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Sunday, December 21, 2008 Megan, Community Member, asks

Q: How to deal with bipolar and schizophrenia

I have been dating my boyfriend for 16 months now. He is bipolar and schizophrenic. I love him dearly and i sometimes dont know how it is he feels about me. He gets depressed and angry and yells at me sometimes or doesn't want to see me. He always apologizes afterwards and feels bad, we communicate very good, but sometimes he just seems so empty inside. He says he wants to marry me and wants to have children with me, he bought me a ring back in may and said it was a pre engagment ring because he couldn't afford a dimond or to get married yet. He has trouble with work and he can't go to school right now. I am going to be done with school in may and i told him i would help him, he is not a moocher he pays for what he can. Is that a good thing for me to help him out or would that some how make him worse, i want to do the right thing for him i care for him and i just want to see him living a happy life and i want to be a part of that. Please tell me what you think.

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Answers (3)
John McManamy, Health Guide
12/21/08 2:46pm

Hi, Megan. I'm going to be cautiously optimistic here. We get lots of questions here from individuals (mainly women) who describe a clear pattern of abuse from their loved one. The type of answer they are looking for is one that removes all the blame from their abusive loved one and instead lays it all on the bipolar disorder. This implies the abuse will go away once their loved one gets on the right meds.

 

Sadly, these people are dreaming.

 

Spousal abuse may occur while a person is having a bipolar episode, but the queries we tend to get here strongly suggest that these people are abusers to begin with. These are people who will abuse whether in an episode or not, plus they engage in behaviors typical of abusers - eg no remorse or fake remorse, no responsibility, casting themselves as the victim, always blaming others (including their loved one), always in denial, manipulative behavior, no empathy (or fake empathy), driving a wedge between their partner and their friends and family, always controlling, always keeping their partner in a weak and dependent position, often mooching on their partner, never respecting their partner's boundaries, always making their partner feel weak and inadequate and cheap (even when heaping high praise), and on and on.

 

What you describe is a lot different. Yes, people with bipolar (and schizophrenia) can put their loved ones through hell, but what you describe appears to be isolated instances (plus no doubt daily annoyances), not part of a pattern of constant abuse. If this is the case, you can work with this. Clearly, with 16 months under your belt, you already have. I commend you for your patience and understanding and love. Loving a person with bipolar is always a challenge, but this is a challenge that you appear to be up to.

 

As for your loved one, from what you describe, it also sounds like he is up to the challenge. He acknowledges his illness and appears to take responsibility for his actions. Yes, as a result of his episodes (and most likely stressful situations) his feelings and emotions get the better of him. But from what you describe, you are not living in daily mortal fear. Moreover, your loved one experiences remorse, appears to be doing everything he can to keep his illness under control, appears to be willing to change his behavior (if you demand he does), and - very important - is willing to communicate.

 

Moreover, I'm sure he cares deeply about you.

 

This augurs well for you setting boundaries, and for the two of you to work together in laying down basic ground rules, for planning for crisis situations, and for resolving your disputes.

 

Mind you, if you left out any descriptions of abusive behavior I take it all back. But based on what you say, you have reason to feel hopeful. Relationships are always a challenge - even when Snow White marries Prince Charming - and the two of you appear to be up to the challenge.

 

Finally, you may be the one asking the question, but it appears that you have a lot of wisdom to share. I for one, with a history of failed relationships, could use your advice. So don't be afraid to start blogging here. I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from reading your shareposts on the challenges and successes of loving someone with bipolar.

 

 

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nita, Community Member
6/13/11 5:33pm

please help i too have been dating a guy for two years off and on (he braks up with me often and i dont have to do anything just what ever these so call friend say and its done> he has been diags. with schozpheria/paranoia and bipolar when he was 18yrs old and someone spiked his drink but from listening to his childhood i can tell he was always slower and louder than the rest of his sibilings. he has this friend tht is an 59 year old man that has alot of control over him when he says something to him and it has been the thorn in our relationship for alomost two years.  His friend doesnt want him to be with me so he tells him that he should be single and just sleep with women and hang with the guys. or that i am seeing someone else or they are coming over my house. see my frd/boyfrd has been living with his parents all his life since the metal issues started. so his friend tell him things that are not true or to let me go. but they are also the ones that told him he need to get a grl frd becasue they dont want to do guy things all the time. well long story short when we met they were happy until they found out he had a terrific one that had her own place, good job and a education with no childern and was helping him with what ever he needed. he proposed to me and told me he told God i was the one> see he is deep into the word and with the Lord. but when he got laid off from his first real job at 34 yrs old he freaked out and said he didnt want me and that God was an liar and that he hated him(God). this happen this march well he's back with god but let me to be just a friend. but treats me like and grl frd. when he talked with the mean old man now he is saying he need not to talk to me or be around me no where even church. that im in his way. but the next day kiss me in front of people and he is very shy and dont do that. and had lunch with me. what is going on? what should i do? Is mom and much older sister told him he had a treffic grl frd last year and that he is bless that he had someone that loved him for him and treats him great. well he rebelled and started pulling away from me and i didnt know why until his mom told me. if i speak wrongly of his so called friends he will get very mad and wont talk much if at all. see he just found out a few months ago that one of his friends of over 20 years betrayed him on telling his busy of his metal hlth and now they dont speak. please help me i dont want to let him go. and the few grl he have dated (only five) used him for his little money and left and now he says that he cant trust me or wont give me his heart. for it to be broken. he says that he belves that i will see others guys if i dont get what i want but havent. what should i do for him to see what he has in me. email me at ltw@uab.edu

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lisa, Community Member
11/ 3/10 3:50pm

im bipolar to and its hard to have a relationship cause no ones knows what we go through. its hard cause ive been with my husband for 11 years and been married for 4 years and we have 3 lil girls, if you guys want it bad enough youll make it and work on it. and its not eithrt one of yours fault, when hes haven an mood swing dont bug him.

Smile just stay calm

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demishia robinson, Community Member
11/30/13 4:03pm

i understand how u feel im dealing with the same thing i been with my boyfriend for 5 years now n he has bioplar and schizopherina n how i deal with is just deal with it u know cause it doesnt matter how many times to comfort him or making him better is not gonna work i know i tried it so like when goes through his episodes i just leave him alone for a while and eventually he always come back around again so my advice to u is just keep on being patient with him and loving him and hang in there cause by the end of the day is worth it ok hang in there

 

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We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Megan, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/30/13, First Published: 12/21/08