I keep hurting classmates, friends, and teachers and I keep making people mad and upset.
Thanks for your question. Dealing with any mental health concern can be an incredibly frustrating and difficult experience. It can also be really hurtful to ourselves when other people think that we’re lashing out at them, even though the anger may come from our mental health issue.
I want to be careful about providing advice or suggestions because I’m a volunteer and not a professional. It can be really helpful to work with professionals such as psychologists or therapists. They often have experience working with people who have similar experiences as yours. What may be really important is the ability to forgive yourself and to work towards the acceptance that you may need to practice your new skills over and over and over again for them to really start to work for you. This can be really hard, especially if some of your actions during your manic or depressive episodes hurt other people. Self-forgiveness can be a huge part of acceptance and change. Some strategies for this might be things like writing yourself a letter or writing in a journal or practicing mindfulness where you pay attention to yourself and your emotions in the present.
Another strategy to try may be to let people know what you have been struggling with so that they may be able to have some more empathy towards you. This is a strategy that needs a lot of thought though. While I believe that there shouldn’t be any stigma about mental health issues such as Bipolar disorder, the unfortunate reality is that there can be a lot of judgement on the part of other people. Making a decision to disclose your situation is very personal and may be worth talking over with other trusted people in your life.
While living with any mental illness can be a really isolating experience, please don’t feel like you have to isolate yourself. There are always many people who want to do whatever they can to help. You can always reach ConnecTeen 24/7 by calling 403.264.8336, texting 587.33.2724, or chatting online at calgaryconnecteen.com.