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Bipolar Disorder/Devastated by bipolar breakup


QUESTION: I really need to get an opinion on what to do.

My bipolar boyfriend broke up with me 5 weeks ago about about something completely silly, in this case, Facebook and why he ignored me. He refuses to see me or talk to me on the phone. We were together 23 months and he had already broken up up 3 times before this year and 2 times last year. We are in our 40s if that's of any relevance.

During the past breakups, he would ignore me for about a week or so and then would slowly start answering my texts and we would then always get back together after about 2 weeks.

This is the first time he really seems to mean it and I haven't stopped sobbing for the past 5 weeks. I really thought it would pass just like the other times, but unfortunately not. He seemed to be going into a depression just before the breakup but still seemed to want to see me. But then I can't be sure. He was diagnosed bipolar when he was an adolescent but does not take any medication.

We are still in contact but sometimes he answers quickly, other times he ignores me for a couple of days. I am an absolute wreck because I really love this man, but I can't continue like this indefinitely, it's destroying my health and I fear losing my job with my constant crying at work.

Should I still continue contacting him or should I just give up and hope that he will come around eventually? Is there anything else I could do? He has never told me to stop contacting him, even though I've asked. He also never said he never wants to see me again, just not right away. I almost feel like he's enjoying seeing me so desperate and miserable. The constant contact as barely "friends" is really unbearable.

Thank you for your much-needed assistance.

ANSWER: From what you've told me, it seems like he's giving himself an 'ego boost' by setting up a situation where you are pursuing him even as he's pulling back and acting distant. He responds to your efforts to contact him at his leisure and while he hasn't said he 'never' wants to see you again - he hasn't said he will or when he'll see you again either. Instead he's deliberately (my gut feeling) playing a game with your feelings about him because it gives him the reaction(s) he wants. My advice is to stop contacting him completely and move on regardless of whether he comes around eventually - you are worth more than what this man is or will give you in a relationship.

The best revenge you can get on a guy like this comes from a simple and total removal of an emotional/behavioral response to his efforts in getting those things from you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: In my heart I know you are right...that I should stop contacting him and disappear from his life. It's the only way I can even begin to even start to get myself healed and try to live a normal life.

But I can't help but wonder, what if he really is in a bad state and really does need support?

I can't erase the feelings I have for him and would feel terrible if anything happened to him. I know this is probably my desperation to maintain the relationship, but I don't want him to so something drastic.

This man is bipolar yet not taking any medication - you are not responsible for things that are HIS choices to make. Even if it's 'in response' to something that you do, he is an adult and as such he is the one responsible for his actions and choices in life - no matter how they play out for him. Feelings for someone won't disappear overnight, but the more time and distance you put between yourself and this man the easier it's going to be for you to move on and meet a guy who will be able to GIVE and receive love the way a healthy relationship is supposed to be.  

Bipolar Disorder

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I am available to answer questions of a general nature about bipolar disorder, provide online resources that address bipolar disorder in a more in-depth manner and sources to serve as a starting point for those looking for substantial information on the illness from a healthcare professional approach. I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist, my background is based in personal experience and extensive reading in my own process of understanding my diagnosis. I can also take questions that deal with the social issues surrounding bipolar disorder such as relationships; coping for family, friends, and the patient; marriage, choosing to start a family and related. Answers to questions of a legal nature will provide general information but anyone with a serious legal problem should consult an attorney licensed to practice in their jurisdiction.


I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type II in 2000; as a SSI beneficiary, have experience and knowledge of the limitations and processes involved with the program; I understand the moods, the feelings, the worries, the doubts, and a lot more that there's not enough room to express - from the personal experiences of being bipolar. I have first-hand experience with the challenges of returning to college following hospitalizations and various combinations of medications that were tried before my doctor and I finally arrived at the most effective medication program for my treatment. My family and I have learned so much about each other in the process of dealing with the highs and lows that followed my diagnosis. I've had relationships with someone who also is bipolar and someone that is not - romantic relationships are no easier on either side! I feel that many of the ideas and beliefs that people have regarding bipolar disorder and those who have the condition promote the continuation of social stigmas associated with mental illness in general, and after learning from others with bipolar disorder, hope to guide others who may be trying to navigate the government health care system,& share information on other possible means of obtaining assistance with the cost of medications and/or mental health services and limited financial assistance programs for meeting basic living expenses for qualified individuals, dealing with problems from or with family & loved ones, co-occurring substance abuse problems, medications and side-effects (and when it feels like nothing will work, or why it's not helping the situation to ask whether or not a patient has taken their 'meds' when they seem hostile or moody to those around them).

I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts and will earn my J.D. upon completion of the Spring 2011 term after which I will be preparing to take the multi-state bar exam.

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