Dating a bipolar sufferer

Seeing your partner beginning to stabilize after an episode of mania or depression is an enormous relief.Still, mood episodes can have serious repercussions (financial, legal, social, to name just a few) that linger long after they are over.

Much has been written about the relationship between creativity and bipolar illness. Why is denial so pervasive among bipolar sufferers? Last, in your book you candidly admit that although you were originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder in your early 30s, you didn’t accept it until 10 years later.How can spouses convince their loved ones to get the help they need?One reason that denial is so common is because being diagnosed as bipolar is extremely scary!Most experts in this area believe that sticking to a regular routine or schedule and abstaining from alcohol are essential components to achieving mood stability.This can make travel and even moderate drinking difficult.What are some easy lifestyle changes couples can make that will have a lasting, helpful impact?Having regular meal and sleep-wake times are very important. First and foremost, it’s crucial that spouses take time for their own needs (and not feel guilty about doing so! If they don’t, they often become so consumed with their partner’s illness that they “lose” themselves.Alcohol worsens and lengthens mood episodes; even worse, it also dramatically increases the risk of suicide, which is disproportionately high among people with bipolar disorder (at one time or another, about 25% of bipolar individuals make an attempt on their own lives).Spouses can play a huge role in supporting their partners’ sobriety by abstaining from alcohol themselves. What are some common early warning signs of depression? In the early stages of a mood episode, what can spouses do to help prevent the spell from escalating?

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