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 2024, February 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.

Mike
January, 18 2024 at 3:28 pm

Yes, as a person with Bipolar II I often ghost friends and family. I do this because I do not want them to be subjected to the severe effects of suffering I go through. Some of which include, crying many times a day, unable to control my emotions well, irritability and rudeness, and even the changes to the way I think. I don't believe I am in my right mind in a severe low, and even the moderate highs I get from hypomania. Contrary to what many may think, if a family member or friend sticks with you through these periods of time, they will suffer from being around you and seeing you act this way, and the way you think, and though you may not lash out at them, it is a struggle not to sometimes and it is much easier to cut them off until I am more stable. In short. I have no desire to hurt others and cause them any sort of suffering, and my depressive episodes can last weeks. Better to push them away for that time until I can think clearly. I do agree that communication is very helpful to those you love when you need to be alone because you are suffering, send that text first.

Mv
January, 11 2024 at 12:08 am

I have been extremely sensitive since I was really young - 5 years old. I was a verbally, physically and sexually abused kid. Home was the most dangerous place for me. I learned not to trust anyone including my relatives. It had left me traumatized and I didn't even know it. I would ghost anyone - employers, friends, relatives, lovers. In arguments, I would shut down, pretend they don't exist, or runaway from home. Any slight raise of voice, criticism, disagreement, nasty comment, misunderstanding would send me ghosting someone.
I didn't know why I'd do it. After 39 years, I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 with psychotic symptoms, and generalized anxiety disorder. I still don't know why I ghost people but I feel like once I ghost, I feel this numb feeling that people I care about don't love me as much as I love them when they can just hurt me so easily by saying mean things, not making time, not listening, not speaking nicely, etc. I just was afraid of confrontation because I realized I can't control my own emotions when I'm upset. I realized I get angry rarely but when I do, it's very explosive to the point that the relationship would be irreparable on my end. I'm just overall not a very forgive and forget type of person. It's for me the feeling of betrayal - whether a close friend promising to be at my birthday party and doesn't do it, etc. I simply cant take it. I work with a psychiatrist and psychologist to get help. I also have medications.

Fess
January, 1 2024 at 11:42 pm

I was in the most loving, caring, supportive, fun, fulfilling, blissful relationship of my life, with my bf of 2.5 years who lives with bipolar disorder. I was by his side for several manic and depression episodes and our relationship was still strong as ever. I saw myself spending the rest of my life with him, through the good and the bad.
Suddenly, on Christmas Day before we were meant to go to my parents for dinner I messaged him to see if I could come pick him up and I got a reply saying he is done with me, and blocked me on everything before I could respond. His message said he has gone through my phone, doesn’t like that I’m still friends with a ex who had texted me so he’s done with me and will find a new home for our dog. A week before he had expressed support for me being friends with this ex and we discussed boundaries.
I spent a week fighting with the person he gave the dog too and finally got my dog back (thank god) , but still no word from him. I am in a world of pain right now and the uncertainty of not knowing if he is ok, was this premeditated, is there someone else ect, is killing me. But despite all the pain, I am still greatful I got to experience a love like that in my life. After 2.5 years we were still in the honeymoon period. I think living with bipolar may have given him some really good qualities too - passion, creativity, empathy, compassion, understanding of mental health. I’m heartbroken, but I would not take back the relationship for anything.

Jimmy
January, 10 2024 at 10:26 pm

I am
Going thru the same thing as of tonite
I am not gonna be taking mine back either and I understand the whole reason and what not
Something’s you can’t unwind from

Tee
February, 8 2024 at 5:45 pm

How are things now,? My husband of 12 years walked out Christmas eve without telling me he was going. Has ghosted me ever since except just recently a couple if texts saying he was going to come back and talk to me, but he didn't come. His texts are very cold no I love you or miss you. I love and miss him very much. We have had a lot of stress leading up to Christmas eve. He also lost his job, and our daughter was in icu with cancer for 7 weeks. Has been so hard. I want him home.

Jennifer
December, 27 2023 at 5:08 pm

My sister, and only sister was diagnosed with Bi polar 2, and has ghosted me for the last half year without explanation. The last interaction I had with her that triggered the ghosting was my cousins funeral, my mother and I were supposed to meet my sister after the funeral for dinner. She said she would meet us, and as usual, ended up flaking out. I had sent her a message asking her to be more communicative next time, and let us know in advance if she cant come. After that I was ghosted. I am typing this after having Christmas with my family where my sister and I didn't say a word to each other the entire time, which I sensed was hurting my family. (Causing my parents pain.) During the months of ghosting I have received from my sister, I have tried repeatedly to contact her and ask what is wrong. If we can talk it out. I get no answer. I tried after Christmas, nothing still. I am not sure what to do, I cant explain the pain, hurt, and nightmares I have had during this ordeal. It has put me into quite the depression, and haunts my mind every day. It just does not seem normal. We have been friends and I have been there for her so many times. She hasn't been there for me, and can drop me without hesitation and remorse. It seems almost unhuman. My parents just let it happen, I have tried to get support from them and have not gotten any help. Any comments back or advice would be appreciated. I am thinking of blocking my sister and getting therapy to try to get out of the depression.

