Hypomania Bipolar II & relationships

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samoascookies
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/18/2008 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
New to forum
 
Background
 
I have been diagonesed with Hypomania Bipolar II mixed bipolar state.  Although I was first diagonsed with sever depression six months ago by a MD a psycologist after many weeks of therapy diciphered the rest.  I have avoided the trap of drugs and booze over the three decades of symtoms and have been moderatly successful in business.  I did have the problem of hypersexuality that wreaked many relationships over the years.  The symtom faded and I was married two years ago. 
Depression deepend, money problems (another symtom of hypomania) caused a break in our marriage and me seeking answers.  The good news is I am well with a change in meds to reflect the new diagianoses of bipolar II.  The bad news is my wife believes i had knowelge of my condition and ignored the obivious.  I am confident my "lack of insight" prevented me knowing.  I do accept the problems i caused in the marriage, I am taking steps to make myself well and will continue.  My question:  why is Hypomania Bipolar II so devasting to relationships?  Support group info, information on how to deal with repairing my relationship with my wife would be helpful.
 
thanks 

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/18/2008 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Samoascookies,

Welcome to the forum, we're glad you're here.

As to your first question, it's not just hypomania bipolar II that's devastating, it's mania in general that can be so terrible. It's all across the spectrum of Bipolar that you find people making irresponsible choices when they're in their most desperate states. Those decisions wreck marriages and break up families. It's one of the most terrible side-effects of the disorder and I'm sorry you're living through it.

As to support groups, many towns have a chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance meeting there. Ask your therapist or your doctor where you can contact these groups, or call the local hospital, as they usually operate out of the hospital's health outreach programs. Even if it isn't a DBSA group, most towns have a similar group.

Further, if you're not still in therapy, get back into it. There is no greater resource for information on how to repair your marriage than a counselor. Consider marriage counseling. You've broken her trust -- whether or not it was "your fault," that's what's happened -- and you have to prove to her that you're doing your level best to keep the disorder in check from now on. She needs a reality check of her own. It's not easy to be married to a bipolar person (I speak as a bipolar myself -- I feel sorry for my poor husband all the time. :-)) Both of you need to learn as much about the disorder as you can so you know what you're up against. Get educated.

Hope this is helpful!

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


hopefulness
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/18/2008 4:49 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hi Samoascookies,
 
Firstly I would like to say that it is great you have now found some effective treatment, and above all that you have some insight  now into your hypomania and are prepared to be open and honest about it. Acceptance and education and self managemnet is half the battle. 
 
I wish my partner had the insight that you seem to have developed with the right medication and therapy, which is obviously all helping your brain think more clearly, and rationally,but as you experienced before, inisght often goes during the hypomanic phases especially with inadequate treatment. It can go on causing damage in relationships for years if undertreated, or untreated,and lots of personal losses,  ,spiritual,social, financial and emotional ensue untill properly treated and managed. It sounds as though you are on the  right road.
 
You asked why is bipolar  hypomnia 2 so destrucive to relationships. I believe  and have researched alot, and experienced it first hand, that it is becuase it generally goes underdiagnosed and undertreated if treated at all for much longer, and the depression which is often wrongly treated with antidepressants can lead on to hypomania or mania ,triggered by the antidepressants  agin and again until properly diagnoses as bipolar rather than unipolar depression. It goes on for e decades, 19 years on average before individuls receive the correct treatment in some cases, and because the hypo manic side is less severe ,therefore less noticeable than acute mania, or severe or prolonged depressions, it is less likely to come to the attention of the psychiatrists early enough, and there is a much stronger tendancy for individulas to deny it. They  may only present to the doctor during the depressive phases, and tend to play down any hypomanic symptoms or not even recognise them or describe them to the doctors as you said because of the genuine lack of mental insight into the hypomanic or manic phases that is common to 50% apparrently , who do not have insight, and invariable belive themselves to be vetry well when in the high mood swings, not recognising theoir behavoir at that time, and adamently resisting  anyone's attempt to point it out. The longer this goes on, the more blame of others is typical,and  excuses, or attempts to rationalise behaviours, or explain them away becomes a pattern, and it is harder for the individual to repair the cumulative damage  of the years and  the losses, which in turn the stress of which triggers further episodes. This can also impact on confidence in sustaining  real relationships , perhaps for fear of the inevitable harm likely to the partner.
 
It need not be this way with optimum treatment, counselling and working on management of the illness together with a supportive partner.
 
