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talking points for bipolar disorder (Page 1)

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LIST OF THINGS NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER:

"What's your problem?"
'Will you stop that constant whining?"
'What makes you think that anyone cares?"
"Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me-me stuff?"
"You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear"
"But it's all in your mind"
"I thought you were stronger than that"
"No one ever said life was fair"
"Pull yourself up by your bootstraps"
"Why don't you just grow up?"
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself"
"There are a lot of people worse off than you"
"You have it so good - why aren't you happy?"
"What do you have to be depressed about?"
"You think you've got problems..."
"Well at least it's not that bad"
"Lighten up"
"You should get off all those pills"
"You are what you think"
"Cheer up"
"You're always feeling sorry for yourself"
"Why can't you just be normal?"
"You need to get out more"
"Get a grip"
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be"
"Get a job"
"You don't 'look' depressed"
"You're just looking for attention"
"Everybody has a bad day now and then"
"Why don't you smile more?"
"A person your age should be having the time of their life"
"The only one you're hurting is yourself"
"You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it"
"Depression is a symptom of your sin against God"
"You brought this on yourself"
"Get off your rear and do something"
"Snap out of it"
"You're always worried about your problems"
"Just don't think about it"
"Go out and have some fun"
"Just try a little harder"
"I know how you feel - I was depressed once for several days"
"You'd feel better if you went to church"
"Poop or get off the pot"
"What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective"
"This too shall pass"
"Go out and get some fresh air"
"We all have our cross to bear"
"You don't like feeling that way? So change it"
"You're a real downer to be around"
"You are embarrassing me"
"You'd feel better if you lost some weight"
"You're too hard on yourself. Quit being such a perfectionist"
"Don't take it out on everyone else around you"
"You are going to lose a lot of friends if you don't snap out of this"
"You're dragging me down with you"
"You're just being immature"
"You are your own worst enemy"
"That is life - get used to it"
"My life isn't fun either"
"You don't care about the rest of us - you're so self-absorbed"

LIST OF THINGS TO SAY TO SOMEONE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER:

"I love you"
"I care"
"You're not alone in this"
"I'm not going to leave/abandon you"
"Do you want a hug?"
"You are important to me"
"If you need a friend..."
"It will pass, we can ride it out together"
"When all this is over, I'll still be here"
"You have so many extraordinary gifts - how can you expect to live an ordinary life?"
"I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I am not going to leave you. I am going to take care of myself so you don't need to worry that your pain might hurt me"
"I listen to you talk about it, and I can't imagine what it's like for you. I just can't imagine how hard it must be"
"I can't really fully understand what you are feeling, but I can offer my compassion"
"I'm sorry you're having to go through this. I care about you and care that you are hurting"
"I'll be your friend no matter what"
"I cannot understand the pain you're in, I cannot feel it. But hold onto my hand while you walk through this storm, and I'll do my very best to keep you from slipping away"
"I'm never going to say, 'I know how you feel' unless I truly do, but if I can do anything to help, I will"
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Users who thank puzzld for this post: Birch  Fairy Godmother 

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replied October 17th, 2008
Experienced User
I laughed, I cried - this is the best post ever!!!

omg - I cannot stand hearing people use the "I believe in mind over matter" mantra. Exactly when did empathy go out of style?

I have to add one to the list of what NOT to say:

"Instead of trying to do so much at one time, just pick one thing to focus on"

And I have to add one to the list of things to say:

"Tell me what this is like for you; help me understand what your life is like with bipolar so I can understand you better"

Maybe we should put together a list of recommended responses for those awkward times when someone does say one of those things that just shouldn't be said to someone with BP... Ah what a field day we'd have with that.
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replied October 18th, 2008
hey gals
puzzld this is for you..you are a true gem and thanks for this list..feel like framin it and hanging on my wall..thanks for caring so much.. and i dont feel i say this enuf ..thanks for sharing so much of yourself with me..

soucie..you are one creative smart person..the way you write is truly amazing..it's been great finding 2 lovely people here..
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replied October 18th, 2008
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hey ladies =)
i'm so glad you found this list to be helpful. my husband thinks it's the holy grail!

