Know what creates stability with bipolar disorder?

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How’s it going?

Hey I have to leave super early in the morning so
I had to send this tonight for tomorrow morning.

I was thinking about something today related
to bipolar disorder.

Oh before I tell you that, I have something
funny. If you read my blog, there is a person
that wrote she basically was “appalled
at me.” because of a daily email I wrote
about a lady Carol who wrote me a comment.

If you missed this email, check my blog below
to read it.

If you saw that, what the person who wrote doesn’t
understand is Carol and I have had a whole lot
of email conversations and she admitted to me
that she is not creating a bipolar friendly
environment for her loved one.

Anyway, everyone who has bipolar disorder
who works for me read this woman’s comments.
Even one of my programmers who is from Russia.

He wrote something funny. He said, “David, why
you let someone write bad things about you
on your own site. In my country you can’t write
bad things about someone on his property?”

I don’t know why but that was so funny. I guess
it’s called Freedom of speech. I was kind of
shocked the person was all mad at me. No one else
was and I didn’t get any hate mail or death
threats like I do sometimes. Strange.

Okay on today’s topic which I have
talked about before.

I have several people who work for me who have
bipolar disorder, and I always brag about them,
about how you would never know that they
have the disorder, unless they told you.

Of course, I live in New Jersey, and they
live in other places, all over the map. But I
was wondering about what they look like in
person. I mean, not their looks, but whether
in person, that you can or can’t tell that they
have bipolar disorder.

So that made me think about you and your
loved ones. If there’s almost 11 million people
with bipolar disorder, chances are you know
more than just your loved one with the
disorder. Can you tell or can you NOT tell
just by looking, if someone has bipolar disorder
or not?

Interesting question, don’t you think?

See, what made me think about it, too, was
the many emails I’ve gotten from people like
you, asking me about whether “it” is the
bipolar or the loved one, and about whether
they are “faking” it or not. That’s been a real
big issue, according to the emails and calls
I’ve gotten.

So I give it to you. What do you think?
What has been your experience? Can you
tell just by looking, if your loved one
has bipolar disorder or not? If so, what
is it about their behavior that gives them

For those of you who can’t tell, what is
it about your loved one’s behavior
that is different, that doesn’t give them

In my courses and systems,




I talk about what makes a person stable versus
unstable. Stable people do NOT look like
they have bipolar disorder.

It’s really strange but so many people
write me and say they just want to be
stable but they never do half the things
that lead to stability.

Even bipolar supporters don’t even promote
things that lead to stability.

It confuses me.

I want to know what you think. What do
you think creates stability and a situation
where people can NOT tell someone has
bipolar disorder?

Well, I have to go to bed, but I’m looking forward
to hearing from you!

Your friend,


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.

  1. This is all new to me. I have recently left my husband of 9 years because of his serious gambling habbits and have a friend who said he may have Bipolar Disorder. We also have 4 children. he seriously doesn’t think he has a gambling problem. he admits he has a problem but, I think he’s blowing smoke up my butt. The reason for this is because, he relates to me leaving is that. I left him, he misses me, and he’s depressed and he doesn’t know what to do to get me back home. It’s such a long story, i could go on forever!

  2. I believe 100% that routine is very important. My son has been diagnosed with bipolar and if his routine is disrupted, I can see a difference in his behavior. Even as far as wake up time for school, he gets up at 5:30, if I dont wake him till 5:40 he is insane, and gets so upset.

