Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem

January 28, 2019 Hannah Blum

Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem

Bipolar disorder and ghosting is a big problem. I didn’t realize the extent of this problem until I saw the number of comments on my recent YouTube video, "Ghosting and Bipolar Disorder: Why We Do It".

What is Ghosting? The Role It Plays in Bipolar

Ghosting is a contemporary term used for when a person completely cuts off all communication with a friend or romantic partner by not responding to texts, ignoring calls and acting as if the person no longer exists. It is done without a reason or an explanation from the person doing it. One day they are a part of your life, and the next day they disappear from it without warning. It negatively impacts friendships and romantic relationships. Ghosting is done by many of us living with bipolar disorder, especially during bipolar depressive episodes.

"I’m guilty of this when I’m hypomanic and in a negative mood and I’m super sensitive and I get easily hurt or angry at people and instead of confronting them, I just ghost them when they try to contact me." ~Xoxofmw, YouTube commenter

Why Do People with Bipolar Disorder Engage in Ghosting?

Those of us living with bipolar disorder definitely have a problem with ghosting people. It doesn't matter whether it's someone we're dating or friends with. Unfortunately, sometimes we're even ghosting our family members.

I have bipolar II and yes, I've ghosted people. Why? It feels more comfortable for me to cut off all communication with another person when I am struggling with highs and lows. Secondly, when I am dating someone, the fear of being rejected due to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder is always present. That makes me push another person away when they get too close. Thirdly, the stigma of mental illness causes severe anxiety in those of us living with bipolar disorder. Although a person we are romantically involved with may not be showing signs of rejecting us due to bipolar, we feel as though it is inevitable that at some point it will happen.

"I just do this on a low episode. I see it as protecting friends from me dragging them down to my level. Plus, in all honesty, I can’t deal with feeling suffocated whilst in the low and just want to be left on my own. It’s easier that way. ~ Claire, YouTube commenter

Self-stigmatizing is another significant reason for ghosting as well. Those of us with bipolar disorder subconsciously believe that we are unlovable and undeserving of friendships and relationships, which causes us to act on ghosting. The stress and pressure to explain the reasons for pushing away creates anxiety; which is where ghosting comes into play.

"I do this a lot. I stop answering phone calls and texts, and avoiding any form of communication with friends and family. In my mind, I don't stop loving them or care for them. I just feel overwhelmed and I feel the need to create a distance between me and them so I can calm down. Now, unfortunately, this can take from a couple days to a couple weeks." ~ Katia, YouTube commenter

The Affect Ghosting Has on Others

Over the years, I have realized that regardless of what is going on in my life, ghosting is hurtful to another person. I have been on both sides of ghosting, and it is very harmful and causes extreme insecurities.

"I just lost a friend who deals with bipolar. She just cut me off. I tried and tried. Dealt with the ups and downs and dealing with my own depression and insecurity, it was very difficult. ~ Embree, YouTube commenter

Bipolar disorder is not an excuse for hurting another person. Although we deal with anxiety and depression and it leads to many of us isolating ourselves, we are still responsible for the way our behavior negatively affects friends, family, and romantic partners. There are people who care about us, and they deserve a proper response even though it is difficult for those of us living with bipolar disorder to do so at times. This is something I am working on as well because I severely struggle with opening up which leads me to ghosting other individuals.

My ex, who's getting well with depression and very positive about her progress, left me since I have bipolar 2 and I isolate myself every once in a while. She doesn't like it since it triggers her. So she broke up with me and told me I can't give her what she needs. ~ Chaz, YouTube commenter

Self-awareness is essential when it comes to behaviors like ghosting. Many people with bipolar disorder do not even realize that this is a problem. Building strong relationships without openness and communication is impossible. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to self-awareness and learning how to properly communicate with others to prevent anyone getting hurt or feeling ignored by someone they care about.

"When I feel like isolating, I "check on" the people around me, my friends in recovery. This way I am not alone, but I am not talking about ME, I am checking on THEM. Seems to help! ~ BipolarLightningBug, YouTube commenter

What about you? How has being ghosted by someone with bipolar disorder affected you? And if living with bipolar disorder and ghosting others has been part of your life, why do you do it? Also, helpful suggestions on how to end this type of behavior are welcomed.

APA Reference
Blum, H. (2019, January 28). Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, July 23 from

Author: Hannah Blum

Hannah Blum is the HealthyPlace YouTube bipolar disorder vlogger. Check out her I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2 playlist and subscribe to the HealthyPlace YouTube channel. You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Concerned loved one
April, 3 2023 at 8:34 am

It's the worst feeling ever to be ghosted. Thank god i came across this website. As i write this its been 2 weeks since by partner has ghosted me. the signs were there from the onset that he has Bipolar syndrome, but we have never spoken about it and i really didnt understand it until i came across this website and reading all your comments has put into perspective my entire relationship for the past year and a half. I could never really read him. The mood swings, the very high sexual appetite, sending me photos of other women on social media ( we are in a long-distance relationship) when we did meet, he would flirt with other women in front of me, but the one thing remained consistent, and that was, we spoke every single day, even when he had mood swings. He would be the most loving person one day, and the very next day, the most jealous, insecure, rude person. He is going through a hard time personally, his mother has cancer, and I know it's taking a toll on him, but this is the first time i have ever been ghosted, by him or anyone, and it's been 2 weeks of hell for me. He reads my messages and doesn't respond. He doesn't answer the phone when I call and I have no idea when this will pass. I also don't know if I want to be in this long term, but I love him so much. The distance doesn't make matters any easier. I will find the strength to cope with this though somehow. I wonder when he will contact me again. All i want is one message, just one. Can someone tell me what are the emotions of a person with Bipolar disorder going through when ghosting, do they feel anything when they read the messages their loved ones are sending, or are they just numb and don't really care what they are putting the person through?

