You know, if you keep things inside and let them build up, that’s not a good thing for you. If you hold everything in, letting it build up, it can even make you physically ill, if not even emotionally ill as well. For example, it can lead to stress, which can lead to ulcers and sometimes you can even get migraine headaches. It can affect your sleep as well, leading to problems with getting to sleep, insomnia, and staying asleep once you get to sleep. It can lead to a lowering of your immune system, which can lead to all kinds of things, such as infections and colds. All because you’re hold things in. So you have to find a way to release your emotions, so this doesn’t happen to you. Call it “having your say ” with bipolar disorder. In other words, you need to learn how to communicate with your loved one who has bipolar disorder. It’s a necessity.
Unfortunately, too many supporters don’t do this, and end up sick, like I was talking about before. Why? Because they’re afraid. That’s why they end up walking around on eggshells around their loved one. They’re afraid of saying or doing something wrong and “setting off” their loved one. Then their loved one might get angry and turn on them in a rage and do all sorts of things, yelling and screaming at them, calling them names, etc. And you have all kinds of feelings because of these acting out behaviors, in addition to the feelings you may normally have. It’s a lot to carry around inside you. You need to let it out. How? By talking with your loved one. Oh, not when they are in an episode or raging, of course. But choose a time when they aren’t raging or in a manic episode, when they are in a normal period, and are more willing to listen to you. Try to catch them in a good mood, in other words. Tell them that you need to talk with them about something that is important to you. That should give them some indication, at least that it’s important to you. That will make them pay attention, at least. Try to be gentle and non-threatening, so they aren’t defensive, as this could lead to a fight, which is what you don’t want to happen.
Use “I” sentences instead of “you” sentences. In other words, stick to “I feel” instead of “You always” or “You never,” which come off as accusing them, making them get defensive. If you stick to “I feel” (followed by a feeling word, and not the words “that you” which again, is accusatory) you can most likely avoid a fight and get your feelings across to your loved one.
Another way to couch your feelings is in a framework of “When you… then I…” For example, “When you call me names, then I feel hurt.” You are telling your loved one that, as a result of
something they do, you feel a negative feeling, but you are saying it in a way that doesn’t come
off as threatening, so they are less likely to become defensive and get mad at you.
There are ways to have your say with bipolar disorder so that you don’t have to make yourself sick by keeping everything inside all the time – You just have to do it in a certain way. Like doing it in a way that doesn’t threaten your loved one or make them get angry at you.
Well, I have to go!