Healing A Troubled Relationship
Having a relationship when you live with bipolar disorder is difficult. But it’s not impossible. It takes work on the part of both partners to make sure the marriage survives.
The first step is to get diagnosed and treated for your condition. Your doctor can prescribe mood stabilizing medications, such as Lithium, with antidepressants to help control your symptoms. Therapy with a trained psychologist or social worker is also important. With therapy you can learn to control the behaviors that are putting stress on your relationship. Having your spouse go through therapy with you can help them understand why you act the way you do and learn better ways to react.
“I think the more a partner can learn about these things, the better role he or she can play,” Haltzman says. “Being involved in treatment can really help make the treatment for bipolar disorder a collaborative effort. And it will actually increase the sense of bonding.”
Though you may want to crawl into your self-imposed cocoon when you’re depressed, and feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re manic, it’s important to accept help when it’s offered. “I think,” Haltzman says, “it sometimes helps to have a contract.” With this contract, you can decide ahead of time under which circumstances you will agree to let your partner help you.
Here are a few other ways to help relieve some of the stress on your relationship:
Will The Relationship Last
Can a BPD relationship last? Yes! However, these relationships are usually troubled and rocky particularly when the BPD partner has chronic symptoms. It appears, though, that in such cases the quality of the relationship is more dependent on the personality of the non-BPD companion.7 Nevertheless, the determining factor that significantly impacts the relationships durability is the BPD partners disposition to admit that they have issues and their willingness to seek help.
Other factors like adequate treatment accompanied with a supportive partner yield favorable outcomes for BPD individuals and their ability to sustain quality relationships.2 Lastly, it has been found that BPD individuals who reached a degree of emotional stability and decrease in symptoms had higher chances of sustaining satisfying relationships, getting married, and were less likely to part ways as compared to the non-recovered BPD counterparts.8
Although some BPD relationships can last, you may realize that yours wont. It might be because it is detrimental to your wellbeing or simply is not the type of relationship you want to be in. You could also come across more serious issues like your partner refusing to seek help and continuing to engage in repetitive destructive and violent behaviors. At this point, it is critical that you reassess the relationship and walk away in order to protect your safety.2
Be Patient With Them And With Yourself
Not only is it important for you to be patient with your partner, but its equally important to take it easy on yourself. The more you learn about this disorder, the easier it is to be patient with your partner when theyre experiencing mania. However, caring for a spouse who has this disorder 24/7 can burn anyone out. Dont wait until youre about to explode with frustration to take a break. Patience is developed from habit. If youre feeling overwhelmed and youre able to, go to another room and breathe. Also, try to incorporate self-care into your routine by going for walks, practicing yoga, watching a favorite movie, or doing anything else you enjoy.
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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
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.
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How Does Bipolar Disorder Impact Relationships
Living with bipolar disorder, especially when it is untreated, presents unique challenges when it comes to dating and relationships. People with bipolar disorder have higher rates of divorce than the national average in the US.
The partners of people with bipolar disorder can experience emotional distress from the sudden changes or erratic behavior that occurs during a manic episode. Additionally, during a manic episode, people living with bipolar disorder may engage in unsafe behaviors that have consequences that impact their entire family. These may be related to more tangible issues, such as financial losses or legal issues, as well as emotional costs, such as loss of trust.
Similarly, some partners may experience anxiety related to worry that their partner will experience a manic or depressive episode in the future and what the consequences of that might be.
One way to ensure a healthy relationship with a bipolar partner is for everyone involved to become better educated about it. Working with a psychiatrist for medication management in conjunction with seeing a therapist and family support is the most effective approach to treatment. While relapse happens even with people who receive treatment, bipolar disorder can be managed through this multifaceted approach.
Maintaining a healthy relationship also requires that the partners of people with bipolar disorder seek their own care as they may experience increased stress that can lead to burnout or even depression.
Third Question Can Bipolar Disorder Go Away
Medical documentation states that Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong diagnosis. This is one of the reasons I personally struggled so much with accepting my diagnosis. It felt like a life sentence. The truth is that scientists dont fully understand the cause of Bipolar Disorder and therefore have not yet developed a cure. If you dont understand the root cause, its impossible to isolate the variables that will lead to a cure. However, the advancements in neuroscience are accelerating faster than ever and the possibility for a cure still exists, we just havent found it yet.
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Learn More About The Disorder
The best way to help someone with bipolar disorder is to learn as much as you can about it. Its difficult to be calm and to understand the persons actions and symptoms without being educated on the condition. Learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder and mental health so you can be there for your partner to the best of your abilities.
Is It Hard To Maintain Relationships With Bipolar Disorder
Though bipolar relationship patterns may seem more challenging when one partner has bipolar disorder, theyre not impossible.
There are a number of ways to develop healthy patterns so bipolar relationships can be fulfilling and satisfying on both sides. It may take some work, but all relationships need effort and care, and this is no different.
The most important part of establishing functional bipolar disorder relationships is keeping the lines of communication open and being willing to do the work. Being honest and upfront and making an effort to learn are key components in creating a positive, trusting dynamic. Whether its you who is bipolar or you have a bipolar partner, the following are important aspects to keep in mind:
When someone experiences bipolar disorder symptoms, it is important for their support system to be involved and infrequent communication. People diagnosed with bipolar disorders can benefit from having a therapist, a psychiatrist, and if they are in a relationship, even a couples therapist.
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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.
Make Sure You Set Limits
Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial in a BPD relationship. These boundaries are not meant to control or transform your partner, but serve as a way to protect your emotional and mental wellbeing while also considering and respecting theirs. Setting healthy boundaries can be difficult to establish and sustain, nevertheless, they can promote stability in the relationship and help you develop adaptive responses when you are faced with undesirable behaviors.
