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Bipolar and Love

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Not sure where to begin, but I am bipolar and I am new to this forum. I have read a lot of posts in this forum and I can't help but get the impression that the general consensus is people suffering from bipolar disorder are incapable of love. I know this is a place to vent and share stories but there seems to be a lot of negativity on this forum. Speaking for myself and only myself I am capable of loving and I am bipolar. I read in one forum that bipolar people are evil and incapable of love. I will be the first to admit I can be very difficult to be around at times, but I don't think the DSM IV includes evil and incapable of love as a symptom for bipolar disorder, last time I read it. Im sure I will get a lot of negative feedback for posting this, but to write Im evil and incapable of love because Im bipolar is crazy. Im very sick and everyday is a struggle and that is why its classified as a disease. I would gladly take a bullet for a complete stranger. Evil No. Sick Yes.
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First Helper lacurry90
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Users who thank purple52 for this post: kerrijo 

replied August 10th, 2011
Experienced User
I do not believe that people with bipolar disorder are incapable of love, per se, but my experience (and I admit, it is a data point of one but this seems to be a very common behavior from what I have read), people with bipolar disorder are incapable of normal love.

In the throes of (hypo)mania I suspect the love can be more intense than anything I have ever experienced. It was so intense that I felt guilty for not being able to reciprocate, so intense that she was ready to move across the continent and marry someone she had met a few months ago.

During periods of dysthymia/depression I heard a woman who only a few days before told me how much she loved me tell me that she was not sure she loved me anymore.

So yes, I think people with the disorder are capable of feeling love in a sense, but no, I do not believe that they are capable of experiencing love the same way that most people do.

Many of the same neurotransmitters that are thought to be responsible for romantic love are the same ones that are thought to become unbalanced during mood episodes. I suspect that is one of the primary reasons that the disorder is so hard on romantic relationships.
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replied August 19th, 2011
How do you even define "normal love"? I guess you read that in the dictionary or DSM IV, probably not. I guess when I was shot twice in the chest defending my girl friend is not considered "normal love" because Im bipolar and my neurotrasmitters are unbalanced. I thought this forum was for bipolar support, but I guess its for venting anger. And for the record, my girl friend was not bipolar and while I was recovering in the hospital she broke up with me with a text message. But I guess thats " normal love" because she's not bipolar. You can respond if you want but Im never logging into this forum again, its a pity party Smile
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replied September 18th, 2011
I'd like to meet you if you ever log back into this forum, get in contact with me, sounds like you're a good man.
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replied October 24th, 2011
hi
I am a woman.
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replied February 21st, 2012
I am engaged to a bipolar woman, and she is definitely capable of love. I've done a lot of research about management and depression and managing that, but this is the first time I've heard from someone that the changes of a bipolar person's moods can be linked to whether they feel they love the other person or not.

For my fiance, who've I've known 10 years and been engaged 7 months, I can easily see her changes in move affect how she feels if she really loves me. Right now she is just coming out of a really bad spree of depression, so she feels she doesn't love me. For both of us this is the first serious relationship that we are planning on getting married. Her only previous 'serious' relationship was with a guy who abused her sexually and took advantage of her hyper-sexuality.
So she has no comparison for this so it gives her lots of stress and fear because she feels like she doesn't love me sometimes and we are getting married soon. This causes a lot of fear for her, obviously.

