bipolar - or tell me it will be okay - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 09-27-2007, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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dh just got diagnosed as bipolar. it makes sense finally. he has been cycling for three years now and we finally got a doctor who listened to me. so instead of depressed, he is bipolar. here's the horrible, awful truth - i don't know if i want to be married to someone with bipolar. i am crying as i write this because it just sounds so bad and in a big way it is so bad. but it so hard. and the 15 percent suicide rate for bipolars is well, so high (four police offers with their guns drawn were at my house on friday because his old doctor thought he was suicidal, which he was...). my older brother killed himself when i was 16 and i am not good at this. i don't think i have the patience for this. i just don't think i can do this. i have tried for the past three years but i am just so tired. and dh doesn't play an active role in his treatment. i am sorry..:

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#2 of 20 Old 09-27-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Oh...that sounds so difficult. I think anyone would feel overwhelmed with what you're going through. My dh's father is bipolar and sometimes it overwhelmes our relationship because it is just that big a problem. He is in his 50's and only now just (and slowly) starting to recognize that it is and has been a problem. It is a disease, a real sickness, and needs to be treated. Please be sure to take care of yourself.

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dh just got diagnosed as bipolar. it makes sense finally. he has been cycling for three years now and we finally got a doctor who listened to me. so instead of depressed, he is bipolar. here's the horrible, awful truth - i don't know if i want to be married to someone with bipolar. i am crying as i write this because it just sounds so bad and in a big way it is so bad. but it so hard. and the 15 percent suicide rate for bipolars is well, so high (four police offers with their guns drawn were at my house on friday because his old doctor thought he was suicidal, which he was...). my older brother killed himself when i was 16 and i am not good at this. i don't think i have the patience for this. i just don't think i can do this. i have tried for the past three years but i am just so tired. and dh doesn't play an active role in his treatment. i am sorry..:
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#3 of 20 Old 09-27-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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do you feel like sharing your dhs' symptoms mama? thanks and ((HUGS))

Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

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#4 of 20 Old 09-29-2007, 12:09 AM
 
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I know what you're going through. Bipolar was one of 2 diseases I feared most when my husband had to be hospitalized. I kept praying "please God, not bipolar". I have a friend who ultimately had to leave her husband because of his unmanaged illness...but guess what they said my husband has: bipolar.

I think medication compliance and good treatment are really critical for people with bipolar. And, I think the marriage can still work. On the right treatment, your husband should be himself only without the cycling of the illness that is so devastating.

As I started talking about it with some close friends and relatives, I started hearing about this couple, or that couple in which one of the partners was bipolar but they still had a strong, happy marriage. And I remembered that my pastor in college had confided in me that he was bipolar (he was in his late 60's at the time), and he had been married for over 30 years, and had been the much loved pastor of a large, successful church for over 25.

I will say that for my husband, I am still seeking other opinions. But that's mostly because he doesn't have a cyclical pattern like your husband, and in the hospital they didn't think he was bipolar. Not to mention the fact that he continues to have to change medications every 2 months because everything they've tried him on makes him depressed. I have become more comfortable with the diagnosis itself, but I'm just not sure it's right for him.

I know it's hard, I know what fears it brings, but ultimately the right diagnosis and treatment will make life easier. And I personally feel that staying with my husband through the struggles has a valuable growth process for me and for our marriage.
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#5 of 20 Old 10-01-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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My husband has Bipolar2 (like BP1, but with more depression and "mixed states," not so much mania). He was diagnosed with depression for 5 years before he was diagnosed properly (1.5 years ago) with BP2. We have been on a roller-coaster of meds this last 1.5 years (really for 6+ years!), but we think we finally have a combination that will work for him (we'll know for sure in another 3-4 months).

He has been suicidal on and off. About 6 weeks ago, I called our insurance agent to ask if the life insurance covered suicide. It does, but it doesn't kick in till next summer. After contemplating that info for a few days, I told DH that it wasn't covered yet. I decided that if I could make him decide to live for one more year (since I know he wants us taken care of), we would have enough time to get him better. Make sense?

I go to counseling, he goes to counseling, I go to his Psych appts with him, AND we go to a support group (DBSA) once a week. :

IT IS HARD!!!!! I will not lie to you! I DID NOT sign up for this when I got married 10 years ago! But I LOVE this man, and the 90% divorce rate for couples where one is BP can be damned. We WILL be in the 10%. My children WILL have a father. He WILL be the first man in his family to be treated for this condition, and he WILL get better.

You CAN do this, but I will not tell you it will go away over-night. The two of you need to identify his triggers. You need to be an integral (not controlling and nagging, but a partner) part of his treatment. He must comply with taking his meds even if that means you bringing them to him until he can handle doing it himself.

