I am nineteen years old and my whole life, I have been living with an explosive, angry, and violent father. He truly does shift rapidly between severe depression and a kind of happy hyperness. Lately the hyperness has been less common, and the depression is more obvious. He gets very angry with me in situations that certainly dont call for it. In his anger, he is uncontrollable, screams, and throws things. He will hold a grudge for a few hours, maybe a day, and then be hyper and fun.

Does this sound like anything? Bipolar disorder?

If not, is there any advice as to how to live in harmony with someone like this. Nothing I have said has ever calmed him down. I though me being calm in these situations would help, but it doesnt.


It sounds as if your father has great emotional difficulties, whether these would be labelled bi-polar, Borderline Personality Disorder, or something else. Sadly, there's very little one can do to affect the person's behavior unless they decide they want to change. And something within them has to make that decision -- trying to argue them into it is almost always futile. However, you can change one half of the dynamic, which is yourself. I hope you can learn to protect yourself, which will probably consist of distancing yourself, maybe getting some therapy of your own (it must have been very distressing to grow up with a father like this), and learning as far as you can not to take it personally. I hope you will soon be out of the house and can keep your interactions with him to a minimum. You might find Harriet Lerner's book "The Dance of Anger," on how families relate, very helpful in understanding some of these dynamics. Best of luck to you!

It does indeed sound like some kind of bipolar disorder, but it would be also important to have his take on it. As the other poster stated, people cannot change their behaviors unless they themselves want to do so.

I hope too, that you do understand that at the age you are at, that you can find hopefully a better situation than you are in at the moment.