Bipolar Disorder Irritation – Testy, Snappy People!

Some people are just hard to be around. They are snappy, opinionated, sarcastic, and sometimes mean. I have met them! It’s often a personality trait. This means they were born that way and will probably remain that way unless something or someone pushes them to change. 

Bipolar disorder is NOT about the personality.

A personality trait is very different from a bipolar disorder symptom. People always say- “Julie, all of us must have a form of bipolar disorder.” No.  Everyone can be in a bad mood or a good mood, but bipolar disorder is an illness. It’s not about having good and bad moods.  All of us have certainly had bad moods where we are testy when someone even looks at us the wrong way. When a person has a testy personality they tend to be constant in their behavior. If you piss them off, they let you know and you can expect it. This is a good thing as you can then make the decision of you want to have them in your life. 

Bipolar disorder testiness is 100% different because it’s episodic and often takes people by surprise. In other words, it’s not the person’s personality to act this way. It’s the product of an illness. This doesn’t excuse it! But it does offer an explanation.

When I’m in an irritation downswing, a box that I trip on can get kicked across the room while I yell at it. Whereas when I’m in a stable mood, I can trip on a box and then just move it out of the way.  If it’s personalty, my behavior around the box will be consistent. If it’s bipolar disorder,  my behavior around the box will be dependent on a mood swing. 

When I’m in an irritation downswing, people are extremely irritating and I can’t believe how stupid they are! I am upset due to my mood swing and the whole world is going to know about it! But, when that mood swing ends, I see the world differently. This is classic bipolar disorder. 

This was one of the first things I learned from using The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. People don’t like angry people and considering that bipolar makes me testy and easily pissed off –I knew I had to learn to control my moods! 

If you look at my Anger/Irritation Health Card,  you can see what I did to change. I still get in these moods and they are still bipolar disorder related, but they no longer wreck my relationships and people actually do want to be around me!

Being snappy, testy and mean will only happen during a mood swing if a person has bipolar disorder. Otherwise, the person is even keeled and stable.


4 comments to Bipolar Disorder Irritation – Testy, Snappy People!

  • Colby

    I am going to court tomorrow, and I have been a mess, shakey, anxious, and frustrated at everybody around me. I feel like everything someone says is just irritatng and worthless to me. I don’t’ want to around anybody, but I know that is not healthy for me. I have been getting worse all week leading up to this stressful situation. I am worried that I am going to have a full blown depression episode. I cannot concentrate and am having trouble sleeping.

    Hi Colby,

    Isn’t it amazing what stress can do to our bodies and minds… I would be stressed too. It hits us harder- that’s for sure. It’s amazing that you are aware of your anger and frustration- this means you can keep it from ruining relationships and getting you into trouble. I was majorly irritated yesterday and even yelled at a friend- I felt terrible and then realized that is not the real me and I have to manage myself better. I suggest that you have a mantra to say the rest of the day. I am angry because I am stressed and I have bipolar disorder. I will NOT take this out on other people. They are not the problem. I will NOT ruin relationships. I have made it through many tough things and I will make it through this. I know when the court session is over I will feel differently. I can do this and I will. Now, what do I need to do right now to feel better.

    I talk to myself like this constantly- even with the stress is overwhleming. The truth is that you can’t get out of the court situation, so you might as well use it as a learning experience to see how well you can manage the anger. If I can keep myself from punching a wall- you can too!!! 🙂


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  • Shelley

    Ok. I really needed this post. It seems I have been a constant state of irritation and anger and it seems to be getting worse. This is really not the real me and I know it, but I can’t seem to do anything about it. I’m really sick and tired of being irritable and angry. But, I don’t want to take meds to be ‘mellow’ for everyone else whichs means feeling like a zombie for me! I know I need to implement the Health Cards. Hopefully, I will be able to put things into practice, soon. It’s really hard to talk to yourself with the right things when your brain is talking to you faster than you can respond. ADD doesn’t help either and I can’t take meds for the ADD. So, what’s a person to do?

  • Mimi

    I think my boyfriend is bipolar. He always talks to me with quick angry responses. I’ll ask him something and he will yell all right all right! I don’t understand but i blame the cigarette smoking and the extra coffee but now think it’s a disorder. I can’t live with someone that snaps over hun are you hungry or did you want to watch a movie.