How To Manage Bipolar Anger
Brondolo recommends tracking various aspects of your feelings and behaviors on a regular basisalthough she notes that such self-awareness isnt easy once your brain starts misfiring.
Her checklist starts with the basics: Am I upset about something? If so, what and why?
Also consider whether you are feeling anxious, sleeping normally, drinking alcohol, experiencing symptoms of mania or depression, and taking medications as prescribed.
The answers to these questions may motivate you to call your doctor, she says.
If you can head off shifts into mania and depression, related anger responses will also abate, points out Norman Sussman, MD, a professor of psychiatry at New York Universitys Langone Medical Center.
Sleep is one of the most sensitive early markers of a shifting moodeven one night of lost sleep can be a trigger for anger, he adds.
Early interventionchecking for medication adherence, tweaking a regimen, or visiting the therapistmay help stave off a full-blown episode, Sussman says.
Who Experiences Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder usually begins in older teens and young adults, with at least half of all cases appearing before age 25. Children and adolescents, however, can develop this disease in more severe forms and often in combination with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Some studies have indicated that bipolar depression is genetically inherited, occurring more commonly within families.
While bipolar disorder occurs equally in women and men, women are more likely to meet criteria for bipolar II disorder. Women with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly this is called “rapid cycling.” Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck, together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling seen in women. Women may also experience more periods of depression than men.
An estimated 60 percent of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence. It has also been shown to occur frequently in people with seasonal depression and certain anxiety disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder .
Bipolar Anger: A Source Of Embarrassment
Many with bipolar disorder don’t discuss the anger problems that are associated with the moodswings of mania and depression. Why? Because they’re embarrassed that they can’t control it. In an article for BP Hope Magazine, HealthyPlace bipolar consumer expert and mental health author, Julie Fast, describes her battle with anger and bipolar:
“There are many people in jail because of their anger and bipolar behavior. Children who threaten their parents, women who punch a co-worker, or men who pick fights with strangers are common among people who have this illness. We dont discuss it much, because so many people are embarrassed by what they have done. All my life, Ive lived with the embarrassment of mood swings. Indeed, bipolar affects my moods in so many ways that its hard to keep track of what is real and what is caused by faulty wiring in my brain.
In addition to the symptoms of bipolar, there are drugs, including various steroids, that are notorious for causing anger. But no matter what causes the bipolar person to be angry, the question is: How do you deal with a person who’s bipolar and angry?
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Count With Me: Bipolar Disorder & Anger
In a recent blog post, I talked about the difficulties of being a parent while managing bipolar disorder. But one of the most difficult aspects of this is dealing with the accompanying anger, which requires a whole separate discussion. Many people dont know that bipolar mania isnt just a precursor to depression: it also causes angera lot of anger. I have nights where I am super happy, riding the wave of my mania, only to wake up the next morning irritable and just plain nasty, which is the worst way to wake up when you have little ones.
My boys, Jeremiah and Brayden, have seen their mommy at her absolute worst. Ive woken up so angry that Ive snapped at my oldest, Jeremiah, for moving too slowly, yelling and screaming to get him to move faster so we wont be lateas if the ticking of the clock is the true source of my hostility as if its his fault hes five and doing what five-year-olds do. Im guilty of storming off and basically throwing a temper tantrum when my boy simply acts his age. Sometimes Brayden, the baby, will throw a tantrum and fall onto the floor, and I find myself boiling over with anger because I dont know what to do.
I bet youre thinking: Count to ten? Just like I was when I was younger and given this method as a coping mechanism? Does that work for grown-ups? It does, for the most part. It basically gives you a few seconds tonot to cool off, because who cools off that fast?but to pause and think about your reactions.
What Are Warning Signs Of Suicide With Bipolar Disorder
Warning signs of suicide may include:
- Talking about suicide
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
- Worsening depression
- A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
- Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving through red lights
- Losing interest in things one used to care about
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Unusual interest in nationally publicized disasters or suicides
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What Is Bipolar Anger
Normal, healthy anger is not the same as bipolar anger. Anger, like sadness and happiness, is a completely natural response to significant or terrible events. Bipolar anger, on the other hand, is distinct in that it is not always triggered by external circumstances and is more difficult to manage.
When you have bipolar anger, seemingly insignificant events might set off a chain reaction. Little stimuli that may be handled more gently are instead digested through rage. And something that wouldnt ordinarily irritate a person with bipolar rage symptoms could cause them to lash out inappropriately. Emotional meltdowns or angry outbursts could be the result.
