It’S Tough Being A Supporter


This is a message to both those who have bipolar disorder
and those that are supporters of those with bipolar disorder.

I was just thinking last night how tough it is to be a supporter.
My dad had said something that really annoyed me, that I will
get into fully in another email or maybe a podcast because I don’t
have a lot of time.

Basically he suggested that all of the stuff I did he could
have done to help my mom. This is kind of funny because if
he could, he would have done it. It would have been great
to have TWO people working to help my mom not just one.

Last night, I started to say to my dad you know
I had no information or anyone to ask for help. I had to
figure EVERYTHING out myself. It tooks almost a year. I slept
2-3 hours some days.

I have THREE main courses/systems:




I am not bragging but the bottom line is, these courses/systems are excellent. BUT, I am not trying to sell them to you right now. I want to make a point.

When I got started there were NO resources. Each problem I had
to sit and brainstorm a solution and get books, hire people,
call experts, go to meetings, etc. etc.

There wasn’t a David Oliver that I could use a f.ree consultation
certficate, included in my courses/systems, to ask non medical
and non legal questions to.

There was a $49 ebook that offfered virtually no help at all. On
a side note, people that do get the ebooks and my stuff always say
how much more they got out of my material versus the $39 ebook. I always
laugh and say what do you expect out of a $39 to $49 ebook? :).

Anyway, in addition to just bipolar disorder, I had to deal with
issues related like:

-Taxes. When my mom when into an episode, Internal Revenue Service letters “rained” down on her which were all given to me to “handle.”
-Helping my mom buy a car when she was in an epside, how bad c.redit, etc.
-Finding my mom’s c.redit.
-Disability issues
-Financial problems
-Getting great affordable health insurance
-Setting up a plan for my mom’s retirement after she gave it all a way in an episode.
-Undoing all the lies that my mom said to various people
-Helping my mom paid off her d.ebt

You have seen these long descriptions of my courses/system
so you know what I can offer.

I looked at my dad and was amazed that he basically thought
he could have done it all. Anyway, it reminded me how
thankless this caregiver job is.

My mom also told me how hard it is for the person with bipolar
disorder as opposed to the supporter. I think my mom really
believes this. BUT, if my mom can’t remember half if not 90%
of what she said and did, it can’t be that much harder on
her than the rest of the family.

I remember it ALL.

I find that being a caregiver or supporter is like being a
fireman that never really gets thanked. I have many friends
that are fire, I guess I should say persons, because there are
several woman that I know who are involved in these organizations.

Anyway, I asked, “Hey, does anyone say thanks to you?” Many say
not really.

I think if you have bipolar disorder, and I know that I am going
to get a bunch of angry emails but I don’t care, you should say
thank you for the person who is supporting you. It’s way more
difficult than you can imagine. I know that’s hard on you too.
I know. I know. BUT, the vast majority of supporters have
tried so hard to help you the person with bipolar disorder.

They have:

-Spent and lost tons of money
-Lost tons of sleep
-Ruined their health
-Lost out on many opportunites
-Made huge sacrifices
-Been stressed for days, weeks and months at time
-Worried all the time
-Tried to figure out what to do to help you
-Contacted people like me for help
-Searched the internet, books, manuals, support groups, etc to try to help you.

The list is sooooooooooooo long. One guy I knew who had a ton of money,
was flying all over the country to different support groups and doctors just to help his family member.

The vasy majority of supporters don’t mind doing this but I think
that a thank you would make them feel better. SO, if you have bipolar
disorder why not thank the person or persons supporting you?

My mom actually does thank me a lot. My dad, hmmm. I can’t remember if
he ever thanked me. Maybe once. He likes to believe I didn’t do that
much because I think he feels bad knowing he did nothing. My brother has
never thanked me. The rest of the family thanks me all the time.

Now I am not looking for everyone to have a David Oliver holiday but
thanks is nice.

So if you are a supporter, I am thanking you. You’ve done a great
job helping your loved one. Just reading emails helps them. Listening
to my podcasts that I finally figured out how to make. Or the blog
posts that I put up everyday.

