Bipolar Disorder Triggers
I wanted to briefly make some comments about this subject on a personal
level. Something I have learned for myself. I am still in the process of
learning about my own bipolar disorder it seems all the time. The classic thing
is just as soon as I get comfortable it taps me on the shoulder saying "I'm
still HERE!" LOL
I was just VERY recently triggered by my daughter graduating from college next
month and joining the army as an MP officer. Her goal is to become an FBI agent.
She talks all the time about putting her life on the line for "serving her
My brother who passed on many, many years ago was in the Navy and I watched my
own parents lose their son so I know on a very real level that one can lose
So bing, bang, bong, full blown mixed episode. I'm crying and I don't know why
because it is way out of proportion and as always I never figure I'm in a mixed
episode until way later. My emotions are up, down and all around. Then comes the
full blown mania that always feels like someone is beating drums way far away
and as the mania worsens the drums get closer and closer.
It takes a LOT of energy for your body to experience mania and though my body is
thoroughly exhausted, the mania "doesn't care," does it? It just keeps
on like an "ever ready battery."
This is the time I warn my husband to turn down the lights and the sounds as I
may go over that edge into hell. The hell where things can get broken, my voice
gets very loud and my husband's eyes show fear.
In the past I have advised families to always put their safety first. If you are
a family member and you are not safe, LEAVE and call 911 when you reach safety.
In our situation I look very scary but it never occurs to me to hurt a human
being. If your bipolar loved one is out of control and you are safe, call 911 if
they are severely out of control or the crisis center if you just need help.
As I said, turn the light LOW, sounds OFF. Talk softly to your loved one.
It is helpful to have a plan of action ahead of time. That could be to take a
particular medication that is okayed by the prescriber, or for the family to
Many times I see people with bipolar disorder and the borderline personality
disorder experience an incredible amount of guilt from A to Z.
I am a human being with feelings, thank heavens. I wouldn't have it any other
way. Do we want to stop ourselves from experiencing love towards other people?
When we experience love we open ourselves up to be vulnerable. To fully
experience the best that life has to offer, sadness and stress comes with that.
So what? I got triggered. I got scared because I love my daughter so deeply
and I experienced depression and mania and it was uncomfortable, etc. But I just
had a wonderful phone conversation with her today and we laughed and shared and
later I shopped for additional things for her birthday and picked out her card.
What a joyful day I had in the midst of some mild depressive symptoms!
Your self talk will determine your attitude. Be careful what you say to
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Copyright © Patty Fleener, M.S.W. All