Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem

January 28, 2019 Hannah Blum

Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem

Bipolar disorder and ghosting is a big problem. I didn’t realize the extent of this problem until I saw the number of comments on my recent YouTube video, "Ghosting and Bipolar Disorder: Why We Do It".

What is Ghosting? The Role It Plays in Bipolar

Ghosting is a contemporary term used for when a person completely cuts off all communication with a friend or romantic partner by not responding to texts, ignoring calls and acting as if the person no longer exists. It is done without a reason or an explanation from the person doing it. One day they are a part of your life, and the next day they disappear from it without warning. It negatively impacts friendships and romantic relationships. Ghosting is done by many of us living with bipolar disorder, especially during bipolar depressive episodes.

"I’m guilty of this when I’m hypomanic and in a negative mood and I’m super sensitive and I get easily hurt or angry at people and instead of confronting them, I just ghost them when they try to contact me." ~Xoxofmw, YouTube commenter

Why Do People with Bipolar Disorder Engage in Ghosting?

Those of us living with bipolar disorder definitely have a problem with ghosting people. It doesn't matter whether it's someone we're dating or friends with. Unfortunately, sometimes we're even ghosting our family members.

I have bipolar II and yes, I've ghosted people. Why? It feels more comfortable for me to cut off all communication with another person when I am struggling with highs and lows. Secondly, when I am dating someone, the fear of being rejected due to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder is always present. That makes me push another person away when they get too close. Thirdly, the stigma of mental illness causes severe anxiety in those of us living with bipolar disorder. Although a person we are romantically involved with may not be showing signs of rejecting us due to bipolar, we feel as though it is inevitable that at some point it will happen.

"I just do this on a low episode. I see it as protecting friends from me dragging them down to my level. Plus, in all honesty, I can’t deal with feeling suffocated whilst in the low and just want to be left on my own. It’s easier that way. ~ Claire, YouTube commenter

Self-stigmatizing is another significant reason for ghosting as well. Those of us with bipolar disorder subconsciously believe that we are unlovable and undeserving of friendships and relationships, which causes us to act on ghosting. The stress and pressure to explain the reasons for pushing away creates anxiety; which is where ghosting comes into play.

"I do this a lot. I stop answering phone calls and texts, and avoiding any form of communication with friends and family. In my mind, I don't stop loving them or care for them. I just feel overwhelmed and I feel the need to create a distance between me and them so I can calm down. Now, unfortunately, this can take from a couple days to a couple weeks." ~ Katia, YouTube commenter

The Affect Ghosting Has on Others

Over the years, I have realized that regardless of what is going on in my life, ghosting is hurtful to another person. I have been on both sides of ghosting, and it is very harmful and causes extreme insecurities.

"I just lost a friend who deals with bipolar. She just cut me off. I tried and tried. Dealt with the ups and downs and dealing with my own depression and insecurity, it was very difficult. ~ Embree, YouTube commenter

Bipolar disorder is not an excuse for hurting another person. Although we deal with anxiety and depression and it leads to many of us isolating ourselves, we are still responsible for the way our behavior negatively affects friends, family, and romantic partners. There are people who care about us, and they deserve a proper response even though it is difficult for those of us living with bipolar disorder to do so at times. This is something I am working on as well because I severely struggle with opening up which leads me to ghosting other individuals.

My ex, who's getting well with depression and very positive about her progress, left me since I have bipolar 2 and I isolate myself every once in a while. She doesn't like it since it triggers her. So she broke up with me and told me I can't give her what she needs. ~ Chaz, YouTube commenter

Self-awareness is essential when it comes to behaviors like ghosting. Many people with bipolar disorder do not even realize that this is a problem. Building strong relationships without openness and communication is impossible. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to self-awareness and learning how to properly communicate with others to prevent anyone getting hurt or feeling ignored by someone they care about.

"When I feel like isolating, I "check on" the people around me, my friends in recovery. This way I am not alone, but I am not talking about ME, I am checking on THEM. Seems to help! ~ BipolarLightningBug, YouTube commenter

What about you? How has being ghosted by someone with bipolar disorder affected you? And if living with bipolar disorder and ghosting others has been part of your life, why do you do it? Also, helpful suggestions on how to end this type of behavior are welcomed.

APA Reference
Blum, H. (2019, January 28). Bipolar Disorder and Ghosting: It's a Big Problem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/living-with-bipolar-blog/2019/1/bipolar-disorder-and-ghosting-its-a-big-problem



Author: Hannah Blum

Hannah Blum is the HealthyPlace YouTube bipolar disorder vlogger. Check out her I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2 playlist and subscribe to the HealthyPlace YouTube channel. You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Sarah
January, 10 2021 at 6:45 pm

My ex does this exact thing.... I don’t get it either. Everything was fine between us... but he has a habit of ghosting me for no reason.

Jilly G
March, 3 2021 at 4:25 pm

I too just got ghosted for no reason. Everything was fine and then BAM! He suddenly tells me that he needed his space and gave me 2 weeks to move out of his house. It has been a little over a month and there has been no texts or calls from him. I was this guy for 4 years! Now he just acts like I no longer exist! I know he's a manic depressive but I feel like his problems are now giving me problems. I'm depressed and feel stuck and unable to move on.