I know that you might not get a thank you so you’re getting one
from me. If you have bipolar disorder, thank the people or
persons. Do it today if you can.

Give me feedback to how it works out for you.

I have to run to the gym.

Your Friend,


  1. hi, dave im a c-4 puad in a wheelchair for 20 yrs. i broke my neck. so i’m on a fixed income. just got back on internet a read from 2-26 to todays email in two days. everything dave sent and have been on all the sites in the emails. dave i would really love to know as much as posible on bipolar disorder that i can. i need to learn how to work with a loved one.
    i met a woman in aug. 2006 we fell in love. some people would say this is quick but on dec.30 we done a union of a relation, blessed through the church. we told each other in are hearts we’re like married and love one another. she moved in with her son in oct. she got of her meds and now she is living with her father. she left feb. 26. we’ve talk some and have seen each other4 times in just over three weeks. i know she loves me she shows it and tells me when we talk and see each other. i have learned her family knows nothing on how to help her i’m trying to learn but i can’t afford the books and courses.
    the one arm story i can’t get out of my head. as i said i just read it. i can understand about the why question. i’ve been quilty myself from this chair, and she tries to figure out why she is the way she is too.
    i need help, i love this woman. i’ve tried to be apart of her healing but she isn’t being to socialable. she is ( i feel ) hiding. she told me a week or so ago her councler said it was a good thing for us to be apart. so i’m i the dark right now and everything i’ve read so far she can’t do it alone but she says she needs to pick up the broken pieces herself. i’m trying to find a way to help both of us and her six years old son that started to call me dad, what a great honor. all that i’ve been told by some people is give her, her space or do you need this uncertainty in your life. all i can say is my heart said yes.
    oh, i only got part 1 and part 4 of your mini course.
    p.s. dave i hope you do read this. i need help.
    hope to become a freind. bob

  2. Hi Dave, you are right about thanking the people who support bipolar people. In my book, my husband is a saint, and I try to take every opportunity I can to tell him so and sincerely thank him on a regular basis. God, who was the only one who knew that someday I would be utterly and desperately depressed, allowed this wonderful, caring and so very selfless man to be my husband. How unfortunate for him and what an unbelievable so undeserved gift to me. Tnank you Dave for taking care of your Mom. What a wonderful blessing you will and have received in just knowing what a noble thing you have done. Thank you from me to all bipolar supporters that work and sacrifice so much for the people they love. May God richly bless you with if nothing else the knowledge that you were put into such an important position as to be supporting someone in such need. I have to say as someone who is being supported, I also have cried and worried over what a burden my disease has been on my husband. He doesn’t complain and yet I still grieve for him and the person I know he thought he was marrying and how much he has given up. Dave is absolutely right that supporters suffer just as much if not more than the bipolar person.


  3. there you go again, dave. if your mom is a liar, then she is a liar. it doesn’t have anything to do with bipolar. i don’t lie. i don’t spend all of my family’s money. i don’t become violent. you are doing a huge disservice to all of us who do have bipolar and manage it. people who lie, lie. people who have bipolar have bipolar. they may not be mutually exclusive, but I’ll be damned if i am going to be lumped in with a bunch of people who lie just because i have bipolar. i’ll be damned if i’ll be lumped in with a bunch of people who are abusive, too. you are so wrong. so, the people out there who are using someone who happens to have bipolar can go to your site and say, see, that person is the liar, not me, even if the person without bipolar is a pathological liar and a pedophile. thanks for giving people like that ammunition, dave. really nice.

