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Old 03-10-2006, 07:06 PM   #1
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Griseldis HB User
Being a loved one

I have just found this site and I'm thoroughly impressed by the friendliness and support here. Nice to meet you all" I'm here because I just "met" someone who is most probably bipolar and I'm looking for some advice, words of wisdom and I think also a place to voice my concerns knowing that people are sympathetic and not freaked out.

I just met a guy (two months ago) out of the blue. He frequents the same internet forum as me and for the past two months we have been on the phone every day between 3 and 7 hours. I have never gotten along with anyone like this and it is truly wonderful and exciting. We haven't met yet, but will soon. It is absolutely amazing.

During the course of the past months, I noticed his rather severe and seemingly random mood swings. Sometimes he is stable and happy for a week, but usually there is at least one depressive phase a week, often following sleep deprivation or not eating enough (I have been paying attention to that). He also has episodes of mania, for which I can check off every single sympton listed in the sticky note, from feelings of grandeur to reckless behavior to rage and all the rest of it. When he is low, he feels like a failure, hopeless, isolated and speaks of wanting to die. Sometimes he sees images in his head of walls closing in or people threatening him. He also has phases of emotional detachment, which remind me of the mania except for the high energy level. He is detached, cold and focused. He can go through all these during one day and each usually lasts a few hours. Sometimes we talk and he seems "normal," to all of a sudden be angry (never at me) or detached. We continue talking then and he eventually snaps out of it.
I recently talked to him on the phone while he was attending a party and was slightly intoxicated. He got into a very harmless quarrel with another guy and was absolutely furious. That was the first time i witnessed rage in him. He also has infuriated little outbursts here and there.

He is very open with me and we have talked about this. He agrees that he is most probably bipolar, but he has not agreed to see someone yet and he is terrified of meds. He feels that they will alter his state of mind and numb him. He is highly intelligent, extremely creative, insightful and driven and feels that he should accomplish great things (mania, anyone?). I keep urging him to see a professional and I have a feeling he will eventually.

Interestingly enough, I have been rolling with the flow of these mood swings very well, probably because he is so open about them and also because he is highly respectful and appreciative of my person. In addition, his anger has never been directed at me although I have been pretty blunt with him at times. I do realize, however, that this is serious and that if I want to continue to be in his life (I so do!), I will need to prepare myself for what might be ahead. I care about this man very much and I would lie if I said that I'm not worried about him. He feels very isolated among his peers (he is in his early twenties) because he feels that they think of him as very intense and sometimes aggressive. His family is not fully aware of what is going on as he hides much from them. There are also some unresolved (in my mind) family issues such as substance abuse and alienation that he shrugs off, but which seem to affect him greatly.

I don't want to be his psychologist and he does not expect me to be that. I'm sure he will eventually see a professional and I will continue to be on his case for that. I just needed to share this with people who know what I'm talking about and can share their insights and experiences with me. I have tried to talk to a friend, but she was not very responsive and does not take well to the rage issues (understandably so). I know I have a tremendous influence on him (he says for the first time he feels understood and accepted. I'm a bit older, which might make a difference), but I first of all want to be a loved one, not a support system (that too, but not primarily). Does that make sense?

He is very attentive to my needs and really tries to create a balance, but does not have much control over his mood swings, obviously. Still, I feel loved and appreciated and want to pursue this because he is the most wonderful human being I have ever met.

Sorry that this has gotten long. I think I really needed to talk about this with someone (and I know he does not mind).

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Last edited by Griseldis; 03-14-2006 at 05:22 PM.

 
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:59 AM   #2
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mudhound HB User
Re: Being a loved one

Good 1st post! Welcome to the board. You are correct about the people on this board.
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God Bless

Mudhound

 
Old 03-11-2006, 10:28 AM   #3
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LOWnly~Me! HB User
Wink Re: Being a loved one


