Dealing with bipolar supporter stress one solution


Yesterday I wrote you and told you I would
share one strategy to help you deal
with stress from supporting someone
with bipolar disorder.

It’s really simple and you might find
it too simple.

It’s get away and take a walk. I find
this probably one of the biggest stress
reducing things that I can do for myself.

I actually walk generally 5 days a week.
Wednesday, through Sunday. I walk first
thing in the morning.

Sometimes however I will walk off afternoon
stress so I will have two walking sessions.

Usually the second on is only 15 minutes
while the first one is 30 minutes.

I also weight train and do intense
stretching as well. I do this 6 days
a week. But take a week off every 6 to 7
weeks. I don’t want to make this complicated
for you so here’s a good plan for you.

NOTE-Before starting any exercise routine,
always check with a doctor. Also remember
I am NOT a doctor, therapist, pharmacy
worker, insurance agent, lawyer or even
a dog walker. Someone wrote me the other
day if I walk dogs for a living. I
don’t walk dogs 🙂

Anyway, if you walk 3 times a week
or better yet 5 after you get a doctor
approval, you might want to do it at night.

This way you can walk away a lot of your
bipolar caregiver stress.

I don’t know what it is, but if I am
having a terrible day, if I just walk
for like 15 to 30 minutes these things happen:

I feel better
I come up with solutions to bipolar related problems
I feel like I can be a good supporter
I am more upbeat
I don’t feel so run down

When my mom was REALLY, REALLY sick with her
bipolar disorder major episode, I wound
up not going to the gym BUT I continued
to walk.

It was through walking that I thought
of many solutions to my mom’s problems.

Actually it was one day that I was walking
that I came up with the idea on how
to find a doctor for my mom and get
them to contact us instead of us contacting

They say that walking releases hormones
or something that causes an increase in
some part of your brain. I am not sure
because I don’t know about those things
but I know the bottom line is that it
works for bipolar supporters.

I will say one last thing before I take

If you got any of my courses/systems




Many of the people interview stress how
important it is to take care of yourself.
Many bipolar supporters do not do this.
I didn’t do this but let me tell you, it’s
a big mistake.

If I could do it all over again, I would
take care of myself first. Today I will
not let my mom’s bipolar disorder episodes
destroy my health.

Anyway with that said, walking helps to
make sure you keep your own health in

Please don’t take this suggestion lightly.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor
to get approval to start walking several
times a week and see how it start helping
you cope and deal with your loved one’s
bipolar disorder.

I am not kidding, I have taught this to
many people where I volunteer at and
they love it.

I KNOW IT’S SIMPLE but some times
the simple things are the most powerful.

I have to head to the gym speaking of walking
see you tomorrow.

Your Friend,


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.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.

  1. thanks for the emails, i am supporting a dear friend who has bipolar, he has losts lots of friends and relations through it, they dont understand, thank you, you have taught me all about it, we have been friends for 3 years

  2. Dave, I would like to take a walk across country and not come back! I am bipolar, supporting my 21 yr. old daughter who has been bipolar for yrs. and the past 3 mos. I noticed she was in crisis.She has no insurance, and I begged to finally get her help, but it was almost too late! Last weekend she cut her wrist! Thank God, I had gone over to check on her! She had to stay in the hospital the mandatory 3 days, then they sent her home (with an appt July 3rd!) to go back to her self-destructing ways! I found out, to my surprise that she is addicted to Valium and Vicadin. Who knows where she has been getting it! Plus she drinks and “parties” all the time! She’s been arrested, evicted, loss 5 jobs in 3 months…and you can imagine the rest! Her dad died of cancer when she was 3, and everone else has deserted her. They have all told me that I am enabling her
    but I know they were shocked last week end! Yet, nobody checked up on her or called her! They were all worried about me! It just about did me in, but God saw me through it. It would be a lot easier on me if they would help me to support her, instead of making me deal with everything myself!

  3. Taking care of oneself really seems to be the theme lately and I am glad you put so much emphasis on this. Last year before diagnosed w/ BPD, I attended an Adult Partial Program whereby I learned many techniques for copying, stress reduction, relaxation, etc. that were all very helpful. I found however, that these techniques were easier to do and got better results, the better my health was and the more I recognized when I was speaking (thinking) negative thoughts to myself. I had to walk first my daughter to daycare, and then myself to the hospital for three weeks in order to attend these groups. My walk was 18 blks round trip. I was negative about the fact I couldn’t afford the bus to get there at the time, but I was so tired of feeling like I was, I bucked up and did it. WOW what a difference it made. By the end of the first week I was experiencing obivious benefits mentally from the walking I did. After a few weeks, the physical benefits began to appear as I could walk further with less effort. I learned two very important lessons in doing all this. (1)I have to be willing to TRY new things in order for them to work -sounds like duh! but my negative thoughts prevented me from trying ALOT of things and I wasn’t aware of it and (2) I have to be PATIENT in seeing results and stop seeking out “quick fixes” and cures. I still walk several times a week. During indoor months, our city has a Skywalk downtown where I live so I have no excuses not too. One last note, my 21/2 year old benefits just as much as I do. If she is crabby when we go out, always high spirited when we get back, she sleeps better during naps and at night, she has a healthier appetite, rarely has a cold, the list goes on. I feel as if I am instilling some good health-conscious habits and attitudes that are important to everyone, but may be life-saving if she has BPD later in life.

