Shocking truth about Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder


How’s it going?

I hope you are doing well.

I just arrived in San Fran yesterday.

I have a whole bunch of stuff to do
up here.

I am really, really tired from all
this traveling. Plus I have had to carry
so much food and supplements for my
“eating plan.” If you have bipolar disorder
and think taking your medication is a pain
imagine having to bring a box of food, a blender,
liquids, pills and all this special food. It’s
a major pain.

Actually I was thinking on the plane today
when someone said, “I need some tea, I need
caffeine to give me energy.” Then I was thinking
about bipolar disorder and caffeine and how
people don’t know some key things.

Did you know that caffeine is a DRUG?


I am NOT a doctor, therapist, lawyer or
other kind of professional. I am NOT offering
medical or legal advice in anything I say
or write.

And that the stimulant effect of it can stay
in your system for up to 12 hours (but that
we can build up a tolerance to it)?

Now, by caffeine I don’t just mean coffee.
Caffeine is also in soda, chocolate (I know
you didn’t want to hear that) and, you
might be surprised about this, tea! Yeah,
tea has as much caffeine as coffee!

I told you that last part because so many
people drink iced tea, especially in the
summer months, and I think you should
know that.

I think it’s important that you know this
about caffeine especially because being
the supporter of a loved one with bipolar
disorder, caffeine can disrupt their usual
mood, and might have something to do
with their sleep patterns, which can lead
to a manic episode.

Caffeine can also interfere with their
medications. Especially at night.

As little as 250 mg of caffeine a day is
enough to cause insomnia and nervous-
ness, which will activate the stress
response, and possibly trigger an episode
in your loved one.

I talk about responses to stress a lot in
my courses/systems:




Too much caffeine makes other disorders
worse, as well.

This is what I’ve found out in my research:
Too much caffeine can also make you
urinate more, which makes us lose
magnesium and other needed minerals
in our bodies.

It also blocks the brain’s natural tranquilizer,

Here’s how to reduce caffeine intake:
Drink only decaffeinated coffee
Stop drinking it at all
Decrease the amount of caffeine you drink
Mix ½ regular coffee with ½ decaf in your blend
Replace coffee with juice or water

Hey I have to run. Tomorrow is the bipolar
news. I’ll catch you later.

Your Friend,


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  1. Hey Dave, hope all is well. I have been reading your emails and I apologize for never responding.I was told I suffer from major depressive disorder, borderline personality and then went to a different therapist and was told I was BiPolar.I stopped taking lithium and seroquel.Tired of all the BS.I take alot of meds already for other health issues.My daughter is BiPolar also.Any recommendations?We both are smokers and love tea and soda.

  2. Hey Dave,
    Know what you mean about the caffiene. I recently started buying caffiene free drinks for us at home and opting for water instead of drinks that may contain caffiene when we dine out and I can tell a difference. Not saying that it cures all without the intake of caffine but it does help!!!

  3. Good timing on this email Dave. I just quit drinking coffee myself, although I have mixed decaf with regular on a couple mornings. I did it because I’m trying to get healthier. The coffee wasn’t helping my nerves or my stomach. When my husband is manic, he drinks alot of caffeine. Not sure which comes first: the caffeine or the mania. But I’m sure it fuels the fire when he’s hypomanic or manic. Thanks for the info.

  4. Hey Dave,

    To eliminate caffeine from a diet is so hard. I am bipolar and my doctor has been after me to cut out the caffeine but I am struggling with it because I love iced coffee, soda and tea. Plus sometimes when I forget to tell the iced coffee place to make it 1/2 regular and 1/2 decaff and I get a regular I get migraines really bad. To drink juice is even worse because of the sugar content in most juices. Water is good but I love those packets you get to give your water flavor but they are expensive and I wonder just how much sugar or what kind of sweetner is in it? Thanks for the information Dave, you truly are a Godsend!!!

  5. Dave,

    You are preaching to the choir here. Several years ago we would watch in horror as our children would become hysterically manic and then sink into such a depressed state that we would have to carry them to bed within 1 1/2 hours of consuming caffiene. This also happens with high fructose corn syrup, so soda pop was one of the worst things they could consume.

