Just as we have fire-plans incase of a fire, so should we have manic-plans incase of mania.
During a time of stability a married couple needs to discuss what happens in the event of mania. Here is a 5-step sample start-up plan:
1. Call your psychiatrist for information on emergency meds that you have in place (especially in cases of psychosis, not sleeping, or if you feel he/she is a danger to his or herself or others). As always, if the situation permits, take him/her to the emergency room.
2. Credit cards/online account passwords need to be taken away or temporarily stopped if the person with bipolar goes on spending sprees. Nothing will bring on marital troubles more than huge piles of unnecessary debt.
3. All social media account passwords should be changed. So be in the know of passwords. While manic, social media posts can have devastating and embarrassing consequences.
4. Call in as much positive support (family, friends, coworkers) as possible, and let your support system know what will happen in the event of mania. Who will watch the kids? Can you have meals delivered to your home? Who will cover for you at work so that you can stay home with your spouse? Have a short-term and long-term plan.
5. The person with bipolar (during stability) should record themselves on video explaining why they chose to do all of the above steps and how this is for their own good. Their spouse can show him or her the video as a reminder during mania.
The above is only a sample plan. I wrote it in hopes that you and your spouse will put together a plan that fits your own flavor of bipolar and life. The bottom line is that when we are well-prepared we don’t feel so blind-sighted. We have a better chance of controlling bipolar, versus bipolar controlling us.
Do you have any more suggestions?
23 thoughts on “The 5-Step Bipolar Manic-Plan for Married Couples”
Thank you for the 5 steps it’s right on.
You’re very welcome- hope you never have to use it! 😉 💚
I get so dominating and sneaky when I am manic there seem to be nothing that works to stop me from venturing into acting on streams of bright ideas, life changes and new business ventures that race through my head. I can be really convincing too, and often have been able to take the whole family ‘on board’ for a brief high and then a crashing course right down the debt, embarrassment and disappointment alleys – and everyone suffers. A need of ‘creating’ is just overpowering… sometimes it’s little things, like suddenly making shopping bags out of scraps of plastic wrappers and old carrier bags (yes sustainable living AT ALL COSTS also became my (our!) new thing), madly sewing until 3:00am and still getting up at 7:00am to get kids to school and my sorry ass to work… Sometimes is ordering new things online for my newest business venture, while university work deadlines are just pilling up (yes, going back to University -again! – with two kids, a job, a dog and million little business ventures was another one!)…Starting new things and never finishing them up seem to be my thing… I can act with the speed of light when I am manic and it is a struggle for a family to catch up, sometimes by the time they realise what I am up to, things have gone too far and cannot be reversed… As membership renewals I do not even remember I have taken up reappear on my statements after a year I am often on a ‘low’ and shamefully hide them, as I cant deal with finances, charges, late payments and a guilt of creating it all … Yet, when they stand against me, as I rise again I never hesitate to ‘pull the big guns out” threatening them with arguments of ‘dragging me down to depression”, “not believing in me”, “not loving me”, “not supporting me”, “not contributing into my efforts of trying hard to rectify our financial situation”, or just “this is it I am out”… and they surrender, I suppose to keep me safe… I win… and we all lose at the same time😔 Still none of us can figure out how to overcome that😞
I too was manic most of 2017. I love being manic, but no one else does and we pay for it later. I started some meds in January that have helped my manic phases, but I’ve been struggling with depression and that “middle of the road,” feeling. I can read your comment and totally relate. Blessings from one to another.
That “middle of the road” feeling always seems to send me into a depression because it feels too ordinary in comparison to hypomania.
Thank you so much for commenting with such an honest account of your bipolar. Many people with bipolar can relate to your story. The starting “new business ventures” is a big one as well as incurring piles of debt. I think your story will help others feel less alone. Thank you again, and all the best to you.
Thank you Alison. I will share this with my husband. We could have used it last month when I was manic, and I will use it next time. Great advice.
A Second Journey, thank you for the compliment, but our Gal who has this SoBipolar site gave us the 5-step information above. 🙂
Thank you I need stuff like this
When i get in the stage i usally smoke grams of pot is this bad r not i dont like taking meds it makes me feel like a zombie
I, personally say, WHAT EVER WORKS for YOU.
To be honest, I know next to nothing about how cannbis can help bipolar. I would suggest speaking with your doctor and then making a decision. But if it is working well for you then I suppose that’s kind of your answer. I have heard from many people that cannabis has helped them.
