Are you happy? No matter your answer, you might be asking the wrong question. Is happiness an emotion, a state of being, a destination, or an achievement? It turns out that happiness is not as cut and dry as we’ve been led to believe.

Listen as Gabe and Dr. Nicole answer the surprisingly nuanced question: “Can people with bipolar disorder be happy?

Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, “Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations,” available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

He is also the host of Healthline Media’s Inside Mental Health podcast available on your favorite podcast player. To learn more about Gabe, or book him for your next event, please visit his website,

Dr. Nicole Washington
Dr. Nicole Washington

Dr. Nicole Washington is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she attended Southern University and A&M College. After receiving her BS degree, she moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to enroll in the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a residency in psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa. Since completing her residency training, Washington has spent most of her career caring for and being an advocate for those who are not typically consumers of mental health services, namely underserved communities, those with severe mental health conditions, and high performing professionals. Through her private practice, podcast, speaking, and writing, she seeks to provide education to decrease the stigma associated with psychiatric conditions.

Find out more at

Producer’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Announcer: You’re listening to Inside Bipolar, a Healthline Media Podcast, where we tackle bipolar disorder using real-world examples and the latest research.

Gabe Howard: Hi everyone. My name is Gabe Howard and I live with bipolar disorder.

Dr. Nicole Washington: And I’m Dr. Nicole Washington, a board-certified psychiatrist.

Gabe Howard: And today we’re going to be talking about happiness. And I know the title of this or the description of this is some sort of can bipolars be happy? And it sounds so stigmatizing. But here’s the thing. The question came from the bipolar community. People living with bipolar disorder want to know if they can be happy. This isn’t some, oh, why do people think we can’t be happy? Yeah, the we in that is people living with bipolar disorder. And I’m not surprised by this because I wonder all the time if I can be happy.

Dr. Nicole Washington: So you in general don’t feel like you’re happy or have the ability to be happy?

Gabe Howard: No, I don’t feel

Dr. Nicole Washington: Okay. Okay.

Gabe Howard: That I can be happy at all. It’s this elusive thing

Dr. Nicole Washington: Okay.

Gabe Howard: That evades me constantly.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Do you have a definition of what happiness is to you?

Gabe Howard: See, therein lies the problem. No, I have no idea what happiness means, what it is. It’s this elusive concept that people are constantly talking about and asking me, Are you happy? Are you happy? Are you happy? And I. I want to say yes. I often feel like it’s no and when it really comes right down to it. No idea. No idea of what happiness is, what it means to me. I just know that apparently, it’s really, really important.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Okay. I mean, it is important, I’ll give you that. It is quite important. But what is more important is for you to know where you’re going. If you get in a car and just drive. How will you, I mean, you know how many miles to our destination? I don’t know, because I don’t know where I’m going. Which way do we go? I don’t know, because I don’t know where I’m going. It’s the same thing. It’s like, well, I want to be happy. But what has happened is to look like. Like, what is it feel like? Because what you might find is that your idea of what happiness is could be quite unrealistic. So we need to make sure once we get you to define it, we need to figure out is it a realistic goal or not? Right?

Gabe Howard: Dr. Nicole, I’ve been through years of therapy. I have a lot of Dr. Nichols in my wake, and one of the things that I learned is that happiness is an emotion, and we have this whole range of emotions. And while we’re familiar with happiness we’re also familiar with sadness. And we’re familiar with boredom and we’re familiar with this whole spectrum of emotions. But happiness is the only one that’s tagged as a destination, right? Are you happy? And it also makes it sound like you have to arrive there and stay. And if you leave, you’ve done something wrong. Whereas if you’re sad, are you sad? People are like, Oh well, give it time. Time heals all wounds. You’ll transition out of sadness and you won’t be sad anymore. But when you’re happy, people are like, Oh, you unlocked it, you achieved it, it’s there. You can never leave. And then the moment that you do, you think you’ve done something wrong. And that’s how I felt. People told me that happiness was the destination and that I should stay at that destination. And every time I would just have a normal emotion, boredom, sadness, any other emotion. I immediately thought, well, I did something wrong. And then I got another emotion, guilt, shame, and and that is how I perpetually lived my life until somebody said, you know, the goal is not happiness. You know that, right? And I was like, No, I had no idea. I had no idea. What is the goal? The goal is stability. The goal is to be content. The goal is to be standing on a foundation that you feel comfortable with and believe that when anything happens that it’s only temporary and you know the path out. And I’m like, that was not my understanding, Not my understanding at all.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Yeah. Who’s happy all the time? I mean, honestly, I’m worried about someone if they are happy all the time. If I see somebody and every single time I see them, they’re happy. My flags are going up for other reasons. I’m concerned. Nobody is happy all the time.

