I have been married to my wife for 15 years and she is bipolar and an alcoholic. A little over three years ago, she went through alcohol rehab. A little before that time, she started seeing a therapist. She was prescribed Wellbutrin in conjunction with Lexapro. She dismissed the diagnosis of bipolar because of the negative connotations, but recognized how irritable she was when she didn't have Wellbutrin. Everything went well until about
a year ago when I discovered she had been having an affair for four months. The person was a friend from AA and I guess I knew something was up. In any case, the pressure of the affair caused her to start drinking again. While she was sober and on medicine, she still had mild signs of bipolar, but both of our lives were good and she held down a good job with no problems. After the drinking, the depressions were greater and the manic episodes were bigger (she continued with the medicine the whole time). She began seeing a psychiatrist again. She does want to get better, but she is not completely honest with herself and she is not completely honest with the psychiatrist. She is convinced and she has convinced her psyhicatrist that she is ADHD. She also told him that the bipolar route had been tried and she wasn't bipolar (she was on one mood stabilizer for a month and decided it didn't work, so she wasn't bipolar). When she talks to her psychiatrist, she discusses all of the symptoms of ADHD (that are of course shared by bipolar), but she leaves out her euphoric periods, the suicidal depression, lying, careless behaviour
. She doesn't see the euphoria as an issue and the careless behaviour
she says is just because she is compulsive by nature. She also leaves out the drinking binges and the new found attachment to painkillers. In any case, the doctor has prescribed her dextroamphetmin (it is like ritalin), something that works for ADHD, but can cause mania in bipolars. She is currently in a constant euphoria, emailing everyone she knows and going out socially all the time. Several weeks ago she decided to go on a trip to meet an old friend which was considerably more expensive than we can afford. While she was on the trip, she decided that dextroamphetamin curbs drinking cravings, so she would just have two drinks a night and take the dextroamphetamin. She told me it was part of some master plan to purge all her past demons and move on with her life after the affair and the drinking of the past year. She has not binged since then which adds to her feeling of invincibility. She thinks I don't know, but she has decided she can go out with friends who don't know she is an alcoholic and have a drink or two. This will inevitably end up with her in the hospital with some phenomenal blood-alcohol level. My problem is how to approach her because there is no way it will go well. I am going to tell her that she needs to be completely serious with her psychiatrist and with alcohol or she will have to move out. She will be indignant at my suggestion that her new wonder-drug is causing her problems (I have thoroughly researched this by the way). She will tell me that I don't like it when she is happy and she will scoff at the idea that she is bipolar. One of her new favorite lines is "I think I know my body a little better than you do." I know that when I tell her, I will be setting her up for a massive depression and/or a massive binge in addition to a massive fight. To compound matters, I have two children and I have tried to preserve normalcy in their lives and sending her into a spiral will affect their livese. Does anyone have suggestions on the best way to approach this with the least possible negative after effects? I am planning on waiting until the weekend, so that I will be around after I tell her and she won't be able to drive off and do something erratic.
SerafenaCo-Moderator, Bipolar ForumBipolar II
Post Edited (serafena) : 9/24/2008 10:13:17 AM (GMT-6)