Skip to main content

Last Updated on March 20, 2024


Arguing with someone with bipolar disorder and attempting to fully convey a positive point can be challenging. Individuals with this condition often encounter heightened emotions, causing conflicts to intensify and become more aggressive. The link between this disorder and anger is evident, with persistent mood swings which may further lead to anger and irrational behavior. Hence, handling someone with bipolar-related anger can be tough at times. This article, however, aims to enhance our understanding of bipolar disorder and offer insights into healthy communication strategies to maintain peace and support for your loved ones.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that impacts mood, energy levels and interpersonal relationships. It is characterized by severe mood fluctuations, leading to episodes of elevated highs and profound lows. While arguing with someone with bipolar disorder, their reactions can be unusual and hard to deal with. It involves lashing out, name-calling, showing aggressive behavior, and yelling accompanied by drastic mood swings.

Causes of Arguments with Someone with Bipolar Disorder

Individuals with a mental health condition like bipolar disorder may face a diminished sense of self-worth which results in unhealthy, toxic, or abusive behavior towards others. Untreated symptoms associated with the condition can make relationships difficult, leading to heated arguments. The potential causes behind arguments for someone with the disorder are:

  • Severe irritation
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Obsession with suicidal ideation
  • Anger associated with the condition
  • Pressured speech
  • Hypersexuality
  • Black and white thinking

Some of the possible arguments and issues that may arise in relationships with individuals diagnosed with the disorder include:

  • Unpredictability in behaviors such as handling finances, excessive drinking and recklessness
  • Intensity in emotions leading to impulsiveness such as throwing objects, shouting or physical aggression
  • Addressing expectations within the relationship can result in backlash or not catering to the needs of partner
  • Navigating boundaries around personal needs and space can be particularly complex while arguing
  • Not being able to discuss how to live peacefully together and understand their partner’s emotions as well
  • The necessity for pursuing medical treatment with the condition or seeking therapy can be a challenging conversation to have

Communication Strategies when Arguing with Someone with Bipolar Disorder

While there may not be any universal solution to argue with someone with bipolar disorder. There are certain communication strategies that can be helpful to maintain peace in times of conflicts.

Communication StrategiesHow to Peacefully Argue with Someone with Bipolar Disorder
Practice Reflective ListeningTry repeating in your words what the other person with the disorder has said to ensure understanding. This can foster a sense of being heard without dismissal.


“Whatever you are saying sounds pretty accurate to me and yes this could have been better.”

Utilize “I” Statements for ExpressionExpress feelings and needs by using “I” statements to communicate without blaming or attacking the other person. This can give them a sense of understanding of your situation.


“I am not given enough chance to speak about this matter, I would really appreciate more support from your side.”

Avoid Judgmental StatementsEnsure to remain clear of judgment during heated arguments with someone while they are in a manic or depressive episode. Try sticking to facts to maintain a nonjudgemental environment.


“I would like to comprehend what triggered your extreme reactions.”

Communicate BoundariesEstablish boundaries particularly when arguing with someone with bipolar disorder. Allow space for respect while emphasizing consequences, such as reconsidering the relationship if boundaries are violated.


“If disrespect in our daily conversation continues, I may need to take a break from the relationship.”

Offer Encouragement through WordsAltering behaviors for someone with the disorder may take time, so offer grace and encouragement through uplifting words, especially during conflicts, and let them know that their struggle is valid and is being seen.


“I appreciate that you are working on yourself, and it takes courage.”

Practice Self-Affirmation PhrasesPractice self-affirmation phrases by recognizing that the other person is dealing with a mental condition. While it does not excuse their toxic behavior, it can enable you to maintain peace, safety and boundaries while also holding them accountable for their unwanted actions.


“Despite the struggle, I recognize that I am maintaining my peace while equally supporting my loved one through their struggles.”

These are some effective strategies while arguing with someone with bipolar disorder. However, it is extremely crucial to distinguish between healthy disagreements and abuse, even when dealing with a loved one with the disorder. There are potential treatment options available for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder that can help lessen the symptoms associated with the condition.

Also read: Why Do People with Bipolar Disorder Say Hurtful Things?

The Takeaway

Having to deal with someone with bipolar disorder and trying to fully appreciate positive moments in relationships comes off as a challenge sometimes. However, it is crucial to realize that it may take time to recognize and modify behaviors associated with the condition. When feasible, provide support and encouragement during arguments, especially when they try to improve communication. Engage in active listening, avoid taking issues personally, establish strong boundaries, and consciously separate their behavior from your own for a better sense of peace. However, seeking guidance from healthcare professionals is advisable for a clearer perspective.

Hoor Abdul Ghani

Hoor skillfully combines her Biomedical Engineering background with a passion for research, making a notable impact in healthcare. Her marketing flair adds a fresh and unique perspective to the field. With diverse skills and experiences, Hoor is actively contributing to clinical research.

Close Menu

Revive Research Institute, Inc.

28270 Franklin Road
Southfield, MI

T: 248-564-1485