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Bipolar and emotional detachment
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Bipolar and emotional detachment

Hello,
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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17 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
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.
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222267_tn?1253305810
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.
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874521_tn?1375890587
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
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1018077_tn?1251314072
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.
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585414_tn?1288944902
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.
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575745_tn?1254168700
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
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575745_tn?1254168700
sorry for all the grammatical errors
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Avatar_f_tn
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?
  

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585414_tn?1288944902
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.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the reply. But anyone experienced a loved one totally turning against you, very hostile. My husband on August 8 was the man I've known for 12 years, we were having a wonderful family itme at the zoo with our 2 year old...next day Aug 9 he told me he was divorcing me and started talking about spirits, speaking to his dead mother....But what really confuses me right now 2 weeks into his treatment is how Hostile he still is towards me, when he seems to very nice to other people....well he is somewhat 'strange' with our 2 year old too!!!! But sometimes I can't see the light !!! I feel he will feel this 'anger' towards me forever!!! Help!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
ADVICE Please!!!
   To continue my story....my husband of 12 years is still getting out of his very first manic Episodes, still going through medication trials (Abilify did not work for him). He is still delusional and very angry at me.
   In less than 2 weeks he said he was leaving the house, packed his stuff, then changed his mind and said he was staying and then today said we need to get a lawyer.
  What do I do? He is in no shape to make any decisions, and the 'funny' part is, we've been together for 12 years and have a 2 year old but we are NOT legally married. He is not thinking straight and getting a lawyer will only make his situation worse, he's got all odds against him....do I just let him get the lawyer?????
   The worst part is, he found a NEW 'best' friend who is almost as ill as he is and she is putting some of these crazy ideas in his head...
  Anyone any advice...
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585414_tn?1288944902
Well I believe there is one forum as regards relationship issues. As regards medication, I did start a forum as regards new treatments as more have been approved in the last few years though of course only a psychiatrist could make a decision. However, its clear his medication is not working. I've seen this before as regards a family member with bipolar and a past relationship with someone with BPD that they can change their whole impression of you back and forth almost overnight. That clearly is a symptom and should be called to the psychiatrist's attention and they could decide what to do from there.
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Avatar_f_tn
Still about my bipolar husband. Since his first Manic Episode 2months ago, not much has changed for him. his family and I think he still very ill, very much Psychotic/Paranoid. His Psychiatrist is trying to increase the Antipsychotic dosage but he is refusing.
but here is the part that got me very frustrated/discouraged. He is also seeing a Psychologist (he has seen her many years ago for about 5 years).
   My doctor got in contact with her, and to the best of her knowledge she thinks he is totally fine --no signs of Psychosis at all. My husband can be very convincing, but I assumed a professional of her caliber would be experienced enough to draw a line between the real and the delusion--apparently NOT and I think his weekly sessions with her are only feeding his 'twisted ideas' --since she only hears from him the stories ....though from time to time i do call and leave messages for her with up-dates/ things that I've been observing..... Anybody has come across such issue, what can I do? I feel Hopeless--I mean if I can't count on the doctors where do I go from here?  

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585414_tn?1288944902
A psychiatrist is of course a medical doctor so their reccomendations and ideas take precedence over a talk therapist. It would be best to speak to the psychiatrist and have them make a referral to a different therapist. The two should not be in conflict. If your husband won't take a higher dose of medications because he is psychotic that is one thing but if he couldn't tolerate that dosage or respond to that medication in general that's another issue entirely. It would be best to see the psychiatrist with him and see if that could be encouraged.
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Avatar_f_tn
Welcome to the world of those who love unmedicated, improperly medicated, those who won't be medicated loved ones world. I wasn't diagnosed until in my forties. Married at twenty to an incredibly awesome man, he dealt with the outrages.  Most of my manics are rage rather than euphoria.  When I don't care...the last time was I believe this year or last was due to serious depression while taking my meds!
If my husband was not married to me, there are times I tried to push him away, but he is a man of great understanding and love.  But I believe it would have been best for his life to be off the rollercoaster, mood  swings...much better as I age and am more grounded in meds, but still our kids and him deserved a more functioning wife/mom.
For you, if he will not do the things that help us, get a good psych, have a regular doc, have a talk therapist, do group if necessary and truly work on "placing" the brain by journaling, questioning our thoughts and patterns and regimenting our diet to help stay stable, then you probably need to let go.  It isn't easy to love someone with bipolar but the affect of loving one is addictive because we are so convincing and you get pulled into the mania and the drug like affect we have on others.
Good luck with whatever your choice.  Question: How old is your daughter and has she watched this for years?  Do you want her choice to be falling in love with the allure of the addictiveness of a bp man?




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Avatar_f_tn
Heidi, not sure if the question was directed to me. But my daughter is 2 years old. My husband up till 2 months ago was the most amazing, hands-on dad I've ever seen....thankfully the only think my 2 year old has noticed is that her playful dad is no longer home everyday....because he still very ill when he does come to visit he can't barely concentrate and play with her.....But I'm very frustrated with his Psychologist who thinks he is just doing great!!!! I mean, even his physical appearance has changed, his family is helping me a lot and supporting me through this.....but let me tell you how difficult it is for me to even think at this point--only 2 months into his first ever Manic Episode --that the Wonderful/AMAZING man that I spent 12 years with will never come back!!!! --it's almost as if my Husband died and I really didn't have a chance to say Goodbye!!!
I guess what ILADVOCATE said makes me feel better, the Psychiatrist is helping with the medication and he is very thorough---the fact that his Psychologist can't SEE it at all-to the point she probably dismisses the diagnoses, just makes me feel 'angry' ---But for now I’m hanging in there.  

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Avatar_f_tn
I have a similar situation; ex-BPpartner left after 3 years. He has been diagnosed for 15 years. He did not take care of his mental health, working 100+ hours per week, 1.5 hours from our home, travelling o/s for work, being too involved with my toxic children, taking care of me during my depression. He vascillates between knowing he should be going to his psychiatrist and being in denial. We have the same GP, and he appears totally normal to the GP. I see all the unpredictable unreliable behaviour. He comes to me with his stories of paranoia (4-5 different sets of people per conversation). His family have also cut themselves off from me. Sometimes he does appear totally reasonable and wise. Other times he is totally irrationally angry.  I love him dearly, but it is hard for me to function when I am too close to his confusing behaviour. We are very compatible in many ways. One incompatibility is that I am interested in being deeply connected to my partner and forming a close, equal, sharing, committed llife long partnership, and I think he finds this a challenge.
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