Helping Each Other Through The Ups and Downs

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • About a week ago I was starting to feel really good, moving out of my summer depression and into hypomania. (Summer always depresses me because I feel I should be enjoying it more than I am.) However, before I could really get into my new mood, Adrian plunged into the depths, tugging at my high.

    Do other couples have this experience that when one is up, the other is down? I suppose it’s better than both being down at the same time. One needs to be strong in order to help the other. When I’m depressed, Adrian encourages me to take walks and get out of the house to do things. He makes himself available to help with the stuff I can’t deal with.
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    Adrian is not bipolar, but he sometimes gets depressed, especially when he’s worried about one or more of his sons. Lately he has also been feeling “tired all the time,” and complaining about that. This past weekend, as I tried to help him through a particularly bad spell when he was getting upsetting email from one of his sons, I found myself getting upset, too. Saturday night I could not sleep at all, and finally I took an Ambien in desperation.

    But it wouldn’t do for BOTH of us to be upset. One of us had to stay strong. So by Monday, I got myself together again. I’ve been having a good week, and that made me better able to help Adrian figure out how to deal with his problems. This is the neat thing about stable relationships, and strong friendships as well—you can supplement each others’ strengths, and lend support when one of you is down.

    One of my single friends says she has a circle of support among a few close friends. They have an understanding that when one of them is down, the others will be available for comfort, advice, or just a sympathetic ear. Support groups also provide this kind of environment, and it’s a good place to find friends who can understand what you are going through when you have a mood swing up or down.

Published On: September 29, 2006