At What Point Is It Time To Let Go
I struggled with this one, as I had seen how Finlay was a beautiful, talented, kind and compassionate man who simply had a severe manic episode. I believed that letting go of him when he was ill was abandoning him. I believed he would come back eventually, as he always had before. I believed it wouldn’t last and I’d get the beautiful guy I fell in love with back. I saw glimpses of that beautiful person, but I eventually became so stressed out that I broke down at work one day and even tried to self-harm. I would compare Finlay to another good friend of mine who also has bipolar type 1. They both have had severe manic episodes in the past year. The difference between Finlay and my other friend is that my other friend took responsibility for the embarrassment he caused himself and the hurt he caused others during his episode. Finlay didn’t, and when I tried bringing it up, got told to ‘drop it’. Someone who refuses to work out a plan for next time, refuses to apologize and refuses to explain or talk about the episode and address the cause is failing to take care of themselves properly, so will not be able to really care for you. If you are experiencing domestic or sexual abuse at the hands of your partner, even when he or she is in an episode, it most likely will not work. If you are experiencing rage or depression because of your partner’s episode, you are not taking care of yourself and should take a step back.
Limitations And Future Suggestions
Due to numerous field and practical problems five wives living with spouse diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder had been the only focus of our study. The study can be replicated by increasing the number of participants in another comparative study. Other types of research methodologies, research design and research methods can be utilized as well.
Keep Your Own Identity
Marriage vows dont signify that two people merge into one blob. Doing so would be especially detrimental for the bipolar marriage. In her classic Gift by the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindberg likens a loving relationship to a double-sunrise shell, comprised of two symmetrical shells joined at the center. Each person in a bipolar marriage needs the space to maintain their own identity and grow emotionally. This separateness leads to deeper intimacy and appreciation.
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I Felt Trapped At Times And Constantly Grieved The Loss Of The Person I Once Knew The Happy Life We Once Had And The Many Dreams We Once Shared
New Jersey-based Kathleen Maloney tells the story of how her beloved husband was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder, how he struggled to accept it, and the consequences of his refusal to accept his illness
MY HUSBAND JOE and I were blessed to enjoy 18 wonderful years together before he became ill. We shared a beautiful daughter and there was love, laughter, joy, hard work and so many plans for our future. However, like most families who have a loved one stricken with a serious illness, we began to speak in terms of before Joe was ill and after Joe became ill.
On Christmas Day 2003, two weeks after Joe was laid off from the company where he had worked for 20 years, he fell to the floor of our family room and had a psychotic breakdown. We spent the next day in the emergency room, where he was given a full medical evaluation. After hearing he recently went through a traumatic experience, the doctor told us he was depressed. Joe knew it was more serious and he tried to tell the doctor so. As it turned out, Joe was right.
Our Relationship Was Fine Sure We May Have Had A Fight Here And There But Who Doesn’t So Why Did He/she Break Up With Me Out Of The Blue
This is a very difficult question to answer without meeting your ‘ex.’ To put it in a different perspective, let’s pretend your ‘ex’ had a different condition instead – say, Asperger’s or Epilepsy. Would it make the breakup any less real just because they had the condition? Hopefully, your answer is no. Even people with disabilities have a right to withdraw consent and end relationships at any point in time. However: If someone with bipolar disorder is in the middle of an episode, whether it be manic, hypomanic, mixed, psychotic or depressive, their thinking will change from when they were stable.
I do know that it is ridiculously common for someone with bipolar disorder to fall in love with someone during an episode – and those feelings are very real for them during the episode, but then they evaporate once the episode phases out. Alternatively, they may fall in love with someone when they are stable, and may love this person very much when stable, but when mania or depression takes over, they gain a different perspective and their feelings may change , or if they are depressed may simply feel like they just can’t even face the prospect of having a functional relationship – so it’s easier just to end it.
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From Running Away To Picking Up The Pieces
Cynthia G. Last, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Boca Raton, Florida, has both personal and professional experience with the strains bipolar disorder can put on relationships.
Last has bipolar II. At 54, shes been managing the illness successfully for two decades. In her mid-30s, though, before she was correctly diagnosed and fully engaged in treatment, she made a bad judgment and left her husband for a year.
When something of that magnitude occurs, she says, the person whos been wronged has some work to do if the relationship is to survive. Last gives her husbands understanding attitude and nurturing spirit a great deal of credit for their marriages longevity.
