Category: Relationships

Navigating Work Relationships and Mental Illness

Navigating Work Relationships and Mental Illness

Author: Violette Kay There are many reasons one might choose not to disclose their mental illness at work such as the fear of being judged and seen as a liability or the fear of losing your job. But you might not want to disclose it because you feel it is on a...

Dating and Mental Illness: For Better or Worse

Dating and Mental Illness: For Better or Worse

Author: Eliora Mae Baker Dating is not always pretty, and love is hard at times. The difficulties of being in a relationship with someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder are many. Is a relationship with someone with bipolar completely out of the question?...

Letter To An Old Friend

Letter To An Old Friend

By: Natalia Beiser Dear Chad, In the early 1990’s, we were such good friends. Outside of my family, I have never cherished anyone more. You supported me through a chilling hypomania and a catastrophic mania. You watched me deteriorate during medication trials and...

Navigating Communication During The Holidays

Navigating Communication During The Holidays

By: Courtney Davey, MA, LMFT The holidays are a wonderful time: family, friends, feelings of good will etc. However, these additions to your schedule also can create high levels of stress. Holiday movies are notorious for making gags out of the difficulties with...

The Masks We Wear: Being Honest About Our Feelings

By: Conor Bezane I feel a lot of pressure. Pressure to take my meds and stay on them. Pressure to be a good son, brother, and uncle. Pressure to be a man. Pressure to conform and lead a healthy, happy life. It’s tough, but I’ve learned to maintain composure and grace...

My Journey With DBT: Part 2

By: Allison Strong When I first did intake for group dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), I sorta ‘flunked.’ Temporarily. It was determined that I’d been traumatized and I was transferred to their Trauma Resolution and Integration Program (T.R.I.P.) for individual...

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

By Mamotladi Ivy Matloga My name is Ivy Matloga and I am a public servant and an author. My brother lives and copes with a mental illness. I just released a novel, a work of fiction, inspired by my brother’s illness and the observations I have made, as well as...

Who Can Get Through To You?

Who Can Get Through To You?

By Jen Teh In a recent conversation with a good friend, we talked about a mutual friend who appeared to be showing signs of bipolar disorder but who was quite closed to the possibility of a problem. The conversation meandered to what it was like when I was first...

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Q: How do you support your partner when, in the midst of a hypomanic episode, they tell you that they want to end the relationship and move out on their own? How can you tell if that’s what they’re truly feeling, or if it’s a result of their episode? Beka: From a...

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 1 Of 4

Long time married couple Ron and Beka Owens answer your questions about relationships and bipolar disorder. Do arguments about issues in your relationship with your husband ever trigger manic or depressive episodes? How do you deal with any issues you may have if you...

Ready For Romance With Bipolar Disorder?

Ready For Romance With Bipolar Disorder?

Relationships are hard, with or without bipolar disorder, but adding bipolar disorder to the mix just makes it feel that much harder. Before either rushing into a relationship, or avoiding them altogether, you might find it useful to hear a bit of advice from someone...

Divorce: Writing and My Recovery

Divorce: Writing and My Recovery

“I want a divorce.” The sentence I was afraid of was coming finally came from his mouth. It felt like a ton of bricks and an ache in my stomach. I felt like I was in a movie where the camera zooms out and shows you like an ant.Shortly after he moved out, I overdosed...

Mania and Marriage: Coping With Hypersexuality

Mania and Marriage: Coping With Hypersexuality

Have you ever cheated on your best friend? Have you ever betrayed the trust of someone you cared about more deeply than yourself? How did it feel? For me, it felt like my entire world collapsed around me. My husband — my best friend — no longer trusts me. I broke my...

A Thank You Letter to a Very Special Husband

A Thank You Letter to a Very Special Husband

Dear Husband,  We made it through the first year of marriage (not that I had any doubts, don’t worry)! We’ve been through more than our fair share of difficult times, loss and trying times together. But, through thick and thin, we’ve stayed together and...

Learning to Be Vulnerable

Learning to Be Vulnerable

I was once someone that would read relationship advice articles scoffing at what were commonly myths and misconceptions of how romantic love works. I was a teenager anyway; and we all know that teenagers are authorities in all topics under the sun. I watched too much...

He Loves Me, Bipolar or Not

He Loves Me, Bipolar or Not

Michael: I first saw Allison at an AA meeting that I had been attending for several years. She was (is) a beautiful, lively and animated woman who I decided I wanted to get to know better. Little did I know that after she accepted, and we went on our first date,...

When to disclose that you have bipolar disorder in a relationship?

When to disclose that you have bipolar disorder in a relationship?

As someone in recovery from both addiction and bipolar disorder, I often find it difficult to know when to share this part of my life with someone else. I recently ended a three-year relationship and began dating again. I try to be upfront about the addiction because...

Someone Who Understands

Someone Who Understands

Jane and her fiance, Dana, each wrote about their relationship for our couples series. JaneWriting a blog set together is both an awesome and odd experience. I write without outlines, and pour everything out – much like I deal with my moods. My fiance Dana needed...

My Biggest Supporter

My Biggest Supporter

Lynn and her husband, Bill, each wrote about their relationship for our Couples Series. Lynn I do almost everything on my own and find it hard to let people help me. What I have learned with this illness is that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to...

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Stephanie’s husband, Don, wrote an accompanying blog to his post for our Couples Series. We recommend reading them together. Relationships are hard. Add to them the element of a mental illness and they become almost impossible. But I’ve learned a lot from...

