Dealing with my bipolar wife

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Rocketman
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 12/23/2008 6:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone;
 
This is my first posting here so it will be kind of long explaining the situation. My wife is bipolar 2 she has severe cases of depression, anxiety & anger, she only gets manic about once a year for a couple of months. She doesn't really have the mood swings, it's usually just varying degrees of depression & anger.  We have been together over 9 years & she has always been a little moody, I always just chalked it up to immeturity as she was 20 & I was 29. Then a couple of years ago she started getting where she was angry all the time, always griping about anything & I of course couldn't do anythig right. I sarted noticing this change when her Dr. (nurse practitioner actually) switched her from Zoloft to Prozak because my wife told her the Zoloft made her gain too much weight & this was the cause of all her depression. I don't know why the NP & her supervising DR made the switch just because of that but they did. After a few months of no results I started telling her they needed to switch her meds back, but she wouldn't listen. I also kept telling her she needed to switch DRs but she wouldn't. Finally after several months of no results she was referred to a counselor & psychiatrist, she made some improvements at first, then it slipped back to the same thing. She is now on Rispredol & Carbamazepine. It doesn't seem to be helping.
 
Finally in September she agreed to go into the hospital so they could try to help her. She has been in and out 2 other times since mid Sept. and has actually gotten worse. She was all the time talking about how she just wanted to die(never attempted anything) she kept on & kept on with the same stuff, blames everyone for her "miserable life", is almost continually angry & constantly bitter & hateful to family members. I get accused of things that I have never even came close to doing. Every woman I have worked with the whole time we have been together I was going to screw around with, I am plotting against her & trying to get rid of her, now we have her mother staying with us since her father died & she and I are plotting against her.
 
I am at the end of my rope, I don't know what else to do with her, I don't know how much more of the verbal (it gets very rough) & physical abuse(she has slapped me several times) I can take from her. I know I should stay calm & rational, but after almost 2 years of this behavior, It has caught up with me. I don't know what else I can do, smothering her with love & kindness doesn't work, being angry doesn't get through to her, she has played her games of the I'm going to kill myself (although I know she never would) to the extent of emergency room trips where she told them she was just wanting attention. They told her that the next time she would be taken seriously & taken to the state hospital by the sherrif dept in cuffs & shackles, still the behavior (except the suiscide threats) continues.
 
Her counselor keeps telling her that she needs to control her behavior better & that she is capable of it, but all we hear is how she can't help it & can't control it. While she was in the hospital we had a visit with a counselor & all she was concerned about was making sure my wife's feelings were being heard, nothing was said about the way she behaves or treats her family.
 
Now her condition is all my fault that she is this way because I never got her help sooner, & I don't treat her right & she is going to leave me, I think this is all talk because she keeps asking why I'm not doing anything to try to get her to stay, which throws the flag up for me making me think all she wants is for me to beg her to stay.
 
Well I told you it would be a long story, & I just scratched the surface, if anyone (spouce or BP sufferer) can help me with ways of dealing with this I would really appreciate it, because I don't know what else I can do.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/24/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rocketman,

Welcome to HealingWell and to the bipolar board. I'm sorry it took me a day or two to get back to you.

I'd agree that her meds don't seem to be working and she doesn't seem to be getting much relief from the symptoms of hypomania or mania which plague her. I'm so sorry to hear that she's abusive to you during these episodes. You definitely have some hard thinking to do about how much you're willing to put up with.

She needs another visit to a psych to have her meds adjusted and if she'll allow you to go, that would be great. She sounds mildly psychotic (the paranoia) and perhaps like another visit to the hospital is in order, Í'm sorry to say.

Good luck,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Rocketman
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 12/24/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply
It has been a rough road thru all this, she knows she is not well & has talked about putting herself back in the hospital, she is just scared because they told her when she left the hospital last time that because of the frequency of her visits she would have to go to the institution if she came back within 6 months. I don't know if she will or not though. She keeps saying she is tired of feeling like this & wants to get better. She says she can't control her outbursts or the way she goes on about things, even though her therapist, Psych & everyone else thinks she can. I don't know what to believe. I just know I want her nightmare to end or at least to gain control of it.

One thing I have noticed after reading a lot of posts on here is that her symptoms are pretty common. Thanks again for any advice you can give for ways I can help her to deal with this. Like I said, I just don't know what to do.

