35 Comments

  1. It’s the end of 2017 and here I am getting some help from reading your post. I am deeply in love with a woman who has BPD and an looking for questions why things were going so well one day and she wanted “space” the next.

    I’m learning though, so when she does come back to me, I’d like to talk to her to find out how I can support her better.

    But I wanted to say thank you.

  2. I know this is an old post but I ran across this blog while researching how to deal with a partner who has bipolar. My boyfriend of 2 years has bipolar and is medicated. I am finding it increasingly hard to differentiate between the real him and this disease. I never know how he really feels about me and our relationship. He’ll say that he’s unhappy, states everything that he doesn’t like about me, and that he’s not sure about us anymore. I never know if this is how he really feels or if it’s the depression talking. (He’s more of a depressive type.) But even when he’s very depressed, he’s high functioning and can act “happy” which makes it’s even harder to know how bad he’s feeling at times or if he’s not in his “right mind.” This makes it easy to assume he really means what he says and it’s impossible not to take what he says personally.

    I appreciate this glimpse into a depressed mind but how supportive can people with bipolar expect their non-BP partners to be when there is so much fluctuation and pushing away? How safe can we feel when they seem to have constant doubts about you and the relationship? I’ve read some of your other posts and reader comments where there is much emphasis on finding the “right” partner. I feel that I’m a great girlfriend. I’ve put up with more than most women would, and I try to be as supportive as I can, but it seems like the best way to deal with a person with BP is to be numb, never offer resistance, don’t believe anything they say because it might be different tomorrow, don’t make plans, don’t expect to have any sense of security, and be very careful about what you say because you may accidentally trigger an episode. Because of his “wishy-washy” behavior and words, I tend to ask lots of questions to make sense of something he has said or to clarify something that contradicts something that was previously said. He’ll avoid my questions, make a joke about it, tell me what he thinks I want to hear, or change the subject. This makes me feel the urge to corner him (not physically) & demand answers. He’ll shut down altogether and leave for a few days because I have “triggered” him. Of course, I feel it’s my fault. If I hadn’t asked my questions, or if I had chosen a better time, or if I hadn’t pushed, he wouldn’t have shut down. It just makes me so angry and I can’t help but to push when he’s pulling back. All this makes me hesitant to mention my own doubts. He’ll leave, ignore my calls and texts, and then come back like nothing has happened. It looks like a pattern has been established where he doesn’t feel the need to apologize anymore because I’ll always be there waiting. I guess because he feels that it’s my fault. Maybe he’s expecting me to apologize.

    Can bipolar people not see how badly this affects the people who DO actually care and want to be supportive? You can’t do this to people and then complain that we (non-BPs) are unloving, don’t understand your illness, are unsympathetic… I’m not trying to be rude about this. I do love my boyfriend (he’s great when he’s not having an episode) but what do BPs really want from us non-BPs? To just stand by, walk on eggshells, become mind-readers, and try to understand you better than you understand yourselves? Maybe that’s great for you but that’s a lot to expect from another person.

  3. This post (and the comments following it) has just given me the BEST insight on what it is like for someone to suffer bipolar depression. Many websites will list signs and symptoms but it’s not often you find this description of first-hand experience that is written with passion and emotion.

    My boyfriend of two+ years suffers from bipolar II (as well as other conditions) and symptoms have come such a long way since we began supplements and lifestyle adjustments (few months into this change – stable so far). Before I discovered his condition, I was in utter confusion, frustration and heartbreak about the inconsistent behaviours and emotions I witnessed. I myself have ADHD with anxiety, which makes our relationship an absolute roller coaster ride.

    If you don’t mind answering a personal question.. Once you come out of your depressive episodes, are there changes to your relationship (compared with before the episode)? I.e. Are you able to reconnect the same emotions with your fiancΓ© again? I know this must not be easy to answer, because it probably digs deep into emotions. I would appreciate any comments.