Miranda
September, 10 2020 at 5:32 pm

It's not just hard to say "this is what's going on" - as a couple people above have explained. It's needed to settle down or because you don't want them to see you like that. Ghosting tells somebody the opposite. It says, you mean nothing to me and never did, not even as a human being let alone somebody I at least said I loved.
Maybe the disease is responsible for wanting to ghost.
But your lips still work or fingers to write a note
Unbelievably cruel to another person

Rick
September, 22 2020 at 7:58 pm

Would agree with this statement 100%. Currently my wife of bipolar II is ghosting me. She sent a text I’m leaving you don’t text me. Then blocked me and hasn’t said a word or message since. All for reasons that a normal relationship would easily be able to resolve with a little open communication. It’s hurtful and I honestly don’t understand how she said she ever loved me to treat me like disposable trash.

Lynda
September, 30 2021 at 1:11 am

Yeah I had that from my ex. He probably has bipolar and would ghost me all the time. Claimed my writing to him overwhelmed him and caused anxiety and ended it forever by email like a coward. But he has family problems and other issues. Never there for me, also disappearing but you know what can you do? Move on. He is ill. He needs a doctor but I can’t force him to see one.

Sara whatley
March, 27 2021 at 1:04 pm

Hi yes very cruel I've just gone throu the ghosting today had a nice evening planned and bam I'm blocked on everything no explanation at all like I just don't exist anymore he has just vanished... Everything was good yesterday no signs of this at all.. I'm a mess today can't get hold of him he has vanished I know he has bipolar so I'm assuming it's because of that unless I've just been dumped for someone better this has affected me big time not sure how you deal with this very sad 😔😔

Lynda
September, 30 2021 at 2:01 am

I went through that. A week after he said he was seeing a doctor he blocked me for two months. Now he has blocked me but he messaged me to say it’s over…at least it was something. It was hell though. I empathises

Dee
July, 5 2021 at 1:20 am

100% - my partner ghosted me after telling me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me the day before. Blocked everywhere. Now I found out that he is seeing a girl he met in the two weeks he was in hospital (he was missing on the streets for a month before when he got sick) - I am devastated to say the least. Clearly this is something a healthy person doesn’t do. He was terrified of being hurt and left when we got closer: it came out of nowhere. I reassured him and it made no difference to his distress: two points to make, he hid a drug addiction and his bi polar diagnosis from me. So as you can imagine it hit like a bomb when it happened. His family informed me after it all went belly up. I’m at a complete loss and I’m trying to just process this one day at a time. We were together for a year and a half and were inseparable 😢

Allan
September, 3 2021 at 1:16 am

Miranda being BP 2 when your on a low you do want to ghost most people because you get so low you just don’t want to interact with anyone, even if you love them and are good friends.
Part of the reason you just don’t want people to see you when your down that dark hole as you know your no fun.
Always have kept in touch with my brother during these times, I found having a pet dog was always a help because they put few demands on you.
Have been on my current low for 2-3 months.just don’t know when it will end just know it will.
So have to just ride it out and not put too much in the way of expectations on myself.

Lisa
October, 3 2021 at 9:47 pm

Hi Allen,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I have been seeing someone for four months, talking/texting daily. He has been amazing, sweet and kind. Told me after two months that he is BP. I told him that I am ok with it. My mother was BP, but more depressed than manic, always. We briefly discussed it. He takes meds and said he doesn’t deviate from them. He once was depressed for a weak and was not that talkative, but still kept in touch and told me he was down.
Just a week ago, told me how much he likes me and now zero. I am so hurt, it is hard for me to understand. However, I am hoping he comes back around. When this happens, do BP people come back around or do they just vanish? Should I keep a glimmer of hope, is what I am asking?

Janine
August, 22 2020 at 7:18 am

My best friend who is BP2 just ghosted me. We got into it a little over text, nothing big or crazy just a misunderstanding... literally went back and forth maybe 4 times total about something she was trying to tell me and I was misunderstanding. By the end of that (can’t even call it a fight or disagreement) I told her thanks for clarifying and moved on to the next subject... then she blocked me off her phone, then I noticed she blocked me on fb! For what exactly I don’t know 🤷🏻‍♀️ we’ve literally had actual fights in the past and just give each other time, but this time she just blocked me from her life. Truth be told I’m super hurt 😔 I struggle with my own issues (anxiety and PMMD) that take their toll on me and I really don’t need this either. I’ve been there for my friend always and I want to be here now but honestly for my own peace of mind and mental health I may need to just let her go.

Jean
August, 11 2020 at 7:43 am

I was engaged to a man with bipolar for 16 months, he just broke it off in 24 hour turn around, one minute I love you more than anyone the next goodbye. I am divorced and wanted to wait on marriage because of his bipolar and some odd behaviors I was seeing, but committed to the relationship. I had been married to a man with major undiagnosed mental illness so jumping into marriage quickly was not good for me. My previous husband had another family behind my back so major betrayal and he did this as a pastor.....yes for real. So I wanted time with this person to see how his bipolar played out, reasonable request. Well as time passed I began to see some behaviors that were strange, child like behavior, like making boy noises and turning objects at the dinner table into animals, giddy behavior, constant immature joking, and other more risky talk constantly. Then rude comments about how I look but when confronted could not understand how that would hurt me, then continued to beg me to marry him and tell me how much he loved me. Then I caught him flirting with women on FB, caught him in several lies. Did not get me a birthday gift for a pivotal birthday, more odd statements that reflected promiscuous behaviors but when confrontation he goes silent. Obviously this was going south, how he talked to his parents was horrific, never would take responsibility for his own actions, oh he did in the beginning, told me about his bipolar in a deceptive way and then lied about it. Yelled at me in public, having to explain simple things to him and he literally was having trouble with easy tasks, cognitive issues, having to rephrase a sentence so he could understand, major issues, and I did my best to support and prayed as we believed God had brought us together initially and many of these behaviors ramped up recently. Well Obviously I had major reservations, and knew I could not take all of this on, it was not safe. This is not a stable person, so I knew I had to end it, however he did before me. Some of this behavior is bipolar immaturity, impulsively, pressured speech and cognitive impairment from bipolar aging, but some was just plain selfishness, pride and arrogance all wrapped up in a nice package, nice expensive clothing, nice house, nice dinners, you get the picture. People need accountability, we can't act anyway we want and trample others, Obviously he did not act like this in the beginning or I would have walked so if behavior at times can be controlled in the beginning what happened. Glad its over, don't like the sudden turn around but thankful he revealed his true self.

