bipolar momOver time I have learned to recognize certain “triggers” that can take me from laughing to screaming in three seconds flat. Yes, it happens. Yes, I am terribly ashamed when it does. Yes, it is embarrassing. Yes, it sucks.

I can’t always see it coming, but I try very hard. So in a two-part post I am going to discuss ways that I try to avoid that screaming rant and then, if it’s unavoidable, how I bring it under control and the consequences of losing my mind.

I always see tips from experts, doctors and therapists, but one thing I have trouble finding is people who have ultra-rapid cycling bipolar talk about how they handle it. Someone not suffering can give advice, but until you have experienced a blind rage that was hardly provoked, how can you really know what to do?

It’s a learning process, but here are six of my triggers, and what I do to handle the first step: trying to avoid a bipolar rant.

Trigger 1: Husband suggests I have not done anything around the house, or asks me to do a specific chore. This really pisses me off.

Bipolar Response: I would rant, cuss at him and get extremely irritable for hours. We would argue and things would be crappy for pretty much the entire day.

Controlled Response: Consider the source and walk away. If he’s being a jerk about it, I might spout off that he’s being a jerk, but usually, I just walk away. Ignoring him is the easy part. I remember that he doesn’t see what I do, so his words mean nothing! (Well, to me, at the moment, they mean nothing)

 

Trigger 2: Kids have made a mess only 10 minutes after I have just cleaned.

Bipolar Response: I used to start screaming, storm through the house like a tornado and start throwing stuff. I would clean it up, yes, but then deal with hours of anger towards them.

Controlled Response: Remember, they are kids. They are my kids. I am responsible for them whether they can/will be responsible for themselves. If it is a big mess, I will call them into the room and have them clean up whatever they have done with a fairly level head. I will remind them that I just cleaned, and they need to respect my efforts to keep our home neat and tidy.

 

Trigger 3: I have not been feeling well,  and am off my game and on the couch when everyone in the house is fussing for clean clothes.

Bipolar Response: “Go do your own f*cking laundry!” (I know, I know, but whatever!)

Controlled Response: How I feel is not their problem, it is mine. I have to acknowledge this and understand it. By understanding that my moods and my ill feelings are my problem, I am able to tell myself to get up and do just one load. I don’t have to do it all, but I can do one load and keep them off my back for a couple of days. This buys me time to snap out of my ill mood.

 

Trigger 4: Fighting Children. I completely despise fighting children. The screaming and carrying on they do is enough to send me into a serious rant right along with them!

Bipolar Response: Yell! Yell at them, yell with them, just yell! Yeah, I know, how am I supposed to teach my kids to maintain composure when I can’t?

Controlled Response: Call them downstairs, try an unbiased mediation, then send them to a corner or park them on the couch until they can get along. When I started doing this, I was so surprised at how well the situation can be controlled when I do not lose control.

 

Trigger 5: I hate being bossed around, by anyone. It doesn’t matter who they are or what importance they have in my life. Any sort of direction, criticism (corrective or otherwise), or confrontation will trigger a rant.

Bipolar Response: This could have been one of a couple; run away crying, or scream. I was a serious screamer. I would scream, rant, and yell about everything. The thing about that is, people don’t listen when you scream. They look at you like you are a total idiot. Ouch.

Controlled Response: Refer to trigger #1. This can go one of two ways. My first choice is to walk away. I prefer this over any other option, but it is not always an option. If I cannot walk away, I just zone out, only halfway listen, and tolerate/ignore whatever is happening. Sometimes it takes understanding that everyone has moments, and making a decision that I am not going to have mine right now.

 

Trigger 6: I am already in a sour mood and halfway out of my mind. Then, someone does any of the five above mentioned triggers and I fully lose my mind.

Previous/Current Response which I am still working on:
Clean!

Cleaning will always, no doubt, calm me down. I will go to a room in my house, shuffle everyone out, tell them to leave me alone in a controlled rant, slam a door and clean. I will call myself ridiculous, tell myself to calm down, and go through various emotions alone to bring myself back down to a level place.

It is not always possible, but I try very hard to shield my family from the rants and rages that can come on in 3 seconds flat. My next post will explore these triggers a little more. I will talk about the consequences that my family and I face when I cannot get to the controlled response, and the Bipolar response is my first and only response.

Screaming woman photo available from Shutterstock

 


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Mental Health Social (July 27, 2012)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (July 27, 2012)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (July 27, 2012)

P. Mimi Poinsett MD (July 27, 2012)

P. Mimi Poinsett MD (July 27, 2012)

Dr. Russell Hyken (July 27, 2012)






    Last reviewed: 27 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Anonymous. (2012). On The Verge of A Bipolar Rant? Here Are My 6 Triggers and Tips to Help Avoid Disaster. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-mom/2012/07/on-the-verge-of-a-bipolar-rant-here-are-6-of-my-triggers-and-tips-to-help-avoid-disaster/

 

 

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