If you are a supporter of someone who has bipolar disorder, then staying on course might be compared to riding in an airplane that is set on auto-pilot.

In other words, the beginning may have been filled with more crises; however, as time has gone by and the disorder more manageable, it has taken less energy to cope with your loved one's bipolar disorder – you do many more things now more automatically than you did in the beginning.

For example, if your loved one is taking their medication, going to see their psychiatrist and therapist, and following their treatment plan, then both of you should be staying on course – i.e., enjoying a fairly steady (perhaps long) period of stability in the disorder, in your relationship, in your home, and in your lives in general.

Staying on course means:

  • you are not looking around the corner all the time
  • you are not expecting 'the other shoe to fall' at any given moment
  • you are not watching your loved one as closely for signs of an oncoming bipolar episode
  • you are not walking around on eggshells
  • you are not wondering whether your loved one's behavior is them or the disorder
  • you are not worrying that your loved one is going to bankrupt you during a manic episode
  • you ARE trusting your loved one, things are easier between you, and both of you are enjoying are more 'normal' relationship.

You should be enjoying your relationship -- the fact that your loved one has bipolar disorder should not change that.

If your loved one is stable in their bipolar disorder and following their treatment plan, it’s OK to be on auto-pilot. It's OK not to expect the worst every time you turn around. Believe me, if the worst shows up, you’ll know it!

In the meantime, though, don’t worry about it! Just stay on course!