Do mental health issues cause you to loose control?
Due to serious technical malfunction…(read; EPIC FAIL all on part of author…not our awesome admin MB) todays post…. scrambled eggs. Repairs completed, post now decipherable and reader – friendly. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or crossed eyes.
Do Mental Health Issues Cause You To Lose Control?
Well, this is a very broad based question isn’t it? There are so many variables with mental health issues. So many illnesses…. so many issues. Let’s see if we can narrow it down just a bit, shall we?
First off and right away let me say WE can all lose control at some point or another whether we have a mental illness or not. It’s human nature to become irritable, grumpy and even downright angry from time to time; when the grocery line closes just when it’s your turn or the bank teller close his/her window just when it’s your turn. I realize these a very basic reasons for people to get irritable or “lose control” but I think you get the idea.
Here’s where I’m going to narrow it down a bit so I can hopefully give you the answer you need.
There are many mental illnesses with many different symptoms with innumerous ways in which these symptoms can manifest themselves. Since this site is about Bipolar Disorder, we can talk about bipolar symptoms, but the fact of the matter is that there are many symptoms from different mental illnesses that can be very similar. I have Bipolar 1 DO and the two situations I mentioned above wouldn’t normally cause me to be any more or less irritable than a person who doesn’t have Bipolar DO.
Let’s say I haven’t been taking my medication or I’m in an agitated manic episode or I’m just having a good old fashioned bad day…. it could be just about anything and it could also be about nothing other than my illness manifesting itself. Throw in just one or two or ALL of these factors….. oh yeah you betcha…..I am definitely at risk to lose control!
I’m sure you’re wondering now, “yikes” what dose that mean exactly… “Lose control?” Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry in general haven’t done much to dispel the myth that a person with a mental illness is a, raving mad, knife – wielding lunatic. It has taken some time, but the Industry is now much more responsible in terms of how they depict a person with a mental illness. Unfortunately the vision of a knife – wielding lunatic will forever be branded into the minds of some people
I’m sure many of you know or know of a person with a mental illness and know that this is simply not the case for much of the mentally ill population. Now I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that there are people with a mental illness whose symptoms are so severe that they are violent and a danger to society. These people have to be in a locked and secure environment to prevent them from hurting others or themselves.
So yes, I know for a fact I can “lose control” because of my mental illness or mental health issues. I’m also quite certain that I’m not alone in this; I’m sure other people who have Bipolar DO or any other mental illness “lose control” from time to time.
I can pretty much guarantee that none of us enjoy or like it when we “lose control. There’s always the risk of emotionally hurting the ones we love and care about, or lashing out at a stranger,
Just as we are all individuals so are our symptoms. The way I might lose control can and probably will be different than the way someone else might lose control. It’s also important to note that our symptoms can manifest themselves in different ways from one day to the next.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean so you can get a better picture of what it’s like for me to “lose control” depending on the day and circumstances…
1) Boys playing XBOX – no chores done My reaction;
~ Hands on hips, exasperated *sigh*
~ Turns off XBOX
~ Take away XBOX for 3 months
~ All while telling them in very angry voice that this what happens when you don’t do ALL of you chores
2) In my car at a red light & light turns green & the car behind me starts blaring its horn immediately! My reaction;
~ I ignore honking
~ Don’t move my car an inch
~ Continue to ignore honking
~ Just as light turns yellow proceed through the
Intersection-leaving honking car stuck at red light
I debated with myself long and hard on whether or not to share this incident. I finally came to the conclusion that I would share it as I believe with all my heart that people
need to see and understand just how vitally important it is
that a person with Bipolar Disorder receives proper treatment and medication.
3) Just prior to being correctly diagnosed (I had previously been
misdiagnosed w/depression, put on an antidepressant and was in a highly manic state) I caught my then boyfriend at the time cheating on me. When I say caught I mean “caught” so to speak. I think it’s fair to say I was just a bit ANGRY. They didn’t hear or see me much less know I was there. My reaction;
~ I went to his garage and got a bat…he liked baseball…. I’ll just say large expensive SUV’s make for good batting practice.
He felt so guilty about the cheating he didn’t care about his vehicle. I was fortunate….he could have pressed charges or worse…hurt me.
My actions and behavior in this situation is what is considered a manic rage. These rages can have serious consequences, as I said I was fortunate.
I WANT TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT IN NO WAY DO I CONDONE OR APPROVE OF THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR
Sometimes it can be overreacting to your kids behavior, being passive aggressive to another driver while driving, damaging someone’s property (which I am NOT proud of) or in the most serious of circumstances harming yourself or another person. The phrases “losing it”, “losing your temper” and “acting out” are just other ways of saying “losing control” However it is phrased or stated, it is one of the main components/symptoms of the mental illness Bipolar Disorder.
Fortunately, being in treatment and on the right medication can greatly reduce your chances of having these types of episodes and/or reduce their level of intensity.
I know for myself that this is very true. Although there is no cure for Bipolar Disorder, being in treatment and taking the right medication can greatly reduce your symptoms to the point where most of us can function very well in society (sometimes better than those who have no mental illness), be successfully employed, raise families, become successful writers, entertainers, advocates for the mentally ill through public speaking, coordinating charity events, being administrators for advocacy organizations….and the list just goes on and on.
There are still times on a few occasions when I’ll have a “lose control” moment or episode. On a good day I can catch it and stop it before it even starts. On a not so good day I have the most wonderful, understanding husband, a plethora of support from a few family members, and an amazing group of beyond awesome online friends who are ALWAYS there when I need them. There are just way too many to list, but you guys all know who you are! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Yes, from time to time people with a mental illness can lose control, but with treatment, the right medication and a support network they can be very infrequent and manageable.
I hope this has helped and has answered your question thoroughly.