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Viridian

Neuro-emotions and relationships

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Viridian

I'm currently in a relationship of three and a half years, which has been the best of my life. My partner is incredibly loving and supportive, and despite being (rightly) sceptical about psychiatric drugs, has always supported my right to autonomy in determining what form of therapy is best for me. I couldn't ask for a better partner - the only caveat is that she currently lives in the US, while I am in the UK, so we are doing long-distance. But we communicate daily via text and have regular video calls, and I'm hoping to move out there later this year.

 

More recently, my constant mood swings (which I believe are the result of SSRI 'poop-out,' as they closely resemble my previous w/d symptoms) have been putting a strain on our relationship. Because of the time difference, I'll sometimes stay up late at night talking to her, and this is when my thought patterns can be the most circular and detached from reality - when I'm the most prone to 'neuro-emotions.' I keep seeking reassurance from her about our relationship, which has always been rock solid, and this is clearly making her stressed and unhappy. I feel horrible and I keep promising myself I'll stop, but my brain keeps finding new ways of tricking me into doing it again. She takes everything I say very seriously, even if it's fairly nonsensical or flat-out contradicts things I've said before, and it can be difficult to convince her that my thoughts were 'just' neuro-emotions after the fact.

 

Does anyone have tips for managing this side of things in a close relationship? Going into a taper I feel like the neuro-emotions will be an ongoing problem, and I'm afraid of losing my ability to be a reliable and emotionally supportive partner.

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TeaBea

Sounds like you need to let her know what you are in for, regarding withdrawals especially, but also about taking SSRIs in general.  She's not physically with you to witness any of this.  I'd make darn sure she was up to speed (share her some posts / websites, etc.) and knew what you might end up going through because of these meds, ESPECIALLY before you make a huge life decision like quitting a job and moving halfway around the world.  I know I wouldn't want to get to a new country, having psych issues, and find out the person I loved wasn't prepared to deal with me....if you feel bad about things now, imagine being in that scenario.  

Good luck to you!

 

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NobodySpecial

Hey @Viridian,

 

This sounds like it's really challenging, and I want to acknowledge how awesome it is that you're making the long distance relationship work - it sounds like throughout the relationship (and judging by your history in the signature), you've been up and down with medications and dosages, so have the neuro-emotions been something that's happened throughout?

 

Firstly (and I hope this doesn't sound like a pie-in-the-sky platitude), I think that we all need the exact amount that we need, not more or less. My opinion is that in every functioning relationship, there's an element of dysfunction and I feel like both partners will have to lean on each other in a way that probably seems unbalanced from an outside perspective. I'm not sure whether this helps or gives you any hope, but it helped me - I closely followed a Buddhist teacher called Michael Stone who suffered from Bipolar, and he and his wife built into their vows a commitment to care for his mental health.

 

I think that Skype / messaging is challenging because it's hard to convey what's actually going on, like you miss out on those non-verbal and nuanced communication ques that help fill in the picture. Does that make sense? Like, I feel like when we aren't communicating in the flesh, it's hard to get the FULL picture of what's going on for the other person, and we usually fill in those blanks with our own insecurities and interpretations (I notice that when I'm feeling needy, I'll read a "yes" from my partner as her being mad at me).

 

So maybe it'd be worth having a conversation and sharing information that helps fill in those blanks for her?

 

I just explained neuro-emotions to my partner, and then if I had the capacity, I'd let her know when I was going through an episode. You can't really control how the other person is going to perceive them though, like it may still really upset them, but being in a relationship means that you're both responsible for how you feel. If you're explaining what's going on and trying your hardest not to act it out in a damaging way, then meeting you half-way might involve your partner actively working with how that triggers him / her as well. I found this really empowering, knowing that I can always work with my reactions to things my partner did - so that I didn't feel like a victim. It doesn't mean that damaging or challenging behaviour shouldn't be resolved, but it means that in the meantime, you can feel empowered and like you have a choice in it.

 

I have a resource - https://relationshipschool.net/podcast/podcast-how-to-make-a-long-distance-relationship-work-sc-181/

 

Would love to chat if you wanted to send me a message, happy to offer support in any way possible!

 

 

 

 

 

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