Post # 76
Unfortunately, the pill throwing phase is pretty much the standard of care with bipolar. It sucks, but, there it is. Therapy, without meds, just doesn’t work. The biochemistry has to be balanced before the talk therapy can be effective.
Again, establishing the right med combo of meds in the right doses can take some trial and error. Most people find this part pretty challenging. But, it’s worth it.
Also, consider that your bf’s experience was 20 years ago. In terms of medical technology, that’s 100 years ago. Because of the rapid advancements in technology, brain research has progressed with light speed. This leads to the newer, better meds with more in the pipeline.
Maybe your bf would benefit from more current information.
Post # 77
“What if your partner develops a mental illness down the line? Maybe something traumatic happened or there was a late onset of an illness. Would you leave the relationship?
comments in threads like this can be hard to read, there are people behind these illnesses. It’s gross to see people make sweeping statements about others”
All of this.
Mental health can be just as fragile and unpredictable as physical health, life can turn on a dime. Would you leave a partner who developed mental health issues? What about illnesses or accidents that affect the brain like Alzheimers, dementia or Huntington’s? What if you developed mental illness yourself? What if you had a child who developed mental health issues- if you consider someone with mental health issues to be undatable, would you feel your son or daughter would be too much of a burden for others to want? That concept is heartbreaking frankly.
I realize this is a very new relationship, but you already seem to have something very important- open communication. It’s great that your reaction to his mental illness is to want to learn more. And since you’ve only been together a short time, I believe a lot of this will unfold as your relationship progresses. You’ve been given some great advice from Bees with experience and compassion and some great future questions to ask (like is he in ongoing therapy, what prompted him to seek diagnosis) and you’ll also get to see how he manages his bipolar. You’ll also learn much more about him as a person- is he sweet, funny, caring, is he good in a crisis, good with finances, is he hard working, loyal, kind hearted? Good luck Bee, I wish you both well.
Post # 78
Hi there ! My goodness that had to be the scariest ever ! Wow! Glad you have support and so does he 🙂
it is Bipolar 1 – he hasn’t mentioned extreme highs (is that manic or mania?) but has mentioned the lows. Says he will be in his bedroom and not leave for days. That is his most extreme. The lows have levels so sometimes it doesn’t get that bad.
So with bipolar 2- you don’t get the extreme highs and lows right? What is it like for you?
Post # 79
Your response to Sansa is great and I agree so much ! Anything can happen – mental or physical to a partner and discounting them over something they can’t control is ludicrous! An ex of mine went through kidney failure later in our relationship and not for one second did I think I should leave because this medical issue occurred.
Yes – the bees on here have given me lots of advice and experiences and while one can never be prepared for the first high or low, it has given me an idea of what to look out for and how to best be there for him when it does. I am so grateful that the bees have been open and honest and offered so much on this thread !
From what I’ve seen and experienced so far with him, it’s eberything I look for in a person. Yes , as this progresses I will make sure it remains that way as I know it’s early and people are on their best behavior . But the characteristics have been genuine and we have had some great adventures already .
Post # 80
Ah I see. So pill combo has to be figured out first then the talk therapy will only be effective after that . Makes sense. The last time he was in treatment was a bit more recent but he hasn’t been in a while.
I agree that more recent information would be beneficial for him and to get back in with his doctor and not give up during the trial and error period of meds.
Post # 81
bipolar II is still highs and lows but not to the same extent- it’s really different for everyone tbqh. Hypo-mania is basically like being euphoric all the time. IMO it’s more of a problem than the actual manic episodes sometimes because it takes other people and myself a while (most of the time) to clue in that I’ve gone hypo-manic in the first place. Usually I figure it out after I’ve burned some bridges and maxed out all my credit cards. With my Hubby’s manic episodes it’s VERY clear from the onset (at least to me anyway) and therefore easier to get recognize/get him help before he ends up in the hospital for three months. I honestly think I’m more trouble off my medication than hubby is. That being said- my diagnoses is bipolar II, generalized anxiety disorder, AND borderline personality disorder, so my perception of bipolar II is probably a bit different than someone with JUST bipolar II.
The depression can get really bad though- I’ve almost been hospitalized a couple of times but I have a really good support system so that’s why I haven’t. (Plus Canada, so healthcare here is decent when it comes to mental health, especially where I’m from).