If you have any references to the research you mentioned that would be a huge help!! It would help us both understand a lot better what is happening.
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replied August 10th, 2011
Experienced User
Yes, I agree, evil no, sick yes.
I think the problem with loving is not that the Bp person cannot love, but that there is so much mind changing, so many doubts, break ups out of nowhere, loss of feelings and outrageous statements that to a normal person it does sound like the bp person cannot love normally. I believe that the BP person CAN love but not always KNOWS it. I think the problem is more of understanding their own heart and emotions.
My BP love has left me again, after telling me so many times I was his angel and the most wonderful woman for him. There was absolutely no reason for him to change his mind about me and get another woman, but he did not once but twice. He did come back to me and I believe he will still come back again, however at the moment we are separated even though he still continues to say he cares for me. To my mind this is absolute horror, not knowing his own heart and pushing me away yet again. If I say to someone I love him I will stick to it unless something really bad happens to make me fall out of love, like if he is cheating , abusing me, beating me up. Not without a reason, like a BP person seems to be capable of.
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replied August 10th, 2011
Experienced User
Yes, I agree, evil no, sick yes.
I think the problem with loving is not that the Bp person cannot love, but that there is so much mind changing, so many doubts, break ups out of nowhere, loss of feelings and outrageous statements that to a normal person it does sound like the bp person cannot love normally. I believe that the BP person CAN love but not always KNOWS it. I think the problem is more of understanding their own heart and emotions.
My BP love has left me again, after telling me so many times I was his angel and the most wonderful woman for him. There was absolutely no reason for him to change his mind about me and get another woman, but he did not once but twice. He did come back to me and I believe he will still come back again, however at the moment we are separated even though he still continues to say he cares for me. To my mind this is absolute horror, not knowing his own heart and pushing me away yet again. If I say to someone I love him I will stick to it unless something really bad happens to make me fall out of love, like if he is cheating , abusing me, beating me up. Not without a reason, like a BP person seems to be capable of.
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replied August 11th, 2011
Ok....so bipolar people are still loving awesome people. The first step to a successful relationship is to take care of yourself and be healthy in many aspects of life. Bipolar or not a person needs to take care of themselves. That being said...being bipolar and being in a serious relationship, it is my responsibility to do the necessary things to balance my moods, irrational thoughts and center myself. I have a watch I always wear that beeps at 8pm to take my medicine on a regular schedule. I also have a sleep schedule that I follow to help manage my moods. My boyfriend supports all of these things. He also got me a gym pass with him so we can go work out…another important mood stabilizer. I also take a medicinal medicine called “tarantula Hispanica” it is a mood stabilizer that has made a huge difference and I take it in the mornings to manage my day moods. I take daily vitamins, vitamin D is great for helping moods! It is hard to be OK with medicine usage….as we all know…it makes us feel “weird” but after much meditation about it…I would rather feel a little weird and have people I love stick around. After time you don’t feel so “weird” and you start to understand this person you are and accept it and learn to love who you are. It is nice to not be in depressive states for long term and be in highs to a point of wearing myself down and thin.

Now I am not the only one in the relationship taking care of themselves. My boyfriend gets very irritable when he is hungry…I call it hangry. His contribution to our relationship is to eat regularly. He has had 3 knee surgeries over the past year and he is contributing to our relationship by going to the gym and strengthening so we can hike, and mt bike and be outside in nature. He stands by me when I am sad and lets me know when I am going high. We have created code words for these such as “today is a sad day” helps him to understand me for the day. After time he is just learning these things. He jumps right in and helps cook and clean when I am in a low mood. He loves me for the core of who I am…a loving, caring, compassionate person. Can I give him everything all the time he wants? No…but I don’t know anyone who could…bipolar or not.

