No one wants to make their loved one more unwell or feel worse about their situation than they already do. Quite a few people that deal with mental illness know it does have an affect on them and the people around them. Granted, there are some people that have either not made that realization or they are just selfish assholes. Be that as it may; there is no reason for anyone to roll over and simply be walked all over. It is in everyone’s best interests to approach discrepancies with healthy skepticism.
The problem with mood disorders is that they so drastically warp the perceptions of the person experiencing it that they may legitimately not have any idea why they are doing what they are. For example, there was a period of time when I was a teenager when I thought God was talking directly to me on a daily basis. That’s how far into the extremes of Bipolar Disorder and disconnected from reality I was. When you’re that unwell, everything can seem like a good idea- especially if God is suggesting it to you.
When I rebalanced, I had no idea what the fuck I was thinking during that period of time. I wanted to put it behind me because I couldn’t make sense of it. I also made some very strange decisions during that period of time which is not unique to just me. Everyone with a mood disorder is going to make bad or strange decisions based on their interpretation of reality unless they know how to identify and manage their unwellness.
Mental illness is often very quiet and stews in the mind of the individual. To identify and root out unwell thinking, we have to be proactive in identifying the potential indicators. A very significant and powerful indicator is just that a particular claim does not add up. Does that mean the person is manipulative? Not necessarily. It could simply be a case of the person making a decision while their brain is unwell and their perspective is skewed out of proportion.
Thus, we want to get to the bedrock of the situation. The facts, the absolute truth where emotion plays no role. I feel this is essential in separating unwell thinking from normal thinking or just plain shitty behavior on the part of the unwell person. A mood disorder will take that small seed of truth and blow it up into a full grown tree. But if the seed is a pine cone and you’re looking at an oak; something is amiss. That something is quite likely the warped perception of an unwell thought process.
If things don’t add up- ask questions. If you find yourself saying “that’s bullshit”- look for the truth. You won’t be able to come to a concise conclusion every time but it’s still worth doing for the sake of everyone concerned. The person with the mood disorder may be in an unwell cycle and not realize it. They could potentially be doing damage to your lives thinking they are on the right path. The sooner you sniff out this erroneous thinking the faster you can minimize the damage.
On the other hand, there are plenty of people with a boyfriend/girlfriend they aren’t sure how to handle. It’s great to want to be there for someone you care about but the unfortunate truth is that there are still plenty of shitty people in the world; mentally ill or not. You want to be skeptical to ensure you are protecting yourself and your interests in the event that the person is not who they claim to be. They may also be the type of person who uses their mental illness and problems as an excuse to treat other people like crap. That is not something that anyone should put up with.
Skepticism is healthy for any relationship. Yes, trust is so important to the long-term health of the relationship. But it should never be blind. Facts and truth don’t care about how you feel about them or what you believe- they simply are. There is no more important tool in the management of a mood disorder.
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