Thursday, August 11, 2022

How To Deal With Bipolar Disorder In A Relationship

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Convincing A Person With Bipolar Disorder To See A Doctor

Bipolar disorder and relationships

Aside from offering emotional support, the best way to help your loved one with bipolar disorder is by encouraging and supporting treatment. Often, that can be more of a challenge than it sounds. Since people with bipolar disorder tend to lack insight into their condition, its not always easy to get them to a doctor. When your loved one is manic, they feel great and dont realize theres a problem. When your loved one is depressed, they may recognize somethings wrong, but often lack the energy to seek help.

If your loved one wont acknowledge the possibility of bipolar disorder, dont argue about it. The idea may be frightening to them, so be sensitive. Suggest a routine medical checkup instead, or a doctors visit for a specific symptom, such as insomnia, irritability, or fatiguethen privately call ahead to tell the doctor of your concerns about bipolar disorder.

Things you can say that might help:

  • Bipolar disorder is a real illness, like diabetes. It requires medical treatment.
  • Youre not to blame for bipolar disorder. You didnt cause it. Its not your fault.
  • You can feel better. There are many treatments that can help.
  • When bipolar disorder isnt treated, it usually gets worse.

Rejected Because Of Bipolar

After our breakup, it took me almost a year to feel like I could start dating again. When I finally got back into the dating world, I was very skeptical of people. I went into dates automatically on the defense. My guard was up and still is today. Past experiences with dating also include people asking about my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. On some dates, I have felt more like a therapist or consultant than a woman being courted. I have had men reject me based on my openness about bipolar disorder and tell me they dont feel comfortable dating someone with those types of issues. There have been many dates where stigma plays a role, but I pay no attention to it anymore. These experiences have only made me stronger and more confident.

Fasten Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Living with and loving someone with bipolar can be quite a rollercoaster ride. Youre always anticipating the next episode. To better tolerate the stress, be sure to take time for yourself every day, even if it is a few minutes. Do something you enjoy every week: gardening, hiking, belly dancing, scrapbooking. Follow the flight attendants advice and fasten your own oxygen mask first before helping your loved one so that you dont run out of air. You need to take care of yourself in order to care for someone else.

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Bipolar Disorder And The Family

Living with a person who has bipolar disorder can cause stress and tension in the home. On top of the challenge of dealing with your loved ones symptoms and their consequences, family members often struggle with feelings of guilt, fear, anger, and helplessness. Ultimately, the strain can cause serious relationship problems. But there are better ways to cope.

The first step to successfully dealing with bipolar disorder is for families to learn to accept the illness and its difficulties. When youre feeling frustrated or guilty, remember that bipolar disorder isnt anyones fault. Accepting bipolar disorder involves acknowledging that things may never again be normal.

Treatment can make a huge difference for your loved one, but it may not take care of all symptoms or impairments. To avoid disappointment and resentments, its important to have realistic expectations. Expecting too much of your family member can be a recipe for failure. On the other hand, expecting too little can also hinder their recovery, so try to find a balance between encouraging independence and providing support.

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Bipolar Affective Disorder And Sexual Dysfunction

Bipolar Disorder

Adequate sexual expression is an essential part of many human relationships, and this may enhance the quality of life and provide a sense of physical, psychological, and social well-being. Studies across the globe have evaluated sexual dysfunction among patients with BD, either in relation to use of various psychotropic medications or without focusing on the type of treatment used. Studies which have compared sexual dysfunction among patients with BD and other groups suggest that prevalence of sexual dysfunction is significantly more when compared to healthy controls, but less than patients with schizophrenia. However, a recent study which compared the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among patients admitted to psychiatry ward and other wards of the hospital reported that prevalence of sexual dysfunction was more among patients admitted to psychiatry ward, with prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with BD to be 37.3%. Further, this study reported that among patients with psychiatric disorders, those with BD had the highest prevalence of sexual dysfunction.

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Bipolar Disorder Relationships That Fail

What are bipolar relationships like? Many people can ask themselves why bipolar relationships fail, but with the right help, you and your partner can learn to live with bipolar disorder and have a normal and fulfilling life. In order to do so, getting medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis should be prioritized, and it will require the assistance of a doctor who can prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Therapy, where you can learn effective skills to manage the disorder, is also highly recommended. Nonetheless, having romantic relationships with a partner who has bipolar disorder will be an ongoing work-in-progress that requires understanding and commitment. But with therapy, communication, and treatment, there can be great success in these relationships.

Managing The Highs And Lows Of Bipolar Disorder And Relationships

    Do you love a person with bipolar disorder? Do you suffer from this mental health condition yourself? If so, you likely have found that navigating relationships can be a roller coaster ride.