You can love a bipolar person who has accepted what they are, embraces what is good about it and takes steps to improve the not so good. People have successful relationships with diabetics, people with severe asthma, paralization and so on. These all as well are dependent upon the person taking care of themselves to be healthy for a successful relationship. A person can do all the things needed to be as close to “normal” as they can, but sometimes 2 people just do not work, and have incompatibilities.
If you are bipolar….you NEED to take care of yourself….get over it….we need medications (not in all cases), physical activity, vitamins, therapy to help build coping skills we may not have developed because of our disorder, and it sucks but we need to educate ourselves and help educate the ones we love….if they don’t understand they cannot support.
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replied October 24th, 2011
Bipolar relationships
So, it has been a year and a half since I posted on here about my partner. She managed to come out of the hellstorm, as i refer to it, on her own..She took antidepressants for about a monht, because she called me and asked me to get them for her...This helped her settle her thoughts and moods...she got a job and has stuck with it now for over a year. She is stepping into management now. We are living together and have been for a year now. In the last months things have shifted again..She went from calling me a couple of times a day just to say hi to not calling at all...she used to answer the phone when i called, now she just text me back that she is busy..then she started to work late most every night....then came the going out for beers and not telling me and coming home at 1am when she was off of work at 8 and told me she was working late..i told her tht i don't care if she goes out after work and hangs with friends or coworkers, but to please call or text me and say hey i am going to go out and have a beer after work, i will call you when i am on my way home...so the next day she text me that she was and i told her to have fun....then a couple of days later....she is acting funny on the phone....and calls me while i am at work and doesn't really say anything...this is about 7pm..then she calls abotu 830 and says she is really busy at work and will be late because she has alot of prep to do....i said really? Ok...5 minutes later she texts me and says she has had a bad week and my tone pissed her off so she is having a beer and will be home later...i get pissed because we are financially strapped and this is the 3rd time in a week she is going out to have a beer..i don't have the cash to buy a 20 oz soda and she goes 3 times this week and drinks beer...really??what?? so i tell her i have had it! I have been supportive, patient, and anything else i had to be but i am now putting my foot down...i will not bear the load of the bills and have no money left over for me..she will pay half the bills from now on..i am done carrying the weight....and that she text me she was pissed and having a beer like a teenager.....
so she stays out all night, no call no text..finalyl at 230 in the morning she calls and says she is drunk,and she begins crying about how she will never forgive me for having her committed..how i embarrased her.....
i knew all of this was coming because it is a pattern..the less calling, working late and drinking...
i just try to convince her to come home or go somewhere safe like her aunts or cousin's...
then the next morning she doesn't answer calls...she is on her way to work and i know she is...so i leave her a text that she can answer the phone or i will meet her at her work before her shift..instead of calling me or answering the phone, she calls her cousin and tells her to tell me she is sorry and we will talk when she gets home from work...

when she got home form work, it is the usual...i can't be in a relationship now, i can't worry about if you are ok, i have to work on me..i love you but i can;t do this...
so we decide that we will stay in the same house because we just signed a new lease and we are both responsible for it..we are getting her a bed for the other bedroom and trying to figure out how to get our finances turned around so that i don;t spend my entire checks on the bills and have her provide incidentals like gas and cigs in between paydays..she is a pizza delivery driver so she makes cash every day...
But really? i have been through hell for her and with her..

.For those of you who are bipolar and a loved one has to sign papers to have you commited, just know it is an absolute hell for us...we have to face there is nothing we can do to help you get better, nothing we can do at that point to make sure you are safe, and sometimes we have to make sure tht we will be safe, depending on the severity of your episode...it is now a walk int he park,,,the statements we have to make and relive to a judge to show how you need help, to admit we cannot help you, to admit that you have a condition and to bear the burden afterwards of knowing you can have an episode at any time and all we can do is hope you do what you can to help yourself, communicate when you are beginning to feel the symptoms, take meds if neccessary ,talk to the dr and let them honestly know if the meds are working, keep a journal so you can better understand yourself..
What i think most people don;t understand is what people go through in every day life can be misunderstood as a sign of bipolar....I do nto think my partner is truely biploar...her episode began with smoking marijuana....there are some people whom marijuana has psychological effects on and sometimes severe.....
She still to this day, will not talk about what she went through...just that it was hell in her head and there were voices, ghosts, demons, spirits that were surrounding her and telling her things....telling her i was going to die if she stayed with me.....i cannot phathom the depths of panic and other emotions that can set off....
But what i can do is try, try, try to be patient..be her friend first and foremost..and try to let her get through this stage with little stress from me...

