Life is full of ups and downs. It isn’t easy to deal with occasional stress, but it’s worse when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder. People suffering from mental health issues face different sets of challenges each day. But it’s not only difficult for them; it can also be tough for those around them. Mental illnesses can impair your vow of loving your spouse in sickness and in health. According to research, marriages with one bipolar partner are twice more likely to end in divorce. At times, it can get frustrating and exhausting to deal with your partner’s illness. However, with proper knowledge of the disorder and sympathy for Your Bipolar Spouse, you both can get through these difficult times together.
Understanding Bipolar Disorder of Your Bipolar Spouse
Everybody has mood swings from time to time. We have had loads of them during our teens and throughout our lives. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a psychiatric condition that involves recurrent shifts in mood that are intense. Bipolar disorder includes episodes of mania and severe depression. These episodes can last for hours, or days, and sometimes longer. A manic episode can make a person feel exhilarated, which often leads to sleep deprivation. During this time, they may act recklessly, putting themselves or others in danger. For example, they may start driving too fast or overspend a lot. A depressive episode, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. It can make them lack energy and hope. You’ll find them spending most of their time in bed and avoiding day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, they may isolate themselves, as well. Changes in social behavior can disrupt their relationships with their spouse, friends, and family.
How to Help Your Partner With a Bipolar Disorder
Watching your partner experience periods of mania and depression can be pretty triggering. It can make you feel helpless and question your decisions. We know it’s difficult for you, which is why we have a few tips that can help you out.
When your partner is experiencing a depressive episode, they are more likely to avoid social interaction. A depressive episode can be draining for their emotional health, so it is always a great idea to lend an ear to them. We all know that communication is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship. It is hard to understand bipolar disorder and each individual experiences the symptoms on different levels. Communication can help you manage and understand their condition better.
Express Your Concerns
Your partner can end up acting impulsively and recklessly during a manic episode. Their actions can be harmful to them, as well as the people around them. When they are in a normal state, you should express your worries about their behavior. Discuss the patterns and figure out a solution that is beneficial for both of you. For example, if your partner tends to overspend, limit their access to credit cards for a while. Creating a plan can make a huge difference in avoiding any damage in the future.
Learn to Forgive Your Partner
Some people find it easier to forgive, but it is harder for others. Humans are bound to make mistakes, whether it’s in a relationship or everyday life. In a bipolar marriage, the number of mistakes is higher, making it difficult to overlook a few. It is crucial to remember that your partner isn’t doing anything deliberately and that they do feel guilty about their actions. Resentment isn’t going to take your marriage anywhere. Forgiveness can not only help your partner with their disorder, but it can make your relationship last a lifetime, too.
Your Partner Is Different From their Illness
It can get pretty frustrating to deal with your partner’s reckless and irresponsible behavior. When you see them unwell, it can cause you to feel helpless and drained. During these moments, remind yourself that it isn’t their fault. Separate the illness from them and remember the person that you love. You can hate the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but your love for them should always stay intact. At the end of the day, your love and care can help them feel calmer.
Take Care of Yourself
It is common to feel burnt out when taking care of a loved one with bipolar disorder, but you shouldn’t neglect your own needs. Create a self-care plan for yourself and engage in activities that will help you relax. Take time out for yourself, practice your hobbies, spend time with friends, and meditate. Your mental health is equally important to your partner, and they would never want you to compromise on it.
Living with Your Bipolar Spouse can be challenging. It requires you to make several sacrifices and changes in your life. The best way to help a partner suffering from bipolar disorder is to keep learning about their condition. There are efforts not only to support your partner but also yourself.