This web site and the BPSO Mailing list will be closing in December 2022
The material presented on this site is intended to provide information and support to the spouses, families, friends and other loved ones of those who suffer from bipolar disorder (manic-depression). These resources have helped many of us inform ourselves, cope with behaviors that sometimes arise from the illness, better understand our own reactions, and determine how we may best support our loved ones in their efforts to understand and live with this often terrible disease.
For the family members and loved ones of adults who have bipolar disorder, the issue often comes down to finding ways to maintain a loving relationship through the long process of finding effective treatment and achieving greater stability. While the behaviors that lead to the bipolar diagnosis vary widely in severity depending on the person, they are sometimes very disturbing, frightening, threatening, or annoying. Sometimes sustaining the relationship is complicated by financial insecurity, infidelity, alcoholism, addiction, abusiveness, criminal activity, and other factors that may be associated with the illness. Understanding and untangling this complex array of issues and the emotions that surround them, in the context of a loving relationship, is difficult and usually takes much time and effort. Both parties must acquire insight, develop coping strategies, and make difficult changes. Sometimes the stresses are too great and separation or divorce must be considered. The shared personal experience of the BPSO list membership can help identify what is important in each situation and aid in making critical decisions.
The BPSO (Bipolar Significant Other) mailing list was formed in 1995. It is an informal organization whose members exchange support and information about bipolar disorder by e-mail and discuss issues related to the impact of the illness on families and intimate relationships. Significant Other includes a spouse (wife or husband), boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, parent, child, sibling, or other near loved one of someone who has bipolar disorder. In order to protect uninhibited discussion, members joining BPSO must not be diagnosed bipolar themselves.
We are not medical or psychiatric professionals. While all information is provided in good faith, it does not replace proper diagnosis and treatment. Consultation with a licensed professional is advised. BPSO assumes no liability and makes no warranties.