KateTheGreat
December, 19 2022 at 11:10 pm

Meanwhile I am labeled the bipolar abuser while being abused to the point of breakdown by a mentally Ill manipulative coward. I’ve cried so much the past couple years I can’t turn it off or function anyone, I trusted her and ignored all the red flags because I thought she was the most genuine well meaning person I’d ever met, it’s just an act.. our whole life together was some sick act like practice for her and then she labeled me her abuser and never looked at me again not even in court over saving pics to a shared album, it’s just games for them.. your life everything they say and do they’re not real people with feelings in the inside, just project their pain and ruin anyone dumb enough to love them and believe their lies

CruelIntent
January, 4 2023 at 12:35 pm

So sorry this happened to you. It’s strange my ex had ghosted her mother, sister, friends in the past. Labeled her own mother her stalker, sister and father her narcissistic abusers. Everyone in her life even best friends it was like this with, I should have paid attention to all the red flags but I never imagined the depths of her cruelty. It’s crippled me emotionally and left me in ruin, and she still claims to be the victim! Of abuse she made up to justify her leaving and setting me up for her horrible victim attention seeking stories. I’ve never felt so used and ashamed of myself for loving, that’s been the hardest. I can barely hear my own voice when I speak, I feel like a ghost of myself who can’t function or think straight or get through a few hours without tearing up. I still miss the lie, but more than anything now I miss myself and the piece of mind and strength I had before I was used likes test dummy then scape goat for her pain, a stepping stone she gladly drowned and wiped her feet on for good measure.. blah I’d give anything to feel normal again, happy seems so far away if settle for just content.

Leelo BaitNStitch
January, 14 2023 at 11:29 am

They can lie to you everyday, set you up manipulate you use all their promises and your worst fears against you, leave you hanging in desperation while they continue to lie and use your pain to justify it all. They’ll never admit any of what they did was wrong or abusive.. I slept with the promised she wrote on my dresser everyday. This person claimed to be all about mental health, healing, but she only uses it as a weapon to hurt people in the ways she felt hurt for some sick sense of power. No one has ever been as cold and cruel to me, it’s left me so broken I can barely take care of myself, I used to be so independent. I hate this, I wish I could go back and warn myself not to ignore all the red flags, if you would have told me a week before she left and the nightmare started I never would have imagined. She abused the law, women’s groups, she abused the law and strung me along while pretending to be in hiding I never even raised my voice to her. I’ve never felt so deeply used, I’ll never understand how people like this can exist and live with themselves. You built our whole relationship on lies and promises you kept making even after you left? Why would you do that, how could you be that way after years of reinforcing how you never would or could. It’s such a slap in the face when everything way about us working together and adapting to your issues. But mine become your ammo when you want to leave after living together for years and the piles of notes and cards and decorations we had every where saying we’d work through anything we were the only home and family we needed and blah blah,. I believed you.. you sick coward, you ruined my mental health, you turned me into you when we met and it’s so wrong and fed up I can barely think straight still! After all this time it still
Hurts to the point of panic attacks if I think about it too long. Do
You have any idea what that did to me!? Day after day waiting for any Hope like your letters said, like the person I loved and knew was real.. it broke me, I got stuck.. I still feel stuck in the floor I never got over the shock of coming home to a note and the torture you inflicted while u labeled me your abuser and cost me everything I’ve worked for for my self for my future. Why? Why is my life and struggle and pain mean nothing?? Because I had a record you think that gives you the right to use me to my core for your growth?? Because you had an easy out at Any time.. I think about all the stupid things I believed about you!! Your know exactly what you did, you can lie to everyone and yourself forever, you used me as your practice and ghosting me, word for word how you said you’d never abandon or make me face anything alone.. I thought we were fated, like all your gifts and lies 😓 I want want anything anymore but for the pain you left to go away and to feel normal again. I can barely leave the house anymore you broke my mind my heart my soul, stole my peace of mind and faith in people.. for what .. your adventures, your attention, I cheered you in for your growth!! And even that was all fake!! You were never honest and it’s disgusting to look back at your pics and lovey dovey crap our silly kids I’m sure you got a good laugh! How brave and genuine you are you use people as your emotional punching bags and make monsters out of the people you hurt the most because that’s all you can do, manipulate and use people, cheat and lie and say anything for attention.. I loved the sweet caring genuine person I knew, I needed an ounce of that to be real, I never imagined how low or how much damage you would do.. even when you were having me fill out worksheets breadcrumbing me while u planned your flings I never believed you weren’t coming home.. Home you stitched that while u plotted your sick mental torture. I wish I did know how to deal with it, I don’t want to be doing this anymore,, I can vent forever and never feel any better, I don’t really want you to hurt either. You’ll never be admit how twisted it all was or care , you got what you needed out of me. You must have been the only gal there who was getting tucked in with stuffed animals and writing love letters before she fled.. pathetic, real women need those programs not over privileged rich girls who pretend, you shame real women and abuse victims everywhere. You make a mockery of mental health, you cherry pick your therapists and lie to them until you find ones that give you the diagnosis you want. You’re afraid of becoming your childhood abusers if any of that was real, you’re always worse and more mentally ill at a younger age, Stacy is a wack job who sends you to crystal camp and either knows you’re a fraud and doesn’t care or is that twisted herself. I’ve said this all so many times in ever way. I don’t want to to keep doing this, I was done.. i didn’t answer your last degrading bait e-mail daring me to give you your big victim card… and you still had to try.. you’re just an evil human leach… I wish I could remember the you I loved but you forced me to love and live a lie. I stopped living, i don’t know how I used to live with depression or got as far as I did when it’s so crippling now it feels like it’s anything before was just a little case of the blues. I cried for the first year every single day not just here and there.. in fits that could be hours.. my face still aches. I never had anxiety or panic attacks ,Ike I said your betrayals in all the ways step by step how you knew would hurt me the most worked,, you broke me. You’re not a victim, you’re the reason rea victims can’t find the help they need or deserve because all you care about is getting away with it, having your little group of enablers you lied to reinforce that you’re right and so brave for your traumatic emotional abuse.. you’re everything you told me your family did to you, so much of that was probably just you.. you had plenty of time to scope me out neighbor.. I will try harder to be done but honestly it’s not about hurting you, it never really has been, I don’t know how to heal and I love in shock because you gave me ptsd.. seizure like panic attack, can’t get out of the car for hours until I have to call for help anxiety. I’m so ashamed of how I am now but I don’t feel anything good anymore. I need to be better for me though. You don’t even have real emotions or love or cares you’re just a big lie, your whole personality is as fake and contrived as your mother, you’ll be worse at her age.. I don’t even want that, I don’t think adding more hate or hurt into the world is helping.. but you’ll always be a hateful fraud and hurt the people who get too close and see the real the you. You’ll say anything do anything to have people believe you’re everything they ever wanted from a partner just to use it all, always thinking about your exit and how everyone’s out to get you, without.any intention of sticking to a single world. Why.. how do u live so falsely, why would you want to?? I’m Not sorry to you for carrying on, there is no real you. I’m sorry for your mental illness and that you chose me as your target, I didn’t deserve to be turned into a shaky waif, I used to praise me for all the ways I helped you grow and you set me back, not even back worse than I ever though possible.. and you planned it all!

