17-12-2018 07:43 AM
My husband has been recently diagnosed with Bi Polar. This weekend I arranged an amazing weeekend away for his birthday but as soon as he gets home, the panic attacks start. His anger, then sadness begins. I try and communicate with him, I ask him what does he need right now, I ask him if there is anything I can do. I sit there and I listen even at times feeling really anxious and scared myself. I then get told I’m not doing a good enough job. When I try to set boundaries he tells me he can’t help it if he crosses them which I find really disrespectful but I don’t know what to do.
I’m really stuck I love him but I hate thinking this is what my rest of my life is going to look like.
17-12-2018 10:46 AM
Loving someone with bipolar (i or ii) or as Tigz calls her man, a Bipolar Bear, certainly has it's ups and downs. They can be un-bear-able, over-bear-ing but at other times they are cuddly bears and do show us they care for us too.
Learning how to adjust to life living with someone with what is a chronic condition and at times debilitating can be difficult - but it does not need to be a misery.
In saying that there are dreadful down times, some of us have seen the lowest of lows with attempts; substantance abuse can be a huge problem. Some of our partners are happy to involve us in their care (I am fortunately in that group) whilst others do not.
What I have found (and this is not always the case) is that when I learnt about things and responded in a healthy way, assuring Mr D I was on his team and tackling things together, it did make life easier for me/us. But even with this we do need to do things to protect our hearts - to set and enforce boundaries.
In MI learning how to take responsibility for managing ones condition is a key component to living as well as possible in spite of a diagnosis and this does not come easy to some patients. Whilst they do lean heavily on us at times (as they often have difficulties with friendships) I like to think of therapists as the bear trainers - they have the skills to help our loved ones learn how to cope with their condition.
Having our own supports in place is vital to enable us to manage and there are lot of free supports out there - if you let me know your rough location I can send you a list.
I often refer to some tenets from an American support group that helped me greatly which include these statements:
"My loved one’s mental health challenge has also left me feeling helpless and hopeless. Therefore, I choose the help of others in learning about the disorder and choosing healthy boundaries for myself."
"I haven’t always responded to my loved one’s mental health issue in ways that were good for the relationship. Therefore, I choose to learn better ways to communicate with, support, and encourage my loved one."
These are some other carers who live with BP partners
I will tag you in a couple of talks that are really helpful.
Feel free to ask whatever questions you have, we don't pull punches, we tell it like it is 😀.
18-12-2018 09:29 PM
Thank you @Darcy for the pearls of wisdom!
I work in the welfare world and I think its very easy for my husband to say because I spend my day counselling people I should be able to support him the same.... However, as I tell him, I love him and its different seeing someone you love and living with them in pain etc.
It is funny because I do refet to my husband as a big cuddly bear
I do see a psychologist and I do have great support with work (flexibliltiy and understanding) so it makes it easier.
I will be sure to check the other links you have sent!
Thank you so much
22-12-2018 02:29 PM
22-12-2018 02:45 PM
23-12-2018 11:39 AM
My cuddly bear is ok at the moment. He seems to be in a hyper mood at the moment. The test will be after Christmas when things wind down again.
We keep our Christmas really small, food, movies with my sister and family so it’s very low key, less pressure.
We made the deal on not getting presents this year and just doing something special for our honeymoon coming in April when we go to the USA. 😊😊
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