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Hi all,

I am so careful writing on forums like this. I find that we have learned so many terms and mental matters that we perhaps relate any different characteristic between two people by naming it some "mental disorder of some kind". Blame in relationships goes both ways.

I also realize that I address these issues on a moment where its perhaps too late and hence see this as some healing. Healing towards renewal or closure, I cannot really tell at this point.

I read allot of the comments with people in exactly the same scenario and watching comments like: "I am glad not to be alone with this matter" or simply uttering their frustrations. Something I am doing myself at this very moment.

My initial questions are:

· How far do we go defining what is related BP disorder in compared with "normal not compatible characters" in a relationship atmosphere?

· I was always found mental disorders to be a grey zone. Especially if its light and not in an extreme mode, hence easier to diagnose. I also believe that we all have some "mental disorder" characteristics.

My final question is:

· If I give some details of the patters of my ex-girlfriend, would any one of you have the experience to say: "That's it"

I see many similar stories in this forum which I can relate to. I there for want to qualify my attempt by advising what symptoms I have seen in the past 2 1/2 years. Then ask for advice if it really turns out to a BP matter (which I am almost certain off)

Before I close this eventually first discussion thread I just want to make something clear.

I will make comments which are honest, comments which will be filtered by my own "short comings" and perhaps my inability to deal with critical situations. I don't like to point fingers and say: Its her own fault" You don't that when you truly love some. The ultimate goal is to be with someone who you care and love for. And perhaps understand what's best in the end.

I am a man who is in a frustrated helpless situation. And trying for as much as possible to find the right path for some resolution. Some understanding.

My ex did tell me that she had BP in some kind and other issues. I didn't handle that information very well at that moment. Based on some helplessness and also busy trying to work on things to get better.

Looking forward to you comments. As I have said earlier, there is more to come if that is welcome here. As you can see I do need some support.

Krgds

Eric

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Hi Eric,

Please don't take offence at any of my reply- It's not meant. I just don't understand some of what you have written, so need to clarify/question a few points.


Quote:


I am so careful writing on forums like this. I find that we have learned so
many terms and mental matters that we perhaps relate any different
characteristic between two people by naming it some "mental disorder of some
kind". Blame in relationships goes both ways.


A mental disorder is not a social phenomenon, so I don't understand what you're saying here. A mental disorder is a deficit and/or impairment in mental and cognitive functioning, which impacts on behaviour and further mental schemas. Mental disorders can effect relationships (i.e, a relationship being defined as an attachment between 2 or more people), but they are not a social phenomenon. A mental disorder is something suffered individually. Thus- can you elaborate and clarify your point here, please.


Quote:


My
initial questions are:


·
How far do we go defining what is related BP disorder in compared with "normal
not compatible characters" in a relationship atmosphere?


There is a manual of cognitive & behavioural characteristics related to mental health disorders. It's called the DSMIV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). However, mental health is not a clear case of biology, so some disorders can be co-morbid (i.e, 2 or more suffered at one time), especially in the case of Personality Disorders. Furthermore, it's quite a tricky thing to diagnose a mental health disorder and when a mental health professional diagnoses a disorder, many factors have to be taken in to consideration- not just the symptoms listed in the DSMIV-TR.

Yet...I think your question is more concerned with how we define if one part of a couple is suffering with a mental health disorder, while the other may not be? Is this right? Or are you asking if we can define bi-polar characteristics as an effect on a relationship, in comparison to the status-quo characteristics of a relationship?

In that case, it would be behaviour in the relationship related to whatever characteristics are typically related to the disorder. Relationships have ups and downs- neither party has to be a BP sufferer for that to happen! Yet if there are negative aspects of the relationship which are being instigated or caused by the typical characteristics of BP in one party; then that's related to the BP. For example, a typical feature of severe bi-polar is manic episodes, which include delusions of granduer, hightened awareness and paranoia and increased energy. If say, your partner suffers these types of episodes frequently and they are having a negative impact on your relationship- say perhaps, by them putting themselves at risk and causing anxiety; spending spree's that impact on the household expenses/bills; inconsistant illogical accusations (I say inconsistant, because some people are simply paranoid- no mental health disorder needed! Yet most relationship paranoia is due to an insecure attachment- and this is not completely 'normal' either.)- then it's likely that the characteristics of BP are affecting the relationship.

