Signs of Sneaky Depression

Depression isn’t always in your face! It can be a sneaky, insidious and downright sly illness…… Here are the signs of sneaky depression.

1. You wonder, “What’s wrong with me!?”
2. There is a slight crying, but you ignore it. It’s more like a little sob that comes and goes.
3. The hours in a day pass by without much being accomplished even though you want to get things done.
4. You’re active, not catatonic.
5. There is sense that you’re being weak and are simply not doing enough to get things done and if you could just get YOUR ACT TOGETHER it would all be ok.
6. The day is often lost to behaviors we all use to feel better- eating, drinking, weed, mindless scrolling, binge watching, video games, etc.
This depression is so sneaky! It is milder than the typical crying or agitated depression that obviously affects our thoughts and makes it clear that depression is in the house.
This depression is just THERE as we go about our day under a little cloud that we simply can’t see as it is directly over our heads!
Sneaky depression can follow us around for days while we wonder WHAT’s WRONG with ME!
The system I teach in my books is based off of knowing what depression makes us think, say and do so that we don’t lose days, weeks, months and years to this terrible illness.
I know that the thought…
“What’s wrong with me! Why can’t I just get things done!?”
….is not a sign that I am non productive. It’s a sign I’m depressed and it’s time to Treat Bipolar First.


Ps: If you’re new to my work, start with Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and the article How to be Your Own Bipolar Detective. Please note that my work is for people with bipolar, but is also helps anyone interested in knowing more about bipolar or helping someone with bipolar disorder. 

Why Bipolar Anger Seeks Your Demise

Anger loves company. Anger online is often jealousy or envy of what someone has that a person wants but can’t accomplish.

Online finger jockeys believe that their crude, rude or bullying comments are them just being honest, or….just telling it like it is, bitch!

Instead, it is nature’s desire for like to be with like. When we are angry, especially due to depression, we want people to come to our level.

We don’t want to raise them up. Then we will really see the disparity between how we feel and how they are enjoying success in life. It’s unbearable for us.

We can’t raise ourselves up, so we try to bring them down. We claw them down.

Only when we see this in ourselves can we stop.


Bipolar and Avoidant Behaviors


I have a writing project due.. so I…

1. Watched videos.
2. Worked on my new photography backdrop with my mom’s dog Cookie as a subject.
3. Made Thai curry from scratch.
4. Got an iced coffee.
5. Scrolled through Instagram.
6. Texted my pics to friends.

Enough already! This avoidant brain is the reason so many of us with bipolar have trouble working. I will get through this. I know what to do. I wrote a book on it!

So, time to set outside limits, be my own drill sergeant, ask for help and GET IT DONE. I will not use any social media until I have met my first goal of writing five sections of the book.

If I can move my body and do everything thing BUT write, then I can write as well. Bipolar along with head injuries and other mental health concerns comes with a lot of avoidant behavior. Everything on that list is avoidance. I will control my avoidant behavior. It is the only way I can finish my project.

Do you have avoidant behavior?

I wasn’t joking about the dog pics!


PS: Get it Done When You’re Depressed IS my career. I use it every day to get things done. It is amazing. I wrote it, but it speaks to the ill me on the days work is hard. If you don’t have it already, check it out. Work is possible!

Help for Bipolar Suicidal Thoughts


Suicidal? Here is how I handle suicidal thoughts.
I know my typical thoughts. Here are a few examples:
What’s the point?
Another day of this life?
My work is pointless and I am washed up.
I would be better off if I just got cancer and then I could just die.
I would not get treatment if I got cancer.
Life is too hard.
I am always sick and I can’t take this any more!
I am going to drive my car into that wall.
I am going to drive my car off the bridge.
I can walk in front of a bus.
I am going to take all of these pills.
I can list these verbatim as I have had the same thoughts for almost 40 years.
Suicidal thoughts are a completely normal part of having bipolar. This is a mood disorder and suicidal thoughts are about the mood.
Memorizing what I think, say and do when I am suicidal has saved my life. When these thoughts start now, I go into action mode.
– I remind myself that I am sick and I have to stop what I’m doing and Treat Bipolar First.
– I need to tell my doctor, Julie Foster of Pohala Clinic – A Place of Healing that the suicidal thoughts are back and I need help with meds.
– I will talk to myself all day and remind myself that this is illness and nothing more.
My suicidal thoughts and feelings are often a part of psychosis. I have hallucinations when I’m suicidal.
My first suicidal episode was in 1983. I was going through my first break up and I had the thought, “Everything would be better if I just rode my bike in front of this bus.”
My most recent suicidal thought was a few weeks ago!
It is a part of life with bipolar.
Are you suicidal right now? Does it help to know you are 100% normal? It is no different than having trouble breathing. You (and I) need to get help when the suicidal thoughts are raging just as we would get help if the mania were raging and taking over our lives.
Suicidal thoughts are scary, but they are not real. They are only thoughts. If we disconnect these thoughts and do not let them turn into suicidal behavior, we will survive.
I know there is a saying- It gets better.. and when you’re suicidal, this feels impossible, but please know that it’s true. Each time you’re suicidal and you create a plan that you can use the next time, you will decrease the intensity and length of the episode.
No one needs to live with suicidal depression. First, we recognize it as illness and talk to ourselves about being sick.
Then, we get help for the illness just as we would get help for any illness.
This includes medications such as the new and hopeful ketamine treatments, ECT and more.
I will do anything for stability. If you’re suicidal right now and you made it thorough this long ass post- chapeau my dear friend. Now, let’s get some help.


