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Advice Please :(

We'll call him DJ. We were together for almost 2 years and during that time we lived together. Lots of things changed, and although we still have very strong feelings for each other we are not in a relationship anymore. However we are very close friends. I am proud to say I am in love with him, and I hope some day we can work things out and be happy while still being a part of each other's lives.

I met him two summers ago and learned so much about him. He told me that in high school he was diagnosed with bipolar, medicated and attempted suicide multiple times. Personally, I believe that medicating young teens is a disaster waiting to happen. But that was his mom's choice, I guess. They took him off the meds and he stopped therapy when he turned 18.

I've known a couple people with bipolar disorder and I never really understood it. I did not see the signs at first but they were there. He can't trust his own decisions. Always second guessing himself. Making and breaking promises. Making plans then disappearing for days. He can't sleep, he sleeps forever. He wants to make love, he thinks sex is meaningless. He would hurt my feelings a lot and not even be aware of it, but he was EXTREMELY sensitive. He has trouble saving money. As time went on things escalated. He is SO paranoid. His anger has grown and he's gotten in trouble for it many times now, when he used to be so gentle. We broke up because he thought I was bringing him down, but it turns out he's miserable no matter what he tries... yet he has refused therapy so many times because of bad experiences with it in the past...

He has even lost almost every friend (except me) because he lashes out angrily at them and is extremely antisocial! He punched his BEST FRIEND of 8 years in the face during a verbal altercation. The lack of self control he has been demonstrating terrifies me. He even gets physical with me... if I say anything that he finds offensive (which he often does because he's extremely defensive and paranoid) he'll pull my hair, flick me, or slap me. I don't like it and I ask him to stop all the time... People say "there's no excuse for abuse" but I know this man and I know he's a good-hearted person. I truly think he is losing grip of his sanity, and that's where this negativity is coming from. All signs point to bipolar disorder. He's going back to therapy soon (i HOPE he doesn't back out this time) and I expect them to diagnose him but he doesn't want medication (I would agree there, I don't think meds are always the answer). I can see a difference in his personality when I look in his eyes. Sometimes, they look like the eyes of a dead man, when he's depressed. He'll lay there for hours and literally not say a word other than "mhm" or "nuh-uh". Other times, his eyes look like they're on fire.... Angry, crazy eyes with no rationality... I miss the level-headed, calm boy I knew and love. Some days he talks about killing himself, and other days he says he knows it's the wrong choice. No one understands him... he won't let anyone in, and I think that he may not even believe me when I tell him how much I care about him.

I'm so sick of people telling me to drop him and leave him for dead. I'm not going to abandon him when he has no one else. When I was suicidal, he was there for me. I pulled myself out of that rut and now I'm working towards a happier life. What do I do? How can I talk to him when he's acting manic in a way that will calm him? What is the best way to deal with this situation? I'm really worried about him, and also the safety of those around him. I just want my DJ back. I know he's under all the rubble. SOMEBODY GIVE ME ADVICE :( The only advice I get from the people around me is "cut him out of your life". Even he tells me that I should drop him and never speak to him again because he's so afraid of hurting me or breaking my heart again... But I am strong. I have had my heart broken before and I know that no one can bring me down unless I give them permission to... Anyone have words of wisdom?
AlexSparky AlexSparky 18-21, F 2 Responses Jan 11, 2013

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My name is Susan, and it honestly sounds like you just described my boyfriend. On top of being paranoid, he's extremely untrusting of everyone, and for good reason. Everyone in his life has left him at some point, and I refuse to be like everyone else, just as you said. What I have noticed that really helps is, when he goes into an aggressive, violent, or emotionally harmful state, he calms down the quickest when I can keep quiet and not argue, and just keep reminding myself that it's not him speaking, there's definitely not a chosen word coming from his lips, and if he could, he wouldn't say or do any of those things. So long as I can remain calm and quiet, and let him get his anger out, he tends to calm down so long as no one else interferes.
Now when he runs away, even though it sounds stressful and a bit of a hassle (which, when you love someone this much, it's just another way to help), but I get in my car and slowly follow him at a distance. He runs away only when he feels he won't be able to stop himself from hurting me. I also know that when he comes to, he may not even know where he is, or when it is, and it helps him if I'm there to pick him back up, at least until he can do it himself.
He and I also talk about everything. I can't be afraid to tell him when he does something that bothers me, and so I risk setting him off, but because of it we can avoid problems in the future. And he tells me when I do something that upsets him. Sure some things take a few weeks or months to fix, but we're both better for it. And I've even set him off a few times, but I did so knowing I could, and I had already prepared myself for what was goin to happen. because I did, he regained focus and calmed down within minutes instead of hours.
I guess what I'm saying is with patience it can work, but you have to remember that what he is going through is much worse than you can imagine. Also you can't not communicate just so you can have the nice sweet side stick around. I've actually seen less and less episodes the more we talk about the "rough stuff". If you'd like someone to talk to, message me on here. We can all use an understanding friend during those rough days. I hope this helps at least a little bit.

Hey Alex.
My name is Alex too. I am in the same situation having my boyfriend with bipolar disorder. Mike was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 21 with a stint at work one day. His mother was called and they ran him straight up the psych ward. He was in there medicated for 2 weeks and back in after a months after another stint. I didn't know mike back then but he told me when we got together. He's the best mate I have ever had when he's on a good high but the lows are incredibly upsetting. I'm pushed away, he runs away, doesn't reply to my messages or calls and breaks promises. Marijuana is involved as well in my situation which makes it worse. I'm told to let go and not hang on but as you said it's hard to because you know that the better person is still in there. I say just hold on but remember you can't change somebody. We have been together almost 2 years now and the last 3 months have been very hard to deal with x