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Archives for Bipolar - Page 4


Back to the Beginning: Preparing for Partner Relapse

For a while now--maybe a few weeks, months, or even years--your partner has been doing well. They take their medications, attend therapy, are employed, and your relationship is going well. The harrowing days when the clouds their illness overshadowed everything in life have long parted and the sun is shining on you and your partner again. The future forecast is for sunny and mild temperatures.

Relapse can hit a relationship like a thunderstorm that appears out...
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Connecting With Others When Your Partner is Ill

A few posts ago, I wrote about whether you should keep your partner's illness a secret. Chances are that you have some pretty strong feelings one way or the other about how much disclosure is necessary, and who needs to know about your private life. But no matter what level of sharing about your partner's illness you feel is appropriate, you still need support and other social outlets. Connecting with others is part...
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Anxiety and Panic

Hiding Your Partner’s Mental Illness: Do or Don’t?

Your partner isn't with you when you show up to the party, again. People ask where they are, and you wonder, "Do I tell the truth, or do I say something else?" This is not the first time you've been in a position of feeling as if you need to make an excuse for your partner's absence, and it's getting old.

Deciding whether or not to be honest about your partner's illness is a personal decision....
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Mental Illness or Personality Traits?: The Roots of “Bad” Behavior in Your Partner

When you look at the list of symptoms for various mental illnesses, they can sometimes parallel the traits we generally do not desire in a partner, such as:

lack of interest in activities
mood shifts (often unexpected)
elevated self-esteem
impairment in completing activities

How do you know if your partner's behaviors are truly due to mental illness or if they are just personality characteristics? And what do you do if you suspect that your partner is blaming their behavior on...
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When Your Partner Has Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is one of those diagnoses that can be difficult for a medical professional to figure out, let alone someone who has no mental health training.

Bipolar disorder can show up in many different forms, and for both the person experiencing it and their partner, the shifts in mood can be baffling and frustrating. Getting upset can make it worse, but so can not doing anything, either.

If your partner has a bipolar...
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How to Select a Good Support Group

Earlier, I wrote about the benefits of support groups for partners of people with mental illness. Today I have some tips for how to go about selecting an appropriate group.

I'm not going to lie and say that every support group is terrific and that no matter where you go, it'll be a positive experience. I will tell you that doing some homework, like you did when researching your partner's...
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Benefits of Support Groups for Partners

People tend to have strong opinions about groups:
love 'em or hate 'em.
People tend to have even stronger opinions about support groups, and it's generally on the hate 'em side.

"What's the problem?", I ask my clients.

I'm not a "sharing" kind of person.
I don't want others knowing my business.
Support groups are boring and/or a waste of my time.
I already know what they are going to say.
People who need to attend support...
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When You Learn Your Partner Has a Mental Illness: Part 2

[Yesterday we discussed the first steps in how to handle a diagnosis of a mental illness in your partner. Read that post here.]

As you gather information, talking with your partner about what you find is extremely important. After all, it’s his or her life. Just because you find a treatment that sounds promising does not mean your partner will agree. Your role as the partner is to be supportive.

This is a tricky balance because you probably want to help, and...
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