April, 14 2023 at 8:32 pm

Sometimes they do not feel any guilt about not responding, but you have to let this go. The illness can mess with a person’s mind so that the true self is not in the driver’s seat.
If you are able to reconnect, you will need to set loving, but firm boundaries in areas where you may not have before. Ex. “It’s not ok for you to be disrespectful when you speak to me. If you are experiencing difficulty with emotions, we can take a step back and work through things in a positive way.”
You need to be in a place of strength and love for yourself where you can keep those boundaries, and you may need to set them often.
When you are calm, at a level of higher consciousness (unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness), you may want to approach them, and share that you understand they may need space and that you will respect that, but equally, you value them and your relationship, being out of contact hurts you and you’d like to work together to find ways to communicate in a safe way for both of you. Then ask them what are some ways they can envision that happening and what does success look like for them.
In the mean time, work on yourself to become the best communicator you can be. Do this for you and without any expectations of it having a certain outcome.
What has helped me recently is practicing forgiveness. I hold a picture of the person who has caused harm, while sending them unconditional love. I repeat the words “I forgive you” over and over, as I send them love.

June, 24 2023 at 8:27 am

Beautifully well said my love.
May God bless you with many bright sunny days ahead 🙏❤️

April, 22 2023 at 4:11 am

Hey, add me on instagram if you want we can have a chat. Know exactly what you mean. Lianna_ayla

March, 29 2023 at 9:20 pm

My brother is bi-polar & won’t get help (no meds, & no therapy) … he blocked me today & I’m in complete agony, any suggestions on what to do!? Thanks 😊

February, 6 2023 at 12:04 pm

I was dating someone for anout 6 months. Things kind of moved fast. We were together abput 1 month after meeting. I was going woth it. He talked about biying a house, getting married. Aske me if i was ready to be a baseball, football mom (he jas a son who plays sports. He said he was ready to be there for me and my daughter. I felt that our relationship was going well. About 3 months in he told me he has depression and i guess it was beginning. We didn't talk mich about it. I didn't really know what it meant to be depressed. I've never experienced it. Then he started kind of distancing himself at about 5 months. One day, he texted that he needed time because he was spiraling and needed to seek therapy before it got too bad (he didn'tas far as I know). I googled everything about depression and read people's experiences so I could get an idea. I would check on him to see if he was OK. He would sometimes text. Then I saw him online dating when looking with my friend. I asked him if he didn't want to be with me then why didn't he just say so. I always thought he was honest. He said he was lonely. He couldn't talk to me because he was ashamed and felt weak inside. Then said he had thought about committing suicide the day he text me that he was spiraling. I worried. Tried to get him help. Checked on him, wrote him letters just to be there. Then one day, he said he was feeling a little better. I asked him if he still couldn't see me or didn't want to see me. He said he was keeping his mind busy. Then stopped responding to anything. And just ghosted me. I worried about him. Several months later, not even a year after he told me he was spiraling, I found out he got engaged!!! I could be wrong but i don't think his new fiancee was around when we were together. I believe she's either from his past or someone he met online. Regardless, I've been so hurt, mad, confused... everything. I'm obviously moving on, but that really threw me for a loop. I talked to my therapist who told me that he might be more than depressed. I'm not sure, but whatever it is sucks for the person being ghosted too. It just left me with a bad lasting impression.

December, 14 2022 at 4:53 am

I would love your advice. I had been texting someone I met on a dating app, we moved to instagram and talked all day everyday for 2 weeks, she told me about having Bipolar Disorder. When I shared some of my struggles she would reply in the sweetest, understanding ways. We had really good, deep talks and started talking about meeting up. I liked her a lot, I feel like we really connected.
On the day we agreed to videochat to make things less awkward IRL she woke up with a migraine so we rescheduled to the day after, I made sure to assure her that it was okay and to take her time. Later that day, in the late evening we had a nice chat but suddenly she stopped replying, even though nothing had happened. The day after I texted her good morning and said I hope she was feeling a little better. she wouldn't open my texts.
A couple days after I sent her a longer text saying that even though I had only known her for a short time I care a lot for her and would like to know how she are doing, telling her I'm there for her, assuring her I'm not going anywhere even though things might not be very easy. She wouldn't open it.
A week later I sent a text saying not to feel bad about not answering and that I will be there when she is able to answer again. It's been two weeks since this and she still hasn't opened my texts. She hasn't been active at all.
I don't know what else I can do. I assumed she might have fallen into a depression. I have tried to just not think about it anymore, and I haven't that much but when I do it sort of kills me inside...

January, 6 2023 at 9:21 am

I am going through the same exact thingy with someone I met online!! Right down to the migraine before we were to FaceTime. He has completely disappeared. I reached out just like you and said I’d be here when he felt better. But honestly I’m so annoyed that someone could just disappear.

January, 8 2023 at 8:52 pm

This thing happened to me too. We have been talking for two months almost. He said he feels so disconnected so he stopped his meds. Then for a few days he said he’s alright and he’s ready to talk to me more. Then he disappeared and also removed me from his social medias. I wrote several texts to him. Well I loved him so much he was also like a best friend to me since we talked everyday but I have no idea how hard this is going to be for me it’s been a week and I’m crying everyday it hurts so much.