Stevie
October, 22 2023 at 5:20 am

I've got an interesting situation here. I've had a particular stylist at the salon cut my hair for about two years now, and I grew to like her a lot, we had a lot in common from our conversations. Finally I got a shred of confidence and asked her out one day. She warned me up front that she has baby daddy issues and had her heart broken badly, she's been single for two years and still struggling. It seemed as though she would be interested in a relationship if there wasn't so much going on and she was in a place where she was ready, she still wanted to be friends at least, so I can't say it's lack of interest. We exchanged numbers and talked a little, I could tell immediately there was more going on than just a broken heart. In my case I am a borderline personality who can manage myself far better than I used to, and I could tell the things she was saying to me were clearly said in the midst of a depressive episode, and I can empathize there. Eventually I dug deeper and she revealed she is bipolar II, which doesn't really bother me. She dropped out for a bit, came back for a day, then has disappeared ever since. I've done my best to be nothing but patient, compassionate and supportive, and that's all I can really do. As far as her ghosting I've been way more understanding with her than anyone else who has done that to me, but I can see how it could wear people down after a long time and many cycles. So I don't know what to do exactly, I like her a lot, made it as clear as I could I would be there for her and her daughter, and have given her as much space as I can to let her take care of herself. Personally I am a hardcore introvert and really shy so it's hard for me to meet new people, but this one I may have to raise a white flag and walk away. No matter what I will always be supportive of her and she knows that. I also told her right at the beginning that no matter what she is still cutting my hair because she is the best stylist there, so I will see her then. I really wish I could help her but there is nothing I can do unless she helps herself first. Love may be better found elsewhere, but I guess I care too much sometimes.

Derek
October, 17 2023 at 8:31 am

My gf was diagnosed BP 1. She struggled this year with sobriety. I never left her side. We reconnected back in July and for a month we had an amazing time together. We shared deep feelings for each other. She went through a lot though. A lot of panic attacks and anxiety. Seizures too. We had dinner at her moms at the end of August, she stayed. I didn’t hear from her for a week, so I went there to talk and see what was going on. She told me she needed to work on her mental health, I wasn’t being discarded, nothing was wrong between us, I didn’t do anything wrong. I said ok, take your time and I’m here for you and I love you. I left later that night. Her bday came. I got her presents, her mom came and got them. She loved em. She left belongings at my house, including her dog, still here today. I haven’t heard from her yet. Her mom says she’s feeling better after the month she had. Idk if she got into her new psychiatrist yet or not. I’m sure she’ll be back when she’s ready… any advice?

Phoenix
October, 20 2023 at 10:00 am

It sounds like you are doing a great job being supportive, having patience and being understanding.
Let go of expectations that she’ll be back. No one can know and it’s helpful to be in a place where you are at peace with either outcome.
Keep your heart open to her, be supportive of her and to yourself. Continue to be the great person you are and live your life.

Dereck
December, 6 2023 at 11:05 am

Thank you…. Still no word from her. She’s going to see her psychiatrist for the 3rd time coming up. Her belongings and dog are still here. I’m still supportive in my way, I’m still living my life. I get in my head a lot. Today was rough. Her mom was supposed to talk to her to see what’s going on. I’m still going strong though. I just want to let her know I’m still here for her. I don’t want to put any pressure on her to come home. Just let her know I’m proud of her and I support her. But I imagine she knows that.

Phoenix
December, 18 2023 at 9:25 pm

I’m so sorry. I suspect the cycles a person goes through take long periods of time to resolve.
There will be rough days like you experience and it’s easy to get stuck in thoughts that can bring you down. Take time each day, even if a few moments, to sit in silence and focus on the emotion you are feeling. Practice feeling it fully and then letting it go. Hold a picture of your friend, go to a place of unconditional love and repeat “I forgive you” while sending her love.
I am sure she does know you are there for her. Sometimes people aren’t in a place where they can receive it at the time. During those times, trust that the person’s soul receives it and let go of the need for a certain outcome. Love because it is who you are.

Shawn Osborn
January, 6 2024 at 12:13 pm

Hang in there. It takes love and understanding. You sound like a real nice person. I hope it works out.

Mv
January, 11 2024 at 12:27 am

I have bipolar 1. Give her time. She knows how awesome you are, her mom knows how awesome you are. and I am sure she is trying to be the best version of herself for you. I've been married 11 yrs and I can't count the number of times I told my husband that I wanted to live alone - really to just get my act together. No one has any idea how extremely challenging it is to have Bipolar 1. We don't even understand our own feelings. The most messed up thing is we don't know if we're gonna wake up motivated or depressed. We don't know if we can commit to meetings we agreed to in the evening because our energy and emotions don't really synchronize well. I had times when I had so much motivation to do stuff, but i have zero energy and end up crying and frustrated - you don't want to see this in your partner. FYI - Meds for bipolar is a trial and error type of thing - they prescribe meds, you take it for 2 weeks, wait to see if it works for, only to find it doesn't. Then you go change meds again - only to go through the same cycle again. The side effects of tremors, losing hair, and crying because we think nothing will cure, is something we don't want anyone to see.
I can speak for my self that once I have the right concoction of meds, plus the right therapist, it was heaven for everyone. Fun conversations, energetic, etc. The lows are still there but it's not as bad. My hubby said I bounce back faster than I used to, and don't pick fights anymore. And my husband has ADHD he can tolerate and forget and forgive me faster than typical people without mental health disorders. So give her time and a lot of reassurance. In the meantime maybe there is something you can do like consulting with a psychiatrist on how to help someone with bipolar and reallly understanding the disorder.

