How I Manage Bipolar When Anger Triggers Me

February 1, 2010 Cristina Fender

Do you ever get so angry that you want to spit? I'm talking about the kind of anger that crawls up inside of you and squats, like it's never going to leave. The kind of anger that makes you slam doors and snarl tersely at your family when they ask you questions, has hit me today and I need to make it leave. I want it gone, but the internal struggle against my bipolar triggers is a battle to the finish. My chest is tightly constricted and I find myself wanting to be in a dark room.

My daughter woke me up at 5:30 this morning. She was supposed to sleep until 6:30 a.m., but instead she woke up earlier. Okay, so what's so wrong about an hour earlier? Why should this bipolar trigger put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day?

Insomnia Triggers Anger In My Bipolar Experience

I manage bipolar when anger triggers me much like some people who so not live with bipolar disorder. Read my bipolar triggers management plan here.I have insomnia and bipolar disorder. I really need my rest. She promised me that she would sleep later this morning if she could stay up later last night. But, she's only six. I shouldn't have gotten so mad at her and the world. But, bipolar disorder isn't logical.

Bipolar sits in the dark, waiting for it's moment. It will sneak up on you in a minute! Once you believe that you're immune, that you've beaten it, a bipolar trigger will crawl into your head like a slithering parasite.

It's so hard to remove. I yank and yank at the bipolar episode, but it's claws are firmly grasping my innards.

Bipolar Management Plan for When Anger Triggers Me

Resist the Bipolar Trigger

Of course, I cannot let it win. I have to resist. A dark, quiet room centers my head and I remember what's important. The anger isn't important. It will not make me happy. It will not take away the crippling I feel in my heart.

I remember that I am the host. I'm in charge of my destiny, not the bipolar disorder. I ask myself what I really want out of my day. Do I want to feel anger or happiness? I always choose the latter, but it's difficult to put it into action without a lot of work.

So, I start in a dark room. I listen to soothing music like the sound of rain or waves or Debussey. Then I begin to focus on the positives. I have a loving, fun family. Don't I want to be part of that today? When I'm ready I open the door. I plaster a smile across my face even if I don't feel like smiling. I think that today will be a good day. I remember the good points about my family.

Eventually, the smile comes easily and I enjoy my day. Sometimes I don't win and I'm in a funk until bedtime. Or later. But, my goal is to beat those parasitic triggers and enjoy my life. It is my life after all, and it's up to me to take control.

APA Reference
Fender, C. (2010, February 1). How I Manage Bipolar When Anger Triggers Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Cristina Fender

jd spiva
March, 21 2010 at 3:08 pm

I feel like I have an unsupportive husband--I have been in therapy on and off for 8 years and on meds for 15 --in out patient during after pregancy--I do all this and yet my husband has never read my wellness recovery record I made--or bothered to care about my trigger. I am more happy go lucky and manic --and then a trigger and I am spinning feeling unable to go on--thinking suicide is my only way out--I reach for other support --but this is my husband and he has seen three doctors I have had from college until my 38th year of life--he has met 4 of my therapists over the years and people in my groups--yet his anger is front and center and my triggers are not considered---I feel like I will end up taking my life one day after my kids are gone---I don't know how to leave or how to stay and I blame my damn illness ---thinking who else would want a cry baby..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristina Fender
March, 23 2010 at 2:00 am

I'm sorry you feel so unsupported. Do you talk to your husband about this? It sounds to me like he could use a bipolar support group to help him understand what you've been going through.
Regardless of what he thinks, you have to take care of you. You're not a cry baby, you merely have too much to handle right now. Do you have a bipolar team of doctors and therapists? Perhaps you need a new team if your current team isn't helping you get well.
I wish you lots of luck.

Diane Smith
February, 18 2010 at 2:35 pm

I'm new to this. I am in my 50's, have had mental problems since I was 18. I managed to make it thru the years, but in the early 90's it started changing. I became more and more depressed. Jan. 2000 I had a complete breakdown. My doctor has asked me about my moods many times, because of my anger and shopping Sprees. Finally I took the tests. Yes, I am admitting that I am bipolar. Last week I spent 1500.00 in 3 days. But I am reading about things that can sit you off. I become very angry, I've actually yelled that I feel like spitting, and I really do see the color red. I am clinically depressed the time I'm not doing something stupid. I really have a 'normal' day of coping only a few times a month. Admitting this is really hard. I don't see much ahead for me. Do we all have different triggers? Can this set off a mania episode?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristina Fender
February, 18 2010 at 10:04 pm

Mania episodes can occur before or after a depressive episode. It depends on your cycle. Have you started a mood chart yet? It's an important tool that you can share with your doctor to help you recognize your patterns. Once you can see where you're going, your doctor can give you a more effective medical treatment.
Yes, there are different triggers for different people. Mine are mostly stress related. Whenever I get stressed out it puts me in bed for a while. It sounds like your triggers make you angry and shop. These actions are normal for bipolars. There was a time when I did that as well.
Good luck to you. Please let us know how you're doing in the future.