  3. My husband I think is bipolar. I am not sure if that is exactly his diagnoses. He is suppose to take medication for both depression and anxiety. But he refuses to take either. I dont know what to call what he has he seems to have many of the symptoms of bipolar he has horrible mood swings, easily irratated,will either be withdrawn or total opposite and not want to stop going, he will only sleep for 4 hours and then want to not wake up.He will suddenly stop caring about his hygene and then suddenly be obsessed with it. He can last being normal for about 2-3 week then he will have a explosive crazy I guess mania episode and he will be set off by something little and scream about it and everything and anything else he will not be able to stay on the original topic and his thought process will be all over the place and his remarks will not even make sense sometimes. He is ashamed of his depression so when I have said when he is screaming at me please get back on your medicine he will say “dont make fun of me” I currantly am separated from him but in the past I was about to leave him back in April he promised me that he was so sorry for the way he treated my 5 yr old daughter and myself. He is emotionally abusive to my daughter and myself and sometimes physical to me only but he half the time doesnt even remember what he has done when he is in his mania mode and screaming at me for thing from a couple weeks ago to 15yrs ago. He will say the strangest thing sometimes. He will compulsively buy off of ebay and he doesnt have the money for this things. He has past due bills, and things just keep coming up and he will say oh I didnt want to tell you because you would be upset. How can I get him help? I get so hurt by what he does and at the time it is hard for me to remember that he is sick but at what point do you say he needs to truely realize and fully take resposiblity for his illness and seek some help. He has said he doesnt like the way the medicine makes him feel, I say ask your doctor if they can change your medication. The problem is he is not honest with his doctor when he does go. He has lied that he does take the full dose he is suppose to take but the doctor took his blood and said are you sure because your level is low…he totally lies to the doctor and comes home and tells me this. He will order the medication it came but then he refuses to take it and will lie that he is but if I second guess him and ask him again he will admit he isnt and then yell he is not going to take that medicine. He will go from quite and withdrawn to explosive,loud and abusive. Is there some that can help him. Please.

  4. Well, I think I ‘look’ pretty normal. But I live w/bipolar disorder. Just talked this morning w/ my case mgr. financial affairs, and that is something that doesn’t ‘show’ to look @ a person. I’m (w/her help) in the process of deciding whether or not to consolidate my 4 credit cards (one’s already CLOSED) w/ a debt agency. I also have a payee, and we’re gonna discuss w/her if she can’t pay more of my bills for me, cuz that’s why I HAVE her! I’m sure prayin’ abt. this area of my life! Thanks for listening.

  5. One big thing is medication,doctors,and a simple routine,support.i have had this all my life and now 2 of my 3 children have it.In order for someone not to be able to tell you are bipolar is really simple.If a person is able to do all the things that are good for them,as well as others help, you can keep it so no one can tell.

  6. definitely routine. I am bi polar with 5 generations back, ive done alot of research as well as experimenting. stability is high on my list. even the simpliest changes can throw a bi polar into a mood. i believe that a loved one has to become educated and resourceful when living or dealing with someone with this disorder. not only is their the mood part, but other disorders go along with it.

  7. I read someone’s blog response today about “the demon” of this disorder. When I see the look on my husband’s face in his rages while drunk…that is how I describe “the look”. I have a niece who raged at her work place which was definitely noticeable but for me rages have been in the privacy of our home or against his brother who is also an “undiagnosed” bipolar person. My husband has always been known to be the mosts likeable person in public because his job was salesmanship but “the demon” came home and raged. Bipolar has many looks to me but the one that makes my blood run cold is “the demon”.
    Thank goodness for a proper diagnosis and the tools you give us to be bipolar survivors. God bless you.

  8. Dave,
    Of course you can’t tell if someone has bipolar by just looking at them! This is why it takes professionals so long to diagnose it—and why it is so often confused with other conditions. You have to be patient to get the right diagnosis and the right medications for you…then life finally makes some sense.

  9. For destiny,

    Your husband sounds manic alright, or mixed state.
    The point is that antidepresive medication in bipolar pacients can increase manic simptoms.
    If he is so angry since on antidepresants the simptoms might be caused by the meds themselves.However, it is less likely if he is not taking them on regular basis.
    He needs to be put on meds named mood stabilisers and he will be able to feel himself the good efects as you increase dose and make him more compliant, then aditional medication can be added, if necesary.
    My partner use to be exactly the same, he’s now on Depakote for over a month and he was able to tell the doc all the symptoms a few days back.
    I was soo pleasantly surprised and so proud of him!
    Talk to his doctor about what is really goin on and to get him proper medication.Tell Dr to stress NO ALCOHOL at all with meds.
    Try to approach your husband with the subject when he is not angry, when he feels may be sorry for the damage caused by his behaviour and speek to him gently, not accusatory…
    Hang in there, there is plenty of hope.I know it’s tough,but all the bad thigs he’ doing are due to the ilness, it’s not him…

    Wish you the best of luck!!!