BuddahChesticles
March, 9 2023 at 3:25 am

It’s mind blowing when you look back on all the lies you believed implicitly over the years. Their whole identity is lies, they need manipulation to play the victim while still having power and control over you the real victim. You’re better off not digging, you’ll make yourself sick trying to figure out what was real and what was part of their twisted games to extort or use you in whatever way they wanted. Just try to understand there’s no figuring it out, some people are just evil and will do whatever it takes to get what they want regardless of the pain and suffering they inflict, they’ll always be the victim in their own minds

Alli
July, 21 2020 at 4:23 pm

The man I love keeps ghosting me. He shows up showers me with attention then disappears for months.
Last time he even asked to marry me. Then disappears. He told me he was in a dark place.
I feel so sad about all that is happening.

David
June, 8 2020 at 10:07 am

My wife of 7 1/2 years was diagnosed BP2 last year after she went into a depression and moved out and had a short affair with an ex. She started meds and after a while we started putting the pieces back together and she moved back home eight months ago. Things had been going seemingly well, with a spell here or there that would last a week or two where she would question whether she should be in a relationship. After a short time, she always would come back. But things had been going well until the coronavirus put her working from home for six weeks. During that time she started drinking more and more, going to bed by 8 p.m. and just not her normal self. Then, as soon as she could start going back to work, she told me she had rented an apartment in another town 30 minutes away and moved out the next day. She said if she can't make a relationship work with me, she'll never be able to make one work. She says she needs her own personal space and needs to rely on herself for all the things she wants and needs. She has barely been in contact since she left three weeks ago, just occasionally texting to say she is sorry or to ask if I'm ok. The last thing she said to me is that maybe we could have some sort of relationship someday. What? I'm giving her the space she wants but I really think her drinking with her meds may have triggered something. She talked to her doctor but lied when he asked if she'd been drinking. So I'm also wondering if this is the end or just another spell I should try and wait out? There is no easy answer I know.

Emelinda
August, 4 2020 at 10:07 am

Unfortunately, I am currently going through the same thing. Married for 2 years and together for 10 years. He left this weekend to visit family and then I was upset when he turned off his phone. Start smoking weed (he never smokes weed) and started drinking all weekend. Long story short he said our relationship is not going to work and he is not coming home. He did not get on the plane. I am hear heartbroken. I did disconnect his phone so I have no contact. He is with someone else because I found her number on the call log. This has happen 5 times and he eventually comes home. But this time I can’t have him back until he gets back on meds. If he does not come home, I hate to think of it...but it would be better for me. I am tired of being hurt. Sorry your going through this. I never realize how much harder it is to have a relationship with a bipolar person.

Naz
April, 18 2020 at 5:46 am

Hi, mine is using olanzapine 20mg daily, guess he is bipolar. We were planning to marry, then he told me that he doesn’t want. 2 months later this issue, he broke up with me and wanted to remain as friends. And exactly like yours, sometimes he was chatty sometimes, sometimes ghosted. Yesterday I told him that I get hurt when he ghosts me and found out that he read that message and blocked my number. I don’t know what to do, I just love him too much. Will he unblock me?

