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11/07/2008 02:30 PM

in love with someone who is bipolar

Posts: 1

I know there are a lot of posts here about this, but I am looking for advice as well.

My (current) ex and I dated for two and a half years. We have been broken up for almost exactly one. While we were dating I encouraged him to see a doctor and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I. After becoming very frustrated with the process of medication adjustment, he left me.

We still talk, sometimes more than others. I worry about him almost incessantly. He has recently dropped out of college, got fired from his job, and started drinking heavily.

I have asked him if he wants me out of his life and he tells me he doesn't. He won't be close to me like he was before though. A few nights ago he told me "I haven't let a single person get close to me since us. Don't take it so personally" and sometimes he texts me with just the words "I'm sorry" then doesn't explain anything. Last night he texted me at six in the morning asking to talk but I didn't get it until noon and by then he had decided he didn't want to anymore.

I just want to know what I should do. I still love him. I have told him if he ever needs anything or wants to talk then I will be here.

I don't want to pester him but he refuses to remove me from his life (not like I want him to) but he also refuses to let me get close to him.

Should I try to back away?

If I leave, he really has no one.

Post edited by: secretsecret, at: 11/07/2008 14:40


11/07/2008 02:42 PM
MacrinaPosts: 245

Well, I'll give you my 2 cents. I am also not bipolar but have a very good friend who is, and she's not facing her diagnosis yet...

Unless he sticks out working on the right med balance, he will not get better. The mood swings and whatever other symptoms will actually get worse over time, too. It seems like a common thing for people with bipolar to "self-medicate" with alcohol. Some parts of the drinking depress certain brain chemistry things and bring a temporary sense of relief -- sort of like for the rest of us, too. But as you know it is not a good or lasting remedy.

If I were in your shoes, I would try my best to convince him to go back and work with the pdoc with his whole heart, or to find another one if that one didn't click for him. But if he continues to refuse, I'd put down very clear and strong boundaries.

I'm getting to this point with my friend, too. She has a clear diagnosis which is probably going to be confirmed again next week. That is her big chance to respons and start taking meds. If she does, I'll be right beside her trying to support it. But if she doesn't, and chooses to walk away from this second doc as well, then what I will do for her will really shift. I'm not going down the road of crazy thinking anymore and am not running over to her house when she's feeling bad. She's going to have to handle all that on her own, as the consequences of not choosing treatment. If she is in a terrible psychotic episode, I'll go get her and bring her to the ER, where she'll end up going involuntarily to the hospital again, which she hates.

I think it would be a big mistake to do a lot of comforting for your friend. It sounds like that is actually moving into "enabling" him to hang onto his disease and not seek treatment. If you can lay it out very clearly (maybe write a letter?) your concerns for him and his GREAT NEED to treat this illness, then let him know if he chooses not to you will have to put up more distance -- maybe that will tip him over into getting the help he needs.

How does that hit you?

11/07/2008 02:47 PM
Posts: 123

Hi secretsecret. Be welcome to this group. I'm sorry about your situations and that of your BF. I would not let him down or left him. Besides, as I think I understood, you still like him and care for him. Being diagnosed with Bipolar can bring to one a huge amount of frustration and confusion. And it may get worse if he has been medicated (you don't mention that, but I'll assume he is on meds). New meds and their side effects can really throw you to the ground. One thing your BF should not do is drink alcohol. I know it may be quite difficult for, under this circumstances, to ask him and make him stop drinking. But you should be aware that drinking and bipolar and completely incompatible. Most probable is that alcohol will trigger a seizure. It is also important for him to keep visiting his doctor, preferably a psychiatric doctor. This are some general advices I can give. Hope they help you. If you need to talk or more help, just ask. You can count on me.

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