  10. David, its hard to keep stability while i have bp. But since i need to answer i would say my home and family. Outside of that is ventureing on unstability. Like now im taking online corses for collage, the only good part is im home doing it. But its still a split combo.

  11. To be honest this whole issue of whether or not you can tell by looking at someone if they are bipolar is growing old…why so obsessed with it?! I dont think its anywhere near as useful as your other materials, Dave, and also as a person with BPD I used to get paranoid enough without someone suggesting that I now look like I have a mental health condition!!!

  12. Dear Dave, In this comment it brings to remembrance what you have said before…How was this person before they were diagnosed with Bipolar??? My daughter had Bipolar II, so she was a little harder to recognize. She had a very aggressive personality of her own. She was rebelious, demanding, and always passionate about everything she wanted. Once we discovered her diagnosis, we began to notice the difference. She liked who she was before. After she was diagnosed, the spells of depression revealed she was not happy with herself. Back then, they just treated it with antidepressants, so she really had to depend on some kind of self awareness. She began to learn how to cope when she had her children. Unfortunately she died in a car accident when her children were 2 and 7. We did not think anything could be worse, then worse became a reality. My son was just the opposite of his sister. He was easy going, goal oriented, very kind and gentle. He was in his senior year at Liberty University on full scholarship, never been in any kind of trouble. He knew exactly what he wanted in life and that was to serve the Lord. To be a pastor was everything he lived for. His awesome football career gave him his opportunities to minister. He married someone with the same goals (he thought) expecting his first baby, when his sister got killed and things started to unravel. It has been devestating ever since. I have no problem telling when he is sick, because the disease makes him so different. When I become frustrated and hurt, I remember what he was like before, and it reminds me “he misses the old Timothy too”..His wife left him 🙁 she thinks he could be different if he just made his mind up:( She will not allow him to see his son..4years…It stays on his mind. He calls the police (she will not accept his phone calls) to check on him. He gets really crazy about it, especially when he is sick..You know the biggest thing people do not understand is when “”WHEN THE BODY IS SICK, THE MIND SAYS, FIX IT. DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO GET BETTER..WHEN THE MIND IS SICK, IT IS NOT ABLE TO TELL ITSELF TO GET BETTER UNLESS IT IS TRAINED TO DO SO”’.People just do not understand that. Anyway, I wrote in the blog last week about him being MISSING…He was put on Geodon and it had a bad reaction. He disappeared…We have been searching with every means available.(the police did pull him over at one time, but they said he was fine. They said unless he committed a crime they could do nothing…Well he obliged..We found him in jail in the town his son is..They found him in someones house (breaking and entering) sitting in the dark in a chair, Bible in hand, saying the scriptures had led him to this house to find his son..:(:(:( They now have him in jail on a felony charge and child support warrant..go figure..He is not well enough to see him, but he is well enough to pay 600.00 a month for child support..of course he has not paid this much. When he works the support is taken out of his check but working has been a problem also..Anyway they have tasered him, put him in isolation, denied him medical help..and of course his public defender will get to it as soon as he can:(:(:(:(How can you tell!!!!remember…we just deal with it..they have to live in it..Thanks Dave for all you do…Theresa

  13. My husband wears shorts and sandals in the winter time. I think things like that may “give him away”. He doesn’t always shave and looks disheveled. He fills his car up with junk. I don’t know that these things say “bipolar” to the untrained eye, but they do to me.

  14. I find that routine is the single biggest issue that “sends my loved one off” to episode land. She’s creative and has a beautiful mind, when she is herself. All the other components are very important too, though. She must get her meds on time, she needs proper rest, exercise, etc. Stability is fostered by regulation of environment, as far as one is able to do that. Therefore the entire family and support system must support the goals.

