Bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information Self-management Top ten tips for dealing with anger We all experience anger from time to time, some more often than others and with varying degrees of intensity. I have noticed that since the start of the pandemic and the lockdown I think everyone has got a tad fed up and for many their plans have been ruined which, has stirred up a lot of anger and misgiving among the general public. Anger and hypomania/mania The problem is a lot of what has happened is outside our control so getting angry at the situation can in part be pointless and a waste of your precious energy. There are many forms that anger takes for example when people are passionate about something their passion can be misconstrued as them being rather angry and dogmatic. Another example is when people can get angry at an injustice their anger can fuel them to fight on behalf of those that cannot. Yet another example of anger is seen in those with bipolar, especially and from my own experience when I am in a hypomanic or manic state. I am often very irritable and angry with people in this state especially when the poor soul at the receiving end does not see eye to eye with me and my grandiose vision and ideas for my life. I can be quite selfish and dismissive of people and their viewpoints when I’m in this hypo-manic to manic state which, can result in the other person getting frustrated and angry at me which just starts a war on who will win the angry and frustrated battle. For people bearing the brunt of someone’s anger it can be quite taxing and for me personally I get quite shaky. I find I rarely get angry; I just do not really have it in me. For me in particular I find it takes a huge amount of effort to get me to explode. I am like the iceberg that destroyed the Titanic when it comes to my anger, when I do get angry people only see the superficial tip of the iceberg of things that may have made me angry and often fail to see below the surface at all the little things that have built up. How to manage bipolar anger So let’s look at ways we can deal and manage our anger: Before reacting out of anger count backwards from ten as this will give you time to think before you say something you may regret and can also help calm you down. When you feel yourself getting worked up if possible, remove yourself from the situation so that you can get a breather and get some clarity. Try taking some deep breaths to calm the adrenaline that is coursing through your veins. Never respond to an email or a text when angry as once you have sent it there is no coming back. Never go to sleep angry always aim to resolve a dispute, that way you can have a restful night sleep. Just because you have bipolar that does not excuse bad behaviour and unleashing your anger on your partner/family or unsuspected bystander. If you find you are constantly in a state of anger and annoyance it may be a sign than you need some professional help to deal with it. Some anger is justified, and some is not so learning to know the difference is important. Limiting your overall stress can help reduce the amount of anger that you feel that can often leach out when you feel things are out of your control. When you feel angry if you can do some exercise such as a run can be beneficial as this can help you work through the anger, leave you feeling calmer and help put things in perspective.