Hi, how’s your day going? I hope you’re doing well today.
They say that the one thing you can count on in life is change. Change is inevitable. And we have to accept that. But we also have to accept that there are some things we can change and some things we cannot change. Like you cannot change your loved one – they have to change themselves. You can encourage them, however. You can also set boundaries for them to help them control their behavior.
For example, if they tend to get angry and yell at you, you can tell them that whenever they do that, you won’t stand for it, and you will leave the room. Then when they do get angry at you, you do leave the room. And you have to be consistent about it for any real change to happen.
You can change yourself. And in this example, perhaps the only change that will happen is that you will have learned how to deal with your loved one’s anger better. It’s definitely less stressful for you if you leave the room when your loved one is taking their anger out on you than if you stay and take it. You’re also sending them a message that there is some behavior that you just won’t tolerate. Then it’s up to them to make the change.
Remember, you can’t change your loved one, but you can change how you react to their behavior. And setting limits, or boundaries, is one way to do that.
Unfortunately, when it comes to bipolar disorder, there is another thing you can always count on.
UNPREDICTABILITY. You have probably learned from the past that your loved one can go into an episode without any forewarning to you. If they are episodic, you can count on their unpredictability. Now, this isn’t a good thing, but it can be managed.
You can learn your loved one’s triggers, so you would watch them more closely for episodic behavior if you knew they were experiencing one of their triggers, like increased stress or lack of sleep. Knowing your own loved one’s triggers can help you fight the unpredictability of their episodes.
Another way is to continually watch for signs and symptoms of an oncoming episode. I’m not saying that you have to watch your loved one like a hawk, just that you don’t take their stability for granted. Stay on top of it. Help them to do the things they need to do to maintain their stability, so that they are less unpredictable.
You may not always be able to predict when a bipolar episode is going to happen, but it helps if you know the signs and symptoms. You can read up on them in my courses/systems and books, etc., but your loved one is unique, and the way they manifest the symptoms of an episode may not exactly be textbook. Still, you can fight the unpredictability of bipolar disorder by being knowledgeable about your loved one’s particular signs and symptoms, and hopefully help them to avoid an episode.
Well, I have to go!