    Keep up the fantastic work you put in with this blog. It is an incredibly useful resource which I want to share with others. Thank you for sharing such personal experiences!

    J

    • I’m so sorry that I did not reply to your comment yet as it has been well over a year – I feel so terrible about that. I’m very happy to answer any questions though! After coming out of my depression, I feel the relationship and our connection have grown stronger, but most times I feel we go back to how we were before the episode. Once the depression lifts, I do feel reconnected to my spouse and I realize that the depression caused me to feel so disconnected from him. So, yes, it does get better once the depression is gone πŸ™‚

  4. This post describes exactly how I feel right now. I have dealt with depression for so long off and on. I am tired of it. My anxiety is through the roof, as you say. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I also have a tremendous numbing feeling when depression hits. It’s frightening when it happens. I’m going through one of those spells at this very moment. And while I don’t take pleasure in the suffering of others, I do take some solace in knowing that other people feel what I feel. It helps me know that I’m not truly alone, despite how lonely I may feel at any given moment.
    Thank you for writing about it. You’re helping yourself and others by doing so.

  6. Pingback: Pertinent Reblog « The Inner Limits

  7. I don’t have bipolar, but I do have major depression, and so I know how it can mess you up – I would have said terrifying or painful, but one of the worst parts of depression is that it replaces those feelings with numbness. It’s awesome that you felt comfortable enough to share this here, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to repost it on my blog.

  8. That pretty much sums up the depressive side. Thank you for sharing this information with the world.

  9. Hi! Thank you for following my blog MoreTHanMommy! I love your site and I think the message is wonderful! I have a sister in law who struggles with bipolar and it is just unbelievable to me that there are still people out there who don’t understand mental illness. She has faced her fair share of bias, rude remarks, and general unsympathetic, intrusive behavior even within our family! I appreciate your honesty in this post. I’ve dealt with bouts of depression from childhood but since I’ve become pregnant it is a whole new ball game. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and keep writing!!!

  10. While I don’t suffer from bi-polar, I do suffer from chronic pain and when the pain is at its worst, those same feelings of hopelessness creep up, lingering longer and longer as the pain remains. I become incredibly irritable; I cry endlessly into my pillow, praying for reprieve, even for just a short time. I feel guilt that I’m not holding up my end of the bargain as a wife, a mother, an employee. The more the pain stays with me, day in, day out, the deeper I fall into depression. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy! Why can’t I will myself to take a shower and get to work? I know it will pass, so why do I find it so difficult to keep pushing forward?
    Your description of what you suffer, while somewhat different from my own experience, makes me feel like I’m not alone. I’m not crazy, and we will get through it. Thank you!

  11. Your description is spot on. On those days all i can do is hide from the world and cry

  12. You point out clearly that each of us experiences depression in a different way, just like each of us experiences food in a different way. Thank you for sharing your incredible insight. Yes, all we can do is wait for it to pass, and know that it will pass, even if we don’t remember that it ever did. I think that this kind of discussion gives us all a lot more strength and clarity.

  13. Kait, its been awhile since I last visited your blogs. Four weeks ago I had back surgery and have been improving daily. Time for me to catch up with the outside world. Your blog is very powerful and gives the reader a glimpse into the world of depression. It’s interesting that I am in the middle of writing a blog about my experiences with depression. I’ll provide another view of that soul-eating entity called depression. Best to you Kait. Keep up the good work.

  14. I have trouble with anxiety and major depressive episodes. You described what I fight all the time. Thanks for your blog!

  15. It is always good to get by your blog … Too bad I cannot get by here more than what is the case. Regarding depression, I am glad I have good seasons (mini seasons) where the Black Dog is kept at bay. When I am in the midst of it … I am able to function, not like some good, courageous, folks. I don’t know if you want a good book resource (what I would consider a good resource) on male depression. If you don’t disregard, and if you do … here it is: I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, by Terrence Real. Peace, T

    • I totally understand. It seems the depression comes and goes and some days are easier than others. I will have to check out that book. Thank you!