Bipolar Disorder and Online School

Is online school right for me?
I originally wrote this post for parents of collage age kids who have bipolar.  If you’re a parent, please join me on The Stable Table, a private Facebook group for parents, caregivers and health care professionals.  My group for partners is The Stable Bed.  If you have bipolar, there is info here on how I approach online learning as a person with bipolar and a psychotic disorder. 
It sounds like online school is a perfect option for those who can’t deal with college life right now- but… as with anything related to bipolar, both sides have to be addressed before successful online learning can happen.
  1. Is the bipolar still a problem? If so, it will affect online learning the same as in person schooling.
  2. Can the child self direct and get assignments in without a lot of support from a classroom?
  3. Is there a disability service component to the school?
This is not a post about online learning during Covid-19. That is a different topic! This post is for those who tried college or a training program and had to leave due to bipolar. Please know that a degree or a trade is possible for anyone with bipolar- as long as we Treat Bipolar First and create a school environment that works for the bipolar brain.
I went to FOUR colleges and it took me 8 years to get a BA. We can do this!
My suggestions on the topic of high school, college/trade schools and bipolar:
Online learning opens a new world where you can connect with others through video and chat and study on your schedule. This can reduce anxiety, save money and get you the degree that you want and need.
You can learn a new skill or get a GED. Everything is at your fingertips now. To succeed in this environment, bipolar must be addressed.
If regular school is too much for you, don’t assume that online school will be easier. It might be! But it might not be.
Online school requires enormous self discipline and can be a challenge. Find your online balance. Take one class instead of signing for the full degree all at once. Maybe a combination of online work and meeting every three months live is what will work for you.
Read the Trigger chapter in Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder as a reminder of what helps and hinders study. Look at the lifestyle changes suggested in Take Charge. It might be that online school allows these changes a lot easier than a big campus.
Work with the disability department of your school. Ask for help with scheduling and test taking. Take a class with someone who can help you stay on track. Stick to your goal of finishing school while also creating a working situation that allows you to study and stick to a schedule.
Online degrees are not easier than in person degrees. They come with their own challenges.
Choose a degree that takes your work challenges into account and go for your dream! Online learning has revolutionized our world. Use it to your advantage.



Break Through the Depression Barrier

 This  post goes with Strategy #13 in Get it Done When You’re Depressed. Social media use is a plus and a negative when it comes to finding stability. Here is what I suggest to anyone who is over using social media when depressed:
Imagine that you have to push through a really heavy door to get to the other side where there is stability and a life of getting things done and feeling better.
The key to this door will only be revealed when you put down the devise so that you can use both hands to put the key in the door.
It helps to picture yourself moving through the image your mind creates to describe the depression: mud, quicksand, fire, fog, a dark cloud, a storm in order to reach this door, picture this, walk through it and put in the key and open it.
Maybe you see vast nothingness before the door that leads you to think it will be the same if you open the door to an other life. Please know that it’s not the same. There is life on the other side of the door….
….. but you have to somehow walk through the images and feelings depression creates in order to reach the peace of stablity.
Physical action is needed for this to work.
Getting up and getting out no matter how hard it is to move is the answer. Putting down the screen and stopping the endless scrolling that leads nowhere is a first step.
Yes, you can use devices for motivation. Maybe it’s music to get you moving or an inspirational movie, but overall, it’s physical action that breaks the depression barrier. There is too much temptation online that leads us to stay behind the door and wallow in our misery, sadness and irritation.
Put the screen down, get up, use the book as a key and go through the door!
I am doing this today as I work on a new project. It feels like I will NEVER get through that door that leads to a better life than what I am experiencing today. But I trust that it will be better if I finish what I need to do.