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Saturday, November 21, 2009 sinba, Community Member, asks

Q: is there a way to calm down a person when he/she is out of complete control and no reasoning at all

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Answers (2)
John McManamy, Health Guide
11/21/09 12:41pm

Hi, Sinba. The short answer is No. Your question contains its own answer. The person is out of complete control and there is no reasoning at all. In short, there is no way to get through.


Now for a slightly longer answer: The last thing you want is to unwittingly turn your out of control person into a wildly out of control person. Individuals in distress often cannot handle what they perceive as an overload of thoughts and feelings and sensory inputs. The rational mind is overwhelmed. To a person in this state, the world is extremely threatening, and even people with good intentions - people like yourself  - are often perceived as the enemy. Certainly they do not trust you.


So your compassionate approach is often perceived as a hostile act. Guess what? The person gets WORSE. They may turn on you.


Thus - you need to remain calm and project calmness. Be nonjudgmental. Don't attempt to reason with the individual, as that implies judgment and that you're the big know-it-all. If you have to talk, engage the individual on THEIR level of reality, even it that reality is way off the wall.


An example: A person close to me recently told me over the phone. I'm f---ed. I blew it. I'm gonna lose my job.


The temptation is to argue. No, you're not gonna lose your job, and so on. My response was more along the lines of, "Yeh, it doesn't look good."


Fortunately, this person is now being treated. But I wasn't the one to bring him down to earth.


I know this is a terrible time for you. Trust me, I'm going through a version of one of my own right now, so I know how you feel. Please - look after yourself and don't be afraid to reach out to friends and family. Hope this helps -





Faith Goad, Community Member
5/ 7/10 2:52pm

yes, you may be an expert, but not all bipolar people are the same. you see, my feince has bipolar disorder with a small hint of paranoia. the only thing i have to do is tell him how mutch i love him and maybe sing one of our songs and it usually calms him down. now, were talkn throwing things ,bitting his arm, hitting himself, self hattred, screamming, you name it. he hasnt done any of this in a while though. one thing he says, even when he was at his worst, is "Honey, no matter what, ill never hurt you, phisically or mentally, or emotionally,ever."and you know what,he never has(except for when i just didnt understand him,emotionally, that is.the disorder,) i was confused about what was going on with him.

Faith Goad, Community Member
5/ 7/10 2:38pm

Smileyes, the best way to calm that person down is to tell them you love them no matter what in a calm voice, maybe to sing a song that reminds them of a happy moment in there life that isnt the thing theyre upset about.

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By sinba, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/02/14, First Published: 11/21/09