The person I am living with is mentally ill. Fortunately, he’s being medicated now for the first time in his life. He has Bipolar Disorder. He finally takes meds but sometimes the meds don’t clear out the whole illness.
In his mid-50’s he finally admitted that he had this illness. He’d been in denial for a good 40 years, during which time he ruined his life and to be fair, the lives of everyone else in his family too, who bore the full brunt of his wrath during these diabolical episodes. He went untreated for 40 years, and every time you go full blown manic, you damage your brain somewhat.
He’s gone full manic maybe 10-15 times, each time completely destroying his life, which he then has to be up the pieces of and put back together when he comes out of it – 8-9 months later. So he has significant brain damage from this illness. How exactly that brain damage manifests is not known, but I can tell that one part of the brain damage is worsening illness.
His episodes keep getting worse. This time he went to jail for seven weeks for threatening to kill someone. But when he comes down he’s often still hypomanic. Hypomania is a lesser form of mania in which they are not seriously nuts. Instead they are just somewhat manic of half manic. Generally mild enough to where they can still function, work, go to school, etc.
His hypomania manifests as being a horrific asshole. His mother finally threw him out of the house he had been living in for 15 years because he turned into a monster and morphed her life into a hellscape. He’d been doing this diabolical behavior towards her for 15 years now off and on, but she would never throw him out because he would go homeless.
Well, this time she had enough. Going to jail threw him out of the house, and he was not invited back. Like never, ever. In fact, she has a restraining order against him. She will talk to him over the phone, but she refuses to meet him in person. Tell you what, if you are a man, and you made your own mother hate you, you are pretty bad.
Anyway, when he’s symptomatic, this guy is an irritable monster from the time he gets up in the morning until far into the evening. He only calms down late at night after he’s had a few drinks. There’s no way to get along with him. Everything you say to him starts some sort of a fight. He disagrees with everything you say.
The person who lives with me has no power over me. I hold all the cards. I threaten to play them now and again. I have threatened to throw him out easily 50-100 times.
He’s never wrong. He’s always right. He went 15 years without apologizing for anything or even admitting he was wrong about something, including intellectual discussions. He’s spent his whole life blaming other people. Lately he has been apologizing and even admitting he screwed up sometimes, which is shocking because he went 15-20 years without doing that once.
Anyway, I get angry at him in all sorts of ways, verbally and nonverbally.
Shun him, ignore him, treat him like he’s not there.
Refuse to answer his questions or respond to his remarks (silent treatment).
Visibly angry with him. Well, that is one that never works because if you get visibly angry at an irritable person, it just makes them angrier, so you just made a bad problem worse. Congratulations!