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Tuesday, July 22, 2008 nikid, Community Member, asks

Q: how to deal with someone with hypomania

i believe i  am dating a man with hypomania, one momement he is being really sweet to me and in the split of a second I could ask a question and he will start yelling and blow up on me.  How do I deal with him he is a very moody person. One moment he is having a good time and his nice and within minutes of something not going his way is he is angy and upset.  Help!!

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Answers (5)
John McManamy, Health Guide
7/22/08 7:07pm

Hi, Nikid. I have bipolar. My former wife has bipolar. I am dating a woman with bipolar.

 

First, don't feel you have to put up with someone who blows up on you. This is a form of abuse. You need to look after yourself first.

 

Having said that, if you want to make this work, you need to lay down firm boundaries that he is not allowed to cross, such as blowing up at you - the illness is no excuse. If he can't handle himself, he has no right to be in a relationship.

 

Then you need to have serious conversations about what sets him off, his triggers. Some of it probably relates to things you do - such as maybe showing up late. This is a hypothetical. Say you're 20 minutes late and you don't call. He gets anxious, his thoughts start racing, he gets stressed, then distressed. You show up, he blows up.

 

In that situation, it is advisable for you to change your behavior.

 

Often, in certain situations, we feel that we are all alone and no one in the world understands us. Sometimes, a simple "I appreciate how frustrated you must feel" can work wonders.

 

There will be situations where he needs to change his behavior. Maybe he needs to learn to pay his bills on time. Maybe he needs to learn to get a decent night's sleep or not tie himself up in knots about work.

 

Also, he needs to give you a heads-up about his bad hair days. He needs to tell you, for instance, "I've got a bad situation at work and I'm not handling it very well." That's your cue to give him a very wide berth.

 

Living with someone with bipolar is a considerable challenge. It can also be a very rewarding experience. Relationships are hard work, even for normal people. You have your work cut out for you.

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ArtPusher, Community Member
7/22/08 1:50pm

This is something you need to address directly. He may not realise he is doing it. I'm bipolar and have had the same experience and never realised what I was doing. If left unchecked it will only get worse.

 

 

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TMarie, Community Member
7/24/08 8:45pm

Good advice here already, nikid.

 

I think the line between being supportive and walking on eggshells can be a fine one at times. Before I knew what was causing them (bipolar II, diagnosed in February), I would have hypomanic rude outbursts like you describe above.

 

My husband is a very nice guy and would hold his tongue until I got over it. But afterwards sometimes I would actually beg him to tell me to stop when I was crossing the line. I knew I'd been out of control - not a very nice feeling. And I knew, at least afterwards, that it hurt him.

 

Interestingly, since my diagnosis and our educating ourselves about bipolar, he is never shy any more about saying a word or two when I step out of line. He's loving but firm. Plus my various treatment tools are helping me be able to handle irritation and stresses much better.

 

Setting limits to protect yourself, keeping yourself healthy, is the best example you can set for him. He is the only one who can be responsible for his mental and emotional health and for his actions.

 

It sounds like perhaps he has no diagnosis yet; hopefully he will acknowledge there is a problem and seek help. Some further reading that my husband and I found to be extremely helpful is Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie Fast and The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz. Also, of course, Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder by John McManamy.

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CRL2743, Community Member
7/28/08 3:05pm

HERE'S HOW YOU DEAL WITH HIM---YOU LEAVE HIM PRONTO.  HE NEEDS A MED EVAL AND BAD. SOME HONESTY WITH HIS DOCTOR WOULDN'T HURT EITHER.  LEAVE HIS ASS. IT'S THE ONLY SOLUTION. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE HIM. AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE HIS WHIPPING POST AND HIS UNTREATED RAGE WILL ONLY GET WORSE. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF AND USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. IF HYPO IS BAD, YOU WILL NOT WANT TO BE AROUND WHEN IT IS FULL BLOWN. ONE MORE THING. PROTECT YOUR MONEY. WE BIPOLAR PEOPLE HAVE A REALLY SCREWY SYMPTOM WHERE WE GO ON INCREDIBLE SPENDING SPREES.  GOOD LUCK, CARLA LILLEY

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Surrounded, Community Member
10/22/10 11:08am

You're only dating him.  Run as fast as you can.  I am surrounded by bi-polar people and it has only been a lifetime of misery trying to deal with them.  Run and find someone who is not.  I am sure you have plenty of time to find another.  If you want to put up with the depression pity parties, spending sprees, reckless driving, unfaithful spouse, cheating, lying striaght to your face like a pro, then be stupid and stay.

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By nikid, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/09/13, First Published: 07/22/08