Is This True About David Oliver?


How’s it going?

It’s not going well for me. I actually have strep throat. I had to go to the doctor yesterday.

I feel better today. It took a lot of energy for me to send this out.

This is why I am sending the daily email out so late.

Someone wrote me that I am really, really negative and try to scare people.

They said that with reports and guides like: Bipolar Disorder-The REAL Silent Killer, and
others like it…

Where I tell the shocking truth about this and that related to bipolar disorder…

The x mistakes for this and that…

Deadly this and that…

Anyway, you have seen some of my titles for reports and such.

So someone said that I am negative and trying to scare people.

Well the truth is, I am trying to scare people, if that’s what it takes.

I am trying to get them to take bipolar disorder seriously.


Well, when I started, I saw so many people who took their own life, went home less, lost EVERYTHING or destroyed their family…

And I came to the conclusion that many people thought that bipolar disorder was no big deal.

My own dad didn’t even think that it was a big deal until I explained that it was…

After my mom finally got diagnosed after over 35 years of struggling with bipolar disorder.

Now that’s a big deal, don’t you think?

And I’ve heard so many stories from people saying the same thing.

Like that they’ve had it all their lives, but weren’t diagnosed until they were older, and everyone missed it, and they suffered all those years when they didn’t have to…

All because no one thought it was any big deal.

Well, if you’re a supporter of a loved one with bipolar disorder, you KNOW it’s a big deal.

In my courses/systems, I try to show people what a big deal bipolar disorder really is. I try to educate them.



I think educating people is the best way to help them see what a big deal bipolar disorder really is.

People just don’t understand, in general.

I heard of this one lady, and this is a true story.

She was out shopping with her husband.

Now she has bipolar disorder, but her husband doesn’t – he’s her supporter.

And a lady she knew came up to her and started talking to her about this woman she knew.

She was saying that this other woman was a real “witch,” so “she must have bipolar disorder.”

Yea, she really did say those words (only she didn’t say witch, if you know what I mean).

So this lady who was telling the story turned to her husband and said, “Honey, I’m not like that, am I?”

And her husband said, “No, you’re not like that at all.”

And she turned back to the woman and said, “I’m not like that, and I have bipolar disorder.”

And she said that the woman turned all kinds of shades of red.

See what I mean?

This other woman who was saying all this stuff didn’t think bipolar disorder was any big deal.

She knew nothing about it, or she wouldn’t have said that the woman she was talking about it must have it, just because she was a “witch.”

But the lady who was telling this story used that opportunity to educate the woman about bipolar disorder, showing her that you can meet anyone on the street and they can look and act as “normal” as anyone else and still have the disorder.

Have you ever had an experience like this?

  1. you are not a negative report the facts of a very complicated illness,credit must be given to you for your years of experience,thanks for opening my eyes to the people around me never stop what you are doing.

  2. David, I have to say that you are not a negative person at all. You are telling the truth when it comes to Bipolar disease. I am supporer to my son and he is a rapid cycler and this is so hard on him as well as myself. However, I read all your emails to me and then forward them to him to help him understand himself. I went with him to the Dr. yesterday and saw him cry because he hurts so much inside. He knows his problem, but as you and I both know, sometimes they just can’t help themselves. It is sometimes very tiring to be a supporter of someone with this disease, but I will never give up helping him. One of his sisters also is his supporter, but the other sister doesn’t even ask about it or is interested in finding out how to help him. It takes patience and lots of love to help anyone with this problem. I had a brother who was severe Bipolar (he is deceased now), but I remember taking care of him straight on for weeks. At least my son is able to function at his job. Keep up your good work. Thank You

  3. David,
    I don’t think your negative and I do think it is extremely crucial that people are educated about this disease…. it can ruin and if not taken care of even lead to death of the person themselves or their family… Keep up the good work! I am sure you’ve helped many people.

  4. I have had Bipolar Disorder since birth and it is a big ordeal unless you can get diagnosed properly and take the proper treatment. I and my loved ones went through what must be very close to hell before I was diagnosed and treated properly. I am now 70 years old and enjoying life since following the correct treatment. I was 40 or so before correct diagnosis and treatment.

