What Lies About Yourself & Bipolar Disorder Do You Believe?

Last Updated: 4 Jun 2019

Our beliefs shape how we think, how we treat ourselves, and how we feel. Which is why it is essential to free ourselves from all untrue assumptions.

What we believe about ourselves, others, the world and life in general is very important. From what we believe comes our way of thinking and from how we think comes our feelings. These lies that we believe easily become emotional impairments that keep us from living and thriving well. Bottom line: if you believe lies, your feelings and your thinking will then lie to you.   But, by replacing the lies with truth one can find a whole new way of thinking and feeling. (Please note, when I am talking about feelings, I’m not talking about mood. There’s a difference between the two.)

Put very simply: Lies we believe cause thinking that isn’t true and ends up causing feelings we should not trust.  We need to be very aware of our feelings, but, cautious of them.  They easily can be coming from thinking that is based on a lie we believe.

By believing what is true, our thinking ends up being detoxed and we can begin to trust our feelings. I’ve found that in my life, if I will but believe the truth, usually my “stinkin’ thinkin’” goes away and my feelings improve. However, there are times when the truth was painful and I had to work through the pain. But, once I accepted those truths and worked through the pain, my whole emotional life, feelings and all improved.

Here’s an example: For years prior to being diagnosed I believed a lie. I believed that I had some kind of flaw, I didn’t know exactly what, but a flaw that if others came to see it in its’ fullness that they would reject me. So, this lie held me in it’s grips and actually was the cause of a manic episode that would bring my world crashing down around myself and everyone else in it.

This “flaw” was the cause to my rage, my almost constant agitation with those who could not keep up with all my creative thoughts and ideas. So, I attempted to hide my flaw. I didn’t want to discuss with anyone around me what was going on inside of me. I was certain that no one would understand me. I feared being judged. I had a flaw that caused a lot of my actions and acting out. It felt as though it was a secret that I had to do everything and anything possible to keep others from not discovering. I called it my “monster”. I so feared rejection and judgment, not being understood, that I attempted to not feel my feelings, nor talk about them with someone else that I simply got sicker and sicker.

A very simple lie: no one will understand, I will be judged therefore I must not talk about what is going on inside of me. Instead I must hide it from everyone. If I had but just realized that the truth was that there were those would understand and there were those who would not judge me, it could have changed the course of my discovery about the flaw, the monster of bipolar disorder. This simple lie that I believed but accepted as truth held me in emotional bondage and contributed to my demise.

So, how do you discover if you believe lies or truth? One way is to work “backwards” from your feelings. In other words, ask yourself why you are feeling the feelings. This question leads you to what you are thinking. Which will lead you back to what you believe.   This is where a therapist is so important. A good therapist can help us unravel our balls of lies, stinkin’ thinkin’ and feelings. A really good mental health peer support group can also make a big difference.

Today I attempt at all cost to know that the truth is and believe the truth. My thinking then flows from that truth which brings about my feelings. My feelings serve as my thinking indicator, which leads right back to what I believe.

What you believe, leads to what you think and how you feel. What you think causes how you feel. Sometimes the truth brings about pain. But, pain not dealt with will end up dealing with us. I’d rather work through the pain.

What lies are you believing?

(By the way, I recognize that this post may seem like it is all a bunch of nonsense and my end up being one of the my worst posts ever!  And this truth, might bring me a little pain.  But, I hope I am believing a lie….:))

About the author
Brad Hoefs is the founder of Fresh Hope, a national network of faith-based peer support groups for those who have mental health challenges and also for their loved ones, with resources such as his podcast, "Fresh Hope for Mental Health." He is a certified Intentional Peer Specialist, and also serves on the State of Nebraska Advisory Committee on Mental Health. Brad was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder in 1995. One of Brad’s passions is to empower peers to live a full and rich life in spite of a mental health challenge. Brad’s blog is “Living Well!” He is the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis. He has a BA in communications and a master of divinity degree. Brad has been married to his wife, Donna, since 1979. They have two adult married children and love being grandparents to the grandkids! He is the pastor of Community of Grace in Elkhorn, Nebraska. He also helped start a website called What I Did to Recover that encourages and empowers those who have a mental health diagnosis to live well in spite of their mental health struggles.
  1. Are there some people who will “never” accept they have a mental disorder?