  15. Dave,
    Love your notes each day. You seem to have the REAL facts. Yes,
    I have always said I could tell if my husband was in an episode long before it started! This may sound strange, but, he has a different slight color difference in his face. Chemical? I don’t know but even when I didn’t know what it was for years, I commented on this to him. I work with students and I can pick out those with this illness at a glance. It precedes them. Something like an aura. It is scary to those living with someone like this. I can say my husband is seeming to be better-with MEDS- and therapy of which he has just agreed he needs. I am looking forward to a better future or should I say Today with him. Tough love sometimes is necessary if you want to have a life with the one you love and who has this serious disease. I encourage anyone who is dealing with this in a loved one to keep pushing for them to see a doctor for MEDS-it won’t work without this and therapy if at all possible. I still contend that if after exhausting all this please, share that you will leave if this does not happen and THEN DO! TAke care of yourself!

  16. Destiny,
    Please, read your comment and let it sink in. DO SOMETHING for your child. Don’t stay if he will not get help. HE CAN be better. How he treats you is the same-in your daughters eyes-as treating her. He CAN get better. Don’t forget, even with bipolar you have to be responsible for yourself. He is still able to function and make decisions about “I will not take the meds” Each time he hollers or hits or whatever is explosive remember he is makeing a decision. The disease does not mean they can run over you and cause such pain that your entire life is about them. Please, do something for your life and your child’s. That old saying that this is the only life you have-at least this time around is TRUE. Take care. I am thinking of you.

  17. Dave, the answer is in the question. Stability creates stability. My boyfriend needs someone/something he can trust… that he can depend on that’s constant and unchanging. Routine and unconditional love. His obsession is with control because he feels as if he has none. It’s imperative as supporters that our loved ones feel that we are in control of the BP. We supporters need support too. Bless you, Dave.

  18. My husband was diagnosed well over a month ago and he is making remarkable progress now that he admits he needs help. I have learned through research to make sure his triggers are not disrupting him. I make sure he gets fed at a certain time and that he gets his sleep. I also give his his medications (Cymbalta and Depakote) at the same time every day. I also told his Supervsior who really cares about him and thinks he is a great worker and friend how to deal with my husband and what signs to look for. I took away the bank account from him and only let him have his paycheck now to spend. He devastated our finances and I am slowly rebuilding what was damaged.
    I have also taken some time off from work to clean our home really well and to talk to my sons about helping out around the house. It also helped to teach my sons what their step- dad’s triggers are and what it feels like to be going through what he goes through.
    We still have episodes and mood swings but the violence decreased dramatically…

  19. Mi hijo padece de Bipolaridad hace cinco años. De acuerdo a mi experiencia, lo que lo mantiene estable es el amor nuestro, de su familia, de sus amigos también, y la rutina. NO cambiarla. Y si fuera necesario hacerlo, acompañar los cambios con mucha paciencia, y horas de charla.

    I´ll try to translate what I wrote in spanish. I think, as a mother of a “Bipolar” who is 23 years old, that the most important for him to keep calm is knowing that is loved, knowing that me, his friends, his family are very closed to him and we can understand, and be patient. Other important thing is routine. Try to keep the same schedule as much as hi can.

  20. My daughter, now 19, is bipolar. She was diagnosed at 9. I know that to keep her stable I need to make sure what is supposed to happen happens. She can’t handle if something is supposed to happen and it doesn’t. She will say it isn’t a big deal, but each time it happens she becomes more unstable. I also know that she needs her sleep. This is probably the biggest one. Her having trouble sleeping is also the first sign of her destablizing. She needs to see her counselor on a regular basis (that one is easier said than done). This time of year it is also important to keep life from building to a fevered pitch as it so easily can. Limit events (don’t eleminate them but limit them to one maybe 2 a week). Last but probably the most important keep her on her meds.

