Defeated by this Disease

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-02-2006
Defeated by this Disease
4
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 9:14pm
Hello Everyone!

My boyfriend was diagnosed with bpd a few weeks back. He has known that something was wrong for a long time because he was self medicating with alcohol. Since we started dating, he stopped drinking and lived a normal life. We moved in together and panic attacks started to emerge. At first I thought it was a fear of driving since he's has had two accidents that could have killed him, but slowly things started to get worse.

He started feeling severely depressed and that's when he decided to seek professional help. A regular physician gave him an antidepressant and something to help with his anxiety. The antidepressant did a number on him...so bad that he didn't even want to get out of bed. We sought help elsewhere and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taken off the antidepressants immediately, which we know now could have caused him to take his own life.

He's been on a mood stabilizer for several weeks now but I don't see him getting any better. Even though he's not depressed, he's angry and mean more often and just doesn't care about anything. He's hurt my feelings several times but I don't know how to react to that. I feel that he recovers from these episodes a lot faster than I do. I feel defeated and just lost...do I stick it out with him and fight or just walk away and let him solve his own issues?

Can someone give me some advice not to take things so personal? Is there something more I can do than be supportive and attentive. I don't want this to permanently affect our relationship.

Thanks, Sky
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2006
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 8:56am

Hello Sky and welcome to the bipolar board.

First, I am sorry you are having a hard time coping with this horrible illness your boyfriend has. I know both sides of this. I have bipolar and I have had to be around others who were depressed and not in a good mood, which caused me to get my feelings hurt many times.

I can not tell you to walk away from your BF or stay with him, however, I can tell you that it is not up to you to fix your BF. It is up to him to fix himself. Though caring about someone and offering your support is always valued by any human, usually.

Is he in counseling as well as seeing a psych doc (pdoc)? Getting counseling is just as important as being on meds, in my opinion, because this will help him express his concerns as well as learn coping skills to put in to action when he is dealing with a "mood swing".

This illness can not be cured, but it can be managed with meds and counseling. The main factor here is the person with bipolar, or any mental illness, being willing to do the work to get better and become more stable. That does not mean everyday will be a good one, it just means you can have more good days the more you work in counseling learning the coping skills. This takes a lot of time. Change never happens over night as far as learning coping skills is concerned.

Something you can do is look into going to a support group to learn about how to cope with loving someone who is living with mental illness. A web site you can check out is www.nami.org This site will provide you with a lot of information on this illness as well as inform you of the cities where these educational groups and support groups are located in your area. Hopefully, you will have one close to you if you are interested in attending. There is also a message board on iVillage for friends and family of someone with mental illness. I will have to get back to you with the link.

Also, I say this a lot to members here, bipolar does not give someone a free ticket to hurt someone who cares about them. It is ok to let your BF know that what he says or does hurts you and you understand he has bipolar, but you do not want to be treated that way and would like him to be more aware and care about what he says to you. Even if someone did not mean to hurt us does not make it hurt any less, but we can forgive them if we feel they truly mean they are sorry and IF they truly try to not hurt us again. In addition to this, I want you to understand that until your BF gets on the correct meds, which can take a few to many tries, you will see him being unstable at times and he may say things that hurt you or act in ways that are hard to understand. It does take a little time for meds to kick in, but if you or he do not see a difference after 5-6 weeks at all, then it is important for your BF to talk to his doc about it so that his meds can be re-evaluated.

You are welcome here anytime to ask questions, vent, or comment to someone else's post.

Hang in there!

     ~ Tina ~

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2006
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 9:11am

Sky,

Here is the link to Family's & Mental Illness board, if you want to check out this board as well http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-bhfamschiz

You are also welcome here anytime.

     ~ Tina ~

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2010
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 10:59am

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-02-2006
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 3:01pm

Thank you very much for your replies.