I know what it is to cry over the keyboard as you type. Feel free to search my other posts/threads.
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#6 of 20 Old 10-03-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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Wow! s to those of you dealing with a bi-polar spouse. I just wanted to chime in and say that I dated someone for a year and a half who had been diagnosed jut before the start of our relationship. It was truly amazing to watch the medication take hold and to see the periods of mania lessen, as well as his suicidal thoughts. Granted, we weren't married, I didn't live with him, and there were no kids involved, but we did enjoy a wonderful relationships that had it's downs, but many, many ups.
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#7 of 20 Old 10-03-2007, 10:16 PM
 
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Bipolar disorder is more difficult on families, IMO, than it is on the actual person diagnosed. I have bipolar disorder and I truly feel that is true. Check out books by Julie Fast. Her writing is geared toward loved ones. It's a tough road. Peace to you and yours.

There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow

 

stillheart.gifRIP DH DJ Delicious but mucho gracias for our children and all I have learnedstillheart.gif

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#8 of 20 Old 10-08-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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Is he compliant with treatment?

My xh is bipolar. But was in denial, untreated when we were together. We were married less than two years. After we split, he was diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressants.

He was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar 4-5 years later. And now is an entirely different person. We are great friends and get along well raising our almost 10yo daughter.

10 years ago I would have never predicted how smoothly our relationship goes or what a happy, well-adjusted person he has turned out to be. He is remarried and expecting his first baby in Dec.

The right medication has made a HUGE difference in him I hope the same for you.
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#9 of 20 Old 10-08-2007, 10:15 PM
 
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I should also note, the man I was with before my DH was bipolar. We dated for about three years and he was diagnosed about mid-way thru the relationship. The first 1/2 was great. He was the man in which I fell in love. However, the second 1/2 was pure Hell. It wasn't that he refused to take his medication, but it wasn't the right combination (I can see this now) and he often abused drugs and alcohol as well. He went from a very motivated college student (who was also playing college football) and a caring and sweet man to a complete stranger. He stopped taking care of himself and gained an alarming amount of weight and his mood swings were frightening. I brought him to the ER on a few occasions when he was drunk and out of control with craziness and the final straw was when he broke into my bedroom with a shot gun and threatened to kill my dog and himself. BAH! I remember standing outside in my barefeet in the snow underneath the street lamp in our yard, I was crying and I could see the burning cigarettes of the neighbors standing on their porch in the dark watching the show while the police dragged my crazed BF outside in handcuffs. That was the final straw. I haven't spoken to him in seven years and hadn't thought of him in quite a few; however, when I was diagnosed this winter with BP I have found myself thinking about him quite a lot.

When I was in the hospital this past winter I came to terms with the fact that if I can't control this BP disorder with medical and psych help then I will run a good chance of losing my DH. I wouldn't blame him AT ALL if he left me if I wasn't able to get ahold of this devil--because, afterall, I would leave him if the situation was reversed--meaning if he was like my exBF. Fortunately, I am doing quite well. I still have mood swings but they aren't even remotely like they were before I was hospital bound. I quite well and our relationship has never been better. I hope this for you, too!

There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow

 

stillheart.gifRIP DH DJ Delicious but mucho gracias for our children and all I have learnedstillheart.gif

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#10 of 20 Old 10-19-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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How have you been holding up since you first posted this?

I've gotta say living with someone that is bipolar is not easy. My mom was bipolar, my brother is and I think I am too, I've just never gotten an official diagnosis, though my dr. sent me to a psychologist a few years ago b/c she wanted me to get a diagnosis of bipolar. I went once and didn't go back for the follow up.

I think my dad had a hard time for the 24 years he was married to my mom. Lots of things about him and the way he raised us irritate me, on the other hand I think he must have been a very patient, loving person to deal with my mom all those years. I think the same thing of my husband for "putting up with me." I get irriatated with my husband and the little things he does, or doesn't do, but I'm really thankful most of the time to have some one who can handle me and my moods.

I guess you just have to take it one day at a time and decide if those good days with him are worth the not so good days.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-22-2007, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you everyone for your support. it is still hard and i feel so emotionally closed to DH right now that it even makes me sad. he is seeing a psychologist who also does therapy, but i am not so thrilled with this doctor (i called up the doctor to tell him my hubby was still doing all the bad stuff like spending our whole paycheck before we got it and drinking) and the doctor told my husband that by telling the doctor those things i was being "infantile" and a tattletale (though i had told my hubby that i called his doctor).
DH won't try anything natural and the mood stabilizer they gave him gave him parkinson's like side ffects (so bad he couldn't even lift up his glass) and so now they put him on a blocker. everyone seems to love to give him medicine. urg. again, thank you. i am just glad to see people replying to this thread so that i can keep my head up!

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#12 of 20 Old 10-22-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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Okay, fire that doc.

Seriously, a good psychiatrist will recognize that YOU are one of the most critical pieces in his treatment plan. YOU can help clearly evaluate how treatment is working and YOU can give an accurate assessment of how he's doing. He is totally blind to the irrational, self-destructive behavior, that's part of his illness. He will be able to rationalize all the bizarre behaviors, all the strange thoughts. He needs a doc who values your input, otherwise only what he sees as off will be treated.
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#13 of 20 Old 10-23-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyMama View Post
Okay, fire that doc.

