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 through a lot, too.
When I was first diagnosed, my husband, Sean, was sitting right beside me. We were in marriage counseling because we couldn’t figure out my mood swings. When we found out, we were both relieved. But, we weren’t out of the woods yet. I had to check myself into the psych ward twice after that. Afterwards, I had to go to see a therapist and get my medication in order.
We talked about my disorder daily. He also went to therapy with me and held me when I cried. He also took me for walks to distract me at times, and we prayed a lot together. All this was a big help. I thank God for Sean.
Don’t leave your spouse in the dark. Please, talk to them about how you’re feeling. Open up. Invite them to attend a few therapy sessions with you. Also, let them know that recovery takes a little while. It took me two years to make a full recovery.
Research helps, too. Sean and I looked up a lot of information on bipolar disorder online. It’s important that you both educate yourselves about what’s going on. Like I said, don’t keep them in the dark.
Lastly, if you’re into praying, believe me when I say that it helps. Taking their hand and saying a prayer together can get it off your chest, even if it is just for the moment. Maybe you can say some things to God out loud that you didn’t think of before. Like I said, it helps.
Having an illness does not have to destroy the both of you. Believe it or not, it can bring you two closer. Don’t just assume that they won’t understand. They have every right to know what’s going on in your head and you have every right to get their support. Your marriage and your mental health are both worth fighting for.