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, September 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.

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?

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.

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.

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

Phoenix
October, 28 2022 at 8:31 pm

I am so sorry Britta. I know it is heartbreaking. Sometimes it helps to share your story, if you feel comfortable doing so.
Wishing you peace during this difficult time.

Klm
November, 12 2022 at 11:06 pm

Wish I could get back the strength to have your optimism, trying so hard now again.. but I feel so trapped and my ex won’t let me go. Had to keep some tether to me for this sick sense of power and control they seem to need

Rosie
May, 20 2023 at 6:05 pm

Phoenix, you will never know how much your words have helped me. Thank you so much. Feel less alone now. Bless you x

Soph
August, 31 2023 at 1:52 am

Thank you so so much for this.
Having been recently ghosted by my husband who I’ve been married to a year I feel my world had been flipped upside down and the rug has been snatched from underneath my feet. We were planning a family and he had a gone from calling me his person to hating me and freezing me out, blaming me for everything he’s going through. It’s been excruciating, he’s slung hatred about me to his friends and family and I’ve never felt so low. We were so in love but were going through a difficult time, he’d accused me of infidelity several times over the years. Which is hugely upsetting because it flagged that he has deep insecurities despite my commitment to him.
I really draw strength from reading other people’s experiences and realising I’m not on my own. Thank you. I hold a deep hope that I get my husband back and now I understand this was and is an illness , I can understand him better and we can work together. I’ll keep a match lit even though it seems impossible right now. I miss him terribly.

Tina
October, 26 2022 at 4:41 pm

Hi everyone
I’m dealing with a very hurtful situation and not sure what to do or say. My daughter has been diagnosed with bi polar. We talk on the phone nearly every day and face time as we are in two different countries. Recently she just blocked me on messenger I can’t call video or text. She told my sister that she needed her space that I trigger her. My sister told her to unblock me and this was not acceptable. I left it for a few days but then tried to call her again and I was unblocked but the response I got later was yes mom? Told her I was just checking in to see how she was and I loved her…no response. It’s killing me inside and makes we question so many things. Any suggestions?

Rod
November, 3 2022 at 10:06 am

I would say to give her space and not push too hard. I know it's hard, but the more you push someone who has bi-polar, the more you'll push them away I fear. I'm no expert on this by any means, but it's what I've kindof realised after having been ghosted myself this year.
I have a friend who I suspect has bi-polar. She's told me in the past that she suffers from depression, etc. And after having a great year-long relationship (mainly online due to distance) back in April, she just disappeared. Our relationship wasn't romantic, but there might have been a tinge of that from both sides. Still a bit confused about that!
But yeah, out of the blue, she blocked me from social media, etc. Everywhere! Seven months down the line, I've tried to contact her multiple times and ways, but with no responses. So I've decided to let things lie for now as I don't want to push it and be that 'annoying person' who keeps popping up...
Good luck with your daughter. I would just say take things very slowly and let her come around in her own time :)

Abed
October, 26 2022 at 9:46 am

I am not sure if a bipolar spouse would come back to her true feelings after medication. My wife is insisting on divorce and yet insists that we stay friends, she will see the shrink tomorrow and just hope she would be back to normalize her cartoonish thoughts (with all respect)
I am not sure what to expect after the therapy

