With Communication And Care Bipolar Marriages Can Work
Fred and Kristin Finn, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, describe their marriage as loving and supportive, despite that fact that Kristin was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager. Their teenage daughter has also been diagnosed with the disorder.
The pillars of their success, both say, are open communication and predictable schedules. Kristin says carving time out for her own sleep is crucial, as is making time for each other. “We make sure that every Friday night we set aside time for each other,” she says. “Every single Friday night he comes home from work, we turn on some music, we sit, and we talk. My family and friends knownobody calls us during that time period. Nothing can keep us away from our Friday night, because it’s our time to connect.”
For his part, Fred says he would encourage anyone involved with a bipolar patient to educate themselves as much as they can about the disorder. You may not always like what you learn, he warns, but keeping surprises to a minimum makes your relationship easier to navigate. For example, he says, he is worried about the long-term effects of medication on Kristin’s health. And while both his daughter and his wife comply with medication and therapy, neither is symptom-free.
This is a perfectly healthy stance to take, according to Karp. He urges people with bipolar partners to remember what he calls the “four Cs”: I can’t control it I didn’t cause it I can’t cure it. All I can do is cope with it.
Understanding The Basics Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, previously called manic depression, is a mental health condition known for sudden or intense changes in mood.
Someone with bipolar disorder may experience highs mania or hypomania that involve high energy, an increased sex drive, impulsivity, agitation, and even anger or irritability. Some people may also have lows, known as depressive episodes.
There are three types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder. Each type comes with its own set of similar symptoms, patterns, and cycling phases. A diagnosis may also include features or additional specifiers to better describe your spouses condition.
What might bipolar disorder look like? In an episode of mania, your partner may drive too fast or recklessly, overspend, act out sexually, or even become emotionally or physically abusive. On the other end, in a depressive episode they may be too depressed to get out of bed, work, or just perform everyday tasks around the house.
A found a significant increase in marital distress among partners of people with bipolar disorder, including issues like:
- family finances
- career or job decisions
- household tasks
The good news is that if your partner is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and moves forward with treatment, you can work together to make your marriage healthy and successful.
Since people with bipolar disorder may have different types, severity, and particular features, each persons condition will be unique.
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.
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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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And your decision-making skills and ability to focus aren’t great, either.
12. You’re thinking about committing suicide or have already attempted it.
You may or may not be too fascinated with death and dying.
The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can be subtle, confusing and upsetting. Many people with this condition are overlooked or misdiagnosed, resulting in a lot of pain and unnecessary suffering.
The good news is that with proper treatment and support, you can lead a wonderful life.
In 1982, a psychiatrist diagnosed Patty Duke’s bipolar disorder and prescribed her lithium to control her mood swings. “It saved my life and it gave me life,” Duke said in an interview in 1999.
If you recognize any of those signs/symptoms, please see a mental health professional. You deserve the best life possible, not one where your moods and emotions are so out of control that you feel like they’re beating you up.
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Bipolar In Men During A Depressive State
In both genders, bipolar depression manifests itself through six behaviors: excessive sleeping, changes in eating, being withdrawn and sullen, irritability, inability to concentrate, and lack of interest in virtually anything typically enjoyed. Extremes, not surprisingly, include suicidal impulses and attempts as well as reclusive behaviors.
Bipolar disorder carries a high risk of suicide. Suicide in men is a significant social, behavioral health and medical problem. Men have a much larger rate of attempts and completed suicide rates in comparison with women. Early identification of bipolar disorder and risk factors is essential to intervene, treat, and prevent any risk-taking behavior.
Again, it can be argued that women more easily reveal their emotion and more willing to seek help. Extensive evidence supports that men are typically unwilling to admit to depression. In fact, they often take extreme measures to avoid being identified as depressedclinically or otherwisebecause depression and the symptoms that come with it defy male norms of independence and emotional control.
Sadly, men suffering from bipolar are less easy to identify and less likely to seek assistance and treatment.
Signs Your Spouse Is Manipulating You
Divorce & Family Law – Defending What You Value Most. Offices in Rockland County and Manhattan .
Everyone knows that sometimes marriages just go wrong. It’s nobody’s fault sometimes two people just don’t mesh the way they once did, or things happen that make life difficult over time. Some ex-couples even stay friends.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
About half the time, divorce comes about because someone is really, really pissed. And the general reason for that? Manipulation of some kind.
If you’re reading this, there’s at least a small chance that you clicked because you’re worried you’re being manipulated in some way. After years in the business of divorce, I have some experience in knowing what spousal manipulation looks like–and also how to deal with it. Basically, it boils down to some pretty obvious signs.
You consistently are made to feel guilty, whether you did anything wrong or not. Everybody’s wrong sometimes, and everybody cries sometimes . But if you’re in the wrong 100% of the time for years, and your spouse won’t or can’t take responsibility for any wrongdoing, chances are they’re full of it. It takes two, people.
You often feel small. Feel like your needs don’t matter? If your spouse routinely dismisses what you want or need, minimizes your concerns, and/or calls you “ridiculous,” you’re probably being manipulated.
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Is My Wife Bipolar: Bipolar Disorder In Women
Women are also affected by these manic episodes in a unique way. There are certain factors in women that may affect the shifts between depressive states and energetic episodes. Changing hormones during their menstrual cycle, menopause, and pregnancy can all dictate how severe a persons bipolar disorder may be.
With both men and women, its important to be aware of these signs. While certain factors may increase the severity of the bipolar disorder, it is still a condition that needs treatment. Symptoms can continue to worsen and certain behaviors may lead to injury and death in the long run.
