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serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/24/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Lamp1969 writes:

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.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Post Edited (serafena) : 9/24/2008 10:13:17 AM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/24/2008 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Lamp1969,

Welcome to HealingWell and to our board. Sorry about the confusion with your post. It's just much easier when everyone starts a new thread that way no one's thread get's hijacked.

It sounds like you understand that your wife is in need of a serious intervention tactic and you're willing to do it. I agree with your plan. Your wife will never get better if she's lying to her psychiatrist. Incidentally, how do you know she's lying? Did she tell you that? Is it possible for you to go with her to the psych next time? I would suggest having the kids out of the house when you go through with the discussion itself. Do you have family they could stay with?

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


lamp1969
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/24/2008 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
She hasn't told me she lies to him, but she has told me that she can't be completely honest. She has told me she can't be completely honest with anyone. But I know she covers up missed appointments about binges and depressions with stories about kids being sick, the car not starting, muddled appointments etc... She also tells me what she focuses on with him and it is her constant fatigue, tiredness in the day and her anxiety. She only touches on the drinking as if she has been sober since she started seeing him (about nine months ago). He is getting half of the picture. In her mind she does a lot of rationalizing that certain things are not such a big deal, he doesn't need to know certain private facts and that she is giving him the essential parts. One problem here and I know this is true is that she has told me that if I contact him, she will just stop seeing him because she will have no credibility with him. This will then mean a lengthy search to find someone she is comfortable with. She is very comfortable with him and I would like to convince her to be honest with him.
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