Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Video: Being Married to a Manic Depressive

Another way to make your spouse understand your bipolar disorder is to watch the video I taped a few months back with Eric and Dick (husband of guardian angel Ann) on what it’s like being married to a manic depressive. Every time I watch this video I learn something new. Maybe you will too. Here they are elaborating on their wives’ moodiness and some techniques that have worked well in their marriages.


To view my YouTube video, click here.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

  • BellaTerra

    Theresa, none of us are “whackjobs.”

  • V

    those of us who need to laugh at ourselves so we don’t cry need to be “whackjobs” at least once in a while….

  • Valerie

    Thanks Dick and Eric and Therese! That was great. You crack me up! You’re right–humor is KEY!!!! As are some rules.
    I have to tell you Therese, you have a beautiful profile. You look like a little maiden who should be carrying a jub of milk or something. How’s that for humor? You absolutely do have a beautiful profile though!
    Thanks again all for sharing your lives with us so freely!
    And I AM a whackjob–but only I can call myself that–no one else is allowed to refer to me that way unless of course, we’re just goofing around. And then that can sometimes even be a bit touchy depending on my mood.
    Love Valerie

  • R.

    Cheers and thanks to all of you for making this video to share with your readers.
    Truly, laughter is the best medicine. Therese, I think you and Ann have wonderful spouses. Eric is wonderful, very cool. Enjoy your weekend, have fun! Thanks again.

  • Larry Parker

    You three would make a great comedy troupe!
    Still, it was good to see Eric back down from his wisecracking to get serious at the end (though his humor is no doubt therapy, too).
    He really loves you, Therese :-)

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Whay a couple of GEMS!!! In spite of their mate’s illness, they’re obviously both 100% committed to them in sicknrdd and in health. How much easier life would be if EVERY individual with bipolar disorder or (unipolar depression even)had an “Eric or “Dick” in his or her life!
    (Not just someone who loves unconditionally–though that initself is a great boon–but also someone who’s done the work necessary to understand when it’s the ILLNESS that’s causing a meltdown rather than character flaws or overblown egos! I must say, though, Dick,I found many things on(and UNDER) my pillow during my brief marriage, but your crab takes the cake!!! I sure hope Ann has never awakened to find herself nose to nose with that thing! Bless both of you for being willing to share your wit and humor for others to benefit,that in itself is a “proof” of their caliber! I agree with Valerie as well, Therese; your profile is classic and looks as if it should grace an ancient coin! All four of you are quite clearly exceptional people!

  • marilyn

    therese you have such a such a loveing supportive husband and guardian angel.may you allways find the peace and comfort you need.

  • Deborah

    Wow — what lovely and helpful words from the three of you. Knowing that someone who really loves you is there is my key to getting grounded. Thank you for the wonderful insights — they are very helpful. I loved the crab! God bless you all.

  • jo

    Theresa, i’ve missed talking with you. i not a public person to post comment on your site. God and his angels have been with me. managing and helping, watching her children has taken a tow on me. your site is very moving, and very inspiring. remember i suffer with post traumatic stress. i use to be able to talk like privately. hearing your stories, and listening to your words, have kept me going. i am very tired, i don’t know what to do. my daughter is doing better. my children are now. i can’t leave them, i’ve always been a survivor. my grandchildren being hurt. my daughter has been so sick. doing better. the weight gain is slow. her appt. isn’t until may 20 something.
    i haven’t had peace. have you heard the song, I WANT TO GO HOME.
    BEAUTIFUL SONG. in the arms of an angel, also. i get really protective over my children. i guess from the abuse i totally went through. and same through my marriage. but divorced.
    my daughter met this guy, drugs of course involved. she didn’t see him but 2 wks.
    she is working part time for a friend. so she does the pay checks here at home. because this person i spoke of was on crack. i couldn’t sleep, i could do anything, but keep watch over them, one way or another. flashbacks and memories have hit me hard. i really can’t think of nothing, that hasn’t been done to me. i totally block out my whole life. my grandchildren, being abused, is hitting me hard.
    she had to hand out pay checks, because of this guy, of course i am disabled. she just got it for Christmas. sold it with her knowledge for crack. i asked God please forgive me.
    i had her come here to give out paychecks, she is the one with SLE, connective tissue damage. some serious stuff.
    the thing is” is what i did. all the good ones, ok. when this person walks in for his and his buddy.
    my daughter got him the job. they understood. i was afraid of never getting the WII station back, the bundle pkg. i went in debt for. to make that one special day at Christmas, to light those beautiful eyes up and forget the pain, they had gone through. i remember my at the age of 3, to pretend to be invisible, which didn’t work.
    when they came in, i told her to give Brian, drughead, his money. told him he had never ever come back here or my daughters, then there were some nice guys, she gave them their checks, this guy she seen walk over in my kitchen. i told him to move back to the door. we are respectful people. but we have some hands dealt to us all the time.
    of course i had the other two guys, stick around for protection.
    but i did something, don’t know, if right or wrong.
    i just knew i couldn’ t let them be hurt ever.
    he had 3 options, i gave him.
    1)take his money and belongings, which wasn’t much. and i should of kept 100.00 dollars out of paycheck, but didn’t wasn’t thing at the time. hit the door and never come back.
    2} option was to call the police

  • jo

    sorry, hit the wrong button. wasn’t finished. the WII station was like $800.00. supposely borrowed it for his daughter, which she never seen. sweet kids.
    the third option, i had a towel, laying beside me, his teeth rotted out. i try to believe in everyone, to give the benefit of the doubt. that once he said he did, have a bad habit, but quit.
    i told him i knew he hadn’t. sold my baby, and stole it for crack at $100.00. pitiful.
    the third option i unfolded that towel, and said which choice do you want? I think you better walk away, if you want to keep standing. of couse he told me he didn’t.
    another friend knew where he sold it, paid for it and got it back.
    what scares me, is what limits they take you to.
    i ask the Lord to forgive me, i knew he is here with me. and trying to guide me toward the light.
    as far as the 3 option, i think you know what it was? Theresa, thank you for being there. you have helped so much. but don’t i am a private person, not much for writing for others to see. May God Bless you.