Lily
March, 26 2020 at 11:45 am

Hi all,
I am really stuck and torn on what exactly my situation is. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years and he has bipolar 2. He came out and told me about his bipolar 4 months ago, in which I didn't see anything wrong with it, as I'll always love him regardless. Shortly after, in January, he began considering going on meds and taking lithium.
Once he began lithium, I noticed that he had hypomania quite often. When he does, we tend to argue more.. and I would try to avoid these arguments as much as I can, given that he's not listening or trying to speak loudly and overlapping me.
During this time, we've been in the process of talking about getting engaged and having a future together. His goal was to propose sometime this year. In doing so, he suggests that we should try living together, so he began his process of looking into apartments. We started going to apartment viewing, while also trying on ring styles/sizes, etc.
One month ago, we got into a small argument in which it triggered into him asking for 3 days of space. This 3 days turned into 1 week, then 2 weeks, then 3 weeks and now a month. During this entire month, he ignored both calls and messages of mine when I had asked if he was ready to chat. So 2 days ago, I decided to reach out to him to see if he was ready to talk and he said he was. He told me this wasn't going to work out and that the last 3 weeks, he was able to spend all that he wanted and do things whenever he wanted. This was devastating for me to hear because he had always been able to do and spend however he likes/wants.
I'm just a little confused on whether this is all part of him having bipolar or the effects of the meds, or if it's just simply commitment issues. I'm so tired of excusing his behaviours and being stuck on what's acceptable and what's not. I'm currently in the last semester of my college and battling practicum at this point and this world-wide COVIC-19 pandemic. Having to move on seems almost impossible, given that I can't even do normal things with this social distancing and isolation. I'm just so torn that he's selfish enough to not even recognize the mental stress he's putting me through. When I asked what he was thinking, he would only reply with 'these are my thoughts, you don't get to know them.' How does one go from so loving to a completely cold and mean person? It's like he threw everything that we had planned for away. I just don't know who he is, what this is, am I in denial and excusing all this behaviour for him having bipolar. I just want answers.

Emelinda
August, 4 2020 at 10:14 am

It’s not your fault and it’s not his. It’s definitely the Bipolar. Idk if he is coming back to you, but in my experience..once they realized that they hurt you they would usually will call you and come back. only time will tell.

Michelle Allison
March, 6 2020 at 9:59 am

My bipolar husband went off all his meds and the urging of his family and left me and the kids two and a half years ago after 12 years of marriage and went to live with his mom . He didn’t tell us he was leaving just walked out and said he was never happy and told us to keep or donate all his stuff and he would take two suitcases only and he ghosted us . When we were together he would often go radio silence off and on and dissapear for days or hours or weeks at a time and ghost but would always reappear . This time he hasn’t shown back in our town for 2.5 years. We have had 5 seperate good week long visits but in his new location and he ghosts on and off in between and texts and calls very sparingly and refuses to barely answer any calls and often ghosts and refuses to answer texts off and on ghosting sometimes refuses to see us when we visit or not following thru with visiting us but he has been quite good with at least texting something every two weeks if not every couple of days . He goes thru period where he is really communicative and then really uncommunicative. He is very adment he doesn’t want a divorce and has apologized repeatedly for hurting me like that for ghosting and leaving and promises we will have a traditional marriage again . He is currently jumping locations again across the United States with his mom and wants me to wait an additional 2 years for him to save up money to buy us a house in yet a different location . I really love him and enjoy when he isn’t ghosting and take my marital vows seriously and hate to give up on a sick spouse but how do I tell the difference between ghosting because of illness and ghosting to play games ? I suspect he just doesn’t want me to forget him and move on with my life without him and he might be playing games but when I accuse him or ask him nicely he gets really offended and his feelings are hurt and he accuses me of thinking he’s a asshole and thinking bad about him and not giving him the benefit of the doubt and ghosts again . He says he doesn’t mean to ghost but doesn’t know what to say .. Is this typical of bipolar ghosting or is this simply playing games how do I tell the difference ?

Sabrina
March, 18 2020 at 2:59 pm

Michelle, this is amazing. It is exactly what my husband has been doing all the time. We have been married 12 year and have an 11 years old son. In 2017 he ghosted us for 2 years. He then reappeared, stayed more or less with us for an year and now he ghosted us again. No answers to calls, no texts, he is even asking his parents to ghost us. I thought he might be playing games but as he is in lock down for the pandemic I am not sure what he can do. He is also home with mum and dad at 49. I decided I am not going to ever call him again.

Stacy
December, 26 2020 at 6:02 pm

U can't tell the difference but as long as you been apart that should help you with your answer this is not what a marriage should be like. You should love yourself more and go on with your life because he has he is not present in your marriage. I wish you strength,motivation,courage and peace of mind good luck to you.

neverist
February, 21 2020 at 4:59 pm

Not everyone does this, it actually further perpetuates the stigma to say that people with Bipolar disorder ghost people, people shouldn't use their diagnosis to excuse themselves for being a coward.
I have never ghosted anyone and wouldn't want someone to do that to me,
the idea that were are slaves to our moods is as much a fallacy as it is for other people.
The only difference between someone with bipolar and someone without it is that someone with bipolar will experience cyclical mood changes that are somewhat more extreme, its up to them how they manage them and if they allow how they feel to affect how they behave, the same with every other person, there is literally no difference.
None of us have a choice over our moods we do however choose how we treat people and it's honestly a little saddening to hear the amount of people either using this as an excuse for their own bad behaviour or others using their diagnosis as a way to understand it.

Chris
February, 23 2020 at 5:45 pm

Everyone is different. My ex swings by every so often, wants contact and is quite chatty but then generally just ghosts me, or in other words reads messages but stops replying, even when asked a question. I have got used to it.

