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03/31/2012 09:37 PM

I hate it when.....

Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16594
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I'm an Advocate

people see someone really, really angry and they say, "He/She must be/have bipolar".

Just because someone is really angry doesn't mean they have a mental illness. People get mad and don't have bipolar. People are so ignorant to what it really means to have bipolar. Anger is just one of the feelings we "may" feel. They have no clue usually that depression is involved and mania. They believe what the media and movies portray. No news crew has ever shown up at my place wanting to show how normal I live because I'm stable. They go after bipolar people that don't take medications and act crazy. That's not all of us by any means. This is why I tell people when I meet them and start getting to know them after we have talked in conversation that I have bipolar. I explain that when a person with bipolar get the right medication, they are more level with not many ups and downs. I explain that there are different levels of functioning that we have. Some are debilitated by this illness, some are in the works getting their medications right, and others are stable. I explain that in order to have bipolar, there has to be mania AND depression. Along with that a lot of the times anger can be involved. I'm not telling you to come out and tell everyone. I am telling you why I do it. People don't know what they have never been educated about. They assume and assumptions we all know can lead to trouble. That trouble for us is stigma.

What are your thoughts on someone saying the above in quotes at the top of the discussion?

An example of what people think is below:

bipolar

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04/01/2012 08:09 AM
dugg
dugg  
Posts: 247
Member

you've asked a good question, Joy...

my first reaction in one of intense frustration. having been through the diagnostic process (fortunately with a GREAT doctor) and the meds journey...

and like so many others here, having invested hours and hours over the years to learning more about BP and side effects and the other aspects of medicated life...

never mind actually living with this synaptic situation every day....

it's hard to see something so profound being so trivialized, which is what i think this comment does. it's much the same as the comments many of us are familiar with from the "i get depressed too/ i know how you feel" school. people read a magazine article, or see someone talk about BP on tv for 5 minutes and they think they know about BP...

all of these kinds of comments demonstrate a profound ignorance. your response to people is a very good one, that may help educate and sensitize them. on a good day, i try and do that too.

i also try to remind myself that ignorant comments and half-assed humour like that e-card are also indicators that at least "we exist" in terms of popular culture. not so long ago, any kind of mental illness would never be spoken of in public. now at least more people acknowledge its existence and are talking about it- it's inevitable that a lot of that talk will be cheap, and uninformed...


04/01/2012 09:03 AM
hythloday
hythloday  
Posts: 415
Member

I'm sorry people throw that phrase out. It's partly due to a lack of knowledge, as the op suggests, but I think it's also due to the fact that anger usually involves social interaction. Think of it: when you're depressed you probably withdraw from people. When you're euphoric-manic, you're probably pretty fun, at least for a while (and if you're not, people will probably withdraw from you). When you're disproportionately angry, you're probably locked in a social situation that is painful for all involved, an interaction that someone will feel requires a label, some sort of intervention. So anger is one of the most likely emotions people will recognize as problematic (depression they won't see, and mania they will overlook or avoid seeing).

Not to mention that labeling anyone's anger as the result of bipolar or anger management issues or ptsd or whatever is a nifty strategy for avoiding complicity in the emotion, a nasty way to defend one's self.

I guess one of the irritating things is that your loved ones may take every unpleasant interaction as a sign of illness, and therefore fail to validate your emotions or deny your feelings legitimacy (which in turn will lead to greater isolation, anger, etc.). I think the thing to do is talk to the people you're close to about what's happening with you. I know that may provoke some anxiety on your end or your loved one's end, but someone has to be brave in the relationship.

Who knows, maybe manic-depression was a better term (It certainly made for a good Hendrix song).


04/01/2012 05:31 PM
uppitywoman
uppitywoman  
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When someone loses it with anger around me, I do not jump to the conclusion that they are mentally ill at first. Why on earth would I? Since when did getting angry become an emotion exclusive to bipolar? I think it's a case of ignorance and it can really tick me off because people are so flip about it so much of the time. I will hear people say, "He/She needs to be on meds" or "didn't take their meds", whenever someone is really angry. I have a coworker who says that. We get some really angry people in the library sometimes. It doesn't mean they have bipolar. They are more than likely having a really had day and have just lost it over something and we get to bear the brunt of it. But she has gotten it in her head that anyone who gets really mad over something is probably bipolar. Yes, I lose it with anger when I am manic, it's true, but I am stable thanks to medications and no one would know I have bipolar if I didn't tell them.

04/01/2012 05:59 PM
doneal
doneal  
Posts: 26
Member

Your a male with bipolar and thyroid problems and go out somewhere and

either your friend tells someone or you tell someone new and they say

" I thought only women have that " Talk about a trigger , i swear i think

that most guys know that its not gender bias and say that automatically to cause they either think its funny or to see if you will flip out. :/


04/01/2012 06:26 PM
Edyn
Edyn  
Posts: 1104
Senior Member

My mania and hypo-mania always comes out as anger. I'm angry all the time and everything triggers me. For me mania is not a good thing. It's a very destructive and troublesome time.

04/01/2012 06:29 PM
pirateprincess421
pirateprincess421  
Posts: 31179
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I hate it when I am so lonely I want to injure to escape the pain.

04/01/2012 06:48 PM
Yrollam
YrollamPosts: 2476
Senior Member

I think if I heard that comment I would personally educate the person on what bipolar really is.

04/01/2012 06:58 PM
yellowclocks
yellowclocks  
Posts: 181
Member

Yrollam, that's great that you can do that. I try to educate the kids I teach - I am lucky that they are bright and eager to learn. Adults, surprisingly, are usually much more difficult.

04/04/2012 10:35 AM
dugg
dugg  
Posts: 247
Member

some very interesting perspectives here...

i agree with hythloday - that attributing any disagreeable moods to one's illness is about denying the possibility that those feelings are quite legitimate.

i'd suggest that the growing use of of the term "bipolar" to describe anyone who's angry/rocking the boat comes from the same place. it is the sound of someone dismissing someone else.

if the other person is "crazy", then the discussion is over. there is no need to wonder if they have a legitimate cause to be upset, no need for self-examination and certainly no possibility that "the labeler" may be complicit.

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