Don Muertos
September, 19 2023 at 7:43 am

I am not bipolar, I have bipolar disorder. Too many people on here qualifying as being bipolar, bipolar is an illness. You wouldn't say I am cancer? I am asthma? I am flu? But yes, ghosting! It's a natural defense mechanism because bipolar is readily and uninhibitedly discriminated against. We know when we're being discriminated against. And rather than nurture a potentially volatile relationship while sorting through the miles of racing thoughts and pits of paranoia; we protect ourselves in the only sure way, isolation. Having bipolar isn't easy, the road is ours to walk alone. I hope everyone finds their emotional support human and your afflictions don't codependently stew with one-another's. Forget about groups of friends that "they're talking about me in the other room" feeling is ubiquitous amongst our ranks, and unfortunately we're correctly over half the time. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're wrong...or right, it just means you're paranoid. And bipolar does provide us with a unprecedented level of perceptiveness that only our illness can make cohesive. We identify patterns before they repeat, it's a necessary function to our sanity and survival. You don't think your outward mind has adopted this skill?

Lilac
September, 3 2023 at 3:13 pm

I was in a long-distance relationship for about two years and everything seemed to be going great. We spoke/texted almost every day, sometimes late into the night, and saw each other for long weekends every few months. The last time I saw him, he even encouraged me to get to know his mom better. Then a couple of months ago things suddenly changed. Instead of long conversations almost every night, he sent an occasional brief message or funny video. When I asked him what was going on, he blamed it on work stress. I just assumed it was another woman, but I was so close to this guy and I couldn't believe he would just slowly ghost me. So I finally asked him why things had changed between us, and he told me he's bipolar and that stress had caused a manic episode he was still struggling with. I was supportive and understanding, but the ghosting continued and I didn't push it.
Here’s the weird thing— he still views and likes my stories and my posts, and occasionally forwards a funny video. I know I could block him but things feel so unfinished.
Even though I know I didn’t do anything to cause his feelings to change, I’m weirdly heartbroken. I've spent the whole summer unable to let go of the hurt this has caused my self esteem.
How can I make peace with how things just fizzled instead of officially ending?

Caitlin
December, 27 2023 at 2:43 am

I have the same problem now. I don't know if my bf is definitely bipolar, I just think he probably is. He 'slow dumped' me this summer - like yours kind of 'slow dumped' you where they just withdraw and withdraw little by little or do seemingly small rude things, like cancelling or changing plans at the last minute, not enough to cause a huge row, just little acts of disrespect really.
But people with mental health issues can still be mean and they can still make decisions of their own. My take on it is, he must have known the effect of all this on me and the eventual, curt, nasty message telling me he needed space and I must 'respect his privacy' and not message because 'I ain't replying!' They know the effect because they knew how to draw you in and court you in the beginning. They know what being nasty and dismissive is just as well as the rest of us do. Me and my ex resumed convo but he was purely focused on my dog - no happy Christmas for me, just 'what did you get the dog for Xmas? Is she having a good time? Have you treated her/taken her out?' Which was insulting to say the least. It had fairly recently become long distance as he'd had to move for work, then he was back, saw friends (not too depressed or busy for that!), switched his profile pic on several platforms to smilier more engaging ones but was 'too busy' to meet up with me. I sent a message saying i couldn't do the 'casual chat' any more as it was leaving me sad, anxious and confused - true and it has made me physically ill with heart problems, loss of appetite, loss of sleep.
Fizzling is the worst ending - slow dumping is considered the most harmful way to end something after ghosting - because it denies the importance of that relationship to you both. It implies that this was a nothing ...that can be slowly ignored and that person - a real flesh and blood person - will 'get the message' and disappear. What is the message these wretches want you to receive? That you are worthless? Don't accept their message! Block, delete, erase all trace of them. Put it down to deception. I'm sorry for you and for all of us misfortune enough to give them the time of day. X

Susan
February, 19 2024 at 4:55 pm

Almost sounds narcissistic I have beeN doing a ton of reading to try and understand the guy I was seeing that did the same. I can tell as we got closer he did this to protect himself from all the feelings he was having vs trying to hurt me.

Bipolar and feel worthless because of you
August, 27 2023 at 7:21 pm

I'm bipolar and the hatred and anger towards bipolar people suffering in silence makes me want to ghost everyone I know. Thanks.

C
September, 7 2023 at 8:34 pm

Do it, ghost them all! You'll be fine and so will they - you can be completely alone or only hang out with other bipolar people.

Jenna Blossom
December, 25 2023 at 6:14 am

This is exactly the problem. Why is it so difficult to understand the extreme pain ghosting causes to the people you allegedly care about? People with bipolar claim to fear abandonment but abandon people by ghosting…unless your fingers are broken you can send a text saying I’m alive just struggling will talk as soon as I can. Put it on a copy paste if typing is too much. You really send a message that other people you’ve gotten close to mean less than nothing to you.

