Why I Respect the Bipolar!

Are you heading for a #bipolar break down? If you can tell your car’s breaking down, you don’t purposefully take it on the freeway and wait until it really doesn’t go any more.
It’s the same with your bipolar brain.
If you’re breaking down… Get help now. There is no need to wait until it’s so bad you can no longer take care of yourself.
Examine triggers and remove what you can. Open up Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and read the triggers chapter. This will remind you that it’s simply an illness.
A full breakdown will result in losing a LOT. Stopping in the middle of a break down and asking for help will SALVAGE a lot.
You have a choice. I have a choice. My health comes first.
Our health comes first. Bipolar is an illness.
Respect the bipolar or it will kick your 🍑 !


My Partner has Bipolar and is Angry!

👹👿🤬😡                Bipolar anger is hard to live with. First, let me define bipolar anger.
  1. It is episodic and is NEVER present when the person is stable.
  2. It is out of character and will be shocking to those around the person.
  3. It is not consistent over time and is not present since childhood.
  4. It is not associated with trauma or past events in any way.
  5. It is anger manufactured by the bipolar brain and is always linked to either a depression, mania or mixed manic episode.
You will know if your loved one has bipolar anger. It will be so out of line- so shocking- so sudden and so upsetting that you know something must be wrong.
The only way to prevent bipolar anger is to prevent the bipolar. There is a chapter dedicated to helping someone who is angry due to bipolar in Loving. There is an excellent chapter in Take Charge that teaches you how to recognize and avoid the Bipolar Conversation. This is the key to avoiding angry interactions that are actually bipolar mood swings.
💙📘 You can take charge of bipolar in your own life. Use The Health Cards to chart anger in a partner. Use Loving and Take Charge to figure out what you need in life. Read my articles on relationships to create strategies that prevent this anger.
We treat bipolar anger by ending bipolar. Period. Focusing on anger management when the anger is actually a bipolar mood swing is pointless. If you are sure the anger is from bipolar as it is episodic and only appears when a person is manic, depressed or mixed, TREAT BIPOLAR FIRST, not the anger.

What is the Difference between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression?

There is a very big difference between #depression and #bipolar depression. They are not the same illness. Depression, also called unipolar depression can be treated with anti depressants, amino acids, serotonin supplements, light boxes and more.

Bipolar depression is chemically different as it is always intertwined with mania. There is no bipolar depression that doesn’t contain the risk of mania. For this reason, any drug, supplement or behavior that can lead to mania is either too stimulating or has to be used with great caution.
If you have bipolar disorder and have agitated depression or have trouble sleeping, please note that the following substances or behaviors need to be examined if stability is the goal:
1. Use of SSRI or SNRI anti depressants.
2. Use of ADD medications.
3. THC in cannabis.
4. Light boxes.
5. 5HTP or any serotonin boosting herb or supplement.
6. Amino acid therapy.
8. Neurofeedback.
There is nothing wrong with anything on this list! The problem is that everything on this list can cause mania.
Health care professionals should know this, but many do not. You are the detective. You are the person with the illness. If you need to educate your doctor, do so.

Click here to read my article from Health Central:

What is the Difference Between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression?


Cannabis and Bipolar Disorder Class: A Balanced Perspective

Please join me for a Portland, Oregon class for parents and partners on the topic of cannabis marijuana and bipolar disorder.

I offer a balanced perspective and teach what a parent or partner needs to know in order to have an honest and heartfelt conversation about marijuana use and bipolar disorder.

The class is offered through my Portland, Oregon Meetup Group: Bipolar Info Group for Parents and Partners.

This class is for parents and partners only, but a future class will be available for for entire families and couples.

Class size is limited due to room size.  The class will sell out, so please do sign up early to get a seat! All of my classes are held in SE Portland.

Please visit the Meetup Group page to register for the class.

My classes are lively and honest. I am not against cannabis. I would absolutely use it myself if it were safe for the bipolar brain. This is a class that provides information, research, personal stories and a communication system that allows for balanced conversations.



