Shocking truth that fools people about bipolar disorder

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How’s it going?

Hope you had a good day yesterday.

Today I wanted to address something
I see over and over and over and over
again I see with bipolar disorder.

I have never really written about it
but now is the time.

It’s one of the absolutely positively worst
things about bipolar disorder and it’s
one of the most deadly traits.

Let me tell you why I thought of this
today. Well I saw some blog posts
and emails about my email yesterday
where I talked about natural health supplements
and natural “stuff” for bipolar disorder. I
warned people how most of it was total, and
I mean total, junk.

People were writing me and basically agreeing
with what I said but there were some people
saying that you could get off medications for
bipolar disorder and be okay.

I am NOT a doctor, therapist, insurance agent,
lawyer, or other kind of professional. I am
NOT offering medical advice rather my opinion.
If you see medical advice please stop reading

One person wrote me that she just got
off her bipolar medications and was doing
great and it has been a few months.

Okay, well let me tell you something I have
found very interesting about folks with
bipolar disorder that get off their medication.

First a person gets off their medication and
“appears” to be doing well. Everything seems
okay. They are generally happy and you
the bipolar supporter may think, “wow
they are doing great” if you don’t know what
to look for and 99% of people don’t know
what to look for (for example, my dad still
to this day does not know what to look
for…know idea why).

Then slowly but surely over a few weeks to a
months, things start to turn. The person many
times will enter a manic episode. He/she will start
sleeping less, spending more mo.ney and doing
more things faster. Eventually his/her judgment
will be bad and they will start doing and saying
things that they never would do or say.

Then over time the person gets to a point where
they start to act “crazy” or very manic. At this
point the person reaches generally a place where
they can’t be stable again without going to the
hospital and they MUST be put on bipolar medications
again to be stable. Problem is, many times, they
are so far gone it takes so much to get them
to treatment.

The other problem is, when you get off medications for bipolar
disorder, sometimes whatever you were on that made
you stable will not work again. Doctors and researchers have
no idea why this happens but ask around and it does.

So then a doctor has to figure out a new bipolar
disorder medication or medications that will work
for you.

This could take a short time or a long time. Most
times, I have seen it take a long time especially
when a person is off bipolar medications for several

All the while, the person can’t really work well, is
still saying and doing bad things and causing tremendous
havoc to those around them and destroying their live
and/or any progress they previously made.

Eventually if the person finds the right doctor
and sticks with him/her the right medication that
causes stability will be found. Unfortunately this
generally take up to or more than a year.

This process is how people wipe out YEARS of
their lives. It’s how people take 10 to 15 years,
NOT months to finally become stable. When you
get stable, take bipolar medications, get off
of them have to find new combinations, time goes
by fast when you do it let’s say 5 times. Some
people experiment and do this process 5 to 10 times
wasting large blocks of their lives.

The thing that is so darn deadly with bipolar
disorder is that at first,
when the person stops taking their medication, first
everyone thinks they are doing okay because in my mom’s
terms “their moving around doing a lot of stuff.” They
look happy and productive. To the untrained eye, it looks
like they are getting along great.

Then eventually the bipolar supporters know something is really
wrong but the person with the disorder thinks they are fine.


I have been on the phone with potential and I repeat
potential success stories that stopped taking medication
and they said the were fine. They were doing great!

When I spoke to them, they were talking super fast, rambling,
not making any sense at all, and when I spoke to their bipolar
supporters they said the people were totally out of control
but thinking they are fine.

The warning is. When you are stable do NOT stop taking
your medication because you could find yourself literally
out of your mind and thinking you are fine and okay
when you aren’t and you are hurting everyone around

When you get my course/systems below:




you will find many of the major success stories actually got
off medication at some point and did all kinds
of horrible things. Some tried to kill themselves
or others. Some were in jail. Many bankrupt. Most
have been married several times. One guy lost
his entire family. They refuse to ever speak to
him again even though now he is a big time success.
BUT, what he did when he was on and off medications
for years must have been so bad, they can’t forgive
him. I am not saying I agree with this just pointing
out the facts.

The common denominator of this grief and strife
is getting off bipolar medications.

For those that wrote or posted to me, who are off
bipolar medications without working with a doctor,
heed this warning.

And if you haven’t gone unstable yet, you will.

Let me ask you a few questions, for those out their,
that stopped taking their medication for bipolar disorder.

Do you like gambling with your life?

Do you know you could kill someone or kill yourself (check
the stats on this it’s 100% true. Don’t get mad at me,
I report the facts, check them)

Do you want to risk hurting those around you?

Can’t you work with your doctor with changes to the
treatment plan not “wing it” or do it on your own?

Do you realize that you could bankrupt yourself
and your loved ones around you.

You might think I am being harsh on a Sunday but
this stuff is DEAD SERIOUS. This isn’t like
a cold or something.

Everyone should really think about this email
and think about the seriousness of bipolar disorder
and go with proven success and get a great doctor,
work with him/her, go to a therapist and take
your medication as prescribed faithfully.

Don’t be a statistic on my bipolar weekly news.
Look back over my bipolar news I send out on
Fridays. Read the stories of people with bipolar
disorder that have done bad things. You will find
it was because they got off their bipolar

NOTE-Everyone who does something really crazy
with bipolar disorder never wanted to for the most
part. They did it OFF medication. Don’t be one
of them.

2 years ago a lady threaten to kill me on my list.
She also hurt someone physically and go into trouble. She went
to jail. She just got out. I don’t know why such a
short sentence. Who knows I am not a lawyer. Anyway,
she wrote me an email asking for my forgiveness
and that she would stay on her bipolar medications.

She told me she went “crazy” after several months
of being off her medications. Believe me I know,
I got the death threats from her.

Imagine waking up to someone who says their
going to kill you anyway they can? That’s what
she did to me when she was off her medications
for several months.

The good thing is, she promised to stay on her
medications. I do forgive her too.

Well I have to go.

Catch you tomorrow.