January, 14 2023 at 11:01 pm

I’m so sorry for what you and your friend are going through. I don’t have the answers, but I try to stay focused on the perspective that in each situation, there are gifts. One of the gifts is being able to connect with someone and love them, the next is then deciding to love them, even when they can’t be present right now. One thing you can try is to release expectations, release any judgement for you and them, and be open to what the universe is providing. Think in abundance, not in lack. Somehow, though it is incredibly difficult, this journey will purify you and if you let it, it will show you what is truly important in life. Keep saying yes, even when it hurts more than you can bear, because you can grow, learn and heal from this in positive ways. As you do this, even if he can’t be present, it will impact him in positive ways and help him heal. This is the greatest gift, the gift of love.

January, 26 2023 at 8:42 pm

He might come back, just give it time. I know it's hard because I am going through it myself at the moment. This is the 8th time this same person has ghosted me. She has Bipolar 1 and it's very difficult to deal with, but I love her ETERNAL and that is why I always take her back into my life... when she is ready. It's very hard to handle being on the recieving end of it! You have to give them their space and time to heal. Hopefully he comes back... just wait and see. Keep busy in the meantime, it will help alot! :)

February, 10 2023 at 7:22 am

Does it help them to reach out while they’re not responding to let them know you care and are there for them and no pressure to get back into contact. I want to let her know I’m here for her and understand why she’s doing it and that I still want her when she is feeling better,Or should I iust wait and hope she does contact me?

July, 5 2023 at 6:53 pm

I am bipolar and I go manic often it is a debilitating condition.. you are a ray of light. ❤️ you’re a beautiful person the world need more hearts like yours❤️ as long as you always make sure you are ok too!! Then I think this is so beautiful like the movie the note book 💕
You have brought me to tears of love and hope.. it’s a good feeling, thank you.

March, 13 2023 at 12:17 pm

Omg I'm going through the exact same thing now. Been talking everyday online for 3 months, things were going great, we had plans to meet and suddenly out of the blue an odd facetime. The next day he drops a bomb about spiraling into a dark hole (manic depressive) and says he needs to dissappear for a few days.
There were no signs at all. He did mentioned that he was recovering from depression but seemed fine as we spoke. Reading from all the comments and past experiences here tells me that I have to start moving on myself to protect my own heart. It's sad because I finally let my guard down unknowingly after 7 years of an eat pray love journey just to be hit by a truck out of the blue, without knowing what I can do or did.

