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Old 01-12-2006, 07:31 AM   #1
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Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

Hi. My boyfriend and I are both dealing with Bipolar disorder. I also have Borderline Personality Disorder and he also has ADHD.

I love him, he loves me, but dealing with our diseases are really driving us both a little nuts (no pun intended). I really am starting to hate the ADHD. He is never content with anything and he always wants more. When he has a drink, it's not enough, he whines and crys about wanting to go and drink more. He just can't be happy with things. I have given up on making him happy, I just want him content. This ADHD is really driving me up a wall though.

I know that my mood swings aren't something he likes either.

We are both on meds. I take Trileptal and Geoden and he takes Lamictal and Abilify.

So, anyone have an opinion on this one?????

 
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

What a situation to be in! Must be really tough for both of you.

It's a really difficult situation, and one that I guess you both need to tackle honestly and head on. I had a relationship that had similar problems - I was BP, he suffered from acute depression and quite honestly, it was a nightmare.

I guess it means some real soul searching and some honest talking. Have you tried making a list of all the good things and all the bad things? If the good things outweigh the bad then you might be able to work out some compromises/ground rules etc. If the bad outweigh the good then it might be time to accept you're not that healthy for each other and call it a day. It's hard because all of these kinds of conditions are exacerbated by stress, and living with someone with these problems is good in one way as they understand how you feel, but also pretty stressful as you both struggle to cope. Someone said to me once when I was trying to make a tough decision that things don't have to be set in stone - we can do things for a while to try them out, change our minds if we don't like our new circumstances, even do complete turnarounds if we decide we made a wrong choice. I guess flexibility is important.

Sorry not to have a magic solution (life would be great if you could order those on-line, wouldn't it?!). I hope you're able to sort something out.

Best wishes

Janine

 
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:49 PM   #3
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

I also have a relationship like yours. I'm bpd and bipolar, my fiance is bipolar and ADHD.

We had a VERY bad first year trying to sort everything out and all the mood swings and everything, but i think what really kept us together was honesty and communication and maybe just the act of TRYING out what the other person suggests. My fiance drinks as well, and boy he LOVES his beer, but we made it a rule that we'll only get it once in a while. Now im sure its not that easy with you.

I like Picali's idea about working out ground rules and compromises. You can have one thing this day while he has this the next day. Or something of the sort.

I know im not making much sense, but if you work hard at your relationship, and you keep the communication and loyalty going, im sure that you can work anything out if you find a way to get through it. I know we have.

 
Old 01-13-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

First I want to thank you both for giving me your opinions. It's good to know I am not the only one out there with this problem.

I have just been able to get used to being alone without freaking out. He went to the bar last night and our friend was working so he helped her stock the bar and she got him drunk in return. It doesn't help when people enable him.......

I love him. He loves me, but sometimes it feels like an uphill battle against the ADHD. He is never content let alone happy. I would settle for content out of him. He just can't sit still. It doesn't seem the meds are working on him, but he was lot worse before he started on them. He let me help him and get him to the doctor, I just want him to work harder to fight this ADHD.

I am trying to not control him, but if I don't control the money part, he would waste it all on partying. So I am put in the role of parent and him of child. A 31 year old kid.........I'm only 30. Just doesn't fit.

But, he has changed a bit. He hasn't been drinking as much as he used to, which is good.......but he just throws fits and gets mad if I dont' give him money. I explain that we don't have it to spend that bills come first. I do give him $20 a month to spend on what ever he wants, but he'll buy a cd and expect more out of me, like an ATM.

Sorry, thoughts are all over the place........just trying to give you guys more info so you can give me more opinions.

Anyhow, thank you in advance.

 
Old 01-13-2006, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

Hi again

I understand completely what you mean - it is harder when other people are happy to supply drink/drugs/whatever the problem is.

I think you need to be careful that your own needs don't get overshadowed. I'm getting a sense that you work harder for the two of you in terms of the day to day stuff? And that you have to take responsibility for both of you? Apologies if that's wide of the mark.

It's interesting that you mention enabling in your post - sometimes we enable those around us without realising it. I don't mean this as a criticism, but is it possible that the fact that you 'look after' stuff for your boyfriend means that he doesn't need to take as much responsibility for his own condition and his own problems? I understand what you mean when you say if you didn't then he wouldn't either - as you say, it's like looking after a big kid. Sometimes we need to make sure we look after ourselves before we take care of others (easy to say after six years of therapy!!??).

There's a book I've found really useful called optimum nutrition for the mind - it's by a guy called patrick holford. It's all about nutritional help for all sorts of conditions, including BP and ADHD - well worth a look if you can get hold of a copy.