  21. Davdi, et al. I’ve pointed out before that it has been stated in at least one academic book that I know of that menally ill people can often spot people who are also ill, and those who are faking it. If the rest of us can’t, presumably this may be explained by there being signs if illness which people who ARE ill become tuned to spotting. Around 30 years ago, a freiend of mine who was rampantly manic-depressive – I imagine she would be classed today as being Type 1 – was cononvied that I was “a bit manic depressive”. Of of her fellow in-patients, a schitzophrenic also thought I was “one of us” and not one of the “sane” people, as he put it. They were subsequently proven right! So, yes – I believe it is possible for SOME people to spot if a person is Bipolar. It is ironic, however, that – as the author of The Psychotic said – the mentally ill patients are often better at spotting the fakes than the psychiatrists!



  24. well Dave, I have the illness and for me, I have been sleeping my days away and not having routine. I am just now trying to get back to work after a good several months of getting out of the hospital. I hated telling people I worked with I had bipolar but I knew they were probably wondering why is he acting a little out of wack. Anyhow I am trying to get routine, it;s just that I don;t know what to do with myself if I don;t have to be anywhere. I am in the poor class of people that don;t have a lot of money and this is hard for me because I’m far from low class person I feel I am. Anyhow I hope this makes sense. There is a site too called I wanted to share with everyone. It’s a bunch of different supports for all type of people. thank you,

  25. I did not know that the woman I love had bipolar when I first saw her. She is a strong and beautiful person with strong character. Even as we started dating, I was not aware of it. She acted out certain things (drinking/sex/spending $) to some excess but I did not attribute that to anything like bipolar. She was involved with her two young daughters and lived her life well othewise. It was not until she told me about it and I started to research it that I became aware.
    The keys are to have a stable routine, which include taking her medication, resting and getting proper sleep, eating well, control or stop the drinking, and having a strong, understanding, and loving family and support group around her….including her doctors and psychiatrist (if needed.) Otherwise, I would not be able to tell that she had this disorder. I love her for the strength that she has in dealing with this and will be a support for her as long as she wants me to be.

  26. I believe you can tell if someone is stable or ill by observing their moods, how well they function on a day-to-day basis, & their ability to be consistent on a day-to-day basis.

  27. Well, I have a son with Bipolar disease and their are times that he is very irrational and mean, complusive,addicting and depressed. If I saw him on the street at a glance I would not think he has a problem because he is socially friendly, but after afew times he has different moods that are very apparent. He changes he thought process and does not conform to the rules. It is very hard to see this and know that it is a long term issue to deal with and he is only 16.

  28. Right now my boyfriend who has bipolar disorder is in a state of depression, partially due to the holidays. He comes home from work around 5:00 and wants to go straight to bed without even eating dinner. Even though he is asleep, he wants me to stay with him. (we don’t live together). I’m not sure why, but maybe because it makes him feel more secure. Yesterday he went out and bought a few things; an electric razor and some cologne, and at first I was angry because I was going to buy these very things for him for Christmas, but then I realized he did this to give himself a mental boost. The razor will help him be able to get ready for work faster and the scent of the cologne lifts his spirits. I put my anger aside because I can see he’s trying to do things to make himself feel better. I figured as long as he’s not out spending thousands of dollars, this isn’t hurting anyone and it might help him get through his depression. The bottom line is that, I think being supportive of your loved one and not letting your own feelings rule your actions can help create stability at a time when things could otherwise go badly. Being a bipolar supporter is not about oneself; it is all about the person you’re supporting. Sometimes this is difficult because it feels like a one-sided relationship, but when my boyfriend is stable, he is a very caring and loving person and it’s worth the effort it takes to stay with him.

  29. If knowledge equals power then implementing the knowledge creates stability. FOr me knowing triggers is vital, using tools, creating supports systems, ect. In short – doing what your 7 secrets for living with bipolar. Fake it till you make it….act as though you are stable untill it comes to pass, but above all be honest to yourself and don’t make it an excuse for not trying to behave in a way that “I take care of me”.No one need know your labled, lest you tell them. And, would I be telling them so I have an excuse to be _________ __________ _________
    To thine own self be true!!

  30. That regular routine you talk about is really important. People wouldnt know if my daughter is bipolar. Proper sleep, good eating habits, medication at the same time every day. Staying away from alcohol. Having someone to talk to is important too.