  4. Dave…I understand and agree with you that a “Thank You” is very important to those who actually help those with Bipolar. But please remember that those with Bipolar suffer a great deal. I have the severe form and can you imagine being psychotic or insane? Not having control over your behavior? Doing very embarrassing things and having to live with that? In my episodes I do not become violent or lie but I put myself in situations where I could be harmed or even killed…one time I was walking in the middle of the freeway. For a very long time I did not have any help. I had to figure things out for myself. My family would not even visit me at the hospital or give me a ride home once I was released from the hospital. I take full responsibility when it comes to my episodes and take my medication. It took a long time to find medications that actually worked for me and since there is no cure for Bipolar I sometimes still have episodes. But it has been three years since an episode and five years since a hospitalization. It is important to remember that not everyone has someone to help them. Your mom is very lucky to have you. Dealing with those who have Bipolar is extremely difficult but I think what is even more frustrating is dealing with the system. My family does help me now and I am very greatful. I thank them all the time. When I am not in an episode I am very funtional and help them out with things too. I put myself through school and have a degree in Psychology. It took ten years but I did it and had no help. I was the first in my family to obtain a degree even though I have Bipolar. Dave, dealing with people who have Bipolar is not easy. I know this. But those who have Biploar have to deal with the stigma of having a mental illness and are viewed as less than of a person because of it. It has only been recently that when I tell people I have a mental illness that I do not care what they think. I know who I am and all the obstacles I have had to overcome to be the person I am today. ~Sher

  5. First and foremost, thank you sincerely to my Aunt for her constant and consistent support as a bipolar patient.

    Second, thanks to my sister and her husband for putting up with me at all the down periods as the ones i would attack and abuse the most during episodes.

    And thank you so much David for not only generating all the informative emails but just simply being there for you mother as well as those of us truly enlightened by your daily support systems.

    Kindest Regards,
    Cairo, Egypt

  6. Dear Dave,
    Just read todays message (3-24-07)You can’t know how bad I needed a thank you today….even if it didn’t come from my 14 year old bipolar son, it helped to hear it from someone! And I want to thank you back for all you do. We are still trying to achieve the stability we believe he can achieve, we have hope. He is finally being sent for neuropsychological testing to clarify his diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, ADHA, ODD, Anxiety Disorder and learning disabilities. Phew! My husband and I are older (late fifties) adoptive parents and are both disabled. We’ve had our son since he was 22 months old, and have been struggling for answers and solutions since he was about 5 or 6. It’s been a wild ride, but we love him and are still working for him, and take some pride that he has not gotten involved with illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking or promiscuity (dare I say so far?) Thanks for your Bipolar CCourse, it has provided us with some good suggestions, insight into how He feels and hope for improvement.

  7. I think most people who are bipolar dont admit to their condtion until it is expsed to them in a dramtic way.
    So how can you expect a thankyou from someone who is struggling inside not wanting to admit that they have a problem.
    I wrote to you before and thanked you so I am not taliking about me….WHAT I AM SAYING IS YOU ARE DEALING with people who are clinging onto the remants of their psyche…They are hanging by a thtread and they know it in their hearts.
    TO admit that they have a problem is like the straw that broke the camels back to them.’I am sure in their hearts they thank you….
    Even your dad.He appears to be a proud man from your writings.A proud man who doesnt want to admit that there is a problem with his wife.
    MOST PEOPLE ARE MUSHOOMS. while they are kept in the dark and fed on shit they are happy.BUT expose them to the light and they are ion shock.

  8. Dave, I just wanted to say that some of us with bipolar know that we have something wrong with us, but we think that if we can just do better, sleep more, eat healthier, be with that person, if we’re stronger, if we try harder, or something then we’ll be okay…it’s a hard road to walk to get to accept that you have a mental illness. My family doesn’t want to read anything about my illness, though they do wish to help me it is simply by being there…whether it’s to say “You need to just snap out of it” or “it’s okay, she’s just moody” or “She’s having one of those days.” I have bought books, upon books, read information, talked to doctors, etc. My dad is supportive in the emotional way, he is there for me, and has give me a piece of land to put a small home on so I do not have to worry about paying rent, etc and so I am close to family, but my mom doesn’t really understand and doesn’t really want to accept to worry that it’s something she caused, or to feel guilty. She loves me, but I don’t think she has accepted that I actually have a mental illness, she’d rather believe that I am just moody, mean, selfish, irresponsible, snappy, lazy, too emotional, and weak. So even though I’ve tried to get her to read books, etc it doesn’t work. I have to rely on myself. At least you took the time to help your mother, and for that you deserve a HUGE thanks. I’ve thanked my dad for helping me and for being supportive of me, and I’ve thanked my kids for accepting me the way I am and for loving me and being understanding.
    But I have noone to thank for actually being a caregiver, for trying to help me and becoming more informed, except myself. I read as much as I am able, research things, etc. I am in college fulltime and am in the process of writing a research paper on the stigma attached to mental illnesses like bipolar. So here is a big THANK YOU to you Dave, to my kids, and to my dad.

