Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

How long do these bipolar episodes last?

I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years now and I am still uneducated about this disorder. I read about it all the time and I'm looking into therapy to help him the best way I can. I'm also looking into therapy for myself because this episode has taken a toll on my mental health as well. This past episode,, severe depression, has been over a week. Normally he has a bad day here and there, but this seems like a never ending vicious cycle. He has not been eating and he is getting worse by the day. He goes from crying a lot to just plain numbness. He gets to the point where he seems just heartless, then he cries the next day. It's hard wrapping my head around what's going on. He hasn't been speaking to me much, but we still talk. He's been crashing elsewhere because he wants his space. How long do these episodes last approximately?
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replied December 27th, 2010
Experienced User
Wanting space seems to be a very strong trait with all BP people. The get sufocating somehow.
My boyfriend started an episode after a major stressful situation and it took him two months to come back normal.I saw him in the middle the episode and oh boy, didnt he looked and acted weird, saying disconnected things, contrary things one after another, behaving like if I was nothing for him, etc, one day I met him and realized he was back to normal and now he is loving me and wanting me again as in the beginning, but my goodness, the pain of it all.
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replied January 2nd, 2011
Experienced User
It can vary from person to person and from episode to episode. It can last from hours to months. My relationship with a Bipolar/Borderline Personality also took a tool on my mental health so your intent to get counseling for both parties involved is a step in the right direction.

Chris
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replied January 3rd, 2011
I read through these posts, I feel the same way Reggiane does except I'm the one with BP. I can say that I never needed space, if anything I got too much space and just wanted attention. I was on and off my meds at the time and I made plenty of irrational decisions. Cheating one of them. I only did it one time which is no excuse. I would lie then tell the truth and back and forth. And even now as I tell the whole truth it's still a lie to him.
I look back a lot and see how I would just do things at the spur of the moment without even thinking twice about it.
I love my ex dearly and I feel he is and was the love of my life but I am having a difficult time moving on.
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replied January 4th, 2011
Experienced User
Rachel...when you truly love someone it is hard to just walk away. Just as you....I also struggle with the fact I lost the love of my life. I loved her with all my heart and am still having difficulties dealing with the loss however I know it was for the best. I am slowly coming to terms however it is the hardest event I have ever gone through.

Chris
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Users who thank hotandsunny for this post: hot3mocha 

replied January 14th, 2011
Bipolar advice needed
hot3mocha,
I recently came across your comment that you have bilpolar disorder. My wife has the illness and went off one of her meds about a year and a half ago. Now she like a totally different person, and not in the good way either.

From your personal experience having the illness, how can I,if there is a way to get my wife to start taking the meds? Or is this one of those things where she will need to be committed to a hospital for care and brought back to a normal level ofbehaviour with meds and counseling.

It is not only taking its toll on me, but on the kids as well! We love her and want her to be healthy.

Or is there the possiblity of having to go through what some of the other people went through- loosing a loved one?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Gerald
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replied January 17th, 2011
Experienced User
She has to want help....you can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do. My advice is to love her and try to be as supportive as possible. Hopefully she'll see through the "fog" and want to get the needed help. If your religious...start praying and seeking the help of God.

Chris
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replied January 30th, 2011
Experienced User
my guy has been like this for 2 years and i have heard of this but its rare and obviously hes one of the rare cases. i cant vent to him about anything or he shuts me down and gets angry and says want me to hang up. hes hurting when when hes doing this and i know hes not taking his meds properly. hes had bipolar since hes been a kid but i think maybe his meds need adjusting but his dad is also bipolar and probably thinks hes fine. what to do what to do
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replied July 18th, 2011
Do you know of anybody that uses cannabis as self medication to manage manic episodes? My partner believes using cannibis helps to mitigate or pacify euphoric episodes. It may be true that there is some truth in that his actions are starngely more controlled by being subdued. He says his BP is mild and so does not need prescribed medications .......
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replied July 18th, 2011
Experienced User
I think a lot of people with the disorder use cannabis. Drug and alcohol abuse is especially high in people with bipolar disorder. I know it was true in my ex-fiance's case. It is often an attempt at self-medication.

The bottom line though is that the effect of THC on bipolar disorder is not known. There just is not sufficient data. However, the effect of many medications that are prescribed for the disorder have been conclusively shown to help prevent and shorten mood episodes.

I have read about some psychiatrists who prescribe medication to be used at the onset of an episode instead of as a maintenance drug. However, this seems to be rare and it requires that the patient keeps a mood journal and knows when to start taking the medication.

If he really has bipolar disorder, then his behavior is disrupting enough to his life that he was diagnosed. I doubt that any psychiatrist would recommend going off medication (except for very specific circumstances like pregnancy). People with bipolar disorder are much less likely to take their prescribed medication than some with say, high cholesterol of diabetes. It is the sad truth, but these people almost always need to be medicated, even if they think their case is "mild".

The bottom line is that the idea that your partner does not need medication is almost certainly his own opinion, not the opinion of his physician.
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