Welcome to our community. You will find a good mix of people who have BP & people who are the spouce of someone with the condition. My wife was diagnosed with BP2 with rapid cycles & psychosis about 6 months ago, although she has had the symptoms of it for several years. She has been on various anti-depressants over the years but the symptoms of BP didn't come on real strong until about 2 1/2 years ago.
A lot of the symptoms you are desribing are very much the same symptoms my wife has shown as well. But a lot of them are also sighns of post-partum depression. Keep in mind, I'm no doctor, just giving an opinion as a person whose wife has went thru this. From what I have read on your post, I would bet that your wife is also a BP2 (which is someone who is mostly on the depressed side of the condition) & also rapid cycling. You mentioned the lack of hypermania, but she does seem to have it a little with the cleaning obsessiveness & the controlling of situations, keep in mind a BP2 will have mania only occasionally (my wife only gets it a couple times a year). She may also have some psychosis going on as well, as you have mentioned the paranoia, nightmares & such.
The best thing you can do for her is to try to convince her to stay with the treatment plan her docs map out for her. You can't be forceful, just supportive. She has to deide for herself that she wants to get better, you can't do it for her. Yes she may have to take a handfull of pills every day, my wife is on 4 or 5 a day, but she is doing much better because of it. This is a slow process, it will take finding the right medicine & dosage for her, & yes sadly it may take hospitalization so the docs & staff can observe her progress. My wife was in & out of the hospital 3 times between sept & nov of last year. She didn't want to be there, but she had hit rock bottom & knew that was the only way that they were going to be able to help her.
Believe me, I have been thru exactly what you are going thru & so have a lot of others on here. We are all here to be supportive for each other & try to help each other as we are heling ourselves. This forum is an amazing place & I can tell you honestly that joining here is one of the best things I have ever done. Try to stay calm when she is going thru one of her phases, she will say some awful things to you, try not to take them to heart, although it is hard not to sometimes. Try to encourage her to go to her psychiatrist & get into some therapy, & to follow their treatment plan for her, whatever it may be, no one can help her until she decides to help herself.
Post Edited (markzimmer) : 2/18/2009 9:54:24 AM (GMT-7)
Hello, as rocketman said..it is quite a process to become diagnosed and treated for bipolar. But it is definatly doable...especially considering the alternative. I believe that going to only a family doctor is not a good way to search for a diagnosis. Also seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist would be best.
Along with the diagnosis comes a lifetime of medication, patience and acceptance. Your wife must be willing to accept the diagnosis and the treatment that goes along with it.
Just having a baby could definatly be causing some exaggeration of her symptoms, but in this case some therapy would be good to screen for bipolar, or to simply be treated for PPD, either way.
Glad I could be of some help. To give you some examples of her manic behavior. Like I said she has the type 2 bipolar. She is more depressive then manic, in her case when she has a mood swing it goes to the depressed downward side (hypomania) where she is depressed, hopeless, just wants to die, & miserable. Rarely to the hyper, giddy, upbeat & all the other things that go with hypermania. Like I said about once maybe twice a year for about a month she will go to the hyper side & get really accomplised (I'm gonna do this & that), then it only last a few weeks then it's over.
Some of her more memorable episodes are:
The dollhouse- I've always wanted a dollhouse so I'm gonna get one, bought all the stuff. House, furniture, decore & everything. Layed it all out on the dining room table, worked on it a few times, didn't even get the house built, then abandoned it. I offered to help finish it but no, "I want to do it myself." It sat there for about another month untouched. I finally got tired of looking at it, packed it up & put it away. It's still in storage 7 years later.
Cosmotology- I want to learn cosmotology, I think I would enjoy it. I got a loan, she enrolled in school, went about a month, said she hated it & quit, got part of the money back & paid back a small part of the loan.
Curves- I want a Curves membership for mothers day. I want to get in shape. Got the Curves membership. She went for about 2 weeks an hour a day 3 days a week. Then 1/2 hour workouts, the 1/2 hour 2 days a week, then she strained her back & never went back. Even after her back got better, still no. So I was stuck with a 30 dollar a month Curves membership for the next 9 months that wasn't being used.
E-Bay- I'm gonna start selling stuff on E-bay, make a ton of money. We turned our sunporch into a work area. Staging area, shipping desk, the works. She loaded up on shipping stuff, UPS, FEDEX, US Post Office, (luckily it was all free) boxes stacked everywhere. Lasted a few months, sold a few things, made a little money. Then "It's not worth my time." So the packaging stuff got thrown away, the shipping desk is now in mmy storage shed being used as a storage shelf.
Real Estate- I always wanted to work in real estate. To her credit she had been talking about it for years & I honestly thought that this would be something she would enjoy & stick with. Took the home correspondence course, passed the test, got her liscense, went to work. Was all over it for about a month. Learning with the other agents, going with them on showings, showed a couple houses herself. Then she got a customer of her own. I'll bet she showed ten houses, finally the lady thought she had found the house she wanted. My wife showed it to her on a Sat. afternoon, the lady called & wanted to take a second look on Sun. My wife took her. the lady said she would make an offer monday. The lady called monday morning & said it wasn't the right time to buy a house for her. My wife was crushed, the bad thing about this is if you don't sell a house, you don't make any money. All that time & gas spent for nothing. A few weeks later she quit.
Not trying to be a hijaker here, just giving examples of how the hypermania can kinda hide itself with a BP2. I always just thought that was just an upbringing thing, as her father was the same way. But after her diagnosis, I started reading up on the condition & found that things like this are symptoms. Like I said, this kind of stuff usually happens about once a year, then it's back to the "normal" state or the severe depression.
If you want, you can read a lot more of what kind of behavior she has shown by going to all the threads I have started. Above the topics next to the new topic button there is a pull down tab. If you sort by "started by" it will sort the topics alphabeticly by who started them. Mine are on or around page 93. This might help you some as well. There are several other things that I have shared on other peoples topics as well, but I don't think there is any way to find them other then just reading thru everything.
Please don't hesitate to ask me any other questions you might have. I'll try to help as best I can & I'll try not to be so longwinded about it! lol