If you have bipolar disorder, you’ve inevitably gone through those times after a manic episode where you've found that people don't believe you any more because of what you have said or done during that manic episode.  How do you get people to believe you again now that you are stable?

 

Like the story of the boy who cried, “Wolf!” once too often, no one thinks they can trust you now, and you may feel like no one will ever trust you again.  How do you get people to believe you when you are telling the truth now? 

 

Although this is a hard issue to deal with, you can't give up, and getting angry isn't the way to deal with it, either.  Try to see things from your supporter's point of view.  It’s a natural reaction for people who have been lied to and disappointed in the past to be wary, and your supporter, family members, and friends are most likely not going to trust you again right away.

 

If you want to develop trust it will take some time.  There are a few steps you can take to build this up, however, which will also show them you are sincere about building a trusting, honest relationship. 

 

·         Enlist a third party to vouch for you

If you have been able to regain trust from another family member, for instance, have them stand up for you with your supporter.  Let them "plead your case" for you, showing you to be trustworthy now.  Let your supporter check with them if they have any doubts about anything you say or do now, thus developing that trust again.

 

·         Follow Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan

If your doctor wants to see you every month, make sure you keep every appointment. 

If you deviate from your treatment plan, you are more likely to experience an episode, and when you experience an episode, you’re more likely to say or do things that may not be entirely accurate (or are outright untrue).  Demonstrating responsibility and maturity is one of the surest ways to regain trust and get people to believe you.

 

·         Have Proof – Notes and Receipts

Learn to back yourself up – take notes on everything.  This sounds simple, but if you have bipolar disorder, you know that organization isn’t exactly one of your strong suits.  If you suddenly announce to your family that some guy named George offered to buy your car for $5,000 cash, but you don’t remember his last name, they may have good reason not to believe you.  But if you have all the facts written down, such as date, first and last name, and phone number, they may be more inclined to believe you. 

 

·         Let them check up on you

Let's say you quit your job because your boss was harassing you.  Your family is probably not inclined to believe you.  But if you let them check up on you, perhaps with a co-worker, they will be more inclined to believe you.

 

You need to realize that it takes time for trust to be restored.  There is no quick or magic way. Just try your best to do what you can to stay stable and do the above suggested things, and the trust will come back.  Eventually, your supporter, family members, and friends will realize that you do tell the truth and that they can believe you, and the bridge of trust will be restored.