Like I said (I think) it’s really different for everyone. Hubby is totally functional and normal off medication even. He’s way more functional than I am off meds even (I’m completely 100% disfunctional off meds), but his mother (also bipolar I) is off her meds at the moment as well and she is 10000000000% not functional. She doesn’t go Manic like hubby does either (hers is almost like my hypo-manic state, she spends a lot of money, burns her relationships etc.).
I know a lot of people have touched on being off medication- it comes and goes. Hubby has been on and off a lot of medications and so have I. It gets extremely tiring if a doctor keeps throwing medications at you to fix the problem. I’ve even had one of hubby’s doctors tell me the ONLY thing that would help him was medication or electro-shock, therapy wouldn’t help without medication, which I firmly do not believe at all because hubby managed to get better without meds and got himself out of the hole he was stuck in.
Anyway I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s also a certain resilience that comes with having a serious mental illness/disorder like this. If he was diagnosed a while ago he’s well aware of his triggers and the consequences so even if he is off his medication chances are he could be able to manage it without meds, at least for a while. I was diagnosed 10+ years ago and what I’ve learned is the most important part is to know your triggers.
Post # 82
A more apt analogy might be:”I’m allergic to shellfish” or “I’m going to refrain from the puffer fish”.
Just because you disagree, doesnt mean it qualifies for the unsubstantiated accusation you made. The OP responded several times.
If I recall, there have been previous threads that other bees have commented on where OP has been less than responsive to advice. My main purpose of commenting in the first place was that I noticed someone was being attacked for their personal position not to date people with certain mental illnesses. I believe such an an attack is wrong and disrespectful and likely violates the TOS.
Post # 83
Even if it’s uncomfortable to hear, that does not mean that people should feel obligated to date someone if it might jeopardize their own mental health. Likely you would want a child with mental health issues to date someone who is able to deal with issues that arise, like if they were a single parent, you would want them date someone who liked children.
While there is never a zero chance your partner may have a mental health issue in the future, why would you increase such a chance? I think if I were to develop a a severe mental illness, I would be grateful if a partner stayed, but I wouldn’t be so entitled or selfish to think he should stay.
Ultimately, it’s a decision people make and we should be respectful of it.
Post # 84
I tend to believe in the whole until death thing. It’s also worth noting that most people have struggles with serious illnesses in their lives, and even when it’s a physical ailment, it can result in a huge strain on the relationship and cause very challenging behaviours.
That said, everyone gets to choose their own deal breakers, and that’s awesome. For me, it’s critical that a partner looks after themself – be that through healthy eating, not taking drugs and following medical advice. But it’s also fine that other people want different things!
OP – I’m happy to answer more questions about bipolar disorder if you have them. I said this earlier, but if the relationship becomes serious, I’d recommend you go to a psychiatrist appointment with your partner. There are also support groups out there for carers.
Post # 85
Fair – I also tend to believe the one life to live thing too. That being said, my comment was more that we should respect someone’s choice to view severe mental illness as a dealbreaker with respect to dating. It seems a bit obvious, but selected previous posters did not seem to grant that respect.
Post # 86
I have bipolar and have asked my husband during my lows why he even stays with me because I know the mood swings can be difficult. He tells me they really aren’t that terrible and that it seemed like a normal relationship to him, everyone has there good days and there bad days, sometimes my bad days just last a little bit longer. I have much more highs then lows though which I am sure help.
Usually when I’m low I need extra attention and loves it to be left the f alone which can be confusing. Lol I can spend days reading in my own little cocoon during my lows and I’m my own little reality.
I do tend to me short tempered and cab definitely take it out on my husband. Luckily, I can recognize this and so does he, so if I’m getting short tempered or losing my cool, I step away and him understanding that I need space sometimes is probably one of the best things about our relationship. I can come back in a few hours and few days and I will apologize and then we can rationally talk about whatever set me off in the first place.
It affects everyone differently and the extremes affect everyone differently so it’s very hard to tell you what to expect. I don’t think bipolar should be an immediate dismissal which it doesn’t sound like you are but I would definitely proceed with caution especially if he is untreated. I have gotten so much better about recognizing my signs and what I need to do to help myself but when I was younger and not very controlled I was a horrible partner.