    I thank God daily for good parents, brothers, sisters, husband and friends. What a blessing when I found a doctor who gives correct diagnosis and treatment for Bipolar.

    Your daily e-mails have helped me so much.

    Sarah Pillow

  5. the negative is very important–david oliver is the one that is the reason my 24 yoa son is still alive—–education is not always full of sunshine—–thanks dave–

  6. There are lots of negative people everywhere and you are vulnerable to some of the worst because of what yiu do .Keep positive and educating,David

  7. I totally agree with you. People still don’t take it seriuos and even me as a supporter, still have to learn more about it.

    About the story, I experienced that with my husband and mother in law. My husband has a very nice character, while his mother can be very, very wicked. And they both have Bipolar Disorder. It’s a real difference between the two of them.

    I just have to learn how to cope with it and have more patience. Even if I feel like giving up sometimes after 10 years, I try not to. I find that the outside world needs to know more about Bipolar Disorder and take it very seriously.——

  8. Hello David, Sorry to hear you are ill. I hope you start to improve soon.
    I have written letters to you about my situation but you have never responded. That was sad.
    Is it possible for you to ever reply to actual emails?

  9. Hello Dave,Sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell. i hope you start to improve soon. I have written to you previously a couple of times, about my situation, but you have never repsonded. Is there any chance that you would ever be able to reply?

  10. To Whomever Has the Answer:

    The medications I’m on make me shake. My hands are shaky and my voice gets shaky. Does anyone know if these are side effects from Abilify? Or Cymbalta? Please write your answers below. I’d like to be off Xanax,but it is the only thing that keeps the shakes under control.
    Thanks for listening,

  11. People signed up because they DO know it’s important. They are suffering because of the impact of bipolar. They don’t need dramatic media coverage to convince them that this can devastate lives and families.

    When you rely so heavily upon dramatic, anecdotal media coverage, you risk misleading those who really DON’T know the real dangers.

    If I had no other experience, but an interest in this subject, and I discovered piles of “scary stories” about people with bipolar disorder, I’d go away thinking “they” were violent, scary people.

    I wouldn’t use this stuff as an eye-catcher. It distracts from your message.

  12. Well I agree with you David I have fought bi-polar all my life and I am 53. I was not diagnosed as bipolar until 9 yrs ago. Before that it was just considered depression. You noticed I said “just”.No one takes my mental illness serious-never has. I was first hospitalized in 1977 and several times since but have managed to live a fairly “normal ” life with the help of friends, a therapist, a psychiatrist, meds and alot of self help. Wears me out thinking about it as it is a constant balancing act. I have had numerous incidences like you describe. My father use to feel it “was all in my head and to get over it”. That opinion is common and has prevented me from having a meaningful relationship since I started dating after my recent divorce. There is such a stigma about mental illness in many ways. Anyway if it takes fear to convince people that Bi-polar is a real threat so be it. I think your info. has been good and helpful to myself and lord knows I have tried to become an authority on the disease to help all those I come in contact with. I do not fear my disease and try to help others not to also but also to take it seriously. Sorry this is so long but just felt I had to reply. Hope you feel better soon and keep up the good work. Ignorance is not bliss. Liz

  13. I do not believe you are scaring people David. You must use some kind of method to catch people’s attention and grab it to get them to listen and read what you have to say. I’m bipolar and my very, very soon to be husband is also bipolar, we both understand each other. We get along absolutely great with each other also. It takes communication for sure, and your communication David to the people is essential in getting the message out there like other well known people do.


  14. Hi Dsve! This is my first time writting and I don’t think that you are negative in any way about Bipolar Disorder!! The people that think you are, are uneducated about it and are scared of anyone that has it. I, personallly, have lost alot of friends because of it they treat me with “kid gloves” and think that I’m crazy (even my husband does at times). That really hurts, but thank God I got you and you understand!!!

  15. I do not think you are negative. I enjoy reading your articles and learn new things also helpful information. Keep up the good work

  16. I’ve been helping support someone who has been in indenial about his Bi-Polarity for years…

    Of course its a very serious problem…

    and I understand it to a certain degree, and am
    always looking for help….

