How Can CBT Help Couples Navigate the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder?

How Can CBT Help Couples Navigate the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder?

How Can CBT Help Couples Navigate the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder?

Not only does bipolar disorder affect the individual facing challenges with their mental health, but it also impacts their surroundings. An individual with bipolar disorder may experience impaired relationships with friends, family, and partnerships. Furthermore, unmanaged bipolar disorder can cause intense strife in a couple’s marriage leading to worsened family conflict. Although a couple dealing with bipolar disorder may face certain obstacles in their lifetime, it is imperative for them to seek professional support to achieve a lasting relationship. It may be helpful for the individual with bipolar disorder to attend cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) at Restoration Recovery. This can help both partners overcome the challenges of bipolar disorder. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), an individual facing problems with bipolar disorder typically experiences extreme shifts in their mood, focus, energy, and activity levels. Bipolar disorder is a severe mental health condition. The effects of unmanaged bipolar disorder can negatively interfere with one’s ability to function on a daily basis. Thus, many individuals experiencing problems with their mental health find it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks. 

There are three different types of bipolar disorder, which include:

  • Bipolar I – Can be defined by one having manic episodes that last up to seven days. Depressive episodes may also last up to two weeks. Rapid cycling can be difficult to cope with as symptoms can range from moderate to severe. 
  • Bipolar II – Can be defined by one experiencing a pattern of less severe depressive or hypomanic episodes 
  • Cyclothymic disorder – Can be defined by one having recurrent hypomanic or depressive symptoms that are very short-lived

Relationship Challenges of Bipolar Disorder

Marriage is the starting foundation for procreation and family planning. Research indicates that couples who get married experience several obstacles in their marital life due to a partner’s mental health condition.

Studies have researched the rate of matrimonial failures, marital rates, and procreation among those with bipolar disorder and infertility. Specialists have discovered an increased proportion of individuals with bipolar disorder get married and have higher divorce rates in comparison to typical couples.

A dysfunctional marriage can negatively affect a couple’s physical and mental health. Successful marriages stem from a healthy understanding of a loved one’s ability to grow and develop with their partner. Disturbed marital relationships may lead to: 

  • Psychosocial and occupational difficulties
  • Financial strife
  • Neuropsychological deficits
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Legal issues
  • Poor parenting skills
  • Family dysfunction
  • Legal separation or divorce

Learning to Recognize a Loved One’s Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

When the individual with bipolar disorder struggles to manage their mental health, their behaviors may impact their loved one’s mental state. Prolonged ups and downs related to one’s mental health condition can lead to a dysfunctional living environment. Not only may the couple be affected but the children involved too. 

Although this may be true, it may be helpful for a partner to learn to recognize their loved one’s symptoms. The partner can then help their loved one better acknowledge their symptoms, report them to a specialist, or develop a response plan for proper management. Warning signs to look out for commonly include: 

  • Excessive spending
  • Excitability
  • Anger and rage
  • Grandiosity
  • Promiscuous behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Violent outbursts
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Shutting down

The Importance of Couples Seeking Professional Support to Manage the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder

Monitoring a loved one’s symptoms can be helpful but weighing on a loved one’s well-being. Many individuals blame themselves for their partner’s behavior. It is important for one to understand that their partner’s condition is not their fault. There is no direct cause of bipolar disorder but the onset of the disorder typically begins in young adulthood. Genetics, brain structure, co-occurring mental health conditions such as substance use disorder (SUD), and environmental factors play a wide role in developing the condition.

Regardless of one’s condition, harmful behaviors are inexcusable. Both partners deserve the right amount of respect, care, and support to establish a healthy marriage. Seeking professional support can improve an individual’s mental health and reduce divorce rates.

Participating in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to Manage the Challenges of Bipolar Disorder

Marital and sexual adjustment can significantly improve the outcome of an individual’s mental health condition. Thus, many couples find great benefits after seeking professional support. If a partner refuses to participate in marriage counseling, many couples do see improvement after the partner facing challenges with bipolar disorder receives individual therapy. 

Several different therapy options may be effective in treating the waves associated with bipolar disorder. One of the most effective treatment options for bipolar disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapeutic approach works to help change one’s thought and behavioral patterns to achieve a better quality of life. Benefits of participating in cognitive-behavioral therapy at Restoration Recovery include: 

  • Relapse prevention
  • Reduced manic and depressive episodes
  • Complementary service to psychiatric medications
  • Developed coping strategies and skills
  • Eased bipolar disorder symptoms
  • Improved communication
  • Resolved relationships conflicts
  • Neutral thinking
  • Overall improved mood

At our California recovery center, our serene setting helps clients achieve not just wellness, but wholeness. Our mission is to help people struggling with substance use disorder, a mental health disorder, or dual diagnosis disorders to achieve long-term sobriety by offering treatment options that heal the mind, body, and spirit. Our vision is to provide quality treatment in a therapeutic clinical setting for those having difficulty coping with their condition. At Restoration Recovery, we believe that unity, honesty, communication, and clinical support can help those with addiction and co-occurring conditions recover. Our team understands that bipolar disorder can be difficult to manage, leading to poor marital outcomes. Call Restoration Recovery at (888) 290-0925 for support. 

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