What are Bipolar Disorder Relationships?
What Are Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder?
The fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) lists five types of bipolar disorder, namely:
Bipolar I: When manic episodes last at least a week and are followed by a major depressive episode, this is referred to as bipolar I.
Bipolar II: When a person has a major depressive episode and experiences hypomanic swings (i.e., the feeling of intense happiness may follow the feelings of depression, or happen at the same time with less frequency).
Cyclothymia: When a person experiences mood swings but not as severe as those seen in bipolar I or II disorder.
Other Specified Bipolar: There are symptoms that may stem from additional use of drugs or other medical conditions, causing a person to feel high energy in either a happy, sad or mixed manner.
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What Is It Like Being In A Relationship With A Person With Bipolar Disorder?
If bipolar disorder is not managed properly, it may cause issues in many aspects of life, including employment, relationships, sleep, health, and finances. It has the potential to lead to dangerous behavior. It can be frustrating for others who care about you but are unsure how to assist you or may not comprehend what is going on.
Bipolar disorder relationship patterns can be clear yet struggle with the true nature to find the light of the day. Bipolar disorder may also be responsible for oftentimes sabotaging relationships, especially romantic ones. Emotional abuse tends to be one symptom if bipolar symptoms are left untreated. While describing the hardships faced by people in their relationship with someone who is bipolar, a professor of sociology at Boston College said that it might be difficult to know what to do on a daily basis to help your loved one without becoming consumed by their depression or mania.
Some of the common signs that your partner might show if they possibly happen to have bipolar disorder are as follows:
- Restless thinking and speaking
- Easily distracted and have trouble concentrating.
- Excessive positivity and self-assurance
- An exaggerated view of one’s own strengths
- Rash and impulsive decision making.
- Shopping sprees and excessive spending
- Irresponsible driving without any judgment of danger
- Inefficient mood regulation
However, rather than labelling oneself or another, it is best to seek the advice of a mental health practitioner or an expert, as they are the best judges of this condition.
Bipolar and intimacy: People with bipolar disorder may have desired sex during manic or hypomanic stages. While in a manic (i.e., extreme happiness) state, people with bipolar disorder may engage in dangerous activities such as unprotected sex or extramarital relationships. During depressive states, they may avoid all sexual contact. This might be disappointing or feel like rejection to their partners, especially if they recently sought a lot of sexual activity while they felt manic or hypomanic.
How Do You Keep A Relationship Going With Someone Who Suffers From Bipolar Disorder?
- Encourage them to seek and continue professional help while also offering to participate in a therapy session to learn how to best support them.
- Going for couples’ counselling as it is a great source of coping for both parties to get on a middle ground and work their way through the relationship.
- Practicing self-care activities alone and together.
- Viewing the loved one as a separate entity from their disorder.
It can be very stressful for those around us to take care of someone who has ongoing or short-lived episodes of bipolar disorder. The best way out of this situation in a dating relationship is to hold the hand of your partner and pay attention to behavior’s that stop usual instances of daily life functioning, as your one step of confidence for them can help them take charge and change their life for the better! But in the process don’t forget yourself. Helping a struggling partner at the cost of your own mental wellbeing can prove to be very expensive.
“Having bipolar disorder does not mean you are broken; it means you are strong and brave for battling your mind every single day.”