Living with bipolar disorder can be a burden on a person. Additionally living with a bipolar spouse can pose a real challenge. Do you have a wife or husband who has bipolar disorder and you want to find optimal ways to help them? New View Wellness in Atlanta has a highly effective outpatient treatment program that helps people enjoy better mental health. Part of the plan includes family therapy to help spouses and children come together with the goal of helping their loved ones get better. 

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that falls under the heading of a mood disorder. It used to be more commonly known as manic depression. Someone who has bipolar disorder has uncontrollable mood swings that cause them to feel intense highs and lows. There is no cure for bipolar but the symptoms can be managed with proper treatment. 

Someone living with a bipolar spouse often finds it difficult to deal with their loved one’s mental illness. The change in moods can happen every few weeks or months. As much as they love their spouse, living with unpredictable mood swings can take its toll. This provides a real need for people to know where to find help for their partners. 

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Different types of bipolar disorder can occur, and the symptoms vary depending on which type it is. As well, what types of therapy and medications may be used to treat it can vary. The different types of bipolar disorder include:

Bipolar I Disorder: People with this type have manic episodes that last at least seven days. They are followed by depressive episodes that go on for two weeks or more. 

Bipolar II Disorder: This type of disorder includes mainly depressive episodes. Some people also experience hypomanic episodes that do not occur as strongly as those that happen with Bipolar I Disorder. 

Cyclothymic Disorder/Cyclothymia: With this type, the individual has manic and depressive episodes. However, the moods are not as extreme as those experienced with Bipolar I and II Disorders. 

Rapid Cycling: The individual experiences four or more episodes during a 12-month period. Mood swings happen randomly, and lengths of time vary. 

Signs of Bipolar Disorder

A person who wonders if they may be living with a bipolar spouse can look for warning signs of this disorder. Common signs of mania and hypomania episodes include the following: 

  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased energy
  • Reduction in sleep time
  • Trouble focusing on conversations or tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Racing thoughts
  • Making poor decisions without regard for risk or outcome
  • Psychosis

Common signs of depressive episodes include the following: 

  • Lethargy
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Crying
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, and depressed
  • Moodiness
  • Trouble making decisions or concentrating 
  • Suicidal feelings or thoughts

What To Do When Living With a Bipolar Spouse

Someone living with a bipolar spouse wants to know what they should do. The first step is to get educated about the condition. Learning how people act during bipolar episodes and why fosters education in a spouse. Speak to a doctor or therapist in order to understand what your loved one is going through. 

Next, talk to your spouse in a compassionate manner. Tell them you know they have a mental health disorder, and you understand they are not at fault. Allow them to express themselves and tell you what specific help and support you can offer them. 

Another way to help is to locate treatment for your spouse. They can feel overwhelmed by their symptoms. If you can tell them you found a treatment plan and what it entails, that can provide them with relief and hope. Let them know you support them in getting the care they need. As well, you are happy to help take responsibility for household and family duties while they focus on getting well.

Let pertinent family and friends know what your spouse is dealing with and how they can help. Having a team of people aware of the situation and united in helping your spouse can have a real impact. 

Last, make sure to take care of yourself. Living with someone who has a mental illness can be tiring and frustrating. Make sure to eat healthy, get regular exercise, and have a life outside your home to help you recharge. 

How is Bipolar Disorder Treated?

Bipolar disorder is best treated by a professional facility experienced in working with people with mood disorders. Treatment will include several types of therapy designed to help people with bipolar disorder. Skilled clinicians teach people to understand their mental health disorder. They can identify and anticipate many of their symptoms. From there, they can learn how to manage them and improve their mental health and quality of life.

Bipolar disorder treatment will usually include using medications. The right FDA-approved medications can be provided and the results of using them monitored. 

Many people with bipolar disorder turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their mental illness. For this reason, many programs provide treatment for this condition, which is called dual diagnosis

Get Treatment for Bipolar Disorder in Atlanta, GA

If you want to find help for your spouse who deals with bipolar disorder, we can help. New View Wellness in Atlanta offers a treatment program specifically for people dealing with bipolar disorder. Attending our outpatient program helps people learn about their mental health disorders. From there, they can anticipate and minimize some of the symptoms. We provide multiple types of therapy and any necessary medications. 

If you are living with a bipolar spouse and want to find help for them, visit our admissions page now. We are happy to talk about treatment options for the person you love.