  17. David,
    I am Bipolar and feel you are not negative. Actually when I think of my growing up I was Bipolar then and my parents took it as mean. I got my ass beat every time I turned around. The point I am making is you can have Bipolar and not know until it has you by the butt.

  18. Hope you feel better soon. Make sure you take your medication or you are a hypocrite lol. No you are not negative you are truthful. My wife is in an uncontrolled mania right now and is surrounded by enablers. She has all new friends has made up so many lies it is unbelievable, and does not call or visit our children (two of the kids are my step kids by the way. {but I am the only dad they know}4 kids in all) My kids will be effected for the rest of their lives and do not wish for her to come home anymore. Yes it is very sad. She is not paying any bills and spends all her money on I don’t know what. I have protected myself and my children this time out of experience.
    This is not the first time but it will be the last. If anyone accuses you of sounding mean spirited then they do not know the devastating depths of a full blown uncontrolled mania and the impact it has on a family. If people think you are mean then they would think I came straight from Hell. But that’s not true for either of us. We both just are aware of the facts and have lived through it. Keep spreading the word. State the facts and know that sometimes the truth hurts. Anyone who accuses you of being mean is only being defensive, is probably Bi Polar and in denial. I know first hand that affects of denial of this disorder and can honestly say that the real mean people are the people in a denied mania.
    After Years of treatment and months at a time in McLeans hospital (the best in the world for mental illness by the way) our family is still suffering EVERY DAY. I must admit I am an abused supporter and my biggest fear is the seasonal change coming this fall. sorry so long, will stop now. keep up the good work!

  19. Sometimes it takes the negative side of things for people to take notice. The negative side was how I was diagnosed last year after my 5th suicide attempt.

  20. I’m sorry to hear you’ve got strep throat, but, thank Heaven, it CAN be treated. Hope you’re on the road to recovery, and will feel better soonest!!

    Sometimes it takes something “startling” to enlighten people about the “dangers” of bipolar disorder. When the pDoc first told me I was “bipolar” in 2000, I calmly accepted it, but was upset at the diagnosis. I was previously “manic depressive,” and now a new “name” for it!! As I’ve watched your emails and read the NEWS every Friday, I’ve felt like “bipolar disorder” is the New “designer disorder,” as every possible celebrity pops up with having it!! This, I feel, negates the importance of the diagnosis, to a “throw-away” label. People will NOT be educated about the disorder if every Tom, Dick and Harry say they’re “bipolar.”

    Those of us who suffer from bipolar NEED to be “shaken up” a little, and that’s what your newsletters AND books/pamphlets are all about. Bipolar IS serious, and NOT to be taken lightly. The fact that it “kills” is enough to keep me on my treatment plan, because it CAN sneak up on you and before you know it, you’re in an episode.

    Keep up the GREAT work of keeping us informed on all the variants of bipolar. The Friday NEWS is an excellent source of that kind of material. THANKS, Dave, for all your hard work!!

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

  21. Mania is scary and depression is devasting to the spirit of the supporter. I know my husband feels
    SUCH pain and I have my life shaped and formed by this disease as I try to live with him. The psychiatrist is great-(husband just diagnosed 2 years ago he is now 60!(The problem is I know when the mania is starting but what do I do because at this point he will not see what is happening and when he is slipping into depression he doesn’t want to hear that either. The meds have made it better but we are both trying to know there is no complete cure and there is some grief from this knowledge. I have been his enabler for so many years that it is a learning process to begin to take care of me and forgive him -yes there was a few years ago an attachment to a younger woman and this was devestating to me(if I can the pain done to my children and me.) I am now seeing a therapist to help with coping skills. He sometimes says he needs to just “go away” and live his life from me and all my trying to fix him. What a rough disease this is!!! Dave keep up the work of telling the truth about the disease. Some things are hard to hear-as I said above- but must be said.

