People with bipolar disorder can live a normal life together, although like other disorders they may need to follow the stipulated treatment, trying to achieve an internal emotional stability that will allow them to achieve stability. external in relationships.
In this sense, in order to achieve stable romantic relationships, it is important that both members do their part.
In this article We’ll talk about people with bipolar disorder and how they experience their romantic relationshipsand how to act as a couple to maintain a stable relationship.
What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that is classified as a mood disorder. As its name suggests, in this psychopathology we observe them two poles, a sad or apathetic mood and a euphoric mood. In other words, the criteria for a depressive episode and a manic or hypomanic episode will be met.
Symptoms are specific to each episode. Depression may include: depressed mood, loss of interest or ability to feel pleasure, loss or increase in appetite or weight, insomnia or hypersomnia, restlessness or motor slowing, fatigue, guilt, difficulty concentrating or repetitive thought of death. To make the diagnosis, at least 5 symptoms must be present for 2 weeks.
On the other hand, in manic or hypomanic episodes we can observe: increased activity or energy, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, verbiage, brain drain, distractibility, increased activity or restlessness, involvement in pleasurable activities. In both episodes, the symptoms are the same and must be at least 3, but in case of mania, the duration of the episode must be at least 5 days; in contrast, hypomania requires only 4 days. In addition, in mania, one can observe psychotic symptoms or a need for hospitalization.
We could diagnose two types of bipolar disorder, bipolar I, where a manic episode will be shown, in this case it is not necessary to wait for the presence of a depressive episode to make the diagnosis or bipolar II, where it is necessary to show a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode. .
The course tends to be chronic, with a high recurrence rate. It usually begins at age 20 and there is no difference between the sexes, either in terms of prevalence or age of onset.
How are people with bipolar disorder in their relationships?
Now that we know more about the symptoms of bipolar disorder, being characterized by mood swings will allow us to better understand how your couple behavior can be or how romantic relationships are. Like any other disorder, one of the necessary criteria must be met the repercussion on the functionality of the subject who undergoes itaffecting different areas of your life.
The ability to live a more or less normal life will depend on compliance with treatment, both pharmacological and psychological. If the subject is stable, it is more likely that his action in the love field will develop without problems, we will see how his behavior can be very similar to that of individuals without this pathology.
Even so, despite the normality achieved with the intervention, we can observe changes in the state of activation. That is to say, there will be days with greater activation when the subject will want to do things and talk and others when he will be without energy and will not want to leave the house. This is the variable behavior that bipolars tend to have the most and not so much a change in opinion or preferences. We may also observe relative difficulties in communicating and building relationships, due to changes in mood and energy.
Thus, people with bipolar disorder they can have a stable partner, as long as they follow the indicated treatment. If they remain stable internally, it is easier for them to be stable externally, otherwise it will be very difficult for them to maintain continuity.
How to behave in love if you have bipolar disorder?
Besides the impairment of functionality, it is also very common to observe discomfort in subjects with this psychopathology, adding to the stigma that society gives to people with mental disorders. For this reason, although we have seen that people with bipolar disorder can have a love affair, it is normal for them to be afraid and find it difficult to decide if they want to be with someone. or that they doubt their ability to have a romantic relationship. normal relationship.
If you want to start a relationship, there are some tips that can help you.
1. Comply with the treatment
As we have seen, one of the key points to remain stable and facilitate the formation of a couple is to continue the treatment, both to take the necessary psychotropic (the drug is a continuous treatment for bipolar disorder) and to continue Indications for psychological therapywhich in addition to benefiting from the reduction of the symptoms of the pathology can also help us to show appropriate behavior in the relationship.
2. Involve your partner in your condition
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about mental health issues, so it’s very likely that your partner doesn’t really know what bipolar disorder is. In this way, talk to your partner and explain any changes you might experience, behavior you might noticewill help you better understand and resolve many of the situations that may arise.
In the same way, it can be good to share the techniques you use to regulate your mood or how you act in the event of symptoms. Making him aware of your affect and your treatment will bond you morefind support in him/her.
3. Do not hide anything from him
This trick is suitable for all types of couples. It is important that when you notice a change in your condition, when you see that things are not going well, share this feeling with your partner. Because, no matter how much we want to hide it so as not to worry about the other, we will sooner or later realize our change in behavior. So don’t wait for the situation to get worse and more complicated.
4. Maintain good communication
Another tip that works for all couples is to communicate. Sometimes we try to deduce what is happening to our partner, why he is acting this way, we waste time making assumptions and may even get angry without really knowing the reason for their behavior. Maintaining good communication is one of the key factors in achieving a good relationship.
Explain how you feel and allow your partner to do the same, so they can communicate the changes they see in you, as these are also signs that can help us to act preventatively and avoid an episode. worse.
How to help your partner with bipolar disorder
Just as the work and involvement of the bipolar patient is important for the relationship to work, it is also essential for the other member to collaborate and help towards the goal of a good relationship. Here are some tips that might help you.
1. Collaborate with the healthcare professional
Follow-up treatment is not always easy and can be difficult for the patient to follow. It is crucial that we work with the mental health professional to try to get our partner to follow the treatment as it should and as planned. It is good that we participate and communicate with the professional, since we are the person who spends the most time with the patient and who will be able to detect possible changes in his behavior earlier.
2. Treat your partner normally
As we have already seen, if the subject receives treatment, the effect of the disorder is controllable, being strongly reduced. For this reason, we should not treat our partner very differently from how we would treat another person; don’t overprotect it, we must treat them the same way. This does not mean that, in situations where his condition is destabilizing, we are at his side and help him in any way possible.
3. Be understanding
Although we can have a normal relationship, we must be aware that psychopathology is chronic and therefore there may be behaviors or symptoms that our partner cannot control and carry them out without the intention of disturbing us. or hurt us. That much communication will be essential; Express what you feel, without attacking it, so you can talk about the situation.