I'm depressed and my boyfriend is bipolar

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Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/10/2006 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
What a combination, right?  I got off the phone with my boyfriend this evening and he just kept moaning about all the things that he "should" do.  I tried to be supportive and used a different tatic this evening.  Here is what I said: "It sounds like you've identified what you should do, but there's a difference between talking about it and doing something about it.  What do you think prevents you from doing something about the things you've identifed?"  I thought this was a pretty productive approach, since he seems to get stuck in the "oh whoa is me" mode.  He in turn he was quite honest indicating that he fears failing and has low self esteem.  I asked him if he had thought any more about talking with a therapist (he had mentioned it a while back, but never followed through), but he said that he and his ex-wife went to one and he didn't like what the therapist had told him and now doesn't trust talking with a stranger.  I don't know what other suggestions I can offer him?  He has valid concerns, but he has always relied too heavily on other people for his well-being (his words).  I am not strong enough to hold both him and myself up right now.  I want a relationship that is balanced and healthy.  Maybe the only way that will happen is if I'm balanced and healthy?
 
I just don't know how much longer I can be patient and understanding with him when he can't seem to do the things he "should" do.  It gets to be a predicable pattern after a while.  When he's up - he's fun to be with, but when he gets into his "funk" as he calls it - things just get tiring.  So, when he's depressed it makes me even more depressed.  Ugh.

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 3/11/2006 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   

I can totally relate to you.  I have been seeing a guy that has bipolar disorder and with my background I sometimes find myself wondering "why did I get into this relationship in the first place".  He can be self centered and most often tries to focus on several things at once that end up more times than not blowing up in his face.  Who do you think he runs to?  That's right...ME.  I too have a hard time dealing with all of his problems all the time when I am going through so much.  For the most part I hold it together and try like you to be supportive and understand what he is going through and give good advice but sometimes it is like satan has taken over my body and mouth and I just have to tell him what I feel.  All I can say then is I am only human and can take so much.  He is seeing a psychiatrist and on medication for his illness but he still seems to lack impulse control and has no desire to want for a better life than the right now.  I struggle with wanting to dump him at least every other week but dont and am not too sure why.  Maybe I feel sorry for him on some level, I do care about him, but I think it is the care taker in me that hangs on for the most part.

Anyway, enuf about me and mine..... I would suggest telling him that if you are going to continue to be together he at least needs to see a psychiatrist and get medications for his Bipolar.  He can not go untreated and expect to have a normal life.  Once he does this you may find that he is a totally different person.  You can even go with him to his appointment if it makes him feel better, since he seems to have a mistrust of physicians.  You have to do what is best for you so if he is upsetting you tell him, if his behavior is bothering you tell him.  Tell him what you expect and desire in a relationship this will tell you if he is willing to help himself and continue your relationship in the manner that you need it if he tries to change and get help.  Hopefully he will...


~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/11/2006 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Elisha -

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Any relationship takes work, but when only one person is working at it, I've found that the relationship suffers. I've dated a bunch of different guys over the years (been engaged twice) but none of them have ever worked out. I know it takes two, but I'm starting to believe that I'll never settle down and have a normal life (I'm 31 and would like to have kids). My friends have told me "not to settle for second best" and I'm beginning to think that if I continue to put up with his cycle of impulse decisions and subsequent whinning and self-pity then I wouldn't be looking out for my own best interests. Plus, it just seems like he feels like he can turn to me, but I can't turn to him.

But then again, who I am to judge when I haven't been able to make an appointment to see a therapist myself... I'm so hypocritical!

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 3/11/2006 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   

I understand.... I am 32 and divorced for 2 years now (no kids but I have a cat).  I dont think your being hypocritical for wanting and wishing for better for yourself.  I dont think I would know a normal relationship if it slapped me in the face....lol!!  So where are all the good normal guys?  Maybe everyone is right and when your not looking the right person just sort of falls in front of you or whatever.  Not like I would know or anything.  tongue


~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/11/2006 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL. I guess we all want to be loved and in the beginning of a relationship I'm much more willing to overlook the "imperfections" of the other person. But when things start slipping I start asking myself "Is this worth it?" I mean it seems like guys are on their best behavoir for the first few months and then they start showing their true colors after they feel comfortable and it usually isn't impressive!