During hypomanic and manic episodes and mixed episodes, individuals often become very dysphoric, not euphoric except maybe intially . The dysphoric type of hypomania can cause people to become exceedingly irritable, vey aggressive, insulting, absusive verbally and physically, inconsiderate, illmannered, vulgar, reckless, decietful, arrogant, cold, uncaring, totally lacking in empathy and risky in other areas, sexually and financially, and have sudden out f control rages, and take offs without saying where they are going. It is very hard for people to see this behaviour  as unreasonable in themselves when it is happening because the hypomania often leads to a loss of rational thinking, and loss if judgement. You do not have to be manic to show these extremes. The only thing is that there is usually more delusional and even more extreme behaviour with mania, and the risks becomes riskier, and the behaviours more frequent and less manageable over a much quicker period of time, whereas hypomania can build quite slowly sometimes over a few weeks before really taking off, whereas mania often comes on and is full blow in 24 -48 hours, is usually noticeable and requires hospitalisation, that is , if the person does not end up in the police station first or back down in a deep depression. 
 
 Naturally with all this destructive behaviour taking place coupled with the individuals inability to see it as it is or  even remember it, this will cause  huge conflict in relationships, particularly if the other partner does not know you have bipolar, much about it or how to manage it or how to help you . Even  with good knowledge of the condition,when they do attepmt to help and express their concern that you might be showing signs of  hypomnia and suggest you seek help, they are met with an abusive, hostile response at the mere suggestion that there is anything wrong with you, followed by a refusal to communicate with them, to completely cut them off  perhaps from contact, or to miantain long periods of hostility towards a caring partner even for weeks whilst the episode runs on, because of the lack of acceptance, and lack of insight  of the bipolar partner. It creates tremendous conflict and tests even the best and most loving of relationships, because basically you become a completely different personality, act out of character in an extremely difficult way, and do destructive things. Acute mania is more likely to come to the attention of the psychiatrist much quicker and receive faster treatment, as it is harder to disguise, deny or dispute. Even consultant psychiatrists have been known to miss hypomania frequently which does not help those who rely on their expertise and medication adjustments early enough.
 
 I am so happy you have found some effective treatment, and I hope your partner will respond in time, and learn as much as she can too, which would really help both of you. Joining a boploar support group can be very helpful in terms of education, support for both of you, and reduce the isolation for both. This can be a vety isolating condition.
 
I am still struggling on with the psychiatrists to find effective treatment for my partner who has bipolar 2 mixed and rapid cycling disorder which seems particularly hard to treat. He too has no insight during the hypomanic phases, not helped by his pdoc and team missing the blatently obvious symptoms too, as they see him only for a  brief consultation time, rather than at home or regularly. He also went undiagnosed for decades for the resaons described above, and just got by, but has not been succeful in work,  which has not helped, despite being highly intelligent and having 2 degrees, and has had numerous painful consequences of this very painful illness. I am not giving up yet though.
 
It really sounds as if there is great hope for you to get to grips with this and have much better quality real relationships now that you are learning so much and receiving more effective management. The very best of luck for the future. Julie fast.com has an excellent website which may help you and ypur partner. Listening to her previous radio shows which only started amonth or so ago may be of interest.  have not missed one yet !  Ever Hopeful.
 
 Hopefulness

samoascookies
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/18/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks to both of you. discouragement has been my lot for some time. I am thankful for those who take the time to share thoughts. I will continue to do my best.

samoascookies
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/18/2008 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
just a note on my symtoms. I never lashed out or argued.  In fact I remember very little.  I became more incapacitated in my thinking, I personally could not make decisions at all on any level.  The joy of life just ebbed away psyical pain (back problems) sleeping and crawling to the couch watch TV and to sleep some more. My odd desire was to travel, and travel some more, even when I didnt have the money to do so...
My wife had every right to dispair as I drifted away mentally and sexually we also financially went down the drain.  I withdrew to a shadow of myself.  I have recovered both mentally and have returned to my hypomanic (though reasonable) business savvy, but not relationship wise or financially (we were deeply in debt) though estranged (separated) we are still married.  We are going to credit councelling tommorow. For years i thought the sky was grey....its blue, it very blue...   

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 5/19/2008 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hopefulness,

I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to HealingWell and to our board.

You are very well informed, and that's a great resource for the board. How often does your husband see his pdoc? I've found that the best pdocs see their patients frequently during acute phases.

I hope he (and you) find some relief soon!

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


hopefulness
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/24/2010 2:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Samoascookies,

I can not believe 2 years have passed since this last post. It has been a real roller coaster and very traumatic on many levels. I am still doing battle with the mental health team re my partner and he is still adament when hypomanic that he is very well, when he could not be further from being himself in every way. He has stopped all his medication of his own volition last autumn, then started substance abusing when high due to loss of judgement and poor decision making,and has deteriorated terribly,is currently highly offensive, abusive, very irritable,virtually not sleeping, euphoric one minute, insulting me in loud terms the next, but can not see this in himself at all.

