Stupid things said to people with bipolar disorder
Bipolar Disorder has become a bit more recognized lately, most likely due to the “coming out” of celebrities with outrageous behavior. This has been good in raising awareness about bipolarity somewhat, but it has been bad because a lot of people think they know all about it.
In addition to not completely eradicating the stigma – it is also highly annoying when someone says something mean, wrong, funny, or even just plain stupid about bipolar disorder. If you aren’t bipolar – don’t give advice to people who are. Here are some of the things you should not do:
Don’t try to “join in”
Don’t try to tell me you “know how I feel”. Don’t relate your stories about how you were soooo depressed when your dog died. Don’t try to tell me about how bad your insomnia is. Don’t try to tell me about how you seriously almost destroyed a poster once or how embarrassed you were when…. Don’t. Unless you are bipolar, you cannot understand the depression, the agitation, the anxiety. I can understand that you want to show concern and make me feel “normal” but don’t.
Don’t tell me I should do better
Don’t tell me I can fix this. Don’t tell me that I brought this on myself. Don’t tell me to try harder. Don’t tell me that it could be worse. Don’t tell me that only religion can make me better. I am doing the best I can; I didn’t want this disease, and frankly, I don’t want to hear it.
Don’t tell me to “snap out of it” or “get off my ass.” Don’t give me platitudes like “this too shall pass” or “cheer up.” Don’t tell me “tomorrow will be better” or “everyone has a bad day sometimes.” My disease, my experience is as bad as it is. You can’t make it go away by acting cheerful or sympathetic.
Don’t try to shame me into being better
Don’t tell me that I am a real downer or that I am “dragging you down.” Don’t tell me all about my bad behavior and how being around me is so painful – like “walking on eggshells.” Don’t tell me about life not being fun…I already know. If you don’t like it, it would be better if you just leave.
Don’t blame every disagreement on my disease
Don’t say anything about bipolar “shit” in the middle of an argument. Just because I am angry doesn’t mean I am off my meds. It doesn’t mean I am crazy. Using my illness to win an argument is just plain wrong. I have a right to be angry sometimes, and sometimes I am.
These are just a few things you should not do. We have a lot of rules – some of which change just like us.