How Do I Deal With A Bipolar Girlfriend
The bipolar girlfriend experience is an extremely difficult one to deal with. You may be feeling very frustrated and confused as you try to figure out how to help her, or if you should even bother at all. But there are a few things that you can do that will make your relationship significantly easier for both of you.
One of the most important things for any partner dealing with a mentally ill person is knowing what theyre experiencing. The best way to learn about this topic is by reading up on it and taking some time just listening closely to them when they speak about their disorders symptoms and triggers.
It doesnt have to be in-depth, but being aware of what shes going through will make your life much easier in the long run because you will understand what to do when she starts acting strangely. You may not always be able to be around her, especially if she has a very unpredictable schedule that doesnt allow for as much together time as youd like.
But this is why communication is so key in a relationship where one partner has bipolar disorder. Being away from each other can create anxiety and depression that often lead to bipolar outbursts, so its essential to keep in touch through texting or phone calls every day.
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Understand Your Partners Disorder
Its also important to not frame everything about bipolar disorder as negative or symptoms.
To the person experiencing a hypomanic episode, things can feel great and productive. Many great creative works have emerged from hypomanic episodes.
You wouldnt expect Vincent Van Goghs girlfriend to say Oh no! You are painting again?!
As a couple, its important to work together to pick apart the good parts from the more dangerous parts and to develop language that feels helpful to everyone involved.
Ultimately, its important that you and your partner keep your connection and care for each other at the center of your relationship.
When you are feeling connected and balanced, its important to take that opportunity to be present and open-hearted with your partner.
The trust and connection you develop when they are not symptomatic will help get you through some of the harder times down the road.
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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Getting Help For Bipolar Disorder
Whether you have bipolar disorder or youre in a relationship with someone who does, finding help doesnt have to be difficult. The first step is learning more about what bipolar disorder looks like. Then, you can find a therapist you both trust and make a commitment to sticking to treatment.
A few other resources available include finding a local or online support group, getting a referral from your primary care physician, reaching out to a mental health clinic in your area, or considering in-person or online therapy.
With the right support and guidance, your bipolar disorder relationships can thrive. You can live the life youve always wanted in a successful, loving, mutually supportive relationship.
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Ways To Help Your Bipolar Loved One Cope
Depression and bipolar disorder are often family diseases.
Everyone sharing a kitchen and a bathroom is affected. In fact, in his book Understanding Depression, J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D., writes that depression has a much greater impact on marital life than rheumatoid arthritis or cardiac illness. One study found that only severe forms of cancer affected a family as adversely as depression or bipolar disorder.
My manic depression could have easily wrecked my marriage and my relationships with my two children. Instead, we emerged as a tighter, stronger unit. How? Here are eight ways Eric, my husband, helped me cope tips for families on how, exactly, to hang in there with a loved one who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
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Correcting Your Mindsets Will Prevent Common Mistakes
Do you know what happens when youre thinking about past or future events?
You lose focus of the present moment with your partner. Consequently, this causes anxiety issues. Anxiety leads to mistakes and needy behavior. .
A BPD relationship is already chaotic enough as it is. Do you want to add to that chaos?
I would hope not. This is why its vital that you work on your inner core every single day. Study the mindsets that I teach and youll see where you make mistakes.
As you develop inner awareness, you will begin to correct common mistakes.
So, lets jump to the 5 signs that I deem most noteworthy.
Why Do Bipolar Push Partners Away
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that can cause extreme mood swings. While it may be hard to comprehend, those with bipolar disorder cannot control their emotions or actions when they switch from one mood state to another.
They experience manic episodes, which involve feeling high energy levels and little need for sleep, and depressive episodes, which often lead individuals to feel extremely low and suicidal.
These two opposite poles can result in an individual pushing away friends and family members who care deeply about them. They do not want the persons support system to pull down into the same emotional roller coaster ride they find daily.
Bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses can create a lot of stress on ones relationships. People with bipolar disorder often feel like they need more from their partners and may push them away when they dont get it.
Bipolar Relationships: What To Expect
Ups and downs are natural in any romantic relationship, but when your partner has bipolar disorder it can feel like youre on an emotional rollercoaster. Not knowing what to expect each day is stressful and tiring. Over time, it wears on the relationship.
Understanding why your partner acts out sometimes or becomes withdrawn is the first supportive step you can take in strengthening your relationship. Learn exactly what a bipolar diagnosis means, how it could affect your partners behavior and what you can do to foster a healthy, stable relationship.
Make The Best Decision And Dont Fret Mistakes
When do you go with your head? When do you go with your heart? How do you justify a decision to your partner? Our only guide is a lifetime of experience, which inevitably involves a history of wrong choices. Mistakes are inevitable, but they may also give us the wisdom to move forward. Says the Dalai Lama: When you lose, dont lose the lesson.
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Breakups Can Be Brutaland Can Easily Trigger Bipolar Symptoms
The end of a relationship often ushers in dark feelings like abandonment, guilt, and rejection. Even if the relationship was toxic and getting out was the right decision, there may be a sense of failure or self-blame.
In any case, theres typically a period of destabilizing upheaval as the newly single adjust to life on their own, perhaps in different surroundings.
Dan of Minnesota recalls losing all the couple friends in his divorce including several people he considered to be very close. The end of those connections was just part of a larger rupture in his sense of self.
