Does your loved one seem to be drifting away from you?  Do they seem distant?  Do they act like they don't want to be with you (or anyone else)?  Are they not communicating with you?  Is it hard to get their attention?  If these things are happening in your relationship, it may not be your loved one's fault (or, for that matter, your fault either).

 

Inattention, distraction, isolation, being "closed inside themselves"… these can all be symptoms of a bipolar depressed – or even mixed – episode.  A mixed episode is when the symptoms of both a depressed and a manic episode are present at the same time. 

 

This type of behavior can be indicative of a bipolar depressive episode, in that isolation has become that "drifting away" feeling you may sense from your loved one.

 

At worse, this behavior could indicate that your loved one is in danger from themselves – they may even be suicidal, or want to harm themselves in some other way, and not want you to know about it (thus, the distance).

 

If they are spending much more time than usual by themselves, they may be self-injuring and not want you to know it.  If this is the case, you can look for outward signs such as their wearing of long-sleeved shirts, or hiding their arms from you. 

 

Another indication is if they seem to be having more "accidents" without injury than usual, as these may indicate failed suicide attempts.

 

If they journal, they may hide their journal from you as well. 

 

Your loved one, when they do speak, may have sentences come out disjointedly, or even irrationally, as if their thoughts are coming faster than their ability to communicate them to you.  You may not even be able to understand what they are trying to say.

 

Inattention to you and the happenings around them could be a sign that they are hallucinating, as they may be drawn into themselves for that reason – paying more attention to their "inner" world than their "outer" world.  This too, is a symptom of a bipolar episode.

 

If you see these things happening, try to communicate with your loved one before their behavior gets too bad.  Look for the signs written about in this article, and try to catch the episode before it "takes hold," in order to minimize the damage that a bipolar episode can cause.

 

Continue to show your loved one unconditional love and support during times like these, while trying to make them aware of their behavior and the possible danger in which they may be.

 

If this behavior continues after you have talked to them, they may need to see a professional for control of the episode, as they might need more help than you can give them.