 
Quote:

I was always found mental disorders to be a grey zone. Especially if its light
and not in an extreme mode, hence easier to diagnose. I also believe that we all
have some "mental disorder" characteristics.


Mental health disorders are 'sometimes' a grey zone! However, I like to think of it as a mosaic- there are grey patches, but most of it's colour. Some are quite easy to diagnose- some not so much. What you say as 'light' you mean lower on the spectrum, don't you? In other words, there are some people with slight problems and others with severe...and yes- you are right. There is a whole spectrum of them out there! But they are not easy to diagnose- whether they are 'light' or an 'extreme mode'. In fact, light are very hard to diagnose and are mostly likely more severe than the patient is letting on. There are also a ton of catagories from Personality Disorders to the Psychopathies. And a whole load of pieces to each jigsaw- the causes of mental health problems range from genetics and biology to enviroment and what kind of fillings you have!

However, a couple of things that are consistant and black and white in mental health disorders is time and social perceptions/definitions.

Throughout time, 'madness' and its varieties has been regarding as a human phenomenon in one way or another. Going back hundreds of years, people who would have been classed 'mad' in today's society would have been regarded as a prophet or soothsayer (or witch and burned at the stake!). Later, 'mad' was chained up and beaten. More recently, medicated and institutionalized. Thankfully, now- it's more likely to be understood. Yet we still have a culture of medication, where therapy is needed. Perhaps we are yet to evolve a little more, where mental health is concerned.

I also agree with you that we are all a little mad. What is normative behaviour? Normative behaviour is what is deemed by a society as socially acceptable and/or socially normal. Yet behind closed doors, are we all 'normal'? Personally, I judge by attachment and situation and try not to label anyone with a diagnosis. Mental health problems can be a result of situational problems- stress is a great trigger, especially in bi-polar disorder and right now, there is a lot of stress around. The recession, terrorism and a number of other global factors can cause this, so I expect there are a lot of people who are suffering with one kind of mental health disorder right now. Grief is another one- this can set off mental health problems, which in turn can cause physical health problems. 

There is an increased use in drugs at present (legal and illegal)- what's to say that this isn't an effect of an increase in mental health problems? It's been shown in studies that having a pre-requisite to a mental health problem (i.e, a genetic/enviromental disposition- parent suffering from disorder; abuse, neglect, childhood 'disruptions') and early, socially undetected symptoms (such as lone para-suicides, looming maladaptive thought schemas and minor depression) increase the risk of an individual abusing drugs- particularly in adolenscence, when certain biological changes are taking place. With drugs, abuse at this point in a person's life can lead to biological changes in the brain that later lead to mental health problems. As a lot of drug experimentation went on from the 1960's and is still going on in the present day; you can almost guarentee that around 45%-90% of individuals suffer with some kind of pre-disposition to a mental health disorder- or indeed, the mental health disorder, itself.

However- I'm going to throw another cookie in the jar and reveal that despite everything I've said- my biggest theory to mental health disorders comes from the attachment theory. I've done my own study on a factor of psycholgical distress and attachment, which was presented at the BPS (British Psychological Society) this year.


Quote:


My
final question is:


·
If I give some details of the patters of my ex-girlfriend, would any one of you
have the experience to say: "That's it"


I
see many similar stories in this forum which I can relate to. I there for want
to qualify my attempt by advising what symptoms I have seen in the past 2 1/2
years. Then ask for advice if it really turns out to a BP matter (which I am
almost certain off)

I'd need more than your experience. I'd need a little of her background: birth order (how many & what siblings), a bit about what her relationship is like with her parents; what her relationship is like with her friends- current and past; when the symptoms 1st started; how regular and characteristics; deomgraphics (not too personal, obviously! Guessing- U.S? Country & socio-economic status, i.e; class & enviromental factors- are you under financial pressure? Are you homeless? Career status? Age? approximate- don't need to be too personal).