  • C.

    I’m bi-polar, have only had 4 episodes in my life and lead a productive life with not problems. Without my husband there is no way I could have survived the last two episodes as well as I did. He was kind, considerate, PATIENT and understanding. But it was very hard for him as well (he didn’t tell me till later). He “lost his wife” and was very alone until I got better. I was never referred to as a “Wackjob” and hope I never will. I have an illness, not a label that is derrogatory. This is why hardly anyone knows that I am bi-polar, because of the stigma attached to it, even in this day and age, not even in jest. I still suffer from depression once in a while but overall my mental health is tops. As a whole, we should try to have more respect for the mentally ill, we are just victims of an illness that can’t be seen (like a walking with crutches or a wheelchair).

  • JO

    theresa, i didn’t think i would ever get to this post. i left it on something else. but i would like mine to be private. i’m so mixed up, i couldn’t even use the computer right. you, are one that i can listen to, but actually hear it. what you are saying. i think i’m about to lose it again. things are so crazy and nuts. please keep your site. i need to hear and speak to you. i’ve always been a private person.
    people are making me crazy. and funny, i’m the one with the psychiatrist. ha.
    my daughter and kids, i don’t know, my daughter doing a little better. i will tell you something, things is just too long to list.

  • Jean

    sometimes i just want to lay down and die. Whats in this world for me. Have a man..doesn’t drink or do drugs. Workaholic. Does not talk to me. Or pay any attention to me. Takes me no where..but, I can go anywhere that I want to. He has a brother in town. Has a daughter here..grandkids, and great grandkids. They are of another nationality. But, not my man. I just stay away from them. I am never invited to attend any of their gatherings. I care but, I don’t care. My daughters..2 of them…One lives in Colorado and the other one is in TN. I have grandchildren. One is in Alaska. One is in CO. and the other 2 are in TN. Haven’t seen them for at least 3 yrs. I have no one in this town. I am so lonely. I need someone to talk to. Lonely…Lonely….What am I to do? My parents are both dead. I lost my sister last year. I have no one….What is the matter with my man. I feel so alone and lost. Just want to lay down and say, “Lord, just go ahead and take me”. I am so lonely……

  • Helen

    Just reading the title, using the words “whack-job”…infuriates me and make me further feel like a failure for my illness. I didn’t even bother reading on. How could you do that? You’re not doing anything to help end the stigma associated with any mental illness. I think my subscription to Beliefnet is over.
    Thanks for the support.

  • pharmacist in Va.

    I am dissapointed that Beliefnet posts an article from anyone that calls a person suffering with a mental illness a “WHACKJOB”.
    I am a pharmacist in Va. who has worked closely with families surviving their difficult lives with a mentally ill member. Someone who’s brain chemistry causes them to attempt suicide, sunbathe on the roof in 100 degree weather, neglect their childen, etc. is ill, the same way a cancer patient is ill. They deserve our respect, compassion, and understanding. Again, I am disappointed….

  • R

    To those who are angry or upset with Therese’s use of the word “whackjob” …. Please you must understand that this is the name she give to HERSELF, tongue in cheek, as humor is one of her tools in her management of her illness.
    She is one of the most compassionate people out there …. she is trying to educate others and as I said, “whackjob” is the term she may use for the sake of humor on *herself*.
    Do not take this word out of context …. if you are familiar with this blog, her writings, you will know that the terms is seldom ever used and was used with her husband and her dear friend.

  • Anonymous

    whack job, nutcase, you are really a messed up person for using words like that to discuss a medical ailment, so anyone with aids cancer heart disease etc are wackjobs eh.

  • Anonymous

    not funny

  • Master Condrey

    Perhaps the harsh comments are an overreaction?
    Self defacing humor should be safe humor.
    One should not let mere words be cause for anger.
    Read the story before you condemn the author.
    Better yet, don’t condemn the author anyway.
    She’s trying to release her mixed emotions.

  • TB fan

    I urge people to sit down and read every single one of Therese’s intelligent, extremely well researched, disarmingly honest, brave blog postings. As others have said, you will see that self-deprecating humor is a device she uses often. It is entirely her right to do so, She has never once come even close to disparaging or making light of anyone else’s pain. While giving tirelessly to the BB community, she has attempted to keep herself well, using techniques like humor, while she tries to educate herself and those of us lucky enough to have found her blog.

  • Ptboy

    My wife was diagnosed as Manic Depressive/Bipolar 28 years ago. I dont think there was a single aspect in our lives that it didnt affect in some way. We did have 2 beautiful, well adjusted daugters that are adults now. It is a long bumpy road, I have seen the worst, the people in the video are right, humor does seem to lessen the strain sometimes. Its good to hear their words, makes one that is familiar with this terrible illness feel less alone. As a spouse, you do learn to recognize what is to come by the actions and moods that are experienced. When my wife is on a high, or manic cycle, I can tell that a depressive state is comming, kinda the light before the storm thing. Yes it is an illness that seems to be hidden away, but for those it affects it is all so real, I have had my conversations about this in the past and I do think that if you cant see it, feel it, or touch it, it doesnt seem real to certain others. As far as being called a “whackjob”, I always welcome that kinda talk from my wife, it shows that she is willing to have a sense of humor, and take things more lightly, those are very valuable tools in the manic depressive world as far as I am concerned.

