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Readers Respond: Hurtful Things People Say About Bipolar Disorder

Responses: 276

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Updated November 05, 2013

From the article: It's All in Your Head
People often say hurtful things to people who have bipolar disorder. They may do this because they are uninformed, because they are caught up in the stigma of mental illness - or even because they think they are giving good advice. What have people said to you about your bipolar disorder that really hurt your feelings? Give us your answers and read what others have said.

There is no such thing!

The worst thing I've ever heard comes from my father: "There's no such thing as mental illness, stop buying pychological books!" Sorry... I mean, wtf? *sighs* Also, he would accuse me of being a lazy, ignorant, childish, manipulative bitch... Well, I never intended to be such a person! I don't ever want this illness. Luckily, my SO is a wonderful person, and so does my mom, for most of the time.
—Guest Chryseis

feelings

Everyday is a roller coaster ride in my World. Every time something goes awry, its my fault. Constantly being asked, "Did you take your meds?" Yes, I take my meds every single day! I am human, and I still have feelings. If I get mad, upset, cry or any other normal feeling I'm being irrational. How about maybe you did something to make me feel this way. My feelings are still valid.
—Guest lacaka47

Not quite, but almost.

I was, until recently, on a medication that gave me bipolar-esque mood swings. I was mistakenly diagnosed, and it was released at my school. I was bullied and ostracized the moment people heard, and I was left heartbroken. There is still a chance I have bipolar, but I am full of sympathy for all you amazing, strong people.
—Guest Thatonekidyouknow

Don't be ignorant, understand the illnes

My Fiance has BiPolar when we first started dating he told me upfront, I didn't see anything wrong with him and didn't do any research. Big mistake I called him a White Demon when he went manic on me one time and really thought he was. He wasn't and I know now its a real illness and wish I would have taken the time to research and understand! Working on it every day! I love reading your comments it helps me understand. Thank you!
—smh2223

Hurtful things people say....BP truth

I have had experience with most of the "stand by statements" that were exampled in this article. I understand that folks say very tactless and mean things usually in ignorance, however, that doesn't lessen the hurt these words cause. I've been cut to the depths of my soul by people I held as my closest and dearest friends. It horrified me that I had opened myself up and let them in only for them to just toss me away so flippantly, because I was too "high maintenance" and they "could not allow me to bring them down anymore." The truth is like GRAVITY. It really doesn't matter whether you BELIEVE IT IS REAL OR NOT. If you step off the top of a 10 story building, you WILL HIT THE GROUND. Making up your mind that it doesn't exist will not change the truth. Of note, folks usually have the most strong feelings about something not being real because they see "it" in themselves or someone they love. If they acknowledge it, then they have to do something about it. Ironic huh?
—woundeddoveministry

Hurtful things people say about bipolar

Not too long ago my husband looked down at me at retorted, "You seem to forget that I am the genius in this household and you are the retard."
—bpbybirth

not very undestanding

my mother whenever i have little blowups asks if i took my pills and when i do bad in school do to my severe depresive states she always tells me im being lazy and that i just dont try... i do try but.... its verry hard sometimes
—Guest bipolar goldfish

"hormones"

The doctors always assumed i was just being a teen but i knew that the ranting and raving followed by laying in bed all day, depression and then random short-lived happiness wasn't hormones. My father has bipolar and my parents are divorced. My mood cycles are a lot like his, and he didn't take his medication and he was a drinker. He was very cruel at times. So often my mother tells me, "Stop, you're acting just like your father," and that makes me feel terrible!!! I can't just stop!
—Guest BipolarGoldfish

Your in love with yourself.

I hadn't spoken to my brother in over a year. In the last eight years since my divorce, hospitalizations and diagnosis he has helped me in so many ways I can never thank him enough. Now comes the but, he just doesn't get what it means to be bipolar. He's the guy who says, "get over it or how long are you going to be depressed that our parents died when you were an early teen". He doesn't see that my divorce was another shattering loss for me on an unstable base. He doesn't have to walk in my shoes. So I stopped relying on him to show him I could care for myself and so I didn't have to be admonished for my poor decisions or behavior. I almost lost my home to foreclosure and I've filed bankruptcy. I have had no contact because I have been ashamed to share these things with him. I got the courage to call him and it confirmed I made the right decision. He told me I was hateful (true people in pain are) when he said "your in love with yourself" i knew he still knows nothing about depression
—Guest Robin

Bipolar Bear

I get called many names. I guess Bipolar Bear really is the nice way of putting the candle in the cake.
—Guest Lorraine

Sisters

It really bothers me when my family says things like 'why don't you just act normal' Or get mad at me and call me lazy because I'm too depressed to go out when they want me to. But the second I stand up for myself and tell my older sisters how rude they are being and how unreasonable their attitude is they tell me i'm 'just being bipolar' and ignore my feelings completely.
—Guest Khali

My Family ...

My sister told me that when mom was sure she was smoking weed in the house, she simply swept it under the rug. When I was caught having a cigarette OUTSIDE in the backyard, my mother yelled at me to the point of tears, and my father almost hit me (The only reason was my mom trying to hold him back, although she asked him to come to speak to me. Stupid idea). I was even asked not to come on the trip to visit my sister at college. I know smoking isn't a good habit, and I am taking steps to quit, but I was NOT doing any drugs and the reaction was completely unnecessary. When I explained this to my sister, she said "maybe it's because you already have so many other problems" and I was floored.
—Guest Luana

coward or medicated?

I was raped and reported it and the accused is going to court but I dont seem capable of being angry, only scared. my best friend told me to stop my medications and grow a backbone.
—2p

they just don't understand

I have had several friends and family try and convince me that my depression is no worse than when they feel down. i resent the fact that I have to defend my position, They just look at me like I am crazy. It's hard enough for me to accept that I have BP2 after all this has been my normal all my life 49 years. I was just diagnosed 2 tears ago by the head of psychiatry at my cities hospital. They just don't get it or don't want to get it. I would gladly trade places with them in their worst day for mine. People just don't get it!!
—Guest Mark

I've sai some of those things

I've said some of those things...we are human, too (loved ones, family, care-givers). It is very hard to care for someone manic when everything they say/do is "want want want, me me me, now now now". Yes, I know it is an illness and it is one that causes some very unpleasant behaviors that others have to deal with as well. Sometimes we might say things because we are tired, frustrated, and just plain worn out. Are there ever any "I'm sorry to put you through this", "thanks for helping & taking care of me"?? And terrible things are said to us, too ( but that doesn't count because of the illness). Bps can say horrible things but not anyone else.
—Guest Me me me
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  3. Bipolar Disorder
  4. Impact on Life
  5. Stigma
  6. Hurtful Things People Say About Bipolar Disorder - What Are the Most Hurtful Things

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