Bipolar Disorder and Divorce

A shocking 90 percent of marriages in which one partner is suffering from bipolar disorder end in divorce. The most obvious reason for this disintegration is the substantial social morbidity that results from the patients maladaptive behavior.

Serious social drawbacks come from the patients abuse of alcohol or drugs (over 40 % cases reported), suicide and/or accidents brought upon by the patient during manic, depressive, or mixed fits (15 to 25 % cases).

Of course, the daily interactions of manic-depressives can be a threat to any social relationship, including marriage, as these patients have trouble containing their emotions. Their response to a usual joke might be shockingly unexpected (on extreme of elation or depression). A word of mild reproof can bring thoughts of suicide.

And so, it is not difficult to link bipolar disorder and divorce. Living with someone having the condition is very stressful and teeming with misunderstandings and conflicts. That is why diagnosis of a spouse with bipolar disorder has been called diagnosis for the couple.

Undoing the link between Bipolar Disorder and Divorce

To break the bond between bipolar disorder and divorce, the healthy spouse has to play a key role. He/she should ask him/herself whether it is worthwhile to save the marriage (and the partner). If the answer is yes, the primary requisite is to understand that the manic-depressive cannot control their feelings.

The caring spouse must exhibit patience and understanding. It is his/her support that buttresses the marriage.

The concerned psychiatrist can handle substance abuse by the patient so as to minimize its social aftermath. Suicidal thoughts and remarks by the patient must always be taken seriously and reported to the psychiatrist who may suggest some effective drug treatment.

The caring spouse should not be afraid in case his/her partner details hallucinations (some of which may be terrible enough). He/she should be aware that it is an outcome of the manic/depressive fit. One important way to help a marriage out of the bipolar throe is to study about bipolar disorder and divorce.

Reminding the suffering partner that he is being loved and cared for helps a lot. Identifying events that trigger episodes of mania or depression is also important. Preventing these triggers would reduce the frequency of episodes and hence result in less social tension.

To plan beforehand how to deal with a possible episode will help reduce the embarrassment of the coming trial. Ongoing emotional support and encouragement in treatment will eventually bring down the connection between bipolar disorder and divorce.