Long-term romantic relationships thrive because of continuous commitment, transparency, dedication, patience, and mutual respect. At times, relationships may have to cross through rough patches due to the ups and downs that life has to offer. A relationship can be more challenging if one of the partners deals with a mental health condition, for example bipolar disorder.
When one is struggling with bipolar disorder, they may experience intense fluctuations in mood, ranging from mania/hypomania to acute depression. These moods affect how one thinks, behaves, and relates to the other person. However, with medication, therapy, self-care, and support groups, the symptoms can be managed for a long period of time and one can live well.
Tips for the individual whose partner has bipolar
It can become difficult to manage a partner with bipolar when one is not prepared. That is why it is important to learn some ways of coping with the situation so that one does not get overwhelmed. Below are some tips for navigating through a relationship with a partner who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder:
- Gaining knowledge: The best way to show that one cares is by investing some time in learning about bipolar disorder. Understanding what an episode of mania is or what are the symptoms of a depressive episode can help one gain knowledge and know what to expect when an episode occurs.
- Separating person from disease: It is important to understand that bipolar disorder is a part of someone’s life, but not their entire life. There is so much more to a person than the condition. While the illness may affect a person’s personality and relationships, accepting the whole package would make the road a lot easier.
- Discussing major topics: Bipolar disorder may significantly affect one’s behavior. Important topics like taking care of children and managing finances need to be discussed ahead of time as these duties may get affected when one is going through an episode. How household and family responsibilities in a relationship are topics a person needs to discuss with their partner as soon as possible to have a healthy-long lasting relationship.
- Making self-care a priority: At times, caring for a partner with bipolar disorder can get demanding. It is just as important for one to take care of their own well-being. Eating nutritious food, sleeping well, getting some exercise, meeting with friends and family, among others, can be therapeutic and allows you to have a break.
Tips for the partner with bipolar disorder
A relationship continues successfully only when both the partners contribute equally and effectively. In keeping with this spirit, it is the responsibility of the partner diagnosed with bipolar to also make efforts in having a healthy and strong relationship. Below are some tips that can help a person with bipolar contribute to a relationship.
- Talk openly about the disorder: It is important that the partner diagnosed with bipolar is open about the condition with their partner from the beginning. If one is seeking professional help, then they can say that the symptoms are under control with the help of a mental health expert and they would like to continue moving towards having an honest relationship.
- Avoid blaming the condition: One must avoid blaming their disorder for non-related daily activities. If one does not feel like going out or does not feel the need to get intimate, the person must take ownership and not blame their condition. This will not only help with building an honest relationship, it will allow the partner to better know you.
- Know your triggers: It is important that an individual and their partner are aware of the triggers of an episode. These triggers may be stress, drugs, alcohol, drastic changes in treatment, etc. This knowledge can empower one to deal with the symptoms in an effective way.
- Commit: One must not use their bipolar disorder as an excuse for not committing to a relationship. One is not dealing with an episode 24/7 as bipolar has phases. Thus, one should remember dates, make plans, and think about the long-term opportunity.
Road to recovery
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2.6 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Yet, they live fulfilling lives with families, jobs, and, a social life. In order for one to live a fulfilling life, it is essential that an individual dealing with bipolar seeks treatment as soon as symptoms are observed.
If you or a loved one is battling any mental health condition, including bipolar disorder, we can connect you with the finest facility offering personalized mental health disorders treatment. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-596-4708 for details about mental health treatment program. You can even chat online with a representative and they will assist you in finding the right mental health treatment center based on your requirements.