soucie, i like your add ons to the list. very useful tips.

sarrah jessica, hang that list girl! you are amazing in so many ways and i admire your tenacity to figure out the beast. i am always here to share myself... and thanks for noticing =) puzzld
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replied October 18th, 2008
Experienced User
I love it, im not bi polar, im reformed agoraphobic with GAD and panic disorder

SO TRUE!!!!!!!
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replied October 18th, 2008
Experienced User
puzzld
I moved here in july. my neighbor says she is bipolar and was dignosed as a child. That is pretty much how she introduced herself. for 2 weeks, she invited herself to dinner, bought my girls jewlery and expensive swimming pool toys. She has also sent me a dozen white roses and a dozen mixed roses. The white was just recent because my husband told her I'm not feeling well. He knows that if I see her, I'll be blunt and tell her to bug off. I don't mean to sound rude, but, with what I am going through right now, I don't need someone like her stalking me. one day, my girls were out playing in the yard with other kids. she went out with them. then, she came to my husband and told him to get out there with her because she couldn't handle my girls. i went out instead. well, i went to another neighbor who lives downstairs and "watched" out the door. she tells us how to raise our kids and corrects them in front of us. she keeps asking what she did wrong to have me ignore her. but, honestly, right now, she is better off with me just ignoring her because I don't want to get rude. I am dealing with a lot of stuff right now with no help from anyone. Let's just say that my husband is an Iraqi Vet. Needless to say, I am left "holding the bag." I have tried to be nice, then tried ignoring. She isn't getting the hint. I really don't want to blow up, but she is pushing my buttons. Why am I laying this out there? with what I have told you about her, is she really bipolar or do you think something else. She stalks me and another 2 neighbors. She comes to our door at all hours of the night. she bawls when someone gets mad at her or just tells her politely to leave, they are working, she can't handle kids, (but she is going in for teaching) she called one neighbor stating that a guy was outside her door at 1 am, but to be truthful, there was noone there! (we live up above her and we both were up late the nite she says someone was there with a gun!) when she does have a guy there and is having sex, she screams like she is hurt to let everyone know she has someone there. a friend of ours went over one nite when she did that and says she won't ever do it again. she even screams at the tv. she has woken our daughters up with the screaming, loud music and tv. how do i handle her? I have to live above her until next year. i really want to just scream myself. when my husband says i'm not feeling well, she doesn't get it. with what i have physically, ( i may have myotonic dystrophy) it hurts and i am weak. I'll never get better. It also causes me to be easily depressed. that along with the other stresses, i can't handle some one like her. not only is she an annoyance, but, I am actuallly afraid to be near her and let my kids near her. she scares me and she's only 23. i'm afraid to get her angry. can you help????
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replied October 18th, 2008
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katch
wow, i'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this Sad

i would move if possible. or get her family involved if she has any? she needs help but not from you and your family in your condition. do you live in a house or apartment? you could document her actions and call the police when she behaves badly to the point of causing you pain. then file a restraining order. can you report her to your neighborhood association, if applicable. or report her to your apartment manager. hope these ideas help you. keep us posted. this is a very difficult situation you are in. we are here for you! puzzld
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replied October 18th, 2008
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goingthruit wrote:
I love it, im not bi polar, im reformed agoraphobic with GAD and panic disorder

SO TRUE!!!!!!!


Question what is GAD? puzzld
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replied October 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
katch, set boundaries. Say no, and be firm, and don't worry about her blowing up because it's not keeping you from blowing up!

Someone with any diagnosis does not get a free pass to harass the snot out of someone, and she sounds like there is something else going on with her, too.


