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Bipolar and partner support
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joanatmunson posted:
Do any of your partners ever use your bipolar during an argument? I know I did a lot of crazy/mean/hurtful things when I was undiagnosed, but I also feel like I'm now on the right medications and schedule and am doing really well. I don't always feel like hearing that I'm "having an episode" when I'm frustrated about something or that I'm the reason my spouse in depressed because I chipped away at his self esteem when unmedicated, or that he helped me out so I should help him out.
Any suggestions?
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BipolarBetty responded:
Yes, my husband frequently calls me names and yells at me about being bipolar. We can't have a single conversation or argument without him telling me I am crazy or that I need to take more medication. I too feel bad for the things I said and did to him, when I was off of my medication, but I don't know how to fix those things. I also don't want my husband to constantly feel like I am going to repeat all of my old offenses. He has all of these excuses about why he does things. He tells me that I would have yelled at him if he made a decision with out me or that the last time this specific thing happened I screamed at him therefore he has to judge off past experiences. It's really unfair to me. That everything boils down to me being bipolar. Sometimes I yell at my husband and call him fat, and he gets mad that everything is about him being fat. It is the same thing as calling me bipolar. Him being fat has nothing to do with our arguments. It is frustrating when someone constantly doesn't support you in anyway. It isn't fun to have a spouse with a mental disorder, but it would be nice if they could have some compassion and learn some coping skills to work with us. Yes, you should help out your spouse. It will show them how they should treat you when the time comes.
 
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flasunshine62 replied to BipolarBetty's response:
My husband also sets off a lot of triggers in me ..Tells me I'm Crazy ..Mental ...Bipolar...He won't leave me alone until I snap and have a meltdown like tonight ..After it's done he is never gonna do that again and he thinks I had a nervous breakdown.. He is an angry loud person and noise and just hearing the t.v in the daytime drives me crazy.He has no interest in learning anything about bipolar.
 
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joanatmunson replied to flasunshine62's response:
I know my husband worked really hard to learn a lot about bipolar when we were in the early stages. I know for me it can be hard to realize that I was having episodes every two weeks and to look through my memory and try to see things from the outside. It's hard to not bring up his own issues when we argue, since he sometimes brings up my bipolar, but lately I've been trying to think of it as a trauma response. We can be abusive when we are having an episode. Doesn't make it right to bring it up though.
 
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An_254061 responded:
At this point of our dissolving marriage, he may as well announce it to the world! A week ago, my 10 yr old daughter told him that I was upset - he was in the hospital w/yet another problem in his tx of acute leukemia - he immediately responded, "Oh, mom is just having an EPISODE>" In times of domestic violence when I had to call the police, he ran to then as they pulled up our driveway ,"She's manic, she's manic...." He tells his entire family I am unstable when I have been stable for the past 8 yrs. He enjoys sabatoging me and I hate him for that. There was a time in our early yrs when he was very supportive of me. But I went to work FT b/c I had to, and had little energy to houselclean and cook, etc when I got home each night. Public ed is demanding and he resents to this day that I did not clean the house up to his standards not back him up while disciplining one of are kids when I knew he was way out of line and was acting from his usual OCD/rage disorder place. I got cancer; now he has leukemia - I should have left long ago but I listened to my shrink who is extremely kind and top in the field - works at NIH, does research and is the Director of neurobiology and translational labs @ UPENN. Now it's been 6 mo taking care of a guy who NEVER checked in on me when I went thru chemo....for 6 months! And today I was miserable - like I just want to bolt but then my 10 yr old twins and 15 yr old son would hate me.I don't want V. to die but get health after the transpalnt - and in a year from now, I will serve the papers. I have been miserable from his undermining, sabatoging behavior using my mental illness as a launching pad for all of his troubles. He is known as the great guy, a great coach, etc. so loved but at home he's been a compulsive anachronistic monster who I usually pity but not today, after he tried to disredit my son't tx for Aspberger's which has been taking years and years to finally find a psychologist to help my son.

So no, not in arguments but bhind my back, in calm conversations, too. I have ruined my life and my children's life and I hope I muster the courage to overcome skin picking, mood instability and overuse/abuse of 1 of many psych drugs.

Lenie @ 54 yrs
 
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An_254061 replied to joanatmunson's response:
At this point of our dissolving marriage, he may as well announce it to the world! A week ago, my 10 yr old daughter told him that I was upset - he was in the hospital w/yet another problem in his tx of acute leukemia - he immediately responded, "Oh, mom is just having an EPISODE>" In times of domestic violence when I had to call the police, he ran to then as they pulled up our driveway ,"She's manic, she's manic...." He tells his entire family I am unstable when I have been stable for the past 8 yrs. He enjoys sabatoging me and I hate him for that. There was a time in our early yrs when he was very supportive of me. But I went to work FT b/c I had to, and had little energy to houselclean and cook, etc when I got home each night. Public ed is demanding and he resents to this day that I did not clean the house up to his standards not back him up while disciplining one of are kids when I knew he was way out of line and was acting from his usual OCD/rage disorder place. I got cancer; now he has leukemia - I should have left long ago but I listened to my shrink who is extremely kind and top in the field - works at NIH, does research and is the Director of neurobiology and translational labs @ UPENN. Now it's been 6 mo taking care of a guy who NEVER checked in on me when I went thru chemo....for 6 months! And today I was miserable - like I just want to bolt but then my 10 yr old twins and 15 yr old son would hate me.I don't want V. to die but get health after the transpalnt - and in a year from now, I will serve the papers. I have been miserable from his undermining, sabatoging behavior using my mental illness as a launching pad for all of his troubles. He is known as the great guy, a great coach, etc. so loved but at home he's been a compulsive anachronistic monster who I usually pity but not today, after he tried to disredit my son't tx for Aspberger's which has been taking years and years to finally find a psychologist to help my son.