I know I am going to get hate mail from people
saying I push drugs on people and I am working
with “big drug” companies. I don’t care. If
I can just help one person on my list it’s worth

Stopping medication is VERY serious. Don’t do

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:

PIP’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. Hi Dave, I guess we are just getting started. Thank you again, I really have’nt thought about killing myself since I overdosed when I was eleven, other people, I let my daughters father in my house, after he served me with papers for cutody, walked right to the butcher block, grabbed th first knife I could, and stuck it all the way through him without any second thoughts, no fear, sent him to the hospital, that is when my son, then eight, told me mama you are sick. I have’nt been stable, ever. Now I feel lost, I do not know who I am, and I need your help, or my daughter will ruin her life. When she was eight, she had to have an emergency pysc.evaluation, they said some long word with disasociating features-. My brain races.Thank you, sorry about the spelling. Karen

  2. Hi David, I went with out meds. along time so I know what it feels like to “go crazy”. I lost two marriages over it, and the rage I felt over the years is unthinkable. One thing I dont like about meds. is some cause you to gain weight. Like one Im on. I have to go in and change it do to gaining alot of weight.
    I would never dream of stopping my meds, not now the I feel stabable.
    Danielle Sergent

  3. Thanks Dave. It helps just a little to know people seem to have to try stopping their meds to “get” that this is a chronic disease that’s not going away. And i got sucked in as well. Thing is we forget it takes weeks if not months to get enough medication int he blood stream for the meds to work. Equally it takes weeks or months for it to work out, so initially people do feel better and the symptoms can return so subtley that it has to get to catastrophic before they figure out they need them. Psychiatrists aren’t always the most available folk and some of that, i think, is on purpose because obviously they can’t be “on” 24/7. Sigh, thinking of calling whoever is on call and talking with them, but with daughter at age 29, its such a struggle to get through to them that she’s not thinking clearly enough to call and present her symptoms so that they “GET” how bad it is.

    damnable disease anyway !!

  4. to me it is amazing the amount of truth that you have to say. my husband of 5 years is bipolar. i knew this when i married him, at first he was in therapy and taking medication. after about a year and a half he stopped. like you described, things seemed ok. but like many i was ignorant to the pitfalls of getting off of medication. unsuccessfully i tried for two years to get him to take his meds and return to therapy. in that time i saw him attack his 68 year old father, myself and a few of his friends. the violence scared the living hell out of me, and yet i knew it wasnt him. it was the illness. i tried to use that to continue to stay and get him into treatment. finally the fear got the better of me, and sadly he still isnt in treatment. he is unemployed, blames me for everything wrong in his life. and yet i still fear for his, and my own life. someday the worst will happen and yet i am powerless to help him. i realize that he has to do it, so with that end, i have had to leave. for me there is a lot of guilt, loving the man that i knew yet fighting bipolar disease has become a quandry that i cant overcome. my hope is that someday he will see the light, but i am not hopeful. i am sure we will bury him or someone close to him.

  5. In 1999-2000, I met a woman when I was attending an outpatient treatment. We are both bipolar. When I met her, she was sullen and verbally combative. Even though we were both in our early 20s, I stayed away from her as much as possible.

    Then, one day, “Marie Elinore,” as I will call her, sat down next to me and would not stop talking! She was acting as though we had been best friends for years. Then….she brought up the fact that she had gone off her meds and she was taking fish oil as an herbal cure. She would take up to 16000 i.u.s a day. She even invited me to a Laker’s game with her and her husband (whom she had talked in group about being in the process of divorcing).

    A few days later I was watching the 5 AM news and heard a story about an elderly man being run over overnight in a coffee shop parking lot as he delivered newspapers. The woman who ran him over walked calmly into the restaurant and commented to the people there, “You have some road kill in your parking lot.”

    She is now in jail, responsible for that man’s death. I am not sure what the charges finally were, but I am almost certain that she would be leading a much better life had she stayed on her prescription meds. She was a nice person deep down inside and I feel very sorry for her. I also know that it could have easily been me. Or you.

    This is a true story. It happened in Los Angeles. Look it up.

  6. Thank you everyone for posting these stories. Hopefully we can get people to believe what we are saying and stay on their medications and follow a good doctor’s treatment plan.


  7. Can you speak to the Jekyll – Hyde abilities of people with bipolar? My 31 yr. old dau. is a master of this……. and it may actually jeapordize her children while people say — I met your dau. and she seems fine to me……… they really have NO IDEA what she is capable of. She cycles this time of year – holiday season…… refuses counseling to recognize approaching cycles and how to deal with it……… and seemingly is almost two personalities. She can be congenial, appears interested in kids schooling, looks fine and then turns on a dime and privately rages and rants, makes threats and then turns publicly and shines again……… it’s most frightening with school officials who are required by law to act on overt behavior but this becomes gray area that is subjective call. Without some excessive behavior – I fear the children will continue to be subjected to this. There is no visual reason to question her…….. I’m the one who’s starting to look a little looney……. I’m feeling more and more helpless. She lived with me for the last 6 years and I was able to act as buffer for children but now she’s moved and has them and I truly fear for them. The 6 yr. old has learning disability and she’s only interested in him skating by – for her to look okay and him to just get by…….. example: says his IEP is a waste of paper and her time! RIGHT……… what advice can anyone share? As I said – she refuses counseling and meds alone does not handle everything. She’s refused to quit drinking and I think she may be smoking pot again as well……… I just feel helpless. I’m beyond worrying about her – I tried for 6 years to help her, thinking if she were helped to improve that the children’s life would of course improve…….. I literally wasted 6 years on her. I should have been trying to take the kids and now……. I really fear that she will ‘fly’ under the radar until something really bad happens. I fear for the kids and can’t find anyone who feels there is enough reason to intercede without an overt behavior on her part. Any experiences like this or advice?

  8. David:
    I wouldn’t even think about stopping my meds.Before I was diagnosed, I was deeply getting myself in debt and it took thousands from my parents to get me out. I could’ve sworn my mother said some awful things to me-which she denies to this day.(like she never really did love me.) Ridiculous!! I would tell all your readers if they are feeling good on their meds DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS!! That’s why you feel the way you feel. If you go off, you’re definetly setting yourself up to go back into episodes and full blown bipolar disorder. Keep your doctor’s appt.s, take your meds, and get some exercise. I go to school also.
    David, on another subject, since I can’t afford your course,(poor,poor,poor) I was wondering if in your emails you could address the subject of breaking the news of bipolar disorder to new boyfriends, friends, etc.
    Your Friend.

