Joy With Your Bipolar Disorder Revealed


How’s it going?

I know, I know, the first thing you’re probably thinking is, “Dave’s really gone crazy this time!”

Next you’re probably wondering, “How can you possibly have joy if you have bipolar disorder?”

Well, I didn’t say it would be easy.

But it IS possible.

It has to do with your attitude.

Here’s a “for instance”:

If you think about the fact that there is no cure for bipolar disorder, you’ll have a bad attitude, and… NO JOY.

But if you think about the fact that the disorder can be treated, you can have a good attitude, and…


Another example:

If you think about all the things you’ve lost because of bipolar disorder, you’ll have a bad attitude, and…


But if you think about all the things you still have despite the disorder, you’ll have a good attitude, and…


Are you starting to see what I’m getting at?


In my courses/systems, I talk about how your attitudes can affect your stability:




I met a woman who told me this story:

Her husband had a stroke when he was 39 years old.

No one felt as sorry for him as he felt for himself, and he spent most of his time in bed, full of self-pity.

The doctors told him the stroke wasn’t really that bad – that with some rehab, he could be good as new!

But would he do it?


He just laid around, depressed, full of self- pity, expecting his wife (the woman telling me this story) to do everything for him.

He lost all his joy.

Know why?

Yep, you guessed it.

Because he had a bad attitude!

Now, here’s the difference, and the moral of the story:

One day, in frustration, this woman said to her husband,

“There are 80-year-old men in your stroke support group more productive than you are! They swim, go out with friends, go to church, they volunteer… they’re happy! They don’t have a bad attitude like you do, just because they had a stroke!”

It took a long time, but slowly and surely this man recovered.

Because he changed his attitude, and…

JOY returned to his life!

I told you this story because it’s the same thing with bipolar disorder.

You can let it rob you of your joy and you can have a bad attitude (in which case, you’ll probably stay depressed and never get better), OR…

You can choose JOY with your bipolar disorder.

Which will YOU choose?


David Oliver is the author of the shocking guide “Bipolar Disorder—The REAL Silent Killer.” Click Here to get FREE Information sent via email on how and why bipolar disorder kills.

  1. Will Dave after all my work to get my son Tony the help and medaction he needed he left town with a girl also Bipolar. This girl is not on med.s and has three children and still married to someone in Texas. All my son says is that he is tired of people telling him what to do. I am 61 years old and still trying to get him to make good moves in his life. We helped him get to a place that would get him medical and financal help hopeing he could make a new life. He has gone back to lieing by not telling us the whole story and we find out from friends. I must say I don’t think that there is any more I can do but just tell him I love him, but the money has stopped.

  2. Dave Oliver: You are right on target with your comments today about attitude. I have been there. When I am in a depressed mood I have a very negative attitude about the entire world. Nothing seems possible. I feel like I am in a deep hole that I can not get out of. On the other hand, when I am on a high it seems that I can accomplish anything. My attitude is the exact opposite of when I am down. The world looks completely different to me. Again, Dave keep up the good work and I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow. Your friend Chuck L.

  3. Amore mio,

    I’m not bipolar. You are. And you probably don’t take your medication. You are in mania episode.

    Please, take care by yourself.

    I can’t do much more from here.

    I hope you stay better about flu, your back, your hurt foot, etc. Take care yourself, ok?

    Best wishes,,

    Silvia F.

  4. Good Morning Dave and Everyone!

    I choose joy. I have to admit though, when depression hits, it is mentally and emotionally very difficult to keep a positive, joyful attitude. BUT, I’m learning to keep the momentum going with when I am better, with a better and even joyful disposition, one that flows through me even when depression is starting to set in. When I’m still of the mind that things are possible. To fight it hard and continue to meditate that life doesn’t have to revolve around the revolving door of emotions and mentality that I give up or give in, which I won’t! So, cheers to a great email. Thank you for everything you do!

  5. Thanks Dave for the reminder about JOY. This goes as much for caregivers as it does for a person with Bipolar disorder. It all depends what our focus is.

  6. I dont know i have just be reading through yesterday blog and i notice suzanne how you said the meds have you want to sleep. This is my main problem and reason for not wanting to take them coz i have no choice but to get up in the mornings to bring my husband to work his job moved last year off the bus route and he wont learn how to drive. And then have five kidz to get out to school.