I won't say- 'That's it!'- because I can't. Not only are mental health problems hard to diagnose, but I don't believe they can be done through a computer. I can give you an educated guess as to what her characteristics are typical to- but I won't say 'That's it'. If you really need a proper bonefide label- you have to go to your G.P or a mental health practitioner.

I completely understand that you're looking for support and you have come to a cool place to find it. I haven't met any real trolls around here yet! However, I also think you're looking for a label, so you can box certain behaviours that are coming from your girlfriend. It may be a case of incompatibility- or as you say, she has previously stated, it could be the bi-polar. If she is indeed, bi-polar, then from what I know of the disorder, she either needs to take regular medication or she should be practicing some lifestyle BP prevention strategies. Especially, if it is impacting on your relationship- and more specifically, impacting negatively on her life.

From a first hand feel, it's not easy living with a mental health disorder. Yet the sufferers are not the only victims- our families and loved-one's feel the flack too, but sometimes there's not a damn thing we can do to stop it!

I have a sneaky suspition that your girlfriend's childhood was a bit shite. I honestly believe that early, childhood attachment is paramount in predicting mental health disorders and relationship behaviour later on in life, so whether your girlf is BP or not; it's obvious that there are problems in your relationship that are due to her behaviour, which is in turn due to whatever she has gone through in the past.

Perhaps focus on that, rather than her label or the label you want to give her?

Good Luck and look forward to your repl:-)

V

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Hi V

Before I will read your reply more careful. Just to say I called it mental disorder because if was one of the folders/headlines. Please dont take this wrong. I apologize for any misunderstanding. I can see why you in a nice manner corrected that. Til later.

Krgds
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Hi V

First I want to thank you for your reply. You pointed out some interesting facts which made me think twice. I appreciate that.

Prolog
My initial post was not intentionally meant to label her in any way, I was really trying to give a more "fair" approach to then filter out what "normal" issues (communication, understanding, expectations etc) being "subtracted" so I would not do what many people say about their ex: she is narcissistic or any other term they have heard in TV etc. I was trying to avoid popular terms.  

The labeling she did herself by many times telling various stories. mild BP, some mental breakdown 8 years ago etc was mentioned many times. She also newer could hold a relationship more then 2-3 years and newer lived with someone (20 years ago with her real first boyfriend). Been unemployed for 8 years and did her best to become an artist and even completed studies related to art. 

But lets be fair here. I should also mention that when I met her I was in a period with a small burn out and was unemployed (now working). So my state of mind or my self confidence at that time was probably not the best in that period we met and were together. I also was divorced 5 years ago after my wife had an affair. So i had general trust issues which I had to work on. I am telling you this because I truly think that its not just one person in a relationship which is to blame for all matters. You are two people. And I will also  take my responsibility.

But I do want explain some of the recurring issues I had with her.

Drinking/Affairs
She drank allot and got drunk til early in the morning. She did that allot in the beginning. And still do on occasions up til now. She gets manic depressive from being very happy, flirting around and then sometimes even talking about not wanting to live anymore. Its happened so many times that I didn't know what to anymore. 1 month ago we went out with a friend and he finally saw and understood what I was dealing with.  She always got carried away with drinking after the 3rd beer. And in the beginning I would loose her to strangers whom she would end up in bed. The reason she is an ex is that she did the same but with someone she says she is infatuated with. Although she doesn't trust this infatuation when she is sober. Her earlier experiences have told her a lesson that made her stop relationships earlier only to find her self in a similar position. She has had these "so called affairs" after a drunken trip in earlier relationships. She also takes medication every day but newer took notice of the effect with medicine and alcohol.  We knew that the alcohol was an issue so she went to an organization to get help stopping it. It worked for a short while but she convinced herself that she could control it. Just before the last incident I mentioned earlier she was ready to go back to the clinic. We tried to make rules to support her, but ended up with me being some police cop which is no good. 

