When my mom went to the outpatient program, they had a 'family day.' Family day was supposed to help educate people in the family about someone who has bipolar disorder. At the time, I was really annoyed because I had put in months on my own solving many of my mom's problems and really didn't want to get up early on a Saturday.

I went to family day highly skeptical, thinking it was going to be a waste of my time. Actually, it was on this day that I really began to understand what bipolar was, how it worked, and why all the stuff my mom did was not in her control. I also saw people who were much worse than my mom. I had never met anyone else who had spent time supporting someone who had bipolar, and it was really great to finally talk to someone like me.

Anyway, during this 'family event,' a tough-talking woman started things. It was at this point I realized that I was attending a seminar on bipolar disorder and how to deal with it. The term 'family day' was what amounted to a really great marketing term in order to help make people more comfortable with the idea of being there so that more people will show up.

One of the topics that came up at this seminar/family day was 'bait.'

Bait is when a person is in an episode and they deliberately distract you with an action that causes you to get mad and respond, and basically creating a gigantic argument which results in a huge waste of time. This kind of baiting diverts attention away from the primary issue of their episode and what you should be focusing on - their bipolar disorder and how to handle it.

The best thing to say in a situation like this is 'I am not going to fall for that bait,' and walk away, or simply walk away without saying anything.

Just being aware of the bait concept was a huge breakthrough for me.