    At our house we have substituted Pero or Caffix for coffee, herbal tea for regular tea, and flavored, unsweetened mineral water like H2O or LaCroix, for caffienated beverages. Once in a great while we might have a natural soda with no caffiene.

  6. Hey Dave,

    I was told to cut out caffeine from my diet because I have bipolar. It is so hard, I LOVE iced coffee, soda and tea. I get migraines if I drink to much caffeine. With juice I worry about the sugar content in it and I like to use the packets to flavor my water but wonder what kinds of sweetners are in it. I do get 1/2 regular and 1/2 decaff but to eliminate all caffeine is so hard to do. Never ask a woman to give up chocolate, that is just cruel!

  7. I knew that Caffeine was a drug due to I am a Latter Day Saint aka Mormon and we have the word of wisdom and it states we need to abstain from caffeine.
    I did not think that it was bothering my hubby who is BPD but since this article I realize that he does get worse late at night after he drinks tea with his supper..
    Thanks for the info I will limit his intake and see if he improves.

  8. Thanks for the info Dave.

    I am bipolar, and not stable at the moment. My psychiatrist has me on a “strong regime” of meds, in order that i doing have to go to hospital.

    I drink two cups of Nescafe a day, one when I get up in the morning, otherwise I cannot start my day, and the other other normally at 16h30, after I have had a rest.

    I must say, I have not noticed any problem with caffeine, but maybe I should stop it and see if anything improves.

    Liz from South Africa

  9. What David didn’t tell you (naughty man!) is that, if you give up drinking coffee or tea, you may well experience withdrawal symptoms! Typical of these is nervousness/jangling nerves, irritability and a rotten headache much like a migraine. (You may have noticed that some anti migraine drugs contain caffeine.) Like all withdrawal symptoms, they disappear eventually.

  10. Elizabeth, You will probably experience a change when you give up coffee, and you may well feel much worse, with a nervousness not (in my experience) unlike the physical feeling you can get with a mixed episode. It’s the caffeine withdrawal.

  11. I know this has nothing to do with the caffeine issue, but I didn’t know wherelse to post. iwas diagnosed with Bipolar 4 years ago, I was doing really well on my meds. I found out I was pregnant in February and had to stop taking them. Now I don’t know where to turn, I seem to be stuck in a depressive yet unable to sleep state.. I do occ take a sedative if I haven’t slept in several days, i know I’,m not supposed to but after awhile I feel like I am going crazy. It seems to work short-term, my problem is this, I do not get support from my loved ones because they don’t “beleive” it is a real disorder, they think it is just a copout… so after much ridicule after I was diagnosed I quit discussing it with them and noone knows I have been on medication and therapy for the last 4 years, they think my behavior before my medication was from drug use (wich I wasn’t doing) and that I quit doing the drugs and thats why I improved, I quit defending myself after awhile because it was just easier. Any ideas on how to make them understand that this disease is real.. They think I am back on drugs because my behavior has changed so much since I came off my meds, so has my performance at work, but they understand because I work in the medical proffesion, I just want them to know that when I blow up at them I am truely sorry afterwardsand that right now I really need help to make it through the pregnancy with no meds..Please help if you can

  12. To Graham n:
    Thank you for reminding everyone that caffeine withdrawl can be a very serious thing. Heavy caffeine users should taper their use SLOWLY. I personally was in the hospital once, and they only served decaf. I was shaky, nervous and I had the WORST headache (I get migraines anyway; it was like that but non-stop for days). As Dave says, caffeine IS a drug – an addictive drug. Abrupt withdrawl isn’t a good idea.

    To maryellen:
    I hope you won’t get mad, but if you are bipolar, you really shouldn’t stop taking your meds without consulting your doctor. If you’re having bad side effects, maybe other drugs can be used. But unfortunately medication is probably the most important thing in management of bipolar disorder.
    I take lithium and seroquel, too. The seroquel made me way too sleepy, and my doctor decreased the dose. Now I’m stable. Other meds for medical problems will not help bipolar, and, as I think anyone on this blog can tell you, stopping medications when you’re bipolar is asking for trouble. Your goal is to be stable and to live as “normal” a life as normal. Good luck! I’m a smoker, too, and haven’t been able to quit.
    Take care! Sue
    PS: I was diagnosed with major depression for decades, too, before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The meds I take, along with my therapy, make all the difference. Is there any reason why you don’t like to take your lithium and seroquel?