October, 26 2022 at 9:14 pm

I have been ghosted twice in my life, by two different people. The first lasted around 5 years, the second is ongoing, but has been several months, with declining contact and then complete ghosting. I believe both were due to a person's system being overwhelmed and shutting down of emotions. It is unknown if mental health issues were formally diagnosed, but through actions, it seems they were likely present in at least one.
I can say that the pain and psychological harm that ghosting causes to the ghosted (and likely the ghoster as well), is significant.
I am a person that has very few close friends/relationships, so to lose people in this way is devastating, and really impacts self esteem in a negative way. I am a person who values people I am close to tremendously, and loves deeply.
In both instances, each person had said that there would never be a time when we weren't in each other's lives, and at a minimum, we would never be less than friends. There was strong connection at all levels and it was a total shock to lose each of these relationships.
In the first relationship, the person did come back to the extent they could, after a period of about 5 years of silence, despite me reaching out in positive ways periodically, over that timeframe.
They only came back when I was finally able to release all expectations and let them go completely.
Haunted by the question: If I let them go, do I lose my ability to love?
To let them go completely, does not mean I stopped loving them, or myself. It means I learned to adapt to the unknown, develop faith and to love them unconditionally, no matter what the outcome was. I learned forgiveness and compassion for them and myself, and focused on all the things that knowing them and our connection gifted me with.
What was this ghoster feeling when they disappeared from my life?
They confirmed that as I was suffering all along, so were they. They confirmed that they loved me deeply all along, just as I loved them, even though they acted as if they hated me. They had to shut down their emotions and put them in a box on a shelf, in order to function and move forward on a chosen path. The emotions were never processed and finally 5 years later, they were opening the box to start processing them in a healthy way. Prior to their return, I did not tell them I had let them go, so I assume they felt a shift when I did, and then felt safe enough to make contact and to start opening the box of their packed up emotions. I welcomed them back with love and compassion, as I knew to open the box again took great courage. In the box lies all the difficulty of their own deeper issues, (things that may have nothing to do with the other person, things from childhood etc.), that were brought to the surface and overwhelmed them when we got too close. Now we are working to resolve past issues as they come up, in a health way. We are able to do this as friends, and it is a relief and blessing to have them in my life again. There are not words to describe it, yet there are still no expectations.
Getting here was a long and lonely road, but was I really alone? How did I get to this new place, when 5 years prior, when the ghosting first happened, I found myself in a place I swore I would never be in (one of complete despair and hopelessness)?
When you're going through hell, keep on going.
I did everything I could to keep myself alive, even though at times, I felt like a shell of who I once was. I hid my suffering from as many of my loved ones, co-workers and friends as I could, as they did not understand, and wanted me to be angry with this person. I was hanging on by a thread for so long, struggling to remain positive and remember all of the gifts. I kept the higher perspective that yes, they destroyed my life, but only to bring out the person I truly am; one that can and does love unconditionally. I focused on all that I needed to heal, partly because I needed to remain focused in order to survive, and partly because I was not going to ever come so close to giving up again.
A new beginning.
I had overcome so much and made so much progress, rebuilding my self esteem and recognizing my self worth. I knew if I could get through this, that I could get through anything. I knew that I would not be afraid ever again to love completely... And so I did.
When person 2 ghosted me, I could once again not believe it, and again was in shock. I had a love for this person I could not explain, loved them unconditionally. That this abrupt ending was only an illusion, because it didn't feel as though it had ended. This person still feels as close to me as they ever have, even though they act now as though I never existed. So again, I let them go and love unconditionally. Maintaining hope, with no expectations.
When I take a closer look in the rearview mirror, I saw warning signs that something else was happening to this person behind the scenes, and there was anxiety and depression having a negative impact on them. Over what I recall to be a very rapid timeframe, they suddenly lost feelings for me. They became seemingly cold and uncaring, when once so understanding, loving and warm. The person I trusted with my life became harsh and pushed me away hard. Periodically, my mind unconsciously wanders to thoughts of those instances, and it hits so hard. The way things happened does not make sense, as everything seemed to be going so well and we were still in the process of getting to know each other and enjoying each other's company. The bond seemed unbreakable. Even though I was in shock, and feel bad that I didn't know enough about the illness at the time to be more supportive, I thought back to the commitment we made to each other to always be in each other's lives. I found comfort in this, knowing that we would always have a close friendship, and maybe one day more. Sadly, they began to not answer my calls very often. We went from daily communication and texts, to almost nothing, over a period of months. I would check in periodically to see if they were ok and also let them know I'm still here for them, no matter what. I would also send pictures and events in my life that I would send to other loved ones as well. First they seemed to value that, but little by little, the responses got shorter and shorter, until they stopped responding completely. Though I am working hard to stay positive during this process, I recognize I love and miss this person very much.
Loving them is the easy part.
Letting them go is the hard part.
I want very much to spend time with them again, talking, laughing, doing things we enjoy and showing them how much they are loved and valued. Yet I have to let all of that go and trust the unknown. I don't know if person 2 will ever come back into my life, but I have hope they will. I have hope they can overcome their illness and learn to love themselves. I have hope that I can survive the pain the ghosting has caused, the waking up at 1:30am and realizing again and again that they chose me out of their life. I have at times even wished that I could blame myself, as maybe there was something I said or did, or maybe I was too intense and it triggered them... but there is no logical explanation to why a person who loves you could ghost you and pretend you don't exist, because it is not logical; it's an illness that presents itself periodically.
When all of the difficulty on both sides is stripped away, I wish I could tell you, that the illness is not who you are, who you are is your soul, and nothing can take that away from you.
I wish I could tell you how much you are loved, no matter what.
To those who suffer from being ghosted, please take care of yourself.
It's ok to love unconditionally and hold space for your loved one. Equally, tell them gently and honestly that shutting down and ghosting hurts you and set loving boundaries.
To help you through this trauma, make a plan with things that keep you alive through the pain you feel. Basic things like exercise, eating healthy, sleeping when you can, writing, and doing things that make you feel a little better, and do these things religiously every day. Focus on what the separation is showing you, that needs healing in yourself, because perhaps it is a gift. Through it, you will become more of who you truly are.
To both the ghoster and the ghosted, please remember who you truly are, and remember that no matter if it feels that all is lost; in this life, we are never truly alone. Even in the illusion of separation, and in the shadow of an illness, we are not alone. This too shall pass.
Remember to be the light that you are.

Britta Hallberg
October, 28 2022 at 1:24 am


October, 28 2022 at 8:31 pm

I am so sorry Britta. I know it is heartbreaking. Sometimes it helps to share your story, if you feel comfortable doing so.
Wishing you peace during this difficult time.

November, 12 2022 at 11:06 pm

Wish I could get back the strength to have your optimism, trying so hard now again.. but I feel so trapped and my ex won’t let me go. Had to keep some tether to me for this sick sense of power and control they seem to need

May, 20 2023 at 6:05 pm

Phoenix, you will never know how much your words have helped me. Thank you so much. Feel less alone now. Bless you x

October, 26 2022 at 4:41 pm

Hi everyone
I’m dealing with a very hurtful situation and not sure what to do or say. My daughter has been diagnosed with bi polar. We talk on the phone nearly every day and face time as we are in two different countries. Recently she just blocked me on messenger I can’t call video or text. She told my sister that she needed her space that I trigger her. My sister told her to unblock me and this was not acceptable. I left it for a few days but then tried to call her again and I was unblocked but the response I got later was yes mom? Told her I was just checking in to see how she was and I loved her…no response. It’s killing me inside and makes we question so many things. Any suggestions?

November, 3 2022 at 10:06 am

I would say to give her space and not push too hard. I know it's hard, but the more you push someone who has bi-polar, the more you'll push them away I fear. I'm no expert on this by any means, but it's what I've kindof realised after having been ghosted myself this year.
I have a friend who I suspect has bi-polar. She's told me in the past that she suffers from depression, etc. And after having a great year-long relationship (mainly online due to distance) back in April, she just disappeared. Our relationship wasn't romantic, but there might have been a tinge of that from both sides. Still a bit confused about that!
But yeah, out of the blue, she blocked me from social media, etc. Everywhere! Seven months down the line, I've tried to contact her multiple times and ways, but with no responses. So I've decided to let things lie for now as I don't want to push it and be that 'annoying person' who keeps popping up...
Good luck with your daughter. I would just say take things very slowly and let her come around in her own time :)