  • George McLauchlin

    You might consider the interpersonal dynamics of the two obviously cognitive males (coldly analyzing) and an obviously emotionally motivated woman. She seems to be making an attempt to speak their very cognitive language while they look upon her emotional nature as pathological.
    She herself may have two predominate emotional styles (this usually the case with “bipolar’s” and is swicthing back and fort between them without being aware she is doing this. This may cause here to appear “bipolar.” If she can come to understand her “languages” she may learn how to operate her personality responsibly and develop true character instead of being patronized as “being a character”. Her personality structure is not in my opinion pathological.
    Medical doctors are not aware of these dynamics and will prescribe a pill to fix this. As Fritz Perls said “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
    A profile published by the Kendall Life Languages Institute, for example, will give you insight into these clashes in communication style.
    see for more info.

  • Barbara formerly Babs

    George – what are your medical credentials? I’m not bi-polar but I find your “analysis” “coldly” offensive. I don’t know of a medical professional who would dare to diagnose someone on the basis of a six or seven minute video.
    Pharmacist in Va. – Regarding the use of whackjob or nutcase – Therese uses it the same way anyone in a minority uses it: to diffuse the power of the words. Would it be appropriate for her to call someone else that? No, but that isn’t what she does. Anything, but that. And she isn’t putting herself down, either.

  • George McLauchlin

    Dear Barbara,
    26 Years as a Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional. I actually talk with people and help them learn who they are and help them learn how to sort through their thoughts and feelings. Nothing against the medical profession, but doctors don’t have the time or the training to do this work.

  • Karen

    Theresa you amaze me, you are a wonderful guardian angel. Not only do your articles allow me too feel enlightened when understanding myself better, they also allow me to understand my partner better. Thank you for your kind soul allowing me hope in my already hopeless understanding of myself…you make me smile Theresa, you open my mind and my heart to understand myself and those I love..Have a great day..

  • Diana

    I don’t get the feeling you have alot of respect for yourself nor do the people around you by calling yourself a “whackjob.” I have read your column for a while and I think you still feel the stigma for being bipolar and haven’t come to terms with it yet. Personally, I don’t find much humor in using that word, and by using it, certainly little compassion for those with mental illness. While it’s true I have noticed many with bipolar are gifted with a good sense of humor (maybe they unconsciously work harder at it), “whackjob” is no lesser than labeling someone an “As*****.” I had severe depression at one time in my life and it went into paranoia before I could be medicated. I wrote letters to family members at the time expressing my fears. I saved the emails and later re-read them. I laughed as some of my fears seemd actually funny when I was in a normal state. I never looked at myself as a “whackjob,” and if my family did, then I’d consider them people who did not understand mental illness and hopefully, they would never get it. Please don’t use that word, even in humor, anybody. If one of your children gets manic depression, would you call them “whackjobs?”

  • corrina

    hi ive been diganosed maybe 21 years ago.of manic depressive and bipoler multa personality disorder. ive been through so much ,loss of relationships, loss of marages. my heart hurts cause i know ive damaged my kids in this type of life style. i really try hard to beat this with medicine its hard but then my oldest daughter has bipoler. with manic, personality disorder.we clash a lot it hurts a lot.
    ive felt as my life is nothing and im not being selfish i love my kids to scared of my self when im upset or angryi dont touch my kids but if some one pushes me far i go off .it breaks my heart i want a life im 43 i want to have some one before i say i did have some one that did love me, i ruined every thing eles or i least think i did.

  • Dawn

    To therese Borchard,
    I must object to the title of your video, “Being Married to a Manic-Depressive”, and worse of all, the use of the word “wacko” in your description! To associate the word “wacko” with someone who has a mental illness is degrading, predjudicial, and promotes stigma. Those of us with mental illness to not need any of the above!
    Also, your term “manic-depressive” is one that has been used many years ago. The current appropriate term is “bipolar disorder”.
    In case you’re wondering, I have bipolar disorder. I manage it well on medication, and I am NOT a “wacko”!
    In the future, I urge you to be MORE SENSITIVE to those of us with “disorders” that need treatment and understanding as much as diabetes or heart disease!

  • Anonymous

    I refused to view you video. I lived and loved a bi-polar man for many years. It was often tragic at times, taxing but sad. I refused to watch this video when the title used the reference “whackjob”. That was cruel and inconsiderate to those who have this disorder.
    I feel these men and the author of this article need to research the various types of this disorder and interview those that have it first to get a hand on the hundreds of different ways it affects it’s victims. Then produce a clear precise article that covers the vast different experience of the victims and then their spouses.
    Terry in San Diego

  • Candi

    Theresa I have been diagnosed as bipolar 4 years ago and remarried only 5 years ago. Even now my husband has trouble with my moods. He has never had to deal with someone who has a mental illness and does not understand the multitude on emotions I go thru on a daily bases. I would love to be able to help him understand but just don’t know how. Even though he is completely supportive I wish he could somehow comprehend what it is like to be bipolar. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • carol

    you are so awsome!!! i found out in 97 i was bipolar and married 4 times because i didn’t know what was wrong with me. Now i’m very lucky i married a mna who knows the signs.
    if we can’t laugh at ourselfs i feel like we would go crazy.. I laugh at myself when things get to much because if i don’t i would go into a melt down.
    thank you so much for making us laugh about who we are.

