How are you doing?
Today I have a challenge for you!
I’m just curious.
Answer this question:
What does “living successfully with bipolar disorder” mean?
Ok, I’ll even give you a hint, but then you’ll have to scroll down for my answer!
It’s a combination of two things, for starters. Can you guess? (scroll down for another hint)
They begin with M and T.
Ok, the first one is medication.
(scroll down for the second one)
The second one is treatment.
Those are only the top two things to living successfully with bipolar disorder, though.
There are more elements to stability than that, and I talk about them in my courses:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
But let’s go over some of what it takes for living successfully with bipolar disorder.
To me, it’s when taking medication, going to all appointments (doctor, therapist, psychiatrist), following a treatment plan, etc., all becomes a lifestyle instead of a chore.
It’s when you have a positive attitude instead of a negative one – where you have totally accepted bipolar disorder instead of resenting it (since there’s nothing you can do about it anyway).
It’s when you have mastered the disorder instead of it mastering you.
I also think living successfully with bipolar disorder involves setting realistic goals (short-term and long-term) and then achieving them.
And since we’re talking about success, obviously, I think I need to throw in here that we’re talking about how each person has to define their own success.
For someone in a bipolar depressive episode, success might mean just getting out of bed that day.
But I’m talking about a different kind of success.
A bigger success with bipolar disorder.
And the things you need to do to get there.
The long-term goal would be stability.
The short-term goals might be:
1. Take medication every day
2. Go to all appointments (doctor,
3. Stick to a good sleep schedule
4. Eat a healthy diet
6. Be productive
Then, say, being productive might be working at a job, starting a home-based business, taking a
course at your local college, having a hobby, volunteering, etc.
And, say, as far as exercising goes, you may need to have an even shorter-term goal of starting
off slowly and building up.
Then ask yourself, what is your definition of success with bipolar disorder?
Is it NO episodes? Because that isn’t realistic – as long as you have bipolar disorder, you will
The goal here is to have FEWER episodes.
Which, if you do the right thing, will happen.
Is it management of the disorder so that you can live a “normal” life?
YES! That would be a good, realistic definition of success with bipolar disorder, because it means that you are stable.
And that should be your long-term goal.
What does “living successfully with bipolar disorder” mean to YOU?