About serious transgressions, she notes, is not going to forget it, but they need to get past it. And the only way to get past it is a solution so it doesnt happen again.
The person with bipolar must address the root cause of damaging behaviors by managing the illness, she says, while the other partner must put safety measures in place.
That might mean cutting off credit cards and PayPal accounts for someone who tends to run up debt during a manic episode, Last explains, or maybe writing a contract that the will stick to this, this, and this treatment.
Finally, to get past lingering hurt, anger, and mistrust, the may need some support from a pastor or a therapist or a support group, Last says. And it will take time to heal.
Faced With His Wifes Late
Jeff Zuckerman and his wife, Leah, had been married for 30 years when Leahs late-onset bipolar disorder upended their ordinary, happy lives.
Leah, a physically healthy former social worker and public health professional, volunteer and mother of two grown children, had experienced a few bouts of manageable seasonal depression over the years, but it didnt prepare Zuckerman for the serious illness that abruptly took over his wifes brain and body during the spring of 2015.
Just as their daughter was celebrating her engagement, Leah began an inexorable slide into mania. Usually a funny, smart, even-tempered woman, she became uncharacteristically testy and angry. She wasnt sleeping well, and she was increasingly taking out her frustrations on her husband. The couples Minneapolis home, once a happy place where they had raised their daughter and son, became the site of late-night arguments and emotional turmoil as Leah lost control of her brain.
This personality flip, Zuckerman said, felt like it came out of nowhere. He tried chalking some of it up to stress and life changes, but as Leahs mania intensified, causing her to wage shouting matches abruptly change travel plans and send strings of rambling, confusing emails, he knew something was seriously wrong.
I was 60 years old, he said. I had some experience with an uncle who had schizophrenia, but other than that, I didnt really know much about mental illness.
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Is My Husband Bipolar: Bipolar Disorder In Men
Bipolar disorder can affect men and women differently. For men, in particular, manic episodes tend to be more violent and aggressive. Reckless behavior and acting out are not uncommon in men with bipolar disorder. These impulsive and risky behaviors are heightened during these manic episodes.
Additionally, men are also more likely to turn to substance and drug abuse during manic cycles. They tend to self-medicate more than women do. It is also no surprise that alcohol and substances only make these symptoms worse in men. This can also lead to co-occurring disorders where a person is struggling with both drug addiction and mental illness.
Its Hard To Come To Terms With Having A Mental Illness
Even after a person learns they have bipolar disorder, it can be hard to accept the reality of it. Living with any mental illness can be really difficult and bipolar disorder has its own challenges. Sometimes people feel like if they reject the label of bipolar disorder, they can avoid some of those challenges. But bipolar disorder doesnt just go away if you ignore it.
The reality is that labels can actually set you free. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder helps you understand what youre experiencing. It opens up treatment options that can help you feel better. And it puts you in good company with millions of other people around the world, many of whom have accomplished incredible things.
On the other hand, sometimes people who dont know any better use the word bipolar to describe someone who is actually just moody. Be careful pushing labels on people when youre not an expert yourself. If you think your friend has bipolar disorder, encourage them to see a mental health professional who can evaluate and diagnose them. You can also point them to our online bipolar test, which is an easier start than going straight to a professional.
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Is Addiction Common With Bipolar Patients
It’s not universal, but it absolutely is common. Bipolar patients go into battle with their own minds. The only thing that stops this is medication, which is effective but almost always has some kind of bad side effect – for example, with lithium, a very common drug used to combat mania, there is a risk of kidney failure. So with all of this in mind, it’s not hard to see why some patients get so frustrated on medication that they decide they’d rather deal with the episodes and turn to alcohol, MDMA, weed, meth, etc. to self medicate. If you know someone who’s doing this, be extremely careful and think about whether you really want to invest your emotional stability in them. Alcohol interferes with a lot of bipolar meds, and drugs such as crystal meth easily trigger mania. At the first sign of trouble, call 911.
What Does It Mean If Your Partner Is Bipolar
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes. People with the illness switch back and forth from mania or hypomania to having episodes of depression.
The lifelong condition tends to run in families, although the cause of bipolar disease is unknown. However, it can often be successfully managed through treatment. There are two primary types of bipolar disorder:
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Kyle What Was Your Take On What Was Going On At The Time
Kyle: I felt like I had zero control of her situation, period. When she was in that deep depression, I didnt know she was bipolar, that was never even a thought. I encouraged her to listen to the nurse practitioner. I just figured that shed studied this in school, that this was her profession, so I thought that this was the best option for Megan. It was really challenging watching her struggle, to not be able to really help.