  • Barb in NJ

    I have been diagnosed as manic-depressive-bipolar 20 odd years ago. The first 50 years were pure Hell. With counseling and finally, the right meds, I can almost function.
    I am so upset with the word WHACO and glad that the Video is no longer available for viewing.
    Unfortunetly, this condition can be passed on to the next generation. It can be masked by alcholism, gambling, any kind of addiction. With the proper help it can be manageable, but never cured.
    Choose words carefully. God Bless

  • Joseph

    Sadly, there are some extreme cases of manic depressive disorder where the patient is very destructive in the manic state and suicidal in the depressive state. Years ago society shunned this form of mental illness and most of the ill would try to self medicate with alcohol and drugs.If that did not slow down their mood swings, they quite often were successful in killing themselves. I know because I lost two loved ones to this illness.
    I am glad to see that some of the medicines are working quite well. If only we had a total cure.

  • angel7

    I am appalled by the word Wacko..
    Bipolar is a disease just like cancer, or diabetes.
    Kids are now getting checked for this disorder in elementary school.
    Everyone is afflicted with something.
    With Bipolar you can live a very healthy and normal life….
    Spirituality is important.
    Exercice and sunshine is very important.
    Diet is very important.
    Meds are very important.
    Compliance is very important.
    The list goes on…..
    Thank God I did not have to watch this video.
    Choose your words wisely.
    Blessings, Love and Peace for a healthy and fulfilling life to all who are born with this disease of the mind, body and spirit.

  • Angela Gia Moldovsky

    I was very offended by the term, whackjob! I plan to unsubscribe.

  • Kaye

    I think we have a difference in generation here…wacko is a mild slang…and insiders word. It (for those in the generation removes the serious serious approach. I admire this young woman for attempting to look at
    how the illness and changes affect the life and relationships…mariage or living together etc
    I think it was very important to talk about the spouse/ or in newer terms significant other partner wife husband etc…. That these men have not deserted their loved ones in this current day and age when anything is an excuse to “cut the ties and run” divorce says alot about their character and level of intellegence.
    I am 61 I have a son 28 who at about the age of 22 was diagnosed with “mild” bi-polar. He is dating a very nice young woman; he always tells his longer term dates about being bi-polar. I am very worried about the
    future if he continues to try it on his own without meds and consults.

  • Amy Jo

    I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder a few months back and that video I just watched was very disturbing to me. Us Bi-Polar people DO NOT like being called a whackjob. I find it uncalled for and immature. Trust me people, you don’t want to make a bi-polar person mad. It IS NOT pretty. Anyway, I did find that video tasteless. Think about things before you put things where everyone can see them (like the internet).It really does offend people.

  • Di

    OH, I can’t continue reading…I must comment.
    I like what Mr. Greg McLaughlin was talking about, interesting. What feels to me to be an issue here is that these two men make light of a woman who has emotional intensity. I do not go for this “Whackjob” bs, just isn’t right, though I admit that I refer to self as “maybe I’m nuts, or maybe I’m crazy.” Any and Every time that I say something like this in front of my husband-my Angel, and rock and supply of evenness amidst my own sine wave of emotional intensity, he will immediately tell me-“don’t say that.” He believes in me, no matter what. It “feels” like this video is showing two men analyzing and trying to be “funny” their way of living with a woman and her emotions. Where is the other woman? Didn’t want to show? The men have very good comments, especially if these things work for their relationships. Most important in all cases is communication and education.
    Please, don’t ask my credentials, as I have none. I am quite AMA labeled bipolar, but I like to think of myself as EMOTIONALLY INTENSE and have a very interesting life. I have a support system that can usually spot the signs. I think that’s all I can really say right now.
    But Therese, I do think that there might be call for some kind of helping us to understand that perhaps “whackjob” is simply you and your families “petname” for yall to communicate within your family how yall deal with your situation. (that’s another thing, I don’t CLAIM illness, I simply live in a situation and deal with it. Praise God and wow the awesome Spirituality when you have no one else to turn to, you realize Who is Always There, no matter what.)

  • Di

    oh, and real quick (promise…) did any of you see this in your mailbox below the link to see the video – that is if you use an outside emailbox:
    True healing has more to do with listening and unconditional love than fixing people.
    -Gerald Jampolsky & Diane V. Cirincione
    thought to ponder…

  • Calling All Angels

    To Those Who Were *Hurt By Therese’s Choice
    of One Word…
    I use the word * Hurt, because,
    Anger is Always a Second emotion.
    * Her choice of A word Was directed at Herself; but Touched a Painful Wound in You.
    * Thus came the Second emotion – your posting’s – because;
    Hurt people hurt people.
    Love is forgiving…
    Love is for giving.

  • Veronika

    So much commentary about the use of a word (that W one :)
    What a defensive bunch of depressives. Hey, I’m depressed and so are several of my freinds, but at least we have a sense of humor about it. And taking ourselves less seriously is a goal of ours, especially since it’s a true sign of maturity. Therese, it’s clear you don’t have a martyr complex. It’s clear that you are grounded in a very supportive environment with a strong male/female system. It’s also clear that your identity isn’t a “whackjob” but much greater than that. That’s rare. My hat’s off to you.
    Carry on, you’re doin just fine. I know some wonderful elderly people who have come to the same conclusion as you did…it only took longer.Consider Bipolar the crash course on becoming human and taking yourself less seriously, and finding the humor in all things (some of these posts included).
    Some people really like being victims.
    You’re not one of them :)

