Question for those who are Bipolar

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 11/23/2009 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
When you are cycling into a mania or manic episode, can you tell? 
Do you choose to continue the cycle or is it something out of your control?
The reason I ask is b/c my husband is cycling now and it's picking up momentum to the point where he's almost out of control.  I don't really know how to go about this again, so I'm hoping maybe you can shed some light on how he "might" be feeling so that I know how to go about encouraging him to seek help.
I know I can't do it for him, but I can alter my words and how I approach him if I can better understand how he's feeling.
Life is either a daring adventure... or nothing
-Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/23/2009 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi BD,

I'm sorry your husband isn't feeling well. Take care of yourself too and seek out some professional help for these questions. Bipolar isn't a disorder one can really manage well without medical intervention, and significant others need to take their own needs into consideration too. Living healthy with bipolar has to be in your and your husband's minds regularly -- it's not a disorder that can be dealt with on and off again.

Check out some of the other resources in the "Bipolar Disorder Resources" thread. If you page down you'll see some links and books for significant others. I particularly recommend checking out the Julie Fast book, and "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" by David Miklowitz.

We can't say what's in your husband's mind. Only he can. Cycles are out of our control, but how we react to them isn't. Talk to him about what he needs. Only he can say.

Hope this helps,

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 11/24/2009 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Everyone reacts differently when they cycle. Look for mood changes, but they can be slow or fast.

I;ve found, that by trying to track how I feel each day, what I accomplish or what I plan on accomplishing can tell me where in my cycles I am.

Only a professional though can really tell you and your spouse what to expect and how to best handle it. Otherwise, time and experience.

Good luck

O Buddy Boy
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/24/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   

IMHO, we're always cycling, but like a clock that has stopped we are "right" twice during the cycle.

From what I've read in here and experienced in my own life, the only real way a friend or SO can help manage (dare I say control?) the situation is working together when the BP person is neither up or down. That way the two of you -- and by all means include a counselor -- so make that three of you can work on things together: REASONABLY.

I suffered tremendously from BP for forty years before I stumbled upon a combination of medications that has really let the sun shine in. That does happen. And I'd virtually given up hope.

Without medication I worked with counselors and learned to recognize my cycles and adapted behaviors that took advantage of the "positives" of each phase. For example harnessing the energy of mania or seeking solace in the increased ability to concentrate and analyze during depression. I also developed management behaviors to help avoid some of the negative aspects, like put a lock on the checkbook during mania.

Without having developed a plan before an episode there are a few things you can do. One seek a counselor so you can better understand what is going on. During mania, umm ... enjoy the lovemaking (my wife always has the biggest smile then) and during depression -- hugs, hugs, hugs and more hugs.

Hope this helps.


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 11/29/2009 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you.  your replies were helpful.  he's already plunged from mania into a deep depression.  we're having his levels tested to see if his body is metabolizing his medication (getting used to it) quicker so as to increase or change the dose.  it's really sad to see him like this, but i'll give him those hugs obb! :)
i think the combination of this time of year and the fact that he hates his job and have lost both his grandparents earlier this year is all kind of piling up and he's not dealing with it very well.
Life is either a daring adventure... or nothing
-Helen Keller

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/2/2009 12:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't really tell that I'm cycling until after it happens. I also have borderline personality disorder so in addition to the cycling from bipolar, I have mood swings that can last a matter of minutes. I joke that I'm on an emotional roller-coaster. I'm all over the place and I never know where I'm gonna be. I think the people around me are the ones who really suffer. While I don't always realize where my emotions are going to be, my son never knows how I'm going to react. I hate that I can be joking around with him then I'll suddenly completely lose my temper. My docs are playing with my meds again, but I don't know if I'll ever have a "normal" life. For myself, there is a lot of guilt about what the people in my life have to deal with. Hang in there, it has to get better someday.
Hope this is helpful,
Stephanie Fryer
J Lodge HR Support

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1441
   Posted 12/2/2009 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi BD-spouse,

Wow. sad   I think for anyone dealing with what your husband is, ( the combination of this time of year and the fact that he hates his job and has lost both his grandparents earlier this year) would take a toll on anyone regardless if they are bipolar or not and through them into depression.

Knowing that, plus the fact that he is bipolar I would definitely make sure his therapist and pdoc are aware of all that he is going through.  It will help them both to understand where all of this is coming from for him.  It may have nothing to do with how his body is metabolizing the medications but everything to do with what he is going through in life right now.  He may need more therapy appointments closer together to help him get through this difficult time of his life right now.

I'm sincerely sorry for your husband's loss.

 Bipolar - 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
Leo Buscaglia

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