Ashley
February, 2 2020 at 1:29 pm

I have been seeing my boyfriend since July of 2019 so for about 7 to 8 months now and he informed me he has bipolar on our second date. I accepted him anyway because I didnt care (I have a friend who is bipolar so I was familiar with the mental health issue but only on a friend level) during our first 2 months together he went through a hypomanic episode and he allowed me to support him throughout the episode. In December the week of Christmas I was staying over and he asked if we can do it another time because he was going through something so I gave him space even though I was angry because he did this while I was at work at my job . The week of new years he finally spoke to me and let me know he was diagnosed with clinical depression on top of his bipolar and would be MIA for about 2 months. I told him that was fine just so long as he keeps me informed he agreed but that was the last time i saw him. Despite me texting and calling a few days apart maybe about once a week he has only responded once which was January 14th and it was literally just one message (my birthday was the 13th he informed me he didnt forget about my birthday and hes sorry I have to deal with this) I told him idc about my birthday i just wanted to know he was ok. He didn't respond we havent spoken since and hes blocked my number. So idk what to do or if he even wants to be with me. Its driving me insane at this point.

Lauren
July, 18 2020 at 3:45 am

GIRL!!! Same thing just happened to me a month ago! He didn’t even say Happy Birthday and just ghosted me, blocked my number and social media! After dating since August 2019. We are better without them. We don’t need to deal with bipolar men. Normal men are already enough of an issue smh.

Yaasir
August, 26 2019 at 11:00 am

I need help I'm in a long distance relationship with a girl who's younger than I am .. she is not diagnosed but we've been together long enough to know she is bipolar.. also she mentioned to me at the start she might have bipolar..
At the beginning she was very loving and was willing to do anything with me now that we are together long enough I guess she feels more comfortable in showing her symptoms instead of hiding them at the beginning of the relationship is this something that will happen??
Also she does abit of ghosting now and then like sometimes she wouldn't even text me as much but when she did reply that same day .. she seemed abit okay so I don't really know what's going on

Danny
August, 23 2019 at 6:51 am

Hi, my girlfriend of 3 years recently left me. She has been untreated bipolar abs an eating disorder. We were both happily live and she is the most loving caring person I know. Two days after graduating from college she suddenly got very depressed. She was saying she was miserable and life was pointless and wanted to break up. Apart from that she gave no specific reason..in fact she giving reasons to stay (I’m her best friend, done more for her than anybody etc). I made contact with her 2 weeks after the break up but her reply was cold and distant. She has also ghosted me when I see her at the gym. It’s like she doesn’t recognize me. After 3 years I’m heartbroken. As far as I know she is working away as normal and living life as if the previous 3 years didn’t happen. It’s difficult to get me head around things. She may be going through a depressive cycle and trying to put a brave face on things, I don’t know. My heat sinks as I doubt she’ll ever speak to me again and I don’t know why. Any advice welcome

Ghoster
August, 20 2019 at 10:29 am

This hurts the ones you love more than being angry with them. It messes with them psychologically and emotionally. It's 100% selfish. I understand wanting to be left alone and needing a lot of space. But to not acknowledge a person for a week or two is wrong. Just one or two messages per week would be ok actually. With depression, trauma, and bipolar it's natural to be comfortable with isolating but to deal with this you should fight against your mind and try to always remember that humans are not made to be alone. If you are isolating it means you should say hey i'm going off the grid for awhile, i need time or something. I've done this and people actually understood. But to go completely off the grid and not tell anyone puts everyone you love in a difficult position and can lead to getting police involved if it goes on for too long. Do yourselves a favor and reach out at least once, fight the demons in your mind with every ounce of energy you have left. you are stronger than you think and people who love you will eventually understand.

TomC
November, 12 2022 at 11:00 pm

Heart out to you it’s the worst after years of love of trust to find out they made you live a lie for their sock needs

Camila
August, 18 2019 at 4:50 am

I had been dating a nice guy with bipolar disorder for a year. We live in different cities (not so close). In the city where he lives, my family also lives. I try to visit the city time to time and he also visited me. Two months ago I came to the city where he lives and I called him but he suddenly GHOSTED. I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I requested to our common friend to ask him what was happening. He said her that he hadn’t wanted to see anybody, even his best friend. A week ago I came to the city again. He sent me message. When I jokingly said that I had been offended to him, he didn’t understand at all and asked what he had done to me. I called him, texted him and he GHOSTED again. I tried not to care so much because I thought that maybe he didn’t feel so good. But that day I ran across him at our common friend’s bar. He was with his best friend. He was laughing and looking good. When he saw me, he was surprised and embarrassed. But he didn’t call me or text me from that day. I am very upset right now and still don’t understand what was happening. I am waiting for your advice.

Jack Flanaghan
August, 15 2019 at 2:52 am

Hey, i'd like some advice.
I was in a relationship with a woman who has bipolar. Towards the end of the relationship she went really cold and eventually we spoke and she ended up leaving me.
She gave me the whole i deserve better and apologised for being an arse to me for the last few weeks. She said she couldn't expect me to wait for her but she wasn't going to cut me out of her life.
I tried reaching out to her as a friend a couple of times after giving her space and didn't get a response. So i then asked her if i could ask her a question, i got a pretty nasty and short response about her needing space, it had been 5 weeks since i heard from here at this point.
So i gave her the option. Asked if she wanted me to be part of her life or if she would rather i disappear, i was hoping to get some form of closure. She just exploded quite offended that i asked and told me i was being selfish and shed speak when shes ready.
Its been over 2 months since i heard anything from her. At this point i have no idea what to do. I have no idea what she wants from me but i genuinely want her to be ok.
I suffer from anxiety and the ghosting without a real answer is killing me. She turned from being loving and needy into something really cold, that hurts, but the not speaking is doing farvmore damage than the breakup. I've really tried to give her space, but i'm at a stage where i dont know if should ask her outright what she wants from me.
I'm genuinely at a stage where i can feel myself breaking down. I've not told her this because she's under enough stress, but like i said, the ghosting is eating me alive.
Any advice would be amazing.

