Engaged and saddened and powerless

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/28/2008 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I recently became engaged to a wonderful, spiritual and beautiful woman I've been seeing for over a year. Up until recently we did have some nice times together, but I had resolved we would never be close enough for a partnership.

Recently we did get engaged, a vacation together where we expected to "need our space" turned into a wonderful, loving, and supportive situation. We had wonderful times together, started making plans, and got engaged.

Last week, because she'd not been sleeping and taking care of herself, and the excitement of the engagement - she went into a manic episode, which peaked with a Grand Maul Seizure.

I was completely there for her every step of the way - silliness, rash decisions, nonsense, talking incessantly. I think I got frustrated a few times with her, but just intensely pleaded for her to stop.

It seems that everytime we communicate, she learns a new defense against listening to me.

But a few days ago (4 days ago) things turned worse. She has been screaming at me for hours every night, avoiding me, interrupting me, being physicially (but harmfully) and emotionally (quite harmfully) abusive, and doesn't let me express anything I'm feeling without going into huge guilt trips, or lengthy rambling diatribes about how I don't appreciate her, but every once in a while there is the "you just need to be patient" comment.

After a good night's sleep she is a wonderful person but by the end of the day she is a monster. She used to take Seroquel (300mg) per night along with Cymbalta, but titrated off the Seroquel over 5 months and was without it for almost three before the seizure. Since then they have put her on a minimum dose of Depakote, and 25mg of Seroquel as needed, combined with her Cymbalta.

Worse she is not getting good night's sleep. Started insisting it was because I was in bed with her and sleeping elsewhere in the house (she gets no more sleep than with me), and she obsessively cleans, but it has gotten to the point where she just moves things around for hours, creates "creative displays" of things around the house, and lets the dishes and laundry pile around her, insisting she will help by doing that.

Last night I finally lost my temper after 4 nights of sleep deprivations and a total of 15 hours of constant verbal abuse and screaming from her this week. She is in the midst of diagnosis and treatment so I've been trying to be patient. She left the house last night without her bags (and her key). I can reach her sometimes on the phone, but she won't talk. She sounds awful and I don't know where she is or how she is.

I feel so powerless. I love her very much and still want to share my family with her - but these nightly episodes are destroying our relationship. Can anyone offer me help or solace? I want her back.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 8/28/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to HealingWell. You are in a particularly delicate situation. Your fiance needs acute help -- she needs to see her psychiatrist NOW -- and yet she is not at home for you to communicate that nor is she listening to you anyway. Does she have others that she trusts? Family? Close friends? I assume you've already called them looking for her, but if you haven't, you need to impress upon them that she is having a manic episode and needs to see the doctor very soon to have her meds adjusted.

As to the relationship, are you ready for this? I'm bipolar myself, but I sense in your post a hesitation. This won't go away, you know. The extreme mania will be treatable and she can be stable for long periods of time, but bipolar doesn't go away. Even with medication there are always going to be ups and downs. Are you ready for that? Can you be patient through that? It takes a very strong person to stand by a bipolar spouse. I don't mean to imply you aren't very strong -- I simply mean to let you know you'll have to be. My husband is my rock, he's wonderful. And I do my level best to deserve him. :-)

All my best,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 8/28/2008 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Shatro,

You mentioned that "they" have changed her medications. I hope "they" includes a psychiatrist because that is the only type of doctor that should be administering her medication adjustments.

You need to let them know what is happening with her. We bipolars when going through an episode like this are not capable of seeing the whole picture. Someone needs to go with her to the doctor and explain the depths of what she is going through. She really needs a medication adjustment asap. So contact them immediately. Let them know all of what you are describing here.

Hopefully she has mentioned to you about being bipolar. This type of behavior is very typical when bipolars need a medication adjustment or stop taking their medications.

You need to speak with her during a calm time and let her know that this is all new to you but that you will not tolerate any of the abuse that you talked about! You need to get really informed about bipolar disorder and find out if you are ready to committ yourself to this relationship that will need a lot of support from you. She too needs to make the committment as well to be proactive in her wellness by being upfront with the doctors and seeing a therapist who can help her get a handle on her behavior. That takes committment and work from her.

Hope all goes well. Keep us posted.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/28/2008 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. I've been doing much reading on this but hearing it first hand helps.

I just got off the phone with her. She told me that anonymous support groups is a really good thing for both of us. She told me that she is with a trusted friend (trusted by both of us) and has an appointment at 4pm today. She told me she has signed a release for her therapist (who works hand in hand with her psychiatrist) to speak freely to me as she needs to and to accept my calls.

I told her I would be calling and she encouraged me. When she is calm she is an amazing and honest woman.

One thing she told me that has helped a lot: that she does not feel nor believe the things she has said to me in her rage. My initial post should have read physical (but not harmful) abuse and emotional abuse that hurts. She understands how painful that is and has made a commitment to stop - she is very hopeful about our relationship and continues to make overtures to both simplify her life and solidify her commitment to our family and home.

She will be spending the evening away from our home and returning tomorrow. I think we are both grateful for this because the intensity of the engagement has gone to a place that is unmanageable. A good night's sleep apart will help both of us. We have discussed setting up a room for her to "get away" in our house. Up until today I thought that was a bad idea... but now that I understand better I agree. It seems that as much as she denies the "label" of her disease, she is not ignorant of its "nature" and wants the best for everyone.

I will be calling her therapist momentarily but wanted to drop a line of gratitude for your support.

And yes, God (for lack of a better word) has groomed me to be a very strong and compassionate soul. My patience continues to grow and in all honesty I look at this experience as a very good one.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 8/30/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I would just like to stress that you need support, too. If you can talk to your family about this, and you feel that they will not judge you for sticking by your love, then that could be a good idea. One of the things that intensified MY emotions and reactions to my fiance's episodes was that I had only told a few people and wasn't at the point where I could talk freely about it. It wasn't until he was hospitalized and I had little choice but to reach out to all the people I loved and trusted that I could breathe a bit easier b/c I wasn't the sole person holding the situation up and moving his treatment forward with his doctors. My fiance and I meet with his therapist together every other week. More when we're in a crisis situation. He's on scholarship with the place that we go. I have my own therapist to help me with the times that I'm depleted and having thoughts of "can I do this for the rest of my life?" ..... all of which are natural.

You're a good man and it is not easy to standby and watch your love's mental state deteriorate, esp. when you bear the brunt of her manifestations. It WILL get easier when she's on a theraputic med combo. Be patient with the meds...Hang in and you found a good place to come and vent when you need to. There are many spouses/partners on here.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 8/30/2008 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
PS...learn as much as you can about the illness...i see she's on seroquel and cymbalta...seroquel's an anti-psychotic and cymbalta looks to be an anti anxiety/depressant.....where is her mood stabilizer?? oh, i see...depakote...but seroquel as needed? If she has schitzo affective tendencies, i'd ask the pdoc whether she should be taking seroquel consistently.

Others may have a different experience.....but, I find that I learn the most when I am a bug in the ear of the pdoc at my fiance's appointments. Serafena is right...this isn't going to go away, but it can be managed to reduce hospitalizations and lead a normal life in the meantime (that is our goal, anyway)...being part of her treatment (which it sounds like you are doing) is imperative.

Good luck and keep us posted!!
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