  • Di

    I personally thought the video looked “awkward” in behavior. Of course there were no professional actors/actress, but there just appeared to be a submissiveness or a type of “sorry for the way I am” in behavior vs the men, oh, just knowing what to do. But then I remember, being emotionally intense also means that I can have vivid interpretation of things that may or may not be what I believe them to be.
    This is where we can share what works for each of us. It does not mean we have to adopt what works for one, but we can appreciate those who share with us, and learn and take away with us what we think we can use.
    Anger within about something someone else makes light of is only hurting the one who bears the anger. I think though that it might be less compassionate to tune out that some people responded in offense/defense of the term.
    As one post said something about using “whackjob” like a minority term…well, think about it. Really think about just exactly that. We need to be sensitive to all audiences, by first making clear what might be interpreted inappropriately. Some of us are NOT on 80mg of prozac. Some of us have been on prozac for more than 20 years and don’t have that light living feeling that is in the first year. I have a terrific sense of humor. I also have very much compassion and respect and understand and realize that there are words to be chosen properly and there are words to be explained clearly before using them in a huge public venue where there are people at different stages/phases of healing.
    Wow, where did that come from. I know.
    Thank you for reading and listening. I am still all for Beyond Blue. Just giving food for thought. I want no argument or anger. We ban together to create a louder sound-vibrate at a higher frequency, not break apart and go against where nothing gets resolved-nothing good comes out of it.

  • Di

    just a mention to let you peak into the mind of one bipolar, I have realized why I “felt” the submissiveness and such in the video after viewing it with my husband. The silence of Therese, when looking from one gentleman to the other and the fact that the two men were elevated behind her.
    If we were to analyze, one will find out that the elevation is a tactic when not amongst loved ones…etc etc…been there, let’s not relive it. But anyway, this too is part of being bipolar, the feelings that we get triggered by our interpretation of things that others put out there for us-with none of the intention we feed into it. It’s sort of like us in our minds putting intonation on a chat conversation…
    isn’t that too cool
    thanks again!

  • There Is Hope

    Hi (((Candi,))
    My suggestion is go back and look through Therese’s Archives. There may be something in there that will help you.
    Also, if there is someone in the community who has experienced your situation, you Will hear from them.

  • Gabrielle

    I found these videos honest, humorous and enlightening. It takes a lot of courage to become vulnerable in such a public way. The comments that were posted do not appear to be from individuals who took the time to listen to the message before rushing to judgement. I hope the author is not discouraged by the few who found her use of the word “wacko” so distasteful — keep writing, blogging and sharing your personal experience of spiritual and creative growth with those of us you have helped. God bless.

  • We Care About You!

    Hi (((Jean,)))
    It’s very important you talk to your doctor about how your feeling ASAP – Please.
    You are Not alone! Please write back and let us know how you’re doing;
    Because –

  • Di

    I can say from what I understand about Beyond Blue is Therese will do the appropriate thing, whatever that may be-Thy Will Be Done. She has a lot of substance to her. She will also recognize that when the wording of her article comes across this way, as she will be attentive to her readers, she will compassionately respond to each of us with consideration to what we may have felt about this. She will not be discouraged, she is tough and strong and important. Even those who hurt by her choice of adjectives really know that she influences a sphere of people who look to her for comfort and enjoy her writings. As with anything, each of us is responsible for our own feelings, we give others permission to “control” or “drive” them. You may laugh at being called a whacko, or you may cry. It is subjective. It is not in one person’s right or position to tell another that s/he responded inappropriately though. Compassion is part of what makes us human and what can make us a better humankind. Each of us though, decides what we want to sit and stew about, or what we want to enlighten others about. And in saying that, I bet that Therese will agree, each of us deserves to be heard, each of us deserves the respect to feel the way we do, see things the way we do, and we deserve to be supported and helped, in whatever manner that is needed.

  • june

    It seems as though many people posting here have never read Therese’s outstanding, meticulously researched blog or watched any of her honest, raw videos.
    Someone asked “Where is the other woman? {whose husband is in this video} Didn’t want to show?
    Actually, the other woman is Ann, Therese’s guardian angel, and she is quite happy to show her face and to Beyond Blue readers. She is featured in another video on this site, speaking eloquently about her own battle with depression, offering hope and love to total strangers, bravely telling her story onliine.
    We all need all the help we can get. Therese is providing hope, love, advice on coping, and yes, some much needed laughter from time to time, often at her own expense.

  • Di

    thank you for letting me know this about Ann, I sincerely thank you. I am not much on watching the videos for some reason. I completely agree with your final comment there. And I sense the love and hope from Therese’s with the things that I take the time to read.
    Again, I enjoy Beyond Blue. I think we should continue to love and forgive. That’s actually the grand message of this life. quirks and all.
    Thank you june for the info.

  • june

    And thank you for posting that, Di.
    This is a community. We are all here thanks to Therese. And I worry that people are forgetting how much she gives to this community, which she created, each and every day.
    Therese is also a human being with feelings, which she exposes and expresses each and every day, thank God.

  • Corrina’s NEW Waiting Journal

    Hi Corrina,
    Remember, every story has a true beginning –
    but not really an end – just a New Beginning!!!

  • Vicky

    I take offense to you referring to all people with bipolar as whackjobs. My daughter has bipolar and takes her proper medications and is a joy to be around.

  • Madeline

    I’M Bipolar,I don’t like the fact that you called people who have biploar,manic-depressed people whack-jobs. that very unprofessional of you,as I said I suffer with my depression(disease)it’s a job in it’s self I’m on medication which I take everyday. I recieve beyond blue newsletter’s everyday & enjoy them I even made put them into my fav.’s please! be alittle more aware of your choice of words…..

  • Jean

    Lighten up, people! Part of this illness is keeping your sense of humor. That seems to be easier some days than others. I also think that if you can keep the perspective that this illnes is only part of the whole package, that it’ll be easier to regain a sense of normalcy– at least, sometimes. Thank you for giving the caregiver’s point of view. I’m sure it isn’t easy to condense 40 years of marriage into a short video. These are very dedicated and loving people. And no, Therese, you aren’t a “whackjob”. You’re OUR “Guardian Angel” !