  16. I want to say I can relate, but those words feel empty. You really did nail it. Recently I have started thinking that im going crazy. That I cant handle my emotions anymore, they seem to be suffocating me and I feel like I really am just going crazy.I hope that you stay strong. It gives me comfort knowing I am not the only one feeling this way, that there are others too, fighting back. Take care…

  17. Spending my life , from birth, around depression.

    will repost your crystal words… And making time our friend, staying the course and waiting, no other message is more important. The weather will change.

    thank you, Kait, much love.

  18. simply wonderful description to that sucking black vortex, depression, *hugs*

  19. Succinct, you nailed it. I want the whole world to read this.

  20. great post! You and I have something in common. You have your problem and I have a daughter with your problem so I can relate to your post on a personal basis. If you ask me how can I help you, I would not be educated enough to advise you except to say that this problem comes from the deep sources of your mind and it is these thoughts that are controlling what you think and do. Google the story of two wolves within to see where I am coming from. Good luck and I hope all things work out for you regards Brian

    • Thank you. It feels nice to be able to relate to others. I hope your daughter is doing well and I thank you for your advice and kind words πŸ™‚

  21. Extremely well put. I’m an author and I still can’t seem to get it right when I try to describe it. Ironically, it’s words from another movement that are my mantra when I’m feeling down, “It will get better,” “It’s not always going to be like this,” (that may be one I sort of made up). I try to remember to keep breathing, it will be okay. The thing that stopped me from actively thinking of suicide to suicidal ideation, which I can deal with, was when my baby sister was born, who is 23 years younger than I am. I wanted her to know me, and I knew if I did anything it would hurt her. I always managed to remember that somehow through everything. This is such a wonderful post.

    Would you mind if I reposted this on my blog? (with all credit to you) I’ve been ranting about politics, and I’m sure it would be a welcome change for my readers. But, while I’m not in a major depression one right now) everything that is happening in the world is pushing me close. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have many friends who are authors and other creative types, especially susceptible to despression and bi-polar–one week, and I’m not exaggerating, at least five, and those are the ones who would admit it on their blogs, were having problems with depression. I had to quit my day job. People don’t understand it’s an invisible disability. Maybe because people with mental illnesses don’t want to accept them as “disabilities,” per se. I don’t know. It’s a huge topic in itself, and I do babble.

    My blog is: http://livinginmultipleworlds.wordpress.com/

    I was going to try to start another one, Living in Beautiful Worlds, concentrating on art, to try to help me realize all the beauty there is in the world as well. I haven’t gotten as far on that one.

    You are doing a wonderful job with this issue, and I feel absolutely no need to infringe (plus, people actually visit your blog) LOL It makes me very happy to see that someone is capably handling this issue–successfully. I was always sure no one would ever love me because of all of my issues, but I’ve been in a relationship for seven years and have been in others where it wasn’t an issue and not the reason we separated. I’ll stop babbling. I do that. I need severe editing as an author. πŸ™‚

    Thank you. You are definitely needed.

    • Thank you! I appreciate your comments and I feel flattered that you enjoy how I explain these topics. Sometimes I feel I am too simple, but it makes me very happy to see that others like it.

      I don’t mind at all if you want to re-blog this post or any posts of mine. That would mean a great deal to me actually. Thank you! I will definitely be checking out your blogs. I also love art as well! I wish you the best of luck in your writing and blogging endeavors. I also wish you luck and hope all is well in your relationship. 7 years is great!! Stay well and keep writing πŸ™‚

  22. Powerful and perfect words to describe depression. I wish you (and your fiancΓ©) all the very best. Take care. x

  23. You did a wonderful job of describing depression!! I just came out of a major depressive episode. You know it will pass, but it sure doesn’t feel like it! Way to go!

    • Thank you. I hope you are feeling better now. I, too just came out of an episode as well. It does appear to pass eventually which is good to keep in mind. πŸ™‚

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