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Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, episodic mental illness. It is characterized by noticeable, unprovoked, sometimes extreme, changes in mood and behavior, that typically present as severe episodic mood swings, shifting between emotional highs (manias) to emotional lows (depressions) with intervals of stable moods. The duration of an episode will vary and can last from days to weeks long. According to the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5, bipolar disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences three or more manic symptoms and five or more depressive symptoms. Bipolar disorder can develop at any age, but it is most diagnosed in individuals younger than age twenty-five. Medical News Today explains that the symptoms of bipolar disorder can adversely affect a person’s energy levels, activity, social network, financial situation, sleep, behaviors, judgment, family life, and relationships.

Bipolar Disorder & Relationships

A person with bipolar disorder will have moods that are unpredictable, which can have a direct impact on one’s relationships, as it is difficult to predict how they will react or cope in any given moment. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can cause relationship fractures, some of which may seem impossible to overcome. However, with ample effort and proper support, repairing a relationship with someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be possible. Consider the following suggestions: 

  • Educate yourself: Learn everything you can about bipolar disorder, including understanding the symptoms and triggers to enhance empathy. 
  • Show them grace: Let your loved one know that you understand their actions were motivated by the disease, forgive them for their past mistakes, and offer them a clean slate to move forward. 
  • Be curious, not shy: Ask your partner about their typical behaviors, how they act during shifts in mood, and their management strategies for when symptoms present. You can also ask them what and if there is anything you can to do support them during these episodes.
  • Communication goes both ways: It is imperative to communicate openly with your partner and share your feelings, perspectives, and desires.
  • Be patient: It can be frustrating when your partner’s mood shifts interfere with your dating plans. When these challenges arise remain calm and remember to separate the condition from the person. Avoid shame and blame. It is not your partner causing the frustration, it is their disorder. Still, do not hesitate to take a break when you need one. 
  • Be active in their treatment process: Treatment plans for bipolar disorder often include a combination of psychotherapy and medication, which involves attending many different appointments. Offer your support by accompanying them to doctor visits or therapy sessions and waiting for them until their appointment is over.

No two individuals share an identical personality, and the same is true for a relationship: no two relationships are the same. Every individual is different, and each person brings a uniqueness that contributes to the dynamic of a relationship. Any untreated mental health disorder will impact the innerworkings of a relationship, especially when it comes to certain psychiatric ailments like bipolar disorder. Still, people with well-managed bipolar disorder are highly capable of cultivating and maintaining successful, healthy, long-term relationships.  

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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