Monday, March 17, 2014

Understanding Bipolar Relationships

Bipolar relationships are indeed a challenge. Having a relationship with someone who has a bipolar disorder is not easy, because that person is vulnerable to various conditions such as exaggerated mood swings and strange behaviors. Their roller coaster emotions can drive a relationship out of control. At times, the symptoms may not be obvious, which is why a person with bipolar disorder can still mingle with people, have friends, and form relationships, despite their condition. In fact, they are advised to mingle with people and not stay at home and become reclusive.

Bipolar disorders affect relationships in certain ways. For instance, during the hypomania state, a person would tend to go on a shopping spree. Then, he/she would become depressed and eventually turn quiet. These cycles of mania and depression can put a stress on any relationship, because these are not the usual mood swings that normal people usually go through. These are wild mood changes that can wreak havoc in any relationship. A lot of relationships have ended because the other partner cannot deal with the other person's illness anymore. It is understandable, but there are ways to maintain a good relationship with someone who has this disability.

Getting Professional Help

You probably can live with your partner who has Bipolar II disorder, but you may already be breaking down from inside. Do not hesitate to ask for help from a counselor or a psychologist. A lot of people do not do that because they fail to realize how much help they need.

One of the reasons why couples do not seek help right away is that the disorder may not be obvious. Anyone can pass the mood swings for a defect of a person's character, and not as a form of psychological problem that needs treatment. Bipolar disorder does not necessarily show obvious mood phases. It may be hard to distinguish the different mood swings, especially if the shifts in between each emotional state are subtle.

In other cases, the odd behavior may be mistaken for other common problems. For instance, people who go through the hyper phase may become promiscuous, and the spouse may think that the other is cheating. Another symptom of that particular phase is alcoholism and drug addictions, which are quite common conditions in people even without a bipolar disorder. These behaviors take place because the person loses his or her judgment. The couple, in this case, runs the risk of separating.

After the hyper stage is the depressive state, in which the person becomes quiet. It's like there is another person in the house.

The roller coaster episodes can be very frustrating. However, with proper guidance, living with someone who has these problems is possible.

Maintaining the Relationship

Nine of ten bipolar marriages fail. That is a fact. Failures happen because the other one could not keep up with the person affected with bipolar disorder. The choice of the other person to break free from the marriage or relationship is perfectly understandable.

Nonetheless, bipolar relationships do not have to end in failure. It is possible to live with someone who has bipolar disorder, but it takes compassion and work.


One mood stabilizing medication is Lithium. Antidepressants may also be prescribed to help the patient cope with the depression phase. Aside from medications, there are psychological therapies to let the patient understand and cope with his or her condition.

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