    I haven’t seen you for a few days.
    I just want you to know that I hear the pain you’re in; I’ve been there before. I think depression is the worst thing, and you have all the signs of it. It changes the way you view your life, and you feel hopeless. Depression is very painful. If I can help (or if any of us can), let me know – leave me your e-mail address and we can write to each other. God Bless, and take care.
    Fondly, Sue

  13. I compare my nights to the movie “I am legend”. His insomnia causes horrible 3 am episodes. Thank you for telling me about the coffee. I’ll try and modify our caffeine intake.

  14. To cat:
    How far along are you in your pregnancy, and what meds were you taking (what sedative are you taking now?).
    It has been a long time, but I remember that pregnancy can be a very emotional time in your life. Compounded with bipolar disorder, it can be a real challenge. But it’s only 9 months – you can make it.
    I would suggest that you take your loved one(s) to your psychiatrist or therapist with you; they can help explain the nature of this disorder. There is this website, and a lot of other information on bipolar.
    I hope that your loved ones will stop being so stubborn, because now is a time when you could really use their support.
    Make sure that your OB/GYN is aware of the fact that you have bipolar disorder.
    You can get support from people on this blog. Hang in there, honey!
    Eventually I think that your loved ones can be educated about what you suffer with.
    God Bless Mom, God Bless Baby!
    Fondly, Sue

  15. You are the most precious treasure! I appreciate your e-mail every day. God bless You for always being there for so many of us out here.My youngest child,son Joe suicided at age 20. I took him for alot of help,but I wish he had lived to read and learn from all of your efforts into this illness. My best guy friend,50 has Bi-Polar and is very suicidal. I have panic disorder,ptsd.and clinical depression. My Joe died almost 6 yrs. ago.sometimes it feels like yesterday. He also had dyslexia,and would have enjoyed what you write as everything on the pc was clear to him. Thank You,my friend was a longhaul trucker and has to start the day with one caffinated coffee. He has insomnia horribly,and I can suggest,and that’s it! God Speed

  16. Hiya, Everybody!

    I used to LIVE on Black Coffee and Cigarettes to begin each day. A nice alternative to Green or Brown Tea containing Caffeine is Rooibos (pronounced ‘Royboss’) or Red Tea, which actually counts towards your daily Water intake. I like it with or without milk or lemon.

    A question to the Women now… could the ‘Cocktail’ of my Medication Pills be actually causing me to have a Period almost every two weeks? I thought that I was going to have an easy time this week since starting lightly last Monday, but when I returned to bed about 4am today, I awoke a few hours later to discover that I’d flooded through the undersheet Duvet and stained my brand new Super King Sized Mattress and have lost so much and been in so much pain that I’ve cancelled everything planned and stayed in bed with a Hot Water Bottle.

    As I now know that taking extra Pills doesn’t make them work better or faster, I’ve behaved myself and not taken my old trick of double doses to ‘knock me out’, but I feel like I’ve wasted a day.

    I’m taking ‘Levothyroxine’; ‘Quetiapine’; ‘Diazepan’; ‘Temazepan’; ‘Sodium Valproate’, ‘Co-Codamol’ and ‘Noriday’. I’ve read all the Leaflets but can’t find anything, so if anybody has any information to help me, I’d be very grateful.

    Sorry, Guys! However, some of my Pals have just been on the ‘Phone and told me that it’s not normal and I’ve been suffering for long enough now.

    Take care all. Love,

    Sue and all the animals. x

  17. Cat said, “I do not get support from my loved ones because they don’t “beleive” it is a real disorder, they think it is just a copout…”
    If you find the answer to this, let me know ‘cos I have the same problem with my wife! (Soon to be ex-wife if she doesn’t change her mind!)

  18. That’s my greatest challenge, to stop drinking diet coke and coffee. I quitted stomking and drinking, but caffeine! I don’t even know how to start.

