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judochop's avatar

Tips on living with a Bipolar girlfriend who refuses medication...

Asked by judochop (15996 points ) October 17th, 2011

My girlfriend has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. We have been trying a proactive approach with conseling and books and internet forums but I am afraid I am at the end of my rope. I just can’t handle the blame for things I’ve not done, the fixation on things that do not matter, the ups and downs, the violent out lashing, the lack of sex, the blank stares, etc. She sometimes drinks to medicate as well and I can’t handle this either. Anyone have any tips on dealing with this? It is driving me crazy.

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21 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Good luck. Sorry for such a grim reply, but I have a hard time thinking of a realistic solution if she isn’t doing everything she can to help herself. That goes for any type of illness, not just bipolar.
Why is she against the medication? If she self medicates with alcohol, I’m guessing it isn’t because she prefers a holistic approach. Has she explained her apprehensions about the medication? Is she in therapy?

judochop's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf without insurance it is impossible for us to keep up with regularly scheduled therapy and medication is expensive and includes regular doctor visits. We can’t afford it, simply as that.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@judochop have you looked into alternatives? Mental health clinics, medicaid? I went many years without insurance, so I do understand how challenging it can be. But, even out here in the middle of nowhere, we have psychiatric clinics that charge based on your income. Doesn’t hurt to look around.

smilingheart1's avatar

I have a work mate who has been married to a bipolar wife for many years. She is not super cooperative. He regrets their marriage day on day.

blueiiznh's avatar

Oiy.GQ…sorry to hear this situation.
A person who has been diagnosed Bipolar (or other such similar diagnosis) need to follow a plan of medication and therapy.
You have or will become a codependent. Supporting her to get therapy and take meds is all you can do. You however need to realize that you cannot make her do this.
Without meds and therapy, good chances are you will get blamed for everything, get sucked into the vortex, become part of violent acts and certainly not respected for who you are.
If you have no insurance for meds or therapy this will be tough. There are support groups that are free, but medication is key. It also takes around 3 changes of meds to find the right cocktail that works.
Regret is made up of choices that a person was forced to make or didn’t make the difficult one.
Medication and therapy are also not a magic wand to it all and still needs support and constant work and respect.
Know it is not you, be as supportive as you can, accept that it more than likely will not get better without meds and therapy. Try to not “loose yourself”.
The one thing to remeber is that this person did not choose to be Biploar, but they do have a choice for how to deal with it.

YoBob's avatar

Separate apartments?

CWOTUS's avatar

Warren Zevon, Basket Case.

Oh, it’s in General.

I would see if I could get myself a prescription for tranquilizers.

Judi's avatar

Don’t accept unacceptable behavior. If she refuses medication, and is not aware enough of her illness to allow you to point out when her behavior is irrational, remove yourself from the situation.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @Judi

You can’t love someone who is mentally unwell to wellness and if there is abusive behavior occurring you must love yourself enough to exit.

rts486's avatar

Move out. I don’t mean to be harsh, but she’ll just take you down with her.

rainboots's avatar

Leave. It’s easier. You’ll both be better off.

rainboots's avatar

Or you can take this approach… First off, not listen to these people who have no idea of commitment.I really hope none of them are married. God forbid something stressful happen in their relationship and push comes to shove.. Where I’m going with this is relationships are not always easy. That’s why in wedding vows they ask you this.. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ‘till death do us part.
Your girlfriend may be bat shit crazy or a “basket case” but she would do anything for you.Refusing medications is not ideal. But there is a difference of refusing vs being wealthy enough to buy them.
My advice to you is if don’t see her name in those vows then end the relationship. This will be better for the both of you. If her name does fill the blank line, then stay on her to make appointments and go to them. Research every clinic that can help with the cost of medicine. In the beginning it will be hard but once her head is in a better place she will see how sick she is and never want to go back. Work together so YOU and her stay healthy mentally and physically.
You are choosing to be in this relationship. Shit or get off the pot..

blueiiznh's avatar

I agree with @rainboots in that walking away is not always the answer or in many cases a more difficult option. I commend the OP for his want to try to find an answer and help deal with the pain that she is in and in turn him.
Only when you have done all you can and have exhausted all you are able and willing to do, will you be able to consider the alternatives.
It may be one of the hardest things you have done or may do.
Good Reading:
Stop Walking on Eggshells
When someone you love is Bipolar
Some web links:
10 tips for coping
How to Care
How to Deal

Prayers with you on this tough road.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sometimes it is like eating a meatball sub. You love to eat them, but if you do, you know you will suffer heartburn most of the night. So, you have to not eat them, or quit eating them.

You have tried, and tried, and nothing has worked, so you either suffer or move on.

judochop's avatar

I just found out shes an alcoholic that has been keeping herself drunk on wine to function. The relationship ended tonight. What a pity. I planned on marrying this woman but she refuses to let go and open up. Shes afraid.

Moegitto's avatar

@judochop Even though the relationship is over, doesn’t mean you can’t be friends and still support her. I’m Bipolar, and I can tell you I get SUPER pissed at people around me. It’s not something I mean to do, but as we all know, Bipolar people aren’t 100% responsible for their actions “if being treated”. Alot of people think that being bipolar gives them a free reign, and they can do and say whatever they want. But actually, Bipolar sufferers are expected to act accordingly to the same standard as the rest of the people walking around out there. I applaud your decision to leave her for the alcohol problem, that’s one route you don’t want to go. But always keep a constant line of communication with her because Bipolar people have a FAR higher suicide rate, and that suicide trigger can come from anywhere because us bipolars end up in a negative whirlpool of thinking. And that is what builds us up into our overreactions, being Mania, Anger, or Depression. Being Bipolar is like having that one friend that keeps on bugging you to do “that one thing” until finally you give in.

blueiiznh's avatar

@judochop I understand how hard this must have been. Hang in there. Know you did all YOU could do.

@Moegitto I disagree with your comment of “Bipolar people aren’t 100% responsible for their actions “if being treated”. I know it is not easy, but as you stated, it does not give one free reign. We all have to be responsible for our own actions. My apologies if I misunderstood your note.

Moegitto's avatar

@blueiiznh You did misunderstand, but it is stated by law that bipolar persons aren’t responsible for many of their actions. That’s why we lose our second amendment (the right to bear arms). I don’t mean I can walk into star bucks stark naked and order a big mac. We suffer behavior differences when we are adjusted on our medications and this is when we aren’t “in a state of well being”. That means that there’s a reason for any irrational action we may commit. Being Bipolar doesn’t give us free reign to do illegal acts or stuff like that but there are things that Bipolar people can get away with, I just won’t post them on here for risk of people trying to abuse said information.

Judi's avatar

Like the flight attendant going to a hospital instead of jail.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Moegitto thanks for the feedback. I do understand as I was in a codependent relationship years ago.

Moegitto's avatar

@Judi exactly, but I think they were type 2, I’m type 1. I suffer from moods of being super happy and swings towards suicidal.

@blueiiznh The sad state of affairs in this country is that doctors are just labeling people with diagnosis to get them out of the office. It took me 7 years to get diagnosed, my new psychologist was telling me how sometimes people are either just really spoiled or are simply bad attitude type people. Some psychs see people claiming sadness because they are used to getting what they want as being a “low” period and people throwing temper tantrums “anger” as parts of the Bipolar spectrum. And this leads to people going schizo.

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