  9. Hi Connjer, I centainly can not advise, I can share your pain. I have been sick for 43 years. Just recently found out it has a name my youngest daughter also has it.I just lost my job of 11 years, I should have been locked up several times instead of just a couple times. I have to get myself better or my house will be gone. Hitting rock bottom has the advantage of only one way to go after that. Hang in there. Karen

  10. In the email, David mentioned that the “natural supplements” for treating bipolar are junk. There is one that does work in my experience: taurine in large doses. It functions as an adrenal production inhibitor and it blocks the uptake of tyrosine by filling the tyrosine uptake mechanisms with taurine. Dopamine is build out of tyrosine. It’s dopamine production that they theorize is the problem in bipolar and schizophrenia. Anyway, two to three grams or more of taurine on an empty stomach with a lot of water makes it act like a low-impact anti-psychotic which can calm manic symptoms and provide some modicum of clarity of thought. It’s nothing like a prescription drug, but if you are in a pinch, having bottles of taurine capsules or powder floating around can be a lifesaver. If the person is on his meds and starts to become manic or has difficulty concentrating, then what you want to put him on is taurine… stat. I have seen totally wacked-out manic bipolar cases sit down calmly and have coherent conversations when given taurine.

  11. hi davis .never done a blogg before but though it was important to say how important my medication is to me and people with bi-pola .im39 and have only just been diagnosed with bi-pola in august .why it took the health service so long to finaly diagnose this i dont know ………..i have tried to take my own life on several ocassions .have lost my business that i had for 10 years and also my family have dissowned me .i have not had contacted with my family for 4 years now …….i realy had a bad bi-pola episode 4 years ago and realy thought at the time i was going crazy .so crazy that i tempeted suiside again this time it almost work but lucky for me the partner i have at the time came home from work early and found me just in time …hes a nurse so knew just what to do lucky am i to be alive if it was not for him .my son who was 14 at the time would of found me dead …….but at the time i took this overdose i was so out of my head that i could not carry on no longer ….i lost my salon .fell out with my parents and brotherts……didnt was my son to live with me anymore and hated my partner so much at the time i wanted to kill him ……….when i look back now i scares me so much ……..i was put into hospital for sevral months till i was stable again ….which means i was on all kinds of tablets ………diffrent types diffrent shapes all colours off the rainbow ………but none seamed to make me better ……..this is because id never had help for my bi-pole and never showed sighns .i had a good business run a good home and had many friends…… .people looking into my world would have seen a good stable woman .but deep down i could feel myself getting darker by the day and was staRTING TO HATE EVERY ONER AROUNG ME .INCLUDING MY SON .WHO IS MY WORLD AND MY ROCK .the piont is if i was not on my med i would not be here today .to see my son blossom into a younge law student .hes had it hard with me all his life and always wonderded why his mom had mad crazy days ………..not knowing it was bi-pola .thi9nking it was soming he hasd done ……..he is my carer now and looks after me ……he does the shopping controls the finances and checks my spending every month with out HIM AND MY MEDICATION .I WOULD NOT HAVE A LIFE TO LIVE .iv not lefted the house for 4 years but now in on the right medication i am planning a holiday and for the first time in my lifeim looking forward to GROWING OLD LOL.


  12. I am not recommending that others get off their medications or try natural remedies. What works for one may not work for the other. We are each unique.David has made excellent points throughout all his emails, he’s studied it well first-hand and much research. I have done much research, too and my personal life account- trial and error. Not the best way to go as he says many lost years. However, I just want to say that I am not on any medications nor have I been since early 90’s. With doctor control, I went off Lithium. This was the last medication I was on. I will not claim that I have not had any high or low periods. Who knows maybe they misdiagnosed me as bipolar? I went to a special out patient clinic after not being able to get my life back in order after
    the deaths of my mother and at that time(90’s)my youngest brother to AIDS. I was the only one he had confided in before he went to the hospice home and into a coma. I was the one he trusted to make his life and death decisions before he went into a coma. He lived a week like that without life support because
    that’s what he asked. I was unsure
    of all that entailed but found out
    the hard way. It made it difficult for me because I was not sure of all he was asking. Guilt overwhelmed me. Thus a severe depression until I went for help
    and then to this clinic(2 yrs. later). This was not my first encounter but it was a big one.
    I also joined a counseling team
    and went through special classes to help others who needed prayer. I went for me to learn all I could to help me and others cope. As I worked on this crisis prayer line team, I became well as I listened to others and prayed with them. I learned enough to become one of their speakers on different topics.
    I never gave up hope. There is nothing to difficult for God, the Great Physician.You have to do your part. We all need a push and to feel supported by loved ones, who will see us through the lows.My highs and lows have continued but not to the heights or depths as before. I think I was suicidal once only in mid 90’s. Since then, not any major problems.Life is tough but keep your eyes on the Solution not the problem. I dealt much better with the loss of my dear dad in late 90’s. I learned how to cope
    & know when I’m entering a caution
    zone. The flags go up and all the warnings. David has the symptoms perfect. Most people that know me well do not know I have bipolar(except family)
    but the notice that rapid talking.
    One Christian counselor told me that I use that fast talk as protection to keep people their distance and I let them know all
    there is to know as quick as possible so they can decide to like me or not. My regular doctor says he has seen great improvements and I have learned how to cope better but I am very honest and put it all out there. He had at various times prescribed medications for my mood
    swings. He knows me well. He also is the one who was able to get me into therapy. After I went to this out patient clinic and these courses for crisis phone prayer, I became part of a RECOVERY group but not just for people with substance abuse, because I never used that either, but for people, who wanted to Recover from whatever problem or addiction they had. They had a 12 step program and the Word of God.
    Oh, I will be honest, my mind still races and I have been close to a relapse. But I don’t think I really admitted to having a bipolar disorder until just after I started
    reading David’s minicourse. I realize it now that’s what I have.
    Before I denied it and fought it.
    My rebellious nature is very strong and determined, no matter who tried to help me. I had to surrender. I can’t wait for David’s Part 5 of his minicourse. Stay on your meds and with a good therapist and doctor so you can have a success story of each day that you overcome the battle of bipolar disorder and live a full life to “give back to others as you have been given.”

