Tremendous strain is put on both partners during Bipolar Disorder relationships!
This is even more so when you go into a relationship unaware that the love of your life stopped using their medication years before.
Mood swings tend to determine the behavior of someone with bipolar…
When episodes of intense mania are experienced, behavior becomes more destructive toward themselves and those around them. They become reckless and don’t think about the consequences of their actions.
Funnily enough, during these manic episodes, they seem to get some reasoning back and may even be more likely to accept that their behavior is questionable.
Depressive episodes tend to make people feel more “needy”, and their thinking becomes totally internalized; no-one but themselves is of any importance.
This behavior falls on opposite sides of the equation; when these episodes are of a milder nature, the problems experienced within your relationship will be nothing more than any difficulties anyone else may experience within a relationship.
If these intense manic and depressive episodes occur on a regular basis, the strain it places on the relationship is huge.
Why is it that people react so differently to mania and depression?
Even the manner in which your friends and family relate to mania and depression can change the whole dynamic of your relationship…
When your loved one is depressed, you get told: “That’s awful. Is everything alright with her? Is she stressed at work? Is she on medication? Make sure she takes it easy for a few days”.
When your loved one is manic, that very person says: “She is making a fool of you and herself. Get rid of her, she is destroying your life. She is a bad influence on you”.
It is perfectly fine to be depressed and stay in bed for days on end, but don’t get manic and run around like a headless chicken.
People don’t seem to believe that there may be a reason why someone would become manic.
This difference in attitude just demonstrates the lack of knowledge that people have about this disorder.
To ensure that you have a relatively “normal” relationship with someone diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, ensure that they take their medication as directed.
Create a daily routine which incorporates your partner taking their medication.
I resorted to waking up before my partner and then ensured that she took her medication at the same time every morning. I was also around in the evening to ensure that she took her medication then.
It sounds frivolous, but it makes such a difference when you have this type of routine.
It became such a normal part of our lives.
I actually felt wonderful every morning when she took her medication without me having to remind her.
Don’t believe that someone is going to take their medication because a doctor says it is necessary.
This is especially true when the person may be manic and feeling on top of the world.
One of the major reasons that people don’t like using their medication for a protracted period of time are the side effects, especially those associated with Lithium.
A pharmacist actually told us that he hates Lithium because “your kidneys are going to get a hiding”. He also said that unfortunately, Lithium is a necessary evil for most bipolar sufferers.
Don’t allow your partners fear of side effects prevent her from taking medication. If the side effects continue, go and see your doctor.
Also, don’t think that you or your partner can get through this without professional help.
See a psychiatrist, and then a psychologist. A psychiatrist will make the initial diagnosis, and will check that the dosages of the various medications are correct, but you need a psychologist to help you through the emotional ups and downs that you will experience.
You as the partner of someone with Bipolar Disorder must make an effort to go along to a few sessions with your partner to see a psychologist; it will open your eyes to the intricacies of this disorder.
There is a lot of help available to Bipolar Disorder sufferers and supporters. USE IT. Join support groups and make sure you both see your doctors on a regular basis.
One of the most important aspects of Bipolar that a psychologist will help you with is determining some of the triggers for either a manic or depressive episode.
If you know what some of these triggers are, you can prevent an episode from becoming too advanced.
You need to become totally involved in the day-to-day struggle of Bipolar Disorder.
Your relationship depends on it…