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Relationship With My Bipolar And ADHD Girlfriend

Question:

I’ve been in a very close relationship with my girlfriend for a good while. I would like to know what I can do to be more supportive of her issues? Recently, I’ve looked up information about ADHD and Bipolar disorder and it described her like a book. She’s being re-evaluated to change her medication. I found that I knew close to nothing about what a significant other needs to do for himself and her in order for us to continue into old age, if possible. I love her and we want the best chance at making it. Please help.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

You are asking a very good question because living with a person who has either ADHD or bipolar disorder is very difficult.  Despite its difficulty there are many things that you can do to help both of you.  For example, it’s important for you to understand that when your girlfriend is having a depressed or manic episode she is not doing it on purpose.  The same is true if her ADHD gets in the way of her completing her tasks.  In other words, if she forgets to do something it is not out of being spiteful or thoughtless.

Their are many support groups for those who are married to or live with someone with a serious mental illness.  You can find an organization by doing an Internet search called FAMI.  They will have lists of support groups near where you live.  In addition, you are invited to join our support group here at Mental Help.Net. Our many excellent community members will advise you about helping both of you cope with these disorders.

One of the most important things you can do for your girlfriend is to keep our stress levels as low as possible.  Stress in your relationship with each other has the possibility of aggravating her symptoms.  That is why it is so important that you be supportive of her. It would also be helpful for you to psychotherapy for your self.  If you want to help her you will also need to help yourself.

Another suggestion is that the 2 of you to attend couples counseling together.  That can help the 2 of you learn to handle difficulties that come up in the relationship as a result of some of her symptoms.

It is a good thing that you have started to learn about ADHD and bipolar disorder.  Continue to read as much as you can about these 2 disorders.  Knowledge always helps a very great deal.

Best of luck

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