  13. Hi Everyone, I thinking now life trammas are a trigger. My episode, this current one is so bad triggered by my oldest daughter being attacked in her sleep a year and a half ago and molested when she stayed the night at her bible-toten friends house. I remember telling the judge if you let him out I will fight very hard every day to not take his life. That is what I do now, every day I fight very hard. Thanks, Karen

  14. You are so right about the issue of meds. I’m not an advocate for medications of any kind but feel when necessary and used properly along with a good diet, nutrition and excerise a person can live a healthy life. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain that a person is born with so I feel they never had a chance and that unlike most people with illness they need the meds to have more balance and consistancy in their lives. Life is full of daily ups and downs that the non-bipolar person has difficulties dealing with think about someone feels who has ups and downs just by just “being” then add the daily everyday crap – just compounds the issue.
    Meds and diet/exercise, mentioned above are all needed to keep life as normal as possible.

    Unfortunately I feel the unhealthy way the world lives has increased the level of bipolar. We all eat fastfood, processed, boxed junk. What ever happened to cooking at home(I’m in the catering business and restaurants for 33 years so I can speak from expierence) making delicious meals 3 times a day, society has created this mess and we can fix it. I have. We eat as a family, cook in the kitchen and bake fantastic homemade yummies. My children are all grown and I have a granddaughter who I hope will learn to eat the old fashion way.

    The world needs to slow down and go back to family, friends and good times. Bipolar individuals really have a hard time with the fast lane. I think this is where meds become a problem for bipolar people who want to continue with there fast lives…Part of healing and recovery is to change the lifestyle and habits, to create a more calm and serene atmosphere and you know what, that is good advise for us all. I am working on making my life more serene, full of more family time and good times.
    Wow that was a ramble but I do believe we can ALL live heathier and calmer lives. Life needs to be fun and full of expierences but just slow down while you do it!

  15. I`m still in two minds about David Oliver – on the plus side he seems to offer SOME genuine , concrete advice , he says his mum has gone thru this hell , so he is a good son researching and helping, the medical system( undoubtedtly) is patchy at best, medications works in mysterious ways: because of the above he is de facto a guiding light for lots of people fighting daily with depression monsters. (And I know myself how draining and horiffic such a fight can be.)There is a minus side however, id est :
    1. the mail of that guy 4 days ago who said his partner might be bipolar, so he is not going to have children with her ( why not tag her with a BP letter as well)
    2. D.O. @thought of today@ – i.e. first a BIG disclaimer , then basically , if you go off medications, it`s at your own risk ( fine so far), but then going into rant about “death threats”??
    3. Lots of bloggers telling their really sad stories and mentioning how they cant afford D.O. treatment.Anyway, best wishes and god bless you all , incl. Dave Oliver. xxx

  16. Hi, Dave-
    My mom is bipolar and had her last episode 20 years ago. She had taken her meds religiously, never missed work, and was a fully functioning individual. She realized how important it was to take her meds, because she new she never wanted to be hospitalized again. Well, this past February, she had a hernia that was blocking her small bowel. She continued to take her meds, but vomited for 5? days straight before she went to the hospital for emergency surgery. They didn’t have her meds in shot form, hence more days with no meds. She seemed fine once she was released. Three weeks later, she had ANOTHER hernia on the other side, which caused more vomiting and another surgery. Long story short, she is now in a full blown psychotic state. She has been hospitalized or been in rehab (now in a nursing home) for 3 months with no major improvement. We are now looking into ECT, as suggested by her psychiatrist. I can’t emphasize how important bipolar medication is, and how long the road to recovery will be once meds are stopped. Unfortunately, in my mom’s case, it wasn’t her voluntary doing. Thanks for listening.

  17. I remember feeling sad a a little girl. I had an eating disorder and was diagnosed with major depression 20 years ago. Just this past year my MD thought maybe I had some bipolar II tendencies and is treating me for it. I’m taking Lamictal. I finally don’t feel as sad, but sometimes feel rageful (feelings I haven’t felt for years). Is it medicine or am I more aware of it now? I find myself not as off the wall blonde happy and more stable that way, but I find I still am teary in the morning and rageful by afternoon and evening. Especially this past week. I have weird thoughts of hurting myself or someone else.(Like Karen posted- stabbing family or myself) (I never had these thoughts before and it scares me). Is it the medicine??I’ve been on the meds for 3-4 months. Prior to that I was on antidepressants. I don’t like not being normal and angry and jumping my family all the time. I feel obsessively angry if my hair doesn’t look right, etc. Weird!!!
    How do I know if I really have Bipolar or if it is depression or what?

  18. OK-
    I’m a little frightened now.
    If I have to go to the hospital and am not on any medicine during that period for bipolar, and because I’m now taking bipolar medicine where before I wasn’t, I could become totally psychotic and end up in an institution as Cathy mentioned???

  19. It seems that no matter what meds I take I still can not be stable. I just want to feel normal or on an even keel every day. Is that too much to ask for?????

  20. Well said, Dave. However, don’t forget that some psychiatrists now think that trycyclic anti depressants may actually cause Bi Polar symptoms. My GP has such a patient; when the patient takes Prozac she becomes manic. When she stops, she also stops being manic. He’s tried this a few times and the same results have occured on each occasion.

  21. Dave-I do appreciate your comments and completely understand about the medication. It is just so frustrating that it takes so long to find the right combination of meds. I had been doing well on my meds and right now I am feeling depressed, lethargic and so apathetic!!!! I just want to stay on an even keel and to be able to function. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to be happy about and yet I am sitting here about to cry. I did go off my meds in the past and wound up cutting myself, losing my job, my kids and started drinking. I even woke up in the trunk of my car without knowing how I got there. (I had been drinking) I now have one of my kids back, quit drinking cold turkey, got on my meds (I have been on them for almost two months), got a job and have started repairing my relationship with my family. I am truly blessed I did not die this past summer due to the situations I put myself in and I am so lucky for that. Things have been falling into place. I am now backsliding and it scares me. I do not want to sink into the “pit of despair” as I call it. I go to counseling yet all she does it sit there and listen. I need feedback. I can sit at home and talk to myself all night or to one of my friends for that matter since she never comments on anything I say. I feel that is a waste of my time. I just think this sucks. I hate being like this. I just want to be stable without having all these ups and downs. I am going to call the dr tomorrow about the meds but with no insurance there are not too many options. Well, I guess I have said enough. Thank you again for all your great insight and info.

