On the flip side (cause that's my nature...)

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/19/2007 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I have really been interested in reading all the posts recently from spouses and partners of people with BP. As we really established, loving someone with a mood disorder is no picnic, and in some severe cases, maintaining a healthy relationship with them is nearly impossible. It is good to see these people also finding some support on this forum for the lies, financial crisis, and instability that many suffer because of their partner's illnesses. And it's good for me to see the other side too -- to hear from people who have to deal with BP people like me!

All the same, I worry (given a couple of recent posts) that we could get a little heavy on the why-my-BP-boyfriend/girlfriend-is-a-shmuck posts. Afterall, many of us are here because we are BP and we don't need to feel any worse about ourselves than we already do. So just a reminder -- sometimes, people are just schmucks, and it has nothing to do with BP. Sometimes people are just bad boyfriends/girlfriends, regardless of their issues. And lots of BP's have long, loving relationships, families, children, retirement parties, RV's, condos in Florida, stamp collections, whatever.

And it's not all fun and games for the BP in a romantic relationship either. For example, my husband has a tendency to write off my emotions (any emotion) as exaggerated, simply because I am a girl who often has big emotions. So if he snaps at me and I cry, he says he didn't actually snap, it's just me overreacting -- even when 2 friends saw the exchange and comforted me afterward for his meanness. It's just one small example of how people in relationships with BP's write off the honest needs and emotions of BP's because we can be unpredictible, even when we are stable.

That is the other thing most people don't realize about BP's is that many of us can go YEARS between episodes. Once a treatment is found that works, we're usually in decent shape for a long time. We exercise, take our meds, see our docs, and we do our best. That's not any more than anyone with ANY disease can be asked to do.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 6/19/2007 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   

I agree with you 100%

I can also totally relate to what you go through with your husband. It seems every emotion I feel, my husband just blames the bipolar. Like I'm not allowed to have any regular human emotion or feeling.

I look forward to finding a medicine that makes me feel normal for longer periods of time. Maybe he will take me more serious then.




Honey Bee
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 6/19/2007 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Serafena, I also agree with you 100%. I have posted a few times last week about my experiences being with (for 20 years) my husband who is Bipolar Type 1 and I really tried not to be too negative and blame everything on his BP. Also as I said in my posts there have been many positive things that have come from the BP over the years, although I hardly ever hear other people mention these. We would definately not be where we are today in life without the disorder as during the highs it has given him the courage and confidence to help us take big leaps in our personal and business life which has all been good.

You are right in that some people are just shmucks and have no medical reason to be.

It is very easy in a Bipolar relationship to blame everything on it and I do have to 'check myself' regularly during discussions as often it is my fault and I am quite capable of being moody, unreasonable etc. and it is always very easy to blame him! It is easy to write off things as being Bipolar when really they are just 'normal' reactions to a situation.

I also read the depression forums and think that anyone who suffers from any of these type of illnesses is extremely strong, not weak and I would not swap my hubby for anything in the world.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/20/2007 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for that Honey Bee. Yes, I agree completely. There is definitely something to be said for the extra energy of mania. And I don't mean to shut down conversation about relationships at all. I think it's really important to talk about. I just wanted to open it up further -- to remind everyone that we're not all bad! :) Some of us are quite nice, (or really try,) and work hard at having stable relationships.

Zomese -- That's exactly what I mean! I'm laughing because that's exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes I just have to say to him, I'm not mad because I'm bipolar, I'm mad because you're being a snot!

My husband has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks before too, but nothing like what I go through. I think it helps him sympathize a little with my situation, but because a pill more or less helps him keep it under control, he maybe thinks it should be that easy for me too? Maybe the depression and hypomania (I'm BPII) is a little too hard for him to completely relate to.

I mentioned this to my psych doc this morning and she recommended a book for him, and maybe some other spouses might find some comfort there as well. It's called "The Noonday Demon" by Andrew Solomon. She said it's a really good description and outline of what depression is like, and has helped spouses understand it a bit more completely. She did also caution me against reading it myself right now, because it's apparently so well done it's been criticized for being "triggering" for those already depressed. I'm pretty "triggery" right now, so I'll pass... Has anyone else read it?

olivia of course
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 6/20/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   


I have come across some post that were negative too.  So I agree with you 100%, sometimes things thar are said mean and can get out of hand.

~~~ Olivia  ~~~
Moderator, Bipolar

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
"The moon if always full, think about it."
Dx:  Bipolar I (mixed-episodes), PTSD, Anxiety/Panic Disorder 
Current Meds:  Lithium 900mg, Geodon 60mg 2x/day, Ativan 1mg

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