Hello There & Welcome,
I am relatively new here and have been met with nothing but kindness. Your beginnings in this new found relationship seem quite the norm for someone involved suffering from BP. We tend to be very profound, analytical, intense people. I am quite sure that he does not see you as a psychiatrist/councillor etc, he is probably reeping the sheer delight of meeting someone who actually does not only understand him, but manages to take that understanding and turn it into a real perception that in turn offers an ear and relativley good advice. The fact that you are older seems to me, to be the key to the mutual happiness between you, intelligence at the level he will have can only be appreciated by someone older than him, simply due to the fact that you have more experience under your belt, which I am sure you have drawn positivley from and turned into knowledge which is a form of wisdom. He will be soooo excited by this, as I speak from experience. To spend a life having people make comments such as "you are really interesting and so different, you both excite but scare me at the same time" or "you are eccentric arent you"..... Basically pointing out everything that has previously pointed out. it does not however make it any easier to digest, it just leads for a loanly life. I am sure he will be in ore of you and have genuine feelings of respect, care, sincerity etc. You feeling like you are primerally seen as a therapist is you seeing the situation from your side, all the advice you offer, the times you listen etc, he will see you as a connection, he will repsect you for your interest and continues support and desire to further the friend/relationship. To him you will be placed in his mind & heart as a loved one, a woman, a potential partner. Intensity has just as many positives as negatives, with it comes passion, closeness and a pure special bond. You are in the initial stages of familiarizing but have the advantage of being a part of a fabulously, intelligent, emotional, extrodinary man. Not that I am in anyway taknig your identity from you, for you to endure this with the interest, sincerity, kindness and patience is beautiful, the fact that you are researching, querying and trying suggests that you are a lovley person. Please take with you that this man will adore you just for being you. I wish you all the best, god bless you.
Kind Regards

 
Old 03-13-2006, 09:12 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17
Griseldis HB User
Re: Being a loved one

Thank you both very much for the warm welcome!
LOWnly~Me, your words have really struck a chord. Incidentally, he called within a minute of me reading it and expressed just how much I mean to him with the respect, care, sincerity you mention below . Much of what he said is also in your post...it was spooky (in a good way!).

I think I mentioned my potential role as "therapist" only because I want to remind myself that I don't need to be that. I was in a long relationship and felt like I had to take care of everything. I don't want that ever again, so I might have expressed fear more than anything. This guy does not expect this of me, at least not in a way that would put his needs over mine. As you say, he is delighted by the fact that I don't find him "too intense," "too different," "too brainy," "too unpredictable," etc. He has a beautiful mind and I'm flattered to be taken on the ride (as is he with mine). And you are right, the age difference really makes a difference in terms of me being more "chilled," not being all that concerned with appearance and image and having a different perspective because I have more experience with life and people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOWnly~Me!
You are in the initial stages of familiarizing but have the advantage of being a part of a fabulously, intelligent, emotional, extrodinary man. Not that I am in anyway taknig your identity from you, for you to endure this with the interest, sincerity, kindness and patience is beautiful, the fact that you are researching, querying and trying suggests that you are a lovley person. Please take with you that this man will adore you just for being you. I wish you all the best, god bless you.
Kind Regards
Ahhh, this is so sweet! Yes, he is all that - a truly extraordinary man! I'm so in awe of this! And thank you for your kind words about me! I'm really very touched by this....

I have a question: I read somewhere that bipolarism tends to "get worse" with age. How exactly does that play out? In his case, it started in his late teens and it has been getting worse, although for the past months, his lows have been much shorter (he says because he can "talk them out" with me) and he hasn't been super manic very often. In another thread someone said that it's good to have someone who is the mirror of reality. I try to rationalize the fears with him and it seems to be working pretty well...

I'm rambling, sorry. I'm still sorting through this, as you can tell.
Thanks again and y'all have a lovely day!

 
Old 03-19-2006, 03:59 AM   #5
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LOWnly~Me! HB User
Re: Being a loved one


Hello,
I am glad my words were taken in the way meant... For you to have taken a call shortly after reading, and listening to the things said may just be a connection from one misunderstood bi polar to another!!! I am assuming that the information you have on bi polar and the possibilties through time etc are based on psychiatry, I tend to swim with the current of philosophy and its understandings of mental illness..Psychiatry involves theories of the mind, theories of the causes of mental disorders, classification schemes for those disorders, research about the disorders, proven treatments and research into new treatments. Oh and lets not forget the endless jobs in the field, for them to work with or on behalf of people with mental disorders..... The philosophical approach differs and discusses conceptual, ethical, metaphysical, social and epistemological issues that arise in all aspects of psychiatry...
ETHICAL= Relating to moral principles or branch of knowledge concerned, with mental illness, morally correct? An ethical dilema, moral, social, behvioural problem etc
METAPHYSICAL= Based on reasoning, transcending physical matter on the laws of nature, theoretical, conceptual, notional, philosophical, speculative, intellectual, academic etc...
EPISTEMOLOGICAL= Philosophy of the theory of knowledge, especially with regards to validity.
CONCEPTUAL= Relating to or based on mental concepts
NOTIONAL= Hypothetical or imaginary, theoretical, speculative, conjectual, imaginary, unreal, illusionary