ME, TOO
August, 11 2023 at 9:14 pm

Wow. So ,many sad stories here. Married a woman I adored. They she/we got sick. Never saw her again. 3 weeks in, she dropped all contact with me. Still picking up the pieces of a person that never existed.

Ramona
August, 6 2023 at 6:34 pm

Hey im happy to be here and feel way less alone (is that a sentence)
I knew this guy since i was 12 ans we both just thought the other was the prettiest thing we had ever seen we grew up together and at 16 he became unwell
I always saw parts of this guy that he couldn't see even when he was acting in really poor ways ans being extremely selfish.
He gor sick. Due to his undiagnosed mental illness if schizo effective disorder it has bipolar mood symptoms. We always clicked and he came back into my life when i was 28 and had a 4 year old we were just friends but he seemed stable and we had so many laughs together. The unconditional love i felt fir this guy was so over whelming... we were both in recovery and clicked on this too he seemed so different and stable.
I ended up telling him how i felt and i was si certain he felt the same but no im not ready for dating
Then i saw him on a date with a girl. I was so confused....
Time passed and he professed his feelings for me and spoke of us having a future and he was amazing with my son... he told me he loved me
But said he couldn't do intamacy or mushy... i felt the whole time like everything was my fault.... he would ghost me. And act like all the things he said never happened it killed me as i was madly in love and he acted so cold and distant and arrogant. I felt so powerless...
I explained i was willing to learn about his illness but he wasnt up for that
My sons father wasnt really around and this guy was so great at making me feel like he and i had something special
I finally said i dont kniw what ti do
I love you ajd ill wait for you because i want this
He acted cold again and said he needs to work on himself . It hurt but i understood
We spent 1 month of being si madly in love and then nothing.....
I felt si lost and stupid
He called in again and i was so happy to see him at my door
He was amazing again and i made a move on him and rejected me and i fekt treated like a piece of meat he told me he owed me an apology. That he was in a manic episode andnever meant what he said... but he did love me. And had strong feelings towards me but he can't do mushy and he cares about mw too much... he left and i cried my eyes out for many nights after my son would go ti bed
2 weeks later i saw him walking down the road with the girl he was datinng at the beginning of the story ... talk about a kick in the stomach
He didnt explain or anything... he tried ti act as if we were friends but it hurt way ti much..
..im a pretty stable person and i understand he is unwell but i know this guy and me had a connection we always did
I loved him si much and i feel so stupid. That i fell for it all.
It hurts si much and i miss him terribly but i wont go back
I just dont understand when we were having such a great time why he did that??
He said he didnt feel in control when we were together?? And he didn't like that
Everytime i spoke about my recovery or therapy he seemd pissed off.
I just blamed myself and felt as if maybe i did something wrong and messed it up
He hasn't contacted me. And it hurts ti have loved someone si much and just felt like i was only a delusion!?

Lindsay
August, 17 2023 at 2:14 pm

Mental health is truly a situation that gets "milked" time and time again, both my the people who claim to care about the person afflicted and the person afflicted with the disorder itself. You are letting this person control your life. I have Bipolar. I would NEVER treat another person as he has treated you, especially with a kid involved. His Bipolar isn't why he is treating you this way. It's cause he is a narcissistic, selfish person. We accept the love we think we deserve. The sooner you realize that the better. Never talk to him again, eradicate all modes of contact. That is my advice to you.

Don Muertos
October, 7 2023 at 7:45 am

Come off it lass. You admitted yourself you have bipolar and would never treat someone a certain way. Then go onto diagnose this unknown person with a personality disorder. You may manage your bipolar well, but still present as very immature. Imagine if your psychiatrist diagnosed you based on intermittent mood states. We all present differently. Bipolar is well documented as not making a person dangerous, yet my bipolar can make me extremely dangerous. I also tend to run manic, not depressed; something the DSM would have you to never believe is possible. But thankfully the DSM is not the only school of psychiatry and the same schools that point to bipolar being a post-industrialism waste product, maintain records of the varied presentations of the illness. Manage yours and those of us that are willing and able, we will manage ours.

David
November, 15 2023 at 1:30 am

That had to be extremely difficult to handle. Take it a day at a time. It doesn't feel this way now but just keep on being you. You will one day be stronger because of it. Don't ever lose sight of that

Birdie
July, 23 2023 at 11:25 pm

I met a friend online fairly recently and we talked everyday (including hours long phone calls and video calls) for about 2.5 months. We really bonded and I was so certain he would never ghost me (he even said he will never leave me permanently without saying goodbye, which he still hasn't). However, he has technically ghosted 3x in the last month. We went from talking daily to 1x a week for 2 weeks, and now it's been almost another 2 weeks and nothing. I miss him very much, and every time he comes back he tells me how much he is struggling with his mental health and overwhelmed, but still says he cares and he misses me. He has bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, and a few undiagnosed things (he's untreated for all of it). Normally I would just try to move on but I really don't know if I can completely. He is very special to me and one of my closest friends ever. I also developed feelings for him over time (which were mutual). He has always been honest and open as well as super supportive. I just don't know how long to "wait" for him to come back. I tried a few times to reach out but no response this past week. I'm so hurt that I cry every few days. My other friend says I should just forget him, but I can't seem to stop thinking about him and to be honest I don't want to be without him.