  • seeta

    God is the giver of life why worry when god is control give give him a change to work in your life.



  • The Community


  • Cindy Stankula

    Yes, we all seem to have bipolar at times, some more exstreem than others,most of the people I come into contact have been selfmedicating for years. But just admitting we have a problem is the first step in learning to manage the disease.Accepting this is a disease is the next step and sometimes I believe it has been made more prominate by chemical use, alcohol, drugs, and maybe so of the perservatives we have in prosessed foods.But what ever I think, is just my opinion, I’m not a doctor.Taking action would be the last step in doing something about it.By educating yourself on the disease and getting as much information from doctors, counseling, and any other help out there. Thanks for the article. Cindy

  • CLeo

    @ Seeta, Oh, please give us a break from your proselityzing and your platitudes about “God being in control”…the fact of the matter is that regardless of anything, we who suffer from BP have to take matters seriously and grab the bull by the horns, or those around us should, as evidenced in this video. Both those wonderful men are very much aware of their wive’s moods and have learned to anticipate their changes.

  • Harmony

    ALL are welcome here to say what works for them. We are Wounded Healers.
    Let us not wound each other.
    Seeta’s, and everyone, “words” may encourage another in the Community.
    And in the end isn’t that what we are here for.

  • Debbie

    Give me a break I lived with a person with bipolar for almost 13 yrs and it wasn’t easy,I tried for my husband to get help but he didn’t think he needed medication, then when he was on it he went off it, my life was living hell for the past 10 yrs, and had to end it because of his condition, he couldn’t keep a job, and he went on his highs /lows of crazy obsessions.

  • Diana

    Maybe it sounds better during an “episode” to say my brain feels out of whack, than calling oneself or another a “whackjob.” I see a big difference. While many of you defend the humor in the word, there is such a thing as derogatory humor. Therese writes a good column. We are not attacking her, we are attacking her choice of words. There has been nothing wrong with some of us being sensitive about that, and making it a part of the topic up for discussion. Would you feel humored if your doctor told his secretary “Set this whackjob up for another appointment?”

  • Lynne

    Diana: At the risk of sounding a little OCD to boot …I object to the word ATTACK! Are we really that adversarial here? This IS a community HELP blog is it not? Sorry I’m feeling a little raw this morning. I do agree with Harmony however. Let’s keep it positve if possible. I understand the need to vent. What bothers me is the need to “share the pain” to the point of hurting others. BTW I do believe God IS in control of the big picture in spite of our wishes to make it otherwise.(occasionally)

  • Judy

    Hello, and what a great marriage you must have !! That man loves you so much, what a wonderful gift, that is !!
    I am not bipolar, nor am I married to one, however, I have found this website to be inspirational, and so helpful, even in my everyday life.
    Everyone has “stuff” and “stress” and “crap” to deal with. Mental health issues are not to be taken lightly, of course, I think all of us have some kind of mental health issues, to deal with, even those of us not clinically diagnosed. It’s how you deal, that counts.
    Without knowing you personally, without actually dealing with YOUR day-to-day struggles, I can see,by this video, you have a team working with you, that is obviously also working for you.

  • Dee

    Yes, I agree with Diana re: tne comment “whack job” Totally unprofessional.
    For years I have suffered and it is no joke! The deep depression, anxiety, unability to stay on track or make goals only to get side tracked to something else continually. Living one day to the next not knowing in which direction you will be going today, or how to get through the highs and lows. And yes, I have been seeing a doctor and have been on medication for several years but nothing seems to help.
    If there is anyone out there that may be able to help please comment.
    Thank You

  • Anonymous

    May the hurt be comforted.
    My Love abound
    And divisions between us cease
    May we all feel safe and free of fear
    May we see with eyes of Love
    Into all the wounded hearts we meet
    To ease each other’s burden
    Where we can
    And touch each other with words of peace.

  • PegofMar1

    Therese, I wasn’t offended by your use of the “w” word at all. Guess I know you were just being humorous and not taking yourself too seriously. However, after reading some of the serious comments, I now know that each of us has a different temperature gauge.

  • deborah fuller

    I have watched my husband go from fear to terror to anger sadness and nothing I can do so I am now depressed myself .
    I am giving my life to God the best I know

  • DEP

    Watch what you say: “wackjob?”
    It’s very hard for all those people that “have”to be surrounded be us- I know, I wish that was in our power to change – We can only try our best to get by, and it IS extremely hard for US as well as those around us.

  • The BB Community

    ((((((((((((((((((((Deborah Fuller and Family))))))))))))))))))))



  • Tracy

    Dear Therese,
    I just posted then realized that I did not ask you a couple of things that have always puzzled me.
    First, why are you content calling yourself a “Whackjob,” if you are talking of angels and publishing under a religious label such as Beliefnet? Afterall, aren’t we all supposed to be “fearfully and wonderfully made,” according to the Bible? Sorry, don’t know the verse. If you have a problem then fine, but does God want you to demean yourself while your husband laughs? Just a simple question, not meant to be a jibe or anything:)
    Second, I would be really curious and would eagerly read a well-researched article that was done by a learned journalist as yourself about the following:
    Topic- While we hear about doctors cutting of the wrong leg, making wrong judgements all the time… has there ever been ANY patient ANYWHERE in the history of this country who has been diagnosed bi-polar, schizohprenic, manic whatever, incorrectly, proved that they were incorrectly diagnosed and WON a judgement against that doctor?
    Sorry, don’t want to be labeled schizoid for not believing what the crowd believes (George Orwell scares me) but I just never heard of anyone suing a pyschiatrist for wrong diagnosis and WINNING! These folks have it good, folks! No one DARES oppose them!
    And Therese, you may or not be bi-tri-octi-polar, but you sure are a heck of an enabler and it probably sets a heck of a lot of people back!

