Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bipolar Anger and Rage

Last night I found a book in my library that might be helpful to people who are newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and need information. It's called the Bipolar Puzzle Solution and it was written by Bryan L.Court (a bipolar survivor) and Gerald E. Nelson, M.D. (a psychiatrist). They answer 187 questions posed by support group members.

While I view this illness quite differently than Bryan, I recently realized that some people are visiting my blog because they have very specific questions. One of the issues is bipolar anger and rage. I've written about this subject, expressing my own opinion, but I think Brian provides some valid information, and basic solutions.

"An irritable mood is common in mania and hypomania. Sudden rage usually occurs when a person's "great" plans are ruined. I also have heard people describe the angry outbursts and ranges that they have while hypomanic or manic; sometimes anger is the most noticeable symptom of their hypomanic or manic episode. When I was either depressed or hypomanic, part of my anger came from frustration over my attempts to get help with the illness, and my irritable mood was a base on which to build anger. An irritable mood also can be present in the depressive phase of the illness.

"Irritability can be difficult to manage or control. Here are three things you can do that might help: (a) step back and recognize your irritability, (b) take time out from whatever you are doing, and (c) decrease sensory input, especially sound."

Question of the day: How do you handle bipolar anger, rage, and irritability?


JayPeeFreely said...

Not to go into gore, but I know my troubles started when I let my anger/rage explode in email after I guess my plans were "ruined."

Sad really. I didn't identify the concept of what really irked me off most. Instead, I just shotgunned the whole lot of human existence via that email. (That is what troubled everyone...and no one responded, even my then best friend avoided it.)

I think I have sometimes lost what ability I had to contain my anger about things.

Something really snapped in 2001 - I know it did. It isn't normal everyday life that bothers me, that, I can handle. It is the long-term projection of what is bad or unresolved things that have a real solution that I put up with.

The anger is mostly internalized - and that is what hurts me the most. No reasonable outlet, besides writing, that works. But that sometimes can work against I said it did.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear JayPeeFreely,
Thanks for your honesty. This is a big topic and one worth exploring further.


mikki said...

Thank you for sharing. My irriatability and rages are the hardest to control. I am raising my grandsons and I have done my best to give them keys to helping me get back in control. The eldest one is just now realizing I'm all noise and wind and if you remind me I am not acting in a healthy and loving way it helps me alot to be able to step back and get a grip. Just recently I exploded at my poor ill mother who I have tried so hard to forgive for the pain (mentally and physically) she caused with her own bipolarism and sticking her head in the sand and not seeing how crule and foul our stepfather was to us in my and my brothers childhood. She has no defenses against my insainity. My husband and kids and grandkids do because they have been a big part of my life and my struggle to contain my illness. She is so hurt now that I don't know if I can ever go back there.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

I think that understanding is the first key to solving the problem. The quotes in this piece were from Bryan Court, the author of the book I mentioned. Personally, I have worked very hard to overcome these characteristics (although I'm not always successful, I try to be vigilent), and wish you the best of luck in your struggle.