N/a
July, 29 2023 at 11:02 am

Married to BPD person, currently looking for my way out. I know how hard it is. I know how painful it is. And I know how great they can be. But Leave. Stop agonizing, stop holding on. You deserve consistent communication and love. This is not it. I’ve spent nine years with my person, married for 3 years and every six months this man is done and I beg him to stay. I knew one day I’d be strong enough to say “okay.” when he said he was done, and that day has come. You will find the strength too. It may seem like you are on the up and up but the other shoe will drop. Just leave seriously save yourself and leave.

Concerned loved one
April, 3 2023 at 8:34 am

It's the worst feeling ever to be ghosted. Thank god i came across this website. As i write this its been 2 weeks since by partner has ghosted me. the signs were there from the onset that he has Bipolar syndrome, but we have never spoken about it and i really didnt understand it until i came across this website and reading all your comments has put into perspective my entire relationship for the past year and a half. I could never really read him. The mood swings, the very high sexual appetite, sending me photos of other women on social media ( we are in a long-distance relationship) when we did meet, he would flirt with other women in front of me, but the one thing remained consistent, and that was, we spoke every single day, even when he had mood swings. He would be the most loving person one day, and the very next day, the most jealous, insecure, rude person. He is going through a hard time personally, his mother has cancer, and I know it's taking a toll on him, but this is the first time i have ever been ghosted, by him or anyone, and it's been 2 weeks of hell for me. He reads my messages and doesn't respond. He doesn't answer the phone when I call and I have no idea when this will pass. I also don't know if I want to be in this long term, but I love him so much. The distance doesn't make matters any easier. I will find the strength to cope with this though somehow. I wonder when he will contact me again. All i want is one message, just one. Can someone tell me what are the emotions of a person with Bipolar disorder going through when ghosting, do they feel anything when they read the messages their loved ones are sending, or are they just numb and don't really care what they are putting the person through?

Phoenix
April, 14 2023 at 8:32 pm

Sometimes they do not feel any guilt about not responding, but you have to let this go. The illness can mess with a person’s mind so that the true self is not in the driver’s seat.
If you are able to reconnect, you will need to set loving, but firm boundaries in areas where you may not have before. Ex. “It’s not ok for you to be disrespectful when you speak to me. If you are experiencing difficulty with emotions, we can take a step back and work through things in a positive way.”
You need to be in a place of strength and love for yourself where you can keep those boundaries, and you may need to set them often.
When you are calm, at a level of higher consciousness (unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness), you may want to approach them, and share that you understand they may need space and that you will respect that, but equally, you value them and your relationship, being out of contact hurts you and you’d like to work together to find ways to communicate in a safe way for both of you. Then ask them what are some ways they can envision that happening and what does success look like for them.
In the mean time, work on yourself to become the best communicator you can be. Do this for you and without any expectations of it having a certain outcome.
What has helped me recently is practicing forgiveness. I hold a picture of the person who has caused harm, while sending them unconditional love. I repeat the words “I forgive you” over and over, as I send them love.

Bec
June, 24 2023 at 8:27 am

Beautifully well said my love.
May God bless you with many bright sunny days ahead 🙏❤️

LS
July, 28 2023 at 12:10 pm

I loved reading your post.. i'm dealing with the person I invisioned to be the one I'd spend my life with. We met 6 months ago online. We've had a connection stronger than any relationship I've ever been in. My backstory: Previously, I was married 19 yrs. Unknowingly to me,, he had a 9yr. affair with a person I considered family. During that time, I was mentally. emotionally and close to being physically abused by him. Although I wasn't the person who cheated, they found ways to try to blame me.. After catching them, they spent the greater part of the year mentally torturing me, to the point of hacking into my social media account and contacting my friends and posing as a strangers who claimed to know me and contacting my friends at work. Needless to say, it took years for me to realize the guilt and shame I had been carrying wasn't. mine to deal with.
Six months after my divorce, I jumped into a rationship with an alcoholic leaving me still emotionally abused. Last year after 4yrs. I came to realize that nothing was going to improve in me if I didn't leave that toxic relationship.
In January I met a man online. He had moved to my state not even a year before due access to specialized medical care. Although he lives 2hrs. from me, up until 3 weeks ago we spent every minute together. If we were separate we'd be in constant communication. He helped me to find self worth and showed me what a true loving relationship should be like.. We talked about moving in together, planning out future, set goals. The chemistry was amazing. I began noticing that he would get angry and be fixated in long tantrums that can last for days. The actions don't fit the situation. Id try to reassure him throughout the tantrums and offer solutions, then give him space when I saw he needed it. After he'd process it seemed like he'd "come to" and he'd be ok. His son and I were talking and his mother (who is a nurse practitioner) told him she thinks his dad is bipolar. Both of us dismissed the thought by thinking it was just a poke at him, but now I'm not so sure.
After 6 yrs on disability, he was cleared for work 3 weeks ago. He is in a high stress executive position. The first day he was to go back to work he was hospitalized with a life threatening issue. I stayed by his side as much as possible. He reiterated how much he loved me and how happy he was to have me. He demanded to leave the hospital asap to begin work.
I haven't seen him since. He texts everyday but only sending lengthy text about his job. Somedays he's over the moon happy and the others he's angry. He's not asking about me or telling me he loves me. I had to beg him to talk on the phone one night in 3 weeks. When we did he was on an hour tantrum about work. My phone died while we were talking. The next day I got a text stating he didn't know how much he had said before noticing I wasn't there. Then he said I love you very much. That was 2 days ago.
I'm so hurt and confused by his behavior. I don't know what to do. I love him and don't want to lose him. Im afraid that if I try to talk to him right now,, he'd lose it.. Im becoming depressed and feeling consumed by his distance. Any advice?

