Highs and lows are an expected part of any relationship, but the rapid shifts can be challenging to manage if you or your partner has bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder can cause intense and unexpected mood swings, with high periods of intense euphoria and low periods of deep depression. Not knowing what to expect from your partner or even yourself can be disorienting and stressful. Over time that level of stress can wear on a relationship. However, learning to manage your symptoms through a bipolar treatment program can help.
Bipolar disorder is highly treatable, typically through a combination of medication and therapy. A bipolar treatment program will help you recognize manic or depressive episodes, healthily manage your symptoms, and maintain stability in your life. In addition, treatment will also give you tools to better manage bipolar disorder and relationships. At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we have years of experience managing and treating bipolar disorder and building healthy foundations for future relationships. If your or your partner’s bipolar disorder is affecting your relationship, call Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a personality disorder defined by intense and rapid mood changes. People with bipolar disorder switch between periods of mania or hypomania (a less intense form of mania) and periods of depression. Manic episodes can include symptoms such as:
- Increased activity
- Exaggerated optimism
- Aggressive behavior
- Rapid speaking
- Drug use
- Delusions or paranoia
In contrast, depressive episodes are characterized by symptoms including:
- Intense sadness or hopelessness
- Loss of energy
- Brain fog
- Feelings of guilt
- Inability to accomplish daily tasks
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Bipolar Disorder and Relationships
If you or your partner has bipolar disorder, you are well aware that the relationship can require extra work and care. Rapid shifts in mood and behavior can be difficult to adjust to and often inject added stress into your relationship. During manic episodes, it may be hard to keep up in conversations with your partner. They may respond with irritability when interrupted, and their risk-taking behaviors can cause conflict and mistrust. In depressive episodes, it may be difficult for the bipolar partner to participate in daily life, leaving the other partner with extra duties. Similarly, depressive moods could be read as disinterest or rejection from the other partner. All of these factors can also add chaos to your sex life, parenting, and finances.
Bipolar Disorder and Relationships Tips
Despite the difficulties inherent to bipolar disorder, many people have healthy and thriving relationships while living with bipolar disorder. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or are showing symptoms of it, the most important thing you can do to manage your symptoms is getting treatment. Bipolar disorder is manageable through continuing treatment and ongoing communication with a professional. If your partner has bipolar disorder, it may even be helpful for you to participate in a session with them. It may put their mind at ease if they are entering treatment, and it can help you better understand how to support their treatment program.
Some other ways you can support your partner during treatment can include:
- Couples counseling
- Asking about triggers
- Practicing self-care
- Learning to recognize manic or depressive phases
- Communicating openly about the condition
- Practicing acceptance and forgiveness
Begin Treatment for Bipolar Disorder With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Bipolar disorder does not need to define your life or your relationships. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, treatment is possible with Atlanta Center for Mental Health. Using an individualized treatment plan and a range of evidence-based therapies, our staff will help you learn to manage your bipolar disorder and regain stability in your life. Call Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about our bipolar treatment program.