They Dont Necessarily Want Your Sympathy
Of course we all need a bit of sympathy here and there, but you shouldnt assume right off the bat that sympathy is required. It is best to listen and try to understand as much as you can. Avoid saying you understand more than you do, and be weary of giving out too much advice. Just be a friend that listens and you will be great.
Dont Beat Yourself Up After A Presentation
We are the hardest on ourselves and its good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.
You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.
Do Not Focus Solely On Your Partners Illness
Loving someone with bipolar disorder is difficult, but your relationship is so much more than your loved ones disorder. It is easy to forget this when it feels like their illness is consuming your lives, especially when he or she is first diagnosed. If you are married, it is important to remember that you fell in love with this person for a reason, and it wasnt because of their disorder.
What To Do If You Notice Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
The most important thing to do if you notice any signs of bipolar disorder in a loved one is to encourage them to seek treatment. Pick a calm, relaxed time to bring up your concerns. Avoid judging them or implying their moods are their fault. Instead, emphasize that you love them and think it might be wise for them to meet with a doctor. Often, people will resist getting bipolar disorder and depression treatment in MI that they need. In these cases, try to remain patient and loving. If you think they are a danger to themselves or others, you may be able to call emergency numbers and seek an involuntary commitment for them.
Bipolar disorder is challenging for both the affected person and their family members, but it does not have to take control of your life. Getting the right treatment for bipolar disorder can help you learn how to manage symptoms. Contact Rose Hill Center for our dedicated bipolar disorder care program that provides high-quality therapy in a relaxing and comforting environment. Take the first step towards treating a bipolar disorder by calling us at 866.367.0220.
Almost Like Being In Love
When youre in the throes of new love, do a mental check for the possibility of mania.
- Are your feelings for everyone more intense, both good and bad?
- Are you thinking a mile a minute about just this one person, obsessed and preoccupied, or are you just thinking a mile a minute?
- Is a new love affair the only new thing in your life, or have you started new projects in other areas of your life as well?
- Are the interests of this person connected to interests you only have when manic?
- Is this about you? Do you think you are super talented and special, or is it your new lover that is the most perfect thing? People who are manic become full of themselves, or grandiose. Lovers are infatuated with the beloved.
- Bought anything recently? Lovers gifts, even if expensive, tend to be intimatea diamond watch because she loved it in the window, a personalized playlist you made just for him. In contrast, manic purchases are more likely to be status-driven, such as a Porsche you can no way afford, or multiples, such as six similar purses in a day.
- Whats up with your zeitgebers, or personal clocks? If your appetite, energy, sleep cycle, and response to the season are in your manic pattern, try to be suspicious of yourself, something obviously hard to do as mania takes hold.
From In the Mood for Love, Haase and Goldenberg
Printed as Is This Love That Im Feeling? Winter 2013
I See Manic Symptoms Being Praised In Our Work Culture
Im 31 years old and was diagnosed on the bipolar spectrum when I was 28. I specifically have Cyclothymia, a milder form of bi-polar. I worked in tech startups for the past 10 years and my manic tendencies earned me much praise and promotion in that stressful, 24/7 environment. For example, my ability to get angry about business setbacks showed how seriously I was taking my job and helped me develop camaraderie with my coworkers. For the first five years, I didnt seem to notice the pain. The high of success numbed me to the physical downsides I was experiencing. After my first major setback, the pain really set in. I wasn’t able to bounce back after a demotion. I struggled to work under a new authority figure and my bitter attitude kept me from thriving at the company. My sense of failure felt unbearable.
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
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.
Did You Ever Try To Kill Yourself
SOMEONE I DIDNT KNOW ONCE ASKED ME THIS. It was at a really bad gig at a rundown club, and I honestly didnt think the night was going to sink any further. Then a friend-of-a-friend asked me this. Dont ask someone this. I mean, obviously do ask if you are friends and youre having a one-on-one heartfelt conversation four pints in, but, in general, I wouldnt ask this until youre 99.9% sure it wont make you a dick for asking this.
What Causes Depression In Men
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of risk factors including:
- Genetic factorsmen with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose family members do not have the illness.
- Environmental Stressfinancial problems, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, major life changes, work problems, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.
- Illnessdepression can occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease. Depression can make these conditions worse and vice versa. Sometimes, medications taken for these illnesses may cause side effects that trigger or worsen depression.
#9 Have You Done A Mental Check During A Period Of Stability
Answer significant questions: Are your feelings for everyone more intense, both good and bad? Are you thinking a mile a minute about just this one person, obsessed and preoccupied or are you just thinking a mile a minute? Do you share the interests of this person only when manic? Is a new love affair the only new thing in your life, or have you started new projects in other areas of your life as well?
Encourage Treatment For Bipolar Disorder
Done are the days of electric shock therapy and unnecessary lobotomies. There are various viable treatment options now available for bipolar disorder. Because the sooner bipolar disorder is treated the better the prognosis may be, it is important to seek professional help as quickly as possible. While it may be tempting to see if your loved one will get better without treatment, this could make matters worse. All too often people with bipolar disorder will turn to drugs such as alcohol oropiatesin attempts to self-medicate. These bad habits could lead to a substance abuse problem that now also requires professional attention like our residential drug treatment in Boca.