If we tend to lose ourselves in a relationship, to define ourselves by the person were with, its like taking away a major part of our self-worth, he reflects.
During his recovery from the breakup, he jumped into another relationship just to prove to myself I was worth something. It was just kind of a reaffirmation thing. It was a mistake.
Getting into a relationship when youre fleeing feelings of loneliness, hurt or abandonment is no solid foundation for attracting a good partner, says Anita H. Clayton, MD, interim chair of the department of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
The idea of moderation may not be terribly appealing, but you really need to try to keep things steady, she says. Keep your sleep stable, stay away from high-risk activities, and do something that for you is positive and makes you feel better.
What You Can Do
- Tell your partner about your disorder. Do this before you make a long-term commitment to that person. Describe what they can expect when youre experiencing a mood shift. Its also helpful to tell them what you usually do to manage your moods. This way, your partner wont be surprised when you experience a mood episode. They may even be able to help you get through it.
- Stick with your treatment plan. Perhaps the best way to reduce relationship stress is to follow your treatment plan. This can help minimize your symptoms and reduce the severity of your shifts in mood. Discuss your treatment plan with your partner so they can help you keep on track.
- Keep an open line of communication. Tell your partner when you feel a mood shift occurring so theyre not alarmed by a sudden change in your demeanor. Also, be open to them when they tell you that they notice that your mood is different. Many times, others can see changes in our mood when we cannot.
- Be honest. If youre having a severe episode and struggling with your symptoms, dont hesitate to notify your partner and ask for help when you need it. For example, if youre experiencing a depressive episode and dont feel like leaving the house, explain this to your partner instead of making an excuse to stay home.
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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.
What Does It Mean For Our Marriage If My Spouse Has Bipolar Disorder
There are two answers to this question. If you spouse fully accepts the diagnosis and resolves to get treatment, you could begin working together and make the marriage stronger than ever. Many people with bipolar disorder have happy, successful marriages.
If, on the other hand, your spouse refuses treatment, you must learn to protect yourself from abuse. Abuse can take the form of
- Verbal abuse
- Financial abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
We offer a variety of resources to help those with bipolar disorder and their loved ones. One of these is our free e-book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder, which covers all of the basic information you need to know about bipolar. View a list of the rest of our programs here.
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How Can I Help My Alcoholic Unmedicated Bipolar Girlfriend
My girlfriend is bipolar, and displays the symptoms of cycling. I am not sure if it is more than four times a year, but I believe that may be the case. She also drinks one bottle of wine or up to half a liter of Bacardi when drinking at home. Socially she will drink from lunch time to midnight and two o-clock in the morning although at a fairly steady pace that increases in intensity when severely depressed. Her diet is spartan and I believe her energy levels are low. She believes that level of drink is normal for her age, I do remember I did drink heavily in my early forties. She takes no medication for as a student at the age of forty plus, with the tuition fees, cannot afford to obtain them on a regular basis. She is highly intelligent. Her mania I believe does occur complementary to her depresion. When drinking socially sometimes she will pass out, usually in the depressed state. When having a lot to much to drink she suffers complete loss of memory and errors of judgment, that make her situation worse. What advice can you offer me in order to help her, other than the obvious. Will her present lifestyle worsen her condition. Her several previous relationships foundered, however we both have that special feeling that few people will ever have, we are soul mates and share that rare gift people seek all their lives. I know that I must work hard to protect the gift we share together. I look forward to your advice.
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.
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Never Put Up With Abuse
This applies with equal force to both parties. The stress bipolar persons put their partners through can be interpreted as a form of abuse. Each partner has the right to set their own boundaries, make their own rules, interpret abuse as they see fit. Ultimately each has the right to leave the relationship if their needs are not being met. If you think you may be a victim of domestic abuse, reach out to a hotline.
Tips And Tricks To Help You In Life And Romance
Are there other reasons why bipolar relationships fail? The individual with bipolar disorder might not want to take their medication because of symptoms.
People who are in a manic episode are not able to think about their future very much. This, of course, is getting into some territory that can potentially hurt whatever future aspects of your life you are working on- career, finances, etc.
At the same time, dealing with someone who has bipolar disorder when they are in a low period can be just as challenginghours at a time
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Theres No Such Thing As Guaranteed Success In Bpd Or Bipolar Relationships
If theres one thing I can guarantee, its this: there are no guarantees.
This is especially true when it comes to BPD and Bipolar relationships. Emotions are so hot and cold with these situations that its just impossible to guarantee success.
But, this is the case with all relationships. Nothing is guaranteed in life. The biggest mistake you can make is thinking that your relationship would be any better if your partner was normal.
Dont let this truth get you down. I want you to think differently going forward.
Instead of focusing so much on trying to change your partner, focus on yourself for a bit. Try to get to the point where youre healthy enough to not care if you become single.
This is a strong mentality and its the type that will give you power. Borderlines want you the most when they feel like you will do your own thing regardless. Does this make sense? Its quite deep.
In other words, when youre mysterious and unpredictable, your partner will be most into you. This can be a hard reality to accept, but its simply the truth.
Borderlines need to chase. They love it. When they are pursued, they push away. Thats what makes them different from other types of people.
This is how BPD attractiveness works. As they say, we want what we cant have. Bring a little bit of that into your relationship.