My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Fast (info below) wrote this article. And it is truer than true. The intensity behind our anger, the strength, is unbelievable! And yes medications that control mood can be very helpful but sometimes, anger will slip by. Vigilance, behavior modification and medication are all needed to put this genie back into its bottle.
Unfortunately, aggressive irritation is, quite often, a symptom of bipolar disorder.
Aggressive irritation is a unfortunate symptom of bipolar disorder. It often comes with a down swing or a mixed episode where you’re manic and depressed at the same time.
We all experience irritation- that’s a normal part of life. Getting cut off on the free way- rude people- crowds and long lines at the supermarket can make us irritated. We may mutter under our breath and give a lot of dirty looks when we get in these situations.
Bipolar aggressive irritation is different- it has a lot of strength behind it. Instead of just getting irritated when we get cut off on the free way- we yell and scream, honk the horn and if it’s particularly bad- actually chase down the person with our car. Oh yes, this happens!
If someone is rude to a person in an aggressive irritated mood swing- they had better watch out- we may say, “What the @$@#$#@ are you looking at! You have a problem with me!” And we will move in on them and practically growl.
Bipolar aggressive irritation is different– it has a lot of strength behind it
Some other signs of this aggressive irritation: throwing things- such as wanting to throw my $%#%% computer across the room when the internet won’t work! Or feeling my head and neck jerk because I’m so angry at something.
This is NOT good stuff, but it’s common.
If you love someone with bipolar, especially a man in his 20s, this may be all too familiar.
Here is some good news. Medications can work wonders with irritation. Then behavior modification has to become a part of life.
When I get irritated, angry and aggressive, I have learned to calm myself down- and at least stop myself before I take my aggression too far!
Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, Get it Done When You’re Depressed and The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression. You can find more about her work at www.www.JulieFast.com and www.BipolarHappens.com