Dating someone with bipolar disease
Nevertheless the healthy mate wonders, “Why are we on these constant roller coaster rides?
It is common for spouses of people with bipolar disorder to understand and be extremely, even overly, solicitous in response to depression in their partner, but to have more difficulty in seeing manic episodes as part of the illness. For me, as a person with bipolar disorder, maintaining a healthy and happy relationship involves committing to a Treatment Contract with my spouse, and sharing a lot of information such as my mood charts, having a transparent medication regime, visiting my psychiatrist together and so forth. They shared the same feelings about their courtship, first year of marriage, and the degree to which the marriage had met expectations.What is particularly striking is the difficulty in separating cause and effect. For example, we know that bipolar disorder erodes the quality or ALL interpersonal relationships, and marriage is no exception.Perhaps for many of us the intuitive thing is to assume that a person with bipolar disorder will have poorer interpersonal skills and be harder to get along with than a “regular” person. What I mean is,have you ever considered that marital problems may be a trigger for mood episodes, and it is stress somewhere in the relationship that is making the bipolar spouse worse? However, there is still some room for a complex interplay between marital tensions that arise from the behavior of the bipolar spouse during a mood episode, and possible increasing and/or triggering of episodes of mania and/or depression because the bipolar spouse is so vulnerable to any problems that arise in the marriage.The difference lies in getting treatment so that mood swings and episodes are greatly reduced in both frequency and intensity.Once the bipolar spouse is stable, it is possible for both partners to gain insight into bipolar disorder and its impact on both partners – both as individuals and on their marriage.