  22. I do think that sometimes you are negative, but we all are. Bipolar is not a happy circumstance and succumbing to the dark side on occasion is all part of the game. I think your dedication is admirable and makes up for the somber days.

    Worse than having people compare someone exhibiting erratic behavior to being a bipolar is the New Age Philosophy. I have had friends (acquaintances, really) tell me that we all create our own health destiny or that we think ourselves into our illness’ and can think ourselves out. I do not respond to any of this nonsense knowing that without my meds I will go off the deep end of bipolar. It does hurt though.

    Some people have charmed lives and never will have to live through the challenges of mental illness. In some ways they are to be pitied because they will never learn empathy.

  23. Hi David,
    I live in Australia and my 27year old son was diagnosed with bipolar about 6 years ago, he actually is schizo effective but we refer to his condition as bipolar as people know that term and it has similar symptoms.
    David finding you on the net was a absolute blessing!!!
    Privacy laws here prevent my ex husband and me being involved in Ben’s treatment as he has cut us off and we only hear from him when he needs something. When Ben was diagnosed we were given one sheet of paper telling us about mental illness and to receive detailed information about bipolar from you has empowered me and through understanding the disorder I have become more hopeful,compassionate and tolerant as well as not feeling so alone. Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you! What a wonderful caring, intelligent and generous soul you are David. I look forward each day to your news letters and learning more about Ben’s disorder.
    Best wishes from Margaret Pyers in Australia. xxxxxx

  24. Hi, I’m new to this blog. I met such a wonderful guy and we’ve been seeing each other for 9 months. He told me he was bipolar. I know there are different levels and just wanted to make sure he wasn’t the violent type which I know he isn’t. Everyone tells me that. He’s been on his meds, mood stabalizers and see’s a therapist weekly for many years. I don’t live with him but when I do stay over his apt or he stays over mine, I do see him take his meds. He does drink occassionally, which I know he shouldn’t. To make a long story short, I love him so much and he tells me countless times how much he loves me and wants to marry me. He broke off with me for a month back in March and we got back together in April. Just 2 weeks ago he told me how that was a mistake and how he acted out of impulse and was sorry and loves me so much. He has this enormous amount of compassion which I love. Just one week ago, I went to his apt., and he was acting a little strange, no eye contact and rubbing his face a lot. He told me that he was never going to marry me but knows he should. I’m so confused and can’t stop crying. He told me to leave him be because I irrate him just because I sent him an email the other day checking in on him to see if he was okay. What can I do? If he comes back in a couple of months, I can’t live my life like a seesaw. I wish there was something I could do but I refuse to call him or write to him. If you can suggest what I can do, please do so. If he is going thru and episode, I know there is nothing I can say to him now. On the other hand, I feel like I’m abondoning him. How can he say this to me and change in 2 weeks. Please help!

  25. I think you are abolutely right to warn people strongly about the implicit threat in bipolar illness. If this is being negative then it is also negative to have a cancer check once a year!
    Please keep up the good work!

  26. Well said Al.
    You are not negative. You are real.!
    It was probably someone off their meds or not on the right meds going off on you – they generally don’t like to hear about what is like for family because it is all about them.
    You are one of the most cup half full people I know when it comes to advocating about bipolar.

  27. i think that your messages have helped me alot to deal with this disorder. i was diagnosed only this year but have been struggling with it since i was 16 and i think reading your messages have helped me alot. i didn’t think the doctor was true to tell me that i had biopolar disorder till i started reading ur letters and i think that if it wasn’t for u that i wouldn’t have known what i was dealing with. so the peole that tell u that you are sending a bad message just don’t wanna deal with it and that is their problem. i thank god that i have you here to guide me thru this each day and i also thank you very much and sorry to hear that u have strip throat but uyou take care of u and keep up the good work my friend. frances farmer

  28. the term is ignorance. sometimes reality is too painful therefor we as humans decide how to filter things we do not want to accept. i get shock factor and quite frankly people should take heed.
    the fact is that the bi-polar disorder is a pretty simple thing to understand; if you can allow yourself to think in terms of “mood disorder”.
    i hope that the info you post does shake people and maybe open their eyes and ears. the brain is just as important and vital as a heart or a kidney. and when it is out of order it can cause a ton of other issues. mental illness needs to be accepted as any other illness.
    advocate and continue your mission. my sister died at the end of march with a 7 year struggle with breast cancer. in her words “the breast cancer has been nothing compaired to my battle with my bi-polar”
    ignorance should not be bliss.
    ks link

