Have you ever wondered WHY you do the things you do? Well…Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors make whole careers based on that very question. They delve into your motives. They delve into your emotions. They delve into your feelings. They delve into your past. They delve into your reasons. And when it comes to your loved one…They even delve into the triggers behind their bipolar episodes.
But they believe there’s always a reason for everything we do. Most believe it is based on our past, usually having to do with our feelings. Lots of times, on feelings we stuff. Meaning, negative feelings. Like with bipolar disorder…There can be a lot of negative feelings associated
with bipolar disorder. Like how you feel about your loved one, and how you feel about the disorder itself.
It’s normal to have negative feelings if you’re a supporter to a loved one with bipolar disorder.
But it’s not good to stuff these feelings. Because if you do, they can come out in harmful ways.
For example: If you feel resentment toward your loved one, and you stuff that feeling, you may find that one day something seemingly simple may set you off and all of a sudden you may rage at them out of nowhere. And that may surprise you. But the root of it would be your feeling of resentment that you’re stuffing.
Well…One of the most common feelings that supporters of a loved one with bipolar disorder feels is shame. Don’t worry if you feel ashamed, because like I said, it’s common for supporters to feel this feeling. The biggest thing associated with shame is that they feel ashamed of their loved one with bipolar disorder. Most likely, they are ashamed of the way they act because of their disorder.
Maybe they’ve acted out in public, and it embarrassed you? And that may have caused you to feel ashamed of them. Or they did something during one of their bipolar episodes that made you feel ashamed of them? Well…Even though it may be common, you may be thinking that it’s still a very hard feeling to be trying to cope and deal with right now.
One thing you can do is to separate your loved one from their bipolar disorder. Remember that it is NOT your loved one who is purposely doing these things to make you ashamed – it is the disorder that is causing them to do these things. This way maybe you won’t be so ashamed of them, or at least won’t resent them so much as you will the disorder that is causing them to act this way.
It should help to remember that they’re not doing these things on purpose, anyway. Try to keep that in mind. The other thing about shame is this: Many supporters are ashamed of their feelings.
Don’t be! Someone once said that “Feelings are not right or wrong, they just ARE.” You simply feel what you feel, even if sometimes those feelings are negative. But it will help you to get those feelings out, whether you talk to someone about them (your loved one or someone else you trust such as a friend or a counselor or therapist) or write them in a journal.
Well, I have to go!