Hope & Harmony Headlines: Making Amends Means Getting Better

Making Amends Means Getting Better

It’s hard to admit when we’re wrong. Or that we’ve hurt someone we care about.

But communicating that message can be key to preserving relationships, especially when symptoms that affect other people—such as aggressiveness, impulsive spending, infidelity—threaten to weaken or destroy meaningful connections.

Yes, acknowledging our faults—even to ourselves—can be uncomfortable and complicated. As composer Ludwig van Beethoven once said, “Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.”

But know this: Taking responsibility for your actions is different than apologizing for having bipolar disorder or any mental health challenge.

“Making amends is part of getting better,” says Robert Leahy, PhD, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.

There’s no guarantee you’ll get the response you’re after, however. Whether unintentional or not, the wounds inflicted can have a lasting impact, making quick reparations difficult.

Try to give the process time.

If coming clean doesn’t elicit the reaction you’re hoping for, “maybe you have to forgive them for not forgiving you,” Leahy adds. “Part of it is understanding that [some] people don’t understand bipolar…yet. Maybe they’ll forgive you later.”

While resolution is the goal, keep in mind that being honest about why you’re making amends—and what led to the need to make them—is what’s most important.

bphope’s vlogger Natasha Tracy, says that “one of the most powerful things you can do to beat back an illness that’s dying to stay in the dark is to talk about it.”

Then feelings of guilt and regret can, with time and the right support, turn into deep healing. Read more >>


The Best Way to Forgive Yourself

WACO, TEXAS, MAY 12, 2014—It’s easier to forgive ourselves for hurting someone else if we first make amends, because then we believe we’re more deserving of that forgiveness.

Baylor University psychology researchers say this is significant because previous studies show that the inability to self-forgive can be a factor in depression, anxiety and a weakened immune system.

“One of the barriers people face in forgiving themselves appears to be that people feel morally obligated to hang on to those feelings,” says researcher Thomas Carpenter, a doctoral student in psychology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Our study found that making amends gives us permission to let go.” Read more >>


How to Push Kids With Bipolar to Reach Their Goals

We all want what’s best for our children, but it can be difficult to know when and how much to push them to experience new things; consider these:

Know your child: All the fun and wonderful memories from your own childhood that you want your child to experience may actually just be too much for them. Take a good look at your child’s personality and understand what their interests are, removing your own wants for them. Pushing them into sports when they don’t like anything about sports won’t be the best plan. Try to disregard what motivates you and really focus on what motivates them. Read more >>

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