I noted you mentioned in one of yourr posts that you had returned to your hypomanic but ( Reasonable self ), and I just wondered if those close to you agree that you are fully reasonable when hypomanic ? Just out of curiosity .because personally I have never know it to be that way. Maybe my partner is just particularly unstable. I know he can appear okay and qite chraming even to others quite reasonable at time and very plausible indeed as he is very intelligent and articulate whe hypomanic and "appear " reasonabel in brief interactions with strangers who do not know his normal character to be able to spot the difference, even the psychiatrist misses his symptoms in consultation, but only a partner or family member/ close friend who actually spends considerrable regular or daily time with someone with bipolar, or lives with them, usually sees the whole range of behaviours and worrisome activities which occur during these high episodes .

I noted you said you did not lash back or argue ever , and that you were very subdued and rejected your partner sexually ( That sounds normal for a low mood, far more like the depressive side you were describing of which you would naturally have more recollection and awareness as insight remains intact usually during low moods ) . You did however say that you do not remember much ( I presume you mean of the high moods ) so what do you know about how you have actually behaved during high episodes apart from the financial problems you mentioned ? My partner will often deny how he has been because he has no recollection of some not all of it, so will tend to play down some very extreme behaviour. I do not mean this in a critical or accusative way, but just out of curiosity as I have never in 12 years of knowing many people with hypomania known them not to behave aggressively or atleast argumentatively, particularly when not taking their medications, and lash out in rage at some point during hypomanic or manic phases. Maybe some people are purely euphoric completely when high and not disagreable at all, my partner seems to have the very brittle dysphoric type so his euphoria is very short lived and soon gives way to abusiveness then back to euphoria again after being insulting and he loses all sincerity and empathy and consideration. It is utterly unbearable, and I feel as if I am with a complete stranger. Sometimes he has been so unpleasant to be with for so long it is very hard to keep bearing in mind that he is ill and not in control of what he is saying or not choosing to say the hurtful thing she says, as he appears stone cold sober as if he is rational when he says the most crushing things, but clearly can not be rational, and it is very damaging, alongside all the other behaviours, and daft financial and business ventures that follow. I live in fear of what will happen next, especially now he has taken himself off treatment ! HOw are thing sgoing fir youn now 2 years donw the line. You were doing so well when I last saw these posts in May 2008? Where the time has gone I do not know !

Hopefulness

mabeluk
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/16/2010 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
What a relief to find this forum! my life has recently been riped apart by Hypomania and this is the first forum I have come across where people are sharing my experience. I have tried to write down my experience below as I badly need advice, apologies for terrible spelling or rambling.

I have been with my (rapid cycling bipolar) partner for three and a half years and we have lived together for the last three. I have always know about his diagnosis and it is something that we have been open and communicative about. Our relationship has been creative, loving and deeply committed. We both work in the arts and strive towards creating a liberal, creative adventurous home. He has always said (and I believe him) that I am the only person he can talk to about his illness.

In October of last year we bought a house together and were settling into the next stage of our life together, I was working towards my dream job (which I got with his wonderful support) and he was starting a year of full time work (in a pub, with a horrible atmosphere and culture of late night socialising, inane conversation and endless gossip). I to earn money before starting his PhD (next week as it turns out) and returning to the life of academic life that he is so incredibly talented at.

Around May things started to go a bit wrong, we had just come back from a Holiday in New York that we misguidedly thought would be relaxing! I was working on a very intense project at work and he was spending more and more time away from me. I have always encouraged his relationship with friends I don't know but it began to feel like I didn't exist. sex was non existent and it seemed that he created his work rota specifically to avoid me. this made me feel increasingly depressed and isolated but I knew that it was only until the end of the summer so decided to grin and bear it rather than give him anymore stress. He accused me of caring about my job more than him (such an odd think for him to say as he has always utterly supported and been so proud of my career choices.) Things felt wrong but they were like nothing I have experienced with his illness before.

As the summer progressed (June/July) his behaviour became increasingly odd, he was physically and emotionally cold, verbally negative towards me, excitable, hanging out with people he would have previously disliked, working constantly and not sleeping. He is usually rapid cycling and I understand how that works but I felt this was all me, all us, or a a situation that would quickly result in him opening up to me and going to the dr.

