How to help your partner with bipolar depression
This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own! Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia. Hello there. I have been with my wife for 5 years now and she has had her 3rd manic episode since we have been married. This time around was quite traumatic for me so our GP has me going to a therapist, couples counseling and I am on medication.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Understanding Bipolar Depression
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Managing Bipolar Disorder with Ramsay Mental HealthContent:
- How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?
- How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse
- 10 Tips for Coping With a Bipolar Spouse
- COVID-19 UPDATE
- Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder
- Helping Your Partner Manage Bipolar Disorder
- Personal Stories
- Helping Someone with Bipolar Disorder
- Tips for Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
- When You’re Married to Someone with Bipolar Disorder
How can bipolar disorder affect relationships?
Dealing with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder can be difficult—and not just for the person with the illness. The moods and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder affect everyone around—especially family members and close friends. It can put a strain on your relationship and disrupt all aspects of family life During a manic episode, you may have to cope with reckless antics, outrageous demands, explosive outbursts, and irresponsible decisions.
And once the whirlwind of mania has passed, it often falls on you to deal with the consequences. The good news is that most people with bipolar disorder can stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication, and support. Often, just having someone to talk to can make all the difference to their outlook and motivation. Learning about bipolar disorder.
Learn everything you can about the symptoms and treatment options. Encouraging the person to get help. The sooner bipolar disorder is treated, the better the prognosis, so urge your loved one to seek professional help right away.
Being understanding. Showing patience. Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment. Be patient with the pace of recovery and prepare for setbacks and challenges. Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong process. People with bipolar disorder do better when they have support from family members and friends. They tend to recover more quickly, experience fewer manic and depressive episodes, and have milder symptoms.
Living with a person who has bipolar disorder can cause stress and tension in the home. Ultimately, the strain can cause serious relationship problems. But there are better ways to cope. The first step to successfully dealing with bipolar disorder is for families to learn to accept the illness and its difficulties.
Expecting too much of your family member is a recipe for failure. On the other hand, expecting too little can also hinder recovery, so try to find a balance between encouraging independence and providing support. Neither depression nor mania can be overcome through self-control, willpower, or reasoning. You can offer support, but ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness.
Establishing and enforcing a daily routine—with regular times for getting up, having meals, and going to bed—can also reduce family stress. Communicate openly — Open and honest communication is essential to coping with bipolar disorder in the family.
Aside from offering emotional support, the best way to help your loved one with bipolar disorder is by encouraging and supporting treatment. Often, that can be more of a challenge than it sounds. The idea may be frightening to them, so be sensitive. Once your friend or family member agrees to see a doctor, you can help by being a partner in treatment. Your support can make a big difference in their treatment success, so offer to be involved in any way your loved one wants or needs.
Medication is the cornerstone of treatment for bipolar disorder, and most people need it to regulate their moods and avoid relapse. Despite the need for medication, many people with bipolar disorder stop taking it. You can help your loved one with bipolar disorder stay on track by emphasizing the importance of medication and making sure they take all prescriptions as directed.
Also encourage your loved one to speak to their doctor about any bothersome side effects. Side effects can be very unpleasant if the dose of the medication is too low or too high, but a change in medication or dosage may solve the problem.
Remind your loved one that abruptly stopping medication is dangerous. Even if your loved one with bipolar disorder is committed to treatment, there may be times when their symptoms get worse. Take action right away if you notice any troubling symptoms or mood changes. Point out the emerging bipolar symptoms to your loved one and alert the doctor.
With swift intervention, you may be able to prevent an episode of mania or depression from developing fully. When in the midst of a bipolar episode, people often say or do things that are hurtful or embarrassing.
When manic, your loved one may be reckless, cruel, critical, and aggressive. When depressed, they may be rejecting, irritable, hostile, and moody. Be prepared for destructive behaviors. When manic or depressed, people with bipolar disorder may behave in destructive or irresponsible ways.
Planning ahead for how to handle such behavior can help. When your loved one is well, negotiate a treatment contract that gives you advance approval for protecting them when symptoms flare up. Know what to do in a crisis. Having a crisis plan can help. Make sure to include a list of emergency contact information for doctors, therapists, and other friends or family members who will help. Call for an ambulance and stay with your loved one until it arrives.
Focus on your own life. Seek support. It can also help to get your own therapy or join a support group. Set boundaries. Manage stress. Stress takes a toll on the body and mind, so find ways to keep it in check. You can also keep stress under control by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation. Ask for help. If your friend or family member needs more assistance than you can give, ask for help from others.
Turn to other relatives or close friends, or contact a bipolar disorder support organization. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Family Self-Care and Recovery from Mental Illness — Looking after your own wellbeing while caring for a mentally ill family member. How to help Someone in Crisis — Handling a bipolar disorder crisis. In the U. Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.
Last updated: December This guide will help you navigate the challenges and support your friend or family member. How can you help someone with bipolar disorder? Other ways to help someone with bipolar disorder You can also support your loved one by: Learning about bipolar disorder. The importance of support in bipolar disorder recovery People with bipolar disorder do better when they have support from family members and friends.
