When it is not understood, bipolarity can have a sometimes severe impact on the life of a couple and / or family. So how do you go about living with a person with bipolar? Today we are interested in a challenge that requires above all a lot of patience and understanding.
While the Kardashian-West couple – who would currently be on the verge of breaking up because of the American rapper's bipolar disorder – has been in the news for several days, this is an opportunity for us to look into the issue of the disease within the couple. How do you live with a bipolar spouse? How can we help it, and how do we overcome the disease? And above all, how do you do when the disease becomes unmanageable? So many questions to which we try to provide an answer.
What is bipolarity?
First of all, it is essential to understand what bipolarity is. "Bipolarity is a term that has been used for several years and was previously called manic-depressive illness.", tells us Sylvie Angel, psychiatrist, psychotherapist and therapist of couple. Bipolar disorder is a serious disorder of the mood which is generally characterized by the alternation of periods of heightened mood, known as" manic "or hypomanic , and depressive periods. Bipolarity manifests itself in several degrees. It is indeed a progressive mental illness. In fact, it sometimes happens that the bipolar person returns to a normal state temporarily, that is what it is. we call euthymia.
The two phases of bipolarity
- During "manic" episodes, the bipolar person finds himself in a euphoric state. She can be enthusiastic, hyperactive, irritable at the same time, and feels very little need to sleep. His self-esteem is also exaggerated. She talks a lot, is very sure of herself and feels all-powerful.
- Conversely, during depressive episodes, she no longer has any self-confidence and finds herself extremely tired. His mood is in free fall, marked by deep sadness and a total lack of hope. Suffering which is also accompanied by a loss of interest in activities and other projects. Thoughts of suicide are also common.
For those around them, bipolarity is sometimes very hard to live with because it is totally misunderstood. The disease can then lead to family and social breakdowns, and can sometimes have a very violent impact on the life of a couple. It is therefore a challenge which requires above all a lot of patience and understanding, and which is carried out hand in hand with the sick person to find the right balance.
How to behave with a bipolar spouse?
The most important thing not to do is to judge your partner and denigrate him / her when bipolarity becomes difficult to bear. Indeed, when living with a bipolar person, it is above all essential to understand what this disease really is. So do not hesitate to communicate with his or her partner because this will show him that you are interested in this evil which is eating him / her, and that you are doing everything to make it continue to work between you. Your spouse needs you more than ever at these times and you must support him by accompanying him in his fight against the disease.
What to do when the illness becomes unbearable for the other?
When the disease becomes unmanageable and you can't stand it anymore, you have to try to act as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from getting worse. Living with someone who is bipolar is not easy. Like your partner, you need help and you shouldn't be ashamed of it. To face these marital problems, Sylvie Angel strongly recommends couples therapy. "Couples therapy is very useful and effective. Above all, these allow you to dissect the couple's interactions, which sometimes become very complicated.", explains the therapist.
There is no cure for bipolar disorder
Unfortunately, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. We must therefore learn to live with it and these therapies can be of great help because they are both cognitive and behavioral. These will help you, for example, to make yourself more forgiving of yourself. It can indeed happen that you want to leave your spouse, who is for you the cause of all your misfortunes. But before you consider breaking up, at least try to save your relationship. Learning to live with the disease is a long process that takes a lot of patience and courage, but it is achieved when both partners come together and believe in their story.
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