How are you today?
I hope you’re having a great day!
I was thinking about this saying I’ve heard before, though I don’t know who originally said it.
“Insanity is doing the same thing
over and over again expecting
I want you to think about that.
Because I want you to answer:
Are you sane or insane?
In other words, do you keep doing the same things over and over again, thinking that maybe
this time they’ll work?
Do you keep making the same mistakes over and over again?
And each time expect your loved one to respond differently.
If you are doing that, then technically you follow the expression, and you are insane!
The good news is, you can change things!
If you’re doing something for your loved one and no matter how many times you’ve done
it, it hasn’t worked, you need to try something new.
For example, if during their manic episodes, they blow all the money in the checking
And each time you “forgive and forget,” you may be enabling them to keep on with the same
On the other hand, what would happen if you sit them down between episodes and show them what they do/have done with the finances…
Then propose something different, like you having control of the finances.
What if you showed them the credit card statement and suggested that they don’t carry credit cards around with them?
That’s doing something different.
I talk about alternative ways to handle your loved one’s behavior in my courses/systems:
SUPPORTING AN ADULT WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
SUPPORTING A CHILD/TEEN WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER?
HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Many supporters don’t do this because they are afraid…
Or they don’t think they have the power…
Or they are intimidated by their loved one and/or their disorder.
Or maybe they haven’t even seen it as a problem…
Or maybe they don’t see any other way to do things.
Well, let me tell you –
There is always another way to do things.
Have you tried everything you can?
As a supporter, have you tried everything you can think of to help your loved one?
If you really believe you have done EVERYTHING…
Then your loved one should be stable.
But if they are still not stable right now, there are still things you can do to help them.
What you need to do is take out a sheet of paper and brainstorm ideas of how to do things that
aren’t working, differently.
Say your loved one is not taking their medication (which is a very common problem).
You usually get into a fight over it, because you want them to take it.
The next time, instead of arguing, try something different.
For example, you can use the statistics from the National Institute on Mental Health to sway them.
Show them an outside opinion on what happens with people who have bipolar disorder and go off their medications.
If you can’t find it on the Internet, I will just tell you:
According to NIMH, 20% (1 in 5) people with untreated bipolar disorder will kill themselves.
Maybe your loved one will respond to that and other statistics that you can find on the NIMH
Maybe just telling them how concerned you are about them and them not taking their medications will be enough for them to take it.
But fighting is not the way to do it, especially if that’s the way you always do it.
You need to break the cycle, whatever the behavior.
Try to come up with new things to try, or different ways to do the things you do.