Everyone has a trigger that causes a deep emotion in them. Ones, many times, that we can’t control. For those of us with Bipolar Disorder these triggers can send us down the rabbit hole or into mania. I first noticed sugar was a trigger when I went on a low carb diet. I felt steady on the low carb diet. When I would eat sweets, I would get jazzed up then crash. Diet is something I need to keep in check. Watching scary movies, movies that involve rape or molestation, movies involving possession, past mistakes or issues being brought up, and cloudy days all can send me into a depressive state. Having sexual assault in my past makes movies particularly dangerous territory for me. Alcohol, social situations, certain medications, and sometimes even intense exercise can cause mania to surface in me. When I was in the military I used to get runners high after a good run. Sometimes, I would be slightly manic for a few hours afterwards.
Maybe you experience bits of rage. I know I do. In traffic, I will oftentimes lose my shit when dealing with inconsiderate drivers and those who hog the left lane. Sometimes a flippant comment by someone will send me into a tangent that mimics that of a 3yr old who isn’t getting the candy they wanted in the store. I hate that I have such a temper at times. It makes it difficult for my family to address certain topics with me as a result. Normally, I try to keep myself in check, but it doesn’t always work. Just the other day I murdered a glass mixing bowl because I had a flurry of rage. My husband was asking me about something he found in my car and immediately I got angry. Why? There is no reason I should have gotten mad, but I did. When I have these swings of anger I try to take a moment and collect myself. My goal is to not let these little rage episodes ruin my day. Generally, I go back later and apologize for my behavior, but I want to get to the point where I don’t have to apologize because I am not being cross with them in the first place. PubMed.gov states, “Subjects with bipolar disorder display greater rates of anger and aggressive behaviors, especially during acute and psychotic episodes”. If that isn’t frustrating I don’t know what is. Yes, it makes me feel better that it is a “bipolar issue” but I want to gain control over this aspect of my life. Journaling and therapy help but in the end it is knowing my triggers and learning to control myself in the face of those triggers.
What are some of your triggers? Do you have any coping skills for dealing with outside stimuli that trigger cycles or anger that you care to share?
Sources: Bipolar Disorder and Anger. 2018. Retrieved from http://www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-disorder-and-anger.html
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