Bipolar and emotional detachment
by heidi995, Jun 16, 2009
Just to say Im in the process of learning about the condition of Bipolar.
My boyfriend of 4 yrs refuses to accept he is ill but shows classic and obvious signs. Its hell to be involved with these sufferers and Im nearly nervous breakdown material myself dealing with their ebb and flows.
My question is directed towards the emotional detachment issues.
After a week of absolute mania... talking at a 100 miles an hour, not sleeping or eating,critisizing everything in his path,
boundless energy etc etc I went away on a job for 5 days. On day 3 I noticed his texts became very cold. On my return he flew into a crazy rage about everyone and everything, all completely irrational. Slammed doors , banged tables, screamed in my face for 2 hours.
He then left the house and slept on a park bench. My daughter told me he had been there for 2 nights while I was away.
The next morning he walked back in the house and told me his feelings had changed and he wasnt in love.
He moved that day to an empty house we were renovating and fell into a deep depression, saying he felt ill and terrible, crying and isolating himself. I felt sorry for him and tried to look after him. All he kept saying was leave me Ive spoilt everything.
He kept calling me to speak about the house renovation etc but when pushed to discuss us put his head in his hands and said "work first Heather then everything in time".
The following day he seemed more agitated again . He was leaving for France that day and I asked him again about us. I must admit I did apply a bit of emotional pressure which resulted in him saying again... Im not in love.
The whole scene got ugly during which he ridiculed me for pointing out that there may be a problem with his mental health . It was hopeless.
2 weeks ago prior to the manic week this man was an angel, telling me he loved me every day and planning our future together. when hes normal his moods are quite changeable but not that bad.
Last year when he was living in France and I was in London there was a similar incident where he had a manic week prior to an important exam. He failed the exam broke off the relationship with me telling me his feelings had changed and retreated to the mountains for 6 weeks alone.
After 2 months I saw him and he realised he still loved me and we got back together.
Its been great since.... until now when hes approaching another stressful change in his life and this has happened.
My question is.... is emotional attachment part of this condition.or a numbing down of feelings.
How long does it usually last and do they ever realise what they have done to the other person?
The sudden cut off that comes out of nowhere is so hard to bear and has left me an emotional wreck.
I cant believe that he can shower me with love one minute and cut off totally overnight!
Please help me make sense of it.
Ive now walked away from the relationship for my own protection but still love him. In normal moments we shared a deep and special bond. He has told me on many occasions he had never loved anyone as much as me... I felt the same.
I hate to lose it through illness.
Thank you kindly
Heidi 995
Im so hurt
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Member Comments (17)
by ILADVOCATE, Jun 16, 2009
Emotional detachment and withdrawing emotional contact can be part of bipolar. I have a family member with cyclothymia (mild bipolar) and last night during a (physical) emergency on my behalf they kept hanging up the phone mid conversation and then went to sleep. I wouldn't say they "didn't care". They were withdrawing emotional contact which is common and they haven't started treatment either. Bipolar is not just a matter of moodswings. People can have the wrong affect (emotion) for what's going on and also try to withdraw emotions at inappropriate times or just don't experience them. It would be best if he saw a psychiatrist and with treatment this can and should improve.
by jst4shanell, Jun 16, 2009
I do this to my everyone in my life.  I have lost almost all my friends because of it.  Right now I am in a very aggitated state and I don't want anyone around me.  I have cut off contact with my family, which I have never done before.  I just don't feel anything for anyone right now.  I don't know how to explain it.  But yes, it is very common for someone with BP to detach themselves.
by opus88, Jun 19, 2009
my sons lady former 'lady friend' has done the exact same thing!
she is a bit older than him(he's 38-she's 42)..met last summer, both fell instantly 'in love'...had a wonderful 4months, moved in together planning on marriage...she all the time telling him he was the love of her life and she would be there for him trough everything life could bring etc..than they began having a few 'minor' disagreements mainly abt the over drinking she had recently started....than one morning almost out of nowhere she told him 'I no longer have the same feelings towards you'...and abt the same time he found out she was seeing another man!...
She isn't BP that I know of? although she is on cymbalta(supposedly only for depression)
My son is BP and this through him into an emtional crisis he loved this woman and cannot turn off his feelings like she did.
Now she is on a trip to Mexico(supposedly with a girlfriend, but he found out its with a man)...and she keeps textin him that 'I miss you....'
He really dosn't understand her behavior..I think she wants an extra man always on the side just incase the other doesn't work out!!
she is a beautiful woman and men are very attracted to her, son told me when she drinks heavy she is suicidal...