Gabe Howard: For those of us who live with bipolar disorder, if you’re happy all the time, it could indicate mania or hypomania or at least the path. There is something that you need to worry about. But but honestly, Dr. Nicole, I would really feel that those people are in denial.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Nobody can be happy all the time, and they’re probably ignoring warning signs. And when you ignore those warning signs, they don’t just go away. Right? If you’re happy all the time, you’re you could be delusional. You could have psychosis. You could, like I said, be heading to mania. It really seems symptomatic to me if you are happy 100% of the time, something, something’s

Dr. Nicole Washington: Yeah.

Gabe Howard: Going wrong.

Dr. Nicole Washington: But if you feel like happiness is the goal, and if you feel like happiness, it’s what people want from you. You’ll fake it till you make it right. Like you’ll get in social settings and you’ll pretend to be happy even when you’re just in an even keel stable state. You’ll pretend to be really happy because that’s what people like to see. And let’s face it, we are very, very uncomfortable with people not being happy around us. So even if someone says, Hey, how’s it going, you’re not going to be the one at the party to go. Well, to be honest with you, I’m a little down because this happened and that happened. So you just say, Oh, I’m great. And then you pretend to be the life of the party because you don’t want everyone to see what it is that you’re hiding.

Gabe Howard: On one hand, social norms are a good thing, right? They let us know how to behave in any given situation. For example, if you show up at your buddy’s father’s funeral and you’re like, Hey, buddy, how you doing? This is awesome. And they’re like, Oh my God, why are you behaving this way? And somebody is like, Well, I didn’t know. I didn’t know there was normal behavior for a funeral. And so you see where I’m going with that, right? We

Dr. Nicole Washington: Yes.

Gabe Howard: Want to act appropriate in situations, and especially for those of us who live with bipolar disorder. Maybe we aren’t sure how to act in given situations because, well, bipolar disorder just really doesn’t care about social norms or etiquette or politeness. And in this way, I think there is a protective factor in the I’m fine, right? How are you? I’m fine. Maybe you don’t want to share with that person. Maybe you don’t want to make it about you. I mean, could you imagine if you show up at your buddy’s wedding? He’s like, Oh, I’m so glad to see you. Gabe came in from out of town. How are you doing, buddy? Well, you know, I’ve experienced a lot of, like, really deep depression lately. I’ve been seeing a therapist. You know, suicidality was on the table for a while. I was. I went to an outpatient program. I really think I’m on the uptick, but, I mean, and the guy’s just looking at he’s like, what? This is my new bride.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Right.

Gabe Howard: But I want to touch on also the fake it till you make it for a moment, I. I have a love-hate relationship. I do think that there is value in that statement. If you’re in the right place in the path.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Okay, so what if the person is stable? Because that’s where I see that be more of an issue. Because when a person is in a stable place, haven’t been in the hospital, I can go through all the questions of depression and hypomania. They’re giving me nothing. But they tell me, well, I’m just not happy all the time. And I’m having to like, really fake it, you know, in social settings because I don’t want people to to know they don’t want them in their business. Right. Because if you have bipolar disorder and you say, Oh, I’m sad, nobody thinks to ask you, oh, well, what happened to make you sad? They just assume that you’re hitting a depression and that some something big is coming. And sometimes you’re also scared that something big is coming. So you feel stable. And if you feel happy, you’re like, Oh my God, is that a manic episode coming? If you feel sad, then I see people say, Well, I don’t know, am I getting depressed? Do you think I’m depressed? I don’t feel depressed. Like I don’t know what’s going on. And so I see that all the time. But the hard part, I think, for me is getting people to accept this wide range of emotions. And you’re right, there are some social settings where faking it is okay, because we don’t want to ruin our buddy’s wedding with all of that and then follow it up with.

