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01/03/2012 12:26 PM

Is mania the reason for our breakup?

MorningSigh
Posts: 13
Member

Please help!!! I am new here and really wanted to get the perspectives of anyone who is bipolar and has broken off a relationship while hypomanic or manic. Can mania make someone decide to breakup with their significant other? Do you regret it later? Did you go back?

My boyfriend and I were together for a year and 4 months. He broke up with me 3 weeks ago. We were very much in love and talked about our future as a "when" not an "if." Early in our relationship, he disclosed to me that he was bipolar and had been diagnosed in 2005 when he had to be hospitalized. At the time, he also told me that he was fine now and did not to be medicated (to my knowledge he went unmedicated for at least 2 years). I wish I had looked into this back then...

I noticed that he generally had a very hard time with pressure and making decisions ranging from whether or not to be in a relationship or which job to take. Even though I felt his love, him telling me he loved me took him a long time and he was extremely emotional when he said it. It was actually really beautiful and I appreciated him so much. We are both in our early 30s but I am the first girlfriend he ever told he was bipolar and the first girl he has ever been in love with. I really thought about it and decided he was special enough and I loved him enough to stay by his side through anything. Our love was what everyone waits for their entire life...

I had been cheated on in my last relationship and, unfortunately, was left with a lot of insecurity about it happening again. This popped up throughout our relationship but my boyfriend was very understanding and supportive. We were both there for each other through everything and it was great. We had small tiffs but overall we were happy. Then in early November we were walking to the park and he was talking a mile a minute and jumping from thought to thought. I know now that is racing. I asked him if everything was alright and he said he thought he might be a little hypomanic. A few days later I asked him if he had been sleeping and he got annoyed - I explained why I asked and he understood I was worried but that he was fine and would talk to his therapist. I never brought it up again but I probably should have. He went from being the MOST frugal and financially responsible person I know to spending money more and more freely. Later in the month I felt him starting to pull away, getting angry easily and telling white lies. I reacted badly and we had a huge fight in which I made the mistake of calling him a liar and saying I couldn't take it and that maybe we should break up. Once I calmed down, I told him I didn't mean it but then he said he wanted a one week break.

I gave him the week and it was AGONY but I blamed myself and wanted to give him the space that he needed. Once the week was up, we got together and he wanted to be together. We were tired but happy again. But I noticed his reactions to any little thing I did that annoyed him became HUGE over-reactions. Not long afterwards, he started sleeping less and less... 3 hours or so... talking about wanting to be with other women in a crass and disrespectful way. On the week of our breakup, on Monday he told me I was the love of his life and he would never let me go... on Wednesday he abruptly broke up with me saying the most awful things about wanting to be with other people and using language I had NEVER heard him use before. I was DEVASTATED.

My friend told me the next day that he had emailed her asking for her jewler's number because he wanted to buy a Rolex and he was saying things in the email like "I AM THE KING BIATCH!!!!" I called him to see if he was ok and he had not slept in a week and there was no question he was manic... he said the meanest things to me that I cannot type out and jumped around from saying he couldn't live without me to saying he wanted to "F" everyone he saw. He was a completely different person than the man I had been with for nearly a year and a half. We know people in common who have confirmed that he is having a bad manic episode. I am so incredibly worried about him, and I am also in so much pain because I feel like I have lost the love of my life.

A week ago he reached out to my father to talk but started sobbing... they made plans to meet and he stood him up. That same day he included me on all sorts of bizarre emails and then called me to tell me all the things he loved about me and then switched gears to telling me that he hates me. What should I do? Will he come back? Should I stay away from him? Should I push and be there for him so he knows I am there no matter what? I love this man in a very selfless way. I don't want to "save" him... I just want him to know that I wouldn't give up on him.

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01/03/2012 01:10 PM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6829
Group Leader

Hi, MorningSigh. Welcome to the group. You'll find support, encouragement and information here. Please don't hesitate to contact me or any other group leader if you have any questions.

I'm sorry for what you are going through. It definitely sounds like your BF is having a manic/hypermanic episode. The spending, not sleeping and hypersexuality are all classic symptoms. So is the grandiosity (I am the king, biatch).

I know you love him and are worried about him, but my advice is to leave him alone. Hearing that he wants to F other people and that he hates you is soul destroying and anyway, it's a waste of time trying to have a rational discussion with someone who is irrational.

