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Some advice from those who suffer bipolar or depression

(11 Posts)
sixinabed Tue 23-Aug-16 19:52:24

If someone who suffers from mainly depressive bipolar says 'if you don't do a specific thing that I want you to do I will get depressed' and then takes to bed later in the day when you don't do that thing, is that them being well aware of their illness and its triggers, or is it emotional blackmail?

I realise I'll probably be asked for more info, but it's quite hard to describe exactly what the thing is without far too much detail.

Chapsy Tue 23-Aug-16 19:57:03

It depends entirely on what it is they've asked you to do but most likely playing with you emotionally! Which is a horrible thing to do.

hoofwankingbunglecunt Tue 23-Aug-16 20:06:02

As someone who suffers with Bipolar II which when in a bad patch normally manifests itself as 5-6 days depressed 1-2 days hyper or just all depressed I would call bullshit and blackmail on that.

If I was in a hyper or mildly good place then something pretty awful might send me back to being depressed but simply not getting my own way wouldn't have that effect. If I was hyper I would be more likely to fly off the handle and get drunk and go out all night if my partner was being very unreasonable or unpleasant.

Thankfully I have been stable and medication free for many years but in the bad days I suppose sometimes I had a bit of a hair trigger.

I can't imagine being able to pin point actions that would make me depressed though? I suppose there was one thing my partner did that used to send me stratospheric which I could tell him about which was him walking out in an argument and turning his phone off.

I knew I would lose control but again that was me going crazy and smashing things up etc rather than slipping in to depression. The depression normally took me by surprise and returned for no apparent reason.

Could you elaborate on the issue?

sixinabed Tue 23-Aug-16 20:21:28

Without being too specific, he fell out with some people a few years ago who blamed him and his behaviour (largely unfairly) for the falling out and it created a very bad situation.
Another situation is occurring which has some similarities to that last one, and the thing is a pretty minor action on my part to diffuse the situation, but one which he reads as disloyal.
I want to do it because it is more important in our lives not to be in a conflict situation, and this very minor thing will really help to diffuse this for their other people, but he feels very strongly about it too.
If that makes any sense...

dangermouseisace Tue 23-Aug-16 20:27:44

as someone who has depression I would say emotional blackmail. They've had a strop and gone to bed! So he might be feeling 'depressed' but is not actually having a depressed episode.

When I get depressed it is a slow descent into the abyss rather than being ok one minute and in bed the next! And I don't get depressed from a major life event it's more like life event happens then keep going keep going keep going then it all falls to pieces a few months later. But that's me…although apparently this is a common pattern.

sixinabed Tue 23-Aug-16 20:34:24

Well, it's quite possible that he has been descending into depression since this situation I referred to began to deteriorate - it feels like most of the time he's on the edge of a depression, but does also have a tendency to tell me I'm making him depressed. Which I don't think is true, and often he'll apologise.
It's useful to have input from people who understand his condition from the inside - I kind of understand it, but only from the outside

dangermouseisace Tue 23-Aug-16 20:45:57

no one can 'make' someone else depressed- your friend is lucky to still have you if that is what he accuses you of. He really needs someone to have a word with him about that…very unfair indeed angry

hoofwankingbunglecunt Wed 24-Aug-16 07:10:46

So he has caused a situation that affects you both negatively but won't let you fix it because it would be disloyal? Without knowing more ot just sounds like he is being a bit childish.

If the situation affects you as well it is up to you how you handle it surely?

If he is prone to taking to his bed whenever things don't go his way I would be having serious words!

I know everyone is different and things affect them differently but when I was in a very bad place I still didn't expect people to pussyfoot around me.

I will say one thing though in relation to the 'loyalty' thing. I felt very isolated when I was ill, I barely left the apartment for over a year and for long period only left the bedroom to go to the loo or empty the fridge. I cut off all of my friends and my partner, now my DH was my whole world and so I suppose I was very sensitive about his 'loyalty' to me. Probably because I felt like he was all I had. If I perceived he had sided with 'normal people' over me then I might have been a bit low, or even like I was losing him. Perhaps he feels like this and just needs your reasoning explained a bit more?

AntoninArtaud Wed 24-Aug-16 07:19:02

I suffer from MDD and this person sounds like they are using their mental illness as an excuse to manipulate you in doing what they want you to do. Definitely emotional blackmail.

BrainEater Wed 24-Aug-16 07:23:44

When I'm already depressed and just about managing to keep it together, something small might just tip me over the edge into not being able to keep up the fake face. That is, when I'm low, it's like a constant fight against the depressive thoughts - "I'm a terrible person, things are never going to get better, I'm stupid and a failure" etc. - so my threshold for being able to pretend I'm okay is very low, and if something confirms how useless I am, I'll cry or retreat until I can pull it together and put the public face on. BUT what this person is saying/doing just sounds like manipulative bullshit to me. Nothing can make me depressed. And TBH the minor things that confirm how useless and pathetic I am are almost always something I've failed to do or fucked up - someone else doing or not doing a specific thing doesn't really come into it IYSWIM.

sixinabed Wed 24-Aug-16 08:14:52

Thanks all. He hasn't caused the situation. I've explained my reasoning several times but it just makes him more upset each time.
I feel that I have no choice but to do this thing, although I understand why he finds it upsetting, but I believe that doing so will prevent much worse upset and bad effects for us in the long run.
It is useful to have your insights - I realise that I can't give enough detail for anyone to advise about the right or wrong of doing this thing - I am taking advice about that irl. Thank you again.
I hope that he can get over it sad

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