I think my boyfriend has bipolar

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I’ve been together with my boyfriend for about 10 months. Most of the time we have been together, it has been amazing - we are happy, and in love, and inseparable. But there are times where this happy, bubbly person disappears, and is replaced with the shell of a person, who can barely get out of bed and go to work. 

After seeing him fall into this depression on more than one occasion, I encouraged him to seek help, which he eventually did. He has now been on anti-depressants for a few months, which I thought were helping in modulating his moods, but he has recently fallen back into this depression. 

I am trying desperately hard to support him, but when he is in these moods he is impossible to reason with and completely illogical. I try to support him and even just be near him, but he says it’s “better for me” if I stay away. He pushes me away and doesn’t let me see him (which, after spending almost every waking second together otherwise, is quite a big change). We don’t live together but usually spend every night, but then go to seeing each other almost never. He blocks me on social media because he wants to escape, and doesn’t want to think about things, and then accuses me of not caring about him. Things are worse when he drinks. But then once he’s out of the slump, it’s like nothing ever happened, and he’s so apologetic and lovely and kind. 

This is really affecting me mentally. I find it impossible to keep up with his moods, and am exhausted trying to have a conversation with him. When we talk, it goes around in circles about how he doesn’t want his mood to affect me so he pushes me away to “protect” me and, which hurts me more, and him, by not allowing me to be there. 

I am lost and I don’t know how to break out of this viscious cycle. I love him so much and all I want is to help him, but I don’t know how to broach the pattern in his behaviour without him becoming defensive or verbally attacking me - especially when he won’t let me see him. 

Please let me know of any advice. 

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  • Posted

    In the "good" times, when we're happy, he's on top of the world. He talks about us having a family and staying together forever, he plans creative dates and overshares with everyone about how in love we are. I love hearing these things, but I am always just anticipating the next fall. I tiptoe around him with what I say, and I pick and choose my battles carefully because I never know what will set him off. I never react, even when he is lashing out and saying extremely hurtful and disrespectful things to me. I'm finding it really difficult to know what I should let slide because I know he's suffering, and what I am allowed to draw the line at. It's really hard to make boundaries because one minute he is so kind-hearted and thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread, then the next I can do nothing right, and everything I say is wrong and ridiculous.

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  • Posted

    J

    Sorry mental health issues can be complex to deal with for those who love and watch over Partners and Family Members. Sufferers will seem to pull back from those around them and this can be very hurtful and confusing.

    You mention that He has been on medications for for about a month or so, drugs take upwards of five weeks to work, sometimes it is advisable Depressives need to see their GP after around five weeks to discuss how they are getting on with them. Some of us are suggested to make an appointment to discuss treatment Pathways and a possible increase of medications of the same type, or another AD medication may be suggested.

    Sometimes the GP may arrange a course of CBT to discuss their illness, this can help the sufferer to understand the reasons for Depression and change of mood. It does not mean He is BI-POLAR, it may be He is considering any problems He has at work or in family. It may take time for your Boyfriend to address any concerns He has. Sometimes changes to His approach to life may change, however this does not mean the changes in His relationship with you would be on the cards.

    One thing you will need to consider is being cruel to be kind, you have your own needs that need to be addressed,  even when you feel  a little overwhelmed by these negative moods.

    The problems of not wishing to see you is also quite common, it may be He is withdrawing away from the life He has enjoyed in the past, it is difficult to suggest ways to snap out of this problem, further treatments may help as mentioned above.

    Mental Depression and other problems can make the Patient defensive in nature, they sometimes need space, that is why I would suggest further discussions with His GP and any problems are identified and ways forward are considered and addressed.

    Try and find out the cause in a round about way, do not push to hard it may be His treatment pathway will find a opening to discuss His Moods

    Your next mood cruel but kind may help you understand His needs, Health Professionals may find that opening.

    If it is BI-POLAR there are medications that may help control his rapid changes, however His GP needs to be involved to address this condition that can be very hard to understand and control.

    We are here to help

    BOB

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. I am trying to look after myself as well as being supportive of him, but as you've mentioned this balance can be quite difficult. 

      I appreciate your support smile

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  • Posted

    Leave him. It’s not your job to be his therapist. Be glad you’re not married to him and move on! 
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    • Posted

      Artlovergirl

      Hello

      Sometimes breaking up in the early stages of a Depression may not need to happen, some sufferers can find a way around their illness with help from Health Professionals.  

      If a relationship has been very close it would be a shame to walk away from this type of illness.

      Most patients will recover, while others may have periods of depression throughout their lives.

      Even if a Patient has depression throughout  their lives they can gain some form of control with medications and techniques shown by various health professionals.

      We cannot walk in anothers footsteps here, life is more complex, the same applies to a loving relationship. The latter can be in a wonderful way to give support and understanding. This can actually make a relationship stronger in the future if or when the illness  May or may not return.

      BOB

       

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    • Posted

      Borderriever,

      I realize all of that, but most people who are bi-polar will struggle with it their entire lives. It doesn’t magically go away. It might become somewhat manageable with medication and/or therapy, but it will always be something the patient struggles with. 

      Unless one is willing to be part of the crazy rollercoaster life that bipolar sufferers live, it’s best to just move on. You know beforehand what you are getting into. It’s not like finding out after getting married to the person. Bipolar doesn’t have a cure. It only has the possibility of becoming manageable. So if you don’t like your significant other’s bipolar issues, you don’t like your significant other. Find someone else who doesn’t have these problems. Save yourself years of grief, save yourself from divorce down the road. Don’t put yourself through that hell. 

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