Antagonistic Behavior in Bipolar. Where Does it Come from? How to Help a Person Cope with it?
I am concerned about one issue I find in dealing with a family member and a few friends with bipolar. I can't say I haven't been guilty myself of doing irrational things in the past before I recovered from schizoaffective disorder. Its just its the opposite with them. They compulsively will start a debate from nowhere taking the person's side who is opposed to me. Before I recovered I did think in an illogical way. I didn't care what people think. That's unhealthy. But the family member instead of being concerned and seeing both sides will compulsively take the other side "how they would feel", their "perception", etc. and they don't even know the person and it may even not be a conflict to begin with but they make it into one. Or keep telling me what not to do but not tell me some constructive action. Such as a friend with b.p. after a specific incident I was reporting (cannot detail) "after a while you have to stay out" but then he didn't tell me what to do. And then started an arguement about it. And he supported me that the other side was in the wrong to begin with. Also anything with the family member from the bipolar is "blame". I try to explain its constructive criticism and they shouldn't talk to me about it. They should speak to their therapist about it. I don't want to discuss their life with them to begin with. Its not appropriate. But I explain to them calmly "please don't debate or psychoanalyze my e-mails" (right now I can't use the phone) but then it happens again and again. Where does it come from? Is it a compulsion? Is there a term for it? And how (besides treatment which they are thinking of but its occured with other people I know as friends regardless who are under treatment) do I deal with it? And how can they learn not to do it from their terms as its unhealthy for them? Any strategies or suggestions?
"Devil's Advocate" is the term that comes to mind. I've been accused of it and I know several family members of mine who always seem to know something other what most people know. They always believe in some strange thing (like you can't absorb any calcium from cows milk because we can't process those huge molecules...) and though this sounds mild they're this way about EVERYTHING! Oppositional / Defiant Disorder is what I think they have. BP is connected to so many other mental problems that this is not difficult to believe if they're your relative. They argue at every opportunity and are regular "know-it-alls. If they take actions against prevailing wisdom then they might have Conduct Disorder which is just a more fierce condition of ODD. This is my educated guess as to what your relatives have. What can you do? The one who's one of the worst ones in my family doesn't even BELIEVE in mental disorders so there's no use telling him. I do find it shuts them up to let them know that my position is they have ODD and I'm tired of the endless arguments. As for myself I asume that I have some amount of this condition and I try to be aware that my "always a rebel" attitude plays against me. I try to be open minded and control that impuse. Good luck, lLADVOCATE. You, who are always working so hard to help and do the right thing, sure don't deserve this treatment.
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