    Thanks for the warning, and love to all

  19. Dave, I love yours emails.I have a little history about the cofee. When I was seven years old,at the elementary school, the teacher said about the discovery of cofee: a donkey went to the field, ate some few red fruits and run away jumping cheerful. It had discovery the fruit of cofee, that made him develop a lot of activity…But the coffe does me lose the sleep and is very stimulant,though for other people it doesn’t have that effect. God take care of you. Lilian P.

  20. Thanks for your daily e-mails Dave, I do appreciate them. I do wish to clarify:

    There is not as much caffeine in tea as in coffee. I like Typhoo tea and they make an excellent decaf tea for those like me who would rather not part with black tea.

  21. To Cat:

    Wow my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine what you went thru with your family treating you so badly. As Dave says Knowledge is power and obviously they are blind not only to your illness but to trying to read up on it or even understand it. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!!! I know it must be hard to be off your meds now but my doctor has told me that if I decided to get pregnant there is meds they can give you that won’t harm the baby. Talk with your doctor and ob/gyn. Hold your head high and do not pay any attention to the ignorance of others. This should be a happy time for you, expecting a baby, God bless you and the baby and may God guide you thru the rough times your family puts you throu

  22. Hope you are enjoying San Francisco. I grew up there and sure do miss it. Thanks for the info on caffeine.. My 22 year old daughter has bi-polar and loves her coke and Pepsi. I try to stay away from that stuff and coffe because I feel like I am always on the verge of a nervous break down. I am trying to find a support group for parents or caregivers of someone with bi-polar here in south west Florida.


  23. Dave – Caffeine is my DRUG of CHOICE! If I didn’t constantly drink iced tea during the day (partially to relieve dry mouth from my meds), I would walk around like a zombie (seriously).

    Before, when I was drinking a 6-pk of beer a day, and several cocktails, THEY took the place of water, and also subdued some of the action of my bipolar drugs. I FINALLY realized they weren’t doing anything to help – you don’t want to mix ANY kind of alcohol with your psychotropic drugs. So -I quit drinking liquor and beer.

    Then, I started drinking diet-Coke. But that only made me jittery, and it was EXPENSIVE.

    So – I turned to instant iced tea. It’s cheap – you get several cups of tea from 1 tbs. of tea. Yes – it must affect the tranquilizing effects of my antipsychotic meds; but without it, I don’t have any “drive,” ambition, or “get-up-and-go.”

    I have six partial cups of coffee in the morning to wake up – otherwise, I WOULD stay in bed. Then, when I go on the computer, I take my tea with me. If I go out to run errands, I fix a tumbler of iced tea and take it with me.

    Now – just by way of explanation – I have dentures, so CAN’T chew gum for dry mouth. Also – I smoke, and find that sipping the tea after I take a “puff” off my cigarette, it relieves the harsh taste of the nicotine. So – I need SOME kind of liquid ALL day.

    I need SOMETHING with flavor OTHER than water. I drink it from sun-up to sun-down, though I switch from tea to water after 10 at night.

    I must have built up a tolerance for caffeine, as I don’t get the “nerves” or jittery from drinking tea. There are, however, some times when I DO feel “over caffeinated,” at which time, I take a Valium, and that “brings me down.”

    This is just MY use of iced tea. I am NOT a doctor, lawyer, or medical professional, so don’t take what I do as something YOU should do. I only tell you what I do, and why. If it ain’t broken, why fix it??!!

    BIG HUGS to all bipolar survivors and those who love us. Please continue to pray for Susan, as she goes through her hard time. Also, save a little prayer for me during MY hard time. Thank you.

  24. I receive this thought today from OMA with the White Lodge on the subject of addictions and I thought it worth sharing.

    Daily Meditation for this 24/04/2008.