Hope things start to pick up

Janine x

 
Old 01-13-2006, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

I smiled when I signed on to the board here. I'm not laughing at you. Your post was the first I saw, and I was signing on to get a little breather from things going on at my place. . . .specifically clashings between myself and my bf, who also is bipolar. Kinda one of those "sigh because I'm not alone"

Any relationship has some big challenges. Mental illness can really add to these. Wow, it can! Guess this isn't big news to most anyone here. LOL. I don't really have answers. I really liked Janine's insight about flexibility. I tend to think black and white/all or nothing. I tend to make a big deal about every little bump in the road.

I think I may be rambling incoherently at present, so I'll just say hang in there, good luck, we're here for you, and take care of yourself, too, and thanks for sharing so I can know I'm not the only one . . . and I ramble on . . .
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Old 01-14-2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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Arrow Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

I've been in therapy for about 8 years now and Is till don't have all the answers, but I don't anyone that does for their own problems......lol.

I do pick up the slack and I do take care of both of us. It worries me sometimes because if I didn't do it all then it wouldn't get done. I know that I should give him a chance to do it, but part of my disease is to make sure **** gets done (I'm a little anal retentive that way), plus I am a worrier. I am concerned for him and I want him to be oh k.

Last night went pretty well as we went to the bar (actually 2 bars) and he didn't drink at all. He didn't even ask for one. I thought it showed restraint and I was proud of him. But he ate a bunch of valiums last night........so if it's not one thing it is another with him. The only thing he wants is to shut his mind off. That is his goal with getting trashed. The ADHD is bad on him.

If I was able to fix everything for him I would. I'd make him happy or at least content within himself if I had the power to........

I do neglect myself sometimes. I put him first. Sometimes I need to put myself first and I don't. I am learning to put my foot down with him though and tell him no once in a while. I know I need to do it more, but it's a start for me.

We had a nice night last night though. We went to a friends and hung out for 4hours, talking and listening to music. So other than the valiums, he was clean last night.

After we got home after midnight we sat and talked until 1a. Something we used to do, but got away from. We are getting back to it and I think that will be good for us.

I love him. We'll be together 3 years in March (27). I want to keep that going for us, but I know he has to help out too. I think the more that I lead him to conversations that are about us, he tends to muddle through them. He isn't a romantic, he pretty much just tells it like it is and for him, he loves me, but it is also a convenience for him to be with me.

Again, sorry for all the thoughts everywhere, just my mind going stream of consciousness again.

I really appreciate you talking with me about this.

 
Old 01-16-2006, 09:06 AM   #8
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

Last night was hectic. We went to the bar and he just drank and drank. It turned out to be 3 large 22oz. beers and 4 shots, but he was all doped up and that really sucked.

no idea what time he came to bed he had gone next door to our neighbors. So this was a pretty tough night for me to see him like that......it didn't help that the bar tender was our friend and he keeps feeding him free drinks. I'm not paying for his habit, but when someone else helps him out that is when it really tough to do.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 07:27 AM   #9
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Question Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

Hi, I don't post here often and I hope it's okay, I am not bi-polar, but my husband of 25 years is. We have that balance problem in our relationship too, I have depression and am a chronic pain patient with degenerative disc disorder. Over the years of my husbands illness we have battled his gambling addiction (which led to his diagnoses and 1st hospitalization after we lost our home), that was followed by him developing a serious drinking problem which we just resolved last summer. I worry because it seems like my husband must have some...obsession or something, even when he is a little manic he will take the computer apart or try and build rockets with pop bottles and baking soda,LOL. I have to say I have never been bored by him. I don't know how in the hell it works when a relationship is always a tug of war of needs, but I can tell you that we just celebrated our 25th (silver) wedding anniversary. I ain't Ozzy and Harriet, thats for dang sure (more like ozzy and sharon lol) but it is never boring. do you all have a 3rd person like a councilor to talk to? we go to a therepist once a month but it took us a while to find one where one or the other of us didn't feel like they took sides. The guy we see now is great. We have 2 sons, one in college but still at home and one who is a senior in high school. Because hubby was diagnosed when they were very little, they have done really well, none of the drinking and partying their dad and I did at their age. They are very aware that they are at high risk for problems. our youngest has wild mood swings and some issues with anger. do you all think maybe thats a sign he should be looked at for bi-polar? he does well in school and has good healthy friendships, he works and is very responsible, but he will get mad and just fly off the handle and yell. I'm sorry I didnt mean to ramble or hijack your post, I hope its okay for me to post here. your friend, Fabby

 
Old 01-19-2006, 07:38 AM   #10
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

I don't mind trying to help others and receiving help as well.

To answer your question, yes I do think that your son could have bi-polar. The mood swings are a good sign of it.

To answer the other question, yes we both see the same Psychiatrist. We go to seperate appointments though. I can't bring myself to tell him about his drug use, that is for him to be open about. Not my place, even though it effects me. But he hasn't been using lately. I put a stop to it for now. He is respecting me for it.

I just want this to work. We love each other and we both need this. We both have been hurt before and need someone who will take care of us (as we take care of each other)...........but there are more times I feel like I am taking place of his mother with always telling him to eat over something and me cleaning up his mess. He is cooking for us now. He used to be a cook, so it is something that he is good at. I do the cleaning, something that I am oh k at, but he doesn't like to do.

