Bipolar Disorder and Relationships

Maintaining relationships while managing bipolar disorder is tough. Here are personal stories, practical advice and tips to make relationships a bit easier.

Blogs and Articles

Family, Friends, Healthcare Providers: Who’s on Your Stability Team?

Laura Fisher
February 25, 2019

Everyone needs healthy and supportive relationships, but for people with bipolar disorder, having a supportive team to depend on can be lifesaving. I like to think of the relationships in my life as people on my “team.” First, there is my family. For me, this includes my mom, dad, and brother. They are instrumental to...

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From Helicoptering to Collaborating: Working on Recovery with Loved Ones

Katherine Ponte
February 22, 2019

Having a partner over-involved in your recovery plan can result in frustration, resentment, and confrontation. When you collaborate though, you can work as a team on your recovery. I couldn’t stand my spouse “helicoptering.” It was part of his over-involvement in my care which disempowered, discouraged, infantilized and enraged me. I admit that at times...

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Family Support—We’re All Working Towards Stability Together

Michael G. Pipich, MS, LMFT
January 4, 2019

While mood-stabilizing medications have long been the centerpiece for treatment, education and therapy that includes family support are essential for lifelong success. For years, many in the mental health field believed that treating bipolar disorder came only in the form of medications, and that therapy, family support, and education about the condition were far less...

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How to Get Your Life Back on Course After a Bipolar Relapse

Robin L. Flanigan
January 4, 2019

Repairing relationships, routines, and reputation after a severe episode of (hypo)mania or bipolar depression requires small steps and a willingness to seek change.   In the spring of 2017, Jess L. got the news that her estranged father had been in a serious car accident. The combination of uncertainty about his prospects, emotional baggage from...

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From a Father with Bipolar: Key Approaches for Healthy Relationships

Karl Shallowhorn
December 4, 2018

Parenting is tough even without a bipolar diagnosis. However, there are strategies that can help you maintain healthy family bonds through the challenges.   I am the proud father of two daughters, age 23 and 20. My girls are each the “apple of my eye” and anyone who knows me understands that this is the...

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‘Taking Yourself On’: How I’ve Mastered Social Anxiety

Debbie Jacobs
November 30, 2018

Reprogramming your thoughts to be more positive and soothing can help you take on social anxiety, so you can strengthen old bonds and form new ones.   For many years, I lived with and perpetuated social anxiety. For most of my life, I never really felt confident with my social skills. I struggled with communication...

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What You Need to Know Before Talking to Your Employer About Depression

Linea Johnson
November 30, 2018

If you are struggling with a depressive episode and you feel you should talk to your employer about it, there are a few important things to consider. Hi friends! This is Linea Johnson with bp Magazine’s bphope Vlog, here to talk to you about talking to your employer about depression. First of all, from a legal...

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Hope & Harmony Headlines: Why Trusted Friendships Are Key to Our Stability

bp Magazine
November 29, 2018

December 13, 2018   •   Volume 11, Issue 50 Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines   Why Trusted Friendships Are Key to Our Stability There are few things more comforting than a faithful friend. They alleviate loneliness, improve self-worth, help identify triggers and mood changes and provide support. Where would we be without that...

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Mending Relationships Damaged by Bipolar

Karl Shallowhorn
November 16, 2018

When trying to repair relationships strained by bipolar, it’s important to stress how you are working on ways to avoid these behaviors. For many people, undoing damage to relationships comes with complications. Oftentimes, this is because the symptoms associated with bipolar create the issues to begin with. So, there are a couple of things I...

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Views About Bipolar Disorder Improved By TV Epilogues

bp Magazine
November 9, 2018

An epilogue, or writing at the end of a work, with facts about bipolar could help decrease stigma and misinformation about the condition.   September 1, 2018, MORGANTOWN, WV—Adding an epilogue to a television show episode about bipolar disorder increases viewers’ positive views towards the disorder, a new study has found. American researchers had two...

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Hope & Harmony Headlines: Is Depression Affecting Your Work? Here’s Why You Are Not Alone

bp Magazine
November 1, 2018

November 15th, 2018   •   Volume 11, Issue 46 Subscribe to Hope & Harmony Headlines Is Depression Affecting Your Work? Here’s Why You Are Not Alone Research shows that people with high levels of depressive symptoms tend to perform poorly at work. How’s that for stating the obvious? It’s hard to function well when...

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How to Get Rid of Bipolar Disorder Stigma: It Starts with You

Karl Shallowhorn
October 30, 2018

Stigma is a primary contributor to the oppression and discrimination of those living with mental health challenges: but we can work together to overcome it.   Stigma stinks, and that is putting it mildly. There is just so much misinformation about mental health in the world that if I tried to count the number of...

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4 Smart Strategies To Manage Bipolar While Dealing With A Dispute

Susie Johnson
October 18, 2018

It’s never easy to deal with a dispute with another person, but a few simple strategies can help you to move on and learn from the situation. The band U2 sings it best in their song “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” Do you sometimes find yourself in a moment that replays...

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Bipolar Disorder Awareness: How to Advocate for Yourself and Others

Allison Strong
October 10, 2018

Interested in becoming a mental health advocate? There are many opportunities such as Mental Illness Awareness Week to join the movement! I like to be involved with the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (who I just found), Mental Health America, the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and National Alliance on Mental Illness. I sure don’t want to...

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3 Strategies to Save and Strengthen a Marriage with Bipolar

Carin Meyer
October 9, 2018

Marriage that involves a partner with bipolar can be difficult; Luckily learning keys to managing mood swings can help you have a successful life together.   My husband, Frank, lives for adventure. When he is driving our giant 4×4 hunting rig, a lifted Ford Excursion on nearly four-foot tall tires, he does not hesitate to...

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Zack McDermott and his mom

Zack McDermott on His Memoir and His Mom

Stephanie Stephens
October 9, 2018

As beautifully told in his book Gorilla and the Bird, former attorney Zack McDermott relied on his mother’s unconditional support while winning his way back to stability.   At the time, it all made perfect sense to Zack McDermott. After stepping outside his apartment one October afternoon in 2009, he immediately knew that cameras were...

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How to Combat Myths of Bipolar Disorder: A Survival Guide

Karl Shallowhorn
October 1, 2018

Myths about bipolar can perpetuate stigma and unhelpful treatment strategies—so it’s important to learn the facts about living with this brain-based disorder.   Hi. This is Karl Shallowhorn with the BPHope.com vlog. In this segment, I’m going to be talking about three of the myths associated with bipolar disorder. Myth #1 One of the myths...

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4 Tough Truths of Managing Bipolar Disorder That Will Change Your Life

Brittney Sibley
September 28, 2018

Accepting the truth of what you must do to control bipolar disorder symptoms is not easy, but it can lead to remarkable self-acceptance and stability   Coming to terms with my bipolar disorder diagnosis is one of the most challenging processes I have faced thus far in my lifetime. I was 16, a week before...

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Combat Obsessive Thoughts About the Future by Focusing on the Present

Jasper Benitez
July 24, 2018

Abandonment in his past has led columnist Jasper Benitez to fear the future. Now, he is working to stay focused on the present.   As someone who lives with bipolar, I can tell you that fear of the future is one of my biggest struggles. I become so engulfed with thoughts about the future that...

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Why We Must STOP the Stigma of Taking Sick Leave for Bipolar Depression

Lynda Williams
July 20, 2018

Sick leave is not a vacation, it’s a necessary measure to treat the depression that interferes with the ability to make effective decisions.   Having an invisible illness like bipolar gives me the option to disclose or not based on what I feel is necessary and appropriate, and for the better part of the decade...

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