I want you to look carefully at this word: CONTROL. Think about it. Just by its insinuation it’s a strong word. Webster’s dictionary defines control as, “power or authority to guide or to manage.” It also defines it as “direction, regulation, and coordination… restraint and reserve.”
These state important qualities of the word CONTROL. But today I want to look at the quality of SELF-CONTROL as it relates to bipolar disorder. I frequently talk about all the qualities needed in order to manage bipolar disorder successfully. And self-control is one of them.
Whether you are the one with the disorder, or whether you are the supporter, self-control is an
important quality to possess.
Just look at the definition per Webster’s dictionary. “Power or authority to guide or to manage.”
We all need that power and authority to guide and to manage ourselves and our lives, whether
we have a disorder like bipolar disorder or not. When it comes to bipolar disorder, though, you
need that power and authority to guide and to manage the disorder as well as your life in general.
If you are a supporter, you need that power and authority to guide and to manage your part as a
supporter to a loved one with the disorder. For example, you need the power and authority
to guide and to manage the finances for your family. You also need the power and authority to guide and to manage the home environment, as you need to make it as stress-free as possible for
your loved one.
Speaking to the person who has bipolar disorder for a second here…You absolutely need self-control when it comes to dealing with your bipolar disorder. Medication and therapy can only go so far in the management of your disorder. It is up to you to manage what you can, and
self-control has something to do with that. You need to have control over your behavior, for one thing. And you need to have control over your choices and decisions, for another thing. Because these are the two areas where you get into trouble when you go into a bipolar episode. The more self-control you have, the less trouble the episode itself will get you into. For example, in a manic episode, you will have a tendency to have grandiose thoughts and ideas. You may want to act on these thoughts and ideas because of your bipolar disorder, and what it makes you do during that episode. But the greater your sense of self-control, the greater the chance that you won’t act on them, and will make better choices and decisions, despite the bipolar disorder.
Now, to the supporter…You need to exercise self-control as well. For example, when your loved one is raging at you, which they may sometimes do in a manic episode. Your natural instinct will be to fight back, but if you exercise self-control, you won’t, and it will end the fight that much easier and may even de-escalate your loved one’s bipolar behavior.
Can you see how necessary self-control is for both the survivor and the supporter in the management of bipolar disorder? It can really make a difference. It’s not just the word that is strong…It’s the quality that is strong in the person. And it can make you strong.
Well, I have to go!