Bipolar Disorder Community
Bipolar envy
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Bipolar envy

Does anyone suffer from envy?
Is it part of being bipolar?
I envy almost everyone i know and It makes me depressed.
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
Can be. And its hard for me because in every day issues its one thing but in regards to filing a complaint that could impact on people's lives (which can come up in systems advocacy or as a community activist) I have to take that motive out. Everything I've done has been in the right. But I had to concentrate and think things over and talk it over with other people to make sure I was not acting out of anger or jealousy. But that's after recovery with the antipsychotic agent I am taking. Before recovery I had feelings of anger and emnity towards other people. For myself as a person with schizoaffective they bordered on paranoia. Its hard to say. Part of it is medication controlling angry episodes and moodswings which can easily cause these feelings. And part of it is self awareness and not acting on them and realizing where they are coming from. In saying I am recovered I am not saying those feelings are gone. I just know how to stop them from becoming intentions that I use in how I treat people because I stop them before they get to the starting gate. Behavioral therapy in addition to the proper medication can be good as well for handling these emotional changes and to be honest encountering them is normal for most people to some extent. Its what we do with them.
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574118_tn?1305138884
is there a problkem in posting or have i been banned because i said something terrible? i'll try once more
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Avatar_f_tn
I suffer from envy as well but for me I think part of the problem is low-self esteem and insecurity.  If I'm in a room with five people I will find things in every one of them that is better than me; however, there is probably something better about me or my situation  than them too.  I have to remind myself as well that all is not always what it seems to be.  I have a friend that is wealthy and comes across as together but she suffers from great depression because she so desperately wants to meet a life partner.  I used to idealize her because of her wealth but as I got to know her better I realize that with wealth comes great responsibility.  On the other hand I learned that she envied me because I'm happily married.  It helps to keep remembering that there's always another side to everything.    
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574118_tn?1305138884
no it's OK i am not banned
so as i said, words like envy, selfishness, jealousy are all dictionary words and cannot be attributed to a certain type of disease. Otherwise we would found Oxford putting beside the word envy "typical to BP" or "specific to BP". Everybody has these feelings and it's unfair to assign every type of evil to a certain category. But i may agree with you that among these words perhaps envy is more of a charateristic to BP because they know they have all the talent but deprived from success because they can't pursue or achieve due to their shortcomings. I like the photo which monkeyc has put it for himself - surely not his - but it truly represents the personality of a BP and surely can be taken as our logo i.e. the logo of the group (no envy plz!!) because a BP feels imprisonned into his illness and wants to escape, yet he knows that it's a life imprisonment unfortunately. The best resort is to manage something inside the prison instead of screaming for help. Try to get new acquaintances in the prison in order to pass the time, do some prayers, read. Because life itself is short and it will pass anyway whether one is BP or not.

The worst thing i suppose is to be self-centered (I am) and watches oneself continuously. Forget about every aspect and don't look into the mirror all the time
ezz
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222267_tn?1253305810
I used to envy a friend who had a lot on her plate.  She had great work ethics, two beautiful kids and she worked out everyday.  She always smiled and made jokes.  I couldn't understand though how she could always be so happy.

She started talking to me deeply.  Her husband is a raging alcoholic and she enables.  Her kids don't do well in school.  She is the main provider of the household.  The money her husband makes goes to whatever.  She has started 'friendship' relationships with other men.

My point is, I don't think other people are as happy as we think they are.  Some express it in different ways.  For me, i'm the type that will always say how i'm feeling, and show it too.  But I think most people are miserable most of the time.  I have the same problem because I think it's unfair I got the crappy end of the stick.  People around me constantly remind me that they are pretty miserable most the time.  They have the same emotions as us.  Ours are just more intense.  I sometimes feel sorry for myself.  But when I really think about it, I can do a lot of stuff the average joe can't do.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't think envy is a characteristic of BP but a characteristic of human nature.  However, when in a depressive phase of  BP when suffering from low self esteem, or when in a paranoid phase, then envy is likely to become more apparent.  Feeling that everyone is happier, better, brighter etc is something that fits with low self-esteem which can be alongside depression or leading to depression.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can work well in dealing with these sorts of issues, retraining your way of thinking.

