You’re hot then you’re cold, You’re yes then you’re no, You’re in then you’re out, You’re up then you’re down – so go the lyrics to Katy Perry’s song Hot N’ Cold. This song could have been written for a woman who suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Also called manic depression, a person who has this experiences severe mood swings, lethargy, paranoia, inability to have social interactions, and it creates situations that are not based on reality. Those are just some of the symptoms which could take a turn for the worse if not properly addressed. It seems to affect more women than men and can be triggered by extreme experiences such as abuse, divorce, and a death in the family. If you think your wife or girlfriend is exhibiting the symptoms of a bipolar woman, you will have to take steps to deal with it.
1. Observe her behavior. Try to see if you are correct in assuming that she may have bipolar disorder. Think back from when you first noticed the changes to see if you can establish a pattern of sleeplessness, lethargy, rage, crying bouts, anger, and paranoia. Has she been subjected to something very extreme or to a life-changing experience recently? You have to be very patient doing this because it will take weeks, sometimes months for you to really see a pattern emerging. Keep a journal of incidents that when you noticed her exhibiting symptoms of bipolarity.
2. Get information online about Bipolar Disorder. One of the most important pieces of information that will turn up in your online research is that Bipolar Disorder are classified into 2 types:
- Bipolar 1: This classic form of bipolarity has the person exhibiting long stretches of hyper mania followed by a sudden crash into deep depression.
- Bipolar 2: The person goes into hypo mania and usually experience one major bout with depression. As you can see, the 2nd type is harder to detect since the symptoms exhibited are less obvious.
3. Accompany her to a counselor or a psychiatrist. As your wife or your girlfriend experiences these very confusing symptoms, she might not be emotionally strong enough to seek help. Other women living with Bipolar Disorder sometimes even shirk away from treatment for fear of being labeled as one of the crazies. This is where you’re reassuring presence makes a world of difference. Once you decide to get the help she needs. Go and join her at each session.
4. Make a list of her meds and monitor her intake schedule. Hopefully you love this woman enough to get in and win this battle. Part of her treatment will be prescription meds that will be taken at intervals set by her psychiatrist. It is up to you to administer these pills to her during the course of the day. If you leave it up to her, she won’t take these.
5. Muster all the patience, understanding and then some. Her road to recovery will not be an easy path. Stay the course. Be patient even when you feel like just upping and leave. Try to understand what she is going through. Hold on to the love you have for this woman.
6. Don’t be afraid to be afraid. It’s okay to give in to a dose of healthy fear since you are the caregiver. There will be days when you might be overcome with fear for her safety. Accept this as a fact but don’t let it paralyze you.
There is still hope for her getting better. Have faith.