I have been with my boyfriend for three years and most of the time it has been great, but things seem to be getting worse and worse. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when he was 14, but has not been treated, medicated or been through any counseling since then. I don't know if his disorder is getting worse, or if he is becoming abusive, or if he just wants to break up. He gets very angry all the time, and over really irrational things. He has been yelling at me and calling me names for no reason, and he has never been like this before. I know I don't deserve this behavior, but I also want to help him through his illness, if that's even what is causing it. He makes fun of me, belittles me and most of what I believe in, and whenever I am upset or crying he tells me to just deal with it and stop acting stupid. This is all really new, he's never done anything like this before. Usually a day or so after he blows up at me he apologizes and says that he just can't control himself sometimes, and that it's not me, and I forgive him. I don't want to break up with him, but I can't handle being treated like this so often. He refuses to be medicated, and does not trust most counselors. Is it worth sticking by him and encouraging counseling?
No one deserves verbal or emotional abuse, which is what you are experiencing now. It is a short step to physical abuse since he admits he is having difficulty controlling his own behavior. This has become a relationship that is no longer safe for you to remain in as it is.
You are wise to be concerned as young adulthood is often a time when mood disorders destabilize, given brain chemistry changes and the increasing stressors of college. Appropriate counseling and/or medication can make all the difference, but the patient must be willing to see how out of control things are and make the necessary changes in order to stabilize.
I strongly advise you seek help and support for yourself, through counseling. The Counseling Center in Old Main, fifth floor, 650-3164 can help. You and your therapist can talk about how you can encourage your boyfriend to accept therapy, or if he maintains his refusal to get help, how you can safely leave the relationship.