  29. Hi Dave – You are making a difference even though it is scary. I have learned that 1/3 Bipolars become survivors with the right medication amd so manage to lead fullfilling lives, 1/3 become worse and live in limbo, and tragically the rest end up taking their own lives. So yes ! You are opening eyes ! Thank you !
    PLEASE, LET ME give an answer to TERI : You NEED to talk to your doctor about the shaking. The different medications together can produce side effects. In fact any prescription medicine can have a side effect depending on the patient. Do let this info reach her with my blessing. Get well soon, Dave !
    PS. I positively hate the social stigma ! I’ve had friends turn their backs on me for one outbreak after years of good behaviour, Why is that ?

  30. Thank you for your interesting advice. I’m sorry you have strep throat and hope you’ll feel better soon. Patricia

  31. I do not think you are negative at all. I am 49yrs. old and was only diagnosed as bipolar by my family doctor. For 25 years I went through the mental health system-their diagnosis was that I had a drinking problem. I am so glad that my family doctor had known me and my family for years. It’s amazing what the right medication can do for you. It is still hard sometimes to slow down-but I’m learning how to.
    Thanks for your emails and keep up the good work.

  32. Don’t let anyone discourage you. I don’t have Bi-Polar,
    but I’m darn close to it. I have Generalized Anxiety
    w/depression. I went for help and I got it. I do know some who have Bi-Polar. And I wish I could help them.
    As you continue with your updates, I’m learning how.
    In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

  33. Hello David
    Sorry to hear that you’re not well at the moment. I just had to write to you and say how I admire what you are doing in helping people who are touched with bi-polar disorders. Your daily blog is always so spot on. My nephew has bi-polar but won’t admit to it. He likes how he is and doesn’t want medications of any kind. He feels on top of the world in spite of the fact that his marriage has broken up, his son (15) and daughter (12) do not want to see him because of all the nasty things he has done to them, he has been fired from his fabulous job because of his ‘attitude’ and he has ignored ALL the help from friends. Thank you for your passion in helping people who are touched by this insidious disorder.
    Kind regards,
    Angela Lindsay

  34. Hi David, I hope you feel better soon, I have been reading your daily postings and really enjoy them. The facts are always scarry and people don’t want to hear them but I must say through your postings I have learned a lot more than I knew about bipolar. I am a supporter, my adult son has it and as you often say it is very difficult at times and hard to do what is right for their sake. I appreciate your candid reflections and stories that you share with all of us. Please keep writing and keep the information/facts and coping strategies coming I for one truly appreciate all your work.
    Thank You,

  35. Bipolar people suffer the most. But us supporters do too. And throw in a sometimes dual diagnosis of addiction and it is overwhelming. Negative, no. Just realistic and informative. Thanks for the daily support.


  37. You are absoloutly right…I am the supporter of nineten year old daughter who was diagnosed 12 months ago. Everyone needs to know the dangers of this sole destroying disease, you are factual, make people stop & think educate and inform people you provide options and I am truley grateful for finding your website. On really tough days just reading your updates provides me with the strengh to get through…THANKYOU !!!! WE live in Sydney, Australa and there is no resouce like this available so keep up the good work

  38. You are telling the truth. If that scares people then
    they haven’t experienced what it is like. Not angry at one person but the whole world. Taking it out on the ones that are closest to them. Bi Polar needs to be taken seriously before they hurt someone. When I was diagnosed they didn’t have a name. It was called and Insane temper. The Physiologist said it was like having
    a caged animal baking them in the corner. They will attack and they will kill. It’s not a fun disease.
    The truth often hurts. but you can get help. That’s
    what is important.pj