As a result, being in a relationship or sharing a home with someone who suffers from bipolar anger can be incredibly challenging. Maintaining healthy communication may be impossible due to the explosive nature of their rage. So, if youre in a relationship with someone who suffers from bipolar fury, keep in mind that no ones life is easy.
- Rerouting Energy By Going For A Run Or A Walk
- Changing Your Mood By Listening To Songs
How Does Someone Stop Self
If you or a loved one has both bipolar disorder and, in addition, self-injurious behavior, it’s vital that you work with your doctor to jointly manage your illness. By keeping your moods in check, you can avoid overwhelming feelings of sadness or anxiety that may lead to destructive behaviors like self-injury. Self-injury in itself is not a symptom of bipolar disorder, but often may be the sign of another co-occurring disorder, such as borderline personality disorder, that requires its own treatment. Psychotherapies that target self-injurious behavior, such as dialectical behavior therapy , remain the cornerstone of treatment for this problem. While medicines sometimes can be helpful for trouble controlling angry or aggressive impulses, including impulses to hurt yourself, medication alone is often not as effective as psychotherapy for managing impulses to hurt yourself.
Some ways to keep your bipolar disorder managed include:
- Seeing your doctor regularly for mental health checkups
- Taking your prescribed bipolar medications every day whether or not you have symptoms
- Staying away from alcohol and illicit drugs that may trigger mood swings
- Finding a therapist you trust and working with this professional on your coping skills some types of behavior therapy can help you learn to deal with emotional distress in healthy ways.
- Following up with your doctor’s recommendations on having lab tests
- Joining a support group and strengthening your family and friend support network
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The changing mood states do not always follow a set pattern, and depression does not always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times before experiencing the opposite mood. Mood changes can happen over a period of weeks, months, and sometimes even years.
An important aspect of the mood changes are that they are a departure from the persons regular self and that the mood change is sustained for a long period of time. It may be many days or weeks in the case of mania and many weeks or months in the case of depression. Shorter periods of mania or depression may be an indicator of more severe episodes in the future but are usually not enough to diagnose a person with bipolar disorder.
The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person and in the same person at different times. Symptoms of mania include:
- Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
- Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
- Rapid speech and poor concentration
- Increased energy and less need for sleep
- High sex drive
Patients with depression can also become psychotic and hear things or have delusions.
Control And Redirect Angry Impulses
If he were to find himself facing that same inconsiderate person at that same gas station today, he says, he would walk away and talk himself down.
You have to learn how to control your impulses and know when they are coming, he says.
Its a process that involves a lot of trial and error, he points outand the results arent guaranteed to work every time. He and his wife are considering moving to a less stressful community to avoid some of his triggers.
Other favored strategies when he feels on edge: playing some feel-good music real loud and hitting the gym.
I do cardio and listen to music, and usually feel a lot better when I finish my work out, he says.
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It Must Be Your Time Of The Month
While it’s true that monthly hormonal changes may affect mood, passing off bipolar disorder as being nothing more than PMS is just wrong. Bipolar disorder also doesn’t discriminate: It can affect people of all sexesnot just those who menstruate. Any person is liable to take offense at this statement, let alone a person with bipolar disorder.
Supporting Someone With Bipolar Disorder
This page is for friends, partners and family who want to help someone with bipolar disorder.
Seeing someone you care about going through the moods and symptoms of bipolar disorder can feel distressing. But you can offer support in lots of ways, while also looking after your own wellbeing.
This page covers how you can:
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What Are The Treatments For Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that requires management throughout a person’s life. People who have numerous episodes of mood changes in a year can be much more difficult to treat. Medication is the primary form of treatment, but the additional use of psychotherapy or “talk” therapy is sometimes recommended to help prevent future episodes.
There are many drugs available to treat bipolar disorder. Proposed guidelines for treatment options are based on the three main phases of bipolar disorder, which include the acutemanic/mixed mood states, acute major depressive episodes, and finally the continuation/maintenance phase. As a general rule, avoiding antidepressants and taking two mood stabilizers has proven to be an effective strategy for most patients.
Lithium is a mood-stabilizing drug. It has proven helpful in controlling mania and depression and preventing depression and manic episodes. Lithium will reduce symptoms of mania within two weeks of starting therapy, but it may take weeks to months before the condition is completely controlled. Thus other drugs like antipsychotic drugs or antidepressant drugs may also be used to help control symptoms.