    My husband’s self lies are so deeply rooted that when we’ve gone to therapy, once the therapist finds a little wedge to get “in” or question his assumptions, he dismisses the therapist as a quack or makes fun of their personal life and says he can’t respect them. 20 years ago one therapist told him to take “walks” when he was having an episode. This works somewhat if he doesn’t walk to a bar. The therapist also suggested meds.. and that’s when he dismissed the therapist!

  2. Very true. However, it’s easier said, than done. At least with me. I’m trying to break through the hardened shell of being a constant Eor as my feelings come from being out of control and the helplessness associated with it. On a side note, I found the perfect bipolar flagship song: Stranger People (Race Banyon Remix) by Doprah.

  3. Pastor Brad,

    Your blog is truthful , but maybe you are being to harsh on yourself. A good therapist is a place to start, but in today’s world many therapist are not experts outside their own field of study–meaning they are not integrated into other branches of medicine, excluding orthodox psychopharmacology. More often then not you will not get the correct information from orthodox psychiatrists who specialize in standard clinical care either. The same goes for general practitioners because they don’t specialize in psychiatric and psychological problems. What I am leading up to is that there are a few psychiatrists who specialize in what has been termed “somatopsychiatry”. It is a doctors such as Sydney Walker, and Richard Hall to name two. This branch of psychiatry is well recognized in literature on scientific medical databases such as PubMed. There are thousands of scholarly articles on medical causes of manic depression, mania, and psychosis. I know because I am researcher and I have data mined thousands of citations. We, know why psychiatrists don’t readily acknowledge this; the medical model and how they prescribe psychopharmacology. There are also hundreds of studies on drug trials for the use of non-psychotropic medications for the treatment of mental disorders based on the treatment aspects o somatic disease. Further, if you think your general practitioner has gave you a clean bill of health–think again–see an Integrative Physician who will perform an agorhythm of tests, and go beyond standard testing. Look for someone that will find the cause of you manic depressive symptoms. You may find you have a host of diagnosed conditions causing manic depression. Nutritional deficiency alone can cause psychosis: remember pellagra of the last century. It is being well recognized gluten and milk peptides can lead to mania. But somatopsychiatry goes beyond this–there are metabolic issues, genetic defects in all types of bodily systems that can be corrected, neurological disease; some people mild basal ganglia calcification, or arachnoid cysts that may be causing problems. Others have had Lymes disease or Toxoplama, or endocrine problems such as hypothyroid. Typically, it’s a combination of less complicated disorders; high or low cholesterol, obesity, sleep apnea, nutritional deficiency, dietary malnutrition, poor diets, allergies, low-T, hormones, etc. There are hundreds of conditions. Psychiatrists often don’t look for these medical problems and psychologists often don’t recognize these problems are the cause of the patients behavior. UCLA college professor George Watson wrote about the chaos of psychotherapy and not recognizing these symptoms in his book “Nutrition and the Mind”. A book that would give you some insight on how many medical conditions can cause psychosis is “Diagnosis of Psychosis” by Cambridge Medicine, Rudolf N. Cardinal. There is an estimated 500 medical conditions in that book know to cause psychosis. Hope this helps, don’t blame your self. It may not be your fault.

  4. I used to think I was like a super human or had angels… I was like special cause things would happen I would walk away unhurt and unscathed ie. Car wrecks and physical fights and over dosing on drugs and alcohol… I could somehow control outcomes of situations with the power of my mind… the things I did to put myself in danger to prove my theories it’s a miracle I’m still here… I can always tell when the manic episode is kicking in because I start taking on more chores or over working myself because I’m super woman… or imagining crazy scenarios or vivid dreams that “normal me” would normally die from but “special me” would live… it’s funny how in my younger days it was dreams and imaginary then as I got older they became real now I’m older I have to consciously pay attention so I’m always prepared before I lose all reality…

  5. Thank you, Brad! This is an extremely insightful post. Sharing such personal thoughts and feelings usually makes us feel emotionally vulnerable. I’m guessing that’s why you think that, to others, it “may seem like it is all a bunch of nonsense and my end up being one of the my worst posts ever!” Your hope in your last statement is true, though… You are believing a lie! IRONY is awesome.

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