It must be hard for you to be supportive when your boyfriend "lacks impulse control and doesn't want a better life". But, at least he is taken some initiative by seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication. That's a huge step that not all of us can take. I mean I guess I'm just as stuck as my boyfriend is. I've gotten quite used to being depressed. I mean I'm still functioning, but I know I can be so much more... I can be so funny and fun-loving, and everyone's best friend, but when I'm down I can't even get dressed.

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/12/2006 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm not always supportive.  Like this weekend I feel like all I have done is nag at him but he is annoying me so much.  We usually only see each other on the weekends as I have school and am busy with that during the week.  The things he is doing though (in my defence) is not his bipolar, it is just him trying to bother me.  Yes in the beginning of relationships things do always seem so much better.  Never would I have seen him clipping his toe nails and with my clippers no less....YUCK!!!  Or going to the bathroom with the door open.  I dont know maybe I expect too much.  But I dont think that is wrong to expect things and I dont think I should have to have a list of DO's and DONT's for potential boyfriends, like DONT use my nail clippers on your toes.  And DO try your hardest to keep a job so I dont feel like I am supporting you.  I think I am at the end of my very long rope. devil

You and I sound very similar in regards to depression.  I have went without medication a few times and I always fall or slide right back down into this dark hole.  I still function pretty well being depressed in regards to things I have to do.  But when it comes to friends and family I will isolate myself.  I can go all day without getting out of my pajamas on weekends during those times and just start at the TV.  I am on Effexor now and feel pretty good.  You dont have to go see a psychiatrist or counselor for your depression.  You could just talk to your primary care doctor and see if he or she would prescribe an antidepressant, if that is what you want.  After you start to feel better you can decide if you want to go to counseling or not.  I do go to counseling but I have some severe abuse issues from childhood that still are there and also I have a lot of medical problems that we discuss.  It is an option for you if that is the route you want to take to start to try to feel better. 

Take care.....


~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/12/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
You're such a sweetheart! Men can be so annoying especially when they start taking their girlfriend for granted and can't hold their own. I feel for you. It seems there are some guys who just have no motivation once they have someone in their life. It's as if they go looking for someone to make things better for them and once they do, then they can't do anything for themselves anymore. As far as me, I have gone to a therapist before (while I was in undergrad) and it really worked for me. I actually looked forward to it. It was very helpful and basically at that time I just needed someone to vent to. And it worked wonders. She gave me strategies to deal with stress and relaxation techniques and just let me talk about whatever was bothering me at the time. I have never been on meds and was only diagnosed with depression last year by a therapist who sucked eggs. Maybe I just need to start getting out more and meeting new people, since it's noon on a Sunday and I'm still in my pj's! But, at least I've gotten out of bed today! :) Thanks for listening and sharing!

Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/15/2006 7:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay, I took your advice els and offered to go to a therapist with him. (I have to admit that it took me a while to come to grips with the idea.) It took him a bit a back too, but I explained that if this would help him, then I would be more than willing to go. I also told him that he was getting on my nerves. In which he said that he would limit the amount that he talked about this stuff with me. Which isn't what I was aiming for and I explained that I wanted him to take action, since he should be able to take care of himself rather than relying on other people, but he quickly changed the topic. I called him on that too, but he didn't want to "talk about him" anymore. So, I'm just gonna wait and see what he goes next.

I don't want to be negative, but I don't see him following up on this. I have a feeling that at some point in the near future I'm gonna just have to walk away. We haven't been together very long - less than 5 months and I'm already avoiding him. I can bearly stand his attitude. We hardly talk anymore and the last time we did get together - it was only about one thing, which wasn't all that good...