GAD is generalized anxiety d/o.
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replied October 18th, 2008
Puzzld
OMG thank you so much for making me fell like I'm not crazy. I am bipolar and well i come from a conservative mexican family to where i truly believe that most of them are bipolar as well. All my family could say was that this was my punishment for having sex with my husband before we got married and i also heard my grandmother say that it was my mothers fault for not raising me right and having me before she was married as well. Now i have done ALOT of things I'm not proud of and i get so scared because i feel like I'm lookiing at myself in 3rd party and i cant stop what i do. I cant take the pills they make me feel sick and i hate feeling like a drug addict (i get called that too by my family) and i sometimes feel like i'd be better off just institutionalizing myself and just get away from everyone to keep them from harm. I'm not sure why i feel comfortable posting this but i guess its the anonymity that is offered through the forums but I'm scared. So scared and i dont who to tell. i keep flashing in and out of my life and its like i snap out of it mid sentence with ppl i talk to and when i get depressed I'm out of my body the entire time. I'm not sure how to explain it, and when i get sad or angry I always write poetry and i HONESTLY suck at poetry but the poetry makes sense. I start to doodle and I'm not sure what I'm doodling but at the end it all makes sense. What is this? I don't know i get so angry and sad and happy and hysterical and yes it is as bad as i am saying it is and i figured honesty to my situation is needed for your honest advice. I cant talk to my shrink i hate him and i just hate hospitals and clinics but i just need help...

myownvoice
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replied October 18th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
puzzld, civility in our society is lacking in a huge way. Ignorance is no excuse for being rude, impolite and boorish. I think it is tragic that so many people find stomping on the feelings and sensitivities of others is acceptable because they are "crazy". I would like to begin a campaign change the term "mental illness" to neurological disorder. This would alleviate some of the stigma associated with these disorders. Thank you for the list. I get "advice" from so many people about how to handle my children with bp. I could right a book on how I should be a better mom and how to get my kids under better control. I know I am not alone and for this I am grateful.
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Users who thank antigone for this post: Fairy Godmother 

replied October 19th, 2008
Experienced User
puzzld, we are here for you. if you can't talk to your therapist, here's where you can be. sometimes talking helps alot and others, well, you know. thanks for the advice. we did go to the apartment complex office. they told her that if she didn't leave us alone, we were going to the cops. well, needless to say, that didn't work. she just came to us crying because we did that. i will have to get harder on her. i hate doing that, because i am generally not that type of person. but, i am going through hard times. i understand what you mean by being "out of body". i have been there. i was tested for bpd. the docs (3 opinions) say "no". it all has something to do with the disorder I have. i was NEVER like this until 4 months after i had the twins. it didn't start with depression, anxiety, ect. it started with pain and discomfort. then, as years went on, i became depressed, anxious, all that. i hate being around a bunch of people, but, i still go to church, shopping, ect. i only have 2 real good friends. my family doesn't really understand. no, nothing you did caused you to be this way. don't exactly know why, but, it's not your fault at all. what are good days like???? by you doing poetry and doodling, you are putting your expressions down on paper. you are talking. it may not make sense but, it's there. i used to write poetry too. i haven't done so in about 10 years. look up my e-mail or go to myspace if you want to go deeper than you would here. i'm here to listen
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replied October 19th, 2008
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Re: Puzzld
myownvoice wrote:
OMG thank you so much for making me fell like I'm not crazy. I am bipolar and well i come from a conservative mexican family to where i truly believe that most of them are bipolar as well. All my family could say was that this was my punishment for having sex with my husband before we got married and i also heard my grandmother say that it was my mothers fault for not raising me right and having me before she was married as well. Now i have done ALOT of things I'm not proud of and i get so scared because i feel like I'm lookiing at myself in 3rd party and i cant stop what i do. I cant take the pills they make me feel sick and i hate feeling like a drug addict (i get called that too by my family) and i sometimes feel like i'd be better off just institutionalizing myself and just get away from everyone to keep them from harm. I'm not sure why i feel comfortable posting this but i guess its the anonymity that is offered through the forums but I'm scared. So scared and i dont who to tell. i keep flashing in and out of my life and its like i snap out of it mid sentence with ppl i talk to and when i get depressed I'm out of my body the entire time. I'm not sure how to explain it, and when i get sad or angry I always write poetry and i HONESTLY suck at poetry but the poetry makes sense. I start to doodle and I'm not sure what I'm doodling but at the end it all makes sense. What is this? I don't know i get so angry and sad and happy and hysterical and yes it is as bad as i am saying it is and i figured honesty to my situation is needed for your honest advice. I cant talk to my shrink i hate him and i just hate hospitals and clinics but i just need help...