Seriously, a good psychiatrist will recognize that YOU are one of the most critical pieces in his treatment plan. YOU can help clearly evaluate how treatment is working and YOU can give an accurate assessment of how he's doing. He is totally blind to the irrational, self-destructive behavior, that's part of his illness. He will be able to rationalize all the bizarre behaviors, all the strange thoughts. He needs a doc who values your input, otherwise only what he sees as off will be treated.
: ABSOLUTELY!!!!!
That's absolutely ridiculous! I've "tattled" on my DH countless times! He needs it! If I'm not going to turn him in for drinking or doing stupid impulsive things, who is? DH will just justify and downplay. If the DR sees how disruptive his behavior is he'll do something about it!
Can you tell us what meds he's on? DH has gotten the jitters before, but nothing as bad as what you're describing.


--LEE
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#14 of 20 Old 10-25-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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Bipolar disorder can be treated and life can calm down and marriages can work. (Where did the 90% divorce rate come from? I'd never heard that.)

I was misdiagnosed with depression for 8 years. It took 3 hospitalizations for me to finally get a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I was relieved to know that the reason antidepressants hadn't worked for me was because they were addressing only half the problem. I've been correctly treated and stable since my last hospitalization in 2002.

The reason I'm able to be reasonably functional is that I am motivated to be well for my son, and I am 100% med-compliant. Have you heard of anosognosia? About half of people with BP have it. It's the main reason so many people with BP don't take their meds correctly.

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#15 of 20 Old 10-25-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
(Where did the 90% divorce rate come from? I'd never heard that.)
You got me curious because I simply believed DH when he told me that. So, I did a websearch and I found these:

90% - psychologytoday.com

divorce rates are 2-3 times higher than general polouation - patienthealthinternational.com

90% - familyaware.org

Of course this is probably more due to misdiagnosis and lack of treatment than the actual illness. I'm not sure how many stories I've heard of people who can say that they believe they have sufferred with BP (1 or 2) since they were teenagers or early 20's, but they were not diagnosed correctly until AFTER a divorce . . .

Reading - Thanks for the term "anosognosia" and link! That's great (or awful?) to know!
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#16 of 20 Old 10-29-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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"Surveys show that 50 percent of sufferers do not take the prescribed medications... The condition is still so challenging to tame that 90 percent of marriages involving a partner with bipolar disorder end in divorce. Researchers estimate that more than 40 percent of persons with bipolar disorder abuse alcohol or drugs"

According to their statistics the 90% of divorcees appear to be composed of those in non-compliance with treatment.

Bi-polar disorder is a disease that must be managed, just like epilepsy or diabeties. Without the proper treatment any of these diseases will ruin lives. Properly treated one can live a somewhat normal life.

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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#17 of 20 Old 11-07-2007, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am sorry i haven't updated my own thread. things are bad here. he had a horrible reaction to abilify. so they kept him on that and put him on a blocker (he got a parkinson's like reaction, slurred speech, groggy, and MEAN). then they tried seroqual. same thing. then another and now he is on his fourth mood stabilizer. he has just started a month of medical leave. i think he needs rehab for some drug/alcohol issues. i don't think our marriage will last this. his new best friend has really bad bipolar and is on disability. but this new friend is REALLY bad, like a 9 on a scale of one to ten while dh would be a 3. but dh thinks he is a 9 like his new friend so he acts "sick" if you will. and mean (did i mention mean?). and he is so uninvolved with our baby girl. i hate to admit it, but he was drunk and stoned when i was in labor/birthing her at home. these things can't be forgotten. i am trying to figure out how to support myself and my little one. i spend her nap time with her so that i can cry without dh hearing.

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#18 of 20 Old 11-07-2007, 12:54 AM
 
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First, I want you to take a deep breath and repeat after me: "It will not always be this bad." It really won't. At least your husband is agreeing to take meds, even if it's taking a while to find the right ones. That's a huge hurdle that you've already jumped over. You guys are just at the very beginning of the process, and it takes a while to stablize.

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#19 of 20 Old 11-07-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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Lurve - . ReadingMama is right. This is the BEGINNING. It's the WORST part. My DH has had some terrible times, but they don't last. Your DH needs bipolar friends who are stable (taking their meds and NOT using drugs), so he can see where he is going to go when he can get there. KWIM?
Have you checked out DBSA? Even if you split up, he is the father of your baby. YOU need support. You can go to a meeting by and for yourself.

The labor/birth thing really sucks. And I know there is no forgetting, but there can be forgiveness. It may take years, but it can happen.

Have the DR's mentioned in-patient treatment for your DH? They could monitor him more closely (drug and alcohol use) and keep him on meds. They would also be aware of bad reactions immediately. Can anyone (family or friend) come stay with you and the baby? YOU need help!
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#20 of 20 Old 11-07-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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^ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurve View Post
DH won't try anything natural and the mood stabilizer they gave him gave him parkinson's like side ffects (so bad he couldn't even lift up his glass) and so now they put him on a blocker. everyone seems to love to give him medicine. urg. !
That is because the right medication will help. It's not a conspiracy, Bipolar disorder is a seizure disorder, in addition to lifestyle changes it requires medication.

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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