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Irritability vs Rage


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Okay so I have a question. And like usual, it's a blurry set of questions.

A little thing (my husband was singing and making stupid jokes, kidding around while I was trying to read/respond to posts in here - stupid I know but I just couldn't take it) just sent me into an "outward" irritability (tried to keep it to myself but hubby saw it/felt it) and went to shower to distance myself from not only him but to just start my day over. When I got into the shower I felt like screaming, not only for the original issue but for the way I felt and the fact that while I kept my mouth shut and didn't stomp off, for the way I behaved. I wanted him to be gone when I got out of the shower because I knew how I felt wasn't going to go away in a few minutes. I need to be quiet for a bit when i get that worked up (can you say 0 to furious bitch in 3 seconds?)

I know I could have looked up, unfixed myself from the posts and joked with him but I was rigid. I don't know if I was able to,I certainly didn't want to. Selfish I know. ;)

So the instant irritability - bipolar or borderline? I feel bad for my inner reaction and he probably knows that its ME and MY problem and he knows I'm working on this - it's gotten better. I would have glared at him and said something mean and stupid. And if he had kept it up, which he did years ago when his feelings would get hurt because he really is only kidding around and didn't mean to piss me off.

So my question is this (I'll do my best to narrow it down)

Have you ever felt instant irritability/rage - what's the difference between the two and do they flow into each other so quickly for you as they do me?

What do you do to calm down? for me it's taking a shower (if I haven't had one yet) and distancing myself for a few minutes to just tell myself I'm out of line, that this isn't a "real" situation for me to get genuinely pissed off about, that he did not wake up this morning to piss in my cheerios, to look at ME and MY part in my irritability/anger instead of focusing it all on him.

And finally, out of curiosity - what, if any, differences are there between bipolar irritability/rage fits vs borderline irritability/rage fits?

Oh...and do people with borderline personality disorder fly into instant rages?

Thanks for helping me clarify this in advance... I'm still trying to be open about all of this shit that I have held inside teasing apart the tangled mess called moods is so much fucking fun.

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I am not sure that there is a difference between anger in people with bipolar and people with borderline personality disorder. Both disorders list irritability and anger problems as a possible symptom. I think the thing to focus on is how to deal with the anger issues you have arising rather than trying to trace them back to a disorder.

Have you had any therapy for your anger?

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Girl, Rage is not the Province of Bipolar and BPD alone, y'know. We all get ragey. That is when we're not completely shut down and not giving a flying fuck. Well, maybe I shouldn't speak for all.

I know your dx's are new, but try not to stress yourself further by fitting each emotion and each episode into a category you can neatly label.

That sounds way more uppity than I mean it to sound. I know you also just got sober. I'm an addict and I know about feeling them feelings after you've been numbing them for a long time. It's a bitch, that alone even without MI takes some getting used to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is go with the flow, try not to act out on your spazzy feelings and keep posting, going to meetings and whatever else you're doing to stay clean and sane and you'll be okay. It just takes some, gasp, time (the enemy.) Actually, time will become your friend, you watch.

*stepping down off soapbox now*

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Nope, haven't had therapy per se for the anger. I have insurance that just changed and have an appointment in a few weeks.

Yes, I want to put it all neatly into little cubby holes, preferably with doors...so I can lock the little fuckers up when I'm sick of dealing with em.

I have been sober/clean for 4 1/2 years... Diagnosed and medicated since I was 9 months sober.

There's not many people in AA who are talking about it, some of them tell me it's not bipolar and that everyone in AA "feels and acts that way" - those are my own personal reference points for the past 4 or so years. Sometimes I get the feeling I am not BP and want to go off my meds, just to see...but I'm pretty sure that would be a huge mistake and am not willing to take the risk.

I know you don't mean to sound uppity and I didn't take it as such lol

Posting and reading on these boards are the first time since my dx that I have shared details of what I am feeling and going through, maybe not so much to put them in cubby holes (which yes, I would like to but it's not the sole purpose) but to understand and try to take care of what the meds don't take care of - my attitudes and behaviors.

I can go from irritability to anxious straight to the thoughts and feelings of a mixed episode and then to suicidal thinking - that's the hell of it, the private stuff I never share lest I scare the people around me.