Common side effects of lithium include:
- Frequent need to urinate
The following are signs of a lithium overdose. Call your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Slight trembling of hands
Listen With Your Heart And Your Head
Lynn writes that your best bet is to get on problems early, keep your cool, and take your childs bipolar-related challenges seriously. Try and do what you need to keep your heart open and see the soul of a very young child in her. She is disabled for the time being. One must be very quiet in ones heart so as to allow the child to express the pain she feels inside. Try to approach the situation with this sense of peace and presence while you maintain the proper boundaries and consequences
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Strategies For Defusing Your Anger
Some strategies that you can use to cope in moments when you are starting to become angry include:
- Taking yourself away from what is causing you to become angry. During this time, you could focus your attention on your body by calmly counting to 10 and taking deep breaths
- Starting an activity you find calming, such as listening to a soothing playlist or reading your favourite book
- Putting your energy to good use. Go for a run, get out your art supplies or even do some baking
- Contacting a trusted family member or friend who will know how to help you at the time
You can also manage your anger symptoms by looking after your health and wellbeing in the long term. Make sure that you are getting good quality sleep, as not doing so can cause your mood to shift. Also avoid drinking alcohol and make sure that you take your medication as prescribed, as this can help to manage your outbursts.
You may also want to look into cognitive behaviour therapy or dialectical behaviour therapy, which can help people with bipolar disorder to understand and manage their intense emotions more effectively. Taking place in both one-to-one and group settings, this therapy can provide you tools that you can use to decrease the intensity of your moods and put a stop to any unhealthy coping strategies that you use to manage these emotions.
Anger And Bipolar Disorder
But, as I said, anger can be linked to bipolar disorder or anger can even be a bipolar medication side effect I know, Ive been there.
And I can tell you that I have no real reason to be angry. Not right now. Not at this moment. Not in my mind. But in my brain? Thats another thing entirely. My brain is very, very angry regardless as to what might be reasonable to my mind. As it stands at the moment, all I can think about it how I am so very, very angry. The anger is coursing through my blood. The anger is emanating from me in sharp, jagged waves. I try to think of other things but all my brain does is say angry, angry, angry.
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Bipolar Disorder And Anger
During a manic episode, a person may experience racing thoughts and intense energy. As other people may not be able to keep up with their chain of thought, bipolar people may get irritable or frustrated. So, while anger may not be a symptom of bipolar, irritability during a manic episode can often be perceived as anger. It may also turn into rage.
Bipolar depression may not usually cause rage, but depressive episodes may lead to people being angry or frustrated with life.
So now that you are aware of what mood episodes are, here are sixteen solutions on how to deal with someone who is bipolar and angry.
Step 1 on how to deal with someone who is bipolar and angry:
Never Put Up With Abuse
This applies with equal force to both parties. The stress bipolar persons put their partners through can be interpreted as a form of abuse. Each partner has the right to set their own boundaries, make their own rules, interpret abuse as they see fit. Ultimately each has the right to leave the relationship if their needs are not being met. If you think you may be a victim of domestic abuse, reach out to a hotline.
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How To Deal With Bipolar Anger
Bipolar and anger come hand-in-hand, and this can be incredibly isolating for sufferers of the condition. Bipolar anger outbursts are much more common during depressive episodes, and they require immeasurable amounts of patience from loved ones. Bipolar anger towards spouses can cause huge strains on relationships.
There are a few things that you can do to better manage your bipolar disorder and anger. Some are easier said than done, but keeping these tips in mind during an episode can make a real difference.
Your first step should be to try and identify what your triggers are. It may sometimes feel as though these emotions appear from nowhere, but there usually is an underlying trigger. Next time you find yourself overwhelmed with bipolar anger outbursts, try to look for a pattern in your behaviour and consider what may have caused it.
An Unrecognized Symptom Of Bipolar Disorder: Rage
Bipolar rage is a waking nightmare for the person in it’s grips and for those in its path. It is uncontrollable, unstable, and unpredictable. With regular anger there’s usually a trigger, something you can pinpoint and go “Ah ha! This is what set them off and this is why it set them off”. With bipolar rage there does not necessarily need to be a trigger, it can show up without warning and is always absent of reason. It chooses chaos, it’s not the individual choosing to lose control. If anything, control is something we’re desperate to have and that desperation only makes our anger more chaotic.
Im grateful for my mothers and my fiance’s love, had it not been for their relentless pursuit to convince me I needed help, I never would have realized I did. This is why treatment should always be a team effort. People suffering with mental illness, especially during acute episodes, need a team of trusted people around them. I heard about ADAA through networking with NAMI and have a great deal of respect for the values of your organization We cannot do it on our own and that is the simple truth. I dont know what advice I could give on what to do or what to say when your loved one is experiencing bipolar rage, what I can leave you with is do not stop trying to get them help. Never stop trying. We need it. We need you.
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