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/15/2006 8:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh yes the bipolar mind.  He probably figured that you thought he was perfectly normal and mentally sound.  It is hard, as bipolar can not be controlled without medication.  Hopefully he will come to see this without it coming to something drastic happening or having to crash before hand.  It is completely manageable with the correct medication.  It is good that you have spoken to him regarding your feelings.  It has given him something to think about now and hopefully he will get some help with his illness. 
~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/16/2006 4:39 AM (GMT -7)   
The thing is though - he's the one who has always made references to being biopolar - "I'm getting manic again". I was under the impression that he wasn't and that he just thought he was. I keep telling him that he didn't have all of the signs when we first started dating! I believe him now. I don't believe he has ever seen a counselor for it or been on any kind of medication. He just goes though these massive mood swings. He's currently under the impression that he must refinance his house, so that he can save money. And the only person he would sit down and actually listen to was his boss. I mean a "normal" person would ask for a raise, rather than seaking advice from their boss on whether or not they should take out a second morgage. It seems as though he is constantly going from one extreme to the other and it's mind boggling!

My boyfriend recently turned 40 and it just seems like if hasn't sought help yet, I don't what has to happen before he will. He tends to get really stressed out over little things and starts acting really jumpy. His boss has actually told him that he needs to chill, since he's stressing everyone else out and that's not good for business. Which of course sent him into a whole other orbit, because it gave him the impression that he was about to lose him job. It just seems like the only way he will seek treatment is if their was no other option.

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/16/2006 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   

It is kind of odd that he would refer to himself as being Bipolar and not have a clinical diagnosis of this.  It sounds as if he is extremely high functioning regardless of what is going on mentally.  Being able to care for a house and continue on with a full time job.  It just sounds as if you are in a stressful situation with wanting help him.  But he has to want to help himself as no one can force him into it as you know.  If his boss has made comments to him about his behavior and then you it should be sinking in by now, hopefully.  I would just keep reiterating to him how his behavior is effecting you and making you feel.  That you feel he should seek help for whatever it is that is going on with him.

 

 


~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/18/2006 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay, I've invited him over for dinner tonight. (We haven't actually seen each other in person in the past three weeks - he had the flu the first weekend, then I got it, then I just didn't want to hang out with him since he has just been obsessing about terrible other people treat him and I couldn't listen to it any more.) So, we'll see how it goes. I have a feeling that if he starts obsessing about how terrible other people make him feel then I'm gonna flip and tell him he's gotta go see somebody, because I can't help him if he doesn't help himself. Grrr.

I guess my hardest struggle with this whole thing is watching him go through all of it and not being able to do anything (I would love to just drop him off somewhere and say "fix him" - but I understand that the situation is not that extreme and he is not in danger of hurting himself or others.) I am finding that his whole attitude wears on me. For example, when I invited him over for dinner his reply was "Only if it's not an imposition on you." I calmly explained to him that I wouldn't have invited him if I didn't want him to come over. It's like he's constantly walking around on egg shells, is always worried about how others see him, and just focuses on not pissing anybody off. But, when someone else pisses him off, he doesn't say anything he just takes it and then #@%*&#$ to me about it. My mom has actually referred to him as "being so submissive". It's like he believes that his own needs aren't worth anything, which leaves him helpless and unable to speak up for helpself. Okay, thanks for listening and letting me vent - I'm going back to cleaning the house! :)