Dr. Nicole Washington: But it sure is good to see you. I mean, you’ve kind of you’ve kind of ruined the moment at that point, right? Like you’ve ruined it. It’s. It’s done. The bride is mortified. The the groom doesn’t know what to say. Nobody knows what to say. I get in those situations where you would fake it. And I think that’s okay, because when we care about people and the moment is huge, I think it’s okay to to put on that face sometimes. If you are genuinely sad, though, I do think we should do something about that and not just let that be where you are, But then happiness, like you said, it’s this, it’s this big like destination. It’s like Disney World. Everybody is like, Oh my God, I’m so happy and this is great, but nobody’s happy. We’ve said that. Nobody’s happy all the time. What I typically do with my folks when we get to this point is we talk about and we really define what would be different in your life if you were happy. All like, what would be different? What does that look like?

Gabe Howard: As I’m listening to you talk about how we share our emotions with other people, I think about talking to my parents and when I was really, really sick, I hid things from my parents. I didn’t want them to know certain things. I didn’t want them to know I was struggling. I didn’t want them to know that I woke up in a strip club basement. I didn’t want them to know that I was contemplating suicide. I didn’t want them to know that my wife left me or was thinking about leaving me or that I spent all my money right. I didn’t want them to know. And there was a protective factor in this. I didn’t want to be lectured by them. Right. I didn’t want them to tell me I was bad. I didn’t want them to be ashamed. I didn’t want my mom to say, I raised you better than this. I didn’t want my dad to say, What’s wrong with you? Why are you doing this? This is not the behavior of a good man. I didn’t want any of that. But even during that time, obviously, I didn’t tell my parents about my sex life. Right. And there’s a difference. I wasn’t doing it because of the fallout, the consequences.

Gabe Howard: And I think that’s a really good example because we have to decide why aren’t we telling people? Is the reason we’re not telling people a very reasonable reason, like not talking to your parents about your sex life? Or is it based in shame, fear, consequence, outcome? And once we can decide that, I think that’s an important skill to learn. And if you don’t have that skill, I think that’s a good skill to work on in therapy. What information are you hiding? And more importantly, why? Why are you hiding that information?

Dr. Nicole Washington: So our destination needs to be a place of contentment, a place of fulfillment which does not always look like happy all the time. I love what I do. I love being a doctor. I love being a psychiatrist specifically. I can’t think of any other branch of medicine that would give me this level of fulfillment. Am I happy all the time? Heck no. I’m mad because folks are cussing me out and thinking I don’t know what I’m talking about or getting upset because I won’t give them a certain medication that they want or not agreeing with my opinion as a professional. I get frustrated those days. I get frustrated with the system and everything, but at the end of the day I might be angry, but I’m still fulfilled because I know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I can see the value in what I’m doing and I’m very fulfilled in what I’m doing, despite the fact that I may be angry that day, or maybe something happened to me and I felt sad. Maybe I had a loss. wI recently came upon the one-year anniversary of my father’s death, and it was a sad couple of days, right? I was sad. I felt sadness. But I was on a trip celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday, and I was also able to feel happiness. And throughout that whole thing, I still felt fulfilled because I felt like I had a relationship with my father that I can be proud of. I was there celebrating my friend. I still felt fulfilled through all of those things. And that’s the space where I hope to help people get to because that’s not a space that we’re comfortable with.

Gabe Howard: I’m glad that you brought up that it can be two things, because I believe that many of us were raised to believe that you can only have one emotion at a time. Right? Let’s just say you can be happy, you can be sad, you can be bored, you can be, but you can’t have multiple emotions. I really think that that your example is incredible because you are mourning the loss of your father and you are remembering your father. And of course, that has grief, that has sadness. You are understandably upset at the loss. And everybody listening gets that. But you’re also celebrating your friend’s 50th birthday party. So you were excited. You were happy, You were thrilled. You were you were sharing in your friends success as well. Right. There’s and it sounds like you were doing a lot of really, really cool things. So you were also happy. And for many people, those two things but against each other, they’re like, Well, you’re not giving 100% to your friend, so therefore you’ve done something wrong. Well, you’re not truly grieving or honoring your father, therefore you’ve done something wrong. And the reality is it’s humans are complicated. We’re complicated emotional animals. And you can be two things.

Gabe Howard: You can both be sad at the loss of your father and thrilled to be with your friends. And I think more people need to understand that on even smaller levels, you can be ticked off that you got cut off in traffic and you can be happy that the McDonald’s French fries are still warm when you got home. And I sincerely I bring that up because I think many people living with bipolar disorder are derailed by this. We go through the drive through, we pick up our fast food, we get cut off in traffic, we get home. And it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Well, I’m not going out anymore. These French fries are what I mean. I guess the French fries are fine, but whatever they we don’t find it. We just don’t find it, right? We don’t have this Zen theory.