Someadvice
August, 20 2019 at 10:40 am

Ok. Some bipolar episodes last awhile and communication during this time is futile. All you will get is being pushed away and angry responses. BUT, hang in there say caring words like I'm here, I'm not going anywhere, I care about you... something like that. You will probably get venom back because something takes over a person's mind and maybe they are so irritated they can't say anything nice. Doesn't make it ok but just put it out there and wait it out. She won't be able to make decisions right now. Keep checking in periodically and she my eventually come up for air. At this point treat her like a friend and when she's better you can talk to her normally again. I'm sorry to say but episodes can last for a few months, it's more like cycles and they can occur at certain times of the year, it's different for everyone but some people cycle in early spring and it lasts until may. Yeah and don't take any of it personally, it's not about you it's what is happening to her mind. It's more like a sickness, she could benefit from treatment and medication. I should also add there are different types of bipolar, in Bipolar I I've seen people start using drugs and become very sexually active and manic that way, bipolar II is more irritable, angry and depressed and stuff. If she's got bipolar I you may be in for some real trouble so watch her behavior and see what you are comfortable with. Everyone needs support.

Jorge
June, 24 2020 at 9:08 am

The amazing thing about this as I read the same scenario over and over and over again is...it's all about them. They agree to get into a relationship, the other person relies on them and the behavior when they leave treats the other person like a discarded piece of trash. When I break up with someone I try to if not appropriate to help them through it, at least ease the sting, not do everything I can to rub salt in the wound and hurt them even further. Are there any therapists out there who work with people to try to get them to see...This isn't ok to treat people like that?

Sara
July, 24 2020 at 11:14 am

Thank you! That’s exactly how I feel. Constantly taking care of him, then he looks me in the face says he will be home for dinner..... then gone/silent:/won’t respond.! I feel so disrespected. He says he won’t do it again... but now that I think about it he has slowly cooked the frog! First it’s hours of. It responding to a text, then next time hours of not picking I up the phone- now gone until 11pm, next time got a hotel and didn’t come home. Somehow it’s always my fault! I called too much, I text something he didn’t like. Can’t just be an adult and tell me what’s really going on! Never takes any responsibility..... talks a good game “I’m sorry, I get it, I’ll communicate” nope 👎

Bailey
August, 8 2019 at 2:32 pm

When you are pulling away and ghosting someone who you were dating, does it bother you if they continue to try and talk to you or is it nice that they are trying to be understanding and there for you? I feel like there is a fine line of being supportive or intrusive.
Please help!

August, 9 2019 at 9:12 am

Hi Bailey,
You're right, the line is fine. What I always recommend to people is that they just be open about it. Say something like, "I want to support you and I know that your silence might be related to your illness. I'm going to keep checking in on you once in a while unless you ask me not to, which I will completely respect."
I think if you're unsure about something, just say that. Give the person the option of saying yes or no and then communicate in the way you want unless they ask you not to.
- Natasha Tracy
- Breaking Bipolar

Aislinn
April, 7 2021 at 10:22 pm

Hi Natasha.
My boyfriend has kept his disorder from me and won’t talk to me. I did tell him that I’m here for him day or night, that I would text him ever so often to check on him and his son, asked that he would just let me know. He never responded to say yes to letting me know or no, do not.
Do you think I should text, or should I let go?

April, 12 2021 at 1:15 pm

Hi Aislinn ,
You ask a good question. In my opinion, I would err on the side of more communication, rather than less. This lets your boyfriend know that someone cares. That's a big thing when you're not doing well. And if you feel good about making that connection, then yes, I would say go ahead.
Now, if he asks you to stop, then that's different, but without his input, I say, yes, make contact.
- Natasha Tracy

Bec
May, 12 2021 at 9:41 am

Hi Aislinn, I’d continue to check in every now & then if you truly care about him & would like a relationship with him. My ex (relationship of 3yrs) has ghosted me in the past & ended our engagement just before Christmas in an angry reaction which I considered to be an overreaction. He has regularly blown normal relationship discord into huge issues & has been unable to acknowledge his over reaction. I do understand this is part of his illness, despite how difficult it is to cope with his behaviour. When he ended our engagement & then quickly bounced into a rebound relationship I found it very difficult to cope with. Got myself into counselling to save my friendships, & I’m still on my healing journey. What I’d like to say to you is that committing to someone with bipolar is an enormous loving & giving thing to do. It is not the persons fault that they behave in challenging ways. It stems from emotional trauma usually. What you need to do, to protect both yourself & him from further emotional harm, is determine whether you think you can cope with the challenges long term xx

Esteban
May, 23 2019 at 10:21 am

You know what would be worse than just ghosting a normal person out of nowhere? When a girl with bipolar ghosts somebody with social anxiety disorder who has hardly ever had a friend in the world before never mind a girl friend. I didn’t know she had bipolar at first I just thought she had some unusual behaviours. But having social anxiety I tried my usual distancing and shying away from her but she tried and tried and tried and she got a job where I work so we would have to spend time together. Having social anxiety disorder I had never felt close to anybody before or imagined that anyone could even like me. Anyway I completely fell for her. My only experience of having somebody in my life to care for. She had been making promises about always being my girl and saying how well I treated her compared to guys she had seen in the past. She was calling me any time I wasn’t with her and made me feel needed. Then out of nowhere texts me we won’t be talking any more. The hurt I felt was like unimaginable as obviously I have social anxiety disorder and no self worth and zero confidence. She blocked my number and everything. I saw her about 6 months later and she was a completely different person, acting like we were strangers. For someone with sad this whole situation just felt like the end of the world. Never had anyone before her in my life and probably will never have anybody again. Don’t know if it was a gift knowing her or not.

