My Partner of many years is increasingly exhibiting more and more dramatic bipolar swings. He refuses to admit anything this wrong. The roller coaster of emotions has me exhausted. Where can I learn and find help about this disorder. He has turned to alcohol to control his ups and downs. We sold our business and retired this years ago which seems to have aggravated the situation. He has no friends and is practically a hermit. I am very outgoing and have many friends and activites. These are a source of resentment.
I went through this a few years ago. The relationship ended over it. He saw heinks and ate medications and still was a hot mess. Now the worst news my currentnpartnwr is demonstrating the same tendencies. You have my sympathy and co miserations
Now the worst news my current partner is demonstrating the same tendencies."
In other words, you seek that kind of person out. Wonderful.
In other words, you turn them that way. Even more wonderful.
I'm in the same situation. I was okay with it at first, but then I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So, not only are my partner and I together pretty much 24/7, I don't have one-tenth the energy that I used to be able to manage and shield myself.
It's like one-third of the time we are a normal couple, one-third of the time we are "divorced" and one-third of he time I live with a Mr. Hyde dark cloud filled with gloom and rage over nothing.
We should form an online support group. Seriously.
I walked away from a similar relationship. Be honest and talk things out. If nothing comes of that something needs to change... for me it was removing myself from the situation. I haven't looked back.
I am bipolar but I take some meds and am stabilized. I think your partner needs tough love. You cannot let him ruin your life. He has to see how things are going head on and accept he has a problem. The good news is as soon as he's willing to accept he has a problem, he can be treated. BTW the first months of treatment are going to be a bumpy road too, since you need to find the right meds at the right doses. Good luck!
Is he taking any meds at all, OP?
Is the issue his reluctance to take meds, or that the meds aren't working?
Punch & delete
Are you sure he's bipolar and not a drug addict?
I have wide mood swings. I react to everything, and overreact intimidatingly, especially when there's big life stress in the background (like right now). It's no fun for me, either. But I am working with a naturopath and she's got me on stuff that is making a difference.
But as for you. You need to protect yourself first and foremost. Be honest with your partner. If he won't seek treatment, and especially if he won't admit he has issues, then staying with him means you are in an abusive relationship. Chronic fatigue + untreated bipolar partner = very early death for you. You deserve better, don't you think?
Give him a chance, but then walk away if he doesn't step up.
He refuses any medication at all except the two A's Alcohol and Aspirin. He keeps saying I'm the problem it is me me me. He says I am very selfish and that everything is about me. He is older than me and now we are retired. We are around each other 24/7 almost because he rarely leaves the house. When I'm gone I've abandoned him. Will this only get worse?? Is it an adjustment to retiment? I know you don't know the answers but has anyone experienced something like this? The symptoms are worse since retiring 2 years ago.
OP, you clearly did not read any of the posted replies. Maybe you are the problem.
If you're the problem, OP, perhaps you should relieve him of that problem.
OP, if he won't help himself, you can't make him.
When my partner's manic depression became intolerable I gave him an ultimatum - it or me - he actually sought medical help then and we're still together. But I was prepared to leave if he didn't.
Bipolar people can really be delusional and impervious to reason. You can't fix them without their cooperation. At some point you must put your own welfare first.
Tough love, OP. You tell him to get treatment or you leave. And you've got to stick to that promise.
The Voice of the Night
Has he been officially diagnosed Bipolar or is that just a hypothesis? I'm not discounting the difficulties you are having with your partner, but there's a difference between extreme affective lability on a day-to-day basis and Bipolar disorder. From what you've written regarding his behavior towards you, there's also indications of Borderline Personality Disorder, especially with regard to his fears of abandonment (a biggie for Borderline) and his extreme black-and-white thinking in casting you as his enemy (it's called splitting and it's another primary characteristic of Borderlines).
For Borderline, anticonvulsants can be helpful with the mood swings and low-dose atypical antipsychotics can dial down the anxiety and paranoia. But meds are not the primary focus of treatment, as is usually the case with Bipolar. It's very important he undergo some form of therapy that teaches coping skills for overwhelming emotions and low stress tolerance. If, indeed, that is the problem.
Good books about Borderline: I Hate You, Don't Leave Me; Lost In The Mirror
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Denial is a central feature of mental illness, OP. In other words, of course he's going to say he doesn't have a problem, or that you have the problem, not him. Denying that anything is wrong with him is a symptom of his illness.
But has he ever been diagnosed? If not, he should be.
And as previous posters have said, you should be prepared to leave. Get a diagnosis, get on meds, or I go. And do so.
Second what everybody else said about resolving to leave if he doesn't agree to get help. As in, make an exit plan before you confront him -- pack some shit, find a place to stay for a couple weeks, start looking at apartments . . . and get ready to withstand a shitload of manipulation and guilt trips if you find you do have to leave.
You have to be ready to make good on your ultimatum immediately.