Carmen
August, 10 2023 at 9:11 pm

Thank you for your response. Great information & guidance coming from a place of love. I’m going to save this and read it regularly. Ii have BPD and working on not being dismissive towards family & friends when I’m experiencing a paralyzing depressive episode.

Annette marchant
August, 25 2023 at 5:58 pm

I have been with my bipolor disorder fiance for 13 months he was my world he is a very ill man ghosts me regularly and next minute texts to say hey babe I've missed you we have a great time then it happens again this has been happening too much now I've been heartbroken many times he is flirtatious with other women and keeps secrets ex drug addict and alcoholic I've never met any one like him think it's now time to let go as he has made me ill and my family and friends don't like how he is.

Ayla
April, 22 2023 at 4:11 am

Hey, add me on instagram if you want we can have a chat. Know exactly what you mean. Lianna_ayla

Carmen
August, 10 2023 at 9:00 pm

We care. We just feel like the other person is better off without us and everything that comes along with BPD. When I’m experiencing a depressive episode I tend to ghost friends & family. I have no desire to talk, socialize, connect.. it’s as if one’s wires have been severed. It’s a terrible feeling. Also during this time I feel extremely discouraged…feel defeated by the disorder. Especially with the up and down episodes.. When I’m happy, I’m convinced the worst is over and I’m cured. I feel hopeful and excited. I start setting goals again. Then comes the depressive episode and my dreams are shattered once again. ..and with every episode your hopes are crushed harder than the last.

Bren
March, 29 2023 at 9:20 pm

My brother is bi-polar & won’t get help (no meds, & no therapy) … he blocked me today & I’m in complete agony, any suggestions on what to do!? Thanks 😊

Sunny
February, 6 2023 at 12:04 pm

I was dating someone for anout 6 months. Things kind of moved fast. We were together abput 1 month after meeting. I was going woth it. He talked about biying a house, getting married. Aske me if i was ready to be a baseball, football mom (he jas a son who plays sports. He said he was ready to be there for me and my daughter. I felt that our relationship was going well. About 3 months in he told me he has depression and i guess it was beginning. We didn't talk mich about it. I didn't really know what it meant to be depressed. I've never experienced it. Then he started kind of distancing himself at about 5 months. One day, he texted that he needed time because he was spiraling and needed to seek therapy before it got too bad (he didn'tas far as I know). I googled everything about depression and read people's experiences so I could get an idea. I would check on him to see if he was OK. He would sometimes text. Then I saw him online dating when looking with my friend. I asked him if he didn't want to be with me then why didn't he just say so. I always thought he was honest. He said he was lonely. He couldn't talk to me because he was ashamed and felt weak inside. Then said he had thought about committing suicide the day he text me that he was spiraling. I worried. Tried to get him help. Checked on him, wrote him letters just to be there. Then one day, he said he was feeling a little better. I asked him if he still couldn't see me or didn't want to see me. He said he was keeping his mind busy. Then stopped responding to anything. And just ghosted me. I worried about him. Several months later, not even a year after he told me he was spiraling, I found out he got engaged!!! I could be wrong but i don't think his new fiancee was around when we were together. I believe she's either from his past or someone he met online. Regardless, I've been so hurt, mad, confused... everything. I'm obviously moving on, but that really threw me for a loop. I talked to my therapist who told me that he might be more than depressed. I'm not sure, but whatever it is sucks for the person being ghosted too. It just left me with a bad lasting impression.

Bob
December, 14 2022 at 4:53 am

I would love your advice. I had been texting someone I met on a dating app, we moved to instagram and talked all day everyday for 2 weeks, she told me about having Bipolar Disorder. When I shared some of my struggles she would reply in the sweetest, understanding ways. We had really good, deep talks and started talking about meeting up. I liked her a lot, I feel like we really connected.
On the day we agreed to videochat to make things less awkward IRL she woke up with a migraine so we rescheduled to the day after, I made sure to assure her that it was okay and to take her time. Later that day, in the late evening we had a nice chat but suddenly she stopped replying, even though nothing had happened. The day after I texted her good morning and said I hope she was feeling a little better. she wouldn't open my texts.
A couple days after I sent her a longer text saying that even though I had only known her for a short time I care a lot for her and would like to know how she are doing, telling her I'm there for her, assuring her I'm not going anywhere even though things might not be very easy. She wouldn't open it.
A week later I sent a text saying not to feel bad about not answering and that I will be there when she is able to answer again. It's been two weeks since this and she still hasn't opened my texts. She hasn't been active at all.
I don't know what else I can do. I assumed she might have fallen into a depression. I have tried to just not think about it anymore, and I haven't that much but when I do it sort of kills me inside...