I told him he is lucky to be FREE of her before it did esculate to marriage...
so bottom line is I think she is also BP and can switch her feelings on and off," madly in love when on a high and no feelings when on a low"
IDon't know if a person can change this pattern? certainly NOT if they are in denial there is a mental health issue.
good luck
by DarBaby2009, Aug 26, 2009
My son was classified as bipolar.  Somedays he is the nicest kid, he  will clean his room or just pleasant to be around.  Then the next day he turns into another child, it seems like almost the opposite.  He runs off, sleeps outside, then comes home like nothing ever happened.  It is very frustrating....sometimes you think you are going crazy,,,,but it is unbalanced emotions.
by ILADVOCATE, Aug 26, 2009
Yes that can be difficult. I did not detail the other side of what I posted which is how I was before my current recovery from schizoaffective disorder (read through my posts) which could extremely hard for other people to handle and I could be destructive at times. I can say that over time treatment will improve. Speak to his psychiatrist and also NAMI and NARSAD (two organizations that can provide reliable information) and keep yourself updated because as they understand and develop more targeted treatments that hit the right receptors people's responses will improve.
by yupyupyupyup, Sep 02, 2009
Hi there,
I'm new to the forum, but i can tell you that you ex-partner sounds like what i went through. I suffered though depression and ptsd throughout my teens. I was regulated my depression for years through many struggles. december of 2007 I went into a depression that was too much. I sought assistance and received effexor as a treatment. It basically spiked my into a full blown mania mixed state. That was the beginning of my manic experience. I know that when I went through depression, I was very withdrawn. I didn't feel that I was worthy of another person's love, and I didn't know how to love myself, so I would get frustrated, irritated and you name it. Not until i experienced mania that I slept outside (made it home because I didn't want to freeze to death or worse), In this state (mixed mania), I was angry at existence if you could believe. I didn't know why I was a failure, I couldn't accept that I was mentally ill (because of the stigma), I didn't know what I did wrong to deserve this, and I felt that God didn't love me, even though I've spent my whole life being of service to others. I rationalized that if God doesn't love me, why should I care for his creatures? So, I did everything to challenge my way of life and those around me. I though I deserved better than what was my lot, so I would should for the stars, and was irritated and aggressive to anyone that stood in my way. Funny enough, I was generally kind, but what made others uncomfortable and aggressive toward me was that i pushed the bounds of social norms; the rules that helps us live harmoniously. That's what I think anyway. I say this all, because I think that this individual must have suffered in his life. And the reason for his withdrawal could be that he doesn't feel worthy of your love during his negative self talk. I know that after I was regained a balanced mental state. I was deeply remorseful that I hurt those around me though my behavior. And that made me even more withdrawn. I took it out on myself, and some might take it out on those around them. But I truly cannot express the pain I felt after I came to realize how I was. But, with the support of a few good friends, meditation, and obviously my meds, I am slowly letting go of that pain. I'm sure he never would mean to hurt you. But BPD is an illness, on that once engage in extreme mood swings, a person does not have little control over thoughts and behavior. Perhaps, if you care about this person still, you can be his friend, and through your friendship assist him in seeking help. It's harder to hear these things from your partner than it is from your friend I think. Who knows what will happen with the both of you. I hope what I've said is appropriate for you, and forgive my insensitivity toward your situation if there is any. take care
by yupyupyupyup, Sep 02, 2009
sorry for all the grammatical errors
by vsantos, Sep 14, 2009
I've been married to the most wonderful man and father for 12 years, just 4 weeks ago he had this sudden manic episode , tired to commit suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As you all know the first time around the world crashes down on you. my life is up side down. And with a 2 year old is even more difficult. Any words of wisdom are welcome.
    He just started taking meds 2 weeks ago (Abilify - Depakote). At least he is not as manic as he was 4 weeks ago. But he HATES me and thinks we're divorced. He is still paranoid (think I'm trying to get all his friends to think he is crazy ) He has told his BEST friend to take a hike 3 days ago because "his friend is on my side". It's very hard to see somebody whom you've loved for 12 years (and who loved me back all this time) to all of a sudden to behave like this. And I know I need to tell myself he is sick now. But sometimes it's hard, and my heart is broken!!! Any thoughts?

by ILADVOCATE, Sep 14, 2009
Give the medications a chance to work. If things don't improve or if they worsen inform his psychiatrist. Abilify is an antipsychotic with mood stabilization properties. Abilify can be activating at times but is the antipsychotic the least likely to cause weight gain. Depakoate is a mood stabilizer but it often can work better on depression than mania. Speak to his psychiatrist more about this.