6 thoughts on “Is Bipolar Still In Disorder Really The Best We Can Do?

  • January 26, 2016 at 1:15 am

    I think that the best response one could offer when a person with bipolar disorder or a related condition says that they’re doing the best that they can is one of non judgment. Whether or not a person is actually doing the absolute best that they possibly can, I do not think that it would be helpful to make any statements that might imply that those who are saying that they’re doing the best that they can are lying or are otherwise being insincere. I think that asking questions and providing gentle encouragement to those who say that they’re doing the best that they can has its place, but I also think that passing judgment on those individuals who say that they’re doing the best that they can lead such individuals to feel hurt, invalidated, and even discouraged. Of course, people with bipolar disorder and related conditions should be encouraged to achieve everything that they’re capable of. However, I believe that the best way to achieve this goal is not to put others down by accusing them of stigmatizing both themselves and others for making a sincere statement that is true to the best of their knowledge, but to lift them up. Yes, show some examples of people with bipolar disorder who are living rich and fulfilling lives, and encourage those who are struggling to be the best that they can be. But please, try not to judge.

  • January 26, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Hi Tom,
    I don’t have bipolar disorder but I just wanted to comment and say I really appreciate your courage in expressing your thoughts on this!
    I suffer from ptsd, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, major depression and dysthymia. Although I consider myself to be an insightful, educated and motivated client in therapy, I can attest to the fact that there ARE times when I have said “I’m doing the best that I can” and the majority of the time that is true. However, there HAVE been occasions when I have said that either because I have been scared to talk about something or just felt too overwhelmed to care. In other words, there ARE times when I KNOW I’m not doing the best that I can and having a therapist that I trust and one who has the courage as well as the faith in me to point it out is helpful!
    So is this article as I wrestle with a few situations where I have not YET been able to do my best. This article reminds me that I WILL get there!

  • January 26, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Hi my name is Mariko I am 20 years old. I am diagnosed bipolar type 1. I am only now looking / researching more about my disorder. Believe it or not I was showing signs of being bi polar when I was only 12.
    It’s not a stigmatism, it’s just the easiest answer to tell someone who doesn’t know what it’s like. The humility of sleeping for weeks.. Or not being able to sleep because your insomnia is so bad and you have racing thoughts of doubt and paranoia about how your being perceived by other people.
    I am only now researching the actual “symptoms” / “behavior” people like me have. And it opened my eyes so much when I learned I am not alone.
    I am a person. My bi polar disorder can hold me back and forth a normal person I probably seem lazy or like I don’t care. But I have done “my best” from the time I wake to the time I sleep and have to maintain that “best” because if I slip I will tumble. If that’s not a good enough response I don’t know what is.

  • January 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I have bipolar I w psychotic features. I had the worst episode of my life that lasted 3 months at the end of last year. I repeated I am doing the best I can right now, several times. I needed to hear that from myself in a very challenging time. Wouldn’t that fall under the self compassion category that gets touted so much as well?

  • January 27, 2016 at 11:43 am

    “I’m doing the best I can” is the response to someone who is blaming you. Look at the context — WHEN do people say that? When someone else blames and shames you for being sick in the first place. I don’t think the focus should be on blaming people further, but on looking at who’s doing the blaming.

  • January 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Much of the time we hear the phrase “I’m doing the best I can…”, it is a defense mechanism or reassurance to self or others questioning or critical of one’s “true” abilities. I find it extremely unhelpful to aggravate the stress and pressures already felt and placed on anyone, especially the mentally ill, to insinuate that his or her efforts or beliefs are invalid and less than “best” or the dreaded and harmful “not good enough” by encouraging more effort. The idea saddens me, and I–in no way–find it compassionate.


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