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 Ive done that is by removing alcohol from my life, which is literally the hardest thing Ive 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, its so important for my health that I dont 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, its very important to be a team and stick together and communicate.
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Essential Traits Of A Clinical Covert Narcissist Husband
Theyll forget their wifes work weekend trip and accidentally plan a fishing trip hes really been looking forward to. With a long-suffering tone, hell agree to cancel HIS event as a favor to help her career and stay with the children, sacrificing his fun. Without ever saying so, his wife will simply stop planning weekend trips, especially for pleasure, because she feels his covert misery.
Covert Narcissist husbands conveniently forget spousal requests but make no effort to correct the mistake. Or theyll complete the job incompetently. When confronted with their behavior, they whine that their wife is being too picky, or OCD in expecting a competent performance, implying shes a nag, or hell mope as he attempts to meet her demanding standards.
In the face of failed expectations, hell provide some half-hearted, self-serving explanation of why he didnt follow through. His wife feels his resentment, but it remains unspoken. He exhibits no active joy in her company or desire to celebrate her or their love.
He cant do anything to please you.
The wives are left asking themselves: Was I ungrateful? I thought I complimented hima lot actually
Sex And The Covert Narcissist Husband
Covert narcissist husbands are emotionally disengaged and passionless toward any perceived demand, including the demand to love. Sex can start out steamy. The wife will talk about being love bombed by a man she cant believe is so perfect for her and eager to please. Later making love will end up feeling like a favor hes doing to you and for you.
While initially, the covert narcissist husband will be an ardent lover who is responsive and eager to please, that soon fades once the relationship becomes established. Instead of a partner who is anxious to get away and have private sexual time together, he acts lackluster. You wont feel him in bed. He will become passive, but deeply resentful if you dont show him your admiration. Wives of covert narcissist husbands often end up feeling done to before these same wives gradually withdraw sexually.
Hell then resent you for your lack of sexual interest, despite showing no real interest himself. Your disinterest in pleasing him sexually is a constant insult he must endure. He wants you to get help for your lack of enthusiasm for being sexual with him but takes no responsibility for playing a role.
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Bipolar I And Bipolar Ii Are The Most Common Types With Two Main Differentiators:
- Bipolar I: A person may experience a manic episode of extreme highs lasting around seven days or requiring hospitalization. This may or may not be followed by an extremely depressed period lasting around two weeks.
- Bipolar II: A person may experience a less-intense version of mania called hypomania, which is not as severe as bipolar I. A depressive episode may occur before or after the hypomania. This depressive state can be severe and one condition of bipolar is not more or less serious than another.
- Cyclothymic disorder. This type of disorder can occur when the mania or depression episode lasts longer than two years.
- Other: This type of disorder could be rooted in substance use disorder affecting mood or other health concerns.
Bipolar Disorder At A Glance
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood fluctuations. Periods of mania , hypomania , and depression can occur.
There are different types of bipolar disorder, including:
- Bipolar I: A person with bipolar I experiences at least one episode of mania or elevated mood. They will most likely experience depression as well.
- Bipolar II: In bipolar II disorder, hypomania and depression are present.
- Cyclothymic disorder: This is diagnosed when symptoms of depression and hypomania persist for at least two years, but do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II.
- Mixed states: Mania and depression symptoms occur within the same period of time.
- Rapid cycling: Here, a person experiences at least four or more episodes of mania, hypomania, and depression within a single year.
- Unspecified: This is when the condition is characteristic of bipolar disorder, but does not meet the full criteria for any of the other specified bipolar spectrum disorders.
Treatment often includes a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Every person with bipolar disorder has a unique experience of the condition. Being educated about symptoms and treatment options can provide insight into ways to better support a spouse with bipolar disorder.
Recognizing symptoms or patterns in their spouses behavior allows a partner to support their spouse, determine the ways they can take care of themselves, and tend to the things that need attention in the life theyve built together.
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Get Involved With Treatment
Ask if you can be involved with your partners treatment, which may include occasionally going to the psychiatrist together. Being a part of your partners treatment has multiple benefits, including:
- Gaining a better understanding of the illness.
- Providing additional insight for the psychiatrist.
- Learning to spot signs of impending episodes.
- Alerting the psychiatrist about mood changes.
Even if your partner hasnt signed off on you exchanging information with their psychiatrist, you can still report worrisome signs . This gives the doctor a chance to make quick medication changes that may help your partner avoid being hospitalized.
Creating A Support Plan
Creating a support plan is a useful way for someone to learn how to help their partner with bipolar disorder. This might include planning activities, making a list of useful contacts such as a trusted relative or a therapist and making adjustments to daily routine.
Having a support plan in place reassures both partners that they will know how to respond to a very high or low period.
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Making A Bipolar Relationship Work
If you are concerned that your husband or wife is dealing with bipolar disorder, there are a couple of things you can do to help. While relationships like this can be sporadic and stressful, it is not impossible to get help for a better future.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you are not alone. It is completely possible and achievable to make a bipolar relationship work. Getting the proper treatment and being a supportive force in your spouses life can make a world of difference.
You Have Another Illness Such As Psychosis Anxiety Adhd Or A Drug Or Alcohol Addiction
Some bipolar disorder symptoms are a lot like other conditions. They can be hard to separate and diagnose.
For example, mania can feature psychotic symptoms. You might think youâre famous or have superpowers. On the flip side, with manic depression, you might think youâve ruined your life in some dramatic way.
People with bipolar disorder also can have:
- A physical disorder such as diabetes, obesity, migraines, or thyroid or heart disease
- Substance abuse problems
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