This Thanksgiving you will probably be around a lot of people you don’t usually see. While we all know family is a wonderful thing, we know sometimes with Bipolar Disorder or Depression, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.
Loved ones, even when they mean well, can sometimes say the exact wrong thing. There are some common phrases we hear that can feel like little digs as we try to maintain our disorder, and I admit, for me it’s tough. Here is a list of some statements we can all agree are annoying. We might run into these or ones similar during run-ins with the relatives this holiday season.
Do these sound familiar? Now you need to strategically plan your response.
First, try to realize your loved ones care about you. That’s why they make comments in the first place. They are showing that they’re being caring. With this in mind, if you hear an irritating remark or question, you should practice relaxation & take a deep breath. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not aware that they’re saying something potentially offensive.
Next, you could either react with compliance and politely answer their question, which, let’s face it, most bipolars wouldn’t do. Or you could ignore the remark, which I do recommend in most situations. The reason I say it’s ok to ignore someone’s comment is for several reasons- you keep your temper down and avoid an unnecessary fight, you avoid hurting an unsuspecting relative’s feelings, you keep anxiety down and possibly prevent a trigger, and you can possibly deliver a hint to the said speaker.
One last thing you could try is telling the person the truth. If you do choose to confront the person who said something offensive, make sure it’s not at the dinner table in front of many people. Even if that person was disrespectful, remember they probably didn’t know that they were, so do yourself and everyone else a favor, and pull them aside speak to them privately.
However you choose to address these types of situations, remember every individual is different and you need to be prepared for any result. I do think sometimes with Bipolar Disorder, we need to learn to bend a little since there are a few needs we have that others don’t always understand.
Good luck and have a fantastic holiday!