Unfortunately it's a lifelong condition and there will always be ups and downs. The severity depends on the treatment; whether or not they're getting treatment, right? My husband truly believed that he could get it under control on his own, without medication, without therapy. Just by being strong. And when he couldn't do it, the extreme guilt and disappointment would set in. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom. That's when you seek help immediately, because once the mania sets in again, who needs treatment, right? Cause there's nothing wrong. Everyone's different. But I know that my husband, when manic, did/said things he doesn't remember. They don't mean to hurt you. It's not them. When he'd come down from his mania, the realization of his actions become apparent and he harbors guilt beyond most of the "average" person (whatever that is). It eats him up. He feels less of a person and not worthy. He's tormented and the whole thing is so heart-breaking. He told me yesterday that it was like having a parasite inside him that takes over and he just wants it out.
When you're in the middle of it, it's easy to be angry, resentful and fed up. I'm looking at everything from a whole new perspective now. I see him as a dear friend, someone who I care about
and love, and I see it for what it is now, without my personal feelings/emotions being involved. Forgiveness, understanding and a sense of security is what you're husband needs, because when he comes down, he will probably have so much guilt, and you probably won't even know the extent of it because he may or may not be able to express it to you. It's so hard for the non-bp because sometimes we endure so much abuse. You can read some of my posts over the last year. I went through it all, sadness, extreme anger/resentment, feeling alone, unwanted, unloved. I'm here if you need to talk, you can e-mail me at any time! Hang in there! you're not alone!