How You Can Help a Person with Bipolar Depression 💙

😿 I lived with dangerous suicidal depression from age 19. I had ECT in my mid 40s. I was very sick. I use all of the ideas in my books to stay alive and remain stable enough to work and have relationships. I taught the people around me to help.
✍️ 📘 Here is a bit of my story and what led to my writing Get it Done When You’re Depressed, a book that teaches you how to help a loved one or client who is depressed how to get out of bed and out of the house to get on with life… even when the depression is strong.
🌧 In 1997, I realized that if I didn’t teach myself to get out and do things when I was depressed, I would spend the rest of my life in bed. I remember standing on a street in Seattle and being so sick I didn’t even know what direction to walk. I told myself, “I’m going to walk no matter what. It’s not going to feel good. My mind will tell me I went in the wrong direction. I don’t care. Starting today. I control my brain.”
🌈 I practiced this for a few years until it became the habit I have today. Everything in my life changed. I was still depressed, but I was able to work and be social again.
A person can train the brain to get things done when depressed. Ultimately I know this helped me get better overall. I now control my suicidal depression with meds and lifestyle choices. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
✍️📘💙 Get it Done When You’re Depressed will change your life. It tells the story of what I did the first years after I made the decision to live with depression and not die from it. It teaches you how to use the ideas to help a loved one. It gives specific strategies that you use. It’s NOT based on therapy. Talk therapy doesn’t work for very well for bipolar depression. Talking about being depressed is not a treatment. Behavior change is far more effective. (Therapists who understand bipolar and focus on recognizing the signs of depression and then taking action to end the depression can be very effective.)
Get it Done is action oriented and action changes our brain.
I use the ideas in this book ever day to deal with attention and focus, anxiety, depression when it shows up and any other obstacle that gets in my way. I need more time than other people. I need to be nice to myself and I need to back off if I do too much, but I would rather regulate my behavior than be stuck in my bed with depression. I hated that life.
You can help a loved one end the hold depression has on the brains and help the person make decisions and take action.
Depression is not permanent.


Can I have a good relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder?

🧡💛❤️ What is it like to love someone with bipolar disorder?

Can you have a stable, strong and loving relationship with someone who has bipolar?

It often depends on three factors:

1️⃣ Is there a diagnosis, treatment and a management plan? This naturally means there is insight into the illness.

2️⃣ Is there substance use or other behaviors that lead to more symptoms?

3️⃣ Are you someone who can manage your own stability and set boundaries and state your needs to a person with a mental health disorder?

I want to share a positive story. I’ve had bipolar disorder since age 16. I have naturally occurring bipolar disorder. It started with psychosis, then hypomania at 18 and 18 and finally suicidal depression at 19 after my first relationship ended.

I was diagnosed at 31. My official diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder as I have bipolar disorder and a separate psychotic disorder.

Men are an important part of my life and always have been. I love men. Love them! And yet, I have never had a relationship where bipolar disorder was not a factor. I entered the world of romantic/sexual relationships at age 18. My bipolar was in full bloom by then!

Here’s the positive news. I’ve had wonderful long term relationships. I can honestly say that any big issues we had were due to me and not them. Once I taught myself to better manage my bipolar disorder in my mid 30s, I can say that I have never experienced romantic rejection due to my bipolar. The men tried to help me. It wasn’t a negative experience in terms of relationships. My un-managed bipolar was the problem. Once I focused on management, I was able to have loving relationships that were filled with regular problems! Not problems associated with bipolar alone.

Is it possible to love someone with bipolar and have a good relationship? Absolutely. If the three questions I listed above are addressed.

💔 If there is no insight, treatment or management of an illness that causes changes in a person’s mood, any relationship would suffer. This is not unique to bipolar.

💔 If a person is using a substance that increases mood swings such as an ADD med, an anti depressant or THC from marijuana, you will struggle in the relationship. It’s not different than someone with lung problems who keeps smoking or a person with diabetes one who can’t stop eating sugar. (No judgement here, believe me, but this is a reality!)

💔 If you try to hope the illness away, love the illness away or remove your needs to focus exclusively on the needs of the person with bipolar, you will suffer. Once again, this is the same with any illness, addiction or personal problem that is not being addressed.

❤️💓 ❤️ HOPE

My work is exclusively dedicated to creating stable relationships. All people with bipolar disorder can have good relationships when the three questions are addressed. This is a life time of work- as is any work we do to have a good life.


If you’re a partner of someone with bipolar, I suggest starting with my book Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and then moving to Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder. Once there is a good understanding of how bipolar affects lives and how it can be treated and managed, The Health Cards then offer a life long plan for management.


I also invite you to join me on The Stable Bed, a private FB group for partners.

Focusing on the three questions will give you a path to a stable relationship. Start with understanding the illness and how it affects the brain. Get clear on what increases bipolar mood swings (I have many posts on this topic and it’s included in all of my books), and finally, focus on what you need.

I believe this is the foundation for any good relationship. It’s no different when a person has bipolar disorder.

Loving someone with bipolar is simply loving another human being who has a brain that needs a management plan. Strong relationships are not a given even if a person is stable! If you love someone with bipolar, create a plan and follow it for life. This creates strong, stable and loving relationships.