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

June 29, 2011 Natasha Tracy

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 .

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2011, June 29). What Are You, Bipolar? Mental Illness as a Weapon - Video, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

Broken hearted
January, 25 2019 at 1:20 am

It’s not true, I never provoke him physically. I am 96 pounds. He is 6’1 and 230, that would be stupid of me

Broken hearted
January, 25 2019 at 1:18 am

I am unsure if this will ever be seen but I have to get it out..
I am schizophrenic. My boyfriend insists on being verbally abusive about it. My mother has the same disease and I often call her for advice or help amidst psychosis and such. I have been finding new outlets and trying to come into a new person. My boyfriend on the other hand insists on throwing words in my face consistently like “delusional” “lunatic” “crazy b****/c***” telling me I belong in a straight jacket or psych ward or on medication or continually tells me “you need help.” I’m working on getting help, he does the opposite of helping. When someone nitpicks and nitpicks at you during or during a buildup to an episode, they worsen exponentially. I hit a point of panic attacks. Screaming crying begging to be left alone, eventually the consistent sound of his loud voice makes me want to hurt myself, I completely spiral. He torments me and won’t stop, I will be on the ground tearing my hair out screaming and crying, and He. Won’t. Stop. He’s broken my hair appliances, slammed me onto the nape of my neck nearly paralyzing me. He said it was my fault as I came at him first and due to my illness I blacked out therefore I don’t remember how I provoked every single fight... please help me

January, 25 2019 at 7:43 am

Hi Broken Hearted,
I'm so sorry you're in that situation. It's without-a-doubt abusive. You need to get help to get out of that relationship.
I highly recommend you look at our resources and hotlines page here:…
Specifically, please call these people: National Domestic Violence Hotline -- 800-799-7233
Also, we have a blog on verbal abuse and it talks about some of the issues you are facing. You can find it here:
Please get away from this person. You don't deserve that pain.
- Natasha Tracy

December, 16 2018 at 8:06 pm

I don't know whether my bipolar has been used against me or not in a certain case but I'd like your opinions anyway, all I know is that I feel hurt. Please be kind, I'm a bit vulnerable and all over the place at the moment. So here goes- I've been married for nearly 30 years, my husband doesn't abuse me but I do feel smothered and treated like a child by him sometimes. I know he loves and worries about me, he's just trying to protect me from myself. Anyway, I feel like I can't breathe at times, that he's not always available to talk to me, is sick of talking to me. He's very busy, stressed at work, and pulls away when like that. So recently I went away for a weekend with friends to just get away and relax. I've known these friends for over 25 years, they love and care for me. Unbeknownst to me, I was having a mild hypomanic episode, and stupidly threw myself at my single male friend, we've always been close and I have had a 'crush' on him in the past. He was very understanding and didn't take advantage of me but he did kiss me. I went back home and then we started messaging each other, I was the main instigator here, he kept telling me it was wrong. We got a bit carried away with those messages and my husband realised something wasn't right so he checked my phone when I left it charging. Well, it all blew up, he confronted our friend, he apologised profusely and said he was totally to blame, that he could take advantage of me because of my "condition". My husband said that it all happened because of my " condition". My husband was understandably upset, my friend has pulled away. I know what I did was just so wrong but it feels like these men in my life ONLY see my illness and not me as ME. That I'm my own person with opinions, feelings, needs and wants like everyone else. That all these aspects of my personality are the illness speaking and not me! My husband rang my psychologist, made me change my meds, add meds, whatever. My psychologist told him nothing of course, due to privacy laws, but I feel like maybe I'm just not good enough as me, that the real me is being dulled, covered up by meds when others don't like what I do or say. I'm so down about it all. Was my illness used against me, am I in denial about it, or am I really just a horrible person? I'm sorry, I know I'm rambling, but I just feel so guilty, confused and alone right now.

Anthony newman
November, 22 2017 at 11:37 am

ladies please forgive my keyboard language some of it messed up .but if you all has a questions about it i m more then happy to answer them god bless ?

November, 25 2016 at 5:01 am

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.

July, 17 2016 at 7:22 am

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?

Nicole HR
March, 16 2016 at 8:49 am

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.

February, 1 2016 at 2:15 am

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....

August, 29 2014 at 9:13 am

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.

May, 28 2012 at 6:54 pm

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. =)

July, 1 2011 at 12:16 pm

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?"
"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!!!

Natasha Tracy
July, 1 2011 at 7:08 am

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

Alistair McHarg
June, 30 2011 at 12:29 pm

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.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Anthony newman
November, 22 2017 at 11:30 am

hi I m not bipolar .but my wife xhristina and ministry woman of her church.we don't go to the same church. Sometimes I try to conversation to her as a deaf man and she's hearing .she started to be so mean when it come to a calm conversation and I go at her likely what's with you why are you being so emotion up .you has no problems being on the phobe for three hours with friends and your bishop. So I get really puss with her because continue to do it as often .and I go likely why everytimees I try to make a conversations with you it end up in a horrible way .why are you acting this kind of way we just talking and why are you being so selfishness when it come to talking .all of a sudden I trying to tell her who she's has be come and what I don't accept from her as a husband she keep deny them and throw it back at me that im the problem and never notice that she's the problems .she think she s prefect fine because she s a ministry Christian woman and all of a sudden she call me a bipolar which I never hear in my married since one year and 2 month .I was shock tosee what she called me and I said to her serious you're calling ne that words wow unbelievable. so I said okay but to worried. you won't see me speaking to you or sleep next to you .so what I m about to do now is saving up a litt funds and get move out if out house with out she knowing it just walk out and leave a notice end of story .apologies won't bring us back I don't need that heavy strong words to insult me on purposes nah I ain't accept that BS .I will forgive. But nah I ain't tell me how in the world a ministry Christian woman.would say much a heavy strong awful we bow lord have mercy .that's horrible .so for me to be with her no ladies out there think hard about yourself and your life!!!god bless!!

Leave a reply