Newlywed...I believe my husband is bipolar....trouble initiating treatment.

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Michelina
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/15/2008 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
I am newly married to a man that has never been diagnosed as being bipolar, however, I feel that he is.  Being married about 6 months now and living together, has given greater insight to his daily routines and allowed me to see patterns in his behavior and moods.
 
I married him despite the issue he had....he has had an ongoing dependency with cocaine for roughly a decade.  With his family's, my and his support, we all agreed to work together and build a road for rehabilitation for him to follow.  For the most part, it has been successful. He has made positive changes to his life and we work together to make each other better people.  Within the recent months, he has relapsed....but moved forward from that.  I've come to realize that his dependency to drugs is not the core problem, but a symptom of a bigger problem.  I believe that his drug use is his way of self-medicating and relieving himself from anger, depression and the mania he feels.  I must say at this point that he has an uncle (maternal) that has been diagnosed with schizprohenia.
 
I've shared my thoughts and opinions with him.  Not surprisingly, he initially denied that I could be onto something and more recently, he's come to accept that he is probably bipolar.  My recent dilemma is getting him to follow through with treatment.  He agrees on one day and refuses later on.  He's made appointments with doctors, but never gone. It's taken him 5 months to make an appointment with a psychiatrist., and finally has scheduled an appointment for July 15th.  (I hope he keeps it..) In the meantime, his moods spiral out of control along with his drug abuse.  He spends anywhere from $200 - $3000 a week on his habit, which according to him, "erases all the noise in his head". I keep the bank accounts away from him, ask him to sign his payceck to me and keep his jewelry from him, for fear that he will pawn them (as he's done in the past).
 
Any advice, thoughts, or suggestions as to how I can help him and also help myself?
 
Obviously, this takes a toll on a person.  I go nights without any sleep when he is on a binge and doesn't come home. I watch what I say and how I say it, for fear that it will trigger an episode. I ride the rollercoaster of emotions with him and try to keep him levelled when he is depressed.
 
How does the relationship work when its easier to keep things the same instead of seeking treatment?
 
I realize I need to join some sort of a support group.  I live in Brooklyn, New York. Can anyone suggest one?
 
Thanks for reading... bipolar is an amazing cycle to live in. I do appreciate your thoughts.
 
Michelle
 

serafena
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/15/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
First,

Greetings to you Michelle and welcome to HealingWell. I hope you can find some community and support here as many of us have.

Kudos to you for sticking it out in such a sticky and at times scary situation. Being a spouse to a bipolar is never easy, but so much harder for someone untreated. I really hope for your husband's sake as well as yours that he goes to his July meeting. There is no easy route to take through bipolar but with medication and some behavioral changes he could probably find a little peace.

As to how to do it, you have some of the clues already -- you need a little tough love right now and you're doing it, I think. Keep the money from him. Don't let him manipulate you (We bp's are notoriously manipulative. We don't mean to be, we just are.) Don't cave into his belief that everything is fine the way it is -- it's not. Alcohol and drug abuse are extremely common with bipolar.

As to helping yourself, it's important to remember that he's an adult and he's going to make choices for himself no matter what you do. You can't control his every move, and you wouldn't want to anyway. So let yourself sleep when he's out, because in the end, he's the one who will have to deal with the consequences of his actions. You aren't responsible for every little thing that he does. That's true even if, especially if, he turns out to have bipolar disorder.

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Michelina
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/15/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   

I thank you for your thoughts. I'm glad you responded.  I'm feeling pretty low myself.  It's been a particularly hard weekend.

In thinking and thinking about this all, I realize that it probably would be best for me to arrange to see a therapist, and so I have. What you suggest truly makes sense. Yet, sometimes what makes the most sense is not always the easiest or most comfortable thing to do.  I do accept that he is responsible for his decisions, and therefore, his consequences.  At the same time, it is so difficult to watch someone you love go through this cycle of highs and lows, doing all the damage it does.  It is especially difficult when his behaviors become predictable and there is nothing I can do to stop it before it gets worse.

Michelle


Michelina
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/2/2008 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   

It's been a rough month.  With the more knowledge and information I acquire, the harder things get.

Not only are the rollercoaster episodes more predictable...from mania to depression, his drug use is worse than ever.  He is gone days at a time before he resurfaces. When he returns, he is either a ticking time bomb or a *****cat. I realize he now needs help with the psychosis he's creating for himself with his drug use (crack). He was arrested last Friday and spent 2 days in jail for possession. Frankly, I was glad because I knew he was off the streets. I picked him up and took him home contigent upon his getting help. I'm looking into a Dual Diagnonsis rehabilition facility in Pennsylvania for my husband and amazingly, he is even willing to go. He, too, admits this is the worst things have ever been and that needs help. The one obstacle now is the insurance company.  Their arguement is that in-patient services are not necessary and that day to day treatment in our are will suffice.