  4. You are a lifesaver and your health tips make so much sense! You are a one-man support system for so many of us.

    My husband had a mini-episode in the car yesterday because I made a wrong turn and had to go around the block to get going in the right direction. Because our son was on the cell phone with us at the time, he and his girlfriend heard my husband screaming.

    Later, I took the time to explain to them that he is a wonderful man who has a bi-polar disorder, a nervous disorder. My son’s girlfriend, whom I am just getting to know, said her real father has the same thing. Her parents divorced because her father wouldn’t stop taking his medicine with alcoholic beverages.

    There must be many families with members who have problems like these. I hope you find a way to get your helpful techniques into more hands! Understanding is always the first step. Your logical, ordered approach to every facet of this is a welcome change from focusing only on the disease and its effects on the individual, and the pain it causes them and those around them.

    In appreciation,


  5. You must look after yourself first in order to effectively support another person. If you don’t look after yourself, it makes the supporter role harder and more overwhelming.
    It’s like when you’re reviewing the safety rules on an airplane. You put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then on your children or whoever.

  6. I have bipolar
    and it really sucks
    sure i love writing
    sure i love excerising
    but when i get aggravated
    this overwhelming feeling
    comes over me and i just want to scream
    but i usually just cry
    and I am also running into a major problem with finding AA meetings and need a sponsor I guess to go with me
    if by any chance if there are any females out there that do want to be my sponsor so i can go to a meeting tonight
    if there is any
    write me
    I am more than willing to go
    I just want to get better
    and I feel that no one has faith in me
    and that is one of the most painful feelings

  7. How spooky, during an episode I took a nice long walk with the dogs through the woods. I felt much better despite me feeling irratable from the stress. It helped me enabling to sleep later that night whilst my partner sulked on the sofa. Today he wish to be left alone and I did I had a much better day it makes a change for better as I used to take everything personally through his episodes. It was a benefits medical test that triggered it now he wants to see his GP and get help as he feel he is losing abit of control and hates shouting and biting my head off at least I know he loves me Its not his fault its his illness during that horrible time.

    Instead of being hurt by their mean phases and outbursts and see that as supporters and because we love them we are actually sharing their pain as we suffer just as much as they do witnessing their pain and after effects when they realsie what they have done.
    SUPPORTERS: blow up a soapy bubble around your heart let the words bounce off and hug afterwards when an episode is over with.

  8. Dear David,
    My name is Sherrie and I have Bipolar. I wanted to bring something to your attention that you may wish to forward to your 100,000 people on your mailing list. Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island was on Larry King discussing the Mental Health Parity Act. It is a bill which would require equality health care for people with mental illness and addictions as compared to health care for physical illnesses. For example, some health care insurances only allow for a certain amount of inpatient psychiatric hospital days for those with mental health issues and then the patient is released whether she is well or not. I know this is true because it has happened to me. In the past, my insurance only allowed for 14 days of inpatient hospital days and then I was released when I was still very ill. This was very traumatic for me and my family… But if I had been in a car accident there was no limit of days that I could be in the hospital. I urge your readers to write their Representatives (Congress, U.S.Senators,Governor)to pass this bill: H.R. 1402 IH or the Mental Health Parity Act.
    Your readers can go on the internet to find out who their representatives are and look up the Mental Health Parity Act. It was originally introduced by Paul Wellstone. If anyone needs help in finding their representatives they can e-mail me at
    I offer a free service of letter writing to U.S. Representatives regarding mental health issues (or e-mailing) for anyone who may need assistance. My business is called S.H.E.R. (Someone Hears Everybody’s
    Rights) and I advocate on behalf of the mentally ill or those directly or indirectly effected by someone with a mental illness. Thank you, Sher



  10. My husband is bipolar. I was his supporter, but he kicked me out of the house. He has a girlfriend. He is in love with her. He said I pushed him that direction. I now live with Mom. No place to go. I tried everything with him. He needs to get on the right medicine.

  11. Hi Dave,

    Does any of your bipolar clients doctors themselves? My dad is a gynecologist and is diagnosed with this disease for over 20 years now. He just arrived La in June 25, 2007 and does not want to take his current meds. He said is causes him to tremble in his left arm. Do psychiatrist treat other physicians free of charge or not? Can you direct me to a good health insurance? Or it does not really matter? Pls advise ASAP! Need to know how to deal with not taking meds situation….So far no relapse yet! Dunno how long it takes before one occurrs. pls let me know that as well.

  12. when you were talking about walking for yourself i just wanted you to know that walking for people with bipolar is a great coping skill i try to walk at least 15 minutes a day. and it also refreshes me.

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