How bipolar affects relationships
Although Bipolar is controllable, prolonged mood episodes can affect a person’s personal and social life. Bipolar disorder brings sudden changes in emotions, mood, and energy that can affect how a person behaves, feels, or think.
People with Bipolar disorder experience low and high moods that can impact their relationships with their loved ones. There’re two types of mood episodes a person experiences in bipolar disorder: manic episodes and depressive episodes. These episodes can affect how a person acts in a relationship, especially in a romantic one.
This article revolves around how bipolar affects relationships and what are some useful ways to have a healthy relationship while having bipolar.
How Bipolar Affects Relationships
People who are diagnosed with bipolar experience some symptoms and manifestations that can affect their relationships, such as:
- Irritable Behavior
Without effective management or treatment, a person with bipolar shows severe irritable behavior during manic episodes.
A person with bipolar disorder tends to be easily annoyed and disagree with their partner, which can considerably affect a healthy relationship.
Manic episodes make a person less available to their partners, whether it’s because of binge drinking or spending sprees.
This irritable behavior can create considerable tension within a relationship.
- Depressive Behavior
Depressive bipolar episodes trigger depressive behavior. During depressive episodes, a person experiences various depressive symptoms such as anxiety and depression that trigger miscommunication in a relationship.
They may turn tearful suddenly or feel hopeless sometimes. During a depressive episode, a person may also feel pessimistic, which makes them less attractive to their partners.
Depressive behavior leads to lower self-esteem, under which a person’s sex drive becomes reduced, and they may start feeling less affectionate. Lower sex drive itself is one of the biggest antagonists for healthy relationships.
- Mixed Behavior
A person with bipolar also experiences mixed episodes in which they have manifestations of mania and depression at the same time. Partners of the persons under mixed episodes feel confused or stressful that could prove to be a crack in the relationship.
- Parenting Issues
Bipolar also affects the relationship of parents with their children due to parenting issues it causes. Parents with bipolar disorder become less available for their children, which could trigger several parenting issues such as less interaction, poor guidance, less quality time, and distorted parent-child bond.
- Intimacy problems
Sudden mood shifts in bipolar disorders may lead to a variety of intimacy problems such as lower sex drives, risky behavior, and sudden urge to engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners. Sometimes manic and depressive episodes together incline a person to go outside of the relationship for sex.
How to have a healthy relationship with bipolar disorder?
Well-managed bipolar disorder doesn’t have a significant impact on the relationship. There’re many ways to manage and treat bipolar disorder, such as medication, psychotherapy, and counseling. Through these ways, a person with bipolar can have a stable mood even under intense episodes.
Following are some useful tips that can help you have a healthy relationship with Bipolar:
- Get supporting treatment from a bipolar specialist, which will help you not only to figure out the trigger factors that can cause mode shifts to set in but also control these triggers.
- Proper counseling can help you control your behaviors and overcome manic or depressive episodes.
- Communicate your feelings with your partner. It’s a real help as it allows your partner to understand what you’re going through. Your partner can help you overcome the symptoms without judging or stigmatizing you.
- Practice self-care, be consistent with your treatment and stay close with your partner to prevent bipolar from affecting your relationship
Bipolar is a real condition and you have to have a good understanding about how bipolar affects relationships before you even start dating.
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