- Mental Health
Bipolar Disorder-Harness Your Rage
Inside the face of rage
When I was just a teenager growing up, I had a pretty bad reputation for flying off into rages. I didn't handle my anger in a mature gentle way. My father used to say, and still often says I am overly sensitive, that I thought to much about what other people though about me. Of course back then who knew what they now call Bipolar Disorder was just beginning to invade my life. I blew off my anger like a wild fire hose on the loose.
I didn't just get mad, I went into a violent rage. Tearing posters off the wall, destroying my possessions, throwing away any collectibles I accumulated over the years. Clawing myself until I bled. This could take a few minutes or go on for hours, depending on what I was destroying. Almost every one of these rages escalated into blindness. I rarely remembered what damage I proceeded to do upon my poor little bedroom, one I shared with a younger sister. She was lucky, I left her things alone and only managed to annihilate my own.
I always avoided confrontation when in moods of anger, because I was afraid I would someday hurt someone. I was bullied most of my life because I was extremely shy and rarely spoke unless spoken too. I suffered in school, because if called on in class, I refused to talk or answer, making myself great fodder for the kids to make fun of.
After class they would taunt me, goad me into fights, ones I only participated in if I needed to defend myself. Which was often.I was an open bottle of anxiety ready to explode at any given moment. They didn't know that, they thought I was just someone to be used as a human dart board for their meanness.
Eventually people didn't bother me, except to drop nasty notes in my desk or locker, calling me crazy, stupid, ugly, moron, retard, jackass, trash, and any other name calling tirades they could come up with.
To many questions
I suffered in silence against something I did not understand. Why my moods became happy and then dark within weeks or months of each other. Why I was so sensitive to everything thing, why I was entrenched in other people's pain? Why did I cry when I should be laughing? Why did I laugh and act like I was above the world when I should be crying?
I didn't understand what was happening to me. I thought suicide and death were my only answers. I was not seeking attention, if anything, I wanted to crawl under a rock and forget who I was, and run away, change my name and start over fresh. And in the long run that never worked either. My frustration grew as I got older. The teasing and children all grew into adults, I just moved from town to town trying to figure out why my manic depressive mind was wrecking my life.
Going through life raging was taking it's toll on me. I eventually began seeing doctor's and was diagnosed with Bipolar 1. So now I began a regimen of medications, and therapy, and began finding ways to deal with rage, and stop throwing my life away.
Some ways I found to deal with anger and rage:
Breath, simple as that. Count to ten over and over while taking deep concentrated breaths. Don't just give it a small attempt, work on it like you mean it. Breath deep and slowly, counting- 1- breath, 2-breath, 3- breath and so on. Concentrate as hard as you can.
Take a walk, leave the environment you are in. Walk it of, run if that works, but walking takes you away from the moment you are in. Get away from the place you think you might destroy. Keep walking until you are tired out. Go back with a fresh perspective. This works if you motivate yourself. It de-escalates the trauma of anger you are in at the moment, so get out of the space you're in and walk.
Listen to soothing or loud music. Focus on something besides the rage or destruction that is on your mind. Get into the music, let the rhythm and the beat take you someplace else.Sense the words going through your body. Let them melt all your anger into a small manageable ball.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs at all costs, this will only make things worse, in the long run it isn't at all helpful, the idea is to find natural ways to combat your feelings of anger and rage.
Call or talk to someone you trust. Even a hot line if you have no one you can talk to. Talking about what is bothering you is sure to help calm you down. Find someone who will listen with an open mind, just talking can help relieve the pressure of anger building inside of you. Talking out loud to someone may just help calm you down.
Write, draw, paint. Do something creative to release your raging energy. Pick up a pen and scribble , focus on drawing what you feel instead of destroying all your possessions, or beating someone to a pulp, or harming yourself. It doesn't have to be art, it just has to be expression of your rage. Whether it is good is not the point. Writing has a release of emotions as you yell at the paper releasing those pent up emotions, getting it out to look at later can help you find your triggers and how you want to handle your anger and rage.
Pick up a musical instrument and play. Concentrate on strumming or blowing away your rage with music. If you don't play, now is a good time to start learning, having hobbies to depend on in times of angst can really help you focus on better managing your anger,that all to often turn to rage. You will have an outlet to turn to besides just ripping and ranting out of control.
Be careful of the person pushing your button's, if you cannot deal with them rationally, walk away, come back when you are calm and able to discuss the problem in a less emotional state of mind. You may not be the one with the problem, they may be suffering as well and taking their anger and/or frustrations out on you. Learn to let it go until later.
Think before you act, acting in anger or rage has brutal consequences, you hurt yourself, and quite possibly someone else. This leads to other problems you don't need. Practice the above tips each and every time you feel anger, or the goal will not work, the key is to let it go in healthy and constructive ways. There are many ways to use your anger and rage constructively, the key is making your mind up to learn how to harness the rage that builds day after day. That is why you need to start today, don't let it go on and run your life any longer, fight it, and use positive ways to direct rage elsewhere to a place it cannot harm you or others.
This is not to say you won't have outbursts, but if you can learn to temper your anger before it turns to rage, you have a fighting chance of changing a behavior that is not entirely healthy for you. Jump in and start slow, breathe and let yourself feel new emotions as they release the old and angry ones.
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