Home Bipolar Girlfriend with Bipolar and Schizophrenia: When Do I Walk Away?

Girlfriend with Bipolar and Schizophrenia: When Do I Walk Away?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Ten months ago I met my girlfriend(now-ex), it wasn’t love at first sight or anything like that, but I did fall in love with her 2-3 months later. In her defense, she did tell me that she was bipolar, however it was not a mild case as she told me. She was the sweetest person, made me feel like I was the king of the world for the first 3 months.

She also suffers from Schizophrenia which in her case includes Psychosis and Delusional behavior. After 3 months came the false accusations of cheating on her and me wanting other women at work, in the mall, restaurants etc., which none of it was true. She said people were accusing her of being a pedofile and she had dreams about this as well. She told me for 8 months that she was molested by her father as a child, then 2 months ago she said that it never happened, so did it, I am confused? She would see people on the street and have a quick illusion/delusion of performing a sex act on them. I could not order her a cup of coffee without having to take it back, because she could see dust in the coffee, I saw nothing and this became quite embarrassing however I would get her a new coffee. She had to inspect every pack of cigarettes to see where they were packaged because they were being poisoned. I would buy her a pack and then she would smoke 1 and say that they are making her fat and the chemicals were giving her a headache ,throw them away I gave in and bought another pack, same thing would happen. However, she would bum cigarettes from people and never had any issues with those? She also drinks alcohol and says that her psychiatrist said that she could have 2 drinks. I didn’t believe her and asked to call her psychiatrist to verify and she said that was under the privacy act, so I got my answer in a round about way.

She continually stops taking her medications because they make her fat and give her headaches. I told her that I did not care if she gained 50lbs at least she would be better off mentally. She has this delusion that she is going to get her body back that she had at 18, she is 35.

I told her that the deal breaker is our relationship would be using illegal drugs. I caught her twice with crack cocaine, she said that those were the only times, I don’t believe her. She has accused me of giving her crack and putting powdered cocaine up her nose while she slept. I think she has her parents believing this crap. I’ve told her that I would take any type of drug test to prove her wrong, her response was, “people know how to beat the test”. I broke up with her twice on those occasions only to take her back. To say that it has been rocky the last 2 months of the relationship would be an understatement. I could not take the false accusations and the delusional behavior and probably should not have, but I hung up on her on our last conversation 2 weeks ago, I do regret this, but I had gotten so frustrated with her.

She only had me and 1 other physical friend(old friend of the family), she has cut us both off cold. Now, she will be quick to say that she has 355 friends on facebook which has become an obsession with her, she only got on facebook 3 months ago and I tried tell her that these are not your true friends. I have tried to call her, text her, emailed her, sent her flowers and absolutely no response, it is like she dropped of the planet.

I would not be writing this if I did not care for her. I am most concerned for her well-being and if not in a relationship, I would like to be a friend to her as crazy as that sounds. She has also told the other friend not to ever contact her again and accused him of stalking her, which is not true, he sent her 2 emails and left a voice mail for her. Her mother has guardianship (which I found out late in the relationship) and the family will not even respond to me, I was the greatest person in the world 5 months ago, the entire family loved me. I got her to come out into society again, actually helped her get a job (lasted 2months). She lives at home and it is like they have put her in her room and just left here there.

I know what I should do is RUN, Run as fast as I can away from this, but I do not understand why no contact. She made me feel like I am the one who is insane and it has almost worked. I feel a lot of guilt. I feel slighted by the family, they should have explained to me along with her in the beginning about her condition and how to look for signs, how to respond and I was told nothing. People dating a Bipolar need to know that his cannot be a learn as you go relationship, it is TOO hard. I still feel that I can help her, but deep down I think that I am setting myself up for more pain.
What am I asking, I don’t know. I believe that she is in the middle of a manic episode, when she comes back to reality, if she contacts me which I think that she will…one day, I think that I would talk to her, but I know that I should not. I have learned so much about Bipolar/Schizophrenia/Delusions that I wish I had known in the beginning. I have guilt that I did not help her enough and want to fix her, but if she would only work with me, I could have helped her. I know, she has to be the one that wants help, she is the one diagnosed with her conditions, but I just feel helpless.

In every relationship both parties have to agree that the relationship will continue. If one person votes no, then the relationship is over. Your ex, by not responding to your attempts at contacting her, is essentially voting no. This is important to understand. You cannot force someone to be in a relationship with you.

It is important to explore your motivation for wanting to continue this relationship. It seems as though you are interested in wanting to “fix” her. No one can be fixed. An individual has to want help and is responsible for making the changes that are necessary. In addition, you can’t be both her boyfriend and her therapist. Many people have tried this approach in relationships and it always ends in failure. Only a trained mental health professional is in the position to treat your girlfriend. Also, as a partner it is not your job to “fix” your significant other. Love cannot cure mental illness.

Another consideration is that your ex is currently symptomatic and may not be capable of a healthy relationship. You seem at some level to understand this fact but are unwilling to accept it. You’re still attempting to pursue a relationship with someone that you admittedly know is currently incapable of being in a healthy relationship. The question becomes why.

My general advice is that this does not seem as though it is a healthy relationship to pursue. Perhaps it could be in the future, when and if she receives intensive treatment and becomes stable. Counseling can help you to understand your emotions and responsibilities. Please click the find help tab at the top this page to help you locate a therapist in your community. I wish you the best.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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