I have bipolar II. I have become stabilized on meds, but it did take some time to find the right dosage/cocktail.
My partner and I went to couples' counseling where he really had an opportunity to vent. I would actively listen to him and he learned a lot about my disease from the counselor. We both benefitted tremendously and we have been together for 15 years.
Last ulta high eposide was a doozie. Local gigilo came to the door looking for a house for sale one our street. SURE!! A real Mexican hottie makes a pass at him. That was all he talked about for two days. Was so high "super human" was a term he used referring to how he felt and could not even eat food for a day.
What R16 said.
Run. Don't walk.
They get worse with age, and bipolars can become psychotic.
I have bipolar disorder and I went through a one year period of drinking heavily to self-medicate anxiety. I ended up having a psychotic episode and was hospitalized for about a week. That was my bottom and I haven't had a drink since.
I take a cocktail of lithium, lamictal, and wellbutrin, which works well for me. I'm now high-functioning and stay away from creating drama.
Anyway, I believe your partner will need to hit a hard bottom to change. You need to take a tough love approach with him. Having bipolar disorder sucks and it can be really hard to tell how bad off you are until things get out of control. Good luck!
"Was so high "super human" was a term he used referring to how he felt and could not even eat food for a day. "
If that's the OP posting, it sounds like classic mania.
OP, if he really is bipolar and has been diagnosed etc., you have GOT to protect yourself FINANCIALLY. People in manic episodes will thrown their money away without thinking of the consequenses, if he has access to your retirement funds during a manic episode it could all be gone before you know what he's up to.
Yeah, those are the stakes.
OP, the link is to a large support board for partners and family members of people with BP. There's lots to read there.
My now-ex had bipolar. It was hereditary; his mother had it and eventually became completely disabled around the age of 50 (she had been a nurse). He was frightened of ending up like her and kept a strict schedule of doctor's appointments and medication, but it did get worse once he hit 40.
It eventually wore us down. Like your partner, he lost interest in most activities and became a hermit. He also started having difficulty knowing when it was time to bathe or change clothes. The manic episodes never resulted in euphoria, but in strange behaviors like playing online games for 36 hours straight and spending several hundred dollars on every size and brand of toothpaste he could find "so we could see which one was best."
What finally drove us apart -- he began to act out sexually... the online games gave way to hours of looking at porn, he would make detours on the way home from work to hang out at rest stops, and I found an extra cellphone that he was using for trysts. A therapist and a bipolar support group made it clear that while he might feel those compulsions, he didn't have to act on them and I didn't have to put up with them.
I finally spelled out the consequences after he spent Thanksgiving with some trick. The next time he acted out, I was prepared emotionally and financially and left without looking back.
It's a tough situation, OP. Please take a look at the support forums (there are lots of first-person stories there) and see if there is any help to be found.
Thanks you guys. I have started thinking about this in a different light. I forgot to label my last posts as OP. Yes it was me. The link is exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks so much. I have serious issues it seems pretty obvious. Maybe a littl bit in lala land
OP your partner is manipulating you. You can't help someone who won't help themselves. It's selfish of your partner not to get out of the relationship. Stand up for yourself and leave. That may or may not be the push he needs. But either way the ball is in his court.
Bipolar DL'er here. I was really really bad before I identified that I had an issue. I was in denial for years - as another poster pointed out, denial is a big part.
I lost my job, car, apartment, boyfriend, spent all my money and moved across country in the span of 3 months.
(I'm doing pretty well now, on meds, back in college, working part time supporting myself) ..
Long story short, it's very hard to be healthy without treatment. Encourage your man to get into treatment immediately (therapy and meds)- if he doesn't, split. IT GETS WORSE - AND THEY CAN TAKE YOU DOWN WITH THEM.
[quote]He has turned to alcohol to control his ups and downs.
This will not end well! When bipolar people mix alcohol, get ready for the ride of a lifetime (and not a good one).
My advice would be run as fast as you can.
Seen this before
Thanks R10 I'm R4, not the OP, but I appreciate your concern. The problem is-there's a big difference between "deserving better" and being able to get "better." I do a lot better than many with CFS, all the housework, the lawn and gardening in the summer, laundry, I pretty much clean after him every day without complaining-and I don't "look sick" (people with CFS usually don't.)
But, realistically, who'd want to have a relationship with someone who's on SSD and can't work. No matter how good I look for mid-40's and how much I do for him, despite having a graduate degree, really no matter what I'm capable of despite my disability-I'm pretty sure not being able to work would be a deal-breaker. I just don't want to be alone.
People get mean when they get older. Especially the fucked-up ones.
He probably has a personality disorder, OP. If he were truly bi-polar, it would have been discovered long before retirement age. The manifestation of bipolarity frequently occurs in one's early 20's, just like schizophrenia.
Get away ASAP. Or else you're as sick as he is.