What I’ve Learned Since We Found Out My Wife Has Bipolar Disorder

What I’ve Learned Since We Found Out My Wife Has Bipolar Disorder

Daniel’s wife Melanie wrote a blog that goes with this one for our Couples Series, we recommend reading them together. I have known my wife Melanie for over 9 years, and we got married in May of 2015. When we first met I was so happy because I had never been in...

Bipolar Disorder: The Third Person In My Marriage

Bipolar Disorder: The Third Person In My Marriage

Beka’s husband wrote an accompanying blog to this post for our Couples Series. We recommend reading the 2 posts together.  I previously wrote an article about how I found happiness, or actually contentedness. It was during my search that I said the most...

My Wife, Bipolar, and I

My Wife, Bipolar, and I

Beka is one of our bloggers and her husband, Ron, wrote this post for our couples series. Read Beka’s accompanying post here.I read somewhere recently that the divorce rate when one marriage partner has bipolar disorder is 90%. While it seems kind of high to me,...

The Significance of an Understanding Partner

The Significance of an Understanding Partner

It was January 2013 when I started dating my first boyfriend, and it was under precarious circumstances. We had met five months earlier in a speech course during the first semester of my college career, and we sat next to each other on the first day. We casually...

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal...

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband...

How I Found True Love in Mental Illness

How I Found True Love in Mental Illness

Life with bipolar has a lot of ups and downs…and not just for moods. I think relationships, romantic ones, become one of the hardest parts of your life to manage and to keep balanced when you have a mental disorder. Romantic relationships include allowing...

Love Is Patient

Love Is Patient

When my husband and I first started our relationship, we weren’t ready to be in one. I had just received my bipolar diagnosis a year before we started dating so I was still learning about how to function in life with a Bipolar diagnosis and he was trying to figure out...

What Love Means Now

What Love Means Now

My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely...

Relationships and Bipolar Disorder

Relationships and Bipolar Disorder

Good evening readers, I hope this entry finds you all doing well. Tonight’s topic is relationships. How do we help those in our lives understand us and communicate in a gentle way with an understanding heart? Those who know me best know that I’m very people oriented;...

Who I Am Now

Who I Am Now

It’s amazing to me to think that on November 1st of this year my ex-husband and I will have been split for 9 yrs. I think about the person I was back then and it terrifies me. I was so unstable, unsure of myself and had no direction in life.  I was in a dark hole...

What To Do If You Suspect Someone Has Bipolar

What To Do If You Suspect Someone Has Bipolar

Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition,...

My Journey of Recovery Through the 12 Steps

My Journey of Recovery Through the 12 Steps

My first heartbreak was in September, 1990 when the guy I was involved with informed me that although he really, really liked me, he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend. This was the start of my severe depression and suicidal thoughts. The idea of not being with...

Talking to Your Spouse About Your Disorder

Talking to Your Spouse About Your Disorder

When you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s obvious that not only have you been going through a lot, but you’ll have a long road ahead when it comes to recovery. That’s tough enough as it is, but what about if you’re married? Your spouse has most likely gone...

Dealing With “It’s not you, but…” Situations

Dealing With “It’s not you, but…” Situations

“It’s not you, but…”I recently had this said to me by three people that I care about in the context of them asking to have some time by themselves to figure out their issues. I was able to give space much more easily for two of them compared to...

Importance of Me

Importance of Me

This past month I have been trying to hone in on my emotions as there is much going on in my life-two part time jobs, part time student, moving, and my upcoming wedding in May.  I filled out my mood chart indicating I am between feeling “normal” (or what I call...

Bipolar Attraction

Bipolar Attraction

“Bipolar (Disorder) people must have magnets to one another, because since I met you I have met all your friends and they all have Bipolar Disorder,” observes my partner.  So I do a quick search of the internet: A 2009 thread describes a similar...

Mania: Everything That Makes Sense, Until It Doesn’t

Mania: Everything That Makes Sense, Until It Doesn’t

Practicing self-care when it comes to Bipolar Disorder means that not only do I take my meds and see my doctor regularly, but also over the years I’ve learned a few “tricks” to help get me by. These are simple things that make my life, and the lives...

The Role of Love as a Healing Force in Bipolar Disorder

The Role of Love as a Healing Force in Bipolar Disorder

I just watched A Beautiful Mind again and found the premise that love conquers all somewhat hyperbolic in the film (I kept thinking, “If you’d just take your meds…”).  But then I remembered my college English teacher, who said hyperbole usually contains a shred...

You Are My Reason

You Are My Reason

Good evening readers, what a cold frigid night were having. But I’m thankful I am inside where it’s nice and warm. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and it’s a celebration of love, but it shouldn’t just be on this special day, but every day, we experience love in some form,...

Abandonment and Rejection

Abandonment and Rejection

I woke up one day in 2011 in a 50 feet by 50 feet room lying on a mattress on the floor. One week had elapsed since I was consciously aware of where I was. My phone had gone off and I had not shown up for work or called any of my family members in a week. The only...

I’m Not a Victim, I’m a Survivor

Around Christmas I got into an argument with my ex-husband, no big surprise there.  Communication has never been our strongest asset.  Anyway during the argument he said some things that really upset me and have really stayed with me.  He said, “Quit...

The Down Side of Up and Down

The Down Side of Up and Down

My short but disastrous history of relationships and friendships,  probably lend credence to the argument that it is next to impossible to live with a Bipolar 1 sufferer, with an lavish, lashing of PSTD, just to add a little extra spice. Personally, I fear...

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply...

Hinges of Marriage

Hinges of Marriage

“We don’t have anything in common” my friend lamented, “sometimes I wonder why we even stay together.” As I listened I absently glanced at our white patio doors with it’s 3 hinges. “Well” I shared with sudden inspiration “it only takes three hinges to hold a door...

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