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When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

Both myself and my partner are going through a difficult time. 

I suffer with PTSD, depression, anxiety, aggoraphobia and body dysmorphia and he suffers with Bipolar 2 and depression and anxiety. 

Looking at it on paper it probably seems as though we would really struggle to make it work, however it is the opposite. We are perfect for each other, we understand our struggles we have coping methods and strategies to deal with almost everything.

 

apart from what is going on right now.

our mental health disorders might end up meeting this evening. I feel to phrase it that way because on the rare occasions that it occurs it never feels like we are there and we always get through it and disregard anything that is said or done as long as we are not abusive towards each other. 

My trauma has been activated and I am on my way to my psychologist and hopefully that will be enough to bring me back because I know my partner is going through a difficult time and that my heightened anxiety the last few days is impacting him.

 

We usually either go into different rooms and do seperate activities until we have gotten ourselves feeling better, or snuggle up in bed and watch a movie and keep our thoughts to ourselves. We reassure each other that we love each other and express how we feel using I statements.However sometimes we end up in an arguement however that is very rare.

Just wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation and do you have any suggestions?

6 REPLIES 6

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

Hi @starflame, it sounds like you have a really great system in place to combat any potential triggers from each other. How did you go today, are things a little bit better?  

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

Pretty aweosme, my doctor had to suddenly stop one of my psych meds due to cardiac compltications and although he offered me a bed in hopsital over the weeknd I chose to stay home with my Fiance who is a cardiac paramedic. He has been amazing , makeing sure I amsafe and bascially staying at my side 24x7.

 

I amlooky to have him

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

Sorry to hear about that, but glad that your doctor picked it up before anything happened @starflame. That's fantastic that your fiance is a cardiac paramedic. Have you had a relaxing week?

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

Hi @starflame, thanks so much for sharing this. I hear you. My former partner (now best friend) has Bipolar II & ADD and I relate to PTSD symptoms, although subclinically (basically lots of anxiety, sadness and crying). I totally get what you mean about being great for each other! I feel like even though we experience life very differently, we somehow have the perfect vantage point for mutual understanding.

 

We're able to empathise and communicate super effectively, being mindful of the each other's anxieties and very different emotional responses - I wear my emotions on my sleeve/carry them heavily in my nervous system, whereas he's more stoic and subdued. We've learned so much from each other, with similar family histories, both engaged in therapy, and I also have a psychology degree so good access to research and resources. 

 

We too have moments where our symptoms and 'freak outs' absolutely clash!! Either my PTSD is set off and he doesn't know how to settle me, feels responsible for how I'm feeling or might be experiencing symptoms himself where he's very distracted/hyper/downcast. Or his symptoms might trigger mine. I find it soooo difficult to know when and when not to see each other - obviously you both want to support each other through your hard times.

 

The other night we had a dinner date booked in, I told him I was experiencing symptoms that day and he suggested he might not be helpful in that moment. We gave each other space and set a date for the next day instead. This way I had some together time to look forward to, and I knew he'd be there at the other end. We definitely don't always get this right though, and sometimes it's unavoidable because you can't always predict these things.

 

When we have experienced confusing or distressing times we got into the habit of having 'debrief' conversations to do some thought checking - usually within a half hour or so (depending on symptoms). This way we would give each other the opportunity to reflect and rework stuff while it's fresh in our memory, without dwelling on them. We both know that what we're navigating is complex and naturally there's a lot of uncertainly, so of course we're not always going to get it right first go. 

 

Thanks so much for reaching out!

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

That open communication with your partner about how you're both feeling each day sounds like a great way to work together @Ali29 Heart

Re: When PTSD and BiPolar moments meet

How are you going @starflame ?

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