Megan: I just want to add that you really did alleviate the situation, because you really stepped up during that time and did all the grocery shopping, all the laundry. He took care of our dog, he paid all the bills, he went to work. He did literally everything to step up to help me and be there for me. And he didnt put any pressure on me at all.
Any of the times Ive ever been depressed, hes always been very supportive. He didnt ask me, whats wrong with you. Or why cant I do this or that? Hes been so respectful. And Im so grateful to have a husband like that, to support me and be there for me. He doesnt understand what depression feels likebut hes witnessed me not being able to shower, not being able to get off the couch, being in the same clothes Ive worn for five days in a row. And while he doesnt know what I feel, he understands that the struggle I deal with is real. And I just really appreciate him so much, because it takes a really strong partner to be with someone whos struggling with mental illness.
Establishing Strong Lasting Relationships Can Be Complicated And Attaining Stability With Bipolar Can Be Complex But Having Bipolar Doesnt Mean You Have To Turn Your Back And Run Away From True Love
If only life came with a reset button. One push and voilà: Relationships unraveled by the behaviors of bipolar disorder would knit themselves back together.
Of course, its not that easy to mend whats brokenbut its not impossible, either. What bipolar symptoms put asunder, effort and understanding may repair.
Not all rifts can be mended, and sometimes letting go of the relationship is the best way to move forward. Yet healing can happen through a commitment to self-care on one side, education and acceptance on the other, and lots of communication to work through hurt, anger, and fear.
When Barbara B., 53, and her husband, Gary, 57, separated after nearly 15 years of marriage, she was pretty sure the split would be permanent. Garys escalating bursts of rage, coupled with a growing emotional distance felt by both partners, had eroded the El Cerrito, California, couples bond to a thread.
Both mania and depression often leave those with bipolar unable to interact with the people around them, explains Mamdouh El-Adl, MD, MRCPsych, an assistant professor in the Psychiatry Department at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and a clinician and researcher at the Providence Care Mood Disorder Research and Treatment Service.
They dont seem interested in maintaining the relationship, and this can be misperceived by other people, he says.
Making A Bipolar Relationship Work
If you are concerned that your husband or wife is dealing with bipolar disorder, there are a couple of things you can do to help. While relationships like this can be sporadic and stressful, it is not impossible to get help for a better future.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are not alone. It is completely possible and achievable to make a bipolar relationship work. Getting the proper treatment and being a supportive force in your spouses life can make a world of difference.
Something Was Very Wrong
When Jeff was in the thick of this medical chaos in August 2014, he had a period of about a week where, out of the blue, he had strange psychiatric symptoms. He spoke nonsensically, often repeating a phrase over and over again. He created wild scenarios for things hed do in the future, such as producing a self-massage video that would make him rich.
There was no diagnosis for this episode, though he may well have been experiencing symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis is a mental health condition that occurs in up to 55 percent of people who have bipolar disorder. It was frightening to watch this unfold. Would he come back? The doctors didnt know.
Although Jeffs mental health problems were pressing, his physical health was so poor that his heart surgery was scheduled immediately. The surgery was partially successful and relieved his most urgent symptoms. But as Jeffs physical health improved, his mental well-being was increasingly precarious.
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He Was Irritable And Unpredictable
For the next six years, his untreated bipolar controlled our lives. It was one crisis after another, and our family life became unsettled and unpredictable. While Joe was never physically abusive to me nor did he self-medicate, as do some people with untreated bipolar, he became reckless in other ways. He became financially irresponsible and even purchased an expensive boat that our family could not afford.
Once an expert handyman who took pride in his home, he now seemed unwilling to fix anything, and became furious if I tried. He became irritable and less connected to his family and friends. He had always been an animal lover and now had no interest in them. It was heartbreaking to see him screaming at our beloved cat. I grew increasingly protective of our animals when he would call me at work threatening to leave the doors open to let them run away. The animals became a way for him to torment me.
He began to taunt me with notes, which he hung around our kitchen, sometimes 20 a day. I tried to get up extra early in the morning to collect them all before our daughter woke up to find them. In the notes, he called me offensive names, which he had never done before.