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I think my bf is bipolar and doesn't know? Help please.


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First I just want to say I have 3 people who have married into my family (non blood related) that are bipolar. I also was engaged for 5 years to a bipolar man, however we ended things a few years ago..So I'd like to think I have a very good idea of what bipolar is, although I cannot imagine personally dealing with it. I do not want to seem I am casting a stereotype or stigma on anyone who suffers with this, please do not find what I am saying offensive in any way. I care about the guy I am currently dating, thus why I am on here seeking help..

 

So, I have been dating this guy for 4 months now. The first month he seemed head over heels for me. The first date he asked to take tons of pictures with me and posted them all. Told me I inspire him and am beautiful like a model. Sent the pictures to his friends. He was very sweet and romantic. He is genuinely a very kind hearted person. Then, for about a week he became much less talkative and wasn't reaching out at all. I confronted him on this and he told me he was "in a mood" so I backed off. He wasn't mean, just very quiet and seemed non-concerned as he went about his days.. Then in a few days bounced back to his usual self of being sweet, saying he misses me, etc. and asked if we could be exclusive to which I said yes. I continued to see him and things are great we really do connect well and share so much in common in our lives. Then, after another month he became quiet again for a week or so. And the same pattern repeated. And in my mind it slowly began to resonate that he shared the exact same behaviors as my bipolar ex fiancé. He would be self deprecating, very quiet, distant..

 

Anyways, for almost a month now he's seemed to be in this state. I do not believe he is aware that his behavior is very likely bipolar. I thought he was losing interest, but he has continued to see me in person. When I showed up last week at his house he seemed very energized and excited. Took multiple pictures with me and posted them to the public, Told me I am so much fun. Named at least 5 different things we should do in the month to come together. But then the next day after seeing him he was yet again withdrawn. I confronted him and he's told me he's been feeling horrible and had panic attacks and anxiety. I just seriously feel it's bipolar, maybe the panic attacks are signs he's leaving this depression and entering a manic state again?

 

I really am just seeking advice on how to handle this. He's still seeming very withdrawn. It's been a month now and this is the longest he has been like this. But tells me he is still interested in me and I make him happy when I ask. Should I reach out and initiate still? Or totally leave him alone? I don't want to annoy him if he's not feeling well. But also don't want him thinking I stopped caring when he's so mentally fragile. Please help.

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When my friends with BPD are in their depressed state, they tell me that even though they aren't responding in their usual way they still highly value the when people initiate contact with them. As I am sure you know by now, even someone who is being treated for their BPD can still cycle through their mania and depressive states. So if you want to be with this person, you probably need to accept that you need to practice extra compassion, empathy and understanding when they are going through their various cycles.

 

That all being said... unless you are a psychiatrist, I recommend not trying to diagnose him yourself. Instead try focusing on the behaviors and using specific examples of where they are out of the norm as context for him to get help.

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Hey! I have a bipolar ex, I kinda know what you're going through. I think you're handling it well as it is by giving space when he asks for it and being around when you both want to. He doesn't seem to mind that you're initiating contact. But if you're concerned I would 100% let him know that you are worried about it and see what he thinks! I'm sure he will let you know that it's okay. And if it not, ask him for solutions that he would prefer given his (lack of better word) mood swings. Have you asked him why he believes he has these on and off periods? See what he thinks and find a way to gently suggest, based on your experience, that it could be bipolar. Foir months into a committed relationship is a great time to have these kind of honest conversations!!! You'll be just fine :)

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Be very careful with armchair diagnosing mental illness. Not every guy who runs hot/cold or doesn't like texting is bipolar. Stop texting. Let him reach out. Do not play nurse, doctor, therapist, social worker, etc in order to explain relationships dynamics you may not like. Maybe he's just losing interest? Does he drink or use drugs?

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Hi

 

I agree with Wiseman

 

There could be many reasons as to why he's needing space or running hot and cold. He told you he has depression and anxiety..that could just be it and he's not bipolar.

 

With Anxiety and depression it can come and go and be cyclic like bipolar.

 

Or he could just be not interested?

 

It's hard to say but it's not your place to confront him about it.

 

Let him come to you

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The thing is i have confronted him three times and he has told me it has nothing to do with me. And that he "just gets weird sometimes".. I have been faded out by guys many times and hes still showing interest in other ways thats why im pretty sure its not him losing interest. I am going to be quiet for a few days though. Wish me luck lol.

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Hm he did say its nice to know someones there and cares. He said he had a bad panic attack and spent the entire day with his sister yesterday. I just feel weird because sometimes he wont reply for a few days i dont want to annoy him but i know if it is bp depression he can be very mentally fragile and i want to show Im there for him even if hes very distant.. And to answer someone elses question he has used drugs and drank which i believe hes using to cope with his mood swings (my ex did the same thing and my uncle).

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I've asked him why he feels the way he does the past month and he said he honestly does not know. And he has referred to it in the past as "being in a mood".. He also drinks and smokes weed a lot and tbh i think hes self medicating. Hes vaguely mentioned having anger issues in the past and that weed helps and my ex whose BP has said the exact same thing to me.. Im not trying to self diagnose or stereotype it just seems when he is happy he is very ontop of the world and tells me he feels great and this is gubba be his year.. And then he'll say he's the worst and if i never want to talk to him again he understand but he can make it up to me if I'll let him.. Then he's all over me again. Its just the self deprecation and then the raised ego. My ex whose BP was exactly the same. I just feel like my intuition knows that he is I've been around it my whole life. And theres nothing wrong with it i care for him a lot i just dont know how to approach things. Ive confronted him he continues to tell me he doesnt know why he feels this way, he'll still text just not as often, says it has nothing to do with me. So im just unsure if i should continue to initiate even if hes very quiet. Or if thats just overwhelming.

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Why do you think you keep finding and dating men who are allegedly bipolar? Is there something about how bipolar people behave that attracts you? Is it because it's familiar, or do you think you might enjoy the challenge of dramatic highs and lows?

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Well, I just asked him if he is interested. He told me "You're a beautiful girl and so chill to be around. I don't think I can date because of my wallet or mental state right now. But I'd love to still hang with you. Maybe in the future we'd date again."

I said okay and said I'd leave it up to him to ask. But I haven't said anything else to him what so ever. I'm surprised. Because the last time we saw one another he was making moves trying to have me meet his closest friends and asked me to come with him to his sports practice and band practice. I don't get it but I guess if he really is mentally not well it doesn't have to make sense. Regardless I feel a bit heart broken.

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