Dr. Nicole Washington: You know, I don’t know that you’ll want to be unhappy, right? I think it’s more along the lines of I’ve been here before. I’ve been to this place. And when you have bipolar disorder, it’s hard. What I’ve seen in my patients is it’s really hard for them to figure out that everybody goes through this. I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I in that one day experienced a wide range of emotions, whereas if I did have bipolar disorder and I experienced that wide range of emotions, somebody might say, Did you take your meds? Are you are you okay? Are you having an episode? Or I myself might think, Man, I was so angry. And then that one time I was manic, I was really angry. Am I going to get manic again? And that fear kind of sets in. That makes you think, Oh, my gosh, here we are again. Like that negativity of of having the illness and knowing what that’s like. So it’s a lot of education, just educating people with bipolar disorder that you’re still human. And like you said, you’re still capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions across a day because let’s face it, life is kicking our butts right now and for the past couple of years. So we’re experiencing all these negative things and then you have a moment of happiness and then something else happens and you’re like, Oh my gosh, when’s the next bad thing going to happen? That’s just how we’ve been programed. So if we can learn to celebrate the good times and work through the not so good times and know that that’s just part of you being alive and breathing and not necessarily part of your illness, like we have to define this stuff.

Sponsor Message: Hey everyone, my name is Rachel Star Withers and I live with schizophrenia. I’m also the host of Inside Schizophrenia, a podcast that dives deep into all things schizophrenia. Featuring personal experiences and experts to help you better understand and navigate schizophrenia, Inside Schizophrenia is a Psych Central and Healthline Media podcast and we are available right now on your favorite podcast player. Check us out!

Gabe Howard: And we’re back. Can people with bipolar disorder be happy? We’re discussing it. I’m really glad that you define self-fulfilling prophecy as not something that we’re doing intentionally. Because I think that’s why many people like myself reject it. Like, well, you’re just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s what I heard over and over and over again. And I’m like, I’m not intentionally doing anything. So you know what? Yeah, I, I used four-letter words. Dr. Nicole. But here’s the thing. I was accidentally creating this self-fulfilling prophecy. And even with all of my therapy, even with hosting this show, even with all of the people I talked to, I still find myself doing it. Recently, I had the really good fortune to speak at Oxford University, and I’m really, really proud of myself for doing that. The pride, thankfully, never went away, but the excitement did and the credit did, and almost in record time. I did this thing and I was it was. I just can’t explain how amazing it felt to do. But I immediately was like, Well, I probably wasn’t their first choice. And Well, yeah, but they just wanted an American, right? And any American would do. They just wanted to say that they were global. Well, the pandemic probably made a lot of better choices not want to travel. You know, it was near Thanksgiving, right? It was near Thanksgiving. So other people weren’t available. I mean, who are they going to get near Thanksgiving? And you have to be desperate if you’re willing to go to Oxford at Thanksgiving. And it just it was amazing to me how quickly I went from what an honor it was to be selected to.

Gabe Howard: Well, there’s got to be an asterisk on this. And I did it to myself. And when I say self-fulfilling prophecy, that’s what I mean. I wanted to find a way to turn this experience negative because it was a protective factor. It was a comforting factor. It made me feel better and it protected my worldview that the world is shitty to Gabe. And that’s a problem because here’s an example of where the world was actually nice to Gabe. And instead of putting that over on the Hey, the world was nice to Gabe column, I found a way to even turn that into something negative, which of course doesn’t make me happy, doesn’t make me feel content, doesn’t make me feel fulfilled. And I did it to myself. And I just want to use that example for everybody because again, I really think if we were being honest, if we really did a true pro and con list about many of the things that we’re unhappy about, there may be more pros in there. And as you said, we can’t let one con move the whole thing over into the well, I’m not happy with this. The whole thing sucks because and here’s, here’s the money, everyone. There is a negative in everything. In every single thing. You will be able to find it. And frankly, it’s not hard. It’s not hard to find the negatives in things because everything has one, 100% of the time. Always. They’re glaring. They’re there.

