In many cases, depression has a biological basis, especially when it is the depressive episode of Bipolar Disorder. However, sometimes depression is actually the result of negative thoughts, or faulty thought patterns. Whichever the case may be, negative thoughts will make any depression, or bipolar depressive episode, worse. If, for instance, something bad happens and we tell ourselves such things as, 'I knew this would happen;' 'I'm no good;' or 'Nothing ever goes my way;' these thoughts can send us spiraling right down into a deep (or deeper) depression. We are what we think.

The good news is that we can have control over our thoughts. If we think something often enough, we begin to believe that it's true, whether that thinking is positive or negative. To conquer depression, or at least help in a bipolar depressive episode, we must stop those automatic negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, truthful ones.

Medication is the first-line therapy to help control bipolar episodes. It is directed at controlling our mood swings, the most definitive characteristic of Bipolar Disorder. The goal of any therapy for bipolar is stabilization. There can be no stabilization without control of mood swings; and there can be no control of mood swings without medication. However, medication can be largely aided, at least in depressive episodes, if our negative thoughts can be replaced by more positive thinking.

For one thing, if we can learn to replace extreme thoughts, such as those that contain words such as 'always' and 'never,' we will have a more balanced thought process. Our thoughts will have a more realistic point of view. Instead of thinking, 'I always…' or 'I never…' we can learn to view things as they actually happen. Few situations are ever truly this absolute.

Faulty thought patterns, or distortions of our thinking, will make our bipolar depressions even worse. 'All-or-nothing' thinking, again, like the 'always' and 'never' thinking above, makes us see things in extremes, instead of seeing things as they really are, and will cause our depression to be worse.

Over generalization is another faulty thought pattern. When we over generalize, we take an isolated case and assume that all other cases are the same. Then we are defeated before we even start.

Having a more positive attitude is all about how you choose to see things—how you choose to let events influence you. We all know the expression about 'looking for the silver lining in every cloud.' Those of us with Bipolar Disorder already struggle with depression; we are already masters at taking the good in a situation and turning it into a negative. But we can turn that around if we choose. We can battle that negativity with all the positive thoughts we can, and then our attitude, when we make it a positive one, will be just as effective as the medication we take.