One of the dangers of two people who both suffer Bipolar is feeding off each others emotions. Now when things are going good, moods are good, the risk is running into a manic episode. When things turn south though, both people can be overtaken by depression.
How do you guard your mood when your partner is suffering a manic or depressive episode, or worst, are rapid cycling? For those who aren’t familiar with rapid cycling it is when a person’s emotions bounce from extreme joy, to depression, to anger, and back to joy in a manner of minutes or hours. There is no clear cut answer what to do when one person cycles and the other feeds off it. But there are some strategies that can lessen the risk of feeding off each other’s emotions.
First of all, you must have open communication about each of your emotions. Going silent, isolating yourself, and pushing the other away only makes the situation worst. This part does take some introspection that we often rather not do, especially in a depressive episode or rapid cycling. Knowing yourself and your moods are critical to communication. If you don’t talk, then the other person doesn’t know what is wrong.
Second, have a plan. Know what you are going to do when you or your significant other begins to cycle. Making a plan after that person cycles or you cycle is too late.
Third, know yourself. You need to know your own triggers, what symptoms indicate the onset of a cycle, and what to do to head it off. That may be breathing exercises, meditation, medication, or anything that is in your mental toolbox. Learn coping skills. The more you have, the better chance of curbing your emotions when they go sideways.
Finally, remove yourself from the situation. Sometimes you just have to take a time out. Get space between you and your partner. Have it worked out ahead of time that is what you will do if the situation gets too real. That way they wont feel like you abandoned them in their time of need.
These steps do cannot take into account of every situation. But by having a plan ahead of time, you can head off many of the problems you face together before they blow up in your face.