i told her that i would never have her committed again, not would i do it to anyone else..before i would do it to her again i would walk away...not that i truely could but i would have to in order to keep my sanity and health.....
i do think she is depressed and in need or an antidepressant and some therapy...she was molested as a child by a family member...she knows it and has told me about it...i try to encourage her to read about molestation survivors and their stories and to realyl talk about it with a therapist, so she can better see how it is effecting her and our relationship and how she can truly begin move past it..she had therapy as a child, but she stopped when she was 15...her first "episode" was when she was 16 ...
whenever we seem to get really close and in a settled state....you know like a married couple..haha..go to work, pay bills go to an occasional movie and live a calm and uneventful life she has some kind of emotional reaction..
So i am going to wait this out, we are living in the same apartment together adn sharing the same bills...she just doenst want to be in a relationship....i suspect that once she gets some feeling of space and begins to miss what she doesn;t have then she will want to get back together but i am not aiming for it.. anyone have anything similar?
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replied January 3rd, 2012
a bipolar ex girlfriend
well, i haven't read everything that you wrote, but in certain points im agree with you, a relationship with a bipolar has a lot of moments of love and passion. but most of the time everything is dark, nasty and hurts a lot. i just end with my boyfriend, one year relation, i was next to him in his worst moments, but like a stupid i let him hurt me a lot. i did things im not proud just to make him happy. i still love him, but i cant continue killing myslef. sorry but i need to say it, i cant really talk with anyone about it, because no one around me understand. thank you.
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replied June 17th, 2013
This post if over a year old. But i could have written it. I had a relationship with a man who is bipolar and refuses to admit it. It's exactly as you say. Moments of love and passion and love and then the dark cruel side that would hurt. I fell in love with him and after a year it ended. I knew things were wrong and his behaviour but i too did everything i could to make him happy. I have been so deeply hurt that perhaps someone like you can comprehend it. I will love him always I left him twice before. He begged and begged me to come back. I KNEW he loved me at those times but then the moods and critical behavior came out. He was colder than ice. It will take me a long time to heal. I knew his problems but there was no way i could endure how i was treated. A terrible roller coaster I don't bleme him and i will forgive him. He will probably die alone
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replied January 4th, 2012
Experienced User
Hi lacurry 90. So what is your main hurt. The letting go, the guilt, the emotional trama. Dealing with emotional abuse is very, very hurtful to the partner. I am recovering from an abusive relationship myself, but am not nearly as hopeless as I once was and am determined to fight for me back. The best thing you can do right now is forgive yourself. Love you. He isn't capable of that. He won't change. Trust me when I tell you to shut the dorr of this relationship and start healing. It is a slow process. He will come lurking around, but you need to busy yourself and not go there again. The situation repeats itself and gets worse as time goes on. You will not get that year back, but look how much you earned about yourself and the destructiveness of being with the wrong partner (whether sick or not). You deserve better. You are not asking too much when you want respect and kindness. Don't let him tell you any different. He will blame and guilt you, but don't fall for it again. You say most of your relationship was dark and nasty. Although you don't want to hang on to that forever, rememberit for right now. It is not your fault. Let him own it!

I hope that helps sweetie. Be good to yourself.
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replied January 4th, 2012
thanks
Thank you so much, that really help me, I almost cry, because as i said before no one around me understand.
For real, thank you so much, your words were so helpful for me. Now i feel more secure, because i know that i can count with somebody who has been in the same situation and can really understand all ive been throw.
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replied April 18th, 2012
know how it feels
the one thing i have learned in the past 4 1/2 years with my bp ex gf is that as stated above...it does get worse. to the point where my ex knew she was bp but never wanted to seek help unless i paid for it so she turned to smoking weed with her friends which made things worse. even after i broke up with her because of the cops being called due to her flipping out, i still feel as if there was SOMETHING i could have done. however, after a month of us being breaking up, i look back and realize after reading these posts that there is nothing i could have done for her. she (they) have to want to do it for themselves, but in their world, there is nothing wrong with their actions and lack of resposibility as it is always someone else's fault for the way they act. i think it is not the fact that they love a person, but more so care for someone because they cannot and do not love themselves first...especially if they do not love themselves enough to seek help. it does hurt to move on when i (anyone) has tried to help a bp person for so long until you have to stop trying and take care of yourself. it has drained me physically, financially, and emotionally, but there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough and take care of your own health and future, especially in my case where i have a son (not by my bp ex) to also worry about. it is hard to get over the hurt, but it can happen. good luck and only time allow the healing to be completed. you have to remember nothing is your fault as long as you can say you did try to help the person.
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replied October 26th, 2012
Getting to know your bi-polar
Not all bi-polar affected people are affected the same way. There are different forms of bp, depending on associated issues. Manic depressive is not the same as hypomanic, nor is bi-polar 1 the same as bi-polar 2.