Rianna
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 3/18/2006 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Sadsong, I feel this man is draining you and if he doesn't get help, I would kick him to the curb. Sorry, I don't mean to be blunt..but you seem to be such a nice, giving and caring person, that you do not need this toxic person in your life. Zebras don't change their stripes unfortunately. He has to really want help, and instead, he really wants to be a victim...and what a better way to continue to be a victim when someone will keep taking the negative stuff he is dishing out. You say you keep watching him go through this and this is very hard for you..but there comes a time when enough is enough. I read a book called "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay, and I highly recommend it. It talks about how we attract the wrong people in our lives, because we are not healthy ourselves or approve of ourselves. She states we attract the people we want to fix or change..but we have to change ourselves first. When we start to love and approve ourselves, the toxic people move on to someone else who is not healthy. You deserve so much better..but the first thing..is to firmly believe you deserve much better. :-)

dolly vita
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/18/2006 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm actually beginning to think that I am bi-polar and manic depressive and I had a girlfriend that was depressed a lot of her life. My approach was different, I met her because she looked down all the time and I thought she could use some company. Things progressed into a weird relationship becuase we were both kinda the same person. She actually claimed to be bipolar for the longest time.
I just think that when I'm in my "funk" that its the most crushing feeling to not be able to be as coherent as I want to be with her and I think that alone ruined our relationship. I, on the other hand, am seeking help because I just started having the symptoms recently. I just really think people with the disorder feel so crushed at being put in that situation and he obviously doesnt know how to deal with it. But I know I have feelings as much as anyone else and if you really like him, at least from a friend's perspective, steer him in the direction of a psychiatrist or something of the sort.
This girl means the world to me and not being able to be with her because of a lousy condition that I cannot entirely control is the most painful feeling in the world. I'm just throwing that out there from a different perspective I guess. Relationships are already complicated to begin with. Just trust your heart and your gut and balance out the inequalities.
Good luck.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/18/2006 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for both of your perspectives Rianna and fphilx. To make a long story short - he broke up with me.

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/19/2006 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Sadsong,  I am so sorry.....

~elisha
 


Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/19/2006 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks els. I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later, but I had hoped that we could have been mature adults about the whole thing, rather than resorting to being just plain cruel and accusatory. It hurts, but at least it's over. Which also means that I'm not suffering a major depression, since I can still feel. Which in some ways I'd actually prefer, since then I wouldn't feel so much pain - it would be that dull constant emptyness instead.

I am trying to keep myself busy, so I don't fall into that dreadful trap. I found a great book for my Dad and I'm gonna go buy some new spring clothes for me. (I have a gift certificate that I just can't wait to spend.) So, I am trying to take care of myself. Time heals all wounds, right? ;)

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
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   Posted 3/19/2006 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes Sadsong I do believe time does heal all wounds.  I think you are very smart and brave for your approach at this.  He very obviously does not deserve you in anyway.  His loss. 
~elisha
 


Rianna
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 3/19/2006 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh crap..(sorry...can we say that on here?)..oh crud I mean!  He broke up with you?  Gosh Sad song, I am sorry to hear this...but I know you can do so much better.  How long were you with him?  Gosh..I am so sorry.

Rianna
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 3/19/2006 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh I forgot to mention a really good book..when my ex'es and I broke up..I was so devasted. I have a hard time letting go..takes me years to get over them..and six months before I want to stop calling them every day. I think it goes back to abandonment..when my mother used to abandon my brother and I for days, while she would go out and get drunk. There is a book that gave me so much comfort, I would read it over and over for months..took me two years to get over my last boyfriend back in 1996. It was an awful break-up. The Book is called "How to get over the loss of a Love" an excellent book.

Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/19/2006 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your support guys. I really appreciate it. It all just seems so surreal. He walked out last night after we had a really stupid agrument. I mean we went from having a dissagreement to him storming out of the room telling me to "just mail my stuff to me". Which sent me to tears. If we were gonna break up, I really thought I was gonna have to be the one to do it.

And now, he's acting like nothing's happened (he's called three times within 12 hours and has sent me two emails - even though I haven't answered the phone and only sent him one email telling him not to call me.) In his last email he says he holds me in the highest regard and hopes that we can have a positive relationship. What the &%$#! Does he really think he has a bloody chance in hell of working things out when he was the one who walked away?!? I mean he didn't even acknowledge our relationship when we were arguing. He just referred to me as his good friend. When did I get demoted? I getting over it - I'm quickly moving into the "I'm pissed off" phase.