  22. Hello Dave. My name is Diana. I signed up to your site a few weeks ago while doing some research on bipolar. I really don’t know what is wrong with me. My doctor says i suffer from depression, along with OCD a fear of contamination aniety and panic attacks. He never addresses my moments of intense activity and creativity. My periods of not be able to stay at home, always in the street. Partying all night, hardly sleeping, very sociable, very outgoing with lots of friends and just fun to be around. I started seeing him in April of 2006. I had fell into a deep depression in November of 2005 after coming back from a ten day trip to San Francisco. When I’m feeling great I would get the urge to get up and go. During one of these phases, I went to San Francisco by myself. A place I had never been to before, having no friends there. After coming back from that trip I fell into deep depression. The following May I woke up one night screaming. I saw myself looking into the face of insanity. I don’t know what would have happened if my husband had not been there. That’s when I knew I needed help. I went to see my doctor who recommended a psychiatrist. He immediately put me on medication. We started off with Sertraline. It made me crazy. We then went to Citalopram. It was somewhat successful but not in the way it should have been. It did take away my thoughts of suicide, that was as far as it went. It kept me in limbo. I was neither one way or the other. It took away my sex drive. It took away my creativity. Where as before no matter how deep my depression or how long it lasted I knew there would come a day when I would be my fun loving productive self no matter how short the time i was able to do it. The medication took all that away. I have friends I haven’t seen since I went on it. My anxieties remained although i must say my panic attacks lessen somewhat. In spite of this I was not happy. I am no longer on medication. Here is why. All my life i’ve been thin. In fact I had to eat to maintain my weight. Skipping meals did not work for me doing so would result in rapid weight loss. I learnt the benefits of eating. On the pills I gained thirty pounds. How it came about was a mystery to me. For the first eight months I was fine and then within the space of four monthes I gained all this weight. I started noticing that my clothes were not fitting properly. I developed rolls on my back around my waist area. I couldn’t understand it. How could I have gone from being a certain way all my life to this. People used to refer to me as model type (i am also five feet ten inches tall) I did not change my eating habits so why all this weight gain. It was later during a chance conversation that I found out that it was my medication. I immediately stopped taking them. All this took place in Britain. I am now here in America. I notice that your bipolar commercials mention this side effect. In britain it is not so. The Food and Drug Industries do not have the same control there as they do here. You hardly see commercials about what sicknesses you may have or make you think you have and drugs to cure them. You get your side effects facts from the prescription itself or your doctor. In defense of the pills it did take away my constant thoughts of suicide that was as far as it went. I’m no longer on them and my thoughts of suicide has not returned. thank god. (I stopped in May of this year) I do know now that I suffer from hypermania, the lower end of the sickness. This I discovered through my own research. A part of me feels angry that my doctor didn’t tell. I had to do it all on my own. My diagnosis that is. I don’t know how i’m going to tell him about my findings. Another part of the sickness that people hardly talk about is the sexual pervertions of the person. We hear alot about the spending of money but not alot about the sexual changes that occur when in a mania. I know that during my high phases men featured very heavliy. As i mentioned, I would always be out and about always partying very attractive in my personality. I was like a lodestone to them, so drawn were they to me. I would not tell them I was not free. I would meet them for dates make them think I was available. I even watched a few of them fall for me. In a nutshell I was a cock tease. Although I didn’t sleep with every Tom, Dick and Harry, I did play with their affections. The crazy thing is that it was all a game to me. Which is quite sad really. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back on medication. I’ve told myself that I’ll rather be crazy and thin than be fat and sane whatever sane is. I am fortunate to have my husband. He’s been there through it all. Through the nightmares, the men, the unpredictalbe spending, the withdrawals. Not being there emotionally. Locking myself in my room, not speaking to him for days. I’ve known him for eight years. We’ve been recently married. I feel humbled by him. I don’t know if faced with the same set of circumstances if I would be able to handle it the way he did. I know that it takes a special type of person to love outside of family members someone with a mental illness. It has to be an unconditional love. Thanks for reading this. This is the first time I’ve done something like this. It feels good to talk to someone outside of a doctor who knows. Thank you. (please overlook incorrect spellings)

  23. hi there i just want to thank you for being here for support i wanted to tell a little about getting off meds in 2001 i went to prison for aggravated assault with deadly weapon no intent to i got of meds and went crazy i got out in 2002 i was on meds in there got out quit taking them 2003 had 3rd kid got bk on meds took them for a couple mths and quit again now i am beginning to tell i need something ive done so good to be strong for 6 yrs now i dont want to fall my dad shot his self in the head fortunately he survived although hes paralyzed on left side he did this 3 days before my 8yr old boy was born i also have a 15 yr old im telling you ive been through the bipolar thing and i m ready to get better thanks for listening loretta

  24. My son, 23 years old, was unofficially diagnosed as being bipolar, severely depressed, and severe anxiety. He went for a free screening at a hospital in our town. I had thought he was bipolar for years. He doesn’t live with me, doesn’t have a job, no money or insurance. (partly due to alcoholism now)How does he get help? We’ve tried everything, but we’ve been running in circles trying to get him the medication he needs. Can anyone help??? Please!!

  25. thank you so much for your information…My partner has bipolar even though he’s never been professionally diagnosed but it’s been the hardest thing i’ve ever had to deal with in my life. It’s made me lose all my friends, broken up my family and lose my job. I’m pregnant and have had to leave my partner to protect myself and our unborn baby. He gets very violent, abusive, angry and out of control caziness. I get blamed for everything and he says the most hurtful things. He has had a very bad drug addiction and should be dead from over dosing. He has a bad criminal history from bashing people, including policemen. He’s never stayed in the same place for more than 18 months and never kept a job for more then 12 months. He’s lost alot of good friends and ruined alot of families. He has alot of paranoia, never let me do anything on my own, never let me have friends or have anything to do with my family, never let me have fun or be happy. He’s obsessed with sex and can’t go without it for more then a week. He has problems with money and has never got any. Hes scared of having to be responsible or settle down in life. He can’t control himself when drinking alocohol. He lies alot without even realising and says he sees somebody doing something wrong when he hasn’t. I feel so guilty for leaving because he knows he has a problem and he hates being the way he is. he’s willing to get the help but it’s so hard to find the right person. He has a good heart and is determined at whatever he does, he is a good person and i love him so much. i’m not going to give up on this because i know there is help out there for him. i want to see his head at peace.

