I think DH is bipolar.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-11-2007, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dh started having mood swings back at the end of May (unfortunately, right after I had emergency surgery. Thankfully, my mom doesn't live too far away, so I took the kids and went to her house for a few days.) Basically, dh gets in this mood where I don't recognize him. He has a lot of energy, is very very angry, likes kicking things around (like balls), seems in a terrible mood, all the time whistling and humming toons (seems very odd to me). The weird thing about this mood is that he takes this time to be incredibly rude, mean, and disrespectful to me. HOWEVER, he can seemingly flip a switch and be sweet, almost TOO sweet, to other people (like the children, or parishioners. He is a pastor.) In fact, the night that it happened for the first time (about 2 days after my surgery) some people came over to our house to see how I was doing. I was on the computer, and told DH to get the door and I'd be there in a few minutes. DH turned to me and said in this nasty voice "go in there and talk to the people that came to visit you or I'll embarrass you." He has said several things like this, which makes me so angry just typing this, I want a divorce. How could he possibly be so mean to someone he is supposed to love and care for? Especially at a time when I really needed his support.

I have started thinking maybe he is bipolar. These moods are getting more frequent, and they are happening about twice a week now. After one of those angry, manic moods he seems to get really depressed. In fact, after the first incident, he got so depressed that I made him go to his rheumatologist.. he has rheumatoid arthritis, which may be another part to this. He was taking steroids and when he was weaned off of them is when the mood swings started. Anyway, the rheum. put him on prozac, which I am now reading may be making his mood cycles worse.

Last night we had a REALLY big fight because he was in a really bad anger mood. I told him he has GOT to go see someone or atleast talk to someone. I have a friend who has a good friend who is a psychiatrist and she called me last week.. she would like to talk to my husband but he gets really defensive any time I suggest he do something about his mood swings. He thinks he just has "issues" like everyone else, but just has no self control so basically it's just something he has to work out in himself. At our fight last night, I told him me and the kids were going to have to go stay at my moms until he would get some help. He doesn't understand and becomes really defensive, and then gets nasty. Tells me that he will not "allow" me to take the children away from him. Because he is a pastor, he thinks that me not being there on Sunday morning would look suspicious and basically forces me to stay through atleast Sunday so that he is not embarrassed. Tells me he will forcefully make the children stay with him if I decide to leave Saturday morning, or if I would agree to stay through Sunday maybe he would "let" me go, but by then he says "you'll be over it."

Late last night he agreed he would talk to the psychiatrist on the phone, but he would make no promises. I don't know if I even want to work things out with him right now. I feel like he has really gone too far.... how can he gain his composure with other people, but feels it's okay to last out at me?

Sorry if I seem to rambling.. I am probably leaving out a lot because the kids are fighting as I am typing this. I really need some advice/perspective.

One thing I forgot to say, is that he has told me he has thoughts every day about killing himself. So I told him, don't you see that it's not normal to think like that? He said he thinks it's normal. He is also drinking a lot at night. Right now, if he doesn't go see a psychiatrist, I've got to leave. I just don't see any other way right now.
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#2 of 7 Old 08-12-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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this struck me because my DH is also a pastor. If he is Bipolar, it's not normal bipolar, it would have to be rapid cycling, otherwise it's not common to experience manic and depressive phases within the same day or week. Normally, only a few cycles a year tops with regular bipolar.

I would wonder if there is a link between the steroid treatments. Cortisone mimics cortisol, the stress hormone. Too much or too little cortisol in the system can cause major problems, some of which could manifest in anger and anxiety. I'd say see if your husband would agree to having his cortisol levels checked in addition to seeing a psychiatrist.

Also, if he is threatening (or contemplating) suicide, please get him in to see someone. If he won't go, you can (on the basis of his expressing a desire to harm himself) have him forcibly taken. It's not a great option, but it's much better than dead husband. We tried to have my husband forcibly committed at his worst, fortunately, he wasn't expressing suicidal thoughts, so they wouldn't take him, and in the end, we were able to get him to a hospital where he agreed to be admitted.

Also, if he is bipolar prozac probably won't help by itself, and actually, it can bring on manias. So I'd get him off that pronto until you get it sorted out.

Do consider seeing a endocrinologist and checking those cortisol levels. With all his anger, it sounds like a plausible issue giving his medication change. He might also be more willing to go that route at first than a Psychiatrist. And also, if you can give him a little massage with rescue remedy cream, that could help. Or take a look at the Bach Floral Remedies (google search will get you there) if you can find one that sounds like him, I say slip it into his drinks as often as you need. When my husband was out of control, I did everything I could to see if I could bring him back before we took him to the hospital.
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#3 of 7 Old 08-13-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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That sounds like a self-medicating (drinking) bipolar2 to me, but I'm not a DR.

Prozac has been known to cause people to have suicidal thoughts, etc. When my DH had suicidal thoughts on meds, the DR immediately took him off them (this happened twice).

I was also going to suggest calling in back-ups and possible haing him forcibly removed (like AmyMama said) because threatening suicide (and threatening you or the children) gives you more options in that regard.

Are there any elders or deacons that you trust and can enlist to help you?
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#4 of 7 Old 08-16-2007, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back.