  • Tracy

    Dear Therese,
    I don’t know why my other comment did not get posted. What has always puzzled me is that no one ever explores vegan diets, good family routines, limited TV, learning to play a musical instrument, food allergies, etc., when talking mental illnesses.
    I mean they take a bum from under a bridge, give him/her a hot meal, warm shower and safe place to sleep for a month plus a bottle of pills. After the month, 99% of the time, the bum is better and smiling. It must be the pills?
    There was a man named Jack Lalane in the fifties. He produced dancercize records much like Richard Simmons and all the diet/exercise gurus do today. He was considered an eccentric and people generally did not buy the records believing in the mainstream thoughts of the time, that overweight was genetic, people were big-boned and other myths. The panacea for overweight all through the fifties and sixties was…you guessed it, pills! Amphetamines killed and injured countless people in their quest to lose weight.
    In the seventies, mass communication allowed intelligent people who were not going to be “zombitized” to introduce healthy diets and exercise into that mainstream thought. At first, the notions were ridiculous because people did not want to change their styles. Then the notions took hold and joggers looked less odd, spas sprang up, and Richard Simmons came along. They changed our outlooks for good and for good!
    We can do it again. We can put together new ideas about “mental illness” and compare this and the mind to a weak muscle that needs to be exercised and challenged. How many mentally ill people regularly go AND PARTICIPATE in their local church? What kind of TV shows do they watch? Porn? Home Improvement? I know someone will say that it is not that simple and I don’t have a doctor’s degree in the subject. They will tell me some people are born with mental illness (big-boned?) and that they just “are that way”…
    But then there was a time when women were too delicate to vote because all that thinking would damage their reproductive system. They could not drive cars because they were too emotional. That was just the truth and that was it. It just could not be any other way. Also, there was a time when mental illness included gays/lesbians. That “illness” is now no longer an illness. Since when did we ever/have the ability to cancel cancer?
    I feel sorry for Sharon in the previous posts. What courage she has. How people must shun her. She feels it like we all would. There but for the grace of God go we. Butchers got her and will never be punished. She sounds sensitive and intelligent with special gifts to give and talents unique. I send her hugs and hope she gets to live near a community who appreciates her and does not browbeat her with her “label,” when she betters them.
    Sharon, try writing your experiences under a pen name. There are publishers who would give you money. Find one. Don’t give up. PublishAmerica is one that won’t charge you to publish. PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP!! YOUR WRITING STYLE IS BEAUTIFUL!! VERY CLEAR AND INTERESTING!
    And Therese…your bipolar may be real but in my opinion you are living some convenient, white, suburban Utopia mental illness where “Daddy” comes to the rescue with anY hard decisions you have to make. Anyone who would make a video like you did obviously has never been brutally beaten by a pyschiatric ward worker/left tied down on bed sores/force fed, etc. Glad you are having a good time trading your dignity for a few handouts from your angels. When they get sick of your puppydog act and start getting really sadistically abusive try using your video to get the police or your insurance company to believe your side of the story.
    Maybe you won’t be in the suburbs anymore, lady. Instead you will be living in a place most of call Reality.

  • Tricia

    Hi Tracy,
    You are a guest in Therese’s and our Home.This home is not a debating one; it is a Helping, Nurturing, Safe and Secure One.
    You are always welcome here if you bring compassion as your house-gift.

  • Tricia

    I LOVE Divine Coincidences! ^I^
    This morning’s reading was about Mahatma Gandhi. He needs no long introduction. Everyone knows about the little man who led the Indian people to independence, in a peaceful way, from the British rule in 1948. But, perhaps, many people don’t realize is Gandhi never held any official post – he was an unofficial hero.
    I wanted to share with you this morning, some of my favorite quotes from Gandhi.
    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
    “If I had no sense of humor, I long ago would have committed suicide.”
    “”Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
    “An eye for an eye only makes the world blind.”
    “See the good in people.
    “I do not wish to see the future, I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”
    ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got a question: is it possible for two manic depressed people to live full, fun, healthy lives and raise normal healthy children? email


    Te best place to get the information you requested is on the internet,

  • Joey

    I have been diagnosed as Bi-polar for 7 years now although I know now I have been all my life. Lately…the pressure of no job, rising prices and constant fluctuation in my ups and downs have weighed heavily on me, my wife and 2 children. I feel the information I have seen so far in the video and blogs will be very helpful. Even though I am seeing a psychologist and MD I am still outrageousley out of control sometime and completley depressed others. I know it is hard on my wife and I hope this information along with the sugggested book will help her.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • blanche

    I loved the video, but while I can alway hear you, Therese, much of the time Dick and Eric spoke too softly, especially when they were not facing the camera, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
    It would be nice if you could re-shoot the video, or blog the contents.
    Hugs, blanche

  • V

    I happen to read Therese’s blog every day. If you do that you will realize that she is not here to offend anyone. If someone knows about bipolar disorder it’s her. She has the illness and helps others by educating them and encouraging them. She is a very kind person. That “w” word does not offend me. I also suffer with bipolar disorder.
    Like someone mentioned, it’s an inside joke. Of course, I would feel offended if it were said by someone who has no clue what bipolar disorder is and said it to demean others. Let’s lighten up folks! :-)

  • susan

    This was beautiful. i wish my ex husband had seen it before he decided he could no longer live with me when I spiraled down.

