Watch For Warning Signs Of Bipolar Disorder Relapse
Even if your loved one with bipolar disorder is committed to treatment, there may be times when their symptoms get worse. Take action right away if you notice any troubling symptoms or mood changes. Point out the emerging bipolar symptoms to your loved one and alert the doctor. With swift intervention, you may be able to prevent an episode of mania or depression from developing fully.
Can You Share Your Experience With Medication Adherence
Megan: I take my medication every day and I dont mess around with it. I learned my lesson. I dont want to live my life being stable and then unstable and stable and then unstable. I just want to continue on this good path. And a huge way that I’ve done that is by removing alcohol from my life, which is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Kyle: I live a primarily sober lifestyle, but maybe two or three times a year, Ill have a beer. We have a conversation about it beforehand. And I wouldnt do it in front of her.
Megan: I just want to give him a lot of respect. I hope that his example might inspire other people. You know, it’s so important for my health that I don’t drink, and he has gone above and beyond to support me. If you want to have a healthy marriage and live with a mental illness, it’s very important to be a team and stick together and communicate.
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
- Financial abuse
- Emotional 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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Attitude Correction In A Bipolar Marriage: It Is A Psychiatric Condition Not A Personal Failing
The most important task is to learn about Bipolar Disorder. But just because youre up to speed, doesnt mean that you know how its going to play out in your marriage. With appropriate psycho-education, you will understand the range of symptoms and behaviors and feel in better control of your bipolar marriage. But the map is not the territory.
What Would You Like To Share With Others Who Find Themselves In The Same Situation
Kyle: Just being open and honest with your loved ones and those around you.
Megan: Devastated doesnt even describe the despair and pain that I felt after my manic episode and my psychotic social media posts. So many people in my life at that time, in my social circle, that I trusted and thought were my closest friends abandoned me. They didn’t try to understand, be forgiving, and compassionate for me. And that was devastating. But it turns out that was actually the biggest blessing because it showed me who was a true, solid friend. It’s so important for people with mental health illnesses to have a strong support system.
If youd like to follow Megans mental health journey, check out:
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Whats It Like Living With Someone Who Has Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can affect different people in different ways. Some people have less severe symptoms than others. Some might go weeks, months, or years without symptoms.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms during active mood episodes may affect your living situation if they disrupt routines, boundaries, and shared responsibilities.
How Did To Get The Medication That Youre On Today
Megan: I did genetic testing through Genomind to get to the medication protocol that Im on today. I want people to know that kind of help is out there. So often with bipolar medications or other mental health disorders, its just trial and error. I feel like that can be so dangerous if someone is in crisis mode
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Are The Two Of Interested In Starting Family
Megan: Yes, we very much want to start a family. But we think it’s important for me to be in a stable place before we take those next steps, especially because things really started to get out of hand for me when I stopped taking birth control back in 2016, before I was diagnosed. I absolutely believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that God or the universe or the spirit wanted me to know that I have a mental illness before I became a mom. Now that I have that awareness, if I do start struggling, we can get help right away.
How Do You Communicate With A Bipolar Spouse
High or low periods may be emotional for both partners. For this reason, open communication is crucial. Explain how the behavior of the person with bipolar disorder makes you feel, without judging them or stigmatizing the bipolar condition.
Remember, its their perspective and experience, which will be different from yours, especially when its the illness talking. Let them know you understand how they might be feeling and then redirect the conversation. Ask them how you can help.
Talking openly can be a powerful way to reduce the negative impact that certain behaviors may have. Life together can be more enriching when you see each other more deeply.
There are many ways to support your relationship with someone who has bipolar as a mental health issue. With information, treatment, and the strong foundation of your marriage, your relationship can thrive. Please consider forwarding this valuable information to someone who you know could benefit.
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Drugs Alcohol And Sexual Acting Out
Its almost anecdotal that undiagnosed people with bipolar appear to be constantly self-medicating. Alcohol abuse in early adulthood is a typical attempt to modulate the roller-coaster ride of mood swings.
A recent study claimed that 37% of subjects who were bipolar engaged in sexual compulsivity. Bipolar marriage breakdown often follows serial infidelity and poor management of the disorder.
Intensely damaging to this bipolar marriage. Diagnostically, the presence of hypersexuality is an indication of a possible bipolar diagnosis.
It is possible to have multiple overlapping mental health struggles. This is called having co-morbidities. You could, for example, have a sex addiction, aggravated by bipolar disorder, Developmental Trauma, or both.
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 didn’t put any pressure on me at all.
Any of the times I’ve ever been depressed, hes always been very supportive. He didnt ask me, whats wrong with you. Or why can’t I do this or that? Hes been so respectful. And I’m so grateful to have a husband like that, to support me and be there for me. He doesn’t understand what depression feels likebut he’s witnessed me not being able to shower, not being able to get off the couch, being in the same clothes I’ve worn for five days in a row. And while he doesn’t 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.
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The Stress Of Managing The Symptoms
Treatment can help when continuous and focused effort exists. However, successful treatment can be a challenge because many people miss their up periods and the euphoria of manic episodes, so they might seek to induce those periods of elevated mood.
It might also be that they see those periods as times when they are being their best selves and decide to stop the treatment to having it again.
Choosing to stop taking medication affects their partner too. Together they have worked towards establishing a symptoms-free period, and this act can be perceived as a betrayal after everything they did to help their loved one feel better. You can imagine how that can impact the relationship.
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So how do you enhance your own and your familys health and well-being? To achieve this, I suggest putting your energy into three main areas.
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Effectiveness Of Medication Could Be Extremely Unpredictable
Got a med regime that works? Great!
