Divorce and Bipolar Women

Bipolar Disorder in Women

Bipolar disorder affects women differently than men. Women experience more frequent depressive episodes and are more likely to suffer from rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder and Divorce

An article in the November 1, 2003, issue of Psychology Today reported that as many as 90 percent of all relationships involving someone with bipolar disorder end in divorce. Living with someone with bipolar disorder is challenging, especially if that person is not getting adequate treatment.

The Stress of Divorce

Stress typically exacerbates symptoms of bipolar disorder, and of course, divorce is very stressful. Bipolar women going through a divorce need to be monitored closely for symptoms. They may need extra support during this time.

Financial Concerns

Women with bipolar disorder are usually treated with both medication and psychotherapy. Treatment can be expensive, and women going through a divorce may have difficulty affording the care they need.

Child Custody Issues

A bipolar woman going through a divorce will not automatically lose custody of her children just because of her disorder. If the children's father challenges her fitness as a mother, the court will examine the situation closely to see if her condition may actually prevent her from parenting her children adequately. Bipolar disorder is a serious psychological condition that causes periods of severe depression that alternate with periods of manic behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 5.1 million adults in the U.S. suffer from bipolar disorder, and about half of those are women.