Skylar
October, 12 2022 at 5:04 pm

I’ve (21/any pronouns/college student) been talking to someone (23/they/she/full time work) for almost 2 months (started 8/20/22), we met on bumble and talked for a solid 3 weeks before moving to text then to snapchat, sending each other long videos talking about our days and our lives. She even told me that she had bpd and i was okay with that since she said that they go to a therapist and a psychiatrist. So i was confident that they can handle it, they also have 2 cats and a dog while working full time so i was confident that she was doing very well handling it. I really like them and thought we were connecting super well. Up until recently, i sent videos last night (responding to what they had sent), we decided to make plans to go on a date for the first time! we were talking about things to do and when we’d met up which would have been this Saturday (10/15/22). i was super excited until i checked snap and saw they haven’t responded to me in almost 24 hours. i thought it was strange but we tend to respond a few hours between because of our schedule and thought oh she must be busy. However, i saw that they opened my videos but never responded. I took a closer look and saw that my snapchat was saying that i wasn’t friends with them anymore on there, i kept trying to friend them back but it wouldn’t work then tried typing their user but wouldn’t show up. Which means that she blocked me on snap….(also deleted bumble profile) So i went to our text messages and sent a message asking if “she’s ok?” and “i’m here if you need to talk, just let me know” but still no response all day. So i’m unsure if she’s ghosting and/or blocked me cause she’s not interested anymore; but i’m thinking she could be having a depressive episode or something. she mentioned having a psychiatrist and therapy appointment on the same day and she was drained and she just got over having covid and missing work for 5 days so i’m unsure if she’s just having a bad time right now and doesn’t want to talk or she just doesn’t like me anymore. I haven’t had this issue until asking about the date stuff but she genuinely seemed excited to go on a date as well and she talked about future date ideas. I’m just in a funk and confused? i’m unsure of what to do, should i give her a few more days to respond or just drop it? we’re supposed to go on a date Saturday but it’s probably not happening anymore. I just can’t figure out if it’s a bipolar thing cause she’s not medicated or she just doesn’t like me anymore and didn’t want to tell me :( i’d appreciate any insight that anyone has, i’m just so bummed and confused.

Patrick
October, 26 2022 at 9:28 am

Stop with the pronouns all ready. In a few years you’ll see how dumb sounding this pronouns part iv culture is. The rest of your posting is great. For those of us loving a bp it’s tough…. Just when we think it’s safe, we discover it isn’t and we are forgotten ghosts. I don’t know whether to contact her or not. It’s tough…. 2 months as a ghost

TT
October, 28 2022 at 2:25 pm

What makes you think this person would trust what you say when you just told them part of their identity(and the person’s who they’re interested in) is “dumb”? So rude and really discounted what I presume to be your attempt at encouraging.

Darby
December, 2 2022 at 2:23 am

Same here. Two months and I’m torn between being worried about him and not wanting to impose to say I m here to support however he chooses.

