Bipolar disorder can put a strain on any relationship, but these survival tips will help you stay together and work through the problems. Mental health disorders can be unpredictable, so being flexible is essential, I know!
Let Go of the Guilt
Guilt does not belong in any healthy relationship. Unfortunately, dealing with a loved one who is suffering from bipolar disorder can lead to feelings of guilt. Many caretakers and family members feel guilty if they are enjoying an evening out alone. They wonder if they did the right thing in whatever decisions they have made regarding circumstances that have resulted from family or friends bipolar behavior. They also question how much they have helped and believe they are not doing enough. Guilt can lead to resentment, so it is important to work out issues before they become more serious.
Anosognosia refers to patients refusing to recognize they are suffering from a mental health disorder. Loved ones suffering from bipolar disorder often have anosognosia and will not accept their diagnosis or if they do accept it they refuse to take or follow through with medication that may be needed. This can lead to many problems in a relationship. It is important not to face these battles alone and get help from medical professionals, friends and other family members. You may want to use MRI brain scans, which are considered a dependable way to test for the disorder, to help the bipolar patient understand the condition.
Let Go of the Myths
Unfortunately, myths such as love can heal everything or thinking about the disorder can make it go away are harmful to relationships. Another common myth is that bipolar disorder patients can easily control their condition with more effort. Unfortunately bipolar is one the harder mental illnesses to be controlled simply because in a manic phase, they person enjoys the high it gives them and they do not want that feeling to go away. It is important to focus on realistic goals for the relationship and your partner.
Take Time to Care for Yourself
A loved one with mental health issues can make you forget to take time off for yourself. You will be able to help your partner better if you are refreshed and relaxed. From scheduling an evening out with friends at your favorite restaurant to taking a walk by yourself on a new trail, you need to find activities that help you unwind. Trust me, if you can’t unwind it will be very difficult to work on your relationship.