Can't wait til therapy and meds start playing together in the sand box like good little brats

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Okay, I misunderstood somewhere about your clean time, sorry. I usually tell people that when they have less than a year clean and/or sober.

Other than working on it in therapy, which is ideal, journaling about it is also really helpful for A LOT of people--including me. I tend to just use my blog though. It's a journal that talks back. So if I feel pissy or even seriously PISSED, I rant and rave and vent to my virtual support group and spare my family some of the bullets. I try hard to keep anger and rage where they belong and not take them out on unwitting victims. It sounds like you do the same.

Now, I'm going to sound like a heretic here, but I can't do 12 step *recovery* because their propaganda is too limiting for my MI, *they* never did get it. I tried for years and it just didn't work. Maybe it's just my backwoods locale, I don't know.

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Yes, I want to put it all neatly into little cubby holes, preferably with doors...so I can lock the little fuckers up when I'm sick of dealing with em.

;)

But, that creates a whole host of other problems... but, I know that's not what you mean.

Bipolar irritability for me always includes some of that evil, scratchy mental energy, often physical energy, too, and I'm just plain irritable for days or weeks or months on end. Maybe I can intentionally ignore what angers me. Maybe I can't. Maybe I can stuff the anger back inside (uh, not well). Maybe I can't. The agitation, however, is always there, just wavering in degree. In other words, I never feel fine and then have something set me off because there never is a "feeling fine" to the state.

There are times when life has me irritable or I didn't get enough sleep or whatever. Then, I can get irritated over little stuff more easily, sometimes over-react and regret it.

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Oh heck, I get so irritable I could punch people. Just random strangers! :) A woman on the train this afternoon was too lazy to push the button to open the doors, so I did it and as I got off the train I was muttering to myself that she was a 'lazy c**t' - I mean to say...BIT of an over-reaction, but when I get like that I just can't stop myself.

The ticket office at my local station being shut for 3 days in a row necessitating me having to buy a daily ticket instead of getting my yearly travelcard almost drove me to tears, and being put on hold can make me actually bang my head against the wall in frustration...crazy...don't talk to me about craaaaazy LOL! :);)

I'm still waiting for any form of therapy, and it will be nice to maybe get a grip on some of my anger and how irritable I get with people over something completely miniscule, but anger was something that we as children in my family weren't allowed to show, so I just allow it to fester away inside of me right now without having any kind of tools to be able to let it out without upsetting absolutely everyone around me.

I guess I just wanted to add my voice to the 'you're not alone' voices on here. ^_^

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This is cool, all the replies.

It matters a great deal to get feedback - I really want to thank you guys - bunches.

I am going to therapy and I will talk about this stuff. I had a therapist but he got sick and would cancel appts so I just let things lapse - not his fault, just the way it went.

I don't think I have ever brought up bipolar issues in therapy.

I have talked about suicide and self harm (been 14 years since I hurt myself on purpose) to my therapist and how to handle stress in school while doing med changes. I worked out some of my issues with the denial of having bipolar (oh that was just a fun couple of weeks with my arguing that it COULD be something else...) I have talked about my kids, how negligent I was and how I used/drank right through their childhoods and all my rages and depressions and ...oh my god, let's not leave out how much the furniture was moved around...jesus. I'm not sure if I have ever addressed the anger directly...hmmm.

I can come off like a newcomer who is early in sobriety at times because I just present that way... immaturity at its finest. I have the tools yet don't know how to apply them.

I started a mood charting thingy that someone posted on here once. I'm taking that with me to the therapist. Too bad it doesn't have a hourly chart. I'm alone since my hubby went to work and I have been edgey, the humming energy that isn't all that great just humming away inside. My thinking is fun to listen to today.... I keep having to tell the voices in my head "thanks for sharing now shut the fuck up" (not real voices...just the ones who chatter - my thinking)

Edgy but want to just curl up in the bed. I know if I fall asleep I will wake up with a major case of the fuckits and will just feel worse. I'm hungry for sweets, cakes specifically but don't feel like leaving the house to get anything. I'm afraid if I left the house right now I would get the energy up enough to buy those 88 items I really don't need, start that candy business that's been in the back of my head since xmas. Not only all of that but I will buy so much junk food that I'll get "looks" from people. Then come home and eat, get disgusted with myself because nothing is going to fix how I feel and food is the last thing I need. Then throw the rest of the food out so hubby doesn't see it.

