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    Old 04-17-2006, 05:14 PM   #1
    Panna_06
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    Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    Hello everyone,

    I'm brand new to this board - I've been looking for a place to start...my girlfriend of almost a year and I , we just moved in together about two months ago - and the reason for my post is I found out the very day we moved in that her dad is bipolar. He had been off his meds for 6 months unbeknownst to his wife and family. So the day my girlfriend and I moved in together he was admitted to the hospital because he wasn't well. I had had no idea, she had never told me. We visited him twice during the week he was there. This was about a month ago or so.

    Prior to finding this out about her dad, I just figured he was a little wacky, a fun personality (he was diagnosed with bipolar in his late 20's early 30's, and from what my girlfriend told me he had a very, very rough childhood. his sister (my girlfriend's aunt) committed suicide.) He takes lithium.

    I just want to know as much as I can about bipolar disorder before I go further with the relationship so I can know somewhat what to expect. I am 37, we love one another and we have been talking marriage.

    What are the chances my girlfriend will develop bipolar? She's 31 now. So far she doesn't have it, but are there signs?? I read somewhere that children of one bipolar parent likely will not get the disorder, although there is a 10-15% chance they will. I also read there is a 50% chance they will get some other mental disorder. Is that correct - a 50% chance she will get something - what types are most likely??? I just don't know what that means, a 50% chance she will get some other mental disorder. That seems like a really high probability.

    And are there signs now, that indicate whether she will get full blown bipolar?
    She at times can have some pretty harsh personality traits - and I don't know if those are red flags, or if she's just copying her dad's behavior!!!

    For example: she gets defensive VERY easily. She calls it "getting fired up". If you disagree with her (about anything important to her), she will argue until almost it's irrational. She will not listen to what you are saying, only if you remind her to, and she absolutely has to get the last word in. She gets aggressive verbally during all this. She'll be condescending. It also seems like she gets very agitated easily, but I don't know what category of agitation fits into the bipolar category. She can be very, very impatient. Maybe she is just copying what she learned from her dad. But I would have to say she is one of the more/most agitated people I know (or has the potential to become agitated, a lot of times she's totally fine, but then can go off on me and yell at me, then 2 minutes later she'll be all lovey dovey).

    She calls herself a Type A personality - she's always on the go, almost always has to be doing something - cleaning this room, cleaning that room - and is fast and loud while she does it - I often have to ask her to please please stop banging pots and pans, stop banging stuff, stop being so loud. I ask her to slow down please with what she is doing, to take a breath, relax.

    And sometimes the words she says make no sense (I guess we all do that sometimes) but she'll just spew out the wrong word, or flip words around, combine two words, pronounce them wrong, or be looking at one thing but mean another.

    I don't mean to make her sound bad. Obviously she has a ton of wonderful, wonderful, positive qualities or I would not be with her. She's also modified her behavior for some things that just weren't acceptable to me. But I can't help but wonder if these are all pre- bipolar symptoms??? or just copying her dad??

    Thank you so much for any enlightenment you can provide...

    Panna

     
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    Old 04-17-2006, 06:36 PM   #2
    bpd_bipolar
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    I can't tell you if she is bipolar, but I can tell you my signs and they were that I was manic (which I was running around constantly and doing things, I would get easily angered and irrational when something would go wrong or not my way, I would yell and argue until I got my point across or my way).

    My depression part was when I would cry at things, not talk to people or just hide away by myself. I was mostly manic back when I was 12, I kept the mostly manic for a while, but now that I am 30 I have hit depression more.

    My father isn't 'mentally ill', but my mother has sub depression/depression. I was raised by her and loved, but I still 'got the illness'. I (and my husband at the time) decided to give our daughters up for adoption which I love them so much, and miss them terribly, but I figured if they didn't grow up around their mom being bipolar and boderline personality disorder (BPD), then they have a better chance at not getting it. That is the only reason I gave them up, to make sure they grew up as kids and not as obsessive compulsive or hearing their mom cry for no reason or yell for no reason.

    In any case, you may want to get her to a doctor to get evaluated. She might need to get on meds or she might just need to talk to someone in therapy. But in any case, it wouldn't hurt to take her, it sounds like she needs to talk to someone on a professional level.

    I hope I helped you. Please take care.

     
    Old 04-17-2006, 07:55 PM   #3
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    Thank you so much, that is really very helpful...when we were having some problems, I asked her if she'd go to couples therapy with me, and she refused...she refused twice actually, and I haven't brought it up again...and that was for couples counseling, not for anything related to bipolar being in her family....I know she's going to get really really defensive if I ever say we should go to a doctor to see if she has any pre- bipolar signs....do you have any suggestions as to how I could ever possibly bring it up? maybe after an incident where she's displaying some of these behaviors (the being impatient or getting fired up for example???)???

    Thank you so much for sharing....