    My mood has gone right back down again and its very hard to be positive.The st johns wort dont seem to be doing anything at the moment. I am afraid to get in contact with the clinic coz they could said about going into hospital and although my husband supports me he never understands the whole hospital thing but to me when you need to feel secure thats where you have to go.

    Last week i got in contact with this support group called SOS (suicide or survive) and they run a programme on how to over come your fears called eden programme. I dont know when it starts, and really dont know what to do till then.

    Sleep is all i want to do at the minute then during the night waking up on the hour.

    God Bless Amanda

  7. Dave, thanks for your hard work and daily advice. I am a supporter of a wife with bipolar disorder.
    Today’s post will be helpful to me. I have been preaching to my wife my belief that: “We can be about as happy or as sad as we decide to be.”
    Your lesson for today really reinforces that belief.
    Thanks again,
    Bill Witter

  8. I agree, when I feel down I play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and take my cue from Shiller’s “Ode to Joy.”

    One category that Dave missed: In addition to the negative aspects of depression, there are some positive aspects on the manic side if you learn to control–and channel into productive work–the stage the shrinks call hypomania or, more recently, Bipolar II.

  9. Well Dave, YOUR partner doesn’t have bipolar, its your Mom. Its totally different when you live with it 24/7 and you lose the love of your life. I don’t mean to be negative and maybe because my husband beat me up last week going through his episode. He sure is alot stronger than me and I guess maybe its nice to pretend it didn’t happen but it did. He crashed two days ago, and I am thankful because I don’t have to worry so much now. Guess thats where the JOY comes in. I’m sorry but right now, after being the SUPPORTER for him for four years of SEVERE depression and almost three of CRAZY BIPOLAR, my nerves are SHOT.

  10. I really like your comments on how you attitude can affect the way you think and feel.
    I am changing my attituted for a positive one thanks to you Dave.

  11. The quote – “You’re only as happy or sad as you decide to be” – is quite hard for me. I don’t have a supporter, and, aside from my 2 cats, there’s nothing to get me up in the morning. I’m a bit on the mini-hyper mode right now, so no matter WHAT time I get up, I have errands to run, DR appt., or other “things” to do. I ALWAYS have my work on the computer, which IS a priority for me.

    I have “decided” to face the external stressors that I have in a “positive” way. Funny – but it seems when I need money in a BAD way, something ALWAYS turns up – example – “overage” from my mortgage company for overpayment of escrow – which will allow me to pay March’s mortgage! I DON’T look any further than that, for fear my refinancing DOESN’T come through. Then – it’s back to the “drawing board.”

    I put the ad back in the paper to rent my extra room, but have not received any calls. Just the little bit I would bring in from this would help me make my monthly payments. I live in a University community – you’d think SOMEONE would need a room close to the school??!!

    My boyfriend is coming up to spend my birthday dinner with me. This will be the first time I’ve been out to eat in almost 6 months – other than a mystery shop I did at Red Robin. But – I guess I’ll be paying for it, because he “pleads poverty” and thinks eating out is bad for my “economy!!”

    Sorry to be on the “pity pot” today, but things just aren’t turning out the way I planned. Where’s the “joy” in that? I’m afraid that if I get toooo “joyful,” it WILL throw me into a hypomanic state, and then what??!! But – I continue to have a POSITIVE attitude; just what GOOD does it do me right now?

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

  12. Dave,
    I am a bipolar person of 33 years who has not lost my joy. I find that as issues arise I am capable of learning from them and moving forward. At times I am high functioning, other times a little less but, all in all my life is much better than it used to be. I am always amazed at the resiliency of the human mind, even when things look their most bleak, when I begin to feel better I can remember the things in which make me feel good and joyful. In my case, my faith provides me great stability, perhaps I have missed seeing you mention it but, I think that faith outside of one’s situation is a great stabilizer. No one faith is ‘the one’, but the components of faith certainly assist with this hellish disorder. I wish you all the best. Dawn

