Build Support Your Bipolar Boyfriend Has A Disease:
Caring for someone with a disease can keep make you only think of the other persons needs. Your boyfriend has bipolar but you also need support yourself to help him deal with it. Don’t be afraid to ask other for help and build a support system. You can join a support group people with bipolar partners.
Working with a therapist can always help as well, they can give you advice when things get rough. Seek support from family and friends, whoever you know has your back in times of need.
Why My Bipolar Boyfriend Ignores Me
Your bipolar boyfriend may completely cut off all communication with you. He does not respond to your texts, calls, or emails.
Even if you pop up in front of his door and ring the bell, he will not open the door for you.
It can be heartbreaking because he seems to treat you as you no longer exist.
Undoubtedly, this impacts the relationship negatively and leaves you wondering if your bipolar boyfriend truly loves you.
To answer that, you need to understand why your bipolar boyfriend ignores you.
When Youre Married To Someone With Bipolar Disorder
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Learn more about bipolar disorder and relationships by reading our relationship blogs.
Bipolar disorder wears many faces. There are as many experiences with bipolar disorder as there are people with bipolar. These experiences run the gamut from wonderful and exciting to confusing, disappointing and devastating. This article addresses some of the issues that can arise when dealing with a spouse with bipolar disorder.
Like all individuals, people with bipolar disorder have many good attributes, but at times, they also display less desirable qualities, such as being withdrawn, irritable, moody, and depressed. They may be affectionate and loving sometimes and then cold and distant at other times. The person may welcome and enjoy sex one day, while rejecting affection the next day. These erratic behaviors can be quite challenging for all concerned, especially spouses.
At times the person with bipolar disorder may experience manic or hypomanic episodes during which they can be fun, interesting, talkative, upbeat and full of energy. At other times, the person may experience depression that effects them physically, spiritually and soulfully. The spouse might feel confused, not knowing how to deal with certain behaviors.
- Academic struggles
- Reckless behavior
- Extreme defiance
- Controlling behaviors
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
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Boost Your Partners Confidence
According to a study in Bipolar Disorders, people with bipolar disorder have unstable self-esteems grandiose self-esteem in mania and low self-esteem in periods of depression. This is true to some extent even during remission. Thats why its especially important to make your partner or loved one feel good about him or herself whenever and however you can. Something as simple as regular text messages throughout the day will bolster confidence.
How Family And Friends Can Help
Family members often feel helpless when a loved one is depressed or manic. But you can help.
- Encourage the person to take prescribed medicines regularly, even when he or she is feeling good.
- If family therapy is available, it is important for everyone in the family to attend the sessions.
- Recognize a lapse into a manic or depressive episode. Help the person cope and get treatment.
- Allow your loved one to take enough time to feel better and get back into daily activities.
- Learn the difference between hypomania and when your loved one is just having a good day. Hypomania is an elevated or irritable mood that is clearly different from a regular non-depressed mood. It can last for a week or more.
Know the signs
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Be Active In Their Treatment
Treatment for people with bipolar disorder usually consists of many therapy sessions and doctor visits. While you shouldnt necessarily attend these appointments, you can help someone with bipolar disorder by coming with them and then waiting for them until their appointment is over.
These appointments can sometimes seem complicated or scary to people with bipolar disorder. Having someone there who can offer support and talk to them may help reduce any stress or anxiety they may be feeling.
Keep Talking To Your Boyfriend About His Bipolar:
There may be stretches of time where everything is fine and then, there may also be days or weeks when it is not easy, but communication is essential.
Ultimately, working through issues like this with your partner will give you a unique depth of compassion, just imagine how confusing it is to feel how he feels.
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How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed
Bipolar disorder is hard to diagnose. First, your doctor or therapist will ask detailed questions about what kind of symptoms you have and how long they last. Your urine and blood may be tested to rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms.
There are two types of bipolar disorder: I and II.
To be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you must have had:
- A manic episode lasting at least a week .
- During that time, three or more symptoms of mania, such as needing less sleep or feeling as if your thoughts are racing.
For bipolar II disorder, your doctor will look for the same symptoms, but the manic high may be less severe and shorter.