Where can I go from here? He needs out of the environment, even for a little while, so that he can break his drug routine.  He needs psychiatric assistance and meds as well.  I've been searching and trying to make appointments with a psychiatrist, but there is no immediate care.  They can only schedule appointments for weeks later.  He needs help now.

Michelle


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 7/2/2008 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Michelina,

Sorry to hear all the you and your husband are going through. I'm glad he hit rock bottom and realizes that he does need help!

IMO if you and he feel that he does need help right now, I would take him to the emergency room and tell them that. If you feel that he is  losing control of his moods and turning to drugs to self medicate for his depression, anger issues and mood swings I suggest that you tell them that and the family history of schizophrena. Let them know that you are trying desperately to get him some help but that nobody can give him immediate help which he needs now.

You know him best and if you suspect all of this is due to a diagnosis of bipolar I suggest that you share that with them. But also remember if he is a drug addict (using cocaine for roughly a decade) and now on crack, his behavior can all be due to that and not bipolar. If he was feeling this way before he turned to drugs I would agree with you that something else is going on here. But if his symptoms started after the drug use you may only be dealing with the effects of that.

It's worth a try! If they won't admit him at least you still have the July 15th appointment that you should go to with him. Try to muster up as much support as you can to help him get through until his appointment. Let the psychiatrist know of all of your concerns and that you feel he needs to be in a inpatient facility if that is what you and he feel. The doc will know what is best. Remind your husband that he too needs to be as cooperative as possible!

Hope things work out well. Keep us posted.


Diskus
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 7/2/2008 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Sukay...one of the first questions any good psychiatrist will ask you (after learning your fiance has already been diagnosed) should be: "was he diagnosed after/during a drug binge?"

Re: insurance.

I would check your state's medicaid co/insurance guidelines...I have to say, my fiance was unemployed when things came to a head (psychotic episode and mania) I took money out of savings (while there was not much) to find a good psychiatrist etc. Evals are expensive. I don't know your financial situation, but I do know there are limitations to the debt one feels they should incur in life...I'd say this is one of those situations when the debt incurred would be worth it, if you truly believe he's committed. He's got a drug addiction to deal with and his bipolar disorder (if that is his true diagnosis)...it will only get worse if left untreated, which I'm sure you've discovered by doing some basic internet research.

Re: therapist.

The best thing I/we did was find a good therapist. We go to couples counseling and I have my own therapist. There are thoughts/feelings i do not want to share with my fiance...all of the sordid "whatifs" you ask yourself during the hard times...whatif I just walked out... my therapist helps me process stuff like that.

I wish you good luck. I have not had to deal with the drug addiction aspect of the illness (quieting the pain), but I do know that the schizo-affective component of the illness is enough to drive someone who doesn't suffer completely mad. It KILLED me to see him paranoid and it was all i could do to wrap my arms around him and try to make the feeling go away. It's a painful process. Anyone suffering from bp will tell you they wish their spouse had waited until they were treated...at the same time, there's only so much one woman/human being can take. I do think about the illness being passed onto our kids someday and it terrifies me. You might just need to leave for your own sake. I can't answer that for you (nor have you asked).

Shelter
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 7/2/2008 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello
and my heart aches reading of your situation
You mentioned being recently married,
what a way to begin, a new marriage

I married and woke up to a man with mental illnesses also (untreated)

If you are young? and don't have any children yet, you can count all that as a blessing.
But I am sure life daily is hard for you
I hope you find the support group & medical attention you are in of
perhaps
an "INTERVENTION"
is needed...

Please keep us posted
you are in our thoughts,..
Sending GOOD THOUGHTS your way
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their Strength, they shall mount up on wings as eagles, they shall run & not grow weary, they shall walk & not faint..."  Ish   40 v. 31 
~
Sjrogrens Syndrome, Asthema, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Head aches, Migraines, Gastro Intestinal Problems , Esophegial Spasms;   Fibro Myalgia , Kidney Stones,  & CP (SI joint,   low mechanical back pain..L4 & L5 Vertebrae Misaligned,  Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disc Disease, Bulging Disc, anterolisthesis L4 L5L4 -- S1 pain  caused by osteoarthristis ,bone spurs, causing pinching or pressure on spinal chord)


shiny
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/20/2008 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Bipolar Disorder is also called as manic depression.The mood of the person can be change every time.The cycle of this disorder may be in last for a day,week or in a month.Depressive phase of biploar disorder may be severe the person may commit to suicide. Medication is a right treatment for biploar disorder so that we can reduce depression.
=========================================================================

shiny

{I edited out your link in line with Rule 4. No advertising or links to advertising or "Spam" is permited (including signatures).

