I have for the most part felt pretty stable for the past year. I am on zoloft and risperdal, and they seem to be a terrific match for me. The only change in my meds in the past year was an increase in my anti-depressant. And with this it was me who noticed I needed it, told my husband and made a dr appt to have it looked at. My relationships are much better since being diagnosed in NOVEMBER 2007. I let myself open up to people, my sister in law and I have become confidants and talk at least twice a week. And I do know in my heart that if i felt i was sliffing up in any way, if I felt I couldnt reach out to my husband for some reason, I could with her. My mother is very supportive also.
Although I do attribute my success with dealing with BP to my medication and therapy, I also think that the knowledge of losing my family keeps me on the straight and narrow. I know for a fact my husband would not take any more from me as far as the spending or the lying, and losing him or my 3 daughters would kill me. The medication and therapy has gotten me to a healthier place to where I make better judgement. I am about to start my 4th consecutive semester of school and have gotten A's and B's so far and will be applying to the RN program this spring.
It is all not sunshine though. I do tend to get defensive quickly when in a disagreement with my husband. I tend to always think people are attacking me, or it is my fault...and that is something i am working on. And right now we made an agreement with eachother to start becoming physically healthier by jogging 3 times a week and doing situps and pushups together nightly....we will see how that goes (the one bad thing about the meds for me is the weight...it is hard to lose!)
BD Spouse, I've had bipolar disorder for 10 years and am relatively healthy. I was diagnosed when I was 30 and have held a full-time accounting job for all of my adult years. I'm married and have 3 sons and am in a very loving relationship. Because of my disorder, my spouse is very aware of my health and "triggers".
I am in a stable period with my bipolar disorder right now and enjoy my family and work. My unstable mixed (mania and depression)periods are long and drawn out generally, but I'm still able to work. During those times, it takes alot of effort to "appear" to be alright. It's very hard for me to concentrate at all during my mixed episodes and I get easily frustrated. However, I see a therapist 2-3 times a month and he's been wonderful in helping me to see things more positively, learn relaxation exercises, etc.
I believe that bipolar disorder is a tough illness to have, but we can still be happy and live the best life that we can.