Navigating any romantic relationship — whether it’s dating or marriage — can be a tricky endeavor. Add bipolar disorder with its roller-coaster ride of emotions into the mix, and relationships become even more challenging. For some couples, bipolar symptoms erupt after the relationship is already established. However, Bipolar Disorder can actually strengthen relationships as well. He adds that not everyone with bipolar disorder experiences the distinct mood phases of mania and depression. But when those episodes do occur they can wreak havoc on a relationship.
During the manic phase, a person can lose his or her sense of judgment. That means spending money recklessly, becoming promiscuous, engaging in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, and even getting into trouble with the law. “When you have a spouse with bipolar disorder who gets in a manic phase,” he says, “it can be extremely detrimental to the relationship because they may be doing things that endanger you or may endanger you financially.” On the other side of the curve is depression. Depression can cause the person to withdraw completely from everything — and everyone — around him or her. “If you’re a partner with someone, it’s very frustrating,” Haltzman says. “That’s because you want to pull them out of their shell and you don’t know how to do it.”
Bipolar disorder can become an issue from the very start of a relationship. When you first meet someone you like, it’s natural to want to make a good impression. Introducing the fact that you have bipolar disorder may not make for the most auspicious beginning. There is always the fear that you might scare the person off and lose the opportunity to get to know one another. At some point, though, you will need to let your partner know that you are bipolar.
You can have a healthy, happy, thriving relationship while living with Bipolar Disorder – just be upfront and honest about it.