    For those who suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic depression, the cycle of mood fluctuations may include high episodes of mania or hypomania and low episodes of depression, or even mixed episodes where features of both moods are present at the same time. Often when these episodes of extreme ups and downs occur, they can push the relationships with those closest to the individual to the breaking point.

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    Signs You Are Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder

    If youre dating someone with bipolar disorder, symptoms may present themselves. Some common signs that youre dating a bipolar man or woman include:

    • Feeling as if youre their caretaker
    • Experiencing frequent burnouts from caring for them
    • Sacrificing your goals or needs to be with the person
    • Frequent mood swings that mimic the symptoms of mania and hypomania in your partner

    If you recognize the signs or symptoms of bipolar disorder in your partner, the first thing you should do is get them help. The Banyan mental health program offers a variety of mental health treatments that can help your loved one regain control over their life and learn how to manage their symptoms properly.

    Giving Support During Mania

    How to Deal with Bipolar Paranoia in Relationships
  • 1Recognize symptoms of a manic episode. A manic episode is an upswing in mood, so your partner may be feeling good during this time. However, they might also feel irritable and anxious. Mania also triggers impulsive actions in many, so your partner could become reckless. Watch for the following symptoms:XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Being excessively upbeat, wired, or jumpy
  • Having increased energy
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    Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder

    Ups and downs are normal in any healthy relationship, but a mental illness like bipolar disorder can incorporate unique challenges that can be difficult to manage. When youre dating someone with a mental illness, the relationship can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Its normal to become frustrated or feel emotionally exhausted at times in these situations. As a mental illness treatment center in Boca, we understand how difficult dating can be when a mental illness is involved. Were sharing some tips for dating someone with bipolar disorder, as well as some things to look out for if you suspect your partner has this illness.

    How To Cope With Bipolar Disorder

    No matter how down or out of control you feel, its important to remember that youre not powerless when it comes to bipolar disorder. Beyond the treatment you get from your doctor or therapist, there are many things you can do for yourself to reduce your symptoms and stay on track.

    Living well with bipolar disorder requires certain adjustments. Like diabetics who take insulin or recovering alcoholics who avoid drinking, if you have bipolar disorder, its important to make healthy choices for yourself. Making these healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and take control of your life.

    Managing bipolar disorder starts with proper treatment, including medication and therapy. But there is so much more you can do to help yourself on a day-to-day basis. These tips can help you influence the course of your illness, enabling you to take greater control over your symptoms, to stay well longer, and to quickly rebound from any mood episode or relapse.

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    Considering Your Spouses Feelings

    Compassion from both partners toward each other can go a long way in a marriage in which one spouse has bipolar disorder.

    The partner with the condition may have feelings of guilt, shame, and fear because of the impact of a mood episode on the relationship. Meanwhile, the spouses partner may experience a range of emotions, including anxiety, resentment, loneliness, or feeling stuck.

    Learning how to take care of themselves and support each other can strengthen the relationship.

    What Is Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder and family relationships

    Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration. The mood fluctuations go from periods of extreme happiness, irritation, or energized behavior to periods of extreme sadness, indifference, and helplessness .

    Bipolar I disorder involves periods of mania that alternate with depressive episodes.

    Bipolar II disorder consists of alternating depressive and hypomanic episodes

    In the video below, Kati Morton, a licensed therapist, discusses in detail what is Bipolar II disorder.

    Cyclothymic disorder is expressed by brief periods of hypomania taking turns with short depressive symptoms .

    The shifts a person suffering from bipolar disorder experiences are more dramatic than one would usually encounter. Although there can be symptom-free periods , the mood fluctuations can significantly impact a persons day to day functioning. This could be one of the reasons why bipolar relationships fail.

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    Constructive Things To Try Before Saying Goodbye

    There are several things you can try to preserve the relationship.

    First, remember why youre in the relationship. You probably got involved with this person and picked this person because there are lots of things that you like and love about this person, said Dr. Saltz.

    She suggested educating yourself about bipolar disorder to better understand the condition. It also helps to learn to recognize signs of depression or hypomania so that you can advise your partner to talk with their healthcare provider if needed.

    Dr. Saltz also recommended encouraging your partner to continue treatment and taking any prescribed medications.

    Sometimes, when people have been stable for a while, theyre sort of like, Oh, I dont think I need any of this anymore. Usually thats a bad idea, she said.

    Dr. Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, said that you can also support your partner by offering gentle, nonjudgmental supervision and guidance and encouraging healthy behaviors.

    These behaviors include:

    Additionally, he suggested that your partner identify three trusted people to check in with if theyre feeling off.

    Let those people then provide an average sort of score, and say, Hey, yeah. You are a little hot-headed, or you are a little down, or whatever they may offer, he said.

    For Someone Living With Bpd

    If you have BPD, there are coping mechanisms you can employ to nurture a healthy, long-lasting relationship, including grounding, gratitude, and behavioral activation.