Basically, no two heads are the same, Pyschiatrists tend to diagnose, treat and speculate from written text, can we do this with something as individual as the human mind. Yes we may all share some symptoms, behavoural patterns etc but there is certainly no way to dipict the designated route of any mentally ill person. For the simple meeting of you and him could change the destiny of the both of you. Your understanding and accpetance could mould him and his thoughts to ones of calmness, peace, love etc. I sa here is to you and your new found love, inbalanced in one way certainly driven to balance in another, the way that matters, the mind, knowledge and understanding..... You are both lucky.... God Bless xx

 
Old 03-30-2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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SecretAgent2 HB User
Re: Being a loved one

Although I think it's honorable that you want to help this man, be careful and know what you are getting into. My mother suffers from bipolar and has other diagnosis as well (schizo affective disorder, personality disorder, etc.) My dad has spent all his life taking care of her. It's difficult. He's not been happy. Just do the research. Also, I would not get into a relationship with this man if he does not get help...and a diagnosis so you can know what he's dealing with and make an informed choice. Living with a mentally ill person (no offense to those here) can sometimes be sooo difficult on the family. I am coming from a point of first hand experience. Just wanted to be completely honest. I am not in any way saying people with bipolar are not deserving of love etc. I am just saying in some instances it's a very difficult illness to deal with. Maybe you are the right person for him if you have the patience to deal with that. More power to you.

 
Old 04-14-2006, 05:17 PM   #7
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Griseldis HB User
Re: Being a loved one

LOWnly~Me!, thank you for yet another inspiring post! I love reading about this from your perspective. Much of what you say reminds me of what he would say.

Quote:
Your understanding and accpetance could mould him and his thoughts to ones of calmness, peace, love etc. I sa here is to you and your new found love, inbalanced in one way certainly driven to balance in another, the way that matters, the mind, knowledge and understanding..... You are both lucky.... God Bless
Aw, thank you , this is too sweet. It's been so wonderful and I feel truly special with him. We will see what the future brings, but we are still very happy to have each other!

 
Old 04-15-2006, 03:08 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17
Griseldis HB User
Re: Being a loved one

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretAgent2
Although I think it's honorable that you want to help this man, be careful and know what you are getting into. My mother suffers from bipolar and has other diagnosis as well (schizo affective disorder, personality disorder, etc.) My dad has spent all his life taking care of her. It's difficult. He's not been happy. Just do the research. Also, I would not get into a relationship with this man if he does not get help...and a diagnosis so you can know what he's dealing with and make an informed choice. Living with a mentally ill person (no offense to those here) can sometimes be sooo difficult on the family. I am coming from a point of first hand experience. Just wanted to be completely honest. I am not in any way saying people with bipolar are not deserving of love etc. I am just saying in some instances it's a very difficult illness to deal with. Maybe you are the right person for him if you have the patience to deal with that. More power to you.
Thank you very much for your insights. It's not really that I want to help him, it's that I want to be with him and make it work. But I know what you are getting at and it has been on my mind for sure. Some of the stories on here about bipolar partners aren't exactly encouraging. He has been swinging more lately because of increased stress and sometimes I have to remind myself that when he is detached, it does not mean he doesn't love me anymore. But regardless of what mood he is in, I'm there with him, meaning he always appreciates me and never turns against me (except on a few occasions where he immediately realized it and "reconnected"). I think what gives me hope is that he is so open about it and so aware of it and that he makes a tremendous effort of always letting me know how much I mean to him. His condition is making it difficult for him to go through college, but he is tackling it well although not to the best of his potential. He is still afraid of meds, but he has agreed to see a professional. We will see from there.

 
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