I Know That My Own Feelings Are Valid
Normally, Joe and I have been afforded the solace of alone when we’ve been working through issues, but he and I have been together 24/7 for two months now. We argue more and our level of frustration is elevating. When Joe’s mood shifts, I sink deeper into my own depression.
While I try to be understanding, I sometimes wonder if I’m entitled to be upset with my boyfriend, even though I know his actions are a direct result of this condition.
When Joe’s words or tone of voice are hurtful, I often wonder if I’m allowed to take it personally. Is it fair for me to be disappointed or sad, considering our unique situation?
I tiptoe around Joe, living in fear of triggering his less pleasant symptoms. As a highly sensitive person, I’m also terrified of him criticizing me I know he never intentionally hurts my feelings, nor does he find gratification in it, but I’ve learned that intent doesn’t make negative behavior acceptable, or mean I’m not allowed to be upset about it.
I’ve started to understand that, as much as I care about my boyfriend, my own thoughts and feelings are justified.
Haley Neidich, Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, told Insider: “Your feelings are always valid and having a mental health condition is not an excuse for emotional neglect.”
She added: “Both partners need to be fully dedicated to making sure that they are understanding the needs of the other person, and that they are capable of being respectful.
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Accept Your Partners Bipolar Diagnosis
Although medication and life-style changes can certainly rein in bipolar symptoms and make the disorder easier to manage, bipolar isnt an illness that can be cured indefinitely. That said, a bipolar diagnosis is not always a bad thing. Your loved one is the same person he or she has always been. Accept the diagnosis for what it is, and know you will enjoy times when the condition is under control.
Learn About Your Boyfriends Bipolar Disorder
You can help support your bipolar boyfriend by learning as much as you can about the disorder. Even more importantly, watch your boyfriend to learn about how bipolar disorder affects him specifically. What triggers his mood swings? Which reactions to those mood swings work best? Does he appreciate when you ask him what you can do to help, or would he prefer that you left him alone for a while? You can ask him these questions at a calm time so that later on you can be sure that you are acting according to what he truly wants, not according to what he wants when he is being influenced by depression or dangerous manic tendencies.
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When To Say Goodbye
Dr. Dimitriu advised against breaking up when your partner is having a manic episode.
A lot of times, I think theres nothing that you can say that will convince the other person anything, if theyre really on the mania side, he said.
The biggest thing, I think, actually, is to delay the breakup if thats happening and just have a cooling off period, he added.
After that, Dont make big decisions unless your three friends have said that youre in an even place. And that includes the relationship.
He Is Having A Hard Time
Experiencing the highs and lows episodes for a person with bipolar is hard. He is not trying to manipulate you or trying to get your attention.
He may need to cut off contacts to give him some space to think and be less overwhelmed with the pressure of therapy, treatment, and medication.
When your bipolar boyfriend ignores you, it will take some time before he is ready to come out of his shell. When that happens, you may ask for an explanation.
However, just because he is back in contact does not mean that hes healing. If he does not offer explanatory himself, do not ask for one.
You may feel entitled to any explanation, but your boyfriend may not think of that. Give him a little bit more time and show some affection and love.
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Get Support For Yourself
Caregiving is draining. Even when you are protecting yourself with the armor of regular sleep, healthy meals, and essential time-outs from your sick loved one, caring for a person still takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
It can be exhausting to live with a hypomanic person and frustrating to deal with a seriously depressed person day after day, says Dr. Mondimore. The changes and unpredictability of the moods of someone with bipolar disorder intrude into home life and can be the source of severe stress in relationships, straining them to breaking point.
Thats why you need support as much as your loved one. You need to talk to people who have lived with a manic-depressive, and be validated by their experiences. Spouses and family members of bipolar persons should consider therapy for themselves, as a way of processing all the stress. You may also benefit from checking out support programs for spouses and loved ones of the mentally ill, like National Alliance for Mental Illness, that are available today.
Last medically reviewed on February 22, 2009
Concerned With Manic Depression
Grab our 2-minute Bipolar quiz to find out if you are likely to reap the benefits of additional medical diagnosis and cures.