    “We all know about the endless struggles smokers or alcoholics go
    through when they wish to give up their harmful habit. Why this
    conflict? Because our habits are bonds we create with our own
    cells, which are living beings. It is very difficult to break
    these bonds; our cells refuse to co-operate. It is exactly like
    wanting to divorce a man or woman who refuses to separate.
    Deciding to change is a heroic undertaking.
    Tobacco, alcohol and drugs are examples everyone easily
    understands. But it’s the same for all bad habits and
    inclinations. Faults and vices are entities endowed with their
    own will, just as illnesses are, and that is why they put up

    Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

  25. hey guys,
    just a quick comment, seeing as i was raised in food and nutrition adn dietetics i checked out caffeine levels in tea. very minimal, in saying that im extra sensitive to caffeine and as i struggle with this disorder, i have found that green tea with jasmineand chammomile have basically no caffeine, and are actually natural muscle relaxants. they help me out of sight. so give them a shot. hang in there guys…

  26. Hey Dave,
    This is not really related to your email today but I am a supporter for my fiancee who we have recently found out has BP and so far I can relate so much to the things that you say in your emails and I am interested in buying your course but was just wondering if it is possible for me to pay for it in GBP(£) as im from the UK? If so how do i go about it?

    Andy H.

  27. Hi Everybody!

    What a difference a day makes and a good night’s sleep! Today I’m full of energy again and the pain’s gone, so I’ve done loads of catching up on what I couldn’t do yesterday and have lots to do this afternoon.

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing Martin tonight, which is a huge improvement on my Mood last week-end and I’m excited about a Day Trip that I’m going on tomorrow to visit an Historic Building with a Plant and Art Sale, then on to ‘The Botanic Garden Centre’ afterwards, with a bunch of my Pals on a Coach.

    Although the weather’s not Sunny, it’s actually better for cleaning the inside of my Car, which I’m selling next week.

    I hope that everybody has a great week-end. Take care,

    Sue and all the animals. x

  28. Hello,
    I need HELP!! This sucks b/c I drink so/too much caffine!! Other than 2 if lucky 3 bottles of water I force myself to drink or juice everynow and then but even juice I can’t drink too much off. It has too much acid in it even when I do 1/2 water 1/2 juice. Anyways, I LOVE the taste and dring Mt. Dew (Iknow the worst) everyday almost all day. I’ve tried to cut back but I all ways seem to go back to all day drinking (Mt. Dew). I’m addicted!!!! It’s like smoking a cig. Stupid addiction are hard to battle especially when I have SO many other things more important to worry about! Please I need suggestions! Lots of them! Have a great day! Laura oh and I’m about to crack my first bottle of soda now.

  29. Laura

    If you can’t kick the caffeine in one go, slip into de-caff for a while. When I last stopped I did it all at once …. and suffered for it! I’m afraid I still partake of this substance … by only max 4 mugs of tea a day, and more usually 2-3.

    Caffeine Junky Gra’

  30. Hi Dave and all:
    Yes, I know that Caffeine is a drug that is quite addicting, stimulating, can cause nervousness, anxiety, etc. However, in my case, I am also in the final stage of emphysema and caffeine helps me to breath a little better. The meds I take to stabilize my Bi-polar Disorder kick my butt at night and I sleep about 10-12 hours easily unless, like what has been going on here lately, I am severely worried about the manic episodes between the 2 other BPDs I live with, I wake up really early (like 1 or 2 AM) and can’t get back to sleep. That is not the caffeine causing this insomnia but a stressed out mind trying to stay in control to “support” the other 2. So in a typical day I drink 3 cups of coffee and 4 cans of diet soda. If I am having a really tiring day or having difficulty breathing, I may even have a quad-shot espresso Granita. I have been relying on caffeine for a very long time to make me alert, wake me up, and now breathing better is added to the list. So while caffeine can cause ill effects (even headaches if you try to quit)it can help other health issues. Thank you, as always, for your very helpful emails, Helen

