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01/16/2012 02:55 PM

I think I found my biggest trigger, now what?

Posts: 140

So I think I've figured my trigger of all triggers. The one trigger that controls them all and that trigger is helplessness. Specifically it's being confronted aggressively when I can't (a) punch (or even backtalk/go off on)the person acting aggressively towards me in the face or (b) simply leave/run away from the situation until I can return to it calmly.

What it boils down to is that someone triggers my flight/fight response when they act either aggressively or controlling towards me and I'm not allowed to get away or fight back due to the other person being in charge/in power and because there's social or some other types of restraint that don't allow me to. It makes sense when you think about how even normal brains respond to being placed in a flight or fight situation. Placing a bipolar in that state and then blocking all the exits to take flight and legally/socially forbidding fight is bound to lead to problems.

Which brings me to... now what I do? How on Earth can I avoid this? I don't think I can completely. And I don't know how to get myself together when I'm not allowed to "take flight" from a situation long enough for me to gather my composure. Any advice? Help?


01/16/2012 05:04 PM
Posts: 354

I have the same issue and it took a long time for me to figure out how to handle this. I was never one for punching but I'd get in their face and not back down till either someone was leaving or begging for forgiveness. If a manager/supervisor is attacking you then it's him/her being a bully and no one should take that. If this happens in a work place and the business is not small then there are people to talk to. get some proof or witnesses and move forward.

I have found over the years that people that are super aggressive when they complain or "find a hair in their food" really hate nice people. Now I am very aggressive and backing down is not an option for me but I have found alot of pleasure in "nicing" people....I get so nice to these people that they are totally taken off their feet and they go into flight mode.

It's not easy to do and trust me when I say that it wasn't done overnight but alot of my friends are totally amazed that I can be so mean one second and then so nice to the meanest person in the room.

01/17/2012 03:06 AM
Posts: 16594
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I used to get that feeling and I'd blow up at the person. That left me with guilt and embarrassment. Now that I take medications, I am more calm. If I were in a situation where I felt I couldn't get away, I'd tell them that I need a few minutes and leave so you can calm down. It got to the point where I would audibly tell myself stop, walk away. Are they physically blocking you from leaving or do you just feel like you can't leave the situation? If they are blocking you from leaving that is not right at all and the issue needs to be looked into. I don't know if you are talking about work, a relationship, friends or what, but you should always have the freedom to walk away from the situation to gather yourself. I hope that this can be resolved calmly. I'm sorry you are going through this.

01/17/2012 05:23 AM
Posts: 42707
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Try role playing with someone so you can help yourself develop the self talk you need to calm yourself and get through that kind of situation. I face things like that at work sometimes in dealing with the public. Sometimes I have to face an angry customer and I have no choice but to deal with them. I am the one who has to try and calm them while inside I am shaking like a leaf and want to flee. They are trying to control me in a sense with their anger. What I have learned to do is to allow them to get it out and not take it personally so the fight or flight feeling doesn't take over and to identify exactly what it is they really want, which is someone to listen to them and their problem. From there I can do something about it. I don't if that helps or not.

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