23 thoughts on “The Six Stages Of Bipolar And Depression

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Virtually the progress towards the therapy concerned is tortose slow. In the world almost 3- 4% are bipolar and certainly 10-15 % have some serious mental illness. But the researchers/ Govt bodies all over world are least interested to find the root cause and if any try to eradicate it. Probably WHO was interested only in POLIO or Small pox eradication and never thought of the diseases which have devastating effect and need most care…

  • September 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the article, Tom. I sent it to my psychiatrist to read. He’s seen me progress through your program and your article will give him a visual and clear overview of what getting Bipolar In Order is about.

  • September 6, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Some fascinating ideas proposed here, although I agree with B K about the potentially contentious use of the phrase “mixed state” — I also suffer from the clinical version of the term, and it’s truly hellacious. So I, too, would love to see this model translated into a format that incorporates the experiences of people with bipolar II. And I think “management” and “mastery” can coexist and inform each other, rather than being distinct stages; even if you’re working within a disease/disorder model, personal growth and resiliency go a long way.

  • September 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I applaud anyone who has whittled bi-polar down to six stages. Kudos.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:24 am

    And how are you supposed to know if you’re trying hard enough?
    there should be a 1-10 scale.

    if you’re depressed your output could feel like 10 but its actually 5 or something

    • December 5, 2014 at 7:56 am

      If the insight you are getting about your state of mind (even AFTER the episode, when you go back and evaluate what the episode was like), if the insight MAKES A DIFFERENCE you will know it and feel it and it will change how you think. It’s not about “trying” at all. It’s about insight. To try is frustrating as if you need to achieve. That is part of the thinking process that makes us sick (thinking we need to try to be different or better). We need our own insight and understanding into our own psyche…clarity, a-ha moments, a new realization about why we are triggered into those states, that realization in itself will dissolve what causes these extreme states. That changes everything…and I have been there. It really is not about trying to achieve. It’s about understand yourself and questioning what you think and why.

  • March 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Can you move someone from a Bipolar Disorder to a Bipolar IN Disorder? What steps are taken in for this? Everyone may not be willing to expand their comfort zones.

  • April 30, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you for this article
    Was interested in dietary plan
    implementing healthy lifestyle
    and can identify root contributers to
    conditions like bipolar.
    Find facing and steadfastly dealing with
    past experiences.
    And avoiding toxic relationships which like
    if you put yourself among rotten fruit you
    will go off to.
    I am saddened with mass medicating without
    services help young people to develop and build there character the chemical reliance is not the
    most desirable call.
    I respect physicians but would be good if they implemented many options not just mass medicating.

    • May 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

      I agree with you completely.
      I had a neighbor who relied on me for help but she was making me crazy. Now 300 miles away, we are gradually getting back together because she is really working on improving.

      I too get frustrated with primary doctors doing the “I have a pill” thing with no follow up with therapy, but at least in the free clinic I work with, I am seeing that they are starting to arrange counseling. – after 13 years.

  • May 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I learned of these in my peer support provider class. They make wonderful sense and you explain them well.

    I will need to go over them again because my mind is full and it takes a couple tries to get things in to stay.

  • December 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    This is a wonderful piece! Very out-of-the-box thinking and I really love it! This is complex, because we also need to account for Trauma and the structure of the Ego in the psyche that are root causes for disorder, a “mixed state” indeed. I suffered from Borderline Personality (or some would call that rapid-cycling bipolar) although there are significant imbalances between the limbic system and frontal lobes of the brain, the first step is getting yourself OUT of the belief that you are STUCK with it. The brain has the quality of neuroplasticity (the cells can change). You are not stuck with anything you CAN master your “self”. Spiritually, there are two poles to everything in nature, so of course in our psyche. Integrating those two polar opposites and bringing yourself together – becoming whole, acknowledging both polarities and judging neither, all this grants freedom to truly observe the self and all of the many fragmented states of mind – “mixed state” (I really like that term). We do not even have to live with a “mixed state”, once we understand that our psyche is fragmented, we can begin to see more clearly.

  • December 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks Tom for this article. One of the goals of therapy for a bi-polar condition is the achievement of control over the emotions at various levels. Each personintreatment’s comfort zone may differ from the next. The pathologies surely reside in the extremities. However, Your write up has upped the challenge to assist individuals to flourish where angels fear to tread, to expand their horizon and live

  • March 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I wish it was that simple for me. Most times I’m a negative person and I don’t want to be. I try to change but every time I try, something always comes up. I tend to exaggerate the situation, like when I make a wrong decision, I tend to think that I deserve worse than the consequences I’m receiving. I’m currently on probation and right now I feel like I should die because of what I did. I think I have major depression. I wanna try to change that but it seems like I can’t. My therapist tells me to try and think about the positive things that happen in my daily life. I do but then my mind does a 360 and starts thinking about all the negativity going on in my life right now. I tried killing myself once by over dosing. I almost succeeded doing that but it didn’t happen. I guess it’s not my time yet. Do you have any advise that would help me through my life? I’m trying really hard to not think so negative but it’s very hard.

