Anxiety is a significant part of living with bipolar disorder. This article is a must needed reminder to not let the illness define me. He is destroying himself as well as our family. Yes. I'm skeptical about his true condition. One is when somebody is a danger to themselves, another one is when somebody is a danger to others, and the third one is when somebody cannot take care of themselves. And that was always a sign for me. Breaking Bipolar. Ms. Riccio is a 41-year-old mother of two boys, ages five and nine, and the wife of a man with bipolar disorder complicated by episodes of migraine. During a period of a few years when things really were not managed psychopharmacologically, he had to quit three different jobs. One of the most frequently asked questions is how can one deal with bipolar age? When I was first diagnosed with my mental illness, bipolar 1, over ten years ago, my friends and fam i ly stopped treating me like I was on an even playing field with them. This article addresses some of the issues that can arise when dealing with a spouse with bipolar disorder. And, quite frankly, I'm not sure that even with the awareness and self education that we've gone through that I'm confident that we have the right supports in place. What about your children? It is a chronic disease. Doctor, I would think that a spouse or loved one would run into a lot of issues with HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and patient confidentiality if they're in a hospital situation or even in treatment situations. We need to eliminate the stigma. If you read this and think, “I am so sick, I don’t even know who I am!” then you are the prefect person to figure out what your stable SELF looks like. And at that point you need to have trust and communication, and say, “You know what, you have that look today. Yes. This is the core you and it will get you through. Some research shows that it’s helpful to have a regular routine. Years ago, she was going through a bad depressive episode after moving... READ MORE I learn so much from you Julie. I think strengthening your own reserves, taking care of yourself, drawing in on other resources are the best way to arm yourself in dealing with your loved one's problems. And I always knew that was an indicator of what was coming. It can be as subtle as change in the voice or change in the makeup or speaking at that meeting where you usually don't speak. Boy. This is the start. I will continue to show up for this life to the best of my ability. And, again, it's important to work with somebody who functions as a family psychiatrist, because it depends on the individual patient. That would have been so amazing to have access to. Everybody gets through everyday life and doesn't just fall apart when things get a little bit tough. Hello and thank you for joining us for Avoid a Breakdown: How to Care for Someone with Bipolar Disorder. The Myth of the Nervous Breakdown. How should people cope with his or her loved one when they are experiencing those extreme highs and lows? My sick brain was telling me that I would not recover and get back to writing and doing the work I love so much. Bipolar marriage is special, but not easy. At the very least, they will be some of the most … This time he was diagnosed with bipolar and depression. It's a chronic mental illness. Stress reduction strategies include maintaining normal sleep and normal activities and essentially normal life structure. Binge-watching the latest fad series. When things got nasty, as they typically do when someone is unable to do a project, I told myself I, my SELF would be fine. I can go weeks or months without a breakdown or a manic day, and I’m lucky I have a great doctor who has me on the right medications. What happened once he began treatment for depression? We have an e-mail from Agnes in San Francisco, “I have lived with this illness for 33 years. You cannot take sides. So proper nutrition in terms of caloric intake is of utmost importance. Learn about Bipolar Disorder. These cycles are unlike ordinary mood swings. "In this blog post, I share my experience with bipolar disorder and anxiety and explain how I have learned to cope with my fear of the future. I would probably want to know more of what is happening. If one tries to intervene, the happy bipolar customer will continue on with the deal. He's in an allied health profession, and I sometimes thought that his intelligence and ability to discuss what he was going through with such lucidity and clarity and with such intelligence may have in some cases led his healthcare providers down the wrong track, because he didn't seem in a conversational way to be so debilitated. Stress is the first sign that someone could be having a breakdown. Have lost myself through the duration of an illness that wants to kill me. Or give it so much power. It depends on how acute the unit is and how sick the patients are. As I said, I think there were symptoms for a long time that we kind of just missed because they worked themselves into the fabric of our relationship. Thank you for sharing your own experience and strength. I think that there are connotations to that that are frightening. You might be patient with somebody who is depressed, but then you have to be fairly forceful with somebody who is manic. John has been so very conscientious about sticking to his drugs and staying in touch with the psychopharmacologist, and he knows as much about the drugs as anybody out there now because he really makes sure he studies them and understands them. I'm a very resilient, strong person myself, and so for a long time my frustration was, Why doesn't he just get his act together? I couldn’t possibly have fallen for any of the myths surrounding bipolar disorder, right? Did he lose his job as this progressed? Think about how you react to stress and deal with conflict and insecurities. He refuses to help himself. Educate yourself. We see this term in news report, press releases and even in our own families -- "Oh, you know Aunt June? Find out what stress, poor sleep, and the time of year have to do with... Track the Vax: What Needs to Be Done to Get COVID-19 Vaccines Into Arms Faster? Bipolar disorder; Acute stress disorder; Complicated grief; Substance use disorders are also frequently diagnosed in people who suffer a nervous breakdown. But for the most part, I was more concerned with the fact that they were using him as a reporter. When pleasurable pastimes like shopping, gaming, or online socializing cross the line from enjoyable to excessive, it may be time to tame your overindulgences. Therefore, it is very important that intimacy is established in a bipolar marriage, in addition to a sexual relationship and, sometimes, instead of a sexual relationship. I realized that a lot of my issues had to do with the grief and the fear of what our future held for us. One is to deal with substance abuse, and that is going to improve the situation. Is there anything that I should be getting him in the way of supplements? Feeling panicked or … And also, pace yourself. A nervous breakdown is now called a bipolar disorder mood swing. So he wasn't there in terms of day-to-day partnering in life, but he also wasn't very accessible emotionally. And I had to work really hard at overcoming my own personal hang-ups and, quite frankly, my embarrassment about admitting that my husband had mental illness. 3. The term “bipolar” is thrown around a lot these days, yet it remains widely misunderstood. Borderline personality disorder can be a confusing diagnosis, and there are many misconceptions about what people with BPD experience. 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