I have learned it's not healthy to "ruminate" about the past, but I do wish that years ago I had known about certain bipolar symptoms, and the unseemly behavioral byproducts it causes. Because if I had, I would have changed my behavior before it embarrassed me.
One of the values of writing a bipolar blog is reading about other people's symptoms and seeing how they deal with them, or watching how they play them out. Before I continue, I must admit I'm not perfect either and certainly have lapses and make mistakes. Having said that, I wonder why people who know they're exhibiting unseemly bipolar behavior don't try and change it?
Hopefully, we all know by now that excessive communication is a hypomanic (or manic) symptom. I'd mentioned a few weeks ago that when I'm hypomanic and with my husband at social gatherings, I have him give me signs to let me know when I'm talking too much (and it's up to me to decide to stop). But when I'm by myself I find it's sometimes difficult to stop talking on the telephone or in person. And in hypomanias past, I am embarrassed to admit that I sent way too many emails to friends and business associates. I also wrote excessively lengthly responses to their emails.
I wonder why I wasn't aware of this behavior when it's so obvious. Now that I know about it, I try my hardest to prevent it. However, I have recently wondered how I should alert my friends to let them know it's okay to tell me when I'm monopolizing a conversation, or to alert me when I seem "over the top." I'm not sure how I could have them do that without hurting my feelings, and yet I need to be sensitive to their feelings as well.
You see, I believe that bipolar behavior that's out of control isn't okay. Why? Because it can be intrusive, frightening, and disturbing. What I find interesting from reading other bipolar blogs is that some people know their behavior is "way out there" and don't seem to care. Worse, they're almost proud of it.
This is a point of view that I neither agree with nor understand. If we know what we're doing is making others feel uncomfortable, why persist in doing it? If we know we're emailing people (not our best friends who have said it's alright) multiple times a day, what persist in doing it? If we're writing too many daily comments in someone's blog (or comments that have nothing to do with their posts), why don't we exercise more self-control? If we know we're calling people on the telephone too often, or talking too much when they call us, why not just stop?
If we can't self-regulate, how do we want others to handle it? If we don't help them help us, chances are they're going to drop us as friends and acquaintances. Given that, should we suggest they email us and politely tell us our behavior is making them feel uncomfortable? Should they remind us that excessive communication is a hypomanic byproduct?
Lately, I've been getting a lot of keyword activity on "bipolar anger and rage." I'm not sure if it's from BIPs or their friends and relatives. To BIPs, I would ask: If we know we're inappropriately angry, why don't we seek help? Actually, I had a lapse myself a few weeks ago, but for the most part I've greatly improved on diminishing my anger and irritability.
Tomorrow, I'll write more about bipolar anger and rage. In the meantime, what unseemly bipolar behavior bothers you the most, and how do you deal with it?