I'm not sure what is going on. These mood cycles/swings are still happening every few days. Thankfully, I was able to get him to talk to the psychiatrist I know on the phone, and she definitely thinks he needs to see someone (she recomended a neuro-psychiatrist, and is supposed to be finding us one in our area.) He had a good talk with her, but he goes back and forth as to whether or not he wants to go see someone. I talked to another priest friend of ours, and he knows what is going on, but doesn't think the suicidal thoughts are serious. Maybe that is a mistake?

I am scared, because I'm afraid I won't have my old husband back. I also keep wondering if it's just something wrong with our relationship, because most of his anger seems to be directed towards me. I don't understand it. Am I crazy for thinking that?

Yeah, I think there is a link between the steroid treatments and this mental stuff. He also has agreed to go see a "natural" md for treating his RA, so I'll bring it up to that dr (if he ever goes!)
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#5 of 7 Old 08-17-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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I also keep wondering if it's just something wrong with our relationship, because most of his anger seems to be directed towards me. I don't understand it. Am I crazy for thinking that?
No, you are not crazy for thinking this, but it is very unlikely (and I mean virtually impossible) that it is true.

I'm glad to hear he is seeking some sort of help. Hopefully, he will follow through. Did he discontinue the steroid treatment? Will he?

Try and go with him to all his appt if he will allow it. You are the level-headed one and you need to be involved with his treatment.

I'm really glad to hear another priest is willing talk to you about this. Please do not discount the suicidal thoughts. Make sure ALL of his doctors know about it.
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#6 of 7 Old 09-03-2007, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I thought I would give a little update. DH is still not wanting to get help. Here is a little letter I wrote to him tonight via email:

Maybe this isn't the best way to do it, but I think
you've got to realize how your mood/anger is affecting
me, and the children. Getting angry and yelling about
simple spills, suddenly raising your voice and
indimidating the children.. YES, talking loud and
"mean" does get their attention, but they only obey
because they are afraid of you. As for me, it hurts
me a lot when you give me mean and nasty (uncalled
for) looks, and snapping at me. It affects me more than
you know. Humiliating me in front of people is pretty
low, too.

Maybe you're around me and the kids too much? We are
together a lot. But it seems, when you get out of the
house and do stuff without me and the kids, you come
home happy. I call you on the phone when you're out
and it's a totally different person. You went to the
coast for your grandfather's funeral and were fine on
the phone.. having a great time seeing family, staying
up late talking and catching up. Me and the kids show
up and you immediately start correcting the children,
wanting them to go to bed ASAP, irritable. Today,
your off day, you tell me you feel like an "animal in
a cage" at home. I don't understand how someone can
love their family and not enjoy being around them.
What else do you want me to think.. how else do you
expect me to feel?

I think PRIDE is a big issue here--- you don't think
you need help. You think you can do it yourself.
That's called pride. Your pride is hurting your
marriage and family.

I don't know what else to say right now.
************

I just feel stuck. DH goes from being fine to super angry in a heartbeat. He seems to be doing better, actually. He quit taking Prozac and think Prozac was just really bad for him. He says he isn't having suicidal thoughts anymore. He isn't have as many of the manic type episodes. So maybe he's not manic depressive. Because his moods fluctuate so much.. I have a hard time forcing the issue of him seeing someone. I'll get him to open up and talk, things will seem great. Then something happens and he snaps.. a totally different person.

I should explain the "humiliating me in front of other people" part. The other night we had friends over and I was doing the usual bedtime routine with the kids.. but dh basically wanted the kids to just go to bed... he was so adamant that when he saw the kids were eating their normal snack he snapped at me and told me he wanted them in the bed NOW. I was so embarrassed. I told him, no, I'm doing the normal routine with the kids and he gave me the meanest glare.

He was drinking at the time. He has been drinking and smoking a lot lately. He is not a regular smoker, but it is something he has struggled with his whole life. He has some lung issues (he almost had to have a biopsy of the lymph nodes around his lung a few months ago) and he knows it's not good for him to smoke. If I say anything about it he gets really angry. He gets really angry if he wants a cigarette and he doesn't have them, and it's all he can think about.

THanks for listening to me vent. I am so depressed about this right now.. not knowing if I should stay with a man who is so volatile and doesn't seem to have respect for me.
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#7 of 7 Old 09-03-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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Did I mention the Mood Cure by Julia Ross? I don't see it in my post and that's very odd for me.

In any case, it's a great book. Stress and anxiety can cause a lot of these symptoms, and she talks about that in the book as well. GABA is the supplement for that, and there are several "enhanced" forms out there that add B6 and some other things, the one I have is called GABA relaxers. What I love about the Mood Cure, is that the right treatment (and they're all natural) will work within 24 hours. So you don't have to wait for results.

It's so normal to wonder if you'll get your husband back. That was my first fear and worry when my husband slipped away. But I do pretty much have him back now, and because of that I feel certain that eventually I will totally have him back. I think there is a real joy that comes from seeing the marriage through something as difficult and terrifying as these illnesses can be. Of course, I also know it's not easy, but if you can, if he can, I think the gain in the end is far greater than the pain right now.
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