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What’s new? It’s almost the weekend. Ready
I have a million things to do today so I
have to take off kind of fast today. But
there was an important topic related
to bipolar disorder I wanted to discuss.
I got this email from a woman, and I
want to share it with you because I have
something important to say about it:
I am a really strong Christian, but I am about
to give up on my husband. I thought I had
enough faith to get us through his bipolar
episodes, but I guess I just don’t. He gets so
depressed, and then he talks about suicide,
and I just don’t know whether to take him
seriously or not, and all I want to do is leave
him but then I feel guilty just for wanting to
I’m just so tired! I thought he would
be the one to take care of me, but now here I
am taking care of him. I read in your emails
that things would get better if I just didn’t
give up on him, but I’m still waiting for things
to get better.
It’s been a whole month, and I
haven’t seen any change – he just mopes
around the house all the time. Do you think
it’s because I’ve lost my faith? Do you think
this is my fault?
First of all, let me say that ALL references
to suicide should be taken seriously. Call
your doctor, hospital right away. Do NOT
underestimate when someone talks about
I get lots of emails from Christians who say
a lot of the same things – bipolar supporters who are
worried that it’s their fault that their loved one
is not getting better as fast as they think they
But let me tell you one thing for
sure – your faith does not have ANYTHING
to do with how fast or slow your loved one
recovers from bipolar disorder!
Now, this lady’s email does NOT say anything
about her spouse’s treatment – is he on
medication? Is he going to see a psychiatrist?
Is he seeing a therapist on a weekly basis? Is
he in a bipolar support group? What is HE
doing to help himself get better?
Being a supporter and being a Christian
doesn’t mean you be the one to shoulder ALL
the responsibility for your loved one’s bipolar
disorder yourself. Especially if they aren’t
even trying. It’s not your fault if they won’t
If that is the case here, then no wonder this
poor woman is so tired! Yes, it’s a good thing
to have faith. And yes, you can have bipolar
disorder and still have faith. In fact, being a
Christian and having bipolar disorder are not
mutually exclusive – you can have/be both!
It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with
your faith, or that you don’t have enough of it.
But remember – your loved one’s bipolar
disorder is not YOUR responsibility. It is
THEIRS. You can love them, you can help
them, you can even pray for them. But you
can NOT do their work for them.
In my courses and systems these concepts are
talked about especially in the interviews
that I do.
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
In my courses I warn people against becoming
codependent – to the point where the
bipolar disorder takes over their whole lives.
Or to the point where they don’t make their
loved one take responsibility for their
Several people in my courses/systems do also talk
about spirituality, and that spirituality/praying
can help to keep a person’s stress level down,
and that is a good thing. So I would not say anything
bad about a person’s faith. Unless that
faith is causing them to use that as an
excuse for their loved one.
This lady is right, I do tell people that things
will get better if you hang in there with your
loved one. But that is when you are BOTH
working toward the same goal – when your
loved one is taking their medication, going
to see a therapist and psychiatrist, etc. These
things don’t have anything to do with faith.
These are things that everyone who has
bipolar disorder should do to get better. In
this case, faith is just icing on the cake!
Well, I have to get going. Have a great day!
P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:
P.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.P.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.