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Beyond the Hurt: Coping with Negative Comments from Bipolar Individuals

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Interacting with someone who has bipolar disorder can present unique challenges, especially when hurtful words are spoken. It’s important to understand that these hurtful statements often stem from people with bipolar disorder’s symptoms rather than the person’s true feelings. This blog post will explore strategies and approaches to help you navigate these situations with empathy, understanding, and care.

How to cope with the mood swings of a person with bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder patients often exhibit mood episodes with agitated downswings or dysphoric manias, which makes them nasty and vindictive.

It’s unacceptable, and we don’t have the right to yell and abuse individuals because of it. But it’s important to realize they aren’t doing this intentionally. You can also receive mental health care to manage depressive symptoms and bipolar rage.

In addition to avoiding speaking cruel things to a loved one who has bipolar disorder, there are other things you may do to support them. This kind of assistance is essential when someone is experiencing bipolar anger or manic depressive episode.

Here are a few tips you can use when a bipolar person says hurtful things or shows intense emotions.

1. Try to empathize with others

When someone with bipolar illness says hurtful things, one of the best things to do is to try to understand where they are coming from. It’s important to remember that their words or actions might not show how they feel. Instead, they might be caused by a mental health problem.

By showing understanding, listening to their worries, and giving them help, you can go a long way toward making them feel heard and valued. It’s also important to look after your mental health issues and get help from a mental health professional if needed.

2. Set Repercussions for Crossing Boundaries

It’s important to remember that someone with bipolar illness might not say or do hurtful things because of how they really feel or who they are. But it’s also essential to put your own mental and emotional health at the top of your list. To do this, set clear limits and tell the person with bipolar illness about them clearly.

This could mean telling them calmly but firmly how their words or actions make you feel, telling them what behaviors you won’t put up with, and telling them what will happen if they cross those limits. Helping a loved one with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but taking care of yourself and getting help from a mental health worker can make it easier.

3. Don’t take what they say to heart

When someone with bipolar disorder says something hurtful, try not to take it personally and remember that the condition may cause their behavior.

When faced with hurtful remarks, remaining calm and composed is essential. Reacting emotionally or becoming defensive can escalate the situation further. Take a deep breath, remind yourself of the person’s condition, and respond composedly. Maintaining emotional balance can help diffuse tension and promote constructive communication.

Talk to them in a calm, respectful way. Tell them how their words have affected you and how you understand their problems. Setting clear limits and firmly telling them what habits are not okay while giving them support and validation is essential.

Remember that getting help from a professional and going to therapy can help both the person with bipolar disorder and the people who care about them.

4. Validate Their Feelings But Set Boundaries

Samuel Fletcher, Co-founder, SupplyGem, says, “When someone with bipolar disorder says hurtful things, it’s important to validate their feelings without tolerating abusive behavior. Acknowledge that their emotions are valid and offer support, but also communicate that hurtful words or actions are unacceptable.

Setting clear boundaries can help maintain a healthy relationship. Remain calm, avoid making accusations or taking things personally, and seek support for yourself as well. Encourage them to seek professional help, and continue offering love and support while prioritizing your well-being.”

5. Educate Yourself About Bipolar Disorder

To effectively support someone with bipolar disorder, educating yourself about this mental illness is crucial. Learn about the symptoms, triggers, and challenges they may face. Understanding bipolar disorder can help you separate the person from their other mental health disorders and illness, allowing you to respond with empathy rather than personalizing their hurtful words.

6. Suggest Professional Help

If the person with bipolar disorder is not already receiving professional treatment, gently suggest that they seek help from a mental health professional. Proper diagnosis, bipolar disorder medication treatment, and therapy can be instrumental in managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, including massive mood swings and anxiety. Encourage them to consider therapy as a valuable resource for understanding and coping with their manic episodes or depressive episodes.

7. Seek Mental Health Support for Yourself

Supporting someone with bipolar disorder can be emotionally challenging. It’s essential to prioritize your well-being by seeking support for yourself. Consider joining support groups, contacting trusted friends or family members, or seeking therapy. Taking care of your emotional health equips you to provide better support to the individual and maintain a healthy relationship.

8. Practice Active Listening

During conversations, practice active listening by giving the person your undivided attention. Validate their emotions and let them know you understand their perspective. This empathetic approach can help them feel acknowledged and lead to more constructive communication.

9. Use “I” Statements

When addressing the impact of hurtful remarks, use “I” statements to express your feelings and experiences. For example, say, “I feel hurt when you say [specific comment]” rather than accusing or criticizing them. This approach reduces defensiveness and promotes a more constructive dialogue.

10. Identify Triggers and Warning Signs

Work together to identify triggers and warning signs of bipolar episodes that may contribute to hurtful remarks. By understanding the factors that precede these episodes, both of you can take proactive steps to manage them better. Encourage the person with bipolar disorder to develop more coping skills and strategies and seek professional help to mitigate the impact of these triggers.

11. Offer Support and Encouragement

Supporting someone with bipolar disorder involves offering encouragement and reminding them of their strengths. Acknowledge their efforts to manage negative aspects of their mental health condition and express your belief in their ability to overcome challenges. Providing reassurance and positivity can create a more nurturing environment and help reduce the occurrence of hurtful remarks.

12. Take Time for Reflection

After a particularly challenging conversation, take time to reflect on the interaction. Consider the factors that may have contributed to the hurtful remarks, such as stress, medication, life changes, or external triggers. This reflection can help you gain insights and develop strategies to navigate similar situations more effectively in the future.

Remember, every individual with bipolar disorder is unique. Proper treatment and strategies that work for one person with bipolar symptoms may not work for another. It’s essential to approach each situation with flexibility and adaptability, considering the specific needs and circumstances of the person you support.

13. Prepare an Effective Plan to Deal With Manic Episode

It’s critical to have a plan for what to do if your friend behaves dangerously or exhibits impulsivity because bipolar disease frequently comes on suddenly and changes normal, everyday life very quickly. Come up with a plan with your friend on how you can help in these circumstances.

It may be possible to prevent financial harm brought on by aggressive episodes by keeping credit cards, checkbooks, and cash on hand. Knowing when to stay with your family member or mate and when to get medical help should be part of any safety strategy.


When confronted with hurtful remarks from someone with bipolar disorder, responding with empathy, understanding, and self-care is crucial. By educating yourself about the condition, practicing self-care, separating the mental illness from the person, engaging in honest communication, encouraging professional help, seeking emotional support, and exploring mental health services.

You can strengthen your relationship and promote a healthier environment for both parties involved. Remember, navigating these difficult moments and building stronger connections is possible with patience, compassion, and effective communication.