Hi, Really its nice post…thank you so much for sharing a useful knowledge with us. i also want to share a blog, Bipolar Disorder Depression Symptoms
I was recently diagnosed in June and I’m having a very difficult time accepting
Especially when I was in the hospital for five days and I spent $3000 in one week and now feeling the after affects. I’m currently on three different types of medication and I don’t like having all of those prescription medicines inside my body. I’m thankful for finding you and your blog and looking forward to getting to know you better
Acceptance is one of the most difficult parts. Right now you have had so much happen, try your best to rest and take it easy. I have very large hospital bills coming at me as well and have some big med decisions to make. Not fun, but know you are not alone. We do the best with what we have when we need to, and that is all we can do. We’ve got this. All the best to you!💚
Lisa, I know how you feel. My dr started me on a 4th med today. Each performs a different function in my body. Knowing this helps and so have the meds, sort of. Hoping this 4th med will get the tremendous panic and fear I wake with most mornings under control. Bipolar challenges never end, but we can make it a little bit easier to live with. Hang in there. You are not alone in this.
I just found your blog and this list is really helpful! Maybe I haven’t found it but have you written something concerning your pregnancies and medication during this time?
I have not written on my pregnancies yet, but you have just reminded me that I should do that! Will do 🙂
How are YOU? There’s been no updates on your testing.
Hi Alison, thank you for your concern! I will be updating soon, I have just been going through a crazy busy time in my life at the moment. But I assure you, I am finally doing well. I hope all is well with you!
Im a momma of 5 young children and married to My best friend EVER! I just got diagnosed with Bipolar 1 two weeks ago and started on medication 1 week ago. I feel like my life has flipped upside down yet at the same time feel relieved to understand why i do what i do. I just thought everybody had highs and lows but knew a secret on how to sustain themselves through them that i didnt know. i was wrong. it feels good to be wrong on that. Im on an upward to mania right now. I have “mixed episodes” i guess..so its hard for me to understand my cycles..plus..i just found out. anyways, SoBipolar I found you through WebMd and your amazing documentary video. I sent your video and an explanation about my diagnosis of Bipolar to my family today. i felt like your pictures (aka art) explained so well what words cannot. Thank You SO much for being so BRAVE and showing me that My husband and I can continue being Happy even with my disease. (its still so hard for me to wrap my head around it all) people keep telling me to give myself a break and Time..but when im in mania and or depressed “time” seems foreign to a soul such a I am. Im grateful for all who have commented. Id like to know how you do your business “blog” during your episodes..like the details..do you have assistants? Do you feel hard on yourself if you dont post enough? And ive also noticed that you say that you are “Feeling better” almost as if you dont struggle with Bipolar anymore..am I hearing you correctly? if so, what does that feel like and how would one with Bipolar know that they are in “remission” (is that a thing?) or might I dare to say..”healed”? thank you for your patience with all my questions..im just a baby in all this and appreciate all advice, hope, and or answers i can find.
P.S. my favorite part of your documentary was when you talked about high sex drive phase and how you think its your husbands favorite one!! i loved how you guys joked about it..it made me feel like “this all doesnt have to be something i need to fix” or “my husband and I can find the pros of this disorder instead of feeling guilty for all the cons.” I love how real you two are. Thank You!
Well, welcome to the bipolar club 😉 Thank you so much for all your kind and supportive words. When first diagnosed things can feel super overwhelming. I have had the diagnosis for about 13 years now, so it isn’t my first rodeo so to speak. I do (finally!) feel great, very stable day to day and have been for a little less than a year. It was a long road getting here, but am thrilled to feel stable. I do not believe that my bipolar is “healed.” Because if I stopped taking my meds I would surely have all the bipolar symptoms come flooding back. You asked about how I post and if I have assistants. I wish I did! Maybe one day soon. I feel guilty all the time when I can’t write back to people on all my accounts. So many people looking for advice, but I am only one woman and cannot possibly get back to everyone. I place my trust in God though that He guide me to what I am supposed to do at what time. And because of that I have much less anxiety and stress over it than i used to. I hope I answered your questions?! 🙂 so much love to you, I am here for you!
Dusti, I relate. I am the mother of 5 grownups. I’ve been diagnosed since 2011. I too am on a cocktail of medications that helps me be somewhat stable. Hang in there. It’s not always easy, but keep on trying. Peace and love to all of us that suffer.