Is Bipolar/medication causing our relationship problems?

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Is Bipolar/medication causing our relationship problems?

Postby chasingDragonflies » April 22nd, 2016, 4:37 pm

I recently re-entered a long-distance relationship with the love of my life. Let's call him Sean. We met in school ten years ago, and I have loved him ever since. We were just friends during our time living in the same state, as I was too afraid to confess my true feelings to him. Two years after he moved, we reconnected online, and began a LDR that would last about a year. We started talking regularly again about six months ago, and we were soon just as close as we'd been before, and it was like nothing had changed, at first. We decided to resume our relationship two months ago after he made the decision to begin the process of moving back out here, so we can give this a real shot (he's shooting for October). In the years that have gone by since we were together last, we've both been through some major shit. He had struggled with depression all of his life, and when he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, he found out he couldn't join the military (which was always his ambition), and he pretty much gave up all hope. He began using heroin for a few years (he's been clean for a year and a half, but still struggles with alcohol), and was diagnosed as type 2 bipolar around that time. I've also always struggled with depression, and I developed extreme anxiety problems shortly after he and I stopped talking, and about six months later, my best friend killed himself, which messed me up pretty bad. Sean and I understand each other in a lot of ways that other people just aren't able to, but recently we've started having some problems that have never surfaced before. He doesn't feel like talking as often as we used to, and when he does choose to talk to me, he is no where near as affectionate or happy to talk to me as he used to be, and yet when I ask him if his feelings towards me have changed, he gets offended because he thinks I don't trust him. He keeps telling me not to worry, but worrying is what I'm best at. These problems all began right after he started taking two new medications after a recent suicide attempt. I'm used to depressed Sean; I know what he needs support-wise during those times, and I can be patient and accommodating because I understand what he's going through... But this is a side of Sean that I have never seen before. He's not suicidal anymore, so that's definitely a good thing, but he's also apathetic, neutral, and disinterested about nearly everything in his life, other than his job. I try my best to be constantly reassuring and loving towards him, but recently he's almost completely unresponsive to anything I try. He doesn't want to talk on the phone very often anymore, just a few sporadic texts throughout the day. Is this purely from the medication? Is he still just acclimating? Is this because of his bipolar disorder? I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing because on one hand, I love him and I want to be with him for better or for worse, but on the other hand, my heart is breaking, and every day it gets harder and harder for me to cope with the anxiety and the doubt, and the soul-crushing sadness that this situation has brought me. He's coming to visit in August, and I really hope that in person, things will be different. But what if they aren't? Will he ever go back to normal? What can I do to be loving and encouraging towards him at this time? Should I be prioritizing my own mental health, or his? I desperately want to understand what he is going through, but he won't talk to me about it, so I have no where else to turn.
chasingDragonflies
 
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Issues: depression, anxiety
preferred pronoun: she

Re: Is Bipolar/medication causing our relationship problems?

Postby rivergirl » April 27th, 2016, 5:39 am

chasingDragonflies,
I'd like to respond more to your post later, but for now, I just want to say that I think prioritizing your own mental health and practicing as much self-care as you can every day are the best things you could possibly do for yourself and even for any possible relationship you may have with Sean. I hope you can reach out to anyone available in your local area for support, whether it's a counselor, friend, or support group. You deserve to feel better.

Sending you hugs,

rivergirl
rivergirl
 
Posts: 344
Joined: March 3rd, 2013, 6:46 pm
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Issues: Depression, Anxiety

Re: Is Bipolar/medication causing our relationship problems?

Postby rivergirl » May 8th, 2016, 1:00 pm

chasingDragonflies,
I wrote a really long post last week here but then I deleted it. I'll try again.

Some of the things you wrote remind me of things I went through in a long distance relationship I was in that ended a year ago. I really hope your situation will be different, and that things will get better for you and Sean soon, and that you're just going through a rough patch. I'm not saying that your situation is going to turn out like mine did, but here are some things that you might consider ...

When your relationship is only long-distance, then I think it's really hard to fully know the other person or know how they would treat you in a day to day relationship. My ldr was like yours in that we knew each other years before in school, then started a relationship when living in different places. There were things I didn't find out until years into the relationship that probably would have been obvious within months had we been living in the same area while together.

You seem like a wonderfully caring and giving person, but it seems like you're in a relationship right now where the other person isn't able or willing to care about your needs or give in ways that meet those needs. Whatever the specific reasons are for this may not matter so much as the fact that you're the only one available to care about and look out for you right now. If you can find ways to take care of yourself more often even in small ways, and get support from other people that you can share your burdens with, there's no downside to that. Even if you and Sean end up together, it would only strengthen your relationship if you don't rely only on each other for care and support.

Please don't think that Sean is the only person who you can share understanding and love with. There are millions of people who have gone through trauma and some of the issues you've gone through, and many of them could understand and care about you if you gave them a chance. There are also millions of people who could love you. I have a tendency to think every relationship is my last chance, but it's dangerous to think that way because you may accept things that are damaging you in a relationship in an effort to save this one last chance that you think you have for connection and love.

I wish there was something more I could do to ease the pain you're going through. You're not alone, even if it feels that way right now.

rivergirl
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Posts: 344
Joined: March 3rd, 2013, 6:46 pm
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Issues: Depression, Anxiety


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