Your life is important to me. Learn about their medications Track treatment progress Watch for signs of relapse Alert the doctor to problems.
Sleeping less Elevated mood Restlessness. Speaking rapidly Increase in activity level Irritability or aggression. Fatigue and lethargy Sleeping more Trouble concentrating. Loss of interest in activities Withdrawing from others Change in appetite. Supporting someone who is manic Spend time with your loved one. People who are manic often feel isolated from other people.
Spending even short periods of time with them helps. If your loved one has a lot of energy, walk together. This allows your loved one to keep on the move but still share your company. Answer questions honestly. However, do not argue or debate with someone during a manic episode. Try to avoid intense conversation. During manic episodes, your loved one may say or do things that are out of character, including focusing on negative aspects of others. Try to avoid arguments. Prepare easy-to-eat meals and drinks.
Avoid subjecting your loved one to a lot of activity and stimulation. Allow your loved one to sleep whenever possible. During periods of high energy, sleeping is difficult but short naps taken throughout the day can help. Sometimes a person who is manic may feel rested after only a few hours of sleep. Get more help. Print PDF. Pin Share 1K. Yes No.
How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse
Dating during your twenties is an experience in itself, but when you live with a severely stigmatized condition like bipolar disorder, dating can really be a challenge. As a year-old mental health advocate who is publicly open about her life with bipolar II disorder, I have often experienced stigma in my dating life. Bipolar disorder is a part of me, and I am not ashamed of my condition, in fact, it is the opposite, I embrace it. Should you even tell them at all? Will they think of you differently once they know?
Or in a crisis , text "NAMI" to Donate Now. Just when you think things are going well for you and your loved one, your partner enters a manic phase and the rug is pulled out from underneath both of you and your worlds are upside down. As someone living with a significant other with bipolar disorder, not only is it a challenge for the individual, but also for their family, friends and caregivers. In a recent NAMI meeting I attended, the parents of children with bipolar disorder shared their experiences with the sudden changes in behavior that make each day, week and month a challenge.
10 Tips for Coping With a Bipolar Spouse
Living with a husband or wife who has bipolar disorder can be difficult. Try these tips for coping with the inevitable mood swings. The mood swings can make your days together sometimes exhilarating and other times frustrating. Yet you and your bipolar spouse can beat the dire statistics that predict the end of many of these marital unions. It is a roller coaster. Mary says she knows the statistics showing higher rates of divorce and abuse in marriages that include one spouse with bipolar disorder. After so many years of marriage and successfully raising a daughter together, she has developed a philosophical and compassionate view of her husband and her relationship. When things are tough, take a deep breath and step back. Build support.
Dealing with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder can be difficult—and not just for the person with the illness. The moods and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder affect everyone around—especially family members and close friends. It can put a strain on your relationship and disrupt all aspects of family life During a manic episode, you may have to cope with reckless antics, outrageous demands, explosive outbursts, and irresponsible decisions. And once the whirlwind of mania has passed, it often falls on you to deal with the consequences.
If you are currently dating someone with bipolar disorder , you may struggle with a number of challenges like how you can support him or her while still caring for yourself. Knowledge is power, so learn as much as you can about your partner's disease. This will also be a healthy sign to him or her that you care.
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder
Checking in on your family, friends and colleagues during the coronavirus outbreak is more important than ever. I live with a partner who has depression and bipolar disorder. This means he is often unhappy, critical and negative. To be honest, living with him is far from easy and harmonious.
Fast and John D. Preston, PsyD, provide a wealth of information on how readers can support their partners with managing their illness. Each chapter features practical and wise ideas on better understanding bipolar disorder and working together to identify problems, triggers and effective solutions. It can be tough to know how to help your partner, and sometimes, naturally, your own frustration, confusion and anger may get in the way. Fast and Preston include categories such as depression , mania , paranoia, anxiety , anger, psychosis , self-destructive behaviors and problems with focus and concentration.
Helping Your Partner Manage Bipolar Disorder
Governor Hogan announced that health care institutions in Maryland can start performing elective surgical cases in guidance with the State Department of Health. Learn what Johns Hopkins is doing. Jennifer Payne, M. Not knowing what to expect each day is stressful and tiring. Over time, it wears on the relationship. Understanding why your partner acts out sometimes or becomes withdrawn is the first supportive step you can take in strengthening your relationship. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition marked by intense mood changes.
The prospect of dealing with a lifelong, life-threatening condition can be overwhelming. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder, for example, can test even the strongest of foundations. The unpredictable symptoms and behaviors of a person experiencing bipolar disorder can shake up a relationship and may scare even the most supportive partner. These symptoms can include:. Not surprisingly, communication is essential to supporting your partner and your union.
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.
Helping Someone with Bipolar Disorder
Tips for Dating Someone With Bipolar Disorder
When You’re Married to Someone with Bipolar Disorder