Dealing With Bipolar Disorder? Look for this.

Hi, I hope you’re doing ok today.

I was talking to this woman the other day, and she was sharing with me about how she had just

gotten some bad news. She didn’t seem very upset, though, so I asked her what happened. She told me that she had just found out that she has kidney disease.

I thought, wow, that’s pretty bad news. But again, I noticed that she didn’t seem to be taking it that hard. The more I talked to her, the more upbeat I felt, which was really strange. I mean, she gets this terrible news, but she is so upbeat that it kind of like rubs off on me! I swear, this was the most positive woman I’ve ever talked to. And talking to her put me in a positive frame of mind.

When I asked her how come she could have such a positive attitude, she told me.

1. What she has was caught pretty early

2. It’s treatable

3. It’s not fatal

4. She can still do her normal things

5. She can still do her job

Now, here’s the opposite of her. There’s this person at one of the support groups I go to who complains about everything. But she’s not sick, and her husband isn’t either (physically, I mean). They live in a nice house, drive a nice car, and basically have a pretty good life. Except that her husband has bipolar disorder.

But like the woman who shared with me that she had kidney disease, this woman’s husband is not going to get worse (as long as he does certain things). He found out pretty early that he had

bipolar disorder, so he’s in treatment for it. Bipolar disorder doesn’t have to be fatal, as long as he stays on his medications. He can still do his normal things. And he is still able to work part-time.

She should be grateful for all that, as her husband sounds like a high functioning person with bipolar disorder. Plus he’s not physically sick. She shouldn’t be complaining, she should be glad that things aren’t worse.

Like this woman with the kidney problem, she has a positive attitude, and she is looking for the good in her situation. Not like the woman in the support group, who is looking at all the bad.

Many people with bipolar disorder are much worse off than her husband. Some haven’t even been diagnosed yet, much less diagnosed early. So they’re having to still go through episodes, with lots of consequences, and they don’t even know why these things are happening to them.

Some don’t stick to their medications, and go into episodes because of that. Some people are still in denial over the fact that they have bipolar disorder to begin with. Some don’t let their supporter (or anyone else) help them. Some people fight this thing all the way, thinking they can do it all by themselves. They can’t – they need a strong support system. And they need to have a positive attitude. That’s just as much a part of your treatment as taking medication.

Whether you have bipolar disorder or are supporting someone who does, having a positive attitude will help you.

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,


  1. Hi David

    Just want to let you know that the information you sent me regarding bipolar disorder is very helpful. I am homeless now and live in a motel through the Dept. of Social Services in California. I have no family or friends. Since I been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I accepted it and now waiting for treatment, so I can enjoy my life again like I did before. My youngest daughter’s father had turned her against since I told him I have been diagnosed with bipolar, now my daughter thinks I am crazy and don’t want me around her anymore. I am an embarassment to her now, so she dont want to have anything to do with me anymore. What kind of human being will turned their daughter against their mother? All because he is miserable and unhappy, and because I dont love him anymore and left him 20 years ago. This was his way in paying me back. I think my daughter’s father have a mental illness too.


  2. My husband has been dignosed with bipolar but as we speak he doesnt want help he thinks its a waste of time he stopped his meds cause it was causing him to be drowsy. and he told his pych. goodbye.. now what!! we have only been married for a year and it is very hard. im very much a optmistic person. but i feel worn out from his complaing, and obessing on things.

  3. This is so similar to what took place between me and my significant other. I found out that I to have Kidney Disease. When I told him he was very upset and very concerned, but the conversation we had was about how it was caught at the beginning, that it is treatable, that I could still work, and do regular things. It shows me that we are not the only ones going through this. When I told G, I was afraid it would cause him to have a BP episode. He was however able to deal with it and was so very supportive. This is one of the reasons I Love him So Much. Not to say that the news of Kidney D did and does not scare me, but he told me that he would stay by my side always and be with me through Kidney Dyalisis and all. I Love him ever so Much More for this. This is why I am so sure and willing to be by his side when he has episodes, or is irritable, or to tired to do something or go somewhere. Believe me that he makes efforts to follow tgrough with what we plan or promise to do. I Love You so Much G and I hope that every one could be Blessed like we are in life to have found each other. I Love You as I Always Have and Always Will…

  4. Good column, Dave. Keep up the excellent work. Don’t let things get you down. I know that I almost always get a good pick-me-up from reading your columns.

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