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Should I keep up my long-distance relationship with a suicidal bipolar person (whom I no longer love)?

M

mhfuser

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Nov 26, 2016
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3
Should I keep up my long-distance relationship with a suicidal bipolar person (whom I no longer love)?

Hello,

I’m turning to you for advice on a very serious mental health and relationship question. I'll summarize below as I'm sure not everyone has time to read the whole text. Feel free to reply anyway.



Summary

We’re 10h apart; she has bipolar and anxiety; wants to kill herself in one year; still goes to uni but gets very depressed at night. She lacks strong social support other than living with her mum. I want to help but don't have deep romantic feelings for her and that eats her so much that we consider breaking up. I can fake these feelings to some extent but that'll be hard in the long term.



Details

Her mental condition

My girlfriend has been diagnosed with mixed-state bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Another psychiatrist has diagnosed her with major depression and anxiety, the symptoms seem to be somewhere in between. She's started antidepressants and benzos. She has had suicidal thoughts for months and one psychiatrists knows about this. She says that she strongly considers suicide in about one year if she doesn’t majorly improve. I think she is honest with me when she says she will wait at least that long.

She is much more depressed and anxious in the evenings and nights and still goes to college or visits doctors in the day.

The relationship

We live a 10-hour transatlantic flight apart and there’s only a small chance I will be able to move to her 10 months from now. We have been together for only 2 months before we had to part. I think the relationship hasn’t been satisfying for either of us, especially since I had to leave. Probably it was a mistake to start long-distance. At the time I thought everything will be alright once she gets better, but she got worse instead. She very regularly complains about the fact that she doesn’t feel loved. She has a very high need for connection to feel secure, especially due to her condition.

I don’t feel loved either, but I’m trying to do my best to show her affection. This is often difficult for me since she rejects much of my affection and that makes it hard in turn to develop and maintain it in the first place. Because of her anxiety she constantly asks for affirmation that I have deep romantic feelings for her. I wish I could develop really deep feelings for her. It’s sad, but sometimes I feel pressured so I exaggerate the amount of romantic feelings I have for her at this time. All I can do for now is deeply care for her as sick and vulnerable person.

She senses this and her paranoia doesn’t make it better. Every day she's unhappy about our relationship. I don’t know if she would just be unhappy about something else if it weren’t for the relationship.

How I might help her

Basically, the only reason to keep up the relationship is to help her. I think it’s very important that she gets all the help she can get, especially because of her suicidal thoughts.

Apart from feeling unloved she also feels lonely. I’m not sure if my presence is helping much with that because she has incredibly high standards for connection in order not to feel lonely - a level of connection that many people never reach. However, some talking may still be better than no talking.

Her local support network is also weak. She occasionally meets a friend and doesn’t call anyone an actual friend because of her high standards for connection. She lives with her mum, who she doesn’t particularly like, but a least her mum can help her with some things, e.g. finding doctors.

As mentioned, she asked if we should maybe take a break or break up. It may be the best for her but may also make her even more lonely. Maybe she will find other connections then.

The most dangerous thing is that she might put her suicidal thoughts into action in a year or perhaps even sooner. On the other hand it seems harmful to keep up the relationship that long.

Sorry for the long text, I’m really desperate to find a solution.
 
Nikita

Nikita

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My honest opinion is that even though she is ill and threatening suicide you should not continue with the relationship,apart from the fact that you are physically so far apart,you admit you struggle to have romantic feelings for her.You do care about her safety but is that out of love or pity and if out of love is it enough and deep enough to stick by her?I don't think so,it is not good to stay in this relationship and support this woman if your feelings for her just aren't strong enough,it is not fair on you because it will be difficult and hard work to maintain this relationship and her illness will be what she struggles with.This makes it likely she will cling to you for support but you will be doing all the giving,is what you get in return going to sustain you,I think not and it is likely she will turn into a burden.The longer you keep this going the harder it will be to get out of it and admit the truth.I believe the solution to this is to end the relationship.
 
I

Izera

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Oct 25, 2016
Messages
403
I agree with Nikita. Whatever is going on in her head, it seems that you need to think about you. You need to do what is best for you. While it's possible that she is totally reactive to her illness, it sounds like there may be some manipulation at work too, and you shouldn't be manipulated by her putting you in charge of managing her feelings. That's her job, and it's not fair that she is demanding that you be responsible for her moods by maintaining a romance that you don't really want.
 
M

mhfuser

New member
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
3
Thank you for the advice.

I want to make clear that my girlfriend is not threatening anything or manipulating anyone. She's also not relying on me to solve any of her problems. She has the best intentions and is simply in such a bad state that she considers suicide. I'm considering if I should stick around to make sure she'll be ok.
 
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