The others have put examples already of how the way people appear on the outside is not the whole picture. :-)
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585414_tn?1288944902
  Well I have an issue with a similar concern. I was going to start a thread on it but since it seems so closely related I'll bring it up here. It doesn't seem uncommon. Remember I have the bipolar aspect of schizoaffective and although I have been identified as "recovered' as regards psychosis, I cycle on and off mood stabilizers (because of side effects) and many medications I take for my physical disability do have personality altering side effects so my affect (mood, tone) may not always be normal. But this problem was always there. But before recovery I would act on it and things could get destructive which is not the case now. I have the need to control people and when I get grandiose an urge to straighten out everything in society that is immoral or destructive.
   I'm in the position to help people and also judiciously field complaints and overall systems change so I can't act on these thoughts. But they do come back. I also notice that in having recovered that many people who put me down before recovery as "crazy" have issues of their own and I always think "now its their turn". I can't act on these thoughts because I did guide some of these people into mental health treatment which they needed but I can't do it in an aggressive or controlling way. The more important thing is I've noticed other people with bipolar, even cyclothymia can get controlling at times and when they want to control people the most is when they have lost control of their own judgment and want to regain it through controlling others. I can see this in myself at times as wel. But have other people experienced this too? I think this relates to "envy" but perhaps one step further.
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607502_tn?1288251140
I envy sane people some days, blissfully ignorant in their own worlds with no concept of what it can be like to be me.

Not being able to have children I sometimes envy those couples who can.

However I dont think for me these ae bipolar as much as human being behaviours, I gree with bulldozer about the self esteem and depression feelings and know right now that I am where she is talking about.
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585414_tn?1288944902
Yes but the thing is a lot of what goes on in bipolar are emotions that run too high. A person with cyclothymia can pass for normal. Sometimes people I knew who said they were a "chatterbox" afterwards admitted they actually had bipolar. On the other hand not everyone who act this way has bipolar. Psychosis is something everyone can see. And extreme grandiosity as well but sometimes someone who is "the life of the party" is manic and someone who is manic can pass off emotive behavior as that. But many ordinary people are that way as well.
  I've never been jealous as regards having kids. Many couples I've known who don't have a psychiatric disability chose not to have kids for a variety of reasons. The difficulty for me was that was the opposite. At the age of 13 at the onset of psychosis I thought that I was apart from everyone, morally superior to them and then were "evil and disgusting". Part of this was psychotic. Part of this was grandiose. But part of it, minus the moral judgment made sense in that I chose not to use recreational drugs or drink, which was good judgment given that my natural father was an alcoholic. But part of it was jealousy. I had lost all of my friends. And other kids not knowing where my behavior came from hated me. So I projected my feelings on them. That continued up until recovery and minus the extreme psychotic aspects, still occurs from time to time.
  One thing we all have to learn, bipolar or not with extreme emotions towards other people, myself included is sometimes you have to let go because you don't run the world and if you act like you do, people will disregard your valid opinions as well.
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't think envy and controlling behaviour are closely linked, IMHO, although like envy it is a characteristic common to a lot of people and not just those with BP.

I see your point regarding heightened emotions but I don't think that we could say that envy or control were "symptoms" of BP, they are merely affected by BP as are all the other moods along the spectrum.

I have to control everything around me but I think this is a double edged sword in some respects.  On the one hand I need to control my environment because I cannot cope with sudden changes or the unexpected.  On the other hand my almost obsessive need to be in control is hypomanic and I run myself ragged and then crash.  

This is an interesting discussion but does really need its own post if it is to be continued as we are veering too far now from the original post. :-)  (She says after writing a long response - sigh!)
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222267_tn?1253305810
I felt sorry for myself for a long time. " It wasn't fair, it can't be true".  I had no self esteem whatsoever.  I was very jealous of people.  I was very angry angry and sad. I think that would be a totally normal reaction.  It was like I was no longer human.  I accept my disorder but I still wish it was different.  That's a complete oxymoron isn't it?  I envy my friends who have children.  I'm terrified that I will pass this disorder to my child.  I don't want to take that chance.  I wish I wasn't so self conscience.
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505907_tn?1258372940
  Hell yeah but I really try to fight it now that I'm aware. I just can't help seeing the injustice betwwen the haves and have nots and I wish I could be blind to it all.
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585414_tn?1288944902
The way you put that sounds completely normal (as for people who are working class being shut out from neighborhoods and the like is my take on your perspective) and avoiding what is real is not healthy either. I and a lot of other people address these issues all the time as community activists, even writing a letter or e-mail to the local paper can settle your mind and maybe get something done. I feel concerned when people shut those feelings out. I would think even a psychiatrist would say so. Its when it becomes an obsession that its a problem. If the energy is targeted in the right direction it can actually be constructive.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have to be honest: I am challenged by feelings of envy for 'normal' people. I don't wish anyone any harm, but it hurts when I see people who can work full time, manage a home and family, and have other activities when I have to struggle just to take care of myself. I do enjoy my life . I work part time, and I have some good friends and interests. I just wish I could do more.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have to be honest: I am challenged by feelings of envy for 'normal' people. I don't wish anyone any harm, but it hurts when I see people who can work full time, manage a home and family, and have other activities when I have to struggle just to take care of myself. I do enjoy my life . I work part time, and I have some good friends and interests. I just wish I could do more.
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