watch your loved one at this time of year especially. And, of course, they need to be watching themselves.

Two of the worst triggers to a bipolar episode are anxiety and stress. The holidays are full of both these triggers for your loved one.

One advantage you have is that you can look back at last year and see how the holidays affected your loved one. Did they get nervous? Stressed? Out of control? Even gone into an episode? If it happened last year, it’s probably a good indicator of what will happen this year. So you need to be vigilant, and not let down your guard even though it is the holidays. Actually, you shouldn’t let down your guard especially because it’s the holidays.

If your loved one got anxious or stressed last year at this time, you will probably have to help them through this year as well. You can help your loved one through anxiety and stress.

Here are some suggestions:

• Be supportive

• Watch for signs or symptoms of an episode

• Avoid too much excitement

• Keep the gatherings to small ones

• Always have a Plan B

• Make arrangements so that your loved one can leave a gathering early if they get too anxious or stressed

• Have a ready (plausible) excuse for declining
holiday invitations so that your loved one doesn’t
get overwhelmed or be uncomfortable

• Make sure that your loved one is comfortable
wherever you go, and avoid those places (like the
mall) that cause them anxiety or stress

• Keep the home environment as stress-free as possible

• Only have people over to your house if your loved
one is ok with it

• Occasionally check with your loved one
verbally to see if they are feeling ok – but not
so much that they feel like you are bugging them

• Be understanding if your loved one doesn’t feel
up to company, or up to going out to a gathering
or party (you may have to hide your disappointment)

Although the holidays are a trigger for some people
with bipolar disorder, your loved one doesn’t have to
be one of these people with a little forethought and
planning, as well as vigilance on your part.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,