Hope & Harmony Headlines: Getting Control over Bipolar Anger

Last Updated: 23 Aug 2019

August 29, 2019   •   Volume 12, Issue 35
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Getting Control over Bipolar Anger

At its worst, anger is destructive—it hurts others and, when turned inward, ourselves.

It also seems “bipolar anger” can be a different animal altogether, unlike the common emotion of anger, which can be a healthy, even meaningful tool—within boundaries. Individuals with bipolar can experience more intense reactions to events and can be frequently more eruptive.

While anger isn’t an “officially recognized” symptom of bipolar, irritability—common with dramatic shifts in mood—can lead to angry outbursts, explosions that can destroy relationships and ruin careers.

“A little anger is a good thing, and a lot of anger is not a good thing,” says Ken Yeager, PhD, with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

A 2017 study published in the journal Bipolar Disorder backed up previous research showing that individuals with bipolar, particularly during acute episodes, displayed greater rates of anger and aggressive behaviors. The authors report that these results provide further evidence of the “need for treatments to prevent mood recurrences and prompt treatment of acute mood episodes.”

When you feel it’s time to tame your temper, experts recommend asking yourself these questions: Did I get enough sleep? Did I take my medication? Am I upset about something in particular?

Work with your therapist and doctor to find ways to decrease the intensity and frequency of angry flare-ups, and help those closest to you recognize triggers to help you manage annoyances before they lead to outbursts, aggression, or a physical altercation.

Also, while not an easy thing to do, try to pause long enough in the middle of an escalating anger experience to tell those around you that you need to take a break, advises to bp Magazine columnist Melvin G. McInnis, MD, FRCPsych.

“Suspending the discussion and requesting that it be continued at a later time, after you’ve cooled off, is much healthier and more productive than succumbing to an anger outburst,” he says. Read more >>

Green Spaces Can Help Fight Unhealthy Cravings

July 12, 2019, Plymouth, England—New research shows that being able to see green spaces from your home is associated with reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes and harmful foods.

The study, led by the University of Plymouth, is the first to demonstrate that passive exposure to nearby green space is linked to both lower frequencies and lower strengths of craving. Among other things, it measured the proportion of green space in an individual’s residential neighborhood, the presence of green views from their home, their access to a garden or allotment, and their frequency of use of public green spaces.

According to lead researcher Leanne Martin, the study “could have a range of implications for both public health and environmental protection programs in the future.” Read more >>

Weathering the Storm: Coping with Unexpected Change

They say that life has its seasons—and that everything can change in an instant. I despise change. When a sudden, painful event tried my strength and tested my faith earlier this year, I turned to my support network to find my way through the storm.

By Susie Johnson

There is a song called “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds, which was featured in the brilliant movie Forrest Gump. The song’s lyrics focus on how there are different seasons in our lives. I despise change. Do you?

The Comfort of Stability
As I have grown older, I’ve become more set in my ways. At work, I park in the same spot every day. If someone parks where I want to, I get irritated. I sit in the same pew at church each week. My husband and I frequent the same few restaurants even though we live in Las Vegas, where restaurants are numerous. Read more >>

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