Medical Questions > Relationships > Ending a Relationship Forum

Should I break up with my boyfriend that has a mental illness??

I am fairly new to the forum and could use a little advice right now....

I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years and he is the love of my life, but recently, he had a manic/psychotic episode that forced him to be committed to a mental hospital.

Leading up to this, there was a 2 month period that he was "not himself." I knew something was wrong- so did his friends and parents, but we couldn't figure it out. Little did we know- it was this whole horrible problem coming to the surface.

A little background info- my boyfriend has gone through a lot this past year. He graduated from college and can't find a job. (something that really irritates me b/c I don't think he is looking hard enough). He seems really lazy and unmotivated. He is living at home to save money and is relying on his parents WAYYY too much. His dad is a terrible alcoholic and won't get help, so my boyfriend/and his family watch him self destruct. His mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and did not get a good prognosis.
So naturaly, he is sad and confused about his life.

Back the real issue- I am pretty sure this is what caused this breakdown-all the stress.

But as he has been at the hospital, the doctor is suspecting this could have been drug induced!! That absolutely blows my mind because I NEVER though he did drugs. EVER! That would hurt me so much if he was doing that behind my back.

If that is the cause, the relationship is automatically over, because I am not setting myself up for a lifetime of dealing with a spouse with addiction.

BUT, if it is not this and is just a mental illness.....I still don't know if I should stay with him....I want someone who is stable and of course someone who will treat a problem if there IS one....which I dont know if he will. He is so stubborn.

I am so worried about making decisions about my relationship. What if I stay with him and he eventually stops treating his mental illness? What if the symptoms reappear later and life and he can't live a normal life.

There are so many unanswered questions for me right now.

I love him so much and I always want the best for him, but I also want the best for myself. I am 24 and still have my whole life to figure out.

I am extremely motivated and want someone who is the same way. Maybe he is not a good fit and this mental illness furthers my point? What do you think?

I need feedback!
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First Helper Lolo87

replied August 23rd, 2010
As a person living with bipolar disorder, I can say that there is always a chance for improvement. I've been living with it since I was 12 and I'm now 21 in college and with a job. If he is in fact a sufferer of a mental illness,and you love him, you should most certainly be there for him right now. Right now he will need a loving friend, significant other, or family member more than anything (and it doesn't sound like he's getting that support from his family). If you don't think he will seek help you need to calmly explain to him where you are coming from in wanting the best life you can achieve, and you want it with him. Be prepared to have to repeat yourself, defend yourself, and deal with his defensiveness. But by all means, try to keep your cool because your anger could potentially cause a chain reaction and/or domino effect in his reaction. Also, be prepared to counter any excuses he may have for not doing things that are good for him such as getting help, finding a job, etc. This is a very delicate situation and you should proceed with calmness, rationality (which you should have the upper hand in already), love, and most of all UNDERSTANDING (I say this from personal experience, when a significant other I have doesn't show understanding or effort to understand I tend to feel alone and shut them out non purposefully). Also, if it was drug induced (which a lot of doctors will jump to this conclusion because it is easier to deal with) it doesn't necessarily mean he is or isn't suffering a mental illness. I don't know enough details to come to a conclusion on this one, but I can tell you a symptom of bi polar (and I'm sure other mental illnesses) is bad decision making including drug use. But, if he is bipolar or suffering any other mental illness you should have seen signs of it throughout your relationship. If you are curious of these signs you could do some quick and easy research to find your answers. I hope this reply helps you and I wish you the best of luck. It's not easy to be with someone with a mental illness, nor is it easy to be the one with the mental illness in a relationship (I would know). Again, good luck, I hope everything works out for the both of you.
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replied August 24th, 2010
I do not think that you should just not be with someone because they have an illness you should try to cope with it in your mind and let yourself believe that your partner is a good person regardless if they have a problem or not. An illness doesnt make them any less a person. Think about it!
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replied November 7th, 2011
Sorry for this.
I am a man and I have same problem with my girl friend.
I love her too and don't know what to do. dump her and move on.
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