I, like my room mate are bp (I'm manic and he's bp 1 with hypo-mania with chronic depression). Over the time we've known each other we've learned to LOOK for signs of oncoming illness. We fight, we complain, but when both of us are on the right meds we're fine.

I have known of my illness for years; I know that I need to keep my mood stable. I drink, not to get drunk, but to stabilize myself when the meds are not working. If I go deep into depression I shut down for days or longer. The room mate recently discovered his illness and is trying to find insurance that will allow him to be on meds that he knows work for him.

Emotions such as love are not the issue. You can still know love and have this illness. When a bp person is seriously ill or not on proper medication they can change before your eyes. Things don't seem real. Fight or flight is heightened to where a bp person can either run in panic or lash out if the "threat" is real enough for them.

All I know is that people who really want to understand a person with this illness will do what they can to learn about it. Not all bp affected people just come right out and tell you. Read books, articles, and learn signs. Once the person sees you are attempting to reach them they might show you they rest of the way. It takes time, this is not an overnight trip NOT and EASY road at all for either person. But it can prove worthwhile.
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replied October 31st, 2012
In the past nine years, I have struggled with the belief that bi-polars can love. My friend will show love towards me, then turn in an instance and cannot show love. I have stood by him for through some of the longest and roughest times of my life. But the hurtful words and way he ignores me when he see's on the street, as if I didnt exist, because he know's it hurts me. I go to therapy every month for the past 3 years to help me through this, he will not go. He has only went twice, and that was to tell the therapist (where his first wife went also) that I was troubled. He tells me his friends hate me, I ask them what I did, they say nothing, it was him. He will not get help. I still love him, but dont know how to help him.
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replied July 8th, 2013
I have bipolar and I wouldn't ever deny that it puts strain on my relationships, but I will say that a huge degree of responsibility should be placed on the bp's understanding of themselves before putting themselves into a situation where they could easily hurt another person.

However, the same responsibility also applies to those that haven't got bipolar, who can also make these mistakes. It can be very easy to blame a person's actions on their bipolar, but that does nothing to explain things truly, and will even enable the person with bipolar to do the same again...

My hypomania/mania doesn't make me feel more strongly for a person (Unless there's a strong feeling there already), and I am pretty sure that the neurotransmitter for romantic love is not directly proportionate to those which are prominent during a manic state.

The 2 main GROUP'S affected by bipolar are serotonin and dopamine. Note that there are more than one type of receptor/neurotransmitter for each group. Dopamine happens to have 4 subtypes. D1, D2 etc. (D3 and D4 are mainly physical effects and assist with transporting signals to the muscles). It's not always the same effect, and you can't just say "Oh this person is hypomanic, it's all brain chemicals, this is why", even doctors can't fully explain what happens.

Yea so basically... It's really important to give us guys the opportunity to prove what we feel, and give us the same 'distrust' that you would give anybody else. If somebody is depressed/manic, it should be pretty easy to tell, just think what YOU would feel like if you were hyper. Remember that a person's morals doesn't come into the disorder, I still have a soul, as do you. Or do you....?

For those of you that find it hard to know if a person with bipolar loves you or not, I'm sorry it's something you have had to go through, but you must err on the side of caution when it comes to listening to what people have to say on the matter.

