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Understanding Bipolar and Anger

Sammi AdamsSammi Adams
Aug 17, 2017

Sammi shares some information to help you understand why people living with bipolar disorder and being quick to anger or rage are linked.

Understanding Bipolar and Anger

If you’re someone who has bipolar disorder, this can interfere with your relationships, or if you know someone with bipolar disorder, it might interfere with your relationship with them as well.

If you’re the person that has bipolar disorder, it’s not fun to have to deal with these symptoms. When someone is manic, having a mixed episode, or even a psychotic episode, they will lash out towards someone with a lot of anger or rage, or even if they’re not around anyone, they will have a lot of anger and be provoked by any small stimulus.

Their reaction is much greater than it should be. The symptoms of this, in my experience, are no different than when another typical person is “hangry,” basically when someone is irate because they haven’t eaten anything and they’ll snap at people because they’re starving, or they’re exhausted.

And also, for girls, it’s very similar to having irritability when you’re PMSing. So, if you have premenstrual syndrome, you might be very irritable and angry and snap at people as well.

It’s very similar to expressing anger at the drop of a hat. Just being very quick to snap at people, or get angry and frustrated and irritable. So, it’s not the person’s fault; it’s just a brain chemistry abnormality.

This is not the person that they normally are, and the person is not themselves.

My Personal Experience With Bipolar and Anger

So, I will briefly share one of my own experiences with this.

I went to my parents’ house, and I stayed there for a few days because I was on vacation and I accidentally forgot to take my medication along with me. By the third day, I was just snapping at everyone.

I can remember snapping at my mom. The symptoms of being quick to anger came right back.

How to Manage Bipolar and Anger

My number one coping tip for this is to be on medication.

In my experience, it makes it completely go away. In extreme cases, when this goes for a long time untreated, or someone’s in an intense episode because they’re not on medication, this can escalate to having an episode of rage, which can be scary for anyone you’re around, and just really unhealthy and lead to a terrible situation.

The second coping tip I have is just to find a healthy way to direct your anger, whether it’s just creativity.

A lot of people with bipolar disorder are very creative, and one reason for that I think is that they’re trying to get their anger out. It’s a great way to get your anger out is to draw or color, even in a coloring book, or paint.

I found this when I was hospitalized, they gave us art supplies, so I found that one perfect way of relieving my anger was just to take that pen to the paper and go at it.

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