For me, people advantages of getting to know a person who was unlike them. I think individuals with bipolar or any psychological state state incorporate degree and recognition to a personas existence. We inhabit a society immediately that does not have empathy and is emptiness of feelings. One particular empathetic someone I know live with manic depression, depression or anxiousness.
My personal matchmaking experience need unwrapped me to individuals who are very different from me aswell. Ive discovered a lot from men Iave become romantically engaging withaincluding the ones who posses handled me poorly. It is important for individuals to keep in mind that difficulties tend to be inescapable in romantic affairs despite if for example the lover features a mental health condition or perhaps not.
My personal recommendations to people who happen to live with manic depression and ready to go into the online dating globe is be certain that youre positive about your self. Do not presume you are the underdog as you accept a mental health condition. Self-love and self-acceptance are essential with regards to online dating with manic depression.
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Committed To Care Not Running Away
Experts agree that a relationship frayed or fractured by the fallout of mood swings cant really be repaired until the ill person commits to recovery.
In order to have a healthy relationship, you have to take care of yourself, says clinical psychologist Cynthia G. Last, PhD, author of When Someone You Love is Bipolar: Help and Support for You and Your Partner . Its not your fault that youve got the illness, but it is your responsibility to take care of it.
Mamdouh El-Adl lays out three steps to mending relationships. First is getting treatment, with medication as the cornerstone upholding therapy and lifestyle changes. Second, those involved with the ill person should also learn about bipolar. Third, once a stable mood state is achieved, issues in the relationship must be resolved, perhaps in counseling.
It is a long-standing process, he says, and requires a lot of work.
During their separation, Barbara and Gary began seeing a couples counselor weekly. In the year before they reunited, they tested the waters by going on datesgradually learning to trust that things had gotten better, as Gary puts it. Still, it was hard when both of them were depressed.
At times we felt almost hostile toward each other, he says.
The only thing that could keep us going was knowing from experience that we would feel different later, he adds.
Develop A Wellness Toolbox
If you spot any warning signs of mania or depression, its important to act swiftly. In such times, its helpful to have a wellness toolbox to draw from. A wellness toolbox consists of coping skills and activities you can do to maintain a stable mood or to get better when youre feeling off.
The coping techniques that work best will be unique to your situation, symptoms, and preferences. It takes experimentation and time to find a winning strategy. However, many people with bipolar disorder have found the following tools to be helpful in reducing symptoms and maintaining wellness:
- Talk to a supportive person.
- Get a full eight hours of sleep.
- Cut back on your activities.
- Attend a support group.
- Call your doctor or therapist.
- Do something fun or creative, or write in your journal.
- Take time for yourself to relax and unwind.
- Increase your exposure to light.
- Ask for extra help from loved ones.
- Cut back on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Increase or decrease the stimulation in your environment.
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Get Educated On Bipolar Disorder
Knowledge is power, so learn as much as you can about your partner’s disease. This will also be a healthy sign that you care. That being said, bipolar disorder is a complex disease. Try not to get too bogged down in the details. Instead, focus on the big picture like what a manic episode is or how to recognize signs of depression.
If you or a loved one are struggling with bipolar disorder, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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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So Whats A Person With Bipolar Disorder To Do About Relationships
Its not easy to overcome the hurdles of relationships presented to those with bipolar disorder.
The key thing to remember is not to generalize and that those with bipolar disorder cannot be judged as a group any more than any other group. One person with bipolar disorder may have trouble controlling his or her anger, but this doesnt mean that all with bipolar disorder do. One person with bipolar disorder may have a string of relationships in which he or she hurts the other person, but certainly, not all people with bipolar disorder do. Internalizing the idea that you will hurt others because of a mental illness is simply false and defeating, as is the notion that someone with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder will hurt you simply because of a medical condition.
No one would suggest that those with cancer make substandard social connections because of their illness and no one should assume that might be the case because of a mental illness either.
If you or partner is struggling with bipolar and its impacting your relationship, consideronline couples counseling with a licensed therapist a convenient, inexpensive way to get back on track.
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