Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Relationships Forum

Coping with my boyfriends bipolar mood swings

After about 4 years of dating, my boyfriend had a manic episode, was hospitalized, and diagnosed with Bipolar 1. During this manic phase he was hallucinating, paranoid, and psychotic. I did as much research as I could and visited the hospital during all visiting hours. This was a difficult period but he remained pretty trusting of me and I felt more bonded to him after going through it with him. I moved in with him shortly after hospitalization to help eliminate stress and keep him on a regular routine. He was prescribed medication and has been very good about taking it. He experienced a period of mild depression for several months after hospitalization and then seemed to come out of this depression but was still not experiencing the same "highs" in life that he did before hospitalization. Recently he experienced what I would refer to as his first hypomanic episode. This week of hypomania was characterized by some unusual arguments between us where he seemed irritable and confused, and then he experienced rapid thoughts at work. These rapid thoughts were enough for him to identify his hypomania. We spent ten days apart right after that week (not by choice but because of previously scheduled plans). When I saw him again he was kind and loving and seemed like his old self again. Then today he seemed to kind of "turn on me". He was tired and snapped at me a few times for very unusual reasons. He blames being tired and not bipolar. I'm not sure I could be with someone who is so cruel just because they are tired. Especially because he is a VERY hard worker (Working on his PhD in a very difficult field) and he does not seem to make sleeping and rest as much of a priority as he should. Within the hour of snapping at me he hugged me and apologized. This happened three different times today. Each time was painful and confusing. It can be so confusing to have someone turn on you one moment and then shower you with affection the next. I ask myself... did I do something wrong, is he just grumpy and tired and irritable like I get sometimes, or is this behavior something that can be attributed to his disorder? Before he was hospitalized we planned to get engaged and start a life together. Now that is on hold because we are still trying to figure so much out. Some patterns of behavior seem clear to me (he's happiest when he sleeps a lot, works out, and doesn't stress about his work) but he seems to need to figure it out for himself. Any advice is greatly appreciated. When he is mean, how do I stay calm and help him without being walked all over and emotionally abused?
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied February 12th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
These symptoms are consistent with bipolar disorder. He may also have personality disorder.
You can help him by persuading him for regular followup and adherence with drugs.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Did you find this post helpful?
Quick Reply
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Bipolar Relationships , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.