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Haltzman is clinical assistant professor in the Brown University department of psychiatry and human behavior.
He's also medical director of NRI Community Services in Woonsocket, R. and author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women.
Your doctor can prescribe mood stabilizing medications, such as Lithium, with antidepressants to help control your symptoms.
Therapy with a trained psychologist or social worker is also important.
But when those episodes do occur they can wreak havoc on a relationship.
During the manic phase, a person can lose his or her sense of judgment.
With therapy you can learn to control the behaviors that are putting stress on your relationship.
"I don't think it's necessary to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date," Haltzman says.Mc Nulty watched not only his own marriage fall apart, but the marriages of others with bipolar disorder as well."I've been running a support group for almost 19 years," he says.When Jim Mc Nulty, 58, of Burrillville, Rhode Island, got married in the 1970s, everything seemed fine at first."It was an absolutely normal courtship," he recalls. During his "up" or hypomanic states, he would spend huge sums of money he didn't have.