DataGuy
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/27/2008 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here also,
Some of this horrible disease's side effects you will need to decide if you can live with.
From my wife's Therapist we have been told a BiPolar person will never be "Normal". They can only be regulated with medication.
I think it is very important to go to her doctor with her. (Not always as she needs to talk without you). Explain to the Dr. what is happening. The 3 of you need to discuss things that you just can't live with.
Physical abuse is definitely one of them, but you know your own circumstances.

Its hard to leave as we love these people, to leave a sick person is very hard. At some point in our lives we must decide what's best for ourselves.
Relationships are supposed to be about two people.

Good Luck.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi DataGuy,

Thank you for joining HealingWell and the bipolar board. You have some good insights already.

Thank you,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/29/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Rocketman,
 
I am so sorry for what you are going thru, and I understand all too well.  I am the wife of a BP II/ADHD sufferer, and not sure I can give you the best advice as I am struggling with many of the same issues/questions as you are, but I can lend an ear and support you.  To me, it feels very alone sometimes when we are going thru the roller coaster of what is happening around us when our spouses are not doing well.
 
My husband told me weeks ago that this time of year is 'very stressful' for him.  So I braced myself knowing what that means, hoping and praying that we, with our 2 young children, would be able to enjoy a nice Christmas and holiday.  He has reamed into me 3 different times in the past week when all was seemingly fine, always out of the blue, always becoming irrational, mean and verbally abusive, always blaming me for his own behaviour and rationalizing his words, etc...it's as if I'm living with 2 people.  Rocketman, do you feel this way?
 
If anyone on this forum who suffers from BP can help us try to understand this, please reach out.  I am starting to feel depressed by so much hurt coming from him, I just can't seem to recover anymore.  My husband is on meds and sees a therapist occasionally, but he will not allow me to go with him so I feel the therapist is in the dark at what is really going on in our home.  I think my husband has no control over his hurtful words at all.  One minute he's gooshing all over me about how much he loves me, the next he's screaming obscenities and horrible things at me, and blaming me for things I have never said or done.  I am also at my wits end, as my support and love and encouragement also doesn't seem to matter.  What to do?
 
Sometimes he will come back later and say I "pushed him" or that he's sorry, then he expects me to completely forget it and move on as if I'm not hurt or as if everything is fine, when it's not.  He justifies his behaviour saying that "I have hurt him before by threatening our marriage".  Well, who wouldn't be threatening a marriage after this going on for years?  I am trying to do the right thing for my family, for myself and for our children.  This is not a healthy environment.
 
The weird thing is...much of the time he seems fine and stable.  These episodes have been happening more over the holidays, but also happen at least every month to 2 months once or twice.  It's always like being hit in the face with a load of bricks.
 
Rocketman, your situation sounds a lot like mine in that you seem to have stood by her side through everything regardless of the behaviour that has hurt you.  It seems many things have been tried.  It sounds like she needs a totally new psychiatrist and therapist to help her with her meds, but that proves to be the most difficult task.  My husband went thru 6 psychiatrists and several therapists before landing at the clinic he goes to for treatment now.  I don't think his behaviour is still stable, or would he be acting this out of control?
 
Does he mean all these irrational and hurtful things he says?  I can't just snap my fingers and get over this anymore, it's damaging and not normal to be thrown back and forth with emotions.  I find myself questioning why he does it, and what he means or not.  He is damaging and hurting both me and our children.  Are there children involved in your situation?  This is major focal point of struggle for me in what the right thing to do is.
 
I understand what you mean when you say you just "scratched the surface".  It's so overwhelming that it just seems like a whirlwind of neverending issues and things to try to explain.
 
I don't know what the right thing to do is.  The worst thing is I'm sure you are a caring person and love your wife, or you would have never stuck with her thru all of this.  I also love my husband but feel I can only take so much.  I have one life to live and I am also responsible for my children's well being and happiness.  I don't believe anyone (not just someone married to a BP sufferer) deserves verbal abuse and hurtfulness.  I have had more tolerance because I know my husband is ill, but I'm starting to wonder if this will ever change.  I have been with him for 13 years, and he was dx 6 years ago.  It has been a neverending up/down battle since then.
 
It's very hurtful to be blamed over and over for someone else's behaviour.  And you are right, what can we do about it?  Either sit there and take it, become depressed, or fight back and become angry and unwell ourselves?  I find it very hard to keep ignoring.
 
I will be happy to support you in any way I can.  Maybe we can somehow support eachother.
 