  26. Getting off meds and replacing them with natural or hollistic alternatives is absolutely deadly. I’ll never forget the summer I went off meds, went full manic and couldn’t sleep at night. Then I’d be tired and not too alert the next day. To makes sure I was alert enough–I was doing electrical work from a bucket truck 30′ in the air–I took ridalin. If you know anything about this disease, you can imagine what happened. My boss was horrified at how I was bouncing off the walls. Three days later I was fired.
    Then came the long period of unemployment, bankruptcy and homelessness. All because I went off of meds.
    Today I have a comfortable place to live. I’ve been working for three years w/o an incident. I have a stable relationship. and I take my prescribed meds religiously. YOU CAN’T GO OFF MEDS. and survive. I’m not crazy about taking medication for the rest of my life but I won’t consider life without them. Listen to Dave, ehknows what he’s taling about.
    Jim G.

  27. Hello David, I am so thankful i found your web page, it is so nice to read about bi polar and know someone understands the things i am going through with my common law husband, a couple of days ago, he and i got into a fight, i have a 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship and she gets on his nerves so bad cause when im at work and he looks after her she is as good as gold, an angel, when i walk into the room she acts up, well this day i was home she acted up wouldnt listen to me, well things got alittle out of hand and he flipped out and head bunted me in the face cracking my nose, now he is on meds lithium and pemozide, hes been on them since 1999 when he was diginosed, the last 2-4 months i have been noticing changes in his moods, I know when he did that to me that wasnt him, it was the bi polar, I want to get help for him, so he is going to his doctor on tuesday and he may be hospitalized cause they may need to up his meds, cause they diffently are not working right now, it has been a very rough to stick this out but i dont want to give up on him, so when i saw the ad about the omaga 3 fatty acids being good for the brain, i just wanted to know if he took his meds and got lots of omaga 3 fatty acids if that would help him out more, I know ur not a doctor..i would just like to get ur opinion. I hope i am making sence, Thanks again for having this web site.

  28. THANK YOU, DAVE! You have brought up the major NUMBER ONE aid for this damnable illness – DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS!!!

    However, after my first hospitalization in 1968, my father died in early 1969, we moved from IL to VA, I got a job as a medical records transcriptionist, and was acting in a play 30 miles away from my home. I seem to remember that I was on some type of medication, but I was also self-medicating with alcohol. Because of the above-mentioned life stressors, I fell into a full-blown manic episode. I was hospitalized for 7 months to regulate my medication and gain weight (I had gone down to 78 lbs.)

    I was fine on meds for six years. Then, some more life stressors occurred, and I went “off” again. YES – you CAN have hypomania while on medications – that’s one of the awful truths of this illness.

    I was diagnosed in 1977 with manic depression and put on Lithium. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to continue on it, stopped it, and had the most major clinical depression I have ever had. I continued to work (God only knows how I performed) and ran my apartment house for a full year before going to the local Community Mental Health Center for evaluation. The shrink put me on an antidepressant and started me back on Lithium, and within six weeks, I was feeling like there was a “light at the end of the tunnel” – bringing me out of the dark hole that I had dug for myself.

    In 2000, I developed neuropathy in both legs, and was taken off Lithium and put on Depakote. The doctor added Zyprexa, Valium, and PaxilCR. I had surgery in 2001, and when I was released, I started vomiting so badly, I didn’t realize until too late that I was throwing up my medications! I was so scared, I went to the ER to be evaluated. It turned out that I had developed acute pancreatitis from the surgery, and was on life support for three weeks. Even though I was not allowed anything by mouth (no liquids OR solids), the hospital gave me my antipsychotic meds with a little bit of water to help me stabilize during this period. I sincerely believe that if I hadn’t continued to take my psychotropic meds, I would have been a “basket case.” I almost died during this time, but was in my “right mind” at the time!

    I have not had a psychiatric hospitalization for 30 years. That’s not to say that I haven’t been treated out-patient for hypomanic attacks. When I moved to my condo in 2005, that summer they took PaxilCR off the market, and while they were giving me alternate meds (like Prozac and Zoloft), I didn’t react very well to the new meds. I was literally “out of my mind.” Fortunately, they brought PaxilCR back on the market, and I was stabilized.

    In December of 2005, I flew to Wyoming. When I got back to VA, I developed a fever of 103 degrees, and went hypomanic again. I didn’t know day from night and WAS acting “crazy.” I refused to leave the house. My case manager came to the house. I was maintained on my usual meds, and finally, as the fever abated, I returned to my “normal” state.

    Even though it’s true you can go “off” while still being on your meds, it’s highly likely you WILL go “off” if you STOP taking them. I consider any alternative treatments, like acupuncture, herbal remedies, hypnotism, even religiosity, to be “snake oil” and not be trusted in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder IS a chemical imbalance in the BRAIN, and the meds that work for you act on the synapses that short-circuit our brains, keeping us stable and able to lead a more normal life. You CAN be a highly functional bipolar IF you continue to TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS. Yes – it feels GOOD to go off of them because it throws you into hypomania, but the end result is it CAN KILL YOU…

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

    Your friend, SuzanneWA

  29. I applaud you Dave, and I pray that everyone takes heed to your warning. I have two children that are bipolar. My son is 22 years old, he was diagnosed bipolar at 14. He was on medication until he was 18, at which time he stopped and has never been back on medication. He can not hold a job, has a very dangerous temper, a rotation of friends, there is no balance to his life. I never know where he is living of if he is in jail or not.