I'm off on a tangent. Will shut up now.

Yep, am in a edgy depressed state. I don't think I've ever just sat down and thought about how I am feeling and pieced it out...err, together I mean.

So this is the part where if I get more depressed and get some energy I could carry out suicidal plans? Wow. And here I thought mixed was "hurry up go shopping what the fuck are you doing in the express lane with 98 items you stupid fucking cow, hurry take my money I'm off to the mall, get out of my way you old hag, hang up the phone you jackass, wait, now I'm hungry must eat must eat, turn up the music on the radio, no not that song, it's pissing me off ..change channel and repeat."

What is a blog here on crazy boards? does it cost anything?

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Mixed states can include a lot of symptoms. Doesn't really matter as long as the mania is being treated aggressively. I get mixed every now and then. I feel like I don't really want to do anything, but I MUST do something. It's an uncomfortable, edgy feeling, kind of like having really bad anxiety and then dropping acid. After a bit of that, I go totally psychotic. Check out my post "I don't know what happened" and that was my latest episode. I'm still on the tail end of it but medicated to the gills now. It can get ugly if it's allowed to spiral out of control. Just try to tell your tdoc and pdoc about how you're acting and feeling and they should be able to offer suggestions. It took me weeks for me to get that bad, and I was skipping meds the last week, and completely lost it.

EDITED TO ADD- Blogs are free. PM a mod for help if you need it.

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What is a blog here on crazy boards? does it cost anything?
At the top of your page you should see, "My Blog," "My Controls," "View New Posts," etc.

If that IS what you see, click on My Blog, Blog Entries and you can go to town.

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I feel like I don't really want to do anything, but I MUST do something.

Hit the nail on the head! Oh, how mixed states suck. Nothing is interesting, valuable, or worthwhile, and you can't sit still. Ugh.

My bipolar dx is relatively new (though the bp isn't), so I'm still asking a lot of these questions. I've always thought of myself as a pretty irritable person, but now I wonder if it's been the bipolar talking. I mean, the stuff I can lash out at people over is just unbelievable. "Fucking MORON!" is a phrase that comes to mind outrageously easily over the dumbest things (wonderful husband not having brought up a couple jars of applesauce from the basement, etc). OTOH, I wonder how much of it is learned. My mom can be pretty cranky over tiny things, and doesn't have any mood disorder, so maybe I soaked some of it up from her. One of my brothers, whom I used to be really close to and look up to, is an incredibly irritable/angry/raging person, so maybe I also picked it up from him --- though OTOH (yet another hand) now that I'm learning about bipolar, I sometimes wonder if he has it too --- so maybe we're alike because our brains are messed up in similar ways.

Um. Where was I going with that? Anyway, yeah, I totally understand about wanting to sort everything out and know what's what, where do I end and where does the bipolar begin. (See sig.) And about just being irritable for no reason.

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Irritability and/or rage can pop up just about anytime and I become a royal bitch and hate myself for it. I blame it on BP. I've been to ther. but it made me angry. ;) Actually, I had to stop because I don't want to dredge shit up rigtht now because I need to do good in school. And be a good mom. Ther. would prob. help. I think. I hear you.

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I don't think this is addressing your initial questions directly, however, I wanted to give you my two cents on anger management...

*** 20 minutes ***

This is how long it takes the mind and body to physically and physiologically calm down after being stimulated to an angry response.

Avoid the person/situation/thought making you angry (distract yourself with something else or physically remove yourself from the situation) for 20 minutes, giving yourself, your body and your emotions a chance to recover.

I'm not saying you shouldn't take responsibility for your anger but it is very hard to think calm thoughts when the adrenalin and other stress chemistry is going on inside you.

Taking 20 minutes usually always has a big affect on my ability to calm myself down.

Hope it might work for you too!

Sarah

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I totally agree with the 20 minutes thing. I remember that from one of the many times I was in the hospital. They used the 20 minutes for other things.

I usually end up taking a deep breath and gritting my teeth. I don't have the luxury of running to the bathroom with my cell phone and texting for 20 minutes while I calm down.

lol

I am responsible for what I do when I'm angry, irritable etc. It has gotten better over the years but I'm still not sure how much of my internal reaction is something I can do anything about <wrinkles nose at this, as it may not make sense to anyone...ohwell>

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