God Bless You and your family,
 
4support

Boyce
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/7/2009 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello I have been married going on 10 years my wife is a RN works in the ER at the biggest hospital in our city. She has had major depression and has been taking meds since she was a teenager when she was a teen she tryed to kill herself by taking her parents meds that is when she was but on meds for depression. She is also on meds for ADHD. She is a great Nurse and I love her and we have two wonderful boys age 9 and 4 . I have been with my wife a total of 16 years we dated 6 years > The depression was not that bad when I first met her but I knew about it and she seemed to have control of it . I own my own buisness with my father it is a small auto collision body shop just me and my father so I do not make as much money as my wife does but together we do pretty well both of our children go to private school we have nice cars and a nice house . In this marriage I have been the person that takes care of the house of the children. she takes care of the bills which when we first got married she wanted to do. She has been real hateful threw out our marriage says she hates me wishes I would die ,wants a divorce. Is not happy with me. allways tells me how I'm not cleaning the house right not washing the dishes the way she would are washing the clothes the way she would not cutting the yard the way she likes it . Now I have been doing all this for 10 years and I no by now that my wife would never do any of these things so I just let it go in one ear and out the other it is not worth a fight and these things have to be done. I do them for my two children. also for the last 10 years I invite her family over for thanksgiving I cook all the food and feed them I then wash all the dishes the at christmas I take my two boys and we go out and buy a tree we but it up with all the lights and the angel on top then we but lights outside around the house . My wife she is never involved in any of this she is bed sleeping . Also my wife never goes anywhere with my and my children as a family out to eat to the movies to the park to the beach she stays at home and sleeps. And she has done this are whole marriage . I am still with my wife because I love her I love my family I did not marry her to end this in a divorce I have allways thought she was Bipolar but when I have said that to her she has snaped back and said she is not Bipolar she just has depression and needs to try some other meds. I have agreed and tell her I'm with her 100% she will then tell me I do not care then I will say I love her then she will say something like yeah right I have learned to walk away and not say anything because it will end in a fight and I'm not going to let my kid's hear are see that so I let it go. But I do not see how she has held a job like she has as a RN in the ER for over 10 years with her state of mind . I have changed a lot in my way of thinking about this whole matter this past year on April 15 2008 I had a Aneurym rupture in my brain I was in NICU for 4 weeks when this happen I thought I was dead when the doctor came in and told me that the painful headache I was having and I mean Pain in my head like I can not explain was caused by a artery that had bust in my brain . I thought I'm a dead man I will not see my two children grow up I will not see them marry and have there families and they will be left with there mother who can not take care of herself so I prayed to God with all my heart to let me live and have some what of a normal life so I could still take care of my family and my prayer was answered and I lived and have no physical are mental problems my nero Doctor has told me 85% die 10% have permint brain damage and need hospital help for the rest of there life and 5% turn out like me with no problems so I feel blessed. This is after having my skull open up and the artery clipped and being in NICU for 4 weeks. So I'm a blessed man and I will get threw this with my wife and my family with God by myside!

4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 1/7/2009 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Dear boyce,

I do not want to hijack Rocket's thread, but I did want to say hello to you and respond...

I am curious to know why you think your wife may be Bipolar, rather than suffer from depression alone.  It just sounds like from what you describe - the anger, sleeping patterns, withdrawel from family activities, hateful behaviour at times - that this is more depression-related.  Particularly if she's been able to hold down her job - it is common for those who suffer with depression to be able to keep going in their jobs regardless of the depression and then let it all out to those closest to them.  Has she ever been on medication?

My husband suffers from Bipolar II / ADHD.  I have been married 13 yrs and we have 2 young children.

You sounds like a wonderful father and an amazingly devoted husband as well.  You must be very strong to handle the responsibilities of both parents and continue to be willing to do so.  I understand your feelings for your wife, I have always loved my husband deeply as well and thought I'd do anything to make this work.

It must have been very frightening when you had the aneurysm and ended up in NICU wondering if you would survive.  I don't want to speak for others, but it must be common that many of us wonder who would take care of our children if WE ended up being the person who needed help or support - if our spouses don't do well, don't change their patterns of behaviour, or are not serious about managing/controlling their illnesses.  It's also scary because I am wondering if there was something specific that caused the aneurysm.  Can something like that be caused by ongoing chronic stress in a marriage?  I often worry about the stress I feel as a result of my husband's uncontrolled behaviour.

You have come to the right place for support and insight. :-)

Hugs,

4support


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/7/2009 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Boyce,

Let me welcome you to HealingWell and the bipolar board. It sounds like you've been through a lot and have a lot on your shoulders. Let's start a new thread for you by using the "New Topic" button. Tell us more about why you believe your wife is bipolar, and if she's seen a psychiatrist lately.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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