I Understand…

All we want is to be understood.

There is some truth to that. In any kind of relationship there should be a level of trust and a level of understanding. That understanding of one other usually leads to stronger feelings and a closer relationship. For someone with bipolar disorder, that closeness is much harder to achieve than others.

Silver Linings Playbook, screenplay by David O. Russell, follows the story of Pat who has recently been released from a mental institution because of his emotional outburst when he caught his wife with another man. He returns home to his parents to prepare himself to set things right with his ex when he meets Tiffany, a severally depressed widow who is determined to keep Pat in her life. Why? Because they both have problems.

Bipolar is a struggle in itself but dating with bipolar can become an even greater problem. I have a sister who has bipolar disorder and her greatest struggle while dating was staying in control of her emotions when she can feel an outburst coming. “I’m not blind to how I feel and sometimes there is nothing I can do about it.” Family members and friends will often become afraid of what their significant other will do because their mood changes so quickly.

In the movie, Pat is seen beating up some fans at a football game in order to protect his friends. His violence comes on quick and he is often swearing at Tiffany to go away or leave him be. Tiffany, unlike others in the film, doesn’t cower in fear. Instead she dishes it right back and as a result we see their relationship blossom.

This movie is a beautiful story of how hope and love can be found for those who think they are all alone in this world. Pat and Tiffany share many experiences and emotional coasters together. They understand and complete one another’s challenges and triumphs. In the end we see, that these two are not defined by their disorders but rather what they strive to become.


“The only way you can beat my crazy was by doing something crazy yourself. Thank you. I love you.” -Pat


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