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Bi Polar Disorder – Triggers and Addiction

In the last blog for this week I will be addressing the issues of triggers and addiction.


As I will discuss in the section focused on the person who has BPD, triggers play an important role in both depressive and manic episodes, so to help your partner it is important that you be aware of those triggers.  To heighten your awareness of these triggers I will encourage you and your partner each to keep a journal that tracks the BPD episodes.  The purpose of this journal is to specifically pinpoint exactly what is happening with your partner when they are in a difficult place as a result their BPD.  A word of caution this information is to be used carefully and in the beginning should be shared during a therapy session and then as time goes by, with the guidance of a trained therapist can be used in additional ways.   Triggers can occur at home, work or school.  Some examples of triggers can be: arguments, traveling (especially across time zones), tests, dealing with financial issues, any change that your partner is going through, deaths, friends moving away or change of job.  In addition time of day, level of tiredness, hunger, low blood sugar, and seasons also can serve as triggering situations.  The idea here is to be mindful of what is going on around you and to be careful in tracking the triggering variables.

 Addictions and BPD

One of the most difficult things about BPD is that individuals with the disorder are vulnerable to addictions such as: excessive spending, drug and alcohol abuse and gambling.

As a partner of someone who has  BPD you have to learn how to protect yourself and your children from the dangers of these excessive behaviors.

How to deal with a partner’s addiction(s) and or excessive spending patterns is an on-going discussion.  Engaging in addictive behavior is a strategy that people with BPD often use.  When someone is in their manic phase they may well go on shopping or gambling sprees, when they are depressed they may use certain drugs or drink excessively.  These addictive behaviors are either attempts on the person with BPD, to cope with their mood swings or acting out what they are experiencing.

At some point I will write additional material about this area. Feel free to contact me if you would like me to send that material as I develop it.

In future blogs will be directed to: the person with BPD and how does a couple work as team to effectively manage BPD.

If you have questions about this material feel free to contact me and will be glad to talk with you about how to get help for the issues that you are encountering in dealing with the Bi Polar Disorder.

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