    • May 16, 2015 at 5:06 am

      Hi, I read your post and I’ve been in your position exactly with the depression and then I got introuble and my depression got worse. I hated myself. All I can say is this, do what it takes to get off probation because the system sucks and it won’t happen over night but if you set small goals and do them you will start to feel better. I’m not sure what your probation is for and what you have to do to get off it but I would start there and once that’s done it’s a huge accomplishment to get out of the system. So many people never get out. As far as suicide goes please email me if you even think of it. You have so many things to see in life and it’s not going to be fucking roses and bunnies but suicide is permanent and most people that have attempted 5 yrs later say they are so grateful that it didn’t work. Who knows maybe your life could be roses and bunnies and who am I to say it cant. You never know who you might meet around that next corner that can change your life in an instant. I know depression sucks but you have felt happy before or excited about something. Wait for that. When your down the only place you can get is up but not when your dead. If things ever get that bad please email me or think about what I said because I promise things will get better

    • June 24, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Part of living with a mental illness is actually learning to LIVE with it. For me, suicide was like a skip in a record. No matter how I tried to fill my life, it always came back around. The winter was the worst, and everyday, I would consider ending my life. I know this sounds bizarre, but my husband brought home a sick turtle. I knew nothing about them, but after failing to find anyone who would care for it, I didn’t have much choice. Somedays I would actually tell myself, I have to get up because someone has to care for the turtle. So, I began living for a sick reptile. I didn’t think of it that way at first. I was simply trying to get by. I poured myself into caring for him, and the winter passed. By summer, I no longer told myself I had to get up for him. I just got up. Bipolar means that any bad thing is a disaster, and the rest of the day is reflective of that. I figured out that I can control fifteen minutes. After that, life can happen. So, I would take fifteen minutes, make tea, use the good china even though I had to wash it by hand after, and enjoy the simplicity, and I found I could start anew after. Often times, I have to do this several times a day, but it helped me. I’m still me, but I feel more in control

  • March 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Well said Amber. I was stuck in the belief that I was ‘damaged’ and needed meds for the rest of my life. It was a rollercoaster ride from hell. I finally took my health into my own hands and started making life changes (behavioral/situational/health/spiritual) aka ‘mastering my self’. Once I felt I had some solid footing, I weaned off my antidepressant (with Dr supervision). I have to say I wish I would have done it years ago. I feel so empowered over my health and life now, and not like a ‘victim’. These changes in my thinking and awareness has been life altering and has given me a second chance at a happy and peaceful life.

    Meditation, changing my thinking and outlook on life, and facing my fears were huge factors in it all.Being comfortable with uncertainty and not trying to dull/avoid my pain and fears. It was also very important to cut out the people in my life that were unhealthy to be around (including family, also bipolar but self-medicating).

    These methods may not totally work for everyone, but I assure you that these types of changes will greatly & positively affect your life! It’s very hard to look internally at ourselves, and to be disciplined about change. But it will be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself <3

  • March 28, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I have Bipolar II and without my meds, I’d be dead.

    My ex-fiancee was diagnosed with Bipolar NOS. I always say he has bipolar fueled by massive amounts of alcohol.

    Thoughts on BP NOS?

  • May 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I have a 44yr old son that has not been diagnosed with bi-polar, as such. It has always been anxiety and depression. Anti depressants have been stopped for about 6 months, due to side affects. He is now spending all his time in his apt. He uses his smart phone to entertain himself. He keeps a small about of food in his apt., doesn’t go out to eat. Once in awhile he goes to his older brother’s for food. I am his 83 yr old mother, and he does not come around me. Main reason, I have a need for my faith and religion and he does not believe in religion. He tries to convince me that it is bad. He does have disillusion and audio hallucination at times. These seem to include “demons” and “spirits”. He has morbid thoughts. His Dr. has prescribed Adderal and xanax, which doesn’t make since to me. However, I think the med is some of the problem. He thinks mental health Dr’s don’t know what they are doing. Therefore he refuses help. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • June 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      It’s common that patients don’t trust the doctor, especially if they are having delusions. Medications make you feel physically terrible. Sometimes, they make you feel so terrible it’s much better to have to deal with the mood swings, anxiety, and even psychosis than how the medication makes you feel.

      Also, I hate to say it, but not all doctors are good docotrs, or not all doctors and patients feel comfortable together. This makes it hard. And, working in healthcare, I know, you get burnt out taking care of patients. People think they are “special” and “different” when really all of their reasons and excuses are exactly the same as everyone else. It’s really rare to find someone who is unique. Therefore, doctors might have a bad way of dealing with patients, because they are burnt out and don’t want to hear excuses any more.