October, 26 2022 at 9:46 am

I am not sure if a bipolar spouse would come back to her true feelings after medication. My wife is insisting on divorce and yet insists that we stay friends, she will see the shrink tomorrow and just hope she would be back to normalize her cartoonish thoughts (with all respect)
I am not sure what to expect after the therapy

October, 12 2022 at 5:04 pm

I’ve (21/any pronouns/college student) been talking to someone (23/they/she/full time work) for almost 2 months (started 8/20/22), we met on bumble and talked for a solid 3 weeks before moving to text then to snapchat, sending each other long videos talking about our days and our lives. She even told me that she had bpd and i was okay with that since she said that they go to a therapist and a psychiatrist. So i was confident that they can handle it, they also have 2 cats and a dog while working full time so i was confident that she was doing very well handling it. I really like them and thought we were connecting super well. Up until recently, i sent videos last night (responding to what they had sent), we decided to make plans to go on a date for the first time! we were talking about things to do and when we’d met up which would have been this Saturday (10/15/22). i was super excited until i checked snap and saw they haven’t responded to me in almost 24 hours. i thought it was strange but we tend to respond a few hours between because of our schedule and thought oh she must be busy. However, i saw that they opened my videos but never responded. I took a closer look and saw that my snapchat was saying that i wasn’t friends with them anymore on there, i kept trying to friend them back but it wouldn’t work then tried typing their user but wouldn’t show up. Which means that she blocked me on snap….(also deleted bumble profile) So i went to our text messages and sent a message asking if “she’s ok?” and “i’m here if you need to talk, just let me know” but still no response all day. So i’m unsure if she’s ghosting and/or blocked me cause she’s not interested anymore; but i’m thinking she could be having a depressive episode or something. she mentioned having a psychiatrist and therapy appointment on the same day and she was drained and she just got over having covid and missing work for 5 days so i’m unsure if she’s just having a bad time right now and doesn’t want to talk or she just doesn’t like me anymore. I haven’t had this issue until asking about the date stuff but she genuinely seemed excited to go on a date as well and she talked about future date ideas. I’m just in a funk and confused? i’m unsure of what to do, should i give her a few more days to respond or just drop it? we’re supposed to go on a date Saturday but it’s probably not happening anymore. I just can’t figure out if it’s a bipolar thing cause she’s not medicated or she just doesn’t like me anymore and didn’t want to tell me :( i’d appreciate any insight that anyone has, i’m just so bummed and confused.

October, 26 2022 at 9:28 am

Stop with the pronouns all ready. In a few years you’ll see how dumb sounding this pronouns part iv culture is. The rest of your posting is great. For those of us loving a bp it’s tough…. Just when we think it’s safe, we discover it isn’t and we are forgotten ghosts. I don’t know whether to contact her or not. It’s tough…. 2 months as a ghost

October, 28 2022 at 2:25 pm

What makes you think this person would trust what you say when you just told them part of their identity(and the person’s who they’re interested in) is “dumb”? So rude and really discounted what I presume to be your attempt at encouraging.

December, 2 2022 at 2:23 am

Same here. Two months and I’m torn between being worried about him and not wanting to impose to say I m here to support however he chooses.

A very lost boyfriend
October, 6 2022 at 7:10 am

Thanks, this article helped putting some things in perspective, but I'm still at a loss. I'm pretty convinced my girlfriend has bipolar, but she's never been diagnosed. A lot of symptoms match, but not all of them.
I'll tell my story, hoping someone will be able to tell me their thoughts or give some advice.
I’m 41. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year. It took a while for the relationship to take off, because she’s been through an insane amount of trauma throughout her life, and over the past few years especially: her dad (undiagnosed bipolar) took his life, she got divorced, her highly successful career fell apart, and other heavy stuff.
She rebuilt herself as a highly independent woman, taking care of her two children and a new business she started (which she’s very passionate about but it’s not generating enough income thus far which is super scary), and was really not looking for anything serious. Nevertheless, love found us, and it was so special and right, that my patience paid off. We’ve lived an insane amount of stuff over our time together. We became partners, best friends, I developed an amazing relationship with her kids, and things between us were generally amazing. Except that at times, it would still come up that it wasn’t the life she had planned (she left an unhappy marriage that made her feel trapped, and she wanted to be a solo, independent woman), and every so often she would say that she can’t give me what I want (proper commitment). But things would always get better, and everything just felt right.
She's also often in a dark, sad place and feels desperate with a total lack of motivation or taste for life, but she’s a generally functional person (she has to, for her kids), so she would always manage to stand up again after a really bad day, and be active. So it's never the 'two weeks in bed completely paralyzed' kind of situation that I often read about, which has me wondering.
We had a terrible phase in the spring, she broke up with me, and we were apart for about 6 weeks. She said and did some things that were super hurtful, and I was a complete, utter mess (had to take xanax for the first time in my life).
She was having a huge manic episode, so she was very confident in what she was doing, no second thoughts. Again, she’s never been diagnosed, but so many things made it a textbook case of bipolar mania (poor judgement, hypersexuality, recklessness with her money, heightened productivity, etc.).
Through a series of circumstances, things eventually improved, and we had a perfect few months after that.
The past month however, took a huge toll on us. Some things (outside of our couple) highly triggered her, she felt she had to focus more on the kids and the business, and there was a communication breakdown, while communicating had always been one of our fortes.
Now she dumped me again, saying she can’t give me what I want, can’t be faithful (a desire for promiscuity/an open relationship seems to be a recurring thing during these phases), needs to be alone and focus on herself, the kids and the business, etc. There are other signs of mania (heightened productivity, irritability, raging - even though that never gets insane: she's not a violent person, and we normally have a positive, loving dynamic). It's been a lot of ghosting, with no willingness for dialogue. I feel invisible.
I don’t know how to deal with this. I would accept it and let it go, if what we had (minus these phases) wasn’t so rare and special. Believe me, I’m not delusional, what we have at our core really is all that. I’m hearing all this crap now, whereas only a few weeks back, all I was hearing was, I’m a gift, I’m perfect for her, she’s committed to me, we’re better together, my presence is awesome for the kids, etc.
It seems like she’s punishing herself, and is unable to love herself and to be kind to herself (she told me 'it's way too late for me to be kind to myself). She feels that she can’t give. But that’s completely at odds with how everything looks when things are normal. I’m scared that since this is the second such episode in 4 months, it could be more permanent than the one in the spring. Like, even if she comes out of the mania…she would feel discouraged, or would simply prefer to get over it and move on, convincing herself that she's meant to be alone.
Now she's saying she's good and optimistic, but isn't really reaching out. Other than saying she misses me too, she's saying the space is good for her.
So I'm trying to understand what's going on, and besides some super heavy trauma she's been through and some boundary issues, so many things seem to match with bipolar: phases where she's obsessed with being productive, skewed judgment and paranoia, opinions about us changing radically, symptoms of hypersexiaulity and a strong desire for independence, a sense of feeling great which seems temporary, and irritability. And then, the underlying feeling of sadness and despair, pessimism, and lack of joy or motivation, even though none of that is necessarily obvious on the surface.
Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!