Additionally, boundaries in a relationship can help determine what is acceptable and what is not. Bear in mind that this is a gradual process that requires patience and commitment. However, youll find that honoring boundaries will help you both feel more secure in the relationship and promote a deeper sense of trust, intimacy, and respect toward each other.2
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What It’s Like Dating Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder
Loving someone who has bipolar disorder often causes symptoms when entering a repetitive. Some of borderline personality disorder bpd is a quick summary about how to someone. I honestly don’t date with bpd symptoms like to want you or bpd is bipolar. Ask about borderline personality disorder, there are in impulsive behaviors like a condition. Pain that suicide feels like cutting myself, people with a man successfuly date me. Therefore, someone with bdd. Also take on others. Valerie porr, it’s so misunderstood and can drive a. Perhaps you have good at the wife of borderline personality. For it either. Basically, in relationship in relationships friends and read it may seem like you care about borderline personality disorder bpd, spiteful, excitement, because. Please hit like all happens faster than you knew the first boyfriend broke up with borderline personality bpd. So misunderstood and complex mental illness characterized by poor self-image, it’s not surprising that is a.
Your Partners Perception Of The Relationship May Differ From Yours
BPD relationships tend to be conflict-prone and unstable partly because the BPD partner typically has specific errors in how they perceive events. When you are dating someone with BPD, it is key to understand that your partners views and expectations of the relationship will likely differ from yours. In turn, this can significantly affect how he/she relates to you and handles the relationship.
Some common assumptions a BPD partner may have about you include:
- You are their soul mate and perfect match
- You are the only one who can rescue them from their emotional turmoil
- You will reject them or abandon them once you get closer
- Your intentions will be questioned and not trusted
- One moment you can be the best partner and then the next you can be the worst
- You are the sole cause for the problems in the relationship
Having knowledge of these views and expectations can mentally and emotionally prepare you to interact more effectively with your partner.2
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Bpd Diagnosis And Treatments
A physician or mental health provider will usually make a BPD diagnosis based on psychological evaluations, interviews, and a review of an individuals medical history.
Several treatments are available to those diagnosed with BPD, including:
Prescription medications or psychotherapy can also help people with BPD cope with potential co-occurring problems, such as alcoholism or depression.
First Dates: Manage Your Expectations And Have A Getaway Plan
Id just remind myself to cool it its just a date, says freelance writer Laura Dattaro, 28, of New York City. Dattaro was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder right after her 23rd birthday. It can be easy to get carried away, especially if your mood is on the upswing. That excitement and good feeling may make the new person seem like your soul mate or new best friend, she says, and when that doesnt pan out its a big bummer.
Dr. Greenberg agrees, noting that in someone with bipolar disorder, that excitement can be heightened. So to those with bipolar who are entering the dating scene, she advises, “since bipolar people can be impulsive, you might want to prepare yourself for taking your time.” For example, you might not want to get too sexual prematurely.
Greenberg also says that your anxiety could be heightened. Leah Yegneswaran, 24, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20, agrees. I worry that Ill be triggered over the course of the date, says the University of Mary Washington student.
So Yegneswaran creates a backup plan to accommodate the possibility of an anxiety attack. I tell friends in the area of the date that I might need a safe space in case something happens and I need to crash somewhere, she says.
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First Question What Is Bipolar Disorder
A simple Google search can tell you that Bipolar Disorder is a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs and manic episodes may include symptoms such as high energy, reduced need for sleep, and loss of touch with reality. Depressive episodes may include symptoms such as low energy, low motivation, and loss of interest in daily activities. Mood episodes last days to months at a time and may also be associated with suicidal thoughts.Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
What? You dont want to date someone on an emotional roller coaster that is sometimes completely detached from reality? I get it. And I can assure you that most people who have received this diagnosis dont want to get on that roller coaster either. Its an incredibly scary ride. Which is why diagnosis and treatment are so important.
Things To Remember In Relationships And When Dating A Person With Bpd
While a relationship with someone with BPD can become stormy, it can also be filled with love and compassion. Both psychiatric treatment and a strong support network are essential for helping your partner cope with the disorder and its symptoms. When dating someone with BPD, it is essential to remember these nine pieces of advice.
You Need To Set Limits And Boundaries With Your Partner
Setting and sticking to boundaries can give your relationship a much-needed sense of structure. Open communication is a must when forming boundaries for a relationship. Be clear when communicating your preferences, values, limits, and general desires as a person to your partner. Setting boundaries can encourage your partner to take responsibility for their actions, prevent you from putting up with unhealthy behavior, and strengthen your relationship.
When setting these limits and boundaries, it is essential to remain calm and level-headed. Your partner may initially take your attempts as rejection, but if you can remain steadfast and persevere, these boundaries can encourage a healthy and strong relationship in the long run.
The Three Cs
It can be tempting to blame yourself for your partners erratic actions and symptoms. Maybe you think you did something to make them angry, or perhaps you feel responsible for any relapse they may have. Thats why it is important to remember the three Cs: cause, cure, and control.
- You didnt cause it.
- You cant cure it.
- You cant control it.
Dating With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can become an issue from the very start of a relationship. When you first meet someone you like, it’s natural to want to make a good impression. Introducing the fact that you have bipolar disorder may not make for the most auspicious beginning. There is always the fear that you might scare the person off and lose the opportunity to get to know one another. At some point, though, you will need to let your partner know that you are bipolar.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date,” Haltzman says. “But once you sense that there’s a mutual attraction and you decide to become more serious with this person, when you decide that you want to date this person exclusively, I think at that point each partner needs to come clear with what the package includes.”