I think my partner has bi polar - I would really appreciate some advice

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I have been with my partner for nearly 9 years, we met at school when we were 18 and have been together ever since – although it has been a very difficult relationship to be in a lot of the time.

I think I have always thought that someone hasn’t been quite right with him, he suffers with OCD and has always expressed quite often strange or unrealistic views about things. He seems to find it hard to maintain any meaningful long-term relationships with friends, and a lot of the time because of his behaviour, I get the impression a lot of people don’t like him or think he’s a bit of an a**ehole – which he can be at times, but knowing him better than anyone else, I see past this not so nice side of him, and the person I love is a caring, happy and fun person to be around and he is my best friend in the whole world.

One of the things over the years that has made me question whether there is something more to his behaviour, is his inability to stick at anything, including our relationship. I know he loves me, but from about 1 year onwards, nearly once a year he’d start to be really horrible to me and tell me he wasn’t happy and didn’t want to be with me anymore, I’d be devastated, but this might only last a couple of days, then he’d be really sorry, tell me he did love me and we’d go back to normal again. About 5 years ago, having been in a really good job, earning good money for about 4 years, he decided he wanted to pack it in and go into the army, this involved him taking a salary that was half the amount he had been earning previously, and I knew he would hate it – he had this totally unrealistic view on what it would be like, he would be thinking about the parades and all the glory and pride associated with this job and not the reality of what it would be like day to day. I tried to reason with him over it, but when he has something in his mind, everyone around him could think what he is doing is crazy, but it will make perfect sense to him and there is no reasoning with him at all. So he left his job, joined the army and after about a week I was waking up to messages from him absolutely desperate, hating it, needing to come home – which is what happened after 4 weeks, this was the earliest he was allowed to leave. After he came home, he was lucky and managed to re-join his previous line of work quite quickly, we went through a period about a year of things being really good and probably the most settled they have been.

He then changed his job again last October, which was a sensible move for progression, but quite a big change, and this totally unsettled everything again. About a month before he started, I found he had ordered some form of anti-depressants via an online pharmacy, he was obviously feeling quite bad at this point and didn’t feel able to go to the doctors to be paying £100 for a prescription, when he could have gone to the local GP! I was really concerned, but tried to support him, he wouldn’t tell me exactly what he was taking, but he was a little better for about a month, but he stupidly finished the prescription, thought he didn’t need them anymore because he felt better and didn’t take them anymore – things have just spiralled in the last year from this point.

When he started his new job at the end of October last year, he met a girl on his training course, who he began an affair with. He was normally a very health conscious person and had a lot of anxiety issues usually around ‘needing’ to go to the gym and eat healthily etc. this all stopped, he stopped exercising, ate rubbish and began going out with her after work or back to her house and drinking (large amounts) every night – half of the time he wouldn’t come home, he was getting into trouble at work for their stupid behaviour – all totally out of character for him. We were arguing a lot about the amount of time he was spending with her and he would just insist he was having fun and she was a friend. I think she was an escape from his real life and facing up to his responsibilities. I felt I was losing the person I loved and my best friend, he was becoming unrecognisable. When I would quite rightfully question his behaviour if he’d not been home for a few days, he’d blow up – he just wanted to come home and have a ‘nice time with me’, he try and blame me as the reason for his behaviour and why he wouldn’t come home. This went on until March, I think it was the glimpses of the person I loved that I would see occasionally for a couple of days that kept me going for that long, but when I found out for sure that he had been cheating on me, our relationship ended and he moved out to be with her.

He was only there a few days, said their relationship was never going to work out and he ending up staying with his parents. I kept my distance from him for about 3 months, I was terrified of seeing him, because I knew I’d take him back. After about 3 months, he was contacting me a lot, full of remorse, he seemed like the person I fell in love with again, eventually I agreed to meet and it was amazing just to see him and be with him again, and we got back together and he moved back home very shortly after that – probably too quickly in hindsight.

During the time we’d not been together, he told me of how he had slept with a lot of different women, but that it wasn’t what he wanted, he loved me and that was all he wanted to focus on now. After a great first month together, where we’d booked a holiday for a few weeks’ time, he heard from the girl he had cheated on me with, went to meet her and told me he was leaving me again. He went to her, but then came back after a couple of days, saying he did love me and wanted to be with me.

Since then, this has probably happened about 8 times – I know if people knew they’d think I was crazy for staying with him, but I know that this isn’t really him. I know deep down he loves me and he wants our relationship to work more than anything, but when he goes through these cycles of mood swings, he will say he knows he is doing the wrong thing and he’ll regret it, but he can’t stop himself. After a couple of days he can come back and be totally he old self again – it almost feels like I’m in a relationship with two totally different people. His relationship with this girl has also got him into more trouble at work and he is currently being investigated for gross misconduct and could lose his job as a result, which isn’t helping his stress levels – or mine!

There is so much more, but I am certain that he behaviour is the result of a condition such as bi polar, he is under the doctor at the moment, but just for depression, he is taking citalopram, but I don’t think he tells the doctor half of what is going on really – I think he just says he feels low etc. so the GP prescribes him the anti-depressants, which he doesn’t take properly a lot of the time. He’s gone from being on 40mg to stopping them dead and then feeling really unwell as a result. He has been taking them again at 20mg now for about a month, but I don’t think they are really helping him. He stopped letting me go to doctors’ appointments with him, so I can’t tell the doctor what I have witnessed behaviour wise etc.

