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Dating someone with bipolar...any advice?

(15 Posts)
BiPolarAdvice Sun 17-May-15 18:36:04

I'm seeing someone with bipolar disorder. I've known about it for a while but he's recently become depressed and I'm finding it tough.

Any advice about being in a relationship with someone with bipolar and especially how to deal with the depressive phases? I really want to support him the best I can but I don't really know how. And I'm having doubts about the relationship in general....how tough is it to be with someone with biploar?

UnbelievableBollocks Mon 18-May-15 21:39:51

I don't know really. I have bipolar and have been with my DH for 14years, married, kids the lot.
I know when I get ill, it's hard on DH and th kids, but we middle through somehow.

SonceyD0g Thu 21-May-15 15:16:29

Incredibly tough. Is he on medication?

BiPolarAdvice Thu 21-May-15 17:26:15

Yes, he was on some form of mood stabilisers and said he would probably start taking anti-depressants when/if he started getting depressed so I presume he is on these now.

How long do anti-depressants take to kick in? How long do depressive episodes last? Or are those "how long are a piece of string?" type questions? sad

SonceyD0g are you speaking from experience? I really want to make this work but at the moment, he's barely talking to me and its really hard...but I know it must be 100x worse for him.

SonceyD0g Thu 21-May-15 18:33:48

Yes 20 years of it. It's always me who has to bear the brunt and the things he says and does are awful. I could write a novel! I nearly threw myself in front of a train once and I'm not that sort of person at all.
Mind have some good advice on their website and a helpline you could ring. I would suggest you tell him how much you want to help, find out what medication he is taking and take a joint trip to the gp. People with bp sometimes stop taking their pills. A depressive episode can last between a few days or a few months I'm afraid and the medicine takes 4-6 weeks to start working. I'm happy to keep chatting to you if you need to get things off your chest. Is his family aware of the situation?

BiPolarAdvice Thu 21-May-15 19:46:21

Thank you SonceyD0g I would really appreciate chatting to someone who understands.

Would it be alright if we chatted via PM? I don't want to write too much that might out me/him!

SonceyD0g Thu 21-May-15 19:57:49

Yes that's fine. My partner works away but will be home tonight for long weekend we have busy weekend planned but will check for messages when I can

Kangaroosjump Sun 24-May-15 18:16:26

It will wear you down and cause you MH problems yourself eventually (IME) I married someone with it. Don't advise it.

But then I could just be really shit at handling being dragged into delusions and then dragged through the mud with false accusations

Kangaroosjump Sun 24-May-15 18:19:24

Sorry that was a dumb message. Im on the MH topic and it was close to home on a very shit day when I'm at the end of the rope.

It's tough, and wearing.

windchimes23 Mon 25-May-15 21:06:40

Kangaroo, I'm bipolar and I get you. We're bloody hard work to live with. The ramifications effect everyone around us. I drag others into my pit of despair and then hell yeah we're on the exciting 100mph ride and it's great fun.

I'm a nightmare to live with, I'm a good mother (I think) but my poor DH takes the brunt of my problems.

As a bipolar person I'd say get out now unless this is well and truly the one for you. If you've found the one then you will learn to live with it, but Meds or not, it's not easy for someone to live with.

I don't mean to fluctuate, it's not a choice, but I'm hard work.

BiPolarAdvice Thu 28-May-15 14:45:10

Thanks for the advice and sorry for not responding. I've been struggling and trying to work out what to do for the best.

I haven't seen him for nearly 4 weeks now. We've been exchanging messages on and off and he sounded like he was getting better. I asked him to come round this week and he said no, he didn't feel up to it, so I asked him to let me know how long this is likely to go on for...and I've had no response. That was two days ago.

I'm close to walking away. I don't want to. I really like him and really want this to work out. I don't know if he's the "one" but I think the fact that I've held on this long shows that I really care for him. But I can't carry on like this. I don't know now if he's being unfair by not responding, or whether I'm being unfair by expecting him to. I just don't know what his state of mind is at the moment and that's really hard to deal with. I don't know if I'm being played for a mug or if he's really just not capable of having a relationship with me at the moment. sad

I'd really like some insight into what it's like to be depressed and why he doesn't want to see me, or talk to me. He's been back at work so he must be able to function on some level so why not see me? I know that sounds really selfish, when he's going through this horrible thing and I'm just going "but what about meeee?" but tbh, this relationship has made me miserable for the past few weeks and I want to know when it's going to end.

windchimes23 Thu 28-May-15 21:35:23

What is bipolar depression like?
Well, imagine being depressed, but then imagine that this is something that you know will happen again and again despite the meds. Because they always stop working and the side effects are shite anyway.

Then think well fuck it I've got to work, because if I don't I'm not gonna be able to pay my bills. And I have to keep on going, just keep on keeping on. Work hard, drag myself around.

So you focus everything on basic survival, you get up and get into work (you might not wash or even brush your teeth because it's all too fucking complicated). You want to die, but it's not an option because you feel guilty enough already because you can't function, you just get by and god it's hard.

You think of suicide (probably daily) and love, life and relationships are just too far out there to contemplate.

That is what it is like for me. Sometimes I just go to hospital and give up. Sometimes I just want to die.

BiPolarAdvice Thu 28-May-15 22:19:40

Thank you for that It I am really sorry that you experience that. I know very little about BiPolar but one thing I do know is that it's an utterly shitty illness. sad

I feel utterly horrible that the man I care so much about is going through something like that. I feel even more horrible that there's nothing I can do to help him, and that he's shutting me out (whether he means to or not)

I have been suspecting that by the time he gets through work and seeing his kids, he's just go nothing left for me. And of course, work and kids should be his priority...but where does that leave me? I've been as supportive and understanding as I can but the past 4 weeks have been hell for me and starting to impact on my work, relationships with my DC and my own mental health (been to the Dr with anxiety)

It's make or break time I think. I don't want to walk away from him when he's feeling bad but I can't just wait in limbo for him to feel better, especially if that's still months away. I want to be there for him, but he won't let me. What kind of relationship is that? Neither of us are actually getting anything out of it at the moment. sad

Iwasinamandbunit Fri 29-May-15 10:07:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BiPolarAdvice Sun 28-Jun-15 18:37:35

Just wanted to update this thread..and maybe ask for more advice. Thank you to those who have already posted, it's been really helpful.

So, despite posting that it was make or break at the end of May, I am still pretty much in the same position in that I haven't seen or spoken to him. But we have been exchanging messages which have been building up in frequency. We've had some very honest, but tough chats. He's basically said that he's still not well enough to see me and he's not sure of his feelings, or what he'll want when he's feeling better. sad We've agreed to keep in contact and see what happens when he is better...he doesn't know when this is likely to be.

In some ways, I feel much better as we are finally communicating honestly. I really appreciate his honesty and he said that he appreciate my support and messages, which means so much as I've felt pretty useless. I've been really trying to look after myself and I've got my anxiety under control. We've been exchanging more messages which are friendly and chatty and he's been asking me questions about how I am, or what I'm doing (unheard of a few weeks ago!)

But it's still really tough. I really miss him and want to see him and it's hard to keep going knowing that he might get better and decide that he doesn't want to see me after all. And he's obviously still going through a really tough time.

I was going to ask if people think he's being fair to me but having re-read the thread and written this post I think I've answered my own question! He's been honest about what he's capable of at the moment and has not made me any promises and I think he's doing all he can.

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