Mood Swings
In the beginning she had enormous mood swings which made it difficult for me to know what state of mind I would find her. It could change from one moment to another. She wouldn't get aggressive or such. But if she could she needed like 20 hours a sleep a day to calm her down. In the last period, with less drinking, and helping her to start working 3 days a week, the mood swings got less. But the moments of change came more abrupt. And hence lead to drinking etc

Relationships/Love/affairs
She has told me allot about her relationships. They all stranded after 2-3 years because the boyfriends either found her | too much to handle" or she would get infatuated with some guy. Her last boyfriend she broke up with (We met earlier and I am still to this day not sure if I was the cause) because she felt that she was having affairs. He also stopped having sex as well as refusing them to live together. For the rest, it was a perfect match and they stayed friends to this day ( 2 1/2 years after). The guy she lately got infatuated with back in September and with my experience after the divorce I notices a few signs she was seeing someone else. We tried to solve it and work on our relationship. Only to find her (this was told lately) that she had kept in contact with him on certain moments she all of the sudden had some urge.  The urge was the old lifestyle, music, alcohol and late nights. A life she didn't want any more. Hence the trying to build something together. We were finally having a good period when it all started again last week. I was out of town for work, she had finally a fight with her ex because she was having problems that was in love with a new girlfriend. She perhaps finally dealt that he was doing all the things she wanted with him, with another. This lead to drinking and hence led to the affair. 

Please note that in the 2 1.2 years she has had up to 8 incidents/affairs. All related to too much alcohol. She also broke up with me at least 5 times, mentioning she dint feel anything any more and then two days later she loved me very much. Something she still does. She has always said, regardless who it was, that on one moment she feels love and then its all gone and numb. 

One thing she told me was that she was so unhappy not able to do things she loves and forced to stop (like drinking etc).

Childhood and Parents
You are spot on. Her childhood was terrible where she was teased allot. She hates her old town and ironic that's where I live now. One of the reasons she newer really liked coming to my place. I was mostly at her place which I in fact didn't mind too much (only on a few occasions). 

Her relationship with her parents is in some way awkward. has these fights and yet feel very close her mother. Her father she has no really warm relationship. Dominant mother and also a very caring (nurse). When she was very down she would always call out for her mother. The parents support her at time economically but they have no idea of the state she has been in or is in now. Visiting the parents was kinda awkward to say it at least. She also blamed her parents not protecting her enough when she was a kid. Because she was different and very pretty, then other classmates made her feel very small. And was beaten up on occasions. She also more or less mentioned her being half raped. But this subject was newer really clear. She ran away from home allot but always came back. Left home when she was 18 and moved in to a big city. 

She has a big sister and little brother. Very smart family, almost autistic smart. And very sensitive people. 
She is 39 years old and have no kids.
The town where lived in is a small village outside a big city.
Gets support from the government (the work she does now is related to governmental relocation)
Lives with very small amount of money per month and can hardly get by alone

I am not sure if I am leaving anything out. There is so much more. But I am curious of how you will react to all of this. Its not a bad person, its not a mean person but she is (and this has been discussed with her) very egocentric.

Epilog
Maybe all this is to let of some steam. I don't believe she and I will be back., She has an enormous shame and guilt towards me. I have done my utmost best, perhaps not good enough at times. Even made bad mistakes. But I do love her and will for quite a while. I just couldn't handle it anymore and felt the break up as some force majeur. It was a breakup I didn't want to, but had to. Now she wants peace and deal with her pain. Not sure what that is, but I simply think she will be rational for a while and then now be free to meet the guy she had an affair with. If its true love (which she doesn't think) I will let her go. If not already. 

Maybe this is bad what i am doing, but believe me when I say: I just didn't know what to do at times. So I will give you opportunity to say. listen Mister, don't try to label her, or give her the blame etc. Just accept it as it is. Then again, I also think that I need to understand where I was. Because something in me ( we have always considered us as soul-mates with some strong connection) hopes that this can solved (probably not) but also when engaging with her again in any talk, how to deal with her. Something I should have done along time ago. But was too busy trying to solve the current matters and looking for a job. 

krgds
E




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Hi E,
Have PM'd you as my reply was too long to post on the board. lol

Good Luck & hope my words helped in some way.

V
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