  39. People will percieve the truth to be negative, and therefore don’t want to hear it,and respond accordingly. IT is the Truth that does often hurt, but it is much needed, like a scaple to do the surgery of taking out the bad part that needs to be removed, it’s going to hurt as we haven’t all learned how to share the Truth without it hurting those who need to hear it most. That’s where the ‘anetheisa’ of love, plays a huge role in how it’s delivered to those who have to hear it first hand, and very few are gifted in how to deliver such with love. There is a scripture in the book of Ephesians, that says,” to speak the TRUTH, but to do so in love”. Sometimes it doesn’t sound like it’s coming out with that attitude, which is so hard to read, one usually has to see it on a face, or hear it in the voice that is speaking, to determine if it’s spoken with Love.
    Heartaches are only healed with that, and this disease of bi-polar, which my sister has still and she has had it since she was a preteen, has suffered through many long misunderstandings, and people who refuse to do anything with her, but for the few who are willing it is helpful to them if they can be patient with her.

    So that is the story there, by the way, trying a hot drink as in cider, or wassial, or hot jello, can be very soothing for the throat, as well as the sinuses. I can’t take that anymore as it’s got too much sugar in it for me. So I have to adjust that. But the wassail, has cider, orange juice, and perhaps a little lemon juice too, or cranberry, all simmered together, and has the added spices of cinnaman, ground cloves, brown sugar, honey, and a touch of butter or peppermint, and let it simmer a good 30 mins. quantity prepared is usually about a half gal of cider to one frozen container of orange juice, and small lemon juice over the stove or in the crock pot. I know it’s a seasonal drink and best taken with cool weather outside, but the jello could also be taken too, and it is soothing when taken in liquid form. Do hope that will be helpful to you. Proportions of the spices are usually no more than a tsp. or less depending on your preferences of sweet tooth and what you know you can handles. Same is with the brown sugar, enough to take away some of the tartness but not too much to overcome the flavor of the other melded ingredients. Blessings, T.C.

  40. Of course bipolar is a BIG deal – You are quite right to be forceful and to not tiptoe around a very serious condition.

    My wife has BP-1 but is in complete and absolute denial/anosognosia. It is destroying our life, our marriage, our family, our finances.

    I have tried to support her to the full extent of my marriage vows – Some people will say that I have supported her way beyond those.


    When she goes manic (and she goes VERY manic) there is a different person inhabiting her mind/body – This is NOT the person that I married and made those vows to.

    But now, I have HAD IT – One more manic episode and it will be the end of a 20+ year marriage.

    There is no “other woman” involved – Unless you count that “bwitch” that comes to visit her head every few months.

  41. I enjoy reading your emails. I have a sister in law who is not in treatment and refuses to believe there is anything wrong with her. I believe sometimes her behavior is like living with satan. She is always arguing, telling lies and very hard to be around She has also broken up our family. I truly believe my brother does not know how to handle this illness or even if this is a illness. She does not have friends and everyone has something to say about her devil ways. I wish her well but I truly believe this is a illness that relates to the behavior of a devil

  42. I am so often saddened to read the comments of family members and other supporters of people with bipolar disorder.

    It is clear from many reports that writers, and their loved ones, are dealing with symptoms that often reach, and too often remain at fever pitch. The stories of threats of violence, screaming episodes, reckless, impulsive behavior, and loss of touch with reality certainly suggest symptoms of bipolar disorder at their rock bottom.

    This forum seems to be a very healthy and beneficial outlet and social support for caregivers, and for people with bipolar disorder.

    There is no minimizing the degree of suffering endured by anyone whose life is impacted by this disorder. And it is true, tragically, that an exceptional few individuals with bipolar disorder are featured in the news as a result of violent behavior or high-profile litigation.

    For this reason, I take every opportunity to add some dimension to the available information about bipolar disorder and the people who cope with it.

    For all the bad news in the media, and for all the suffering and chaos often reflected here, there is a tremendous majority of people with bipolar disorder who are most often healthy, happy individuals who have surpassed achieving a lifestyle of stability, maintenence, and in general, the LACK OF undesired behavior that manifests when the illness is acute.