Tracey
January, 6 2023 at 9:21 am

I am going through the same exact thingy with someone I met online!! Right down to the migraine before we were to FaceTime. He has completely disappeared. I reached out just like you and said I’d be here when he felt better. But honestly I’m so annoyed that someone could just disappear.

Nel
January, 8 2023 at 8:52 pm

This thing happened to me too. We have been talking for two months almost. He said he feels so disconnected so he stopped his meds. Then for a few days he said he’s alright and he’s ready to talk to me more. Then he disappeared and also removed me from his social medias. I wrote several texts to him. Well I loved him so much he was also like a best friend to me since we talked everyday but I have no idea how hard this is going to be for me it’s been a week and I’m crying everyday it hurts so much.

Phoenix
January, 14 2023 at 11:01 pm

I’m so sorry for what you and your friend are going through. I don’t have the answers, but I try to stay focused on the perspective that in each situation, there are gifts. One of the gifts is being able to connect with someone and love them, the next is then deciding to love them, even when they can’t be present right now. One thing you can try is to release expectations, release any judgement for you and them, and be open to what the universe is providing. Think in abundance, not in lack. Somehow, though it is incredibly difficult, this journey will purify you and if you let it, it will show you what is truly important in life. Keep saying yes, even when it hurts more than you can bear, because you can grow, learn and heal from this in positive ways. As you do this, even if he can’t be present, it will impact him in positive ways and help him heal. This is the greatest gift, the gift of love.

Scorpire
January, 26 2023 at 8:42 pm

He might come back, just give it time. I know it's hard because I am going through it myself at the moment. This is the 8th time this same person has ghosted me. She has Bipolar 1 and it's very difficult to deal with, but I love her ETERNAL and that is why I always take her back into my life... when she is ready. It's very hard to handle being on the recieving end of it! You have to give them their space and time to heal. Hopefully he comes back... just wait and see. Keep busy in the meantime, it will help alot! :)

Catherine
February, 10 2023 at 7:22 am

Does it help them to reach out while they’re not responding to let them know you care and are there for them and no pressure to get back into contact. I want to let her know I’m here for her and understand why she’s doing it and that I still want her when she is feeling better,Or should I iust wait and hope she does contact me?

Sheena
July, 5 2023 at 6:53 pm

I am bipolar and I go manic often it is a debilitating condition.. you are a ray of light. ❤️ you’re a beautiful person the world need more hearts like yours❤️ as long as you always make sure you are ok too!! Then I think this is so beautiful like the movie the note book 💕
You have brought me to tears of love and hope.. it’s a good feeling, thank you.

Madeline
March, 13 2023 at 12:17 pm

Omg I'm going through the exact same thing now. Been talking everyday online for 3 months, things were going great, we had plans to meet and suddenly out of the blue an odd facetime. The next day he drops a bomb about spiraling into a dark hole (manic depressive) and says he needs to dissappear for a few days.
There were no signs at all. He did mentioned that he was recovering from depression but seemed fine as we spoke. Reading from all the comments and past experiences here tells me that I have to start moving on myself to protect my own heart. It's sad because I finally let my guard down unknowingly after 7 years of an eat pray love journey just to be hit by a truck out of the blue, without knowing what I can do or did.