So no, not in arguments but bhind my back, in calm conversations, too. I have ruined my life and my children's life and I hope I muster the courage to overcome skin picking, mood instability and overuse/abuse of 1 of many psych drugs.

Lenie @ 54 yrs
 
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doxielover10 responded:
My Husband will occasional tell me I'm acting Bipolar when I start ranting about something. The WORST has been my family, they insist Bipolar Disorder does not exist. The ONLY thing they will discuss is some of my previous behavior which was 30 years ago. To this day, I changed almost immediately after being diagnosed and medicated. I am a very bad rapid cycling Bipolar1. However, they absolutely refuse to discuss anything but the past. My brothers sent me faxes using the worst profanity you can imagine. Phone calls as well, so I changed my number to unlisted, got a new fax, blocked satellite vision and wrote them all off
 
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mattthecat replied to doxielover10's response:
I know i may take a lot heat of heat entering this conversation but I will admit i have brought up bi polar during arguments with my wife. When I do bring up bipolar i usually am more specific like saying I believe she is having a manic episode or she is depressed. When I say it I am 99% of the time trying to do two things at once the first is to see if our argument is happening because of the bipolar which if it is not most times my wife will reply no I am not being manic I feel this because then give me a reason for our argument or if it is the bipolar she will dig in her heels deeper and admit nothing. The second thing is to determine how bad of an episode she is having if it is the bipolar fueling our argument but it she is not in real trouble when i mention it may be the bipolar talking she will think about it and start using her coping skills calm down and a compromise is almost always forth coming. I do know that even mentioning the bipolar issue in any way may frustrate her. But when I do use bipolar or mania or depression in an argument it is almost always a tool to see what the argument is truly about. If I think the argument is being fueled by a major manic or depressive episode I almost never just dismiss her i try to see if the argument can wait until we see our couples councilor (who specializes more in bipolar then couples counseling) and let our councilor help us figure out what is tangling us up.
So to sum it up I only use bipolar in arguments as a tool to see what footing I stand on with my wife / her mental health and never to belittle her or harm her in any way.
That is my two cents on the subject.


Matt
 
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mozzergurl responded:
Up until my last relationship (which failed because he wouldn't even try to understand what bipolar was truly like or how it affected my mood and affect - I'm Bipolar 1, rapid cycling) I was never made to feel like my mental health was the problem. It had never been used against me, except with my family. But my ex would always say oh you're just being this way cuz you're bipolar. Or you need to get your meds checked/see your pdoc/ etc... Also, he'd use it as an excuse to just tear me a new one or go off on me then leave, because my bipolar made me unreasonable and why should he have to listen to my craziness. He would also use my old habit of drinking or smoking herb against me, even though he's the one that would buy my drinks and supplied my herb. And he used both those things in excess much more than I did. Plus he hid his use of hard drugs like speed from me. When I found out and called him on it, he blamed it on me. That the stress of me being hospitalized during a manic episode, in which I self admitted to prevent any chaos, caused him to want to use drugs! Can you believe that? Even then I tried to never throw things in his face during an argument even though he did it to me every time. In the beginning though he did try to be understanding, or so I thought, found out later he was discussing every detail of our relationship and my mental health with his favorite psycho family member. Just talking about me behind my back and saying all kinds of mean, insensitive things.After a couple years he just left me during one of my few but deepest depressions I have ever experienced. Then he proceeded to mess with my head after, just to use that against me too. It hurt at first, but I quickly realized that he was making me more unstable and that I was MUCH better off with out him in my life. It's one thing when family does it, cuz it's usually out of ignorance or non-willingness to educate themselves or let you educate them on the illness. But when it's your SO, that you tried so hard to help them understand your moods and behavior during episodes before it even happens so that they're prepared. It's pathetic and petty when even after you try so hard to educate them and try to help them be at least sympathetic, they still treat you like crap and use it against you.

My ex went as far as trying to control my treatment, from meds to pdoc visits. My pdoc tried telling me how controlling he seemed to him, but love is stupid beyond belief and blind. When I finally realized it, he was on his way out, and the way he did it just showed me how truly pathetic, worthless, useless and stupid he really was.

If even after talking to your SO during a calm time about how it hurts you that they think every disagreement or argument is only because you're bipolar/manic/depressed/having an episode, and they still continue. In my opinion that's when you have to re-evaluate what is important in your life and what you're willing to tolerate from this person who is supposed to love/cherish and uplift you not bring you down further into a hole, that if you're not careful, one day you may not be able to climb out of it.

Yes it is hard to be in a relationship with someone who is living with a mental or emotional disorder. But trust me it is not impossible. And if you are under good care and have found the medication/s that make you feel stable, then it shouldn't be much harder/different than any other relationship. It takes work from both people involved, but I think that as bipolar people we are more sensitive and tuned in to our own emotions as well as the people in our lives, especially those we love.

Good luck with your SO, I hope that everything works out for the best no matter what you decide to do. Remember, we have to take care of own well-being because nobody else will
Life is a Pigsty... - Morrissey


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