I know it's been a long time since I've posted and that's because my fiance was hospitalized. We ignored the warning signs as his depression became more acute and we decided with our psych that hospitalization would be best to be more agressive with new medications.
It has been TRAUMATIZING as anyone on this board could imagine...we are slowly picking up the pieces we've left of ourselves all over dr offices and hospitals and we are making progress toward digging him out of this debilitating depression.
I am standing by him as he is the love of my life and we have a wonderfully supportive family and network of friends, but we need time to heal.
Meds- they added lamictal to his lithium and i'm happy to report, no rash! The psych said he was out of the woods for the rash as it usually appears immediately. In the hospital they were able to increase his lamictal a bit more rapidly than one would be able to handle on an outpatient basis. They added some lexapro to activate "happiness" so to speak...he's doing well and I'm happy to have my baby back. It was a lonely 6 days.
I want to note that my fiance was never physically violent during manic episodes. I would not have stayed if that were the case. This illness is a cruel mistress and it is hard enough when your loved one is being treated, but to add physical violence into the mix - a woman or man (spouse) should never have to endure this. I read the post about the woman whose untreated/treated husband is violent. That breaks my heart. I know first-hand that spouses tend to suffer more (albeit in a different manner). Physical abuse should never be tolerated.
So, there you have it. For the record, we began treatment 7 months ago...after being on meds that sunk him into a hole (depakote and celexa), we found a doc who put him on lithium and it has worked miraculously. Please do not give up hope if you are frustrated by your med-combos. It is an art, not a science to get these meds right and to work correctly with your brain's chemicals.
Do not give up hope.
Learn as MUCH as you possibly can about the illness. If your spouse is hospitalized, have them sign the hippa forms to allow nurses and doctors to talk to YOU about your spouse's treatment. I was a bug in the ear of anyone who would listen. I let them know that this person is loved and I am going to be on them like white on rice to make sure he's getting proper care. He was not admitted to a club-med like hospital...it was a county hospital and luckily they had several beds open the evening we arrived.
It killed me to leave him there, but i knew we weren't doing it out of an act of desperation, but to set him straight, so to speak...and, if we have to tweak the meds again, we will.
Therapy has also been a godsend for us. Boundaries are essential in any relationship, but particularly one where a partner is bipolar. If there are no boundaries, you will not be protecting what you've worked so hard to create, your foundation, your love, your life.
ok, i'll get off my soapbox now...I love this forum and I hope people continue to share and offer supportive thoughts. It really helped me get through some tough times. You're not alone.