On my birthday (august 4th) he had a sever psychotic episode that ended in a terrifying car journey, I felt it was all about our relationship and when I (gently) asked him he said that the voices in his head (a major feature of his illness) were trying to destroy his life and our relationship but that underneath all of that he was still in love with me. He said that he had been unable to talk to me (a crushing blow) and we commited to talking to each other more.

After this incident I was terrified and shell shocked, I don't know what happened but we settled into a sort of routine of avoidance with me trying to make the future better (organising a short holiday before he started uni, finding a free piano for the flat so he could do something he loved at home and generally planning days out). He seemed to be looking forward to the same things as me though it was clear he needed a rest. I thought he was still taking his medication, he rustled about in cupboards at night and said that he was (we have often spoken about medication and the deal has always been that if he didn't want to take it he needed to tell me so that I would be able to keep an eye on things).

three weeks ago things escalated. Very close friends came to stay and he avoided them completely, preferring to socialise with a girl from work who had become a regular feature, worried of pushing him I let it go despite my instincts. two days after the friends left I met him after work and he said, 'i don't love you anymore and I want you to move out'. He told me to sell the engagement ring (that he has chosen for me on his own) and to use the money to 'have fun' This was delivered with such coldness that I could barely think, my partner has always been utterly loving and this was completely out of character and I just didn't know what to do. I have split up with people before and there is always and element of regret and love here there was nothing, as though it was a transaction, I was a thing he needed to remove from his life.

Two days later we met for a chat and he looked very distressed he couldn't concentrate and told me that he felt as though he was floating above his life, that he was destroying it to see what would be left. I begged him to come home, sleep/eat and to see his Dr. He didn't saying that he was staying with friends. I found all of this so confusing as I was managing to remain calm and I couldn't see why he would need to delete me in this way.

I was staying in our flat, going through, our posessions and our life removing every trace of me, he was staying away and from work organised for someone to collect my things and drive them to my mum's there wasn't and still hasn't been any understanding of how painful this was for me.

In the end after talking to his emergency psychiatric team I made an appointment for him and called his mother. After describing the symptoms she said it sounded like the periods before he has previously been sectioned. She rushed up on the train and when he met with her he did such and incredible job of lying (including denieing that he was seeing anyone else). She phoned me and said that I was wrong and needed to 'get over it'.

For the next week (while I tried to find somewhere to live and somewhere for my beloved dog to go) he didn't come home, I asked where he was, if he was with her, would he go to the Dr etc etc, even when I was calling him to ask him for help with the move he insisted on all I got were perfunctory messages.

Then I saw him kissing the girl from work in the street, I confronted them and he looked straight through me, he didn't even apologise. The thing that really struck me was how peculiar and high he looked, it was at this point that I started to put two and two together and realise that this might be a new level of illness. As I thought more everything came together and Internet searches threw up Hypomania.

A couple of days after I caught them he told me he was going home for a few days to get away from people (relief!) He had been given a consultants appointment at the GP meeting I arranged and he assured me he would go. (I found out later he didn't) I wrote him a long letter explaining most of the thing I have explained here and saying that I love him and I want him to be safe, asking him to try to remember everything we have had together.

Oh it also turned out, after unravelling epic lies that he had gone to stay with her and had remained with her since the day after he split up with me.

Back home he called me in floods of tears saying he couldn't cope and he didn't know what was happening, later I would call and he would say everything was fine, what was I worried about?

While he was away I went through the history on our computer and found large amounts of violent ****ography and suicide websites (in the past we have been able to discuss his suicidal feelings and get him help together).

I spoke to his mother who said he seemed fine !!! when I told her about the phone calls, the lies, the coldness, the blank eyes and she agreed that he had been a bit aggressive etc etc she said she would talk to him which she did but called me after to say she 'she hadn't pushed it to far for fear of upsetting him'! So at this point I am literally the only person in the world who sees that he is heading for a catastrophic breakdown (I have recently been talking to a close female friend of his who is as concerned as me, another relief).

On Saturday evening he got back and I made him to talk to me, we spoke for hours about everything that had happened I told him of my deep concerns and explained the pattern I have seen over the last few months, at first he was confrontational but after a while we managed to talk calmly and he told me that he has had glimpses of the chaos going on around him, he said that he has no feelings for the other girl and that when he is with her it feels like he is taking drugs, he told me about other things, driving at 150 miles an hour on motorways, stealing silly things from shops. He said that he wants to quit his job and move into a more appropriate field to his PhD and that he wants to tell the girl that he won't see her again and needs his space, I completely respect this even while dealing with the hurt of being kicked out of our home (all this was said in a way I recognise as the real him).