    So many people live very well with bipolar. Indeed, this great majority of folks do not manifest symptoms, so that their diagnosis cannot be detected unless the person choses to disclose it.

    The symptoms of bipolar disorder most likely never completely vanish. Even if a person is medically stable, there is a baseline of discomfort that the patient effectively learns to cope with.

    Many people do track their symptoms for a variety of reasons, which benefit their treatment and enable them to be proactive. This larger group of folks with bipolar disorder might cope effectively with symptoms that linger in intensity between 1 and 3 on a 1 to 10 rating scale.

    I want very much to emphasize the possibilities here, especially when I can interject my comments into an exchange that often reflects hopelessness, frustration, chaos, resentment, and a misunderstanding. Again, I see all feelings as valid, which is why it’s doubly important to reveal and highlight success as often, and in as much detail as I am able.

    A typical course of bipolar disorder, if an individual is diagnosed and begins treatment soon after symptoms appear, is difficult, but not so often as the lay public supposes is it highly dramatic, destructive, violent, or chaotic as those that routinely appear here (or in the media).

    Logic dictates that a vast majority of people who have bipolar disorder are, at minimum, capable of managing their own medications, medical and therapeutic treatment, their diet, the upkeep of their homes, their hygeine, their budgets, and in fact some form of friendship or social support.

    This is important to note since, if even one of these most basic self-care skills were amiss, every person who had bipolar disorder would require intensive, daily care, not only those loved ones you write of here. ALL people who have bipolar disorder.

    We would be talking about every single one of 13 million people who would need someone, at LEAST one person, providing support all the time. 13 Million people would undoubtedly place an impossible demand upon families and supporters, so many of the 13 million would require 24 hour care in an outside facility, a day treatment center, or a psychiatric hospital.

    But the numbers don’t reflect this. Psychiatric residental treatment is no longer indicated frequently, nor are prolonged admissions. Care in day hospital facilities is regulated by insurance limitations – interventions are brief, and provide about 4 hours per day of support.

    Still, folks who need this type of care and support are usually successful in restoring or maintaining stability which they might have temporarily lost. Many people with bipolar disorder do relapse, indeed I would venture that every person does at some point or another. It is a lifelong, chronic condition. Yet most people who use these extra supports restore their health and return to independent functioning.

    I’m suggesting, and stressing, how much HOPE there is to be gained simply by thinking through many aspects of this problem we are facing together. My hope does not negate any other feelings expressed here, but I pray it will be considered when you are in the midst of chaos.

    Having acknowleged that so many people with bipolar disorder can, and do take care of their basic health and wellness with a high degree of independence…and by this I mean that many folks function every day, on their own, just as any other person with a chronic illness can.

    I also mean that they use the services and support of medical care providers, therapists, support groups, nutritionists, etc. They do not have complete independence, in the sense that they must remain in treatment, but they are independently responsible for obtaining their treatment, evaluating it, and, as needed, raising concerns or opportunities to revise their regimine. They are responsible for their care, without the need to be monitored.

    Another hopeful factor is that in general individuals who have bipolar disorder have a higher IQ than that of those people who do not have the condition. Of course, much has already been said about a link between this illness and creativity. And so, it makes sense to recognize the fact that a person with bipolar disorder, as he or she progresses in treatment, will be prepared to consider options critically and to tailor a routine that is most effective.

    I am not suggesting that a person who is acutely ill with symptoms of bipolar disorder can or should, at that point, be given the abovementioned responsibilities. Of course, the level of outside support from everyone (family or professionals) needs to be adjusted according to need.

    I AM saying that symptoms of bipolar disorder, and/or, what often is characterized as “bad behavior” cause the person (and their families) great suffering, but there is something they simply cannot do.

    They cannot take away any wonderful, intelligent, funny, tenacious, compassionate, skillful, responsible quality of a person who has this condition.

    At the very worst of the worst of an acute episode, you might go as far as considering the behavior of your loved one demonic or evil, or mean, or abusive. But whatever reactions you have to that behavior (which is symptom-driven) keep in mind that everything you know and love about that person is intact, and will remain so after the episode passes.