Phoenix
October, 26 2022 at 9:14 pm

I have been ghosted twice in my life, by two different people. The first lasted around 5 years, the second is ongoing, but has been several months, with declining contact and then complete ghosting. I believe both were due to a person's system being overwhelmed and shutting down of emotions. It is unknown if mental health issues were formally diagnosed, but through actions, it seems they were likely present in at least one.
I can say that the pain and psychological harm that ghosting causes to the ghosted (and likely the ghoster as well), is significant.
I am a person that has very few close friends/relationships, so to lose people in this way is devastating, and really impacts self esteem in a negative way. I am a person who values people I am close to tremendously, and loves deeply.
In both instances, each person had said that there would never be a time when we weren't in each other's lives, and at a minimum, we would never be less than friends. There was strong connection at all levels and it was a total shock to lose each of these relationships.
In the first relationship, the person did come back to the extent they could, after a period of about 5 years of silence, despite me reaching out in positive ways periodically, over that timeframe.
They only came back when I was finally able to release all expectations and let them go completely.
Haunted by the question: If I let them go, do I lose my ability to love?
To let them go completely, does not mean I stopped loving them, or myself. It means I learned to adapt to the unknown, develop faith and to love them unconditionally, no matter what the outcome was. I learned forgiveness and compassion for them and myself, and focused on all the things that knowing them and our connection gifted me with.
What was this ghoster feeling when they disappeared from my life?
They confirmed that as I was suffering all along, so were they. They confirmed that they loved me deeply all along, just as I loved them, even though they acted as if they hated me. They had to shut down their emotions and put them in a box on a shelf, in order to function and move forward on a chosen path. The emotions were never processed and finally 5 years later, they were opening the box to start processing them in a healthy way. Prior to their return, I did not tell them I had let them go, so I assume they felt a shift when I did, and then felt safe enough to make contact and to start opening the box of their packed up emotions. I welcomed them back with love and compassion, as I knew to open the box again took great courage. In the box lies all the difficulty of their own deeper issues, (things that may have nothing to do with the other person, things from childhood etc.), that were brought to the surface and overwhelmed them when we got too close. Now we are working to resolve past issues as they come up, in a health way. We are able to do this as friends, and it is a relief and blessing to have them in my life again. There are not words to describe it, yet there are still no expectations.
Getting here was a long and lonely road, but was I really alone? How did I get to this new place, when 5 years prior, when the ghosting first happened, I found myself in a place I swore I would never be in (one of complete despair and hopelessness)?
When you're going through hell, keep on going.
I did everything I could to keep myself alive, even though at times, I felt like a shell of who I once was. I hid my suffering from as many of my loved ones, co-workers and friends as I could, as they did not understand, and wanted me to be angry with this person. I was hanging on by a thread for so long, struggling to remain positive and remember all of the gifts. I kept the higher perspective that yes, they destroyed my life, but only to bring out the person I truly am; one that can and does love unconditionally. I focused on all that I needed to heal, partly because I needed to remain focused in order to survive, and partly because I was not going to ever come so close to giving up again.
A new beginning.
I had overcome so much and made so much progress, rebuilding my self esteem and recognizing my self worth. I knew if I could get through this, that I could get through anything. I knew that I would not be afraid ever again to love completely... And so I did.
When person 2 ghosted me, I could once again not believe it, and again was in shock. I had a love for this person I could not explain, loved them unconditionally. That this abrupt ending was only an illusion, because it didn't feel as though it had ended. This person still feels as close to me as they ever have, even though they act now as though I never existed. So again, I let them go and love unconditionally. Maintaining hope, with no expectations.
When I take a closer look in the rearview mirror, I saw warning signs that something else was happening to this person behind the scenes, and there was anxiety and depression having a negative impact on them. Over what I recall to be a very rapid timeframe, they suddenly lost feelings for me. They became seemingly cold and uncaring, when once so understanding, loving and warm. The person I trusted with my life became harsh and pushed me away hard. Periodically, my mind unconsciously wanders to thoughts of those instances, and it hits so hard. The way things happened does not make sense, as everything seemed to be going so well and we were still in the process of getting to know each other and enjoying each other's company. The bond seemed unbreakable. Even though I was in shock, and feel bad that I didn't know enough about the illness at the time to be more supportive, I thought back to the commitment we made to each other to always be in each other's lives. I found comfort in this, knowing that we would always have a close friendship, and maybe one day more. Sadly, they began to not answer my calls very often. We went from daily communication and texts, to almost nothing, over a period of months. I would check in periodically to see if they were ok and also let them know I'm still here for them, no matter what. I would also send pictures and events in my life that I would send to other loved ones as well. First they seemed to value that, but little by little, the responses got shorter and shorter, until they stopped responding completely. Though I am working hard to stay positive during this process, I recognize I love and miss this person very much.
Loving them is the easy part.
Letting them go is the hard part.
I want very much to spend time with them again, talking, laughing, doing things we enjoy and showing them how much they are loved and valued. Yet I have to let all of that go and trust the unknown. I don't know if person 2 will ever come back into my life, but I have hope they will. I have hope they can overcome their illness and learn to love themselves. I have hope that I can survive the pain the ghosting has caused, the waking up at 1:30am and realizing again and again that they chose me out of their life. I have at times even wished that I could blame myself, as maybe there was something I said or did, or maybe I was too intense and it triggered them... but there is no logical explanation to why a person who loves you could ghost you and pretend you don't exist, because it is not logical; it's an illness that presents itself periodically.
When all of the difficulty on both sides is stripped away, I wish I could tell you, that the illness is not who you are, who you are is your soul, and nothing can take that away from you.
I wish I could tell you how much you are loved, no matter what.
To those who suffer from being ghosted, please take care of yourself.
It's ok to love unconditionally and hold space for your loved one. Equally, tell them gently and honestly that shutting down and ghosting hurts you and set loving boundaries.
To help you through this trauma, make a plan with things that keep you alive through the pain you feel. Basic things like exercise, eating healthy, sleeping when you can, writing, and doing things that make you feel a little better, and do these things religiously every day. Focus on what the separation is showing you, that needs healing in yourself, because perhaps it is a gift. Through it, you will become more of who you truly are.
To both the ghoster and the ghosted, please remember who you truly are, and remember that no matter if it feels that all is lost; in this life, we are never truly alone. Even in the illusion of separation, and in the shadow of an illness, we are not alone. This too shall pass.
Remember to be the light that you are.

Britta Hallberg
October, 28 2022 at 1:24 am

i dont know who you are but I AM GOING THROUGH THIS RIGHT NOW ITS SO HEARTBREAKING I NEED HELP

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