Expectations of a Bipolar Mind

expectations of a bipolar mind

Expectations are the basis for our opinions, relationships, judgments, and views.


An individual’s upbringing and environment help to shape these expectations.


When you have a mental illness, expectations are formed based on the mere biology of your brain.


I bring this up because it may seem that expectations are something we can control.  For the most part, they are.  When you have a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, you cannot control it when you are in an episode.  


Just like you cannot “will” yourself out of a depressed or manic episode, you cannot form rational expectations with an unstable mind.  They will just be irrational and not make sense.




Each individual has a pre-thought out idea about how a situation will start, proceed and finish.  This is the basis for an expectation!


You know how it feels when someone does not act the way you feel they should.


For example, a woman may expect her partner to open the car door when leaving together for the day.  If her partner grew up in an environment where this type of behavior was taught, they might open the door for the woman.  If the partner never learned this type of etiquette, the woman may be let down.


This example shows how a person’s environment and upbringing helps to mold their expectations.


When it comes to bipolar disorder, an individual’s reaction is a crapshoot.  A person who used to open the door for their partner, may not even give it a second thought while depressed or manic.


I spoke about this before when someone goes through a manic episode.  Specifically, hypersexuality is at the top of the list when it comes to mania.  An individual may have a specific way they act in the bedroom while stable.  This can make a 180 degree turn when they become manic.


When I say that expectations are formed based on biology, I have the proof right here.  Bipolar disorder is an illness of the brain.  Since expectations are created from the brain and bipolar disorder is an illness of the brain, individuals cannot control these expectations when they are going through an episode.




This goes back to the questions, “should someone with bipolar disorder be blamed for their actions”?  What do you think?


I think it is important to also ask, “does this person know the difference between right and wrong?”


I am not saying to give a free pass to any person with bipolar disorder to do whatever they want.  Personally, I tend to take on too much personal responsibility.  Even when I could blame it completely on my illness.


This goes right back to expectations.  An individual’s understanding of right and wrong are created from their experience.  A person’s environment and upbringing help to create their expectations.  They, in turn, create the individual’s opinions, judgments, relationships, and views.

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