Would like the opinion of anyone who has experience with bipolar in teenagers

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Fdt, Jan 8, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Fdt

    Fdt Well-Known Member

    Just wondering if anyone could give any opinions on whether they think my girlfriend could be bipolar?

    Firstly, her family has a history of mental disorder and instability, though all of it undiagnosed. Her mother's actions are almost entirely influenced by her mood for example, obviously mood has an effect on everything/one, but she shows two main moods:

    -Aggressive and dictating, she will hunt for arguements with anyone in their family and be completely irrational about it - reacting to a spoon being left on the table like someone has just smashed a window.

    -Recessive and passive, she'll keep out of the way of everyone and just be in her room for seemingly hours, when consulted about something that she would normally object to (her younger kids staying up late), she'll just accept it and won't show any confrontation.

    My girlfriend's eldest sister of 23 has terrible depression, she'll be operating perfectly normally, then we'll hear her shrieking at ridiculous volumes from her room, it doesn't even sound like crying, it sounds more like someone being totured. She's attempted suicide more than once.

    Now, my girfriend shows quite different depression symptoms, but I'm far more exposed to them so see them in more detail:

    As an example:
    She'll be sitting on my lap while we watch some Family Guy or whatever on the computer, she'll be laughing her head off at it and just generally being joyful. She'll then just slump herself on the desk and tell me to "go away" repeatedly, and upon me trying to comfort her she'll say something like "go away, you don't want me, I'm bad for you", when I respond telling her I do want her, she'll say "I don't want you to love me... I fucking hate everything". When I try to comfort and reassure her, which inevitably involves me disagreeing with her claims, she may start calling me a dick or become pissed off with me in some way.

    Three hours later we'll be cuddling up to each other and she'll be telling me how wonderful I am and how lucky she is to have me and we'll just be perfectly normal, joking to each other and being happy like any couple.

    Events like these happen at least half of the times I see her, so one or two times a week. I wondered if it was just because she was emotionally unstable and that the ups and downs were only caused when with me because I'm her boyfriend, but I spoke to one of her sisters and she says that her behaviour is often erratic and out of the blue even if I'm not there.

    Now, I'm under no illusion that she is completely mentally sound, but given that none of her family have ever gone for diagnosis, despite her and her two elder sisters all admitting even jokily to me that they and their mother (who doesn't admit any of it) are mentally unstable, I've not much idea to the extent or exact medical definitions of their problems.

    My girlfriend at least fits many of the traditional bipolar symptoms, bar the 'spending spree' one that I often hear about - she's perfectly reasonable about money. If it's worth mentioning, she also has terrible sleeping patterns, often 4 hours per night or with random long naps in the afternoon.

    I appreciate I've only given limited information as would take pages to describe all of her actions, but considering she refuses to see a doctor (she doesn't want any more drugs in her, being type1 diabetic) is there any advice anyone who's experienced things like this at first hand can give to me? We love each other a lot but all of this puts a lot of stress on both me and her, and I'd like to think that's it isn't always necessary.
  2. Youth

    Youth Active Member

    My advise is that you don't change the way you treat her, especially if you've already inquired her about bipolar. If you start drastically changing the way you treat her she'll think that you're labeling her. Yes, she may very well have bipolar, but do not start bringing bipolar up to her a lot, because it may annoy her.
    If she is understanding, and when she's in a good mood their is a high chance that she will be, you'll be able to be open your endeavors to make your relationship work. Like, for instance, you telling her about you visiting this site to help improve your relationship. If she is understanding she will laud you for coming to a place like this to help your relationship. She'll know that you're not being "sneaky" about her (if you know what I mean?) If you don't tell her about you visiting this site than their is a chance (though a very small one) that she could be checking this as well. If you hide your endeavors, she can too? See what I mean.
    I have bipolar and I knew a bipolar girl that I really liked before too. We were 19 and 19 and she was the most amazing girl I knew. I wish I would have dated her, because though sometimes erratic, she did things that no other girl I had ever met were even capable of. We got along really well, but distance was an issue. Hint: don't even try long-distance with her. She wants to loved by you.

    Hope it helps!
  3. Fdt

    Fdt Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for the response!
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    She sounds closer to borderline personality disorder. Bipolar tends to be actually a bit stabler in the short term. Problem: it's not readily treated.

    (Stabler sleep patterns will help with both conditions. She should work on that.)
  5. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Aye, Bi-polar disorder is usually categorised by long periods of either mood. Granted, some of the symptoms can be associated with bi-polar but they can be associated with many other things.
    Is she like this if shes away from her family for extended periods?
  6. Spearmint

    Spearmint Well-Known Member

    I was diagnosed with bipolar at 16 and while this obviously doesn't make me an expert on the disease, I have to say that it doesn't really sound like she's bipolar. Do you think she'd be willing to see a therapist?
  7. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    From what you have posted, it doesn't sound like she has bipolar. I was diagnosed as a teenager at 17, I am 36 now. Self diagnosis is unhelpful at best and should only be used as an indication. It is quite clear your girlfriend has some emotional issues that clearly need to be addressed, unfortunately this can only be done by a Doctor or mental health profesional and not by a lay person. She really does need to seek medical help as these things tend to become more severe if left untreated.
  8. Fdt

    Fdt Well-Known Member

    In that case it certainly isn't bi-polar then, as the swings are not bound by long stretches of time, merely hours.

    It's been a while since I mentioned it, but last time I did recommend seeing a doctor she was opposed to it, as she hates the thought of being labled, even in the mildest fashion. For example she is diabetic and when visiting one of my relative's house, my brother mentioned to my relative that she was diabetic, it pissed her off to no end because of the judgement she perceived herself to be undergoing from others.

    I guess I may have to just try and speak with her about it, it just sucks because I relish every one of the moments when she's happy, and don't want to spoil it with jumping onto the subject of her emotional instability, she'll probably just tell me to go home, or slump into a mood where she considers herself not good enough for me. If the time feels right though, I will try and address the problem with her.

    Thank you all for the replies.
  9. Fdt

    Fdt Well-Known Member

    After doing some reading, it does seem she's showing many of the symptoms of BPD, a lot more so than bi-polar.

    As I type this she's in a terrible mood, which I could kind of sense through the bluntness of her replies to texts. She just called me and the convo went like this:

    *All her answers in a soft, sad sounding voice*

    Me: Hello
    Her: Hello
    Me: How are you?
    Her: Okay
    Me: Where are you?
    Her: In bed
    Me: Oh okay, did you do much this evening?

    She then makes a sound that's a combination of the first syllable of a word and a huff, and puts then phone down. This has happened on numerous occasions and I've little doubt that even had she not put the phone down then, the conversation would have consisted of me just talking, trying to make conversation and her giving simple answers (if I'm lucky). I've also no doubt that had I stopped talking for a bit, she'd say nothing then after 10 seconds just put the phone down.

    An often occurance is for her to become really annoyed with me out of the blue and justify it with absolutely anything, usually made up. I know it's not what she truly thinks because she'll probably appologise for it later or tell me how amazing she thinks I am, but it's still frustrating to know that I go to SO MUCH effort to try and be nice to her and make her feel loved and then have to deal with being told by her that I apparently don't love her.

    Edit: Just tried recalling her but the call failed immediately, next call went straight to answerphone. I then SMSed: "The call failed and then the next one went to answerphone, I can try again if you'd like but I don't know how reliable it'll be, or I can leave you to sleep if you'd like?" (It's 22:30 here). She replied with "idc".

    P.S I realise there isn't really that much to be gained from my citing of random events, I guess I'm just curious if my responces to her are correct or if they're like to make any difference at all to her mindset?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2011
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.