    It is also important to me to make this clarification with emphasis: No matter how bad a person’s behavior is, it is a duty to yourself and to your loved one to know, and to remember, that it is symptom-driven.

    AGAIN, please know that I am not in any way, ever excusing bad behavior because it ocurred during an acute episode. Folks are responsible for all of their actions. Absolutely.

    But it benefits everyone concerned to think about what is or is not symptom-driven. That is, if a person with bipolar disorder is manic to the point that they are having delusions, they are NOT liars. By definition, a delusion is a delusion ONLY WHEN the person affected believes with utter certainty that the thought they have is FALSE. The word “lie” or “liar” does not apply.

    A lie is the deliberate stating of a falsehood. A person affected by a delusion is not capable of knowing that the content of the delusion is false. Therefore, the person cannot make a deliberate decision to “lie,” they can only state the truth as they are convinced it is.

    Also, generally during a psychotic episode, folks tend to have delusions about having fame or a sudden feeling of extraordinary power. Sometimes delusions take a religious theme, causing a person to believe she is the mother of God, for example. People sometimes feel persecuted and paranoid, sometimes they feel like they have special abilities to communicate with people they see on tv.

    So while it’s possible that something like a particular, personal incident (“You stole my car”, or “You threw away my jewelry”) can mean the person is paranoid, and that their judgment or reality testing is poor, a delusion, clinically represents something different, which is fairly predictable and patterned.

    In either case, again, the word “lie” simply doesn’t belong anywhere in the discussion. Calling someone who is delusional, paraniod, or in poor contact with reality a “liar” is no more accurate than calling a person who is color blind a “liar” when he tells you what you see as red is green.

    Hopefully writers here will find some hope in everything I’ve said. The thing that makes me most hopeful is that, since there ARE so many people, at whichever level they are in their healing, who have been able to reach up from the chaos and pain some of you are clearly feeling. They have not only “stablized” independently, but they are living well, having gone far beyond the first goal of eliminating things they DON’T like – they are seeking, gaining, and keeping those things that make their lives WONDERFUL.

    It’s there. It’s possible. If you and your loved one are seeing the worst of bipolar symtoms – know, KNOW what is possible!!!

  43. Hey,
    It’s silly that anyone should say such a thing about you.Telling the truth can never be negative.In fact it’s easier to be told the facts on line then face to face. I’m a bipolar myself. I was diagnosed a few years back but i’m on no medication and have been trying to handle it alone as my family refuses to believe i am a bipolar. I’m 36 and i live alone. Try as i may i can’t hold my relationships and have been divorced twice. My friends and family feel i’m like this because all actors are a bit funny in the head. Yes i’m an award winning actoress and i write, direct and produce for tv. You ve helped clear a lot of things for me. Reading your mails daily before i start my work reminds me that it’s not my fault and that i’m not mad. But i know i need help and medication now as my depression and aggression is once again taking it’s toll on my work. You are not negative. You have been a positive driver for months for me. I feel that eventually someone understands me and is on my side rather than the continues feeling that the world is against me. You; of all people know that you have a positive influence and are a great supporter to us all.


    I was the sole supporter, and a single mother, of my daughter for over 12 years. She struggled painfully through college and life with what was called “rapid cycling moods” since she was a child, but was never properly diagnosed until 18 years old. And even then never was properly cared for by doctors — many of whom would not believe her when she told them that her body for some odd reason, reacted to medications opposite of what they were supposed to do for her. They would make her hyper if they were supposed to calm her down, etc., and when I tried to tell them she was correct I was told that since she was over 18 they could not listen to me or talk to me about it!

    As a result of me not knowing how to help her and the therapists at her program not understanding, either, she became so discouraged at trying to become “normal”, and having to deal with such awful emotional pain over it, that she, too, unexpectedly killed herself by overdosing on her meds and alcohol, at a Super Bowl Party hosted by one of her counselors in his home! She simply went to lie down since she told them she “didn’t feel well” and when it was time to leave, they found her dead.

    Dave, don’t give up! You are doing a great work! I only wish I had had this help years ago.LA

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