One of the biggest problems I am asked about is supporters wanting to know why their loved one gets so angry, and what they can do about it.  This is a common concern from supporters of loved ones with bipolar disorder, so if you are struggling with this problem, know that you are not alone.

 

You may have a loved one who is the most patient and understanding person you know, normally, yet when they go into a bipolar episode, they become easily agitated, short-tempered, angry, or even go into a rage or become violent.

 

The things I just listed are symptoms that supporters have described their loved one having when they go into an episode.

 

Why do they get so angry?

 

Some of it can be from frustration – especially if they are in a bipolar manic episode, as they have very little patience with people or situations, and they want what they want right now!

 

Your loved one's anger in a bipolar depressive episode may come from the fact that they are unhappy about the way things are, instead of the way they want them to be.  Again, this could be stemming from frustration on their part, and an inability to change the circumstances.

 

They may be angry because they are out of control.  This can be conscious or unconscious, caused by the bipolar disorder.

 

A bipolar episode can definitely cause a loss of control, which is very difficult for someone who is used to being in control all the time.  Therefore, anger may be the result.

 

So why do they take their anger out on you?

 

Probably because you are there.  They may get angry at you over something you've said or done, but it may be out of proportion to the actual event.  This, too, is part of their bipolar disorder.

 

The best thing you can do is NOT fight back when they get angry, no matter how much they are yelling at you.  Yelling back or fighting back will only make your loved one angrier, and you will lose anyway.