Hi David, it sounds like you've got quite a lot on your plate.
From the little I know, I have to say, the things you seem most concerned about (manipulation, etc) are often stereotypes of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), not Bipolar. You mentioned the things you read in this book; I'm curious, what exactly was the nature of this book?
I say that to say this; there are stereotypes that every disorder gets stuck with. Some of them are true. Some of them are not. Some of them can act as a good tool for detecting an illness (ie, diagnosis), some can ruin a person's reputation in the eyes of others.
First and foremost, you have to remember this: every person with a mental illness is still a unique individual, the same as anyone else out there. Mental illness can act easily as a solid reason for why a person acts the way he she does; it can just as easily act as a poor excuse for a person's actions. A lot of times, it's hard to tell the difference. There is a fine line between many things; denial and manipulation are two of those things.
Here's what I would recommend.....and keep in mind, this will not give you an immediate answer or relief, rather a push in the right direction to figure all this out.
Talk with her. Be open and honest about your concerns. Ask questions. Be understanding and receptive. Explain to her that to get better, she also has to be open and honest about everything. Research. I can't say enough how important it is for the both of you to be knowledgeable on the subject. If she's Ok with it, go to dr appts with her as well so you can gain a better understanding of it all. And again; remember that you cannot put anyone (mentally ill or not) into a box of stereotypes and expect everything to fit.
Dx: Schizoaffective - Bipolar Type, Rapid Cycling
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