    My daughter is 16 and was diagnosed with bipolar 3 years ago. She is a cutter (it has been 2 years since she has cut herself). She has been in hospital 7 times over the past three years, mainly because she would not take her medicine. Well, my little girl is growing up, and she is realizing how important it is for her to take her medicine. Two weeks ago she went through a very depressed state..the past two Octobers she was in hosital. This time she saw the signs and so did we. She asked for her couselor at the beginning, meds were adjusted, call was made to school so her teachers were aware. My daughter made it through school all week with the understanding and help of her teachers, she made it through the week with the help of her counselor, her parents, her sister, and her friends; and she proved to herself that with her medication, her coping skills, and her support circle, she can beat this and have a happy life, a life she wants to live. Its been almost a full year since she has been in hosital. She realizes that there will aways be the possibility that she made need to go back to the hosital one day….but she also realizes that she has some control over this condition as long as she takes her medication, is open with her family and friends, and pays attention to herself.

    So take your meds, and surround yourself with a support group that understands what you are going through….believe me when i say that the loved ones around you are living through this with you. Don’t do as my son did, turning his back on the help and love offered. You have to be willing to help yourself before the ones that love you can help you.

    I pray each and everyone of you have a peaceful and blessed day. Deb

  30. I am very glad to have found your column. So far, you and I are in agreement on everything. Obviously you as have I, have spent much time on this issue. I just want to say that I hope people will take your comments seriously and not doubt you too much. Thanks to a decent brain and a desire to help I have educated myself well about this illness. I am sharing your emails with one of my daughters. She is not bipolar, but her father and my other daughter are. It really helps a lot if one is supporting a family member who is bipolar does make a point to inform themselves about the particulars of the illness. God bless you. Keep up the good work.

  31. I went off my medications in January. I had some other medical issues at the time that required radiation treatment and instead of asking my doctor if it would interact, i just stopped the meds. It is now October, I have pushed my husband so far financially, not as bad as last time, but he will have to work very hard to recover once again from this disease of mine. I am not on any bank accts or credit cards anymore, but i signed his name and used his card number online anyway, about $12,000.00 down the road, I am almost stable again and very remorseful. I thought I was ok, I thought things were fine. I was yelling at my kids, fighting with the neighbors, but….in my mind everything was fine. Please, stay on your meds. I don’t think you are a prescription pusher, i think the prescriptions are there to help us. Thank you for all of your hard work.

  32. I struggled with this dilemma as well. One thing that really bothered me was how tired one of the meds was making me and I was not feeling better, but instead worse. After six different anti-depressants I told the doctor no more. Getting off of them was the best decision I made for myself. The doctors didn’t realize that the antidepressants were actually making me have severe depression episodes. Some meds are not right for us, but you must be open and talk with your doctor about it so that you can have help right away if you take a turn for the worse. I take Lamictal and it works the best for me. If you are feeling worse on meds than you were off of them then you and your doctor just haven’t gotten the meds right yet. Only once did I stop all meds and I was manic, yelling and screaming at my mother for things that really never bothered me before. I will never make the same mistake again.

  33. Hi Dave. I just had to comment. My son was on bipolar medications until one day I took him to the doctor because he was ill and needed antibiotics. For some reason they made him see a different doctor who had never seen him before, his regular doctor had always made sure to see him and get him in and out quickly. I don’t know what happened this time but it was the end of his getting help for his bipolar. This doctor told him that he was old enough to make his own decisions and if he didn’t want to go to the doctor or take his medicine he didn’t have to. Well when he went back to the Psychiatrist who was treating his Bipolar Disorder he told the doctor that he didn’t need to be there and didn’t need to take the medication. So the doctor droped him as a patient and weened him off the medicine. Now I have to live with this problem. Thank you for listening.


  34. Hi Dave, I just started reading all your information regarding bi-polar disorder. My husband was recently diagnosed with it. I will say it was reasurring to know there was actually a reason for why he acts the way he does. The hard part for me is understanding the role I play in this. I have found I have to change a lot of my ways for him. His answer always is I have a problem and I don’t have any control over what I do. I can understand that but I also think he shouldn’t use that as a way to make what he does ok. He keeps talking about how everyone around him needs to change. I tried explaining to him that yes we need to be able to better handle ourselves when it comes to you but he too needs to understand when he does stuff to hurt us, it’s hard to just say well he didn’t mean to say that or do that to me. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. His medicine has really been working well. He went to the doctors today and they changed his dosage up a little. I am bipolar as well and it is differnt seeing it from this point of view. I went off my medicine for a couple of years before and it destroyed my first marriage. I faithfully take my meds. and I have been doing great. I do think my husbands episodes are much worse than mine every were. He is very aggressive and can become physically hands on with me. I don’t think he would kill me but I know he has the ability and strength to do harm. That was actually when we went to the doctor together. When he came after me. He has been going to a doctor for years taking antidepresants and they didn’t seem to help. When I went with him to the doctors and really explained to him how he is the doctor about fell over. He said to my husband you never told me any of this and he said I didn’t think it was important. After further discussions he was diagnosed as bipolar and was put on (in addition to his andtidepressants) another medication. It has really helped. We have four children and I don’t want them to grow up in a house of total disfunction. They deserve better. I am looking forward to hearing more from you.

  35. My son was recently dignosed as Bipolar. He takes his meds. He does not believe anything is wrong with him. It puzzled me until I came upon new research being done about a condition called “anosognosia”. It is an actual condition of the brain where there is an unawareness or denial of disabilities. I was relieved to find this out somewhat. The person may eventually come out of this or stay that way. Research is being done on it. It was suggested that constant encouragement was what worked the best till it could be studied more. Oh the complicated brain.

  36. Thank you FLGator for the heads up on Anosognosia. I read an article about this after I read your post. I have read so many posts from people on this site who are frustrated that their loved ones won’t get help or acknowledge they have a problem.

    For me I was not in denial just too scared someone would take my kids away and lock me up in a hospital if I told them I was having the problems. Having physical and verbal aggression issues is not exactly something you discuss with a stranger (especially a doctor who could put you in the hospital). The very fear of hurting my family or losing them made me get help and I am glad now that all is said and done that I was brave enough to get the help I needed. I thought suicide was the only answer many times, but I couldn’t be a coward and ruin my children’s lives in doing so. Getting help for myself was also getting help for my children.