  31. Gosh, what do i think creates stability if your not sure if they have bypolar? Hmm, well, that is what i am trying to figure out myself, just last night we had an issue, because he doesnt think he needs to let me know what time he is coming home and somehow he always tries to make is my fault, but i am not allowing it and i call him on it, but the wierd thing is with him is he seems to for a bit respect the fact that i call him on it, but that only works once and then he becomes irritable……..he is hard to read, but i have to take care of myself, too. He may just be a selfish moody man, so how can you tell if it is that or bypolar?

  32. Hey Dave. First i wanted to tell you thanks for opening my eyes to how important it is to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. i have to get up at 5:30am everyday but its worth it for me to take my meds at the same time everyday. it helps a ton. looking at someone to tell if they bipolar i don’t know. spending time with an unmedicated person with bipolar i can tell right away. once you know your self and how bipolar works with the mood swings they just stick out like a sore thumb. i stoped asking people to see a doctor because they might have a problem. what happens is most people don’t take other peoples advise. they know it all anyway and are going to do what ever they want anyway. take care keep up the great work. i look forward to your daily emails. thanks Paul

  33. I know of two people (good friends) that have bipolar disorder, one of which I have always seen stable…the other one I know has had a recent episode (but only due to not taking his meds properly). Both never gave me any clue that they had bipolar disorder–I would never have known if someone else had not told me.
    They are actually quite laid back, on the gentle and quiet side, preferring to be ‘in the background’ of their more assertive mates. Both their mates are very loving, supportive, helpful and nurturing people by nature. I am quite positive that the deeply respectful love and devotion shown to their bipolar mates has been the starting point from which the bipolar mate has gained some degree of security and has helped them in gaining stability.
    I believe that possibly only while ‘in an episode’ would someone on the outside be aware that ‘something strange’ was going on…or during some mood swings, or something…to show they are ‘out of character’.

  34. Well my boyfriend of 2 years has bipolar and i was recently told by a work collegue that he suffers from bipolar as well.

    I can see the similarities in there personality, the way the act, the way the talk and everything like that.

    So all in all i think you can tell by someones personality not by there looks exactly.

  35. The only way I know that you can tell if someone has Bi-Polar is by their behavior. Even then, most doctors still have trouble diagnosing it because its masked by it’s own symptoms that relate to several other disorders. Addiction, depression and ADHD have been the main ones in my experience. I have been a “guinea pig” of the med merry-go-round for quite a few years now. Many meds had worse side effects than the problems they were supposed to address. People (uneducated) never automatically think anything of bi-polar behavior, they just label you as a loser or whatever term they like to use. It’s a hard life when you feel there is something different or “wrong” with you than other “normal” people, and makes for denial of the illness and the mental obsession that you can overcome it by “thinking” your way past it. So you try to function like others around you only to find out that you can’t so easily do so, and then more depression and self-worth issues complicate the already complicated. I feel this is what leads to an easy diversion to addictions as a way to alter the almost unbearable feelings that have compiled over time. I have found in my experience that this disease can be successfully treated with the right combination of meds, support groups, therapists…(cause everyone else gets tired of the rants) and even using a 12 step program for both the bi-polar person, and the family that supports it. Tough love as they call it, is sometimes needed to seperate the family for a bit until the person decides or is convinced that the only way back is to deal directly with their illness and to accept it at heart. Without this, all that repeats is abusive out of control behavior towards those that love the afflicted person. To treat this illness as an addiction isn’t far fetched because bi-polar people are known to become addicted to mania, even to the degree that they purposely skip meds to keep it. Along with acceptance of the illness there also has to come a willingness to do whatever is necessary to overcome it. Back to basics as I call it. Just getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, and taking a shower on a daily basis can be a daunting task for someone who is exhausted from the struggle of dealing with their illness. But that where is starts. One step at at time. Structure is gained one step at a time. There can be no improvement with the illness without a structured enviroment in which to recover.
    Remember.. addictions or alcoholism are merely attempts of self medication. They have to be treated before any treatment of the bi-polar can be addressed in any theraputic manner.