I have learned that the best relationships for me are the ones where I am not being manipulated (Bear with me lol, and remember that this is just me, I'm not saying this is what bipolar people go through, it's what I go through as somebody with bipolar), as I get completely infatuated with the manipulator, they try and draw feelings out of me by a certain charm that they know works... and yes, I guess my mania in this type of relationship IS linked to a romantic feeling, and it is unbearable but beautiful. I don't last long without falling to pieces... Unfortunately, I find it hard to feel romantically attached to the very type of person that I know I should spend my life with (And want to). Maybe this is because I'm scared to fully let go with somebody I know I'll spend my life with, but I know it has problems... I've had to prove to my girlfriend significantly that she means more to me than a person I was seeing previously, but when I'm hypomanic, it can be hard for me to connect with myself. I'm so focussed on the world around me, and end up being a very high achiever on the more shallow end of things like jobs, etc, but in terms of connecting with my own deeper emotions, they seem to fade. Very frustrating and something I want to stop Sad

This is where my understanding of myself is important! If I wanted, I could just dump her and go have sex with a bunch of girls for a week of hedonistic pleasure, but would that get me far? Of course not, and at times I feel tempted because my personal connection with others is damaged, and it sucks! But I also realise that I can get very depressed following one of these episodes which typically lasts a couple of weeks for me (And yes I'm feeling a bit hypo now hence the LONG and slightly non sensical reply). If I prepare for my depression by making sure that I have progressed enough in life and done all my laundry, cleaning, letters, shopping etc... This way when I get depression, I am able to deal with it. I accept it will come, but I don't believe it will. With belief comes will, and that just encourages it.

During my depression, it's a horrible feeling of inability, hopelessness etc. BUT, eventually, it gets easier. After all, feeling the worst emotional depression possible can't get any worse can it? Well, ensuring there is no distress, because distress during depression causes a mixed state episode which is very dangerous to me (Not anyone else though!). There are a couple of points though...

Sadness and depression may be linked, but they are not the same! Depression can encourage sadness though. (Sadness, or any type of stress can encourage depression, though they can also trigger off a mania)

Depression is a useless state of mind, it's a sickness, something that hopefully will go away, but sometimes no amount of willpower can change that, just time (Or drugs if you are that way inclined. And yes, street drugs or medical drugs both work, but medical drugs are far easier to work with (Albeit much slower and less effective), usually healthier than the synthetic street equivalent (Not so much with the natural equivalent), and far less abusable.

But basically, this goes to everyone, sadness is not something to be avoided or be scared of. It's such a beautiful emotion that has been demonised. To hide from sadness can prevent acceptance or true connection with yourself, or intimacy with others. I am only just realising thanks to the help of my other half that I'm not sad enough.

If you have managed to read through all of my ramble, then I will reward you with an insight of mine that will hopefully solve your problem... My girlfriend has been the biggest inspiration for me. It's not because she loves me, or that she shows she loves me, or that she's taught me many things, but it's because she has respected my boundaries. She understands that there are times when I need my space, or am unable to be with her how I want (Which she hates, but she lets me explain myself), she will always ask what is the matter, but not force me. Finally, possibly the most important thing of all for me, if I didn't want to be with her, she would let me go. That is so important because when I'm feeling hyped up, I'm not going to feel trapped, and have reverse psychology. I've been with people in the past and they were scared to let me go. Because of this, I've had times where I have dumped a girl to see somebody else. Sure, it's definately not something to be proud of, but we all mess up in life, but it's how we decide what to aim for in life, and know how to get there which is important.

I'm bipolar, probably made no sense at all in this post, love people, do fairly well for myself now I'm stable (And unmedicated despite the doctors wishes, medication creates zombie low achievers), and I know that I can only get better (Unless I mess things up, but again... That's life and the risk I want to take). I know not everyone will agree with what I've had to say, but at the same time, I couldn't care because I'm speaking to those that agree, because I understand free speech doesn't mean anyone has to listen Smile Hope it helped, somehow....

Dom
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