  13. David, I appreciate this message. Why?? Because I am feeling happier, full of love and expressing it too. I was scared last night and especially today, beause I was feeling so much happier and so much love!!! I was scared I was going into a manic. So I really appreciated this message, saying you can have JOY. I add love for strangers and all because I went to church Sunday and really felt alot of love that day. I felt that way yesterday and NOW. I agree it is an attitude that by repeating positive affermations, that I started last year.
    I spent time today trying those relaxation exercises you have in 7 Secrets to Living with Bipolar Disprder. I guess I relaxed so much so that I went to sleep or at least I was totally unaware my husband walked thru the room and he said I was snoring. I told him I was trying your sugestion of breathing thru your nose and expelling air thru your nose.
    I have been diagnosed with a bipolar diorder since 1980. I have had some relapses since then, BUT I have stayed out of the hospital for 8 years now. AND during that time my husband went and stopped taking his bipolar disorder medicine and eventually was hospitalized and later died in a nursing home on his birthday.
    I allowed him to get me homeless 2 times while we were married all because he smoked in the bed and started a fire in the bed. And after I found us a place that we could afford and the management would let us rent he threatened to kill me one night. I went homeless then again; and my casemanager found a place for me to live with 3 roomates. He eventually got put in the hospital by the police and got back on his meds. I found him a place to stay and he didn’t like it. I had him shifted from there to 2 different places to live in personal care homes before he found a place he deided to stay. Even then he was begging me to get another apartment and let him live with me again. One thing that held us together was he wanted to go to Church with me every Sunday. He wouldn’t join.
    I would like to apply for that position you mentioned you were looking for someone on disability. I have experience in being the assistant manager of a storehouse. And for a while there I was in charge with someone helping me every day and the only three things the manager was doing was to co-sign the checks and pull stock from another storehouse and add it to our supplies and do the inventory twice a year. He let me and my helper run the storehouse for months before a new manager was found. They needed a man to be able to be manager, to do those 3 things. I would order things from venders and make sure they brought the proper food and things I had ordered.
    Soon after that I moved into another position; and worked in an employment center. Where my boss and I filled out a resume for working as a assistant manager in a small store like I had been in charge of before.
    I also am getting practice brainstorming and setting goals and breaking it down into smaller goals that I can work on. If I have you interested in hiring me, Let me know. MaryLouKL

  14. dave i am a bipolar man that has lost everything its hard to change your attitude when you feel like nobody cares. I just recently lost my main supporter my wife. she grew tired of my anger. i would really appreciate if some of you out there would help her understand what it is like to not have any supporters. how important they are and it is not to give up on true love. she is everything i ever dreamed of she is my deposed desire. her name is susan and her email is any help would be grately appreciated. i hope she listens to others and realizes that true love doesnt have to end due to bipolar mania. thanks again jason

  15. its so hard to think positive and have a good attitude when you feel like your all alone and you have nothing and everyone seems to think bad of you and yours loved ones are using this disorded against you i try to think positive but the bad stuff always get in the way and theirs nothing really postitve

  16. I am a 48 yr old who has been ‘dealing’ with this chemical disorder since it came upon me in my teens. I would like to say after years of bad or wrong drug therapy, I am now ‘stable’. (Stable, like crazy, is a relative term ). To the woman who is sleepy on her meds….ask your doctor if this drug might be right for you. I was still suffering from depression and manic episodes and over the years and I’ve been on many meds. I refused taking lithium so they put me on prozac. I felt like someone had given me my life back and I recommend this drug strongly. I’m still taking it after 20 years, but I am also taking lamictal, lexapro and finally EFFEXOR!!!!! What a wonderful drug!!I have not had an episode in 7 months.( Yes, sometimes I miss my manic enthusiasum, but I don’t miss the anxiety attacks or having to tell my loved ones I’m sorry for something I’ve done while in the hold of an ‘episode’. I finally figured out that my fear of taking (too many) drugs and being the zombie I have seen my friends become might be wrong.Then I realized that if there is A DRUG out there that can make things more ‘level’ what is the harm. In this day and age doctors are afraid to prescribe any drug that gives you joy in your life, whether it be narcotics or just plain old effexor. God forbid that any one get addicted to felling GOOD. OK, I digress. Again, ask your doctor if effexor might be right for you . It relieved my anxiety, my lethargy (this is the big thing with this drug),and gave me the ability to make sound decisions. Thank You God. I no longer feel the paranoia, the paralysis of mind….in short…I have the ‘control’ over my life that this disease stole from. Feeling life and love, Carolyn

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