Gwendolyn
July, 16 2019 at 4:16 pm

I truly feel your pain I am going through something very similar and it's so hard cause like you I suffer from social anxiety ,,,I lost my life partner years ago and she was the very first one since then I let into my world and my heart and I loved taking care of her and pampering and spoiling her I am a lesbian out and proud and I think she has deep feelings as well but to afraid to let go and take a chance I have been consistent in my actions and anything she's ever wanted or needed I have backed completely with no questions asked I've even told her she was my best friend she was my calm to my storm and when my anxiety is through the roof she is the only one that can talk me away from the ledge she said I was the same way towards her that nobody gets her like I do I have been very patient very caring and kind truly accepting of her unconditionally and then on this roller coaster mood swing ride with her ups and downs highs and lows for four years now and recently out of the blue she text me and said I was no better than a man that she was angry that I cut her off and not doing anything for her anymore that she was going to go her way and I needed to go mine then she waited text me again 2 minutes later and said she was seeing someone so now since we work together she ghost me every time and it hurts it's like everything we shared and done and experience together is gone erased never existed she is friendly with everybody else at work but if looks could kill when she sees me I would be dead ten times over I have not done anything so that's where I'm at now hurt lost and very confused part of me wants to walk away the other part cares too much and needs to stay because she suffers from bipolar so when I read your article I really really can relate with how you feeling at this time doesn't get any better will she try to reach out and reconnect like you I'm just confused so thank you for sharing your painful story with everybody it makes me feel I'm not alone

Esteban
August, 7 2019 at 12:44 pm

That’s very bad for you that she still works with you. It must be awful, the girl I was talking about left my work immediately after ditching me. From seeing her every day most of the day to just gone. It felt like someone I loved had died. I don’t know how you can be coping still seeing her at work talking and laughing with everyone else and just ignoring you. It sounds so cruel like the last way you should ever treat anybody. I’m pretty sure she would’ve treated me just like that if she’d stayed working where I work. I would’ve felt even worse than I did when she just left and blocked my number I reckon. I said I didn’t know if it was a gift knowing her or not on my last post but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen or heard from her now and I’m starting to cope better and it’s not that I don’t still care about her or not hope she’s doing okay but I would have to say knowing her was definitely not a gift. I thought I’d found someone as warm and kind as me. She was seemingly the sweetest girl in the world but for her to treat me how she did in the end I suppose it was all an act and that she’s actually just a very cold young woman who just goes through life hurting one person after another. It finally feels like the hurt is dying away and I’m just left with bitterness now. The only way I think I’m lucky in this is my SAD is pretty extreme so I don’t have accounts on social media as I don’t like people looking at me or judging me or knowing anything about my desperate lonely life, so at least I don’t have to see all her posts she probably puts up with boyfriends and stuff. I think if I ever saw her around with someone else, just acting like she never knew me all the hurt would come flooding back and my anxiety would sky rocket. Anyway I think it sounds like your girl is also a very cold person.. possibly capable of feeling loved and enjoying being loved but just not able to feel love so can only hurt people in the end. If I was you I would leave work and get a different job. You don’t deserve the hurt she will put you through.

Cookie
May, 12 2019 at 11:08 pm

Im knew to all this but I’m 100% committed to learn more about this mental illness. I’ve dated and been friends with this person for a very long time... but due to us being unable to commit and also trying to keep the friendship safe plus being immature... we finally have found ourselves in a good place in our life’s. I know what I want in a man and he “ felt “ at the moment that he knew what he wanted also. We talked about your life goals are fears and sexual needs and marriage and family goals one night. But with no sex for the first time. And he asked me out. I told him finally? Can we make this clear this time... reason for that said was because he fell In love and never told me. I thought we were f buddies and got into a serious relationship after him not expressing his feelings of what “
We had “ at that moment. So he said YES together and seriously committed.
A week before that he had made plans and disappeared and ghosted me . He came back and apologized. “ due to crazy stuff and busy “ not as a couple he did it again... made plans with me of coming over to see me and then he’s been ghosting me for four days now . The night we committed to each other we talked about his bipolar and how he was taking meds and how he felt like I was ready and that’s why he committed to me. And also how he felt ready. He asked if I would break it off right after he mentioned it. And I said NO, why would I ? I love him for him and also not just the sex. But this whole ghosting Is scary and I’ve been reading and learning as much as I can. But I’m worried he will run and not come back around ? I’m also worried that made was it just a manic moment? And I’m scared that he doesn’t feel the same afterwards.... are this signs common? It’s hard to tell since we’ve known each other for so long. And been friends and more. But also worried. He sounded like he was having a great week. And I definitely didn’t think that I did something wrong.

Renee
May, 5 2019 at 6:35 pm

I did an epic ghosting in college when I left school and moved across the state without a word to anyone, not to any friend I had made there, not giving any explanation at all. I cringe looking back at it, but at the time it felt like I was casting off this shell of a person that I was pretending to be.
I felt like they weren't really my friends because they never knew the real me. They only knew the fake me that was smiling and laughing and pretending that I wasn't horribly depressed and hanging on by a thin thread. I was in a dark place, the closest I've ever come to wanting to die.
Maybe it was like a "screw you" to them for not seeing that I was hurting inside? I don't know. It was pretty messed up. At the time it felt good though, poetic somehow, for me to just disappear.

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