This site is about the trials and tribulations of living with a bipolar spouse. When you start to learn about Bipolar disorder and how it affects the lives of those you love you also learn that you cannot always discuss these things with the affected person. I have created this blog to help other people in similar situations. If your spouse is bipolar too, you might want to keep the following in mind.
- Bipolar people have triggers – these are events which will set them in to either depression, mania, paranoia, or other mood altering episodes.
- Triggers are scary because it takes a long time to learn them and they do not always play out exactly the same way.
- Triggers can be caused by arguments, talking about work, sex, drinking, pretty much anything.
- When you have triggered a mood altering event with your spouse it is best to try and step back, stop the conversation, and sometimes (even though you don’t always agree with them) agree with them
- Flipping a trigger (as I like to call it) is NOT necessarily your fault – try to remember, your spouse has a disease, they cannot help it when this happens and even more important, they usually cannot stop it
- Keep up on your spouses medication, but do not nag them about it. Refill their prescriptions, schedule their appointments, occasionally talk about their therapy sessions but try not to let them know how involved you are. In my case, the few times I have tried to become more involved in my husbands treatment, it has backfired on me and he has skipped doses and appointments.
- A great majority of Bipolar sufferers abuse alcohol and drugs. My husband is a drinker. Most times it is not that bad, a beer here and there after work but on the weekends and vacation periods, he can drink a case or two by himself per day. Believe me I know this is not normal and I try not to enable him, but there are times that I know if I do not go and pick up the case of beer, he will start drinking something harder and that is never good. His moods on hard liquor are way more depressed and usually that is when the talk of ending it starts. It is a horrible thing to see the man you love in this way – so I go pick up the case and at least that way, I know he will probably end up fast asleep on the couch instead of talking about ending it.
- If you decide to join a support group, keep that information private. My spouse would flip if he thought I was talking to other people about him. He will never know about this blog because he would see it as a betrayal to our family. I don’t see it that way, this is a personal decision on my part, I need to talk about this disease and how it affects us. This is my outlet.
- Most people do not understand bipolar disorder, unless you have someone you trust implicitly, do not tell people about your spouses disease. People will change there behaviour once they know and your spouse will become paranoid and you will end us losing your friends.
- In saying that, I should also say, keep your friends to a minimum. I work with some great people but when I come home talking about my day and what happened with my co-workers, I can guarantee you that if I talk about male co-workers I will trigger a jealous, paranoid event. I have never given my husband any reason to doubt me, but for some reason, in his mind, if I talk about male co-workers, I must be in to them. Mostly I just talk about the women I work with. Men in general don’t want to hear about our days anyway.
- Remember to believe in yourself, even when times are tough. I think that my husband and I make a great team. We have the same goals, and ambitions. On the up days, I couldn’t ask for a better partner. On the down days, I just keep telling myself, he has a disease, I need to be here for him.
For more information about Bipolar disorder and the different syptoms please check out the following link. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm#Bipolar_disorder_signs_symptoms