Dr. Nicole Washington: They are there. And I also think it’s important to remind everybody listening, this is not exclusive to people who have bipolar disorder. And I always come back around to this. I want you to know that there are people dealing with a variety of illnesses who find themselves in these same spaces that have nothing to do with their particular illness, and they just find themselves there. So again, I just want to remind you, you are human people with human experiences. It’s just that maybe your experiences have been a little different than other people’s. You know, a good example of that is I have a I have a have a pacemaker that I got in my twenties, and I can’t tell you that, you know, if I get a weird feeling or kind of fluttery feeling, it would be very easy for my brain to go to a place of, Oh my gosh, something’s wrong. It’s not working. You’re going to die. Like it’s not going to work like you need it to. That’s going to be bad for you. It is not hard for a person’s brain to go there. But then it requires me to say, Hmm, okay, you get your checks done every three months. You do these things, you do home checks, you go into the office, you’ve not had any weird symptoms. It’s probably just some strange sensation.

Dr. Nicole Washington: After I first got it, though, let me tell you, I would have been going down the train of. Oh, my God, something’s wrong. I’m going to die in my sleep. I’m not going to be here to raise my kids like I would have gone to the very, very worst possible scenario which could have drug me into a state of severe anxiety. And earlier on I did have a lot of anxiety, but it could have continued to drag me down to that space. So just like you, when you get that moment of sadness or anger, if you say, oh my gosh, the depression is back, this is going to suck for me because things always suck for me. You’re just going to drag yourself down into that. And that is why it’s important to have that therapist like Gabe talked about and a good relationship with your psychiatrist, the person who’s managing your medication, because that can be who you ask, Am I depressed? Is this is this hypomania? I’m not sure. Am I just happy? That’s when you talk through those things because we need to get people to a space of recognizing that happiness is fleeting. It does not last ever. And if you think that other people’s happiness is always going, it’s because you have a skewed view of them and what you see of them.

Gabe Howard: I love that you brought that up, because I really think that social media is a very glaring example of where we only see positives and never see negatives. When I first started as a as a I guess I’m an influencer now, I don’t know why I’m making fun of the thing I do for a living. But I’m a social media influencer, I’m a podcaster, I’m a speaker. I don’t know, but I’m on the Internet and I’ve been on the Internet for a long time. I opened up my Facebook account well over ten years ago and I started talking openly about living with bipolar disorder. And I’ve done it, you know, on Twitter, Instagram, not TikTok. I haven’t made my way over to TikTok, but I, I, I was proud of myself for putting out this positive content into the world about living. Well, in spite of this, this horrible, horrible illness. And time went on and I started meeting people who followed me and they said, I want to be like you. I want to be symptom free. I want to be like you. I, I want to put my bad days behind me and only have positive ones. And I was like, What is happening here? Who? Who the hell told them I was symptom free? Why? What do you mean, no bad days? What? Who have you been talking to? They’ve been talking to me.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Right.

Gabe Howard: I did it. I was so, so desperate to put out positivity in the world to balance out the. The crisis, the bad news, the horrific stories that we hear that I accidentally left in these people’s minds that 100% symptom free, zero bad day bipolar disorder recovery was possible. And that was a huge mistake and not one that I even did on purpose. People love to sell social media stories about, well, it’s curated and they’re lying and they’re only showing you what they want. And like it’s malicious. Mine was accidental, but make no mistake, accidental or malicious, the end result was the same People who were following me thought that it was real and it was not. And while I generally don’t like people to assume things because I think that’s dangerous, I do think that a reasonable assumption is that most everyone living with bipolar disorder, even in recovery, are going to have those really bad days. It’s really unrealistic to think that you will ever get to a point where for your entire life you will be symptom free. That’s not reasonable. And it can also affect your happiness, quite frankly.

Dr. Nicole Washington: Yeah, it can. And I don’t even think that most people with bipolar disorder are comparing themselves to other people with bipolar disorder. I think they’re comparing themselves to the people that are on their Instagram feeds and Facebook feeds and other social media platforms. They’re comparing themselves to them. So when they see that happiness, they’re like, I want that. I want that right there. I want that in a size medium just for me. I want that level of happiness right there. But even those people typically are only showing you their highlight reels. So it is not even fair to you to compare your total lived experience to someone’s curated highlight reel that your random neighbor who always looks very happy. You have no idea what’s going on in that random neighbor’s house that could have been take number five and the first four were hideous and terrible. And there were children with snotty noses and yelling and all kinds of things. So I think it’s important to remind yourself that you need to compare yourself to someone similar to you in your situation. You can’t compare your mood state or your inability to reach happiness if it really is an inability to someone who doesn’t have the illness or doesn’t have a mental health disorder at all. I think that’s where the problem sometimes comes in.

