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What Are You, Bipolar? Mental Illness as a Weapon – Video

I’ve discussed how I like to use the word “crazy” and don’t find it derogatory. Us crazies, we have to stick together, I might say. I’ve also said that people can use any word to hurt you. Don’t tell me you’re a secretary.

But some people use a mental illness diagnosis as a weapon. Some people insult and abuse with the facts of illness and treatment.

Verbal Abuse and Insults About Bipolar Disorder

Linda writes:

EVERY time my husband and I have a disagreement or argument, he starts calling me, “Bipolar”, and saying things like, “Have you taken your medication today”? Or “Have you stopped taking your medication?” In other words, this is the reason, (and only reason) that we have any kind of disagreement, or argument. Everything that I say, or do, that is not something he agrees with, he starts saying hurtful things like that. He calls me “Bipolar” every time he gets angry with me.

I don’t generally like to use words like abuse, but to me, that’s verbal abuse plain and simple. Just as if he were using his fists, he’s hitting Linda with words he know will hurt her. This is never acceptable.

Using Mental Illness as a Weapon Video

More on Verbal Abuse

Some people take advantage of others by calling them 'bipolar' and using mental illness as a weapon. This is not acceptable. In fact, it's abuse. Read more.For more, check out Verbal Abuse in Relationships, a blog by Kellie Holly here at HealthyPlace.

No one deserves to have their mental illness used against them.

You can find  or @Natasha_Tracy .

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar Burble, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

9 thoughts on “What Are You, Bipolar? Mental Illness as a Weapon – Video”

  1. My boyfriend uses my bipolar against me. At times when I’m manic, (which he calls going to the moon), he says “the next time you go to the moon, you’ll never hear from me again, I won’t speak to you.”
    But how am I supposed to prevent it? Control yes, but prevent it”? Impossible.

  2. I experience the same exact thing and it’s truly hurtful. Every time that my husband and I get into an argument, he says the most hurtful thing. Today he told me that my brain was fried and I’m crazy because I’m bipolar. He stayed out all lastnight and I was upset about it. He told me that it’s because I’m crazy. I don’t know what to do, but it hurts. He even tries turning our kids against me. My oldest son doesn’t want to be around me ever because when I discpline, it’s cause I’m “crazy!” What should I do?

  3. Robbie,

    You can and must do better! He is absolutely verbally abusive towards you, regardless of whether he knows what he’s doing. I would demand that he see a therapist with you. An outside 3rd party perspective might finally shed some light on his awful treatment. If he won’t listen to you, maybe he’ll listen to a seasoned professional.

  4. My husband tells me that it’s my bipolar all the time when we argue and he will accuse me of not taking my meds correctly and call me names like you crazy bipolar nut. He has even threatened to have me locked up in a mental institution. I love him so much, but I really don’t think that he loves me… I’m just so hurt….

  5. Oh yes. My ex husband used to ask me if I had taken my ‘happy pill’ today. It was very frustrating and demeaning. I spent years jumping from antidepressant to antidepressant. I have just been diagnosed bipolar and the one thing I am quite serious about is maintaining my independence.

  6. I had an ex like that. Key word – “ex”. It reached the point where I just stopped. REALLY stopped, looked him in the face, smiled, and said “I’m done. I’m not going to argue with you anymore, ever again. You’re not worth it – I value myself more than that.” Then filed for divorce. People in this world are cruel. That’s just how it is. The trick is to know who is or isn’t worth the effort. People are surprised when I say I’m bi-polar. Even more so when I tell them I’ve never taken meds for it, then the fascination sets in “how do you do it??!! I know {insert name/relation} and they’re nothing like you. I don’t take this as an insult – they’re saying “How did you do it, so I can tell some1 else & try to help them!?”. My therapy? Music. I have a song for every situation, sometimes more. I have a man who is truly concerned for my well-being. AT my lowest point he’s said “how can I help?”, and told me that I do NOT need meds. Everyone should have that. =)

  7. Good for you Natasha!!! About 2 years ago I realized something I had not been able to put into words for a long time. I am now taking a writing course. My sister proudly tells people “My sister is a writer.” My husband, on the other hand, told me his new boss had questioned “What’s it like to live with someone with bipolar?”
    Hmmm.
    “Why is it necessary to always tell people you have a mentally ill wife? Am I not more than that? My sister thinks so!”
    And so, as far as I know, he has made efforts to change that.
    But, there are also times when I am asked “Are you OKAY?” (and we both know what he means by that). Being identified by one’s illness is not okay!!!
    As I emphasize to people: Bipolar is what I HAVE, not who I am!!!

  8. Hi Alistair,

    While it may be true people will try to use your perceived faults against you, that isn’t acceptable behavior and not something anyone should just live with. The case above is abuse. It’s not OK to sit there and take it just because someone is horrible enough to do it.

    My skin is pretty darn thick, but then I don’t have an unacknowledging, hurtful, abusive husband trying to make me feel bad about myself.

    – Natasha

  9. None of us get what we deserve, and for the vast majority that’s a blessing. — If you’re bipolar you are going to have that used against you, by friend, foe, and family alike. Get used it. A big part of your recovery involves how you come to terms with this and how you deal with others, gradually coming from a position of acceptance, confidence and strength. PC speech is everywhere else but it is still open season on crackpots like us, so grow yourself some thick skin.

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