What I Know Now
Bipolar disorder does the dirty work for me and filters out individuals who tiptoe through life. The fact is, we all have issues, whether you live with bipolar disorder or not. And if someone wont give you a chance because of a label, consider yourself lucky. Today I approach dating with one purpose to have fun. Dating experiences can teach you a lot about yourself. In an attempt to mask my vulnerability, I have found that I can be a bit harsh and overly confident in some situations.
Living with bipolar disorder gives you a very different perspective on the world around you. You look for meaning and depth in everything. We behave based on what we feel, not necessarily what we know is right or wrong. Sometimes this can lead us to be irresponsible and careless, but if handled properly, can actually be a gift to another person.
Other Ways To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder
You can also support your loved one by:
Learning about bipolar disorder. Learn everything you can about the symptoms and treatment options. The more you know about bipolar disorder, the better equipped youll be to help your loved one and keep things in perspective.
Encouraging the person to get help. The sooner bipolar disorder is treated, the better the prognosis, so urge your loved one to seek professional help right away. Dont wait to see if they will get better without treatment.
Being understanding. Let your friend or family member know that youre there if they need a sympathetic ear, encouragement, or assistance with treatment. People with bipolar disorder are often reluctant to seek help because they dont want to feel like a burden to others, so remind the person that you care and that youll do whatever you can to help.
Showing patience. Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment. Dont expect a quick recovery or a permanent cure. Be patient with the pace of recovery and prepare for setbacks and challenges. Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process.
The importance of support in bipolar disorder recovery
People with bipolar disorder do better when they have support from family members and friends. They tend to recover more quickly, experience fewer manic and depressive episodes, and have milder symptoms.
Accept What You Cannot Control
Loving someone with bipolar disorder can cause you to feel powerless. Although bipolar disorder symptoms can be managed, it is a condition that cannot be entirely controlled. Understand that mood swings and changes come with the territory of manic depression, and calling your partner crazy or telling them to brush it off wont help. Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is a part of your new reality and with this reality comes a little bit less control. Bipolar disorder isnt anyones fault, and the sooner you are able to relinquish this control and adjust, the easier it will be to accept the diagnosis and move forward.
What Have You Learned As A Result Of Your Experiences
Living with bipolar, often for years, teaches you a lot about yourself, about mental health services, about medicationand sadly often about stigma, shame, and discrimination.
Id say for me it was a key driver for learning about mebut also a red herring as I feel I vested too much of my own identity in clinging to the life-raft of the diagnosis as an explanation of my life in my early 20sagain though, there are a range of perspectives:
Brian talks of the possibility of recovery:
Despite what others may tell you, or what you might believe, recovery is possible. I never thought I could be a worthwhile human being and have something meaningful to offer.
That’s just illness speak and the effects of learned stigma. It doesn’t need to be that way.
Anna points to learning about what is important in life:
I have learnt that I am more resilient than I could have ever imagined. I have discovered that there is more to life than getting a degree or a good job. I have learnt that I have amazing friends who never stopped believing in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.
Hannah draws on a theme park analogy to talk about assembling your team of helpers:
I feel like I’m riding a constant rollercoaster of moods. There are people who are too scared to come to the theme park, those that will hop on rides with you and those that watch sensibly in awe and sickness from a distance minding your bags.
All of those people have a valid and useful part to play in your life.
How To Get Help
About 2.6% of the U.S. population have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. It usually comes on at about age 25, but it can happen earlier. There are different types, too. Symptoms can happen — or not happen — along a wide spectrum.
A âlife chartâ is a good way to track your moods and help your doctor diagnose whether you have bipolar disorder. Youâll record details about your moods, sleep patterns, and events in your life. If youâre on a manic swing, you might feel âupâ and capable, but a look at the big picture will show you how a âdownâ will follow. The info also will give your doctor a window into your day-to-day — even hour-to-hour — life to decide how best to proceed with treatment if needed.
Special phone apps can help you keep up, too. There are quite a few available to help you track your moods, medications, sleep patterns, and more. One even analyzes how you type on your phone: your rhythm and speed, mistakes, corrections, and other dynamics, but not your content. It then uses this data to gauge your mood and predict bipolar episodes. Just remember that these apps donât take the place of following a treatment plan under your doctorâs care.
Go To Couples Counseling
Couples counseling is essential for working through upset over a bipolar partners actions. Its common for someone with bipolar disorder to hurt and offend their partner. When someone is first diagnosed, there are often relationship issues that need to be addressed. Couples counseling can help you:
- Understand that theres an illness involved in the hurtful behavior.
- Forgive the behavior that happened during an altered mood state.
- Set boundaries with a partner about maintaining treatment.
Is That What Stephen Fry Has Are You Like Stephen Fry
Yes, its what Stephen Fry has, according to the brilliant and informative documentary he made for the BBC in 2006, entitled The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Yes, I am Stephen Fry. *poses for selfie with fan*.
Im also available for personal appearances as: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kerry Katona.
