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My mum has bipolar

I’ve always struggled with dealing with my mums mental illness. I get snappy at her when she doesn’t understand things and I hate it because I know she can’t help it and then after it makes me feel really guilty. This happens everyday and it’s draining me. If anyone has any ideas on how I can deal with this anger it would be really appreciated. Thanks 

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Re: My mum has bipolar

Hey @lucymcd1234 welcome to ReachOut Smiley Happy Relationships with parents can be hard to navigate at the best of times, so I can only imagine how you'd be feeling about your mums bipolar. I know whenever I snap at someone I love, I also feel really guilty - I think that shows  that you're a caring person. You mentioned wanting some tips on how to deal with anger and we actually have an article on it here if you'd be interested in reading it. 

 

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Re: My mum has bipolar

Hi @lucymcd1234! Welcome to the forums!

I don't blame you for getting snappy with your mum. It's a big challenge to have a family member with a mental illness. Smiley Sad
I care for some of my family members and I often get annoyed with them too. I recently heard a story from another carer and she mentioned how she also gets snappy with her family member and went to a support group where other carers echoed her experiences. I think this is a really common issue, so you're definitely not alone.
Some strategies that you could use could involve leaving the room, doing something to distract yourself, doing something physical like exercising, tearing up paper or punching a pillow. I also feel better after venting about it to someone else or writing down how I feel. Do you think any of these would work for your situation?
We also have a section on the ReachOut website about supporting family that might give you some other ideas.

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Re: My mum has bipolar

thank you for the advice. ill try some of the exercises that are recommended when dealing with anger. I just wish i had a connection with my mum so i didn't get frustrated with her, all my friends think i'm mean to her but i just wish they understood how hard it is for me to create a connection when i feel like i have more of a mum role than my own mum..

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Re: My mum has bipolar

hey thanks!
yeah it is a big challenge but it feels good that im not alone with it! ill try getting my anger out in a different way so it doesnt build up. thanks for the strategies ill give them a go and hopefully it helps.
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Re: My mum has bipolar

Hey @lucymcd1234 

 

Thanks for sharing your story. It is lovely that you are looking to improve your relationship with your mum. Even though you do get angry at her, from what you've posted it is obvious that you really care about her.

 

In terms of feeling frustrated or angry - you're not alone in feeling this way. It can be challenging, especially if your mum isn't receiving the right support. Do you know if she is receiving any professional support at the moment?

 

I think @WheresMySquishy's suggestions below are really good. Another option would be to practice deep breathing the next time you feel yourself getting frustrated. Step aside, practice deep breathing for 5 minutes or so before you act. I think it can also be helpful to try and think of things from her perspective. 

 

If you don't mind me asking, can you list some positives about your mum? Sometimes even reflecting on someone's positive traits/aspects can help us feel more warmly towards them, so it might be worth trying that in the future.

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Re: My mum has bipolar

@lucymcd1234  I understand your frustration about your friends not understanding what it's like to deal with your mum's mood swings. I think it's a really hard thing to imagine unless someone else has been in that situation themselves. I care for some of my family members and I personally think that your reactions are relatable and that it's normal to feel snappy towards family members with mental health issues.
I think that it could be a bit hard with the coronavirus situation, but I think that joining a support group for family members or having support from your mum's team could be beneficial. There might also be online forums for family members of individuals with mental health issues. SANE has a Carers' Forum, which has a lot of self-care tips and resources.