Gabe Howard: It’s Photoshop, right? I think everybody understands the concept of Photoshopping a picture. Most people I really do believe understand that you can’t look like the person on the model. You can’t look like the model on the cover of the magazine. They’re well lit. They’ve Photoshopped. They’ve paid a photographer who is some of the best fashion photographers in literally the world took that picture. And all of those things come together and people are like, Yeah, yeah, they don’t even look like that. They looked like that for literally a nanosecond. And then they were able to, you know, carve off that little weird piece of skin that was hanging out or that that that facial blemish got nice and smoothed out and forget about the facial blemish being smoothed out by Photoshop. There’s makeup for that. Dr. Nicole And everybody understands that. We have to understand this over in the bipolar realm, because if we are comparing ourselves to other people, that’s a really bad idea. Now, that said, I’m about to give you advice about how you should compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself to the right people. Find that good friend. I am very fortunate in my life to have a couple of people who I can really, really share my emotions with and say, Look what what’s going on? I’m going to go back to my Oxford University example. The my my best friend was with me and she looked me right in the eyes and she’s like, What are you doing? Why? Why are you shitting all over this moment? You’re ruining it.

Gabe Howard: And she was right. And now I’m not suggesting that you find somebody who talks to you like that. You’ve got to, you know, match up your personality. You that that works for me. It might not work for other people. I just. I want to be very, very clear. My friend is not abusive. That’s just the way that we talk to each other, but sincerely find that person who can be honest with you and call you out and will tell you that, yeah, your your emotion doesn’t fit what’s happening. You should be really happy and proud and excited. That’s what she said to me. She said it in different words, but that’s what she meant. And it did. It helped snap me out of it. It helped me look around and be like, Yeah, you’re right. And that helped me enjoy the moment. I that’s what I mean by you’ve got to find these people that you can compare your emotions with so that you can get that baseline and you can understand when maybe you’re aberrant and you don’t have to wonder. That’s the thing for me, Dr. Nicole, I spent so much time thinking I was different. I spent so much time thinking I was wrong. I spent so much time thinking that I was bad and I spent so much time thinking that I wasn’t in recovery because I had something else to achieve. And what I really found out through a lot of therapy, a lot of support groups, a lot of experience, a lot of time, and a lot of being called out by friends who I trust is I was really pretty much there the whole time. I just didn’t acknowledge it because I didn’t know it.

Dr. Nicole Washington: And just like Gabe said, if you are having a hard time figuring out if you’re there, do some reality testing with your people, with your doctor, your therapist, you’re really good friends who are going to tell you like it is whether you want to hear it or not. Do some testing with those people. Plug in a little bit gauge, see what’s going on. Check the temperature among the people who love you and go from there.

Gabe Howard: So, Dr. Nicole, we want to answer the question that we asked at the top of the podcast. As a board-certified psychiatrist, is it possible for people with bipolar disorder to be happy?

Dr. Nicole Washington: Heck yeah, it is. It is possible. It is possible. It is possible. Just define it first, make sure it’s a realistic goal and then you are off. Off to the races.

Gabe Howard: Dr. Nicole, thank you so much. I love hanging out with you. My name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations.” You can get the book on Amazon because, well, everything is on Amazon. But here’s a super secret thing. If you go to and buy it there, I’ll sign it for you and send you some swag.

Dr. Nicole Washington: And I’m Dr. Nicole Washington. You can find me on all social media platforms @DrNicolePsych see all the things I have my hand in at any given moment.

Gabe Howard: And Dr. Nicole and I are both public speakers who travel nationally. If you want information on that, just head over to our websites and it’s all right there. Listen, we need a favor. Wherever you downloaded this podcast, please click, subscribe or follow. It is absolutely free. And here’s the biggest favor we don’t have like a super big advertising budget. It’s exactly $0. But what we do have are all of you, please share the show, bring it up in a support group, email somebody, send a text message, put it on social media, pull somebody aside. Be like, Hey, I know this really cool bipolar show. You should check it out. It’s called Inside Bipolar. Sharing the show is absolutely how we grow. We will see everybody next time on Inside Bipolar.

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