#6 Do You Have The Three Cs
Consider if you have these three things with your new partner: chemistry, compatibility and commitment. There is a tendency for people with bipolar disorder to use romantic relationships as a kind of antidote, at least in the first flush of happiness. You may feel that life is so great and your depression is cured.
Your Depression Goes Way Deeper Than Just Feeling Down
Bipolar depression shows up in different ways for different people. You might have trouble sleeping. Or you might sleep too much, and even find it hard to get up. The smallest decisions can seem huge. Overwhelming feelings of failure, guilt, or deep loss can trigger suicidal thoughts.
Other signs to look for:
- You feel like you canât enjoy anything.
- You find it hard to focus.
- You eat too little or too much.
- Youâre weary, and your movements seem slow.
- Youâre forgetful.
Understand That Medication Might Not Help Them
Treatment is often accompanied by medication, but it may not be effective for everyone. In fact, medication is used to mitigate symptoms, not remove them entirely. Keep your expectations realistic. Your loved one may require a combination of our medical and mental health treatment in Boca in order to see results.
Other Ways To Help Include:
- Offering him support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
- Listening carefully and talking with him
- Never ignoring comments about suicide, and alerting his therapist or doctor
- Helping him increase his level of physical and social activity by inviting him out for hikes, games, and other events. If he says, no, keep trying, but don’t push him to take on too much too soon.
- Encouraging him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider
- Ensuring that he gets to his doctor’s appointments
- Reminding him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift
Get Angry At The Disease Not The Person
Its natural to get angry at the person who is causing you pain. When manic, persons with bipolar disorder can be horribly insensitive and inconsiderate. When depressed, he or she may be self-absorbed. Placing the infuriating and frustrating behavior within the context of the disorder can help you place the blame with the disease, not the person. Fight the illness, not your loved one.
What Do You Do To Keep Well
Keeping well when you have bipolar is an interesting concept. For some it revolves exclusively around manging moods. For others it means fitting life around moods.
For me, and others like me who are deep into a recovery that seems to be holding, its about keeping an eye, and investing in the things that help us all boost our mental health.
For many, if not most people with bipolar, life and keeping well includes taking medication.
Blogger Tanya said:
The thing I most prioritise with keeping myself well is to be strict in taking my medication. Missing doses or tweaking them without professional help can be devastating.
Again, Im going to buck the trend and say I dont take medication routinely. I took lithium for a decade, and then wanted, once I knew myself and had done my research, to try tapering off. That was eight years ago, and Ive managed it. I did it carefully, over two years, with support, whilst learning other techniques.
For 13 years, I took medication, but in the past six months, I’ve been trying to cope without it. So I have to be super careful, and alas, super boring. I don’t drink a lot, I have relatively early nights when I can.
Bipolar can also be triggered by trauma, or other life events and sometimes part of therapy is addressing underlying concerns to get someone to a point where they can start to see a life worth living.
Hannah has a rigid menu:
Bipolar Mania Vs True Love
Slowing down is good advice for anyone caught up in the intense emotions of new love, says David Goldenberg, MD, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.
During that early phase, he explains, its common to shy away from the uncomfortable parts of getting to know another person. The impulsivity associated with bipolar can make it even more likely youll steamroll ahead.
On behalf of the sexuality committee, Goldenberg and Haase prepared a working paper titled In the Mood for Love. In it, they describe the emotional state of limerenceearly stages of romantic love characterized by blissful euphoria and intense longing for another personand compare it to the egocentricity, grandiosity, and elation of mania.
The paper goes on to identify some of the key differences between true love and hypomanic exuberance, including a seasonal pattern of love affairs, reckless lack of judgment, and over-the-top impulsive actions. For people with bipolar, lovesick can be more than a metaphor.
There is a very strong similarity between that swept away experience of being in love and that of mania, agrees Joseph F. Goldberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. However, an individuals orientation is very different in the two states.
He also assesses changes in mood, energy, sleep, cognition, and judgment for indicators of a manic episode.
They Enjoy Parts Of Mania But Ultimately Feel Exhausted By Them
There are parts of mania which are exciting and fun. Colors are more vibrant and individuals often feel incredibly empowered; however, every episode of mania comes with a deep slide into depression. The obsession and highs of mania take incredible amounts of energy and ultimately wear the individual out.
Healing And Caring For Yourself After A Breakup
Any breakup is likely going to be difficult, especially if you had a long-term commitment to your partner. Dr. Reiss said that this situation may lead to feelings of guilt.
If you start feeling guilty when the reality is that you had not made the commitment the other person implicitly expected, your guilt will trigger anger, depression, etc. in both yourself and in the other person and make it worse, Dr. Reiss said.
He added, Work through your own guilt as much as possible before, during, and after the breakup.
Itll also take time to heal. Dr. Saltz suggested doing your best to learn from any relationship that didnt work. Its always good for you to review for yourself why you chose this person, what was the draw for you, she said.
Is that something that, in retrospect, you feel good about, or does it fit some pattern that hasnt been good for you? Just try to learn from a relationship that didnt ultimately last and understand more about yourself in that regard.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Men
Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling anxious, restless, or on the edge
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.