There are times where I would like to be the one free to do whatever I want and not care. To know that someone else is there to clean up after me and to take care of me. He knows that about me. I can't do it because then there would be no responsible one.

 
Old 01-19-2006, 02:44 PM   #11
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Cool Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

Hi again bpd, I have been fighting that question for years, where does the illness end and the man (or woman) begin? He forces me into a 'mother' role of making sure he does what he is supposed to or it just doesnt get done, but when I do, he resents me for it. Many many times in 25 years together I have said fine, you take over this one part, but it always ends badly. I'm sorry to tell you that while we have improved loads with therapy, I do control the money and pay the bills, hand him clean shirts and while he makes his own medical appointments, I have to almost dress him and steer him there. I simply do not know what of this is his illness and what is his nature. I know some of it has to be his illness because I have met many other bi-polar men who are the same way. bi-polar women seem to not be so dependant but maybe thats just that women are the natural nurturers and nest builders. My hubby works his *** off at his job, dont get me wrong, and he doesnt fight taking meds or not drinking and stuff like he used to, He's stable and happy. LOL at least he said he was happy yesterday, but it's the nature of the illness that he might not be today. I would encourage you to tell your psychiatrist everything, you have a doctor patient priviledge that I guarantee you he will not break, unless you talk about murder or something, they are used to hearing about drug use and such, He will protect you and if you ask him not to tell your husband, he wont. I understand that you feel, hey, the doctor is human, he will know about my husband and it will affect how he treats him, but I can assure you the doctor will not judge you or him and information like that can help him to help you both better. So much of what you say I could have written myself years ago, I really feel for you and your situation. My husband was a musician for years, and being on the road and in bars led us to a lifestyle that masked a lot of issues. But I can tell how much you love him and I will be sending good thoughts your way. Thanks for the kind reply, Fabby
PS~ I am taking your advice and having my son evaluated, I made him an appointment this morning, thanks again

Last edited by Fabrashamx; 01-19-2006 at 02:46 PM.

 
Old 01-20-2006, 06:51 AM   #12
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

I hope that the doc doesn't evalute him with Bi-polar, but I think he will, please let me know how it went. I am also glad that I could help someone else out there too. I used to be great at giving advice and such, but since I have been with mine, I have stopped and put a lot of energy into this relationship. He pretty much says I love you to me when I say it to him and we hold hands and hug and kiss a lot (mostly holding hands), he likes the simple days of dating, where there isn't a lot of pressure and that is what I give him. Maybe one day him and I will get married..........but it won't be any time soon.

I gather you are right about the woman and the nurture role. I told him last night that he was a big boy now and that he can get up and get his own meds. He told me gee, you used to do everything for me and now you want me to do something for myself. That really made me see that I have put him in the child mode and I was the parent. I am not sure if I like that or not though, I mean I know it isn't healthy, but there's a long back story to me having 2 girls and they aren't with me any longer (nothing drastic, they did not die, they are just with another family).

Anyhow, thank you for talking with me and please keep me up to date with you and yours..........

 
Old 01-24-2006, 08:30 AM   #13
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

He was at it again last night with drinking. Him and our friend pushed each other when we were walking and he actually fell down on the street when we walked home. Fell right out of his shoes and got a littel scraped, but was oh k. All because they were drunk and messing around.

He was in a good mood though. So I am thankful for that.

He's a good person, just having these BP and ADHD aren't helping him out any.

I just want things to be oh k with us all the time, not sure if that is too much to ask or not, but I love him a lot and he loves me.........is that enough for a relationship to stay together?????? I hope so.

 
Old 02-02-2006, 07:38 AM   #14
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

We just got back from a week at his parents house. It was so nice to be there, no people stopping over, he couldn't do anything, but drink a little. He hasn't touched a cigarette in over a week. It's been so nice. It was like pause in our hectic life.

Maybe this could be the turning point of everything for us. I can only hope.......

 
Old 02-02-2006, 03:04 PM   #15
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Re: Relationship with 2 mentally ill people.....opinions needed

hello! I have followed as much of the threads as I can and i guess I wanted to add my two cents in for whatever they might be worth to you. My fiance and I are both Bipolar/Borderline and it has not been easy at all. He suffers from PTSD from being in the war and severely injured. The flashbacks are heartbreaking for both of us to hear the pain that the memories cause. My family thinks I must be totally nuts to be with this guy and perhaps they are right to an extent. I am ten years older then he is and have a child like about ten years younger then him. The age is a real hangup for me of all things to get hung up on. Neither of us are on meds which makes it doubly hard and when he is they don't work. It is good to hear of other couples out there who go through similar experiences as what my fiance and I are. I am going to sit and do the list thing and see where we need to go from there. I hope things go well for you two and that you find joy and much love with each other. Emerald

 
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