  • Matthew

    Love this one Therese. Hope you are well. Thinking of you.

  • Lisa Potter

    This is a great blog and I can relate completely.I was diagnosed about four years ago but I have fought this roller coaster all my life and there’s been a lot of times that I just want to get off of it and be a normal person;but I can’t.The depression is the worst of my cycles because I tend to dwell on the stupid things I’ve done when I’ve been manic.I always turn to God for help but sometimes I have a hard time turning everything over to him;but when I do I can finally be at peace with myself.When I’m manic I pray a lot for guidance in harnessing my energy into positive actions so maybe the depression won’t be as bad next time.My New Year resolutions are to try to be the person God wants me to be and to volunteer to help others in need so that I’m not always obsessing about ME.

  • Lisa

    Therese I was reading comments from my extended bipolar family and can relate completely.I was diagnosed 4 years ago and I’m still out of control and it sucks!I have self medicated,drank,cut myself and attempted suicide to get relief from this mess.I avoid friends,family visits and calls because I can’t deal with their crap.When I’m manic I commit to things that I can’t do because depression will take over before I get it done.I divorced my husband 8 years ago after 12 years of marriage and married an prison inmate 4 years ago;not too smart huh?I’ve filed for divorce from him and am currently living with my 1st husband with our 2 kids.My daughter has been recently diagnosed as bipolar and it’s killing me to wonder what her life will be like and I feel guilt for passing this on to her genetically.We either stay up all night talking or crying or sleep as much as possible to avoid it.It’s hard to help when you can’t help yourself;you know?

  • Your Name

    I have bipolar disorder since I was 23 years old. I have learned alot and am very thankful for what it has taught me. I have kept a sense of humor to keep me from taking things myself too seriously. Have a Merry Christmas as best as you are able to enjoy the holidays.

  • Your Name

    I was married for 20 years then divorced. Sadly my dead exhusband commited sucide. I asked him for years to get help he refused, I could no longer live in fear. I feel he was bipolar my question is do bipolars not remember mean things they do such as words or hitting ? He would always say he did not remember. I know he drank alot and I have a good feeling he used drugs also. Any small issue would tick him off it was like walking on egg shells through my life. It’s been 3 years and I am finally feeling better about things. Does anyone feel this is bipolar or more ?

  • a maniac dpressants daughter

    unfortunatly my mothers moods turn into action, and each day i await the phone call that my father is dead

  • Jane

    I have refused to admit that I carry the gene that has resulted in giving so many of my family–extended and otherwise–this horrific illness. With this disease in full swing I sabotage every single decent relationship, job, and healing and I find today that I am just waiting to pass away. Fear and its soulmate, paranoia, dominate my sense of self and I wish with all my heart that I had never been given the responsibility of motherhood. My poor children do not deserve such a vulgar mother, one with both food and alcohol addictions. I cannot recall one happy year in all the years I lived.
    It would be wonderful to be able to trust someone enough to work the 12 steps of AA, OA, FA, CEA-H.O.W. or Grey Sheet. My faith is weak, my heart is broken and my spirit is terribly shaky. I cannot allow this behavior to continue. Any suggestions from you folks out there who have succeeded in treatment and what have you done? Thank you for reading these words.

  • Your Name

    I have been told by friends that I am bi-polar, but I refused to believe, until I have recently been looking back and saw that I have wreacked havoc in my life without any good reason, except that I can not control my mood swings nor my emotions.I now am doing a lot of reading, and I think it is there:written on the wall…and I am a little…no, a lot scared, because those lows are really low.

  • Krista

    I have been bipolar since my teens. I wanted to commit suicide at 17 and that is my biggest struggle. For the last 2 years I have been with my current husband and have not had any episodes. I take Seroquel and Lamictol and those really work. I do fear that when we return back to our hometown (stationed in Hawaii for Army) things will go back to how they were and the people around will push me back into things. I want to read more from you and see what you have to write and how it relates to me.

  • Your Name

    although my husband has never been diagnosed being a nurse i have no doubt that he is bipolar. he will not talk about treatment in any way and after 17 years i am starting to give up. there has also been substance and alcohol involved and sometimes it is hard to distinguish when it is bipolar or a substance of some sort causing the mood swings. i never know from one day to the next if i will be talked to nicely or cursed and belittled. all in all it makes me depressed and some daays i just feel physically ill to the point that i just stay in bed. as he gets older it gets worse. it all seems so hopeless for us both.

  • Bri

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is funny at all. I am dual diagnosis alcoholism and depression and have met many people in therapy and hospitals that are bi-polar. I think that humor really helps, but this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous and I will not be reading this column any more due to this stupid post.

  • Kayla

    I find this post quite funny, but mostly it’s helpful. I think that these men have learned to deal with their wives bipolar condition, as well as even help them, is great. the fact that they can even sometimes see the meltdown coming, is wonderful. I personally know how it feels not to get dressed for days in a row, and realizing I’m not the only bipolar person who does this is very comforting. I think the older man, Dick, I think you said his name was, would make an amazing husband because it seems that he truely understands bipolar disorder, more than any person I’ve met who is not bipolar, other than possibly some therapist or person who studies this type of thing for a living. Still, even better than some of them. I don’t mean to sound insulting to the other guy, he just doesn’t seem to understand it AS much, or isn’t as patient, or maybe his wife is just less manic and he doesn’t have to deal with quite as much. I would watch another video, or read another blog of yours if I happened to come across it. (I don’t really stick with reading any blog or news letter because I either forget, lose interest, lose the website, or just get too lazy to read it.)
    I think this was helpful and has made me feel better and I may even show my boyfriend. Thank you.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.