myownvoice


the writing and the are are very good for you! keep at it. it is very therapeutic for anyone... even IF you suck. i would love to read some of your poetry. i write, too and i'm also an artist.

bipolar is a real neurological illness and it is also genetic. this is in no way your fault. it's also not your families fault either. the best thing to do is to keep the focus on getting proper help from a professional... a psychiatrist. i know how it feels to hate docs and clinics. i suffered for many years avoiding them. but now i wish i would have gotten help sooner. i spent over 10 years suffering when i could have gotten some help and had a life. i am now happily medicated, married and stable. it's not perfect... i am still adjusting to not having highs and lows. i became so used to existing with them that now i miss them or it feels unnatural to me not to be going nuts all the time.

there are so many people here that are like you and who understand what you are going through. we truly care because we know how dire your situation is. so keep trying and you will prevail. just the fact that u r on this forum is proof that you can do this! puzzld
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replied October 19th, 2008
Experienced User
oops sorry puzzld. i typed in the wrong heading. meant my comment to myownvoice. to everyone else too. i am a good listener and will read all letters. anyone who wants to have someone to talk to other than on here, you can mail me.
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replied October 19th, 2008
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that's funny... i didn't even catch that Smile

i've been supporting so much lately that i think i need some support myself! perhaps i'll post a new topic... not sure what about though Cool puzzld
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replied October 19th, 2008
Experienced User
lol. you sound a lot like me. you come last right????
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replied October 19th, 2008
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Puzzld....... This is brilliant! You are something else!
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replied October 19th, 2008
Experienced User
Unfortunately, I have a few more to add to the list.... Things that have actually been said to me in the last few days:

"I think you were misdiagnosed. You don't seem like the bipolar people on Law & Order last night. They were in total denial that they were bipolar". (sigh... It took me 10-15 years to figure it out lady- ok??? And you're comparing me to what you saw on TV? TV? Not even Oprah, but SITCOM TV???)

"I've already told you this ten times!!! Why can't you remember anything? You don't remember anything I tell you!!!" (of course I don't remember; everytime someone starts talking I start thinking about how many baby beanies I have crocheted so far this week)

Here's one to add to "What you should say"

"How are you doing today?" or "How are you feeling today?". Just ask one way or another. It shows us that you care about us on a day to day basis and you recognize that every day may be different for us - cause it usually is in my experience.

~soucie
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replied October 19th, 2008
Experienced User
soucie wrote:

"Instead of trying to do so much at one time, just pick one thing to focus on"


How funny... I am quoting myself here. Since there are a lot of people here who have loved ones dx'ed with bpd, I thought I should clarify on this.

Telling someone in a mania/hypomania phase to "pick one thing" (or three or even ten things) to focus on literally does not compute. I don't know how else to explain it, but that is exactly how I experience it.

So let's say I have ten different hobbies/interests/projects that I'm chasing at once. If you tell me to pick just one to focus on, I will tell you that is not even an option. Or I will tell you that astrology, numerology, tarot and intuitive development all count as one thing cause they'll all "basically the same thing" (they aren't, but I will try to convince you that they are!).

So anytime someone tries to tell me to "slow down!", "just focus on one thing" while I am in a hypomania phase, just know that I (historically) have not been able to even come close to computing that very concept.

I want to make a t-shirt that reads, "Processing Error U" on it. As in, I'm having extreme difficult processing what YOU just said."
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replied October 20th, 2008
Experienced User
amen sister. i was not diagnosed with bpd, however, the problem is pretty much the same. i too have problems doing one thing. i usually get 5-10things going at once. when my son was alive, i dealt with like 6 issues at once. someone told me to choose just one thing and i told her "if i wait for the frist thing to get done and then the next, i'll be dead before they get done." i can't slow down. physically, now, i have to, but i still have a million in one things going on at once. Live the day to its fullest!
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