      This is hard for people with mental health problems because it’s already harder to function. It’s already harder for us to trust people because people tell us we lie about our problems, or that we do it for attention, or they think our problems are fake or excuses. As you get older it gets harder and harder to trust anyone to tell them what’s really going on.

      As for him not visiting you, are you very pushy with your religious beliefs? You can’t force someone to believe what you do, even your own kids. Maybe he is frustrated and feels you can’t let him be who he is. Maybe he isn’t able to realize you can have your beliefs which are different, and he’s frustrated that you don’t change for him. It’s a complicated issue, too complicated to solve in a place like this.

  • June 22, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I really liked your article. It is a great way to look at it. I am glad that there are other out there that also feel you can learn to live with an intense mind.
    I have learned many tricks and coping strategies along the way and I become increasingly more aware of my own boundaries. The effort has made my life much more comfortable and out of control and unmanageable are becoming foreign feelings which is nice.
    I really love and appreciate the positive note and hope that this article gives. Too much of the literature about depression and bipolar is pretty darn depressing and hopeless,which just seems so silly. Thank you!

  • July 16, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Great article! I’m in a pickle myself and am getting opinions and diagnosis’ from some family and don’t know what to think. Any actual advice would be appreciated. I’m a 35 yr old male, was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) at age 25, got my first prescription of Clonazepam. Have had issues with anxiety for quite a while. Age 28, I started dipping into (illegally) painkillers, large amounts of benzodiazepines, ect…and it got MUCH worse from there until I stopped everything November 2014. I’m a self-employed contractor and do my trade very well and have built a very good customer base. My Anxiety is still a major issue pretty regularly. There will be spans of 4-6 days where I want to bury my head in the sand, ignore all phone calls, scared to even look at emails, just panic when I see the amount of unread get higher and higher. Then I’ll slowly start getting back into the swing of things to where I just feel like I am “The Shit”! I can do nothing wrong, am excited about everything including fixing other people’s problems, talking a mile a min., chomping at the bit for everyone to get it together. That’ll last 4-5 days then I’ll start feeling cruddy, a failure for being an recovering addict with bouts of relapses, a shitty husband, father, business man, ect… I make pretty decent money, but I cannot manage it to save my life. I’ve harmed myself plenty, have had very detailed plans for suicide, actually started to hang from a tree once, stopped when the pressure was pretty tight (due to windpipe being blocked), then stopped myself and balled like a baby for the next couple hours. Realized again how selfish suicide is, and slowly get back to my next uppity spurt. This is when I’ve been sober. I don’t deserve my beautiful wife of 17 yrs, my sweet 15 yr old teenage daughter and my little 11yr old man, who I know they all hate me for my mood swings, substance issues, the list is endless. I’ve never cheated though, never laid a hand on any of my family, just get pretty angry/agitated at times (yelling, break laptops, put fist through windows and walls. When I see red, I usually try to leave the situation. Anyways, I’m exhausted dealing with my FU#%ING brain. On a side note, my big brother is Bipolar, my big sister is diagnosed as well as my father. Haven’t been back to Psychiatrist in a couple years, and I don’t like when he would just tell me what I’m doing wrong and leave it at that after taking my $175. I’m trying to set up to see another and see if maybe I will be diagnosed anything other than a recovering addict. Anyway, sry for the length on this thing, I’m just at my wits with end, actually last Sunday I was pretty close to ending it again but called my wife to come get me. Her and my brother are the only ones that know my issues, I can put on a very nice demeanor 92% of the time. I really don’t want to have to be on meds every day. I don’t want to have issues in bed, we have such a good time, and I’m not up for gaining 100lbs. Again, any advice would help from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
    InLimbo in Modesto

    • August 3, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Hi InLimbo,

      Of course I cannot diagnose you, but your personal history sounds like Bipolar is a strong possibility. Your family members having it too only reinforces this opinion for me. It is a genuine disorder and the likely cause of your need to self-medicate. There is no shame in any of that, you have been doing the best you can wth what you have been dealt. For your sake, your wife’s sake and your kid’s sakes, please go and see a psychiatrist and try medication. A mood stabilizer (like Lithium) at the right dose could change your life and stop or greatly reduce the suicidal thinking, anger outbursts. If you try a medication and have bedroom problems or significant weight gain, then it isn’t the right one. Stay away from anything that is strictly antidepressant – it will only induce further cycling. I know as I was misdiagnosed for many years and given anti-d’s without a mood stabilizer and am still trying to recover.

      Lifestyle strategies and thinking patterns with a psychologist helps as well – the medication is only part of the picture. Adequate sleep is important, routine, healthy eating and some light exercise. Avoid caffeine (and anything that is a stimulant), alcohol and too much sugar. Get sunshine and fresh air when you feel depressed – even if it is in your backyard for 10 minutes. I still struggle because it had gone so far – but all of these things have helped immensely.

      I wish you all the best.

  • December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    i dont know what should i say after reading these long term comments on this.


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