A very lost boyfriend
October, 6 2022 at 7:10 am

Thanks, this article helped putting some things in perspective, but I'm still at a loss. I'm pretty convinced my girlfriend has bipolar, but she's never been diagnosed. A lot of symptoms match, but not all of them.
I'll tell my story, hoping someone will be able to tell me their thoughts or give some advice.
I’m 41. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year. It took a while for the relationship to take off, because she’s been through an insane amount of trauma throughout her life, and over the past few years especially: her dad (undiagnosed bipolar) took his life, she got divorced, her highly successful career fell apart, and other heavy stuff.
She rebuilt herself as a highly independent woman, taking care of her two children and a new business she started (which she’s very passionate about but it’s not generating enough income thus far which is super scary), and was really not looking for anything serious. Nevertheless, love found us, and it was so special and right, that my patience paid off. We’ve lived an insane amount of stuff over our time together. We became partners, best friends, I developed an amazing relationship with her kids, and things between us were generally amazing. Except that at times, it would still come up that it wasn’t the life she had planned (she left an unhappy marriage that made her feel trapped, and she wanted to be a solo, independent woman), and every so often she would say that she can’t give me what I want (proper commitment). But things would always get better, and everything just felt right.
She's also often in a dark, sad place and feels desperate with a total lack of motivation or taste for life, but she’s a generally functional person (she has to, for her kids), so she would always manage to stand up again after a really bad day, and be active. So it's never the 'two weeks in bed completely paralyzed' kind of situation that I often read about, which has me wondering.
We had a terrible phase in the spring, she broke up with me, and we were apart for about 6 weeks. She said and did some things that were super hurtful, and I was a complete, utter mess (had to take xanax for the first time in my life).
She was having a huge manic episode, so she was very confident in what she was doing, no second thoughts. Again, she’s never been diagnosed, but so many things made it a textbook case of bipolar mania (poor judgement, hypersexuality, recklessness with her money, heightened productivity, etc.).
Through a series of circumstances, things eventually improved, and we had a perfect few months after that.
The past month however, took a huge toll on us. Some things (outside of our couple) highly triggered her, she felt she had to focus more on the kids and the business, and there was a communication breakdown, while communicating had always been one of our fortes.
Now she dumped me again, saying she can’t give me what I want, can’t be faithful (a desire for promiscuity/an open relationship seems to be a recurring thing during these phases), needs to be alone and focus on herself, the kids and the business, etc. There are other signs of mania (heightened productivity, irritability, raging - even though that never gets insane: she's not a violent person, and we normally have a positive, loving dynamic). It's been a lot of ghosting, with no willingness for dialogue. I feel invisible.
I don’t know how to deal with this. I would accept it and let it go, if what we had (minus these phases) wasn’t so rare and special. Believe me, I’m not delusional, what we have at our core really is all that. I’m hearing all this crap now, whereas only a few weeks back, all I was hearing was, I’m a gift, I’m perfect for her, she’s committed to me, we’re better together, my presence is awesome for the kids, etc.
It seems like she’s punishing herself, and is unable to love herself and to be kind to herself (she told me 'it's way too late for me to be kind to myself). She feels that she can’t give. But that’s completely at odds with how everything looks when things are normal. I’m scared that since this is the second such episode in 4 months, it could be more permanent than the one in the spring. Like, even if she comes out of the mania…she would feel discouraged, or would simply prefer to get over it and move on, convincing herself that she's meant to be alone.
Now she's saying she's good and optimistic, but isn't really reaching out. Other than saying she misses me too, she's saying the space is good for her.
So I'm trying to understand what's going on, and besides some super heavy trauma she's been through and some boundary issues, so many things seem to match with bipolar: phases where she's obsessed with being productive, skewed judgment and paranoia, opinions about us changing radically, symptoms of hypersexiaulity and a strong desire for independence, a sense of feeling great which seems temporary, and irritability. And then, the underlying feeling of sadness and despair, pessimism, and lack of joy or motivation, even though none of that is necessarily obvious on the surface.
Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Diana
October, 9 2022 at 7:40 pm

I can't say much, just that bipolar disorder doesn't always fit the textbook description line for line. I have it and I never went through promiscuous stages and I also never spent money wildly like some do. I would get depressed but not stay in bed like some people do and like you described your girlfriend. I can't tell you if she has bipolar disorder, though from your description, I would see why you might think so, but I can tell you that every person who has it is different and the textbook descriptions aren't always accurate in my opinion.

Lost girlfriend
October, 29 2022 at 8:10 am

Your story is almost exactly the same as mine! Except I'm the girlfriend. I know he's bipolar, he has every symptom. I've tried telling him but as a "manly man" I think he knows I'm right but refuses to go get help. We have had the perfect relationship for years now except for his symptoms but he never has acted out on me. Then over the last several weeks I stated noticing an increase in his symptoms. Then I noticed him beling less affectionate with me and distancing from me. I finally confronted him and he basically said I'm beautiful and wonderful and our relationship is great but basically he's still unhappy. I'm not even sure if he broke up with me or not. I'm not sure he knows. He still calls and texts and shows up at my house. He still hugs me but won't kiss me. It's all very strange and confusing and it hurts . So I don't even know if we are together or not. I believe he's been in a mixed episode for weeks now. He's displayed symptoms the whole relationship but he'd usually snap out of it in a few days. If our relationship wasn't so good and he wasn't such a wonderful person I would just walk away. Now I'm left not knowing what I can do to save this when he won't seek help for himself.