    Four coping mechanisms for people living with BPD are:3

    • Find a support system: Make sure you have enough people in your life that can help support you. If needed, locate a therapist and use the guidance of a professional to help you.
    • Use music as a tool: Music that has a tempo that is opposite of how you feel can help level out your feelings. In other words, if youre feeling sad, play fast upbeat music. If you are feeling restless, play slower music.
    • Ground yourself with deep breathing or a gratitude meditation: Meditation and other mindfulness practices can slow down your body and nervous system and help relax you.
    • Participate in an activity that helps redirect your mind: This kind of behavioral activation helps distract you from negative emotions. It could be as simple as taking a walk or doing something that involves more coordination.

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    What Treatment Options Are Available

    With the right bipolar disorder treatment, its easier to navigate the good times, and the difficult ones. Both of you will be able to gain a better understanding of bipolar disorder and relationships on a higher level. Treatment typically needs to be an ongoing commitment, and it can include a number of different styles and approaches. In some cases, a combination of treatment techniques is the best option.

    Medication: There are several options for treating bipolar disorder using medication.

    • Antidepressants must be used with caution, as theyre not always effective and have been known to trigger mania for some.
    • Lithium can be an effective mood stabilizer used to curb the highs and lows that are common with bipolar disorder.
    • Second-generation antipsychotics are also common and are typically used with other emotional regulation medications such as mood stabilizers. They can be helpful during a manic episode and depressive episode.
    • Anticonvulsants are yet another mood stabilizer that may be prescribed.

    Any medication needs to be used with caution and under the guidance of a licensed mental health care provider or psychiatrist. There are side effects you should be aware of, and you should never stop taking bipolar medication without the supervision of a doctor.

    Signs The Relationship Is Unhealthy

    Bipolar Relationship Advice Helping Couples Deal With Bipolar Disorder

    Its possible to have a healthy, happy relationship with someone living with bipolar disorder. However, there may also be specific indicators that suggest taking another look at the relationship.

    Dr. Saltz said that several signs may indicate an unhealthy relationship, particularly with a partner who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder:

    • feeling that youre a caretaker in the relationship
    • experiencing burnout
    • sacrificing your life goals, values, and needs to be with your partner

    Your partner stopping their treatments or medication could also be a cautionary sign for the future of the relationship. Also, as with any relationship, you should never feel that your partner is putting either you or themselves in danger.

    Unhealthy signs go both ways. A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder may see red flags from their partner, too.

    A partner who is stigmatizing and very negative about mental health issues, which is unfortunately fairly common, may be a difficult partner to have, said Dr. Saltz.

    They may be often condescending or dismissive of you, You dont really have bipolar disorder, undermine your treatment, she added. For a partner diagnosed with bipolar disorder, this may be a time to take another look at the relationship.

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    Helping Someone With Bipolar Disorder

  • 1Watch for symptoms. If the person has already been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then you may know all about the symptoms of this condition already. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and depression. During manic phases, someone may seem to have boundless energy and during depressive phases, that same person might not get out of bed for days.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Manic phases may be characterized by high levels of optimism or irritability, unrealistic ideas about ones abilities, feeling energetic despite getting little sleep, speaking rapidly and going quickly from one idea to the next, not being able to concentrate, making impulsive or poor decisions, and even hallucinating.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Depressive phases are characterized by hopelessness, sadness, emptiness, irritability, losing interest in things, fatigue, lack of concentration, appetite changes, weight changes, difficulty sleeping, feeling worthless or guilty, and considering suicide.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • Cyclothymia. This subtype is when someone has had symptoms of bipolar disorder for two years, but the symptoms are mild.
  • Helping Them Get Treatment

  • 1Speak to them in a calm manner. You can help them stay open to what you have to say by using a kind, gentle tone. Help them see that you care about them and are not attacking them or their behavior. When you feel yourself getting upset, take a deep breath or count to 10 before speaking again.XResearch source
  • You might say, I’ve noticed that you’ve been really down lately, while last month you were all over the place with energy. I’m worried about you and want you to feel better. Would you be open to speaking to someone about how you’re feeling?
  • Keep in mind that you may need to talk about the need for treatment multiple times.
  • 2Offer them resources about bipolar disorder and treatment options. It’s common for people with bipolar disorder to stop treatment when they’re not experiencing the worst of their symptoms. However, you might still notice issues with their behavior, or you might notice signs of an episode. Showing them educational materials could help them see things from your point-of-view and make them more likely to get treatment.XResearch source
  • For example, you could provide them with a book on bipolar disorder, printouts of magazine articles, or a brochure from your doctor’s office. You might also send them links to helpful websites.
  • It’s best to find a psychiatrist to treat bipolar disorder, as their medications will need to be managed.
  • You can find a doctor by searching online.
  • If there are no support groups in your area, you could try an online forum.
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