  36. I think being a bipolar supporter has to also be about taking care of yourself. How can you support someone else if you are depleted? Have clear boundaries. Don’t do for them what they can do for themselves. Encourage them. But make sure this is NOT a one sided relationship. They should definitely be taking meds and seeing a psychiatrist. My question is, how do other people monitor that their loved one is in fact taking their medications?

  37. In my experience bipolar people really dislike routine, keeping appointments, etc. But a lot of other people feel that way and not all of us are bipolar. Not everyone with an addiction is bipolar either. Many years ago I had a boyfriend with a gambling addiction, but he did not have bipolar disorder. I don’t think you can tell by just looking at people, except maybe when they’re in the middle of an episode you may see it in their eyes. Unless someone tells you that they are bipolar, I think you would have to get to know them a bit before you know.

  38. i don’t beleive you can tell if a person is bipolar, unless you happen to be around when we have what i call an episode. i get so upset that i am out of control and don’t know what i have said or done until i have calmed down. i look at myself as a clown, i can be be the most funniest, joking person around, but on the inside i’m crying

  39. There is one characteristic I have that alerted my boyfriend that there was “something wrong” with me. Can you guess? Scroll down (taking a tip from your notes, Dave!) It is this: my actions look “deliberate.” To my boyfriend, this means that I move slowly, or more slowly than other people, that is. Every motion I make is “deliberate.” To him, this means I’m under the influence of meds! He says I look kind of “druggy.”

    During my manic episodes, every motion is fast, from my rapid thinking to my speech. I’ve learned over the years, to SLOW DOWN and make sure that I’m NOT doing anything that remotely resembles mania. In fact, it was only a few months ago that I began making deliberate movements. At first, I thought it was AGE catching up to me. My bipolar friend always said; if you have a new mood, and it lasts more than 3 days, it’s YOU. This almost “zombie-like” mood has lasted nearly six months, so I can’t ascribe it to AGE. Maturity in my illness may be accountable. I still type as fast – remember, my “fit?” But I do think I “think” more slowly, which is dangerous in conversations with my brilliant boyfriend! I sometimes miss his “funnies” because they go right over my head.

    People in a manic episode move FAST, think FAST, have rapid thoughts and actions, think religiosity (mainly delusions of God), have GRAND plans that are never carried out, and have random sex with strangers. Supporters can USUALLY tell when their loved ones are in a mania; strangers AND friends are often puzzled by this behavior. I’ve driven many a friend away by behaving erratically. When I start getting “hyper,” THAT is the time I call my shrink/therapist, and get some serious therapy/med change, before I’m “hospit-able.”

    I hope this has helped someone either recognize this in themselves or their loved ones. I’m used to this “new feeling” by now – just wasn’t aware it was so apparent.

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and the ones who love them. My prayers are with you.

  40. hi david my name is kisha i live in boston and i am married to a person who has bipolar and it is very stressful for me dealing with him but i have a ? my husband likes to talk about his past girlfriends to me and i deal with it to a certain point but whe n i say something to hhin about my past dealings he get mad and stop talking to me what am i doing wrong ?

  41. Nakisha,

    This sounds more like regular jealousy to me, not a BD symptom. It’s unpleasant at any time and I’ve kmnown it to cause couples to split up, esp when the jealous person gets aggressive and even violent.

    That said, it may be he gets more irritated by this when he’s a bit manic/hypo manic. Indeed, by not talking to you, it MIGHT be his way of avoiding aggressive.

    I think what you have to do is CHOOSE between three options:

    1. Change it – may be this is possible by talking through with him or by using a counsellor/intermediary.

    2. Put up with it.

    3. Leave him

    There are no other options that I can think of.