  31. To CAT: I don’t really have advice for getting the family to believe or understand the whole bpd (my brother doesn’t believe there is bpd) fortunately my family is very understanding and supportive. Maybe you could turn to friends or co workers your close to or even other family mbr’s or all of us online for support. Okay now to what I really want to tell you. I also have bpd and I had gotten pregnant, now you have to weigh out your benefits when it comes to con’t w/meds or not…here is what I did b/c I don’t want to say anything that makes me sound like I have some kind of degree b/c I don’t. A month b4 I found out I was pregnant I went into such a severe depression that I even lost my job. Then it made sense…so then came the decision-one of the hardest I’ve had to make especially since I hate making decisions. My therepist/LCSW and I sat down and she helped me weigh “it” all out. Conclusion. The baby and I probablly would not benefit for me to go off my meds completely-could put us both in danger-anyways I chose to stay on the meds but lowered the dosages slow and carfully but enough to keep me stable. I also had to switch some of the meds b/c less dangerouse effects to the baby. I was also watched carefully to make sure all was good oh and my obgyn also knew of all meds I was on.Needless to say I gave completely natural birth to a very healthy little girl!! Oh and yes not even an epidural!! She came out with the same statistics I did. 3weeks early, 6lbs 3oz and 19inches long. She will be 19months old on the 10th of May. Let me tell you everyone, I’m not just being basis b/c even teachers and dr’s keep telling me she is advance in many ways!! I hope you get “something” out of this. Please keep us/me updated. Sincerely, Laura Sorry about spelling or if something doesn’t make sense. 🙂 Keep your head up!! Mommyhood will change your world and for me it did and for the better!!

  32. Cat, you’re so brave. My oldest daughter has bipolar disorder and we all support her like crazy. As she gets older she is taking more responsibiltiy for keeping herself healthy. Every step she takes in that direction makes me so proud of her. I feel the same pride for you! And I am sure thousands of people who understand what you are going through would feel the same. I agree with the previous post. Reach out to friends who might have a better understanding. But remember you are not alone, there are a lot of us out here pulling for you.

  33. My boyfriend (if he still is that) and I are both addicted to coffee. I have got some decaf coffee and decaf tea at home, but we often go to cafes and they don’t usually have decaf there. He also drinks a lot of coke when in a certain mood. Right now I wish I could slip a powerful tranquiliser in his tea. I am very worried! Again!

    Some of you know that he has been staying with me the last few days. The second day he stopped taking his meds! Now he is not only high as a kite but getting scary.

    Someone on this blog said that the 3 stages of a major episode are 1. increased creativity, 2. religious delusions and 3. threatening behaviour. Spot on! I have no problem with 1. Although 2. does my head in I can handle it, but 3. is intolerable and scary.

    Now I understand what happened with his ex-girlfriend 18 months ago and how she got him signed into the psych ward. I promised not to do this and I hope I can keep my promise.

    He started this episode when he was still on meds and when he moved into my place I believed that I could help him through it with patience, love and understanding. Now that he stopped the meds it’s getting out of hand. I enjoyed his creativity and sexual appetite (he hasn’t been with anyone else this year). I humoured his religious mania, knowing that eventually he will come out of it and be himself again. He believes he is God’s special ambassador to the world.

    Most of the time he has been loving and grateful and cooperative and helpful, except when the bipolar demon gets into him. His voice changes, his eyes look mad and he says some really horrible things. I know it’s not himself talking but it can still be bloody scary. He tells me and everyone else he loves me and I’m the best that ever happened to him. Then the demon calls me all the worst names under the sun and a couple of times threatened to kill me (verbally). I found the best thing to do was just to let it pass and not argue back. He is so full of apologies and love afterwards and only remembers half the incident, sometimes none. In between he is also crying a lot. Also, once he kicked his beloved dog and apologised after. What would stop him from treating me the same way?

    These last 5 days and nights have been extremely trying for both of us. I have not had a minute to myself until now and no privacy, when he has been developing some worrying paranoia. He has been looking for bugs in my house, accused my of messing with his phone, etc. etc. Last night something happened I can’t get into here in detail. It wasn’t a positive event, but at first seemed to have a positive effect. Although still preaching endlessly, he was in a more cheerful mood and we had a good sexy and loving night. Then this morning I get a lot of abuse again and threats in that dreadful voice that’s not his own. He went out for an hour and when he came back he was ok again. Then I had to go out and when I came home he wasn’t here. When I phoned him he got abusive again. So I sent him a text to say that I could not handle his paranoia and if he threatens me he can’t stay with me. That was 5pm and I haven’t heard from him since. I have 2x tried to phone him and he won’t answer. I hope he has gone home to his flat, but of course I am worried. He does have the dog with him.