  9. Deb, you are wrong about David’s mom being a liar. There are different degrees of the disorder. My wife lies and doesn’t remember the lies. She does not do it except when she is in the manic phase, but it does happen.
    I don’t think David was writing about every degree of the Disorder, but rather his personal experience with his mother.

  10. Ok, u say i must thank my supporter/s who make as if im crazy and must snap out of it its no big deal. Going to hospitals i did it on my own and had no visitors and actually didn’t care. WHy must poeple talk as if one is just being moody and looking for attention and the continual questions every morning ‘are u ok did u take ur meds’. And my family dont visit me as they complain about my behaviour when i wnat things done a certain way and they will insult me by bringing their own groceries because’ i do not want with my things’ and yet i do not see it that way but they have never visited me in hospital or even accompanied me and i do not care because they would remind me of their comments when i was growing up.I have a degree and diplomas and have a good paying job(auditor) with a medical aid and car allowance and housing allowance and compulsory two weeks leave.I am feeling the rumblings of that deep dark depression coming on,so even as i write this i am off to our psych. services at work so as not to have disciplanary action against me, when i am late on some mornings and when i have to go twice weekly to counsellor and doctor. I am 34 and i’m left with only 8 years of a 20 yr bond. And guess who do my family ask for money and who sends them money monthly. Me the crazy one.(Ok now i sound like i am really complaining and resentful)
    In response to Deb concerning her anger and rage about lying; I have made up stories–which is lying–and said what people want to hear–also lying just to get people of my back but also forced myself to do things so as to avoid the moodiness stigma.THat is all lying as i ahve not been truthful to myself.
    So Deb has never lied that u have taken ur medicines never lied that everything is fine never lied that u had a busy weekend whereas u were sleeping or u had locked yourself in ur room because u did not want to see anybody. Or are u pushing urself to be as ‘normal’ by proving u okay is that not another form of lying to urself.As if u in battle with the disease and u going to win at all cost(maybe that is why u angry and u sound unhappy). And watch ur colleagues–if u do work–and their comments about ‘she is like this dont take note of her’.
    And why so much anger not wanting to be lumped with a bunch of people. Gee Deb now people are going to really say bipolar sufferers are violent with that angry language u need to go and sort it out with ur therapist. And Sherri u are describing me girl. Since i joined i have encountered Utopian ideals and lists to be followed so as to be normal and actually ended up feeling abnormal as many of the people even after finally finding correct doctors and right medications it seems like they never had episodes again. Its as if u KNOW and u UNDERSTAND what its like.

  11. I printed the email for my girlfriend to read. She has been my number one supporter through this all. She has helped me through my most manic episodes. I want to say thank you to all the supporters out there. I know what she goes through and I can’t imagine what you may go through with your loved ones if they are worse than I am.

  12. Dear David,

    I saved all your comments and blog updates, and return to re-read them often since we really can’t afford yur course right now. My husband has been diagnosed as Bi-polar II, but keeps getting the same medicine. He sleeps most of the time when he’s not working. He works as director of a non-profit organization that helps low income people, and receives a modest living allowance for this. I do art work, which brings in a little, but it’s difficult to focus on art sometimes. Our son is set to graduate in May from a top school for artists, and he is very bright. But he has strong mood swings as well, and I worry that he has bi-polar, too. My husband’s mother was institutionalized most of the time he was growing up, so it seems clear that emotional instability can run in families. I would like to invest in your course, because it looks like more than one in our family will need it. Can you tell me if the supporter’s course is going on sale anytime soon? Until then, I devour everything you write and send in the emails. To me, you are a super-hero who PERSISTED (this is obviously the key word) until you found the way to help someone you loved and bring her back to a functioning life. I will never get to meet you, but I love you. You are more a hero than any celebrity out there. CT

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