But make sure youve got a good plan B and a plan C for when it doesnt.
Living with bipolar may require and endless tweaking of medication to avoid twerking your mood swings in your partners face. It might involve a seemingly endless process of adjustments.
But taking meds faithfully is the holy of holies. Couples who are struggling to manage bipolar need sacred agreements to faithfully abide by their current treatment regime.
Two couples can have completely different agreements around helping or not helping with medication. There is no right way. Dont enter into an agreement that leaves you stressed or resentful.
Avoid the Temptation to Become a 24/7 Psychiatric Nurse.
Try not to let BPD be the centerpiece of your bipolar marriage. You dont want to become more of a nurse than a spouse. Take care of yourself, read relax, indulge in your hobbies.
Preserve your mental and emotional capacities for yourself and others. Your marriage is not only about managing bipolar disorder. If you find that preventing bipolar marriage breakdown is hogging your resources, find a way to seek balance. Avoid burning out.
How Bipolar Disorder Affects A Marriage
For many people, getting married is a positive experience and aspiration. Being married provides an emotional connection and partnership in life.
However, every relationship has its challenges. When one partner in a marriage has bipolar disorder, the relationship can become complicated when they are unwell.
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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.
Date The Person Not The Diagnosis
In the search for why bipolar relationships fail, we need to remember that what breaks apart most couples is making assumptions. When couples start attributing everything to the diagnosis instead of searching for ways to overcome problems, they enter a hopeless mindset.
They might think diagnosis is for life, and so there is no purpose to keep trying.
Many couples are dealing with mental illness, and they make it work.
The key is to remember NOT to generalize!
One person with bipolar will have trouble controlling their anger another wont. Someone else may experience extreme irritability during hypomania or mania another wont. A mental condition, although called the same, will have many faces.
If you are seeing the person through the lens of their diagnosis, you are not seeing the true them. This approach wont help your relationship since your partner will feel judged and categorized. If you want to make this relationship work, be ready to get to know them and see past the labels.
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Can Verbal Abuse Cause Bipolar
Experiencing abuse verbally, in isolation to other abuses in children, has a lasting negative effect on the course of bipolar disorder, researchers have found.
Verbal abuse was associated with an earlier onset of bipolar disorder and worse prognosis compared with no abuse in the family or elsewhere. This answer was from a study led by Robert Post .
Their research says, reducing the impact of verbal abuse on the unfolding course of bipolar disorder appears to be an important target of therapeutics and worthy of attempts at primary and secondary prophylaxis.
The effect of verbal abuse on the age of bipolar onset was related to its frequency, with patients reporting having experienced verbal abuse occasionally or frequently developing bipolar disorder earlier than those experiencing it never or rarely.
Given the potential neurobiological effects of verbal abuse of children in the family, the team of researchers recommends interventions such as family-focused treatment. This can help prevent the occurrence of verbal abuse along with other psychotherapies to lessen its effects.
Living With Someone With Bipolar Disorder
Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of NeuroSpa TMS®. Since receiving training from the inventor of TMS Therapy nearly a decade ago, Dr. Upshaw has been a pioneer, champion and outspoken advocate of TMS Therapy. Dr. Upshaws holistic experience in the field has transformed him into Floridas leading advocate for widespread accessibility to TMS Therapy.
Bipolar disorder is a difficult condition to live with, but when its well-managed it presents no barriers to good relationships. Uncontrolled bipolar disorder is another story. The extreme highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder can prove disruptive to even the strongest of bonds. The lack of stability in a persons mood and the significant alterations in a persons behavior can be devastating to a relationship.
Typically, a person with bipolar will spend weeks to months in a fairly stable mood, with depressive episodes interspersed throughout. Some people however are rapid cyclers and will go through at least 4 full phases of mania and depression a year.
How to Live With a Bipolar Spouse
It takes a structured and methodical approach to prevent a bipolar marriage breakdown, but its possible. Consider the following steps to keeping your sanity when living with someone with bipolar disorder.
How Has Your Marriage Changed Through This
Megan: From my perspective, were doing well. We have gone through a lot of healing. Its a journey. Its not linearyou take a step forward, then take a couple steps backwards. I think marriage is difficult, no matter if you have a mental illness or not, but having a spouse with a mental illness does make it more challenging.
Kyle: I would say we’ve been on an upward trajectory ever since she was diagnosed. Weve definitely had times where we have had to take a step back. But we learn from it and just keep on marching forward. The last few years have made me more sympathetic to mental health struggles. No one in my family or circle of friends was ever deeply affected.
Bipolar Spouse: Coping With Bipolar Husband Wife
Having a spouse with bipolar can be challenging. Here are techniques for coping with bipolar spouses.
Having a bipolar husband or bipolar wife, often puts the other spouse in the role of caretaker and caregiver of the relationship. Because they live with a bipolar spouse, they are expected to hold everything together when emotional hurricanes hit their families. They hang on in spite of everything that is flying around them just waiting for the calm. Many people close to them expect them to be strong and almost heroically brave, when sadly, they, too, have weaknesses and fears.
So many people in their community are focused on the well-being of the bipolar person that they forget about the spouse. It can be very difficult to be the other half of a partnership in which someone is chronically ill. The spouse feels like all he/she ever does is put up and put out and that they never get anything back in return. It can be emotionally and physically draining when your spouse is continually the one that is the focus of your combined attention. The spouse often forgets to acknowledge his/her own needs and wants because their attention is so completely funneled to their partner. They may long for someone they can confide in, someone to listen to their concerns. Sometimes, the spouse can become resentful of the bipolar sufferer, and then, unfortunately, the relationship hits the rocks.
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