Bipolar Disorder: Trusting Your Emotions

Song of the Day: Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

Over the years of mood swings I have completely lost confidence in my decision making as I no longer trust my emotions to guide me.

For example: hypomanic ideas and overconfidence have led me to apply for full time jobs that I was in no way ready for, so ended up quitting after plunging into depression. The high of the hypomania just makes you feel you can accomplish anything and become a billionaire in a month! When I’ve ended one of these jobs, my confidence is usually completely shattered.

The question is- how do you know which feelings are authentic, therefore can be trusted to make sensible decisions, and which are distorted with Bipolar and can cause trouble?

I really don’t know anymore and am finding it difficult to accept intense emotions which occur from everyday experiences. If I am excessively angry about something, I know invariably this is part of Bipolar (by excessively angry I guess I mean overreacting with rage to tiny little things). As part of Bipolar I know the emotions can be intensified dramatically, so subconsciously I think I must discount them as not quite real, therefore not to be trusted- like a delusion. And so I deny them. In my head I’m thinking:

“I shouldn’t feel so angry about this, I’m totally overreacting. It’s not REAL anger because it’s Bipolar. It is bad that I feel so angry. Everyone will hate me if I am angry. So I will try as hard as I possibly can NOT to feel angry”.

Having written that down I can now see how crazy my thinking is!! Just because I may overreact with rage does not mean that my anger is invalid. It is still MY anger, it is part me, therefore deserves to exist! By denying the anger, am I therefore denying a part of myself?

OK all this self-analysis is giving me brain-ache, so I’m off for a Diet Coke.


4 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder: Trusting Your Emotions

  1. meghan

    your not crazy at all, i feel the same way, i get so angry that i cant make a decision and then trust its what i really want as i will believe it 100% when i make it and then a few months down the line, i just dont know what ive done! i have a 4 year old daughter so everysingle decision i make involves her life, im terrified that i will get it wrong and we all know with bipolar its never simple xx

  2. Brandon

    I searched google today for the answer to this exact question. Emotion is a major contributing factor to decisions that people make. How is it possible to make decisions when I can’t trust them? I have no belief in my ability to distinguish between passion or even like and hypomania. How is it possible to “find one’s calling”, or whatever, when it’s impossible to know how I feel?

    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      It really is a major challenge isn’t it?! I think I’m starting to know what is Bipolar and what is a true-self yearning. I think Bipolar decisions are felt in the head and true-self yearnings are from the heart. That’s what I’m sticking to now anyway!

  3. Pingback: Follow Your Heart | Emotional Wellness

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