Relationships & Bipolar Symptoms

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mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 6/20/2007 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Guys,
 
I've been gone from this forum for almost a year, been w/out a computer, SO glad to have a new computer and be back online.  This forum is so helpful to me.
 
Anyway, me and my bf have been living together for just over a year now and I have honestly done so many things to try and keep my symptoms (both bp and panic symptoms) under control (for him) and manageable (for me).  I've been to 2 support groups (so helpful)...I try to talk to him...I am going back into counselling soon...BUT, it seems that our relationship is as up and down as my symptoms are.  It's like they mirror each other.  When I'm depressed or agitated, things are bad.  When I'm hypomanic, we're great b/c it just seems (to him) like I'm in a great mood.
 
He has made one request of me and that is to be honest and tell him what's wrong when I'm upset or when he asks.  I have done this and every time I tell him what's going on (whether it's symptoms or it's a major stressor that's making me feel worse) he gets mad.  He actually gets angry.  He says it's not anger, just frustration, but he gets mad.  He's gotten extremely angry during panic attacks.  Sometimes when I'm depressed he can be comforting, but if I'm crying those tears...he doesn't like that either.  Which I can understand, b/c I don't like to see him cry either.  But instead of comforting me or holding me, he gets mad.
 
Last night he came home and I just had something stressful happen, which was causing me to have panic, and has now kicked me into a deep depression...He asked, honey, what's wrong...So I told him, and he got mad.  He apologized, but he got mad.  And I just don't know what to do.  This guy is the one I want my life with.  He is wonderful.  But I am suffering....
 
I just find that I have to pretend I'm okay all the time, day after day, or hide my symptoms (and that's SO hard to do) otherwise, things will be bad.  Just wondering if any couples out there experience the same thing or if anyone has any suggestions or just words of support I would really appreaciate it...especially today when I am feeling so down.
 
Thank you, take care everyone.
Mogs
 
Bipolar, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/20/2007 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome back, Mogs. I'm a relative newbie. Been here about a month. (BP II, anxiety/panic, binge disorder.)

Wow, that's really too bad. I'm sorry to hear about your bf.

When you say he gets mad, what kind of mad do you mean? What does he do? Does he yell? Clam up? Leave the room? Is it possible he just feels helpless? Is he mad AT you? How frustrating!

I have a similar thing with my husband sometimes, incidentally. We've been working on it for years. I tend to hide my symptoms anyway, so he begs me to tell him as soon as I have them. Then, sometimes when I tell him, he gets upset. Not at me, necessarily, just upset. A couple of months ago he said, "I know there's no point in being mad, it's like being mad at the weather -- I know you can't help it." He wants to help, and mostly he does. But when he's stressed out and frustrated too, there's just not much room left for him to be comforting to me.

I don't know if that's what you're going through at all...

serafena

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 6/20/2007 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much serafena, that's exactly what goes on.  I know he doesn't mean to get mad at me but it feels like he is.  And actually sometimes, I'm not sure he isn't mad at me.
 
When he gets "mad"  he sometimes yells (but not usually) and he has walked out of the room before (I do that too).  And I know frustration IS a part of what he is feeling.  The part that I am having trouble with I guess, is that I feel I cannot talk about what I'm feeling no matter what.
 
That is what is hard for me, that I have to put what I'm going through aside....
 
Mogs
 
Bipolar, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/21/2007 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh this gets so sticky. I totally hear you. This is exactly what we've been dealing with this summer. We've been dealing with some very high stress situations recently (a death in the family, job troubles, money issues, a toddler), so he's stressed out anyway AND I've been having a new episode. Fun for the whole family. :)

It got so bad that eventually, any time I wasn't peppy-happy-fine he would immediately tense up and get snappy. He would still insist he'd want to know how I was feeling because he is scared of what happens when I don't tell him. (I'm a self-injurer.) But when I would tell him, he'd get furious and fume and it would ruin his mood. We'd go through this two, three times a day. Aargh! And when he'd get nasty, I'd feel worse. Vicious cycle!

Finally, I had to confront him last week and tell him, look, you are not only not helping me, but you're really hurting me. You're making me feel bad about these things I don't have control over. You want me to be honest, but I when I tell you how I'm feeling, it makes you mad. You say you're not mad, that I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. You need to talk to someone about how angry and frustrated you are, because you want to let it out, and right now you're taking it out on me. But I'm not well, and I can't handle it. Finally, I told him that I really wanted him to see a counselor of his own for a while. He's been under a lot of stress of his own lately and having a ill wife doesn't help. He resisted at first, naturally. (Sick people see therapists, not their normal spouses, right?) But I told him that lots of people who care for sick family members see therapists, that it's really hard work, really frustrating, and he shouldn't resist. (And he should know this. His MOTHER is a therapist.) So he's agreed to. He hasn't made the appointment yet, but he's been much nicer to me since we had the talk, and that's good.

I don't know if your bf would be open to seeing a counselor, but maybe just telling him that you see his point of view, that he's over-frustrated and taking it out on you, you know, just bringing it to his attention might help.

serafena

mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 6/22/2007 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   

serafena,

Thanks so much for your reply (once again).  I am definitely thinking about talking to him about how I feel.  I just started counselling again for myself yesterday w/ a new counsellor.  It would help if he talked to someone, I'm not sure if he would, or if he did...he might be resistant to it.

All I am really looking for when I'm not feeling well, is a little comfort.  And the counsellor I talked with yesterday pointed out that although my bf is stating "he feels helpless and frustrated", he really can do something, like give me a hug.  And that maybe I need to tell him that, make it simple, that a hug would go a long way.

What you said about acknowledging what he is going through with all of this I think is dead on.  I believe it's important to acknowledge that this illness is not easy on our partners.  And truly b/c we're not on the other side of it, we don't understand what it's like for them.  So I really feel it's important to acknowledge that and be understanding.  I wasn't doing so well with that when we first moved in together, but now I've really made a point of talking to him about how he's feeling.  It just seems now though, that that is all we focus on.  about how this stresses him out.  There needs to be a balance.  And I think if he went to counselling and tried to get an idea of what I'm dealing with (really), we can find that balance.

I am glad to hear that your hubby is going to talk w/someone.  He deserves credit for that.  Hopefully he puts a lot of effort into it, so you can both feel better.

I've been kinda high (hypomanic) the last couple of days, so we've had a really great week together.  I love him so much. 

Anyway, thanks again, keep me posted!


Mogs
 
Bipolar, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
--currently not on meds for bp--

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