Welcome to HealingWell and to our board.
It's time for a second opinion. Try another doctor, go with him again, be honest with both your husband and the doctor about
your concerns, and let the doctor tell you why or why not he/she shares your diagnosis. Bipolar is tricky to diagnose and a lot of times it falls through the cracks. Your advocacy might just be the push that gets your husband the correct diagnosis (or perhaps the doctor is right, your husband is depressed, and he just needs a change of meds.) One way you can help the doctor see the behaviors that your husband may "hide" is to make a list. Make it as descript
ive and lucid as possible. Describe his behaviors when he's up and down. Describe how his moods change.
How to live with him... also tricky. I don't like the verbal abuse. You need to put a stop to that pronto. That's not bipolar. I'm not verbally abusive to anyone when I'm down or up. That's how your husband chooses to release his emotions and you need to let him know you're not going to stand for it. There are lots of other ways to release tension, and he can find other ones besides taking it out on you. Let him know what you're going to do if he is abusive to you (walk out of the room, end the conversation, go to a friend's for the night, etc...) and STICK TO IT. It'll take a few times, and he won't like it, but he'll get the hint. The only way to get respect is to demand it and expect it, and react if you don't get it. It doesn't matter if his moods are unpredictable -- you're a person too.
One way to find out how to deal with his moods is to talk to him when he's in a relatively lucid state. Tell him you want to help him when he's not feeling so good, but you're not quite sure how. What would he really like you to do when he's feeling depressed and low? Does he want to be left alone just to sleep or does he want you to help in some way? What about
when he's feeling really good? Does he feel angry or irritated? Does he want you to help him calm down? Wait until he's calm and amenable to have this conversation. Until then, do your best to simply ask him gently if he needs anything and if he says no -- believe him and stay out of his way because it sounds like otherwise you're a target for abuse. Which is no fair.
This is a very hard situation and I can see why the counselor suggested you could still get on with your life.
But properly medicated bipolars make very decent partners. It's a long road though, trying to find the right cocktail of meds and doctors. I wish you luck and hope you'll stick around and let us know how things go.
SerafenaCo-Moderator, Bipolar ForumBipolar II