I realise this is a really long post, but I am desperate now and have no idea what to do, I have suggested that he may have something like bi polar and he dismisses it, I don’t think he has a concept of ‘reality’ at the moment and doesn’t realise he is on the verge of ruining his life. I understand it must be hard to accept that you have something like this, but I think that’s because he doesn’t really know anything about the condition and doesn’t want to be labelled as having something like that. He will often say that he knows he is all over the place and that it’s a nightmare to be him and be inside his head, but I just want him to get proper help.

Any advice anyone can give would be so much appreciated, it is really lonely to be in this relationship at the moment, I don’t feel I can really tell my friends and family because a lot of them would just think he is treating me really badly and think I shouldn’t be with him, I don’t think they would accept that his behaviour might be caused by something like this. I love him with all my heart and I’m not ready to give up on him yet, but I am terrified if he doesn’t change, that he will ruin my life and his own.

 

 

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  • Posted

    How sad. He is lucky to have you in his life. Have you thought of contacting  MIND, they are a very good organisation and will help you in your predicament I'm sure. 

    Maybe you are a bit to soft with him, sometimes he may need a kick up the backside. 

    It does sound  likely that he is suffering with bi polar, which is an illness, just the same as diabetes or any long term ailment is. Unfortunately there is still such a stigma attatched to mental illness. Explain to him how you are feeling, if the boot was on. The other foot as it were, would he support you. Good luck. Take care of yourself.

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  • Posted

    I know exactly what he is going through!  The first thing you need to do is get him to see a psychiatrist.  If he is bipolar and is only taking medication for depression, he can become manic.  Many times bipolar patients are misdiagnosed with depression because they only seek help when they are down.  They fail to tell the doctor when they are feeling really great which could mean the patiend is bipolar. I am bipolar and I was in love with what I belive to be an amazing man.  I had no one to support and guide me.  I did many things to him that I would never have done but I was cycling between manic and depressive.  When you are in a manic episode, you sometimes don't ever remember all of the things that you do.  Sounds like your significant other may be bipolar.  I did many things out of character just like you explained he is doing and he is lucky...very lucky you are there for him.  Don't give up on him, get him help.  I am myself again and I still have trouble forgiving myself for all that I did.  My ex may never believe that I was madly in love with him but I was sick and I needed help!  I take Lithium and citalopram.  It took hospitalization and lots of therapy for me to finally get well and recently began going to college for human services to help people like me.  I will be bipolar for life and I need to continue therapy and medication to live a normal life.  From my own experience, I believe you may be right in your suspicion.  I wish you the best of luck for the two of you.  If he gets on meds and gets therapy, you will have the man you know and love back.  Be prepared to change meds and dosages because it's trial an error but eventually he will find the right combination of medicine and dosage.  Great Luck!!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your advice. I am going to try and get him to go to the doctors again after Christmas and see if we can get a referral appointment to see a psychologist. We've had these referral appointments before, unfortunately, they are always about 2 months ahead and they were cancelled on two occasions, which is a bit frustrating. He is willing to go, which is good, but he wants to find out what affect a diagnosis could have on his job, as he is a police officer, I'm sure that won't be too much of problem but I understand its a worry for him. He's had a 'good' few weeks, but I've noticed him start to change again the last couple of days and he didn't come home last night with no contact, it's really difficult when he goes from being one person to a different person almost overnight. I expect we'll have a week or so now of him being like this. It's really encouraging to hear that things can get better with the right treatment, and I'm really glad to hear that things have got so much better for you over the years. 
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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry you and he are going through this.  The sooner he begins treatment, the sooner he can begin to lead a normal life.  I lost the person I loved more than anything.  I went to grieving and dealing with my illness and it was so very hard.  I don't know how I did it.  Obviously medication and counseling.  I know that my ex won't return and I can accept it now.  I have hope I'll find some special to share life with me.  I understand how he may feel about being a police officer and telling them of his diagnosis.  Just take it one day at a time and remember, his health is priority.  Bipolar untreated can be dangerous.  I live in the United States and here we have laws that protect us and our jobs.  I have to say this, be safe when being intimate.  He os disappearing and you don't know what's going on.  You both should get check ups.  I'm here if you need to talk or have questions -- wish you the best!
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  • Posted

    You are not helping him or yourself  by taking him back again and again.  Quit treating him like a child or hurt puppy.  Do yourself a favor and tell him that it is over unless he goes WITH YOU to a psychiatrist, gets diagnosed, and follow through with the doctor's plan.  Most women would not have put up with what you have already.  I was diagnosed forty years ago at age 28.  I have always taken my medicine because I wanted to live a normal, respectable life and the illness certainly does not define me. There is treatment out there and if he really loves you he will do what he needs to do.
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  • Posted

    Every bipolar person is different.   Although I respect everyone's opinion and feedback, we learn about the illness and how we deal as we go through the ups and downs.  I agree, you can't continue to sacrifice your life.  However, before you walk away, do try to be there for him.  Give him stipulations.  Sometimes, it takes the people we love to walk away for us to see what is truly important and matters.  I'm just saying that maybe a push may get him to the doctor.   If you get him to the doctor and he is not willing to take meds or follow doctors orders, you do have a decision to make.  Maybe if you let him free, he will come back to you again -- healthy.  
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