Living With Bipolar

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It was a normal night at home with my,then, girlfriend. We were talking and then got into a little argument that quickly esculated into her being curled up in a corner rocking back and forth. I was freaked out! Nothing I could say or do was going to calm the situation down. The only thing that I could do was to just be quiet and be there for her if she needed me. Eventually, I married her.

The Definition of Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year or as often as several times a week.

Over the first few years of our marriage, I didn’t really notice the signs because I had no idea what they were. We had our son within our first year of marriage so, I thought, it’s just pregnancy. After our son was born, I thought, it’s just postpartum. A couple of more years went by and we were expecting our daughter so the same excuses applied.

A few more years went by and we were happy. We started getting into the habit of going out on the weekends because the kids would swap grandparents every weekend. Pretty soon, it got to the point, when I was ready to come home my wife wasn’t. Eventually, we became reckless with our wedding vows and then things really got wild. She went through, What I call, the F*** it stage. She would always choose the cliff to jump off of instead of the heading for the safer side. It got to the point that we almost split up once and then a year later we did. It was a very hard time. My wife had asked me for help a couple of times but I thought it would get better or it will pass. When we split up, her behavior continued for a couple of months and then she had a breakdown.She was Manic. Her best friend and I took her to the doctor and she was put on her medicine for Bipolar. It helped!

A manic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood that lasts at least one week (or less than a week if hospitalization is necessary). The episode includes persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy.


We were still split up but were talking every day. We were quickly becoming best friends again. Around the third month of the split, we got back together. Our life changed and became more family focused. Things were looking up. We were really happy now. After a while, we were able to limit medications to just one. The thing we learned was that there was going to be trying times where we would have to make adjustments. The adjustments can be tricky and sometimes really hard.

Initial treatment. Often, you’ll need to start taking medications to balance your moods right away. Once your symptoms are under control, you’ll work with your doctor to find the best long-term treatment.

Last year, my wife lost her mother at a real young age. They had been arguing at the time so she blamed herself. It only got worse from there. She lost her grandmother, who had practically raised her, less than a month later. She knew that it was getting bad for her as did I. Now she is really good about feeling the change herself and asking for help. We went to the doctor and made some adjustments to her meds again. The thing with Bipolar is, you can go to the manic side all the way down to a very depressed state. We were at rock bottom. She laid in the bed for weeks. I was trying to keep us together as a family and help her through. I covered for her when I could but begged her to just get out of bed. Just go outside, PLEASE!! I know that it was a hard time for her anyway but having Bipolar just made it that much worse for her. I feared for her safety. I was scared. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t want to deal with things. I don’t know how to deal with things. I feel this way but I know that if I am not there to support her and pull her back from the edge, who will be?

Continued treatment. Bipolar disorder requires lifelong treatment, even during periods when you feel better. Maintenance treatment is used to manage bipolar disorder on a long-term basis. People who skip maintenance treatment are at high risk of a relapse of symptoms or having minor mood changes turn into full-blown mania or depression.

As time went by, things started getting back to normal. She started traveling for her blog again, she started going outside, she started eating, and she had to get out of bed to do all of those things. She still has her highs and lows but we are back to normal. As normal as things can be when we are involved. The main thing that I have done is to just understand that she can’t help it when it gets bad. She is really trying to get things straightened out. I love her and I love our family so I am going to keep being there for her and trying to educate myself and understand where she is coming from. I’ve got her back and she has mine.


Coping with bipolar disorder can be challenging. Here are some strategies that can help:
Learn about bipolar disorder. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan. Help educate your family and friends about what you’re going through.
Stay focused on your goals. Recovery from bipolar disorder can take time. Stay motivated by keeping your recovery goals in mind and reminding yourself that you can work to repair damaged relationships and other problems caused by your mood swings.
Join a support group. Support groups for people with bipolar disorder can help you connect to others facing similar challenges and share experiences.
Find healthy outlets. Explore healthy ways to channel your energy, such as hobbies, exercise and recreational activities.
Learn ways to relax and manage stress. Yoga, tai chi, massage, meditation or other relaxation techniques can be helpful.

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  1. We definitely need to talk about these issues more. My husband deals with depression. It’s not always easy for me to understand but I have learned over the years that I can’t ‘fix’ him. All I can do is be there to support, encourage and love him. You’re doing awesome supporting your beautiful wife! You all are great together! πŸ™‚
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  2. Ashley M says:

    I think what made me cry through this is that you you’re able to see things from her point of view. Sometimes as spouses we can be so reactionary and come at a situation from how it makes us feel instead of how the situation is making our spouse feel – especially when things are bad.

    Even if you couldn’t at the beginning you do now and make an effort to recognize the signs. You guys make a great team. πŸ™‚

    • We are really open about things now. Not just related to the Bipolar but with everything. What a difference.

  3. I’ve heard a little from her about what a great husband you are – and hearing this story from you just warms my heart. It’s so clear that you love her so much!! I can only imagine how her bipolar must be difficult for you too, big hugs!! Remember to take care of yourself too when things are rough; take time for yourself, do something you enjoy so you don’t get too overwhelmed. xoxo

  4. my son deals with pediatric bipolar. it is a real struggle. he has other things on top of the bipolar and together, some day I don’t know how we will survive to the next one.

    keep the faith, your bride is blessed to have you.
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  5. <3 I heart you so much. And your wife. Thanks for this post.
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