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Thanks, serafena}

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 8/21/2008 1:45:26 PM (GMT-6)


kmbeaver
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/17/2008 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I too am in a similar situation. My first wedding anniversary is in days and here I sit on the computer researching anything for my husband. I believe my husband is bipolar and self medicating with alcohol. He is becoming more and more physically abusive in addition to his erratic mood swings. Last night he sat on the bed with me telling me how much he loved me and how confident he was in our relationship only to be woke up hours later being accused of having an affair. I have been pushed, choked, kicked, last night he just grabbed my arms really tight and shook me. When it's good, it's so good but mostly it's bad. I told him tonight that I had to move our to let him deal with these issues but I also told him that I didn't want to move out because I love him dearly if he would only make an appointment with the Dr. I can't continue making empty threats, but I'm heartbroken to have to lose him, I love him so very much. I am a nurse by profession so I know I am only enabling him and putting myself and my children at risk, though he has never hurt them. I am so very sad.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/18/2008 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Kmbeaver,

Welcome to HealingWell.

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your sad situation. However, as a nurse, you also know the dreadful position you put yourself in by staying in an abusive relationship. Even if he is bipolar, that doesn't excuse it. You are being physically abused as well as mentally, and I hope you will consider that and find a way to move out of that situation as soon as possible. You don't need to keep yourself in harm's way to prove you love your husband. I suspect you already know where the shelters in your area are, if you need them, but if not, say so and I will tell you how to find them.

He says he's confident in your relationship because he has no reason not to be. You are right that it sounds like you are enabling him. I don't mean to sound judgmental. Truly I don't. I grew up in an abusive household and I understand how emotionally complex these relationships are. But he has no reason to see a doctor or change his ways as long as you submit to his behavior. It's time for you to follow through on some of those threats and treat YOURSELF right for a change. Get out of this toxic household for a while, tell him you'll be back once he's seen a doctor and is on a treatment plan and STAYS on that treatment plan. That is the most loving thing you could do for him right now.

Hope this helps.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


heydm
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/22/2008 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   
i didn't know where to turn. I am at my wits end with my husband. I am a nurse and I am pretty confident that he is bipolar. It's a long sorted story but 2 weeks after we got married he left and went to live with his stripper girlfriend back in Florida for 4 MONTHS. Dummy me chased him and then when I filed for divorce he came back. I never should have let him--I tought I loved him but here's the deal. He can't keep a job, he spends money like water and his favorite phrase is "it's only 10 bucks!!!!!!" He is very irritable, he could sell snow to an eskimo if he wanted to and gets all excited about stuff and them I get convinced that he is finally serious about something and sure enough a couple weeks later the "thrill is gone" weather it be church , or going to school for real estate, heating and air conditioning or construction. I have lost sooooooooooooooooooo much because of him and now that he is settled in our relationship and "finally understands how much he loves me" there seems to be no way out. He talks like a sailor in front of my kids and thinks he can say and do whatever he wants becasue he is the "step-dad" I just can't take it anymore. How do I live with this, How do I get him to go see a Dr??? I have raised the most amazing girls, smart, moral, educated and now I am married to this man who NO ONE can believe I am even with. His brother actually said--"I have to question YOUR judgement being with someone like him!!! any ideas----There is so much more but it's take up pages.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/23/2008 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi heydm,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board.

It is very hard to convince someone who is manic (which it sounds like he mostly is, if he's bipolar) to see a doctor. Mania can be almost pleasant. It seems to me you're going to have to get a whole lot tougher with him. He may need an ultimatum about losing you to force him to the doctors, but you better be ready to follow through on it if he decides not to go, otherwise you'll never have credibility with him again. How much are you willing to put up with? You need to stick up for yourself, too.

It's true that bipolar is an illness and that with marriage we take care of our spouses through sickness and health. But we needn't subject ourselves to abuse or unlivable conditions. It's also up to the bipolar patient to take care of the illness -- to go to the doctor, to get medication and try to keep the symptoms under control. If he won't go to the doctor, you needn't feel bad about leaving. You've done your part of the bargain. More than tried and been understanding. He's the one who refuses to get help or hold up his end of the bargain.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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