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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hello. I have been going out with my boyfriend OKMH0823217

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Hello. I have been going out with my boyfriend for 7 months now. We do not live together but I spend a lot of free time at his place. I am noticing certain "cycles" in our relationship where things are going really great and suddenly he will make an issue out of something which a normal person would be able to talk through, and make a big issue of it which leads to him getting very angry and fighting with me. Its almost like he purposely picks these fights with me to create distance between us. Usually he gets really mad and angry to the point he doesnt even want to be near me. Twice he has broken up with me after this kind of thing, and then twice before he has "needed to take a break to get his head together". The last episode happened last Sunday where he got extremely mad at something I said/did (which in my mind wasnt that big of a deal). He proceeded to kick me out his apartment, and I havent heard one word from him in a week now. Previously, after these episodes he has "come around" after a week or so and eases back "into" the relationship. I emailed him two days ago, and asked him to tell me if he was breaking up with me (due to his silence, I was scared). He never responded. I dont really understand what is going on here. I have a feeling he is bipolar but I am confused with his behavior during this time. Would someone ex-communicate me during the manic or depressive period? I was thinking he is currently going through a depressive period, but the only "out of place " thing is that he is exercising a lot. But hes not working as long hours and stays at home the rest of the time. It is very distressing for me because I dont live with him, so NO communication feels like he has broken up with me, and I am anxious and sad all day. Given the information, do you think having about 5 of these types of withdrawals from me in 7 months, he could be bipolar? Is this behavior typical of bipolar, such as him suddenly getting really mad and putting this huge distance between us (physical and emotional) by breaking up with me or by excommunicating me for days/weeks on end? What happens inside him during this time..doesnt he love me when he does this? Please shed some light

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 11 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this very concerning and frustrating situation.

Customer:

Hello

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, Thank you for joining the chat


 

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The fact that in such brief period of time he has created this huge crisis, where he ends the relationship and becomes this distant does show he has serious anger and self-control issues, and if besides of neglecting the relationship like he has done for these past months dos the same in other areas when feeling with depressive-angry mood, then for sure we could consider he has serious mental health issues.

Customer:

Yes, I agree he has serious mental issues. I have some psychiatric nursing background so I have been trying to figure this all out for a while

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Bipolar disorder has many peculiarities depending on the type and subtype, plus the other mental health disorders the person may present. There i s no way to know for sure if he does have bipolar disorder but by a direct assessment.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he shows high level of energy, restlessness, hyperactivity, very elevated mood, risky behavior, hyper social or other manic symptoms, then that could point at possible bipolar disorder, but many other disorders and also drug use could mimic all classical bipolar symptoms.

Customer:

There is no drug use. He doesnt drink or do drugs at all. He is health conscious and very concerned about his appearance. He knows he has psychiatric issues but will not take meds because he said they make him feel horrible :(

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Obviously he has serious anger issues, which are common in bipolar disorder too, but hard to know unless you get more objective, clear and close observation of his behaviors at other settings and circumstances.

Customer:

He does go through periods of high energy and hyperactivity and this is usually accompanied by restlessness and irritability

Customer:

The thing is, he is hardly ever angry..Ive hardly seen him angry except these 5 times in 7 months

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then he has been suffering of these disorders for long, and if he has not been getting psychological treatment to rehabilitate from them, then that would explain why he feels this way,a nd the tendency would be to get worse with time.

Customer:

but what is the silent treatment really about, and why go to the extreme of breaking up with me?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Feeling this fears and excessive concerns about his appearance points at anxiety problems, which most times lead to depression too. he has anger issues. Then it is very complex.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When a person feel overwhelmed by painful feelings and emotions, and does experience fear and does not know how to cope with them, those feelings turn into anger, and the person acts them out with dysfunctional and many times abusive behaviors.

Customer:

So would the "silent treatment" be considered abusive?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, since it disregards XXXXX XXXXX and the pain it causes to you as his partner, it is neglectful too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I would say he self-sabotage and sabotage the relationship.

Customer:

How must I deal with this then. He wont call or text me or return my emails. I want to support him but I also want him to be aware of what hes doing to me

Customer:

HOw can I help him come out of this "state"?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If what you want and expect is to develop a healthy and fulfilling relationship, then you need to set assertive boundaries and limits. Exposing yourself to any form of disrespect or abuse would not help. If you take initiatives and call and send messages and he chooses not to contact you, then you need to stop and wait for him to work on himself and get back to you if he chooses to. As frustrating as it may sound, there is not much more you can do about it, as long as he refuses to play a more mature and healthy role in your relationship.

