Are People With Bipolar Disorder More Likely To Have Marital Problems Or Get Divorced?

Question: Are people with bipolar disorder more likely to have marital problems or get divorced?

Answer: When population studies have been done looking across the entire population at people who have bipolar disorder and people who have no psychiatric conditions, it has been found that people with bipolar disorder are more likely to have marital problems, and also more likely to be divorced.

The important point here though is that the marital problems and divorces happen in the context of the psychiatric difficulties. So somebody with bipolar disorder who is taking care of themselves, taking the treatment appropriately, and have good relationships with their treaters, are not destined to become divorced or have marital problems just because they have bipolar disorder.

The problems arise when somebody's having psychiatric difficulties, manic or depressive episodes, or other associated conditions like substance abuse, truancy, legal problems -- those are the things that typically lead to the marital problems and divorce.

So, the important thing to remember is that the key is to take care of oneself, and to take the psychiatric condition seriously, and get it treated. And if that's the case, the marital problems and divorce are no higher than the rest of the population.


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