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How can medications affect my partner with bipolar disorder?

Ms. Julie A. Fast
Mental Health
Many people with bipolar disorder take medications successfully with few side effects. Then there are those who experience many side effects and have to keep trying new medications. Some people can't tolerate medications at all. In other words, medications can really create a lot of problems for your partner. It's important that you understand that the pills your partner takes are not innocuous. They are serious drugs that change your partner's brain chemistry and affect the body.

It makes sense that there will be side effects just as there are side effects with any other major drug treatment. However, side effects from bipolar disorder medications are often not fully explained or they are discounted. Doctors may not talk enough about the side effects with you, and they may say that your partner just needs to adjust to the medications. It's hard to hear this when your partner is sleeping fourteen hours a day and has gained fifteen pounds in one month. It's hard to accept this when the person you love can't have an orgasm. It's hard to accept this when your partner simultaneously throws up and has diarrhea from a medication that is supposed to keep them stable. It's understandable that your partner would want to quit taking medications that seem to make them more ill than bipolar disorder itself. But there has to be a compromise.
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

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Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series)

Maintaining a relationship is hard enough without the added challenges of your partner’s bipolar disorder symptoms. Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder offers information and step-by-step advice...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.