Customer:

Thank you

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Do not push him even when you have only good intentions. Offer your support and affection but never expose to nor allow any form of disrespect or abuse. be empathic while setting boundaries. he needs to take responsibility for his own rehabilitation process, and once he starts doing that, then he would be able to start playing a healthy role in his relationship with you, which woult be impossible without him working on taking good care of himself first with necessary professional support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome. Give him time and you would see if he does choose to work on himself and in the relationship or not.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please always remind yourself that your first core need and responsibility is to take good care of yourself, from there you would not allow anybody to use, abuse nor neglect you; you would know how to set healthy boundaries and limits, and allow people to do the same. Your support can only get as far as the other person allows you into his life, never further than that, and even when it is very sad and frustrating, it is necessary to come to terms with that reality for you to take good care of yourself, taking consistent actions in order for you to afford only what you truly want and consider worthy and healthy in your life and nothing more.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

One other question. When my boyfriend takes an issue way out of proportion and misinterprets my intentions and gets very angry, says I dont love him if I "did this or that", and tells me to leave his apartment, is he consciously aware of what he is doing? Like, in his mind is he aware that he is being totally irrational? Has he really convinced himself somehow that I really dont love him? Is he aware of what his words and actions are doing to me?


 


And... if he is aware of what he is doing, why does he still do it?

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 11 months ago.
When a person does not know how to cope with his own emotions and feelings, they could become very overwhelming, then they become anger, which is a way humans react as a way to release what pushes them from inside themselves, those feelings and emotions we do not know how to handle. Then even something insignificant could trigger excessive and irrational, violent and abusive reactions. Depending on how mature and mentally healthy the person happens to be, they would be more aware or not during such episodes of their irrational and abusive nature.

One key point here to consider is that for young children to present abusive behaviors is already serious and unacceptable, but they are in the very phase of learning how to cope, feel and react, while whenever we talk about adults, even from adolescence, we should all be very accountable for our choices and actions. Problems arise when the person did not learn these core skills from infancy and childhood, and even more when developed mental health disorders, which would be how those issues became chronic and distorted the person's personality and way of approaching life.

When overwhelmed by anger people could have less or more awareness of what they are doing, but after the episode, and after several similar scenarios, we all know because of consequences, what is wrong. If people close to us enable or allow our abusive behaviors or dysfunction, we could feel entitle to perpetuate them believing we are right, but again, reality through consequences sooner or latter would confront us to face it. When would it happen and how well? it would depend on how many assertive and supportive people we have and how much we choose to work on ourselves, taking full responsibility and using the support we get.

People who do not work on themselves and hold full accountability for their own choices, feelings and actions, and face their consequences, could continue to reinforce their illusions and delusions more and more, and it does not make acceptable under any circumstance, to allow their abuse or neglect. The exception would be a person with a psychotic mental illness, who is truly away from reality and requires intense close and professional treatment and support, and even in such cases, the person needs to work on developing skills, including sense of responsibility, respect and boundaries, once mental illness should never be taken as an excuse, empowering people to feel beyond the need to take responsibility and afford consequences from what they do.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for this information but I dont think I expressed myself clearly


 


Is the bipolar person consciously aware of what he is doing when he reacts out of proportion and breaks up with us. Meaning , is he in touch with reality at that moment? And if not, how long does this out-of-touch or unrealistic period usually last?

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 11 months ago.
Yes, bipolar disorder does not equal unawareness of reality, but when the person gets into a manic episode and it gets very intense, then for sure judgment is deeply undermined, and that's why when we talk about treatment for such disorder we work on developing ways to identify triggers and initial signs of potential episodes, for the person to prevent them from happening through adequate medication and psychotherapy, plays family support.

A person with bipolar disorder can identify when he-she is getting manic or depressed, and that's why episodes could be prevented or controlled with the right treatment and support, and that's why the person is responsible for hi-her actions and their consequences.

People suffering of bipolar disorder could have manic episodes lasting from a few minutes to several days, depending on the type and severity of the disorder and the other mental health disorders - including personality disorders- the person may present.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for that info. What I dont understand is that you speak about when a person gets manic, their judgement is undermined. BUt ever since the incident in question, his behavior has been more on the depressed side, not manic. (Total withdrawal from me, staying at home a lot, not wanting to talk at all).Are you saying that the irrational/poor judgement only happens during a manic phase?


 


Also, I went to his place last night and tried to talk with him, and he is STILL angry with me and wants to break up over this??? How long do these episodes last, if this is in fact what this is?

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 11 months ago.
Irrational, abusive, neglectful or dysfunctional behavior could happen when a person feels depressed or manic,a nd a person doe not need to have bipolar disorder to act in dysfunctional and irrational ways. It is enough to have serious self-esteem and confidence issues, and a lot of anxiety to become very angry and even violent. You have reported he has become this agitated 5 times, what could be considered as similar to manic episodes, but currently being withdrawal and refusing to interact with you, having depressive mood, which could also lead to dysfunctional and irrational behavior. I'd say that most times personality disorders or traits of personality problems deepen the person's mental health and behavioral problems and relationships. For how long would them last? Again, there is no way to know, guessing doe not help since as explained before, each person is unique and if he happens to have bipolar disorder, anger control issues, personality disorders or any other condition, he could present these behaviors from minutes to months. Only through a complete psychological assessment and regular monitoring you could find out which are his concrete mental disorders and the how they affect him.
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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