October, 9 2022 at 7:40 pm

I can't say much, just that bipolar disorder doesn't always fit the textbook description line for line. I have it and I never went through promiscuous stages and I also never spent money wildly like some do. I would get depressed but not stay in bed like some people do and like you described your girlfriend. I can't tell you if she has bipolar disorder, though from your description, I would see why you might think so, but I can tell you that every person who has it is different and the textbook descriptions aren't always accurate in my opinion.

Lost girlfriend
October, 29 2022 at 8:10 am

Your story is almost exactly the same as mine! Except I'm the girlfriend. I know he's bipolar, he has every symptom. I've tried telling him but as a "manly man" I think he knows I'm right but refuses to go get help. We have had the perfect relationship for years now except for his symptoms but he never has acted out on me. Then over the last several weeks I stated noticing an increase in his symptoms. Then I noticed him beling less affectionate with me and distancing from me. I finally confronted him and he basically said I'm beautiful and wonderful and our relationship is great but basically he's still unhappy. I'm not even sure if he broke up with me or not. I'm not sure he knows. He still calls and texts and shows up at my house. He still hugs me but won't kiss me. It's all very strange and confusing and it hurts . So I don't even know if we are together or not. I believe he's been in a mixed episode for weeks now. He's displayed symptoms the whole relationship but he'd usually snap out of it in a few days. If our relationship wasn't so good and he wasn't such a wonderful person I would just walk away. Now I'm left not knowing what I can do to save this when he won't seek help for himself.

September, 30 2022 at 9:34 pm

Im glad i found this page! My teen is grieving her sudden breakup from her bipolar boyfriend. "Ghosted" is an understatement. Their energies matched so perfectly. They were like 2 peas in a pod. So perfect together that after a week of being a public couple, ppl were voting for them as homecoming queen and king. Then he started distancing himself. Instead of hugging her back, he would shove her away. His snaps diminished over the course of a week, he ignored her in the hall. Then he texted her and said he was under severe stress, sports every day, having to get straight a's, being new in high school. Plus he had a torn ligament that had just that day re tore. I spoke to his mom, who also said that he talked to her about how much he loved my daughter, but when he has a girlfriend he wants to give all his attention to her, and he didnt have time to give, plus he was a mess with bipolar. I cannot imagine how much worse this poor kid will get before he is even 21. Thats 7 yesrs away! Already he has left a trail of broken hearts a mile long, and is already going to a dance he had asked my daughter to, with another girl. My daughter is SO CONFUSED!
Any advice is welcome. I hate to see her suffering.