Oh Rianna - we were only "together" or whatever the hell he's calling it for 5 months. The break up with my second ex-finance was a lot worst. It came out of nowhere. He showed up as a surprise on Valentine's Day and then broke up with me the next morning (6 months before the wedding). It took me at least 6 months to get over him with the help of a lot of coloring. I drew and drew and drew to get all of the anger out of my system. Plus, I had the additional stress of trying to finish my thesis, since it happened during my last semester of undergrad. Ironically enough my paper was on resiliency. :) So, I should be over this dude in about a month or two at the most. I'm just gonna make sure I exercise, take lots of deep breaths, go out and buy some ice cream, take some nice warm bubble baths, get a really good book to curl up and read, and keep getting out of bed every morning. Thanks again for listening.

dolly vita
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/19/2006 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry. That really is tough to deal with. I know because I'm kinda like that. But I'm seeking help dun worry ;). Yeah, I really don't know what to say besides that I can actually understand what it takes to deal with someone like that. When both you and your girlfriend have the bipolar symptoms.. it makes thigns soo darn awckward. Its like two undecided souls that like each other trying to show the other but can't and also being very down but yet trying to get over it all together..
lol. Its weird man. Sigh.. I'm sure there's an answer to everything and getting over someone isn't easy but there are seriously plenty of fish in the sea. And not all of them stink.
This whole story just really hits me hard because thats pretty much what I'm going trhough only I also have bipolar. The symptoms at least. I seem exactly liek your boyfriend. I can't deal with things. Since all this started, I steered away form the relationship not wanting to bring anything on her. And she pretty much accepted it and she's with another guy right now thats a complete **** and just sleeps with whoever. I really don't get why some things happen in life.. but I'm sure theres a lot of people in this forum that can relate as much as I can. Good luck with everythign and keep drawing and spilling your thoughts on the forumn. It sure as heck helps.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


Rianna
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 3/21/2006 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish someone would give me some sort of a majic pill to be able to hold on to relationships and jobs. Sad song, I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I think this guy is one confused and lost soul.

Sadsong
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/21/2006 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Rianna -

I used to wish for a fairy godmother who could wave her magic wand and make everything better. But, I've realize that if I didn't go through the experiences that I've had - I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't be able to take ownership for my own decisions and accomplishments. I wouldn't have met so many wonderful people along the way. As one of my friends has always pointed out - "some people come into your life for a short time, others for a lifetime, but always when you need them the most". That really seems to speak to me.

Thanks for your insights fphlix.

I guess I really don't understand where this guy is coming from. It seems like he has many more problems that I can even begin to imagine. I don't think he has ever sought treatment for either childhood or marital abuse. He's got wicked low self-esteem issues and he's a loner. After the agrument we had over the weekend I'm beginning to reanalyze all of our conversations and his actions and so much stuff doesn't make sense...

I guess it's just time for me to let go. I don't have the energy nor the patience to work through this, especially when he tells blantant lies.

The strange thing about all of this is after I cryed and cryed and cryed I'm already feeling like it's all gonna be okay, but he's the who can't let go. He keeps calling and emailing me saying he wants to talk and I keep thinking that there is nothing more to talk about.

Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 4/4/2006 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Ah! Just as I thought I was doing okay, I get off the internet (I have a dial-up connection) and he calls me. My brain shuts down, I become distant, and only use very short clipped words. He wants to exchange stuff. I want nothing to do with him or my Christmas decorations at his house, but of course I don't say that. I suggest that we "get together" on Sunday. He then backs off. Tells me to think about it, that I don't need to make a decision right now, that he doesn't expect me to drive "all the way" over to his place, etc. Then he tells me to email him with the proposed time and location. Now, I'm a nervous wreck. I'm consumed by all this hatred towards him and can't seem to think about anything else. I don't want to fall down that big black hole. I need some help! How do I get through this????
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