    Of course I can’t force (or even persuade) him to go back on his meds and all I can do is pray that he will see sense. He has no idea what hell he is putting me through, as he seems to be possessed by a bipolar demon. It may not even be the worst thing if he crashed. I want my lovely man back – this isn’t him. I am worried and scared, but feel if i get any health authorities involved he would feel betrayed (as by his ex) and not forgive me. Then I would lose him. On the other hand it looks like I have already lost him to the bipolar demon. I’m very sad and tired.

  34. I have just spoken to him and he is very mad! He accused me of setting him up, of being the worst one of his “persecutors”. When I got a word in edgeways I told him that he should see his doctor asap and go back on meds. Of course I got lots more abuse for that. When I mentioned his crying he said that was because he was a very good actor. He said everything he did until now was just acting. He never loved me, but he hates me and will send someone over to kill me before i destroy him. It’s probably all just words but I can’t take chances on it and can’t let him back into the house tonight. I’m so upset I’m crying writing this. Is this common with bipolar? Is there any chance he will change back again even without medication? What is likely to happen now?

  35. For Nightlady:
    If you, get him into the Psych Ward ASAP. He is totally out of control! I have seen this before and I just now read this blog before I wrote the other thing. So save yourself from more pain and get him where he needs to be. Helen

  36. Nightlady:
    I would place odds that caffeine didn’t bring on his episode, he needs to be back on meds and they need to be the ones that work for him. Do what you have to do and even if it means breaking a promise just do it. ASAP Helen

  37. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I found your story very touching as my mom is diagnosised with bipolar. Being her daughter i have found that I have a very love hate relationship with her because of it as I have become her main caretaker. I wanted to tell you that I found your story very touching during a time I felt very alone, as much of my family is to very ashamed of my mom. I am not even sure if my brother will spend mother’s day with us. Its nice to know that I am not alone, dealing with such a misunderstood disease.

  38. Hello,My name is Nia J! I’m new to this website. I’ve read a few of your blogs and feel that we all have so much in common.My fiance and i just got engaged after a 2 1/2 year relationship. I love him dearly and cant wait to call him my fiance. He has bipolar and we’ve been through so many up and downs. i know the bipolar demon can take over him… and that can be difficult to cope with. Whenever i try to mention things to him that ive read about regaurding his D.O. or try and read books with him about it he gets really irritated. or sometimes it seems as if he’s not even listening! I dont ever want to loose him… are there any suggestions any of you can give me for coping and better communication with loved ones copong w/ bipolar??

  39. precious nia
    Suggestions as to how to handle this? “Softly softly catchee monkey.” In other words, go very gently – do NOT push your help onto him as he will only push back, and it may not be pleasant if he does. Why? Sometimes, some of us with BP find it hard to deal with our emotions – it takes all of our emotional energy to keep ourselves together. But dealing with someone else, especially with one who is pushing themselves on us (however well their intentions) uses emotional energy in us that we cannot afford to lose. So, we withdraw and we resist any attempts to get us to join with them to help us! For us, it’s a matter of survival – we really feel we cannot afford to lose any more emotional energy because we have “no credit in the energy bank”! We have nothing to give and only enough, or maybe even not enough then, for ourselves. So, my suggestion would be to just back off, but let him know you are there if he wants you; just don’t expect much or even any reciprocation of shows of affection or communication during those periods. You might get it but you might not, and these periods can last a long time: you have to be prepared for that.

    And if you can’t take it, break up and move on – it will not be showing any weakness on your part if that should happen because you have your own needs to consider, too. You deserve a Life too and no one should expect you to sacrifice yours for theirs. Anyone with BP is not your “responsibility”. Deprive us of responsibility for ourselves is damaging to us, even if that means leaving us to decide our own fate. If we do anything final it will never be your fault, it will be our decision. We might be crzy when we do anything of that kind but it will still be our decision. You are not ‘your brother’s keeper.’ You are your own, and if on your journey you can help someone else, that’s fine. But if you can’t, that’s okay too.

    Always keep that in mind because living with someone with BP, even with the so-called milder Type 2 symptoms (like mine), is never an easy journey.

    I hope this is helpful to you AND to your fiance because I can guess he will appreciate getting more “space” when he needs it.

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