Gg
September, 30 2022 at 9:34 pm

Im glad i found this page! My teen is grieving her sudden breakup from her bipolar boyfriend. "Ghosted" is an understatement. Their energies matched so perfectly. They were like 2 peas in a pod. So perfect together that after a week of being a public couple, ppl were voting for them as homecoming queen and king. Then he started distancing himself. Instead of hugging her back, he would shove her away. His snaps diminished over the course of a week, he ignored her in the hall. Then he texted her and said he was under severe stress, sports every day, having to get straight a's, being new in high school. Plus he had a torn ligament that had just that day re tore. I spoke to his mom, who also said that he talked to her about how much he loved my daughter, but when he has a girlfriend he wants to give all his attention to her, and he didnt have time to give, plus he was a mess with bipolar. I cannot imagine how much worse this poor kid will get before he is even 21. Thats 7 yesrs away! Already he has left a trail of broken hearts a mile long, and is already going to a dance he had asked my daughter to, with another girl. My daughter is SO CONFUSED!
Any advice is welcome. I hate to see her suffering.

EG
September, 7 2022 at 10:56 am

I am going through something similar, the only difference is my gf is medicated and she is aware of her mood swings, lows and highs. When we started dating we each had our own lives doing our own routines, but the closer we got the slowly we became co-dependent, and we started to spend all our time together practically we were living together. At first everything was easy and stable, love and communication was flowing. Then she hit a low episode, where she even was scared for her own life, over the last 4-5 weeks she continued to stay with me and we wouldn't talk much, I was just taking care of her basic needs such as food ,and support. Then unfortunately I got a job on a different state. At first everything was easy, myself I had insecurities because I've been cheat on, and she was so helpful reassuring everything. we continued to talk everyday all day, until one day after she went out on her own, and got drunk, next day she was silent like she's never been before, no contact, she called me that night but I noticed she was different, I tried to help, but she just pushed me away, she continued to communicate when she talked to her male friends Saying" ey I am talking to my X and Y friend" I just want you to know. Then she continued to ghost me, but my insecure persona tried to help and be there for her, until one day she called and told me that she was going through a low and she was sorry for being distant and that she needed space, so I gave it to her, no contact at all. she also told me that I need to learn that I am not her only support person. We did not talk at all for the rest of the week, until on Saturday I decided to call her, she was distant and quiet, then I proceeded to start a convo but it didn't work, I asked her if she was gonna visit me but she said " no I don't think I can" then I proceeded to ask when? and she said maybe October. We hung up the call and she texted sayin " hey I am just feeling disconnected and off, and I need space right now, I am sure its just a phase, sometimes confiding to you can be draining because not everything needs to be intense, I feel like I am loosing myself to you and making my days around you I need space for now" I didn't reply, but at 3 am she told me ey wanna fall asleep on facetime tmw? I didnt reply until next day " and I just said I would like to" then on sunday she texted me and called me, we even ft for a while, she got my some stuff I needed and then we proceeded to talk about the incidents and how sometimes when shes going down to a low, she need someone she can rely on, and we she saw I was emotionally strong cuz I was worried she went even more low, I apologized for bringing my insecurities so often, I told her I was going to be better. Shes was like sometimes I need to isolate to recover and I want you to know that even if we dont talk for a week, or even a month I still love you and I want to be with you and have a family etc. she also stated that since Ive moved out she realized that all the progress she made and I made was based on each others presence, and when that was taken away she was to square 0 so she was trying to get back up but she didnt wanted to generate a codependency, because she want to figure out herself I agreed, because I need to work on me. Also she said that we dont have to call eachother all day, that its healthy we have our own routine. we agreed and we been doing that. After sunday we have barely talked. short and minimal texting but I know she talks to other people (friends)
but its taken the best of me because a wanna talk to her and be a better support I just dont know what to do

A Moss
October, 3 2022 at 2:55 am

My frank advice: end it. It will go on forever and ever. One day you'll turn round and realise you spent years or decades consumed by this person, and did not achieve anything else in life. It becomes like a drug, if you let it. Healthy love should not feel that difficult That's my experience with a very similar type of situation

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