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NerdyUnicorn

I'm a Bad Partner When Depressed

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This is a cyclical problem in my relationship. Every several months we'll have a bad meltdown and I'll completely re-evaluate myself as a person (as in, I'm a shitty person and I don't deserve my partner) only to realize I'm depressed and that's why I've been really selfish and a generally uncaring partner. Don't get me wrong, introspection and self improvement is necessary on a regular basis, but I'm sitting here questioning my worth as a human in a way that's both unhelpful to my relationship and me. It doesn't end up fixing anything in the relationship, plus I'm a decent partner when I'm not depressed.  

I'm wondering if anyone has experience being in relationships while bipolar - I can't stop the depression (at least not completely) but I want to be better about not taking it out on her or being a generally shitty human while I'm going through the depression. 

TIA! 

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Does your doc know how disruptive to your relationship ? This sounds like a meds problem, they should be able stop this from happening. If your doc can't it might be time for a better doc.

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I don’t know why it would be a meds problem. I’m a pretty shitty partner when I’m unwell too but my partner knows it’s the illness, not me and knows that I try to not be a shit. 
I do what I can. I’m in to DBT so I use skills I’ve learnt there and also from other therapies. I especially try to stop and think before reacting because my reactive bulllshit is usually really over nothing. 
I try not to make any big decisions (relationship wise) or be too judgmental when I’m hating on myself and therefore the world. 
and I own my shit and apologise when I think it’s warranted. 

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I agree it sounds potentially like a meds problem, since it's cyclical and tied to symptoms of depression. Definitely worth bringing up with a doctor.

In a romantic relationship, I think the most important thing to do is talk about what you're experiencing (not to make excuses for any bad behavior but to explain it). I really lay it out, like "when I'm in a bad depression, even the sound of a text message makes me feel like a bear is chasing me, and it makes me really irritable. I'm sorry you've been on the other end of that." Then when you notice it's happening you can tell your partner, and somehow put up a buffer between them and you, temporarily. At least once you realize it's happening... Probably you've done something like that already... Anyways doing this has helped me a lot in all types of close relationships.

Other than that I think DBT can help a lot with regulating the way you interact with others, and having more awareness of your symptoms and when you're depressed, so you can react faster to the depression spiking. Another thing maybe worth looking into would be having your partner go to a tdoc or pdoc appointment with you, if they have questions or feel unclear about your diagnoses and what they mean.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, NerdyUnicorn said:

This is a cyclical problem in my relationship. Every several months we'll have a bad meltdown and I'll completely re-evaluate myself as a person (as in, I'm a shitty person and I don't deserve my partner) only to realize I'm depressed and that's why I've been really selfish and a generally uncaring partner. Don't get me wrong, introspection and self improvement is necessary on a regular basis, but I'm sitting here questioning my worth as a human in a way that's both unhelpful to my relationship and me. It doesn't end up fixing anything in the relationship, plus I'm a decent partner when I'm not depressed.  

I'm wondering if anyone has experience being in relationships while bipolar - I can't stop the depression (at least not completely) but I want to be better about not taking it out on her or being a generally shitty human while I'm going through the depression. 

TIA! 

I am really familiar with the self-hating thoughts that you describe, and I suggest having really good communication with your partner about what bothers them about what happens when you're depressed when you're both not extremely upset.  When you are prone to depression, it is easy to fixate on one need that they are not getting fulfilled and hate yourself for it, when in actuality, they would be able to get by with something else that the lack thereof is driving them crazy.  Try not to hate yourself too much for your depression, everyone has disagreements for one reason or another.

Edited by Banana Smurf

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14 hours ago, NerdyUnicorn said:

This is a cyclical problem in my relationship.

Cyclic nature is why I suggested meds. Put it in your docs hands and tell them about it.

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