Please help me my partner has Bipolar

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''Tunny''
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/20/2008 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
Please help me as best you can. The site has been recommended to me by my partners family they believe it will help me find some answers and support that im in need of. My partner has been hospitalised for eight weeks now following a breakdown which she was obviously building up to three months previous. Prior to breakdown she ended our relationship so as she did'nt hurt me and its taken four months to get it back after never giving up and continueous support even when she did'nt want me. She is now on the mend and were back together and i believe that in the next couple of weeks should be home. During her time at the crisis unit she has been diagnoised as Bipolar (Im not sure if Bipolar 1 or 2). The past 6 months have been really really rough and meant dealing with attempts on her life and numerous spells of self harm. I am tryin so hard to get my head round the illness and have spent hours researching and with my head in books. When she comes home on visits i always seem to mess up and find it so difficult to do or say the right thing. I am praying that by coming on here someone will help me by teaching me about the illness in ways that medical staff cant.... Does the mood stabilisers control it and put the patient on an even keel or is it something i need to expect for ever with the lows and highs. Are the chances of readdmission high. In what ways can i support her best... Please help I just want to be the best bloke she could ask for and support her giving her a life again.
Thank You for finding time to read this.

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 1/20/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there Frankie and Welcome to HealingWell,
 
I think its really sweet what you are trying to do for your girlfriend. I hang around BiPolar sometimes as, I too, have had someone in my family recently diagnosed. I can appreciate how hard it is for you as someone who is close to her to always do the right thing, but the most important thing at the moment is for you to realise you are not perfect. Sometimes you will not do the right thing... this is because you are human. Every bipolar patient is different but mood stabalisers should help the ups and downs. You may still find that her moods are up and down. You may find it helpful to hop across to Depression as well for some advice which is particular to her low moods.
 
I wish you all the success with your girlfriend and hope that things get better for you.
 
Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/21/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Frankie,

Let me also welcome you to our little board and say we'll do our best to try and help.

Darren is right -- everyone is different. However, he's also right that generally the mood stabilizers certainly help to contain the mood swings. Many bipolar patients go for long periods of time stabilized on their medications. However the medications need constant monitoring and adjusting to keep the balance right. And yes, you can expect mood swings, even on the medications, just perhaps not as extreme as the ones you saw before.

Finally, unfortunately, the chances of relapse and readmission are pretty high, but not right away, and a lot of that depends on her. How proactive is she being about taking care of herself? Is she committed to taking her medicine and getting better as soon as possible? Is she willing to make changes in her life to cut down on stress and "triggers"? If she's keeping herself "out of harm's way" then she'll be okay for longer periods of time. But if she doesn't take her meds, goes out drinking a lot, etc... you see my point. Bipolar is a disorder that requires management and a lot of people aren't really willing to do the managing, so they cycle fast and furiously.

Your best bet for supporting her is to just keep letting her know that you are there for her as long as she needs you to be, as long as she's working towards getting healthier and stronger, and she has your love. Be the constant in her life, which it sounds like you are already doing.

Hope this helps,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


''Tunny''
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/22/2008 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thankyou,
My partner was discharged yesterday and is now at home in my care. She is very tired at the moment and just seems to be sleeping a lot, something I think her body probably needs to do. So far so good she is facing the disorder in the right way and taking each day as it comes. It seems important to her to set a routine at this early stage as i imagine after such a stretch in hospital takes some readjustment. I will be encouraging her slowly to visit the site in her own time as I feel it would help her in many ways. There are obvoiusly many questions that she has the need answers for but more importantly encouragement from others who have been touched by the affect of this disorder in some way. I thank you Darren (Hey up mate) and Serafena foe your kind comments and advice. I would be interested if you Serafena can offer any advice into books worth obtaining for either myself to support her or for her to help her learn how to face the mania and control the symptons? Also am i right in thinking you 'S' actually have the same diagnosis? It's just so great to speak with someone who has been there and can offer such sound advice on my level.

Thank you so much,
Frankie

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/22/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Frankie,

I'm glad your partner made it home okay and she's resting. You're right that it's going to take her a little while to readjust to being at home.

You're welcome to ask whatever questions you like and if I don't know the answer, I'm sure someone on the board will. I'm just the noisiest right now because I'm one of the moderators, but many people on this board are bipolar and will happily answer questions. I am Bipolar II -- which in simplistic terms means I am more often depressed than manic and my manias are hypomanias. I don't get the extreme highs of bipolar I -- I get irritable, itchy feeling, I can't sleep, I get angry, I get irrational. You get the picture.

My favorite book is "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" by David Miklowitz. It's widely available. It's a very practical approach to managing the day-to-day symptoms of the disorder and practicing wellness. I should practice it more than I do. :-) It's aimed at patients and their families and it's informative without being clinical in the least.

Another good one, just for inspiration, that a lot of bipolar people read is "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison. She is a professor of Psychiatry who also has bipolar disorder and the book is her account of what the disorder is like for her. It's good sometimes to just not feel alone. On the other hand, it might be triggering, and if your partner is vulnerable right now, you might wanna hold off on this one until later.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare

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