    Best of luck,

  42. Dave, I too am bipolar and anyone who knows me can’t tell unless I tell them. I am very high functioning in the outside world. What I don’t understand is how I can go from being great outside but when I’m home I am totally miserable, rotten, You name it, and its mainly only towards my husband.(the one person who loves me most)I failed at one marraige because of this disorder and it seems like this one is sinking too. Neither one of my husbands understand this disorder and it makes it ten times worse.I have tried to talk about it and have even bought books onn the subject but they just don’t get it,also my youngest daughter to my first marraige is bipolar but I am her only support because no one else gets it. Its very frustrating to live this way,I guess I just go with the motion. Thats for all the info you put out, reading about other people tends to help ones sanity

  43. I do not believe for the most part that bipolar people can be “spotted”, unless they are unmedicated or their meds aren’t working and they’re going thru a bad manic phase. I was just diagnosed this year (I’m 36) after being misdiagnosed as having anxiety/depression for the past 18 years. It wasn’t until I had a bad hypomanic phase in which I was unable to sleep for 3 days but was not the least bit tired that my primary care doctor recognized it (after discussing my sleep with him I told him previously I had been sleeping 13-15 hrs every night)

    I do think routine is very important, and a support system. My mom is a huge support to me, she reads everything she can get her hands on about the illness and we discuss things that we feel may be applicable to me. However my husband does not yet want to learn anything about this, I think it scares him, which makes my life that much more difficult because I feel I’m unable to talk to him about my moods or receive any support from him. If I tell him I’m feeling “off”, he doesn’t say anything, but then will become furious when it progresses and I become argumentative and irritable. He blames everything on the meds or the doctor, not understanding all meds work different on different people, and that it may take some time to find what works for me.

  44. I just wanted to add that I do believe people who have bipolar can more easily recognize someone else with bipolar, as we are so familiar with the symptoms/signs ourselves.

  45. Tanya Rae said, “…my husband does not yet want to learn anything about this, I think it scares him, which makes my life that much more difficult because I feel I’m unable to talk to him about my moods or receive any support from him. If I tell him I’m feeling “off”, he doesn’t say anything, but then will become furious when it progresses and I become argumentative and irritable. He blames everything on the meds or the doctor, not understanding all meds work different on different people”

    Oh boy! This sounds SO familiar! It’s just the same I have with my wife! I suspect she’s only just “chaned the tune” not because of some epithamy but because it suits her own purpose now for me to stay at home and look after the kids while she swans off to work abroad. (And no, it isn’t to get money to bring home … I never see a penny of it! The boys and I – and indeed she when she’s here – live off my pension!)

  46. What does some one with bipolar disorder look like? My husband. We have been together twelve years. At first I had no idea what was wrong. he only had a bad episode about twice a year. It got worse slowly at first, but this last two years it has rapidly progressed.
    To the average joe he is an average joe. He is the quiet type of joe. But to the people who care about him he is split by three. Him self:
    fun, easy going my perfect match, reasonably energetic, a wonderful father, perfect for me! I have him about 40% of the time now.
    This was the man I married.
    Now 40% of the time he is so different. Paranoid(am I cheating on him), thinks he is He man lifting weights excesivley, quick to be cruel, verbally abusive, has been physically abusive, talks non-stop (trying to out talk the kids, even the baby), gets mad at 2 in the am wanting to go fishing but I have to wake the kids up to go and the baby is sick, He overwhelms me. then ….
    10 % of the time he is so depressed. He goes to work comes home and goes to bed and cries. . He does get up and go to work but comes home a goes to bed. He wants me to stay in bed with him the entire time but I have to take care of the kids.
    I see this and my 11 year old son sees this and a couple of my friends who I talk to see this, but no one else. His own family won’t admit there is some thing wrong. Both my husband and his family are in denial.
    NO… You can not tell just by looking that a person has bipolar disorder. But if you look into the eyes of the people who love them you may see it there.

  47. I knew my boyfriend was bipolar 6 months into the relationship. He told me I was crazy and I needed help. A week later, he said he called his mom and she confirmed that he was but never told him because she didn’t want him to know!!

  48. my husband has bipolar, but noone can tell he has bipolar. when we are together w/friends it is not possible to tell and partly because he’s usually in a good mood or at least a decent mood when we visit others; he is distracted and enjoying a good times (no problems and environment is controlled). i won’t say anything that might upset him or insult him (i usually am enjoying the peacefullness amongst friends or family).

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