Ask. The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. Learning how to cope with your loved one’s borderline personality disorder can help you create a stronger relationship while taking steps toward recovery. Making these healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and take control of your life. (GETTY IMAGES), How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse. Would I want someone to leave me? There may be days and weeks when it is not easy, but communication is essential. It’s a condition that arises from an imbalance between chemical neurotransmitters which function to control mood and euphoria within the brain. Today, my plan for a happy marriage is to manage bipolar disorder separately from managing my marriage whenever possible. It is extremely difficult to cope with a spouse who has this disease. If … Mary has made it clear to her husband that taking his medication is non-negotiable. The love of your life or your child is suffering terribly and you in many ways are feeling scared, confused and helpless. Every relationship has its ups and downs, and you have to work at it to make it work. Another study of bipolar caregivers found that 86% of the participants characterized the stress they experienced as a result of their partners illness as "major." The participants also reported that their sex lives sagged when their partner was in a manic or a depressive phase; three-quarters of the women who were interviewed and 53% of the men complained of infrequent sex when their spouses were depressed. D ealing with a spouse with Bipolar I am married for 15 years to a man whom I always believed had issues. For the people around someone who has this disorder, emotional shifts like those that are common with BP may seem very unexpected. How to Cope With a Bipolar Spouse Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by the periods of time, when person's good mood swings into depression. Often there are specific environmental stressors or soothers — including relationship issues — that influence mood swings. He has come a long way and I have been with him the whole journey. © 1996-2021 Everyday Health, Inc. Mary believes in the commitment she made when she married her husband. Manage Your Own Anxiety.“If possible, try to be supportive of your bipolar spouse by The high-high's or low-low's that your spouse experiences do not have to be yours. The answer is different for everyone Read moreMore about bipolar disorder, "Mental illness is, on some levels, a contagious disease," says David Karp, PhD, a professor of sociology at Boston College who has studied interpersonal dynamics within bipolar couples. There are hard times in marriage to a bipolar spouse, acknowledges Mary. Reading nonverbal cues helps us understand the intentions of others. Dealing with a bipolar spouse can be a very difficult thing, but can be no more difficult than dealing with a non-bipolar spouse, depending on you. Practice this skill now below. Credit: If you are married to someone who is in denial, you have quite a job ahead of … She describes her husband as a “rapid cycler” (“On a day to day basis you never know what it’s going to be,” she explains) and says there are many days and weeks when she is tired, frustrated, and wondering why she is still married. Finding Support Ask for help. “Every single Friday night he comes home from work, we turn on some music, we sit, and we talk. Health.com is part of the Meredith Health Group. Build support. The three-time Olympian talks about her depression misdiagnosis, hypersexuality, and current family life. Divorce and separation are common in relationships involving bipolar disorder, but according to Dr. Viguera, such relationships don't have to be destructive and separation is hardly inevitable. Learn about your spouse’s triggers, the things that can or usually do set off an episode. Ultimately, Mary’s experience has given her a unique depth of compassion, both for family members whose loved ones have bipolar disorder and for people who live with bipolar disorder. “[I've said before] that I would hate to be in his head — I can’t even imagine how he feels,” she says. "No matter what youre doing, there will be symptoms," Fred says. The mood swings can make your days together sometimes exhilarating and other times frustrating. These behaviors include: getting sufficient, regular sleep using minimal substances exercising performing simple, daily mood tracking practicing self … When things are tough, take a deep breath and step back. A 36-year-old woman grieved when her husband would withdraw emotionally. You may not always like what you learn, he warns, but keeping surprises to a minimum makes your relationship easier to navigate. Bipolar depression is one of the most difficult diseases with which to cope. Coping with your loved one’s mood swings, hyper periods, depression, and possibly violent outbursts is unbelievably hard. Caring for someone with a disease can keep you focused on his needs, but you also need your own sources of support. Coping with Bipolar Spouse Mood Swings. “Communication during and between mood swings is critical to managing the accompanying stressors,” says Todd. I live with a partner who has depression and bipolar disorder. The episodes of depression and mania that bipolar people experience—which can lead to emotional withdrawal, out-of-the-blue accusations and outbursts, spending sprees, and everything in between—have been shown to induce stress, sexual dissatisfaction, and money worries in their partners, as well as depression. “When your spouse is in a stable or more favorable mood, pay close attention to what environmental triggers precipitated and are maintaining the stability. U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record During COVID-19 Pandemic, Tippi Coronavirus: Tips for Living With COVID-19. Karp also recommends that anyone who cares for someone struggling with bipolar person find a support group in their area. My Love-Hate Relationship With Electroconvulsive Therapy, 5 Secrets to Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder, Olympian Turned Escort: Suzy Favor Hamilton on Her Bipolar Disorder, 6 Triggers That Can Cause a Bipolar Episode. But understanding what causes mood swings can be the first step in coping with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. Abuse can take the form of Feelings of stress, isolation, and rejection are common among those involved with a bipolar patient. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. And 9 out of 10 said they found it difficult to keep the relationship going. From easier cramps to a heavier flow, here's a guide on what to expect decade by decade. Is Your Doctor Gaslighting You? Arguments about not taking medications and other risky behaviors. "Half of me moved on, but half of me will always love her," he says. Outside support and education can help. All I can do is Cope with it. The better path is to read about the disorder, attend family therapy, talk with other spouses of bipolar sufferers, perhaps join a support group. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. The highs and … "Maybe they meet the person when the person is hypomanic, not realizing that mood can change," she says. Here are techniques for coping with bipolar spouses. Cut Through the Crap. "She would cycle between extreme happiness and depression," he says, recalling her paranoia, impulsiveness, and self-destructive insecurity. Know (or grow) your philosophy of marriage. At home, when her husband’s moods are out of control, Mary acknowledges, “I try to avoid him.”. Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. "Once I learned about how the symptoms manifest themselves, once I started reading that and becoming more familiar with that, it gave me a better understanding of how to cope with these things. Be angry at the disease, the illness and not the person who is afflicted. Working with your own therapist may also be a good idea. Feelings of stress, isolation, and rejection are common among those involved with a bipolar patient. Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. The changes are very fast and they come out of nowhere. It is an unfortunate illness. The stigma of mental illness can make couples hesitant to look elsewhere for help, but Karp emphasizes that extended family members and trusted friends can all provide invaluable support. If he refuses to take his meds (as he often does when he is manic), she leaves, even if only to spend the night at a friend’s house to make her point. Nothing can keep us away from our Friday night, because its our time to connect.". "It brings out very strong negative emotions and feelings of isolation in the partner, who struggles so hard to separate the illness from the patient.". Some surprising factors can play a role in the severity of your bipolar symptoms. It is a hard adjustment being married to someone who changes so quickly and often. Everyday Health is among the federally registered trademarks of Everyday Health, Inc. and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Use the soothers to help maintain the mood that both of you are desiring,” advises marriage and family therapist Tracy Todd, PhD, based in Alexandria, Va. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. (GETTY IMAGES)If you're involved with someone with bipolar disorder, the romantic relationship may be exciting, exhausting, and stressful. "Taking care of bipolar disorder is a team effort, involving the two people and a psychiatrist or other mental health professional," she says. When a spouse is first diagnosed, the initial response from their partner is usually sympathy––until anger, frustration and even hate arise down the road, according to sociology professor and author David A. 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