He will no doubt reach out to you when he's stable again. IMHO, you should be doing some serious thinking about what you will do when he does. Unless he seeks treatment, meaning he sees a psychiatrist and gets on the right meds, this will happen again and again. Untreated bipolar doesn't get better over time: it gets worse. The episodes get more extreme and more frequent if untreated.

I have bipolar disorder myself, and I don't mean to sound harsh, but in my opinion we have a responsibility to seek treatment for our bipolar disorder. Only we can do the work required to achieve stability. You can't fix him, no matter how much you want to or how much you love him. He had these issues when he met you, he has them now, and UNLESS HE SEEKS TREATMENT, he will have them after you are gone.

I suggest that you think about what you want, what you need and what you deserve. Are you willing to accept going through this again and again if he refuses to get treatment?


01/03/2012 01:18 PM
j1701
 
Posts: 140
Member

You need to get him to a hospital or doctor's appointment somehow. Meds will end the mania rather quickly and yes many of us try to flee/run away from our partners when manic. I tried to do just that when I was manic and came close but thank god didn't. Everything you're describing is absolutely dead-on accurate in terms of him being in a manic episode. It will drag on for a very long time if untreated (I went over 6mos) and will get worse if left untreated. Has he threatened to harm himself or others? Has he been aggressive at all? You can get him hopsitalized if he's made any of these threats.

Use any way you can to get him to a doc/hospital. He may not listen to you right now but there's a chance he might listen to someone else and if he utters a word about harm use it to get him hospitalized. Consider all options on how to talk to him about it and how best he responds to certain people or subjects. He won't like it if you have him hospitalized but chances are that when he's non-manic he will return to you and even be grateful. The state he is in is very dangerous for him right now and he needs help.

Post edited by: j1701, at: 01/03/2012 01:20 PM


01/03/2012 01:25 PM
j1701
 
Posts: 140
Member

Catbaloo makes a strong point about whether or not you truly want to hear him or be near him now. It will hurt. Are you prepared for that? It hurts even when you know that it's the illness. Can you forgive him the horrible things he says during this time? Can you find someone else to reach out for you? Will he listen? Is he capable of riding this out (how far gone is he)?

Post edited by: j1701, at: 01/03/2012 01:25 PM


01/03/2012 01:42 PM
MorningSigh
Posts: 13
Member

Thanks for all your responses so far guys. I want to say that I am definitely insecure and questioned him at times but is that a reason to break up? He is blaming me and saying he couldn't take it anymore... but then the behavior before the breakup and his manic phase now... I don't know what to think. I don't rationally think I am to blame but that doesn't stop me from blaming myself.

I actually did tell one of his best friends and his family 2 weeks ago. According to them he went to a psychiatrist and is on meds as of last week. I just want him to be ok.

And as for us... I pray you are right that he will be back because everything just feels so unfinished. Like a movie reel that just cuts out in the middle and you're left sitting there in the dark. If he decides he is willing to commit to being accountable for his health and be responsible about treatment, I would 100% stand by him.


01/03/2012 01:48 PM
Catbaloo
CatbalooPosts: 6829
Group Leader

Don't blame yourself for the breakup. He clearly is manic and not thinking rationally right now.

I sincerely hope that he has seen a pdoc and is on meds. That is the first step to achieving stability and it would show that he has decided to take responsibility for his illness.


01/03/2012 01:56 PM
j1701
 
Posts: 140
Member

MorningSigh when I was manic I thought my SO was mean and awful and out to get me. I couldn't understand why he'd suddenly changed. I believed these things wholeheartedly but in reality I was the one who'd changed and was being awful. All I wanted to was to get away -- there's an urge to run away from everyone that is pretty common when someone is manic -- I even looked for places to go. At another point I went into mixed mania and then I thought running away/taking a break would be best for us because I knew I was causing emotional pain and couldn't stop myself. So my 'solution' was time a part.

It was all very irrational but I DID BELIEVE these things to be true at the time. I believed pretty much the opposite of reality. Once I was medicated, all those irrational thoughts went away and I was able to see what had really happened. It was painful and I felt guilty as hell for it all but we've survived and now we both know that I can get like this so 1. I gotta take my meds and 2. he's gotta help me look for signs but not in a patronizing/demeaning way. It works for us but you have to be committed and trust one another.

ETA: Catabaloo is right about the breakup. He is very obviously manic.

Post edited by: j1701, at: 01/03/2012 01:57 PM

Post edited by: j1701, at: 01/03/2012 01:59 PM


01/04/2012 06:37 AM
MorningSigh
Posts: 13
Member

Thank you so much. How long did you have to be medicated before you realized these things? I am so worried about him and it is hard to be unable to do anything just to let him know I care because I am afraid he will take everything and anything in a negative light.

