photo ©


Bipolar disorder has an immense impact on relationships. They are difficult to maintain because of the many ups and downs we experience. We are expected to be present for relationships to develop, grow, and mature. We are expected to be available. But the cycles and dysfunctional effects of being bipolar can quite effectively strip away the framework for healthy relationships.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Without spending time together, a relationship can come apart and fade away. Out of sight, out of mind. A relationship may be weakened by disruptions of bonding time. And you may do or say something stupid or out-of-line and are too embarrassed to go back. Or are afraid they won’t want you back because you hurt or offended them. Or you simply can't contribute as well as needed and you are replaced by someone who can be there more, someone who is more consistent, dependable, and reliable.

When up, you think, “I can do it myself. I can handle it on my own.” When down, you think, “I need someone to take care of me. Life is too much to handle alone.”

Out of Sync With Others
There is great frustration because others can’t keep up with your physical level of activity or your thought processes. You are so impatient. You have hopes and dreams and they are holding you back. That’s when you’re up. When you’re down, they get frustrated with you because you can’t keep up with “normal” expectations. You think they are being unreasonable and placing too many demands on you. And they say antagonistic things to you like, “Just snap out of it”, as though it were that easy and simple to do. You just can’t understand why others aren’t in sync or in tune with your way of thinking and doing things. It’s all so plain to you. Why can’t they get it?