     
    Old 04-18-2006, 08:37 AM   #4
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    Well, I know that you have to want to get help. You need to see your own behavior and realize that you aren't acting in a "normal" fashion.

    When you don't want to believe that something could be wrong with you, you will deny it and get very defensive, so I can tell you what I did for my boyfriend. He was a partier (still is), but when we first got together I told him I thought he should see my doctor, that it would be a good thing to see if he has anything besides ADHD (he had previously known that from child hood), he wasn't too hip on the idea, but I explained to him what I went through and he then agreed, but to do it for me. All I could hope for, he later, and it has been 2 1/2 years now, almost 3 that he has seen my doctor is comfortable with him and talks to him as a friend and not a doc. He still has problems, we all do, and from my posts under the relationship with 2 mentally ill people (which I am constantly updating) you can read about us.....

    When she has an out burst, you should stop and say calmly, please hun, just listen to what you just said. listen and hear the words and tone of voice you just used with me over this (works best if she is making a mountain out of a mole hill). An over reaction is the best thing to show an example of to someone.

    Tell her that you feel since her parents have it that she would be wise to get checked out and that it is oh k to be afraid that she might have it too. You aren't going to love her any less. You want to stand by her on this and get her better if there is something wrong.

    Just be there for her and reassure her constantly. It is very important.

    Again, this is only my opinion. I am not an expert because I have it and deal with it 24/7, but I am just trying to help you out. If you want, email me at [email]REMOVED[/email].

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    Old 04-18-2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well this is very similar to me. My father is also bi-polar skitzophrantic , ocd and says he has multiple personalities. He goes as far as naming them and they all have names and different characteristics. He jokes about them sometimes but he knows that it is serious and not funny. He is on every kind of medicine known for bipoloar. He was diagnosed when I was 8 Iam 31 now. I was diagnosed at 15-16 but thought it was just my "teen years". I went to a counselor and they put me on lithium-the all well too known "cure" drug. Well by the time I was 18 I didnt want to LIVE MY LIFE ON A PILL so I stopped taking them-cold turkey! I then started hanging out with the wrong crowd and started using a lot of prescription drugs and then as I got older and had a baby at age 22 by the time she was 3- i had lost custody of her to a really bad meth habit-that stemmed from my new found favorite drug Ectstacy. Which I now realize was my new way of coping with my illness. Well then I went back to the doctor after being hospitalized for 3 weeks for attempted suicide. So they put me on Zoloft that didnt last very long-cant do street drugs and try to take manic drugs at same time. Then we tried pxil-felt ok for a while and then the street drugs took over-so finally we found effexor and it did really good and I did really good until my new found love Cocaine came into the picture. So this is where I am now. I know that at times I can just get as low as can be and nothing ever seems like it is going to go right then there are times when I talk so fast that I dont even know what I say! I have such terrible mood swings that I love my boyfriend so much then the next I am thinking what else is out there?
    Any of this souind familiar to anyone???

     
    Old 04-19-2006, 05:10 PM   #6
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    I just don't know what to think regarding whether she is acting pre-bipolar or not...

    last nite I spilled out a bunch of stuff for the first time to her regarding how/what I perceive these behaviors or traits of hers to be...including the getting irrational during arguments, being very impatient and easily set off if she feels she's being "bothered", not listening and just talking right over me when we do argue, etc...

    after I said these (during an argument) she immediately seemed to soften and she started to listen calmly, instead of being defensive and just talking over me...I don't know if it's a permanent change or not, but she did have a different (nicer, calmer) energy about her...so I just don't know if the whole deal is that she's merely copying what she learned from her dad who's bipolar (her mom is not bipolar), or if she actually has symptoms...

    thank you everyone for sharing your perspective...

     
    Old 04-19-2006, 05:22 PM   #7
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    Oh - also, I've read again and again that there is no specific test at all for bipolar. how would a doctor "test" for bipolar?

    and given that fact, what kind of doctor would we even go to (I doubt my girlfriend would ever agree to it) to have a discussion wabout whether she has any bipolar tendencies?

    thanks....

     
    Old 04-19-2006, 08:47 PM   #8
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    The doctor asks a lot of questions, the answers to those questions may lead to the conclusion that a person is bi-polar. Being easily irritated can be a symptom, but that alone isn't enough. Periods of high energy, needing little sleep, then periods when a person is terribly sad and just doesn't feel like getting out of bed are probably more clear cut.

    She may be afraid that she is bi-polar and that may be the reason she is so resistant to the idea of counseling.

     
    Old 04-20-2006, 06:38 PM   #9
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    Re: Girlfriend's Father is Bipolar

    Knew a man that was bipolar, some friends started praying for him one night and since there were many of the voices, that meant there was many of the demons living in him. By name they were called out and today he is still free and lives a very normal and successful life. The demons attached themselves starting at a young age in his parents home.

     
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