Last Sunday he helped me move into my new flat, it was very difficult and we ended up having a very genuine conversation about what was happening, he admitted that he still loved me and we touched on the subject of getting back together, when I said I wasn't going to sell my engagement ring he said 'its selfish but I don't want you to', for a few brief moments our old intimacy was there, completely unchanged.

On Tuesday of this week I contacted his consultant and told him everything that was going on, on Wednesday he attended his appointment. He called me later to say that he has been diagnosed with hypomania and that he would have been sectioned right there and then had he been taking a mania triggering drug from his normal regime. The Dr also said 'you will crash and we need to catch this before you ruin your life' of course it is a relief to know that I'm not the delusional one but even after hearing this, being given new medication and intense psychiatric appointments but he still insists that he feels fine. I'm so worried that he will actively chose to keep going with this mania, though hopefully the fear of hospital will force him to comply.

The girl is away this week so he has had time to himself but she doesn't know anything about his illness plus he made her assistant manager of the pub he works at. He might well be looking for another job but I know from a variety of people that she encourage his mania and reckless behaviour and I think that this will be more compelling,and certainly more fun for him than strong drugs, therapy sessions and my concerned face.

I don't want to make it sound like I am a saint during the period after he split from me I have said angry things and been unreasonable (threw all his clothes outside, then quickly took them in because I felt bad, bought and expensive handbag on his card then gave it back because I know he needs the money. I also said hurtful things because I was reeling from seeing them together but I honestly feel that since I have had a clearer understanding (the last week and a half) I have been calm and reasonable as the last thing I wanted to do was push him away. I have done everything in my power to let him, his family and his doctor see that he is deeply unwell.

Also I was getting increasingly agitated and moody in the last stage before he told me because I was working very hard and aware of an impending crisis but feeling like I was unable to to anything to help him or myself.
I don't know who he is anymore and I just want him back, I feel like I have been living with a robot and I want him to be well again even if we can't be together.

This situation has been like a slow form of torture. Reading old journals there are fears about everything under the sun, my job, my future, wrinkes! but there is nothing about him, our life together was the bedrock of my future. I feel so hurt and betrayed I've lost everything, if it hadn't been for the most understanding boss in the world there is a chance I would have lost my job. As a friend said to me 'its just all so grown up' I feel like I have no-one to talk to, no-one who can reassure me that things will be normal again and that the robot I've been living with will turn back into a loving human (even if that doesn't involve me).

Has anyone had an experience like this?

Does anyone know:
How long hypomanic periods can build for?
What could I have done to help earlier on?
Can it be that he is still in love with me under all of this?


Does anyone have experience of building back a relationship after an episode like this?

I feel utterly lost at the moment, I love him deeply and I feel like this situation could lead to a whole new level of intimacy and understanding if we were to (slowly) try to be together again. However I feel to even start on this path I need him to commit to at the very least not sleeping with anyone else while we work it out, is this to much pressure to put on him? I feel that now we have spoken rationally another encounter with this woman (or anyone else) would be a straightforward betrayal, am i wrong?

Another hurtful thing is that he is talking about all the things he will do now, sailing club, academic reading groups, day trips etc and these are the VERY things that I have always encouraged him to do to make him healthier.

I'm so lost.

albiatic747
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/14/2012 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
[mod edit:  offensive post removed]

Post Edited By Moderator (tortoise11) : 7/14/2012 4:16:23 PM (GMT-6)


tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 7/14/2012 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
We can't be everything to everyone. This forum is for people experiencing bipolar disorder. While we do appreciate and respond to questions for non-bipolar family, friends, and partners, we will not be able to respond to non-bipolar members coming here for personal support, venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar symptoms.
The change is reflected in our "Members: Please Read Before You Post" thread: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=13&m=883428 I have copied the content of that post here:

This forum is for support for people experiencing bipolar disorder. This forum is a safe, anonymous environment for people with bipolar disorder to freely discuss their struggles and symptoms. It is not a support group for friends and family of bipolar disorder. Living with someone who suffers from bipolar disorder presents a set of problems all its own. There are groups for this at other sites:

NAMI's Online Communities

And one for family and friends at Pendulum.org

And the Family & Friends of Bipolar Support Group at Daily Strength.

Posts that are perceived to be venting, ranting, or complaining about another person's bipolar disorder symptoms will not be tolerated. Offensive posts will be edited or removed, replaced with the resource links above, and be locked to prevent discussion. Objective and compassionate posts will remain and it will be at our member's personal discretion whether or not they chose to answer.


Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1 with ultraradian cycling, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Bipolar Disorder in remission on 600 mg Lithium
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