September, 7 2022 at 10:56 am

I am going through something similar, the only difference is my gf is medicated and she is aware of her mood swings, lows and highs. When we started dating we each had our own lives doing our own routines, but the closer we got the slowly we became co-dependent, and we started to spend all our time together practically we were living together. At first everything was easy and stable, love and communication was flowing. Then she hit a low episode, where she even was scared for her own life, over the last 4-5 weeks she continued to stay with me and we wouldn't talk much, I was just taking care of her basic needs such as food ,and support. Then unfortunately I got a job on a different state. At first everything was easy, myself I had insecurities because I've been cheat on, and she was so helpful reassuring everything. we continued to talk everyday all day, until one day after she went out on her own, and got drunk, next day she was silent like she's never been before, no contact, she called me that night but I noticed she was different, I tried to help, but she just pushed me away, she continued to communicate when she talked to her male friends Saying" ey I am talking to my X and Y friend" I just want you to know. Then she continued to ghost me, but my insecure persona tried to help and be there for her, until one day she called and told me that she was going through a low and she was sorry for being distant and that she needed space, so I gave it to her, no contact at all. she also told me that I need to learn that I am not her only support person. We did not talk at all for the rest of the week, until on Saturday I decided to call her, she was distant and quiet, then I proceeded to start a convo but it didn't work, I asked her if she was gonna visit me but she said " no I don't think I can" then I proceeded to ask when? and she said maybe October. We hung up the call and she texted sayin " hey I am just feeling disconnected and off, and I need space right now, I am sure its just a phase, sometimes confiding to you can be draining because not everything needs to be intense, I feel like I am loosing myself to you and making my days around you I need space for now" I didn't reply, but at 3 am she told me ey wanna fall asleep on facetime tmw? I didnt reply until next day " and I just said I would like to" then on sunday she texted me and called me, we even ft for a while, she got my some stuff I needed and then we proceeded to talk about the incidents and how sometimes when shes going down to a low, she need someone she can rely on, and we she saw I was emotionally strong cuz I was worried she went even more low, I apologized for bringing my insecurities so often, I told her I was going to be better. Shes was like sometimes I need to isolate to recover and I want you to know that even if we dont talk for a week, or even a month I still love you and I want to be with you and have a family etc. she also stated that since Ive moved out she realized that all the progress she made and I made was based on each others presence, and when that was taken away she was to square 0 so she was trying to get back up but she didnt wanted to generate a codependency, because she want to figure out herself I agreed, because I need to work on me. Also she said that we dont have to call eachother all day, that its healthy we have our own routine. we agreed and we been doing that. After sunday we have barely talked. short and minimal texting but I know she talks to other people (friends)
but its taken the best of me because a wanna talk to her and be a better support I just dont know what to do

A Moss
October, 3 2022 at 2:55 am

My frank advice: end it. It will go on forever and ever. One day you'll turn round and realise you spent years or decades consumed by this person, and did not achieve anything else in life. It becomes like a drug, if you let it. Healthy love should not feel that difficult That's my experience with a very similar type of situation

January, 23 2023 at 8:02 pm

So glad I found this page, it's like the support group and therapy i never had. I'm going thru the exact same thing, still grieving, still hurting. I wanna let go but can't. Part of me wants to be there with him, yet part of me feels like i trigger him. He's gone from the sweetest being to pushing me away overnight, and he's not coming back. Whilst I know it's for the better of me too, i still worry for him. Sadly he now treats strangers better than he does me. He responds and shows up for them but ghosts me. He knows it hurts me and continues doing so. I just wish i could let go

September, 5 2022 at 10:34 am

Hi everyone,
I just read all the comments on this page, and for the first time in 2 weeks I feel less alone. At the same time, my heart bleeds for every one of you who is experiencing exactly the same thing as me.
My boyfriend and me are together for 4 years. I fell for him because he was the kindest guy I met in years. But already in the beginning of our relationship, some things were not quite right. After a month of dating he dissapeared for the first time. Nothing happened, no fight or anything between us. He just ghosted me from one day to the other. A few weeks later, he called, and said that he had a panic attack, related to the trauma from his ex girlfriend. I believed him. But from then on, he dissapeared every few weeks/months. For days, weeks, or one time even 3 months. Also, some times he suddenly could become very angry, out of nowhere. When I asked:"this isn't from trauma from your ex girlfriend, is it? Please be honest with me, what is wrong exactly?". He answered:"I don't know. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed"
I'm a highly sensitive person myself, I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed. But I never ghost people.
So I knew that he wasn't telling the truth.
And then the years passed. The silent treatments kept happening every few months.
And then this summer was better. He seemed more consistent, no more silent treatments or angryness anymore. But then, suddenly, 2 weeks ago, he cancelled last minute for a date with a very cold, distant whatsapp message. 3 days before he was still loving and kind, so I was shocked. But I stayed calm and loving and I replyed that I was dissapointed that he cancelled only our date. But not al the hangouts with his friends that same week. (He spends a loooot of time with his friends, but I've never made that a problem) I also replied that his mood seemed totally off all of a sudden, and that I was worried. I asked if we could talk about it and I even put a heart in the reply, to show him that I was not angry. But one second later, he blocked me on whatsapp and phone (not on social media). He has never blocked me in 4 years, so I am shocked.
At first I thought he had a very low mood again. But then I saw on IG that he was spending time with his friends, and was laughing (he is 46 years old). And I heard his yogateacher who said:"He acts as if everything is fine, he comes to yoga class every day", and seeing/hearing that was even more traumatizing. I'm completely shocked and heartbroken and I can't believe this is happening. I'm blocked/ghosted for more than 2 weeks now. I've been nothing but the kindest girlfriend in those 4 years, he said himself a couple of times that "I'm the kindest person he knows". So ... why is he doing this? During those 4 years there were a lot of times that I thought:"Maybe he is bipolar?", but one time I asked him this and he became so angry that I didn't mention it ever again. But now, with reading all those comments, I think he is bipolar indeed. 😔

September, 13 2022 at 8:40 am

It seems, that your diagnosis about him is right.
The question is, what do you expect from the relationship?
I am not ironic, just realistic. Think about it.