Wendy Brown
February, 17 2010 at 7:09 pm

I understand and go through all you do with anger and yelling at my poor husband. Sometimes I feel (and know) I'm ruining his health and mine too.
I've said to him often to find a normal (whatever that is!) woman and live a happy life. He said, "I'll never leave you, I'll always love you." Now who's crazy!! Guess I'm a lucky girl. But when those eppisods occur it's just horrible. I blame him for everything. He is very argumentive.
Right now everything is calm and it's been that way for over a week. I'm happy and peaceful. We keep a dialog open and if he sets off a trigger with a word or sour comment. I immediatly say something like, "please be kind", I don't want to go off. He immediatly stops now and says, OK. I also asked for something. A kind of experiment. I asked him not to constantly critize or say I'm wrong about any kind of comment for a few months. No playing devils advocate. He always takes the oppisite side of the story, which drives me nuts. I asked just to agree with me more, even if he's lying. Just to see if this anger issue will die down. So far it's working! No auguments for a week now. No anger of any kind. Let's see how long it lasts.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristina Fender
February, 18 2010 at 4:10 am

I don't know if I can do that with my husband. I like for him to tell me the truth at all times. I had a hard time growing up with lies, so it's very important that the truth is told to me even if I don't want to hear it.
I think it's great that you have a code word to let him know he's getting too close to your anger. I might try something like that, thanks!

February, 7 2010 at 4:01 pm

today i went out to enjoy the day i normally stay home sleep in today i decided i wanted to go out and enjoy what life had to offer me through my day i had bad feelings like i wanted to hit someone that was talking to me and i started to shake and i had to walk away from him before i explode with anger and hit him for no reason at all if you dont understand this by know i have bi polor disorder my question is what has helped other people with this illness i dont wanna hurt anyone but sometimes these feelings come in my head and stay for a while my meds are depakoo 1500 mg a day and risperison 1.5 mg if anyone can help me i would really appreciate it thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristina Fender
February, 8 2010 at 6:33 am

Hi, Marc,
Anger issues can usually be resolved with an increase in Antipsychotics, but it would be best to discuss it with your psychiatrist. I can tell you're having speech issues, too. I would also mention that to your doctor.
Good luck to you and let us know how you're doing.

February, 2 2010 at 4:38 am

I have Bipolar disorder as well and I am a rapid-cycler. I wish it was as easy to lift those parasites out of my head as you say. I normally am a happy, ready to go people person. When the mania hits along with racing thoughts I feel I am in a whirlwind or horror. I know some people talk of mania of being euphoric, wildly reckless, and carefree. My mania is horribly irritable, angry, and I feel as if I want to scream at anyone who is around. One thing for sure is during mania; I have the cleanest house in town. There is still all of that energy that seems so negative. Once I come down - I take a nose-dive into the abyss of depression. This lasts longer and I want to do nothing but lie in bed and sleep. However; there is an "in-between period" where I am somewhat depressed but just little enough to fake it and actually seem human to others and my husband. I don't know how he deals with me. He really must love me to put up with someone as up and down as me. I certainly appreciate him and definitely love him too.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Cristina Fender
February, 2 2010 at 4:45 am

I totally understand rapid cycling. Until I got more stable on Lithium I rapid cycled like there was no tomorrow. Most of my mania was anger based and I truly felt that my family had to hate being near me during those times.
I yelled constantly at my husband and my daughter. I was mortified that I was constantly apologizing for my behavior, but I got through it. You will, too. You just need to have faith that it will all work out. Have you tried all the meds you can try to fix the cycling? Perhaps it's time to have a heart to heart with your doctor.
One other thing I can suggest is that when you're not manic that you tell your husband how much you love him for sticking by you. You are one lucky girl!

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