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The shifts in mood associated with bipolar disorder can cause extreme changes in behavior. During manic episodes, a person with bipolar disorder can have an unusual amount of energy and may not be able to sleep.
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The fabric of most happy long-term relationships is woven with dedication, consideration, patience, mutual support, and increasingly, Netflix marathons. Romantic relationships with partners who have bipolar disorder BP are no different.
Bipolar disorde r ly known as manic depression is characterized by the alternation of depressive episodes and manic, or hypomanic episodes. Mania is when someone has abnormally elevated mood along with some other symptoms like, increased energy, being very talkative, irritable or distracted.
Being in a relationship with someone who is bipolar
They can sometimes even lose touch with reality. This is different to hypomania, which is less severe and often people can still function normally. Between episodes, there can be long periods of time without symptoms. BP affects about 60 million people worldwide. Nearly 3 out of every Ada users with mental health conditions reported symptoms of a manic depressive episode. The key word here is episode. The Argentinian Ph. Manic-depressive episodes are illnesses that happen to people; the patients are not to blame.
The only way to manage it is with treatment and transparency.
Angela shares her suggestions for maintaining a healthy relationship if you or your partner have BP. Tips for bipolar partners:. Talk openly about BP with your date or partner whenever you feel comfortable with it. Like with any aspect of your life, there is no golden rule that you have to disclose sensitive information on the first date or the tenth. Avoid blaming the illness for non-related daily behaviors.
When you're dating with bipolar you have a whole other challenge on your hands. here's what i've learned from my experience jumping into the dating world
Take ownership of your actions in the same way anyone else would in any other relationship. Know your triggers.
Stress, drugs, alcohol, drastic changes in treatment — these are all possibilities that provoke an episode. Make it clear that these things are not causes of your illness, but things the two of you should be aware of together. Like in any other relationship, you have to be constant.
Remember dates, make plans, think long term. Tips for the non-BP partner:. Ask and prepare.
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Ask how they would like you to respond. Ask what triggers should be avoided, e. Speak with tact. Go slow. Avoid aggressive confrontation if your partner is experiencing a manic or depressive episode.
Bipolar relationships: what to expect
Calmly and logically talk through any extraordinary, illogical sudden ideas they might have. Look for early s. Before a ificant episode, your partner may show some early indicators that their mood will change ificantly. Ask what early indicators might be such as sudden mood changes, unusual hyperactivity, lack of sleep or change in appetite.
Avoid infantilizing your partner. Control is not done with bad intentions, but it makes it harder to have a healthy, balanced relationship. Instead, offer support and talk about the disorder openly.
Remind them during a depressive episode that this is not their life! Tell them that they will return to a healthy mood soon. After an episode, remind them the next day of their actions they may forget and gently recommend seeing a doctor if the behavior persists.
Normalizing the disease in society is the first step towards helping people with BP. As a patient, your perception of your illness defines your success in life and relationships. If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, or you would like to find out more information about these conditions, you may find it helpful to talk to your doctor or local medical health professional.
Additionally, you may find the following links helpful:. Understanding bipolar from the NHS. Health advice from Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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