  37. Hi Dave, The worst thing could have happened to us. My Fiance was taking his meds whenever and drinking at the same time. He would tell me don’t worry about it I know what I am doing. The first time it was just with his meds. I am a nurse and know what can happen when someone takes to many meds. This day in May John took too many meds. I told him don’t do that you could die. He said Kim don’t worry about it I know what I am doing. Well, John went into a coma plus had a heartattack from the lack of O2 to his heart and brain. He was in a coma for 10 days and then finally came too. He was in the hospital for 14 days altogether. Now on Oct. 2, 2007 John was drinking and not taking his meds like he should. Well, I could see that something was just not right for 2 weeks, but John didn’t believe a thing I was telling him. His paranoia, anxeity, violance, ect. was getting really mad. Well, I desided to video tape him on this day to show him and his doctor what was going on with him. On that day John threatened to kill me and then punched me many times in the face. I didn’t know what to do so I called 911 hoping that they would put him on the 5th floor of the hospital, but because of the threat and the hitting they arrested John and now he is in jail. Believe it or not I love this man with all my heart, but I can have him hitting me. He has 5 counts against him right now and 2 of them are felonies. I have tried to get ahold of his therapist, but she wont even talk to me even though John signed the waver saying I could get or give his medical treatment. She doesn’t even care. I am appauled by the medical field and how they have handle John, the one field I love the most is letting us down. We can’t afford a lawyer so he has a public deffender, which is a joke, they work for the county not you. I can’t even talk to him because I am the vicitum in this matter. I talked to the DA and told him that I could see something was going to happen for two weeks, plus both of our oldest sons came to live with us and I told John maybe it isn’t a good idea to have them here I see your anxeity going through the roof, but he didn’t listen to me. I told the DA that John is bipolar, social anxeity disorder, PTSD, paranod, and he is talking to things that are not there. The DA said those are all just excuses for what he did and they are using the video tape against him. I don’t know what to do for I am at my wits end. The people that are there to help you don’t care about anything, but the almighty dollar. The system that was put in place by are founding fathers is letting us down, the one system that was put in place to help. If I didn’t see what was going on with John I would believe he was just a violant person, and I am not the only person that saw these changes in John, but our children did too. I am begging someone anyone out there in internet land if they can help us. This is my last resort. Thank You, Kim

  38. Hi Dave, yes I read it, I allready knew you, out of love for your mom, have opened the door to your future, not knowing most likely the impact on peoples lives- in which you will save many. Your passion and drive to out-wise this monster, It is like my favorite saying, “THE HARDER WE FIGHT, THE HARDER IT IS TO SURRENDER!”. You will be loved and your teachings will live long after are bodies have gone. I knew you were a gift when I found your website. Enjoy the love. Thanks, Karen

  39. Dear Dave,

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!!!! There was a guy in Israel – a very successful, intellegent guy, who started a very important “self help” group in a major city and then went around the country helping other groups get set up – a winner of a guy. Then he was interviewed in the NATIONAL PAPER, talking about how “with the help of my naturopath doctor”, he was now treating his bipolar with “proper nutrition”, etc….. of course, the paper didn’t bother to print any update when, a couple months later, he landed in the hospital – by court order – raging manic and having destroyed everything he had built up. Stats folks should know: 80% of people who have a manic episode will, without medication, have additional episodes. And folks who have had TWO OR MORE affective episodes have a 99.something % chance of additional attacks, without medication! Do the math, people.

  40. I’ve gotten pretty far behind in reading these emails, and i just got to this one. I’ve got to say that every single word of it is completely true. I have gone through it myself, and I’ve watched (and am STILL watching) my mom go through it. I’ve gone years without meds because i swore I could do it without it. I despised medication my whole life. I started them in 3rd grade. Terrible, I know. But that’s how long I’ve been dealing with it. :[ I finally broke down and realized that i NEEDED the medication and the treatments when i was about 16. I am just now finally stable. And looking back, i KNOW so much could have been avoided if i hadn’t stopped my medication so much. If i hadn’t decided i was feeling better and just didn’t need it any more. I cannot control myself without my medication, and the same goes for my mom. But sadly, we can barely afford the copays for all of my medications and doctors appointments, so my mom has stopped hers so that I can get the help that i need. :\
    I truly hope that this email has helped people realize what they are doing. When you’re manic, you believe everything is FINE. You believe you’re absolutely okay, maybe even sometimes question the diagnosis. But something bad will always happen. It’s inevitable when you’re bipolar. It’s like your mind is playing tricks on you.
    I don’t think I will EVER forget one of the first appointments i had with my newest psychiatrist. My mother came in with me, and when he asked me how my moods have been, I told him that I was fine, that I wasn’t having any problems or mood swings at all. But my mom… she completely disagreed with me. I was in complete SHOCK when she told him that I was wrong. I had no idea what she was talking about. But then she started telling him things that i was doing, and I was just completely thrown back! She was right! I was doing absolutely HORRIBLE and i just did NOT see it. It was scary… very scary. And it still IS scary, looking back at it. Knowing that that’s just going to happen again. But then again, I’m really thankful that I have my mother in my life. Someone who really understands, and knows what to look for. And my boyfriend, as well. He’s not so good at noticing the problems, but he’s there for me, and it helps a lot. These emails also help a WHOLE lot. Sometimes I’ll read an email and think “omigosh, this is exactly what happened to me last week” and i can show it to my boyfriend, and it helps him understand things better.
    You really help so much with these emails. I feel like crying my eyes out right now, and i’m not exactly sure why. -sigh- There goes my mind racing. D:

    Dave, i REALLY hope you read this. Please please… read this. I need you to know how much i just want to thank you. UGH I can’t even think straight all of a sudden. But thank you. I wish i could give you a hug and say it in person. Because it means so much.
    If any, i think that this email really might have saved some lives. If they understand it and actually listen to it. This is some serious stuff, and it’s something that everyone with the disorder NEEDS to know. thank you.


    … i really hope he reads this

  41. I really appreciate all of the advice given to me and hundreds of others. But at this point in time the person I was trying to stand by and help wants nothing to do with me. If we reconnect again I would gladly like to again receive more newsletters. Thanks for everything.

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