September, 26 2022 at 2:10 am

Thanks Evelien,
I get that bittersweet feeling knowing you’re not alone. I was so blindsided, it’s like I lived with a stranger for year. She was up front about some mental health issues but only shared the tip of the ice berg… I never could have predicted everything that happened, the way she left… it’s been like a nightmare come true. Hang in there things keep getting better, even when it feels hopeless I swear

October, 9 2022 at 10:43 am

I am so surprised by all of the stories so similar to mine. A difference… my experience was 30 years ago. I still feel the devastation at times. He was my high school sweetheart. We were together for 3 years. Amazing loving memories with him. He got me a promise ring and soon after everything changed. He began drinking and taking LSD. I suddenly wasn’t his priority. Being emotionally immature I was really upset that his priorities had drastically changed and he was wanting to party all the time. Before this point I was his world. I blame myself still today and feel as if I pushed him away. I regret the way that I handled it. I still feel like a fool for how I acted during this time because I basically lost it and went places that I knew he would be. Seeing his FB profile and hearing from mutual friends he has been an alcoholic for many years. He now looks 20 years older than he is. Why does my heart still pine for him. Really trying to process this to finally get over the loss of him. When they ghost you it makes you feel so insignificant and disposable. These events in my late teenage years led me to to have low self esteem and make many bad choices in men.
I pray for all of you. I really do understand your pain!!!

October, 10 2022 at 7:58 am

Honey I had the same thing happen to me. Was with my high school sweetheart for 3 years. Suddenly his priorities changed. He was spending a lot more time with his friends when I had been his world before that. He started doing a lot of drugs like LSD. It’s like a switch flipped. I was devastated and I am ashamed even to this day of how desperate I acted. I pushed him away further. This has now been 39 years ago and I still hurt inside and miss him so much. I wonder if he thinks about me. We had just gotten engaged. J I have so many regrets on how I handled myself and devalued myself.
Don’t obsess over him. Don’t force him to have contact with you or go places that you know he will be. Love yourself and know that this is not about what you are not. This is about his illness. I know it still hurts.

August, 26 2022 at 12:37 pm

I run the other direction when bipolar issues start flying. I was born with a severe autoimmune chronic lung disease. It takes very little to send me to the hospital. I feel sorry for bipolar people. If they refuse to get help and therapy and are in the middle of a 4-alarm storm, I run the opposite direction and call the police to get them out of my home and away from me. I wish it wouldn't be this way, but I have been threatened by one specific bipolar out of control person. I am 68. I am tired. I now own a firearm.

August, 18 2022 at 2:23 pm

I have been seeing a person with bipolar for the past 6 months. Things had been going great we where very open about our own struggles had great communication and conversation. The last time we hung out we had an amazing night and morning everything was great then i went on a holiday when I got back and got a message that took me by surprise. They didnt want to be in a partnership anymore only friends for a few listed reasons (One being under immense pressure from work which i understand stress can lead to a withdraw). Then cut off communication other then the occasional email back and forth. We havent seen eachother for over a month and never had a conversation other then through text since. They are someone i deeply care about and we are meeting soon for lunch and a concert we had bought tickets for. Wondering what is the best strategy for me to help support them and make them feel comfortable in whatever capacity our friendship takes from here. Also being aware it is tough on my own mental health processing the emotions that go along with someone withdrawing like this.

Pascale B
August, 8 2022 at 10:04 am

I was ghosted by me neighbor who has bipolar disorder it hurt a lot
She was a user and entitled anytime she needed something she would ask for my help I would oblige, then one day when I couldn’t take her call she got mad and decided to “ghost” me even though I tried calling her back to see if everything was ok. Sorry I can’t be at her every beck and call waiting on her needs hand and foot I was in class when she called twice in a row. When she would get what she wanted she would toss me to the side I forgave her many times and told myself it’s ok, well it’s NOT ok not acceptable. When I texted her the next day to ask her if everything was ok since I missed her call she said “she’s busy” excuse me she’s a stay at home mom I work all week and have an entire home to manage as well as personal appointments to keep every day after work… who called who to bother them? She called me it wasn’t the other way around so when you say your “busy” don’t blow up my phone the day before because I am 10 times more busy than you are juggling my career, house work and personal responsibilities while you are a stay at home mom who looks at her window and spies on our neighbors all day long. Anyway now she does not speak to me she ignores me and if she sees me she pretends as if I am dead and put a sticker on her car that says “not today satan” lady are you talking to me? She has issues she’s a user throws people to the side when she gets what she needs out of them and if you can’t take her call one time she will discard you as if you never existed in her phone book or life. She will go to hell for her ghosting and say hi to satan every day in her afterlife for the hurt she has caused becuse I was nothing but nice and helpful to her and all I got in return was a slap to the face, very hurtful and rude. I never ever once asked her to help me I am very self sufficient she always needed my help and now I am ghosted. That’s why I decided to no longer help people who are users.

October, 10 2022 at 2:13 am

I'm going through this now...I love my lady but I feel I'm just there when she needs me when she feels like. We had a great date out on Saturday it was awesome she was smiling and happy. The next day she says it's over she doesn't want ro see me ever again...ouch that hurts. That night I was I. My way to get my tools and she said ant it wait I Saud I'm 10 minutes away and I've 40 minutes away
So she went off all vx she wanted to leave ...I've been blocked on social media and phone. I. Worried about her but not knowing where she is has kept me up . We've been together about4 years...she's amazing in every way. I get told to give do yiu give up on someone you truly love.! Don't kmkw where you are Jamie but I love you please come home -

November, 5 2022 at 11:33 pm

I'm pretty much dealing with the exact same thing with my boyfriend right now.

June, 23 2022 at 7:26 am

My mom has a mental illness she's not making an appointment to see a therapist and I would like her to make an appointment to see one she has a doctor and she's not telling her doctor she has a mental illness and I would like her to stop talking to me and no longer come in my room. Calls all her sisters on her phone and tells them there's bugs in parasites in the house and there is not and she comes in my room and tells me that nonsense and there is no bugs and parasites in my room and I'm getting sick of her stupid bug and parasite nonsense.

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