01/04/2012 09:07 AM
sadsnackey
sadsnackeyPosts: 17
Member

I joined this forum for the same reason, MorningSigh. My girlfriend dumped me outta the blue and we were together for four years. I too wish I had done alot of research "back when". Looking back, I am realizing that there are alot of things that I should have paid more attention to.

When we were first together it was amazing, we were so in love, together all the time. 5 or 6 months into it, after a normal day of being happy, she broke-up with me suddenly. She said she didn't love me and she wasn't ready to settle down, it was over, she was so sorry. I was crushed, how could it be? We were like magic together, it was so great, she was gone. Three days later she comes to me asking if we can talk. She said she had been skipping her meds and when she wasn't taking them she felt like there was another force inside her that was in control, she couldn't feel anything for me she said. We got back together and I began monitoring her meds more frequently.

Fast forward. We have lived together for three years and we have been happy. She always talks about how happy she is to have such a stable and happy life. She loves me, she loves our house, I make her feel so special because of the love and acceptance I have for her. She loves that her family loves me and that they have gotten closer since I came along. We always say the mushiest stuff to eachother.

I should have been paying closer attention and I blame myself for it. She began getting really irritated about her job, she started saying she had to quit, "I have to, I have to, I can't do this." She started complaining that her night time meds (depakote) were inhibiting her artistic side (she is an amazing artist). She was talking to everyone about it. She recently came to me and said that she wanted to lower her dosage of meds as she felt like she could handle it since she was in such a safe and stable place in her life, "I am happy and healthy. I have held down a job for 4 years and a good relationship, I have a great place to live. I think I need to lower my dosage." I urged her to go thru the proper channels w/ her doctor because I told her it makes me nervous that she will break-up w/ me again. I should have addressed the situation further, looking back. A few days after we had this conversation she came to me and confessed that she had been forgetting to take her meds. She quickly reassured me that she loved me and was back on track. The week leading up to her leaving, she was up at all hours in her art room (depakote makes her sleepy) painting, she was cleaning alot, she was going out and drinking alot (she can't mix booze w/ depakote or she barfs). I was worrying but I didn't wanna agitate her or seem like a nag if I brought up the meds.

The saturday morning that she broke it off was a normal morning. We were being lovable with eachother, I was taking pictures of her, we were talking about getting our Christmas Tree. She went in and took a shower and when she came out she announced that she didn't love me anymore and wasn't ready to settle down. Just like the first time she dumped me, like it was scripted. She said she didn't want or need the stability anymore, "I don't want any of this anymore." She said she was moving back in with her Mom (she loathes living w/ her Mom), she left and didn't take her meds with her. I was left there holding the bag. All the bills and responsibilities are mine now. Since she has been gone I have only received cold and business-like e-mails from her, I have not seen her. All of her stuff was moved out. We have never gone three weeks w/o seeing eachother, we hate being apart.

She told me that she felt a stirring inside. She felt a force bringing her to attention and she had to answer it. She said her demons had been stirred and her restless spirit had returned. She said no talk we could have had would ever have changed this. In her defense, things have been very mundane lately. Winter hit, I have a bit of seasonal depression,it gets dark early. Not the most inspirational of times but I thought we had a strong relationship that could weather any storm, we would ebb and flow together. I was wrong.

I miss her and I love her and this is by far the hardest thing I have ever endured. I feel completely abandoned. I wait for her to walk thru the door. I had to rearrange the whole house. I have lost 20 pounds. It is torture.

I know that our stories are different in alot of ways but they are also similar. I feel your pain, I am in the middle of it. I want her to come home, but then again, I don't ever want to go thru this again. A third time would take me down completely. Oh crap, here I go crying again.


01/04/2012 10:17 AM
MorningSigh
Posts: 13
Member

sadsnackey, i am so sorry for the pain you must be feeling. i really can't imagine. for me, it has been helpful to surround myself with people who love me and i feel safe with. try to do things for yourself if possible. i have really stayed away from drinking much during this time so I can remain clear. breathe... know your life isn't over although it may feel that way right now. the pain is awful... every single day... i feel that way too but you have to keep going. i believe you can do that while still loving her and being there for her, if you choose to be, when/if she returns. HUG!!

Post edited by: MorningSigh, at: 01/05/2012 07:48 AM

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