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Tips on How to Better Your Relationships While Bipolar

I went off my meds, and the result was not pretty. When I am compliant, my meds work well for me, affording me a relatively normal life. I stabilize on my meds. Then months and years pass, and I think I am cured. I think I don’t need them anymore. So, I stop taking them. At first, everything seems fine, but within a few days, I am paranoid, hearing voices, rapid cycling, talking fast, making poor decisions, and rapidly climbing the ladder of mania. This past time I tested the limits of everybody around me. After a call from my psychiatrist, I had to take a PRN to come down while my meds worked their way back into my system.

I’m lucky. I have a great doctor for whom I work well with. He knows when I seem a bit off, and he doesn’t buy bullshit. My husband and my father are also able to tell when I’m not right. It’s hard to be aware of yourself when you are in the middle of a mania. There’s a point where you stop noticing the details and the irritability, anger, and grandiosity take over. I’m lucky I didn’t reach this point on this particular trial without meds. I’m lucky I didn’t wind up hospitalized, dead, or worse. I did, however, upset a lot of people.

During this bout with mania, I still had access to my car keys, my credit card, my computer, and my cell phone. No one thought to take these away from me as my moods swung. And, I abused all of these privileges, fortunately with little consequences.

But, more importantly, I want to talk about the people I hurt, my husband, my father, my stepmother, and a few others. Hurting loved ones is never the intention, and so I’ve put together a few suggestions on how to better manage relationships when you have bipolar disorder.

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Seven Ways to Maintain Healthy Relationships when You have Bipolar Disorder

1. Tell the truth. Find an appropriate balance between giving too much information and not enough. Stick to the facts, and make “I” statements when dialoguing with your partner.

2. Talk about your reasons for having or not having children. Remember both of you have fears, and you need to air them out.

3. When you have an episode, decompress it after it is over with each other and perhaps a therapist.

4. Refrain from using slang and hurtful terms to describe a person’s condition. Explain what slang terms mean to you how these terms affect you.

5. If one partner has gained weight because of meds, don’t overwhelm them will comments and pressure. Encourage them gently to eat healthy and work out instead.

6. Introduce your partner to all your doctors. Allow them to see that you are receiving professional care.

7. Show your partner any self care rituals you do like keeping a mood journal, meditation, yoga etc…

.  .  .

I’m back on meds, and I plan to stay that way. I won’t be running little experiments to see if I could be more creative and productive without them. Ultimately, I proved that I am far less productive and creative, bordering on completely disabled, when I am not on meds. And, it takes a long time for meds to get back into your system, so I find I have to build myself back up to where I was before I stopped taking them. Honestly, it ain’t worth it.

Comments

Thank you for your honesty!! I could better understand in your statements than dr one!!!!!!

I am new to this. I have been on meds for about a month in a half almost 2 months. I am 35 and as I am on my meds I find that my loved one want to know what I have done and why i have done it. The thing is i can not explain the why and they want answeer to things I did 13-15 yars ago. I know I have hurt them and i never did it because I wanted to if this makes since. But I do not remember that far and I fear if can not give them what the want to hear i will lose the 2 most important people to me. i am lost and it just seems so much to me right now. i feel like i am losing ground on the little progress i have made

I'm 60 years old and was bipolar diagnosed nine years ago. I had a lot of trauma over the years and blocked out almost all of it. Eventually I remembered all the bad stuff that happened to me and it sent me in a tailspin. You'll remember stuff eventually and it may not be pretty. I'd rather be in denial and not feel the pain than remember and feel the pain. Your family should not be asking you these questions. It's very inconsiderate. If you bring it up and want to talk about it that's different. I brought up stuff and nobody believed me so I wound up being hospitalized from the revictimization. Hang in there. Take your meds. I am completely, well I wouldn't say completely better as I have bipolar 2 depression with anxiety but I am much more equalized now. Nobody knows what you suffered but you. Even if you tried to explain it you wouldn't be able to thoroughly explain it so that they would be able to understand whatever things you did in the past. I wish you well. It's going to be OK. Give it time. Most likely you are traumatized by the whole thing.

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