Dealing with a partner who has bipolar

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hi, my name is Di.

I have been living with my partner for two and a half years and while the majority of the time all is great, there are times when I am unsure what to say or do. Those times are when he is very depressed. He's not on medication and feels he has been successful on monitoring his stress triggers. It would be nice to chat with others who are living with people who have bipolar
Hi, and welcome to the forum. I don't really have any experience of what you are going through (other than that my mum probably had some form of bipolar, but it was a long time ago now), but I know there are other members who are more familiar with the toll it can take both on the sufferer and the rest of the family.

It's great that your partner is able to manage without medication, but I do hope he doesn't feel he 'must' cope with out, should he find that it makes his life a little easier if he does take it, even if not 'always'.

I do hope that you yourself get a decent quality of life, even if you are his carer. MH always takes a toll, alas, which makes it such a pernicious form of illness.

Kindest wishes in a tricky and challenging situation, Jenny
Hi Jenny

Thank you so much for your kind reply.

Di x
Hi Di, I'm new here too.

My Dad has bipolar; I know it's not the same as your situation, but maybe there are some similarities.

When I'm not sure what to say or do, I have a few different 'tactics' for low days:
* Tell them! Say "I'm finding it hard to know what to say, but I am here for you and I care about you."
* Coax them out for a short walk, or even just a cup of tea in the back garden if they are very low on energy. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere with some wildlife nearby (we only have squirrels and birds, but still), watching them/feeding the ducks can be quite a good way to encourage someone feeling very stuck inside their head to be a little mindful. It's hard to ignore animals!
* Write a list together on a better day of things he likes to do, kind of a 'comfort menu'. Stick it on the fridge or something. It can have things on it like watching a certain box set, working on a project, cooking a meal and eating together, running a hot bath, a bit of gardening, calling a certain friend. On bad days, remind them about the list, and try and help them choose something. If they feel it's too big of a task, break it down a bit, bring the activity to them, set it up, help them get started. I often find that starting off is the hardest bit, and then his spirits lift a bit.
Hi Diane
My husband has bipolar disorder and I can guess what you are going through. My husband is on medication but sometimes he still has deep depressive slides (is the only way to describe what happens to him) This does not happen very often it has been a long while since the last . It has been years . The best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about his illness and try not to take his personally. This is difficult I know but its important for you. I have been with my husband nearly 19 years and married 10 years and he was diagnosed before we were married . It has been a wild ride at times but he is worth it . Remember to look after your self as well . I always think what does that mean? I think it means do something relaxing . I hope this helps
Hello Di, my partner also has Bipolar (diagnosed 5 years ago). He is depressed right now and is taking medication and has support from a mental health team. I have to say I'm struggling with it today as there are times of have to do literally everything. I work full time and although I've been referred to a local charity who support carers their talks/outings are during the week so I miss out. I find that I deal with this alone the majority of the time. The lethargy connected to the bipolar I do have trouble with as a lot of the time my partner just sits around. The Consultant he sees has suggested going to the gym , which I've tried in vein before, but have left it to him to go. I tend to go through cycles of feeling like this and get annoyed with his friends as they don't bother/understand even though my partner has them in high regard. It's not easy and I don't think it ever will be x