My husband is in a down phase again. This is the hardest part of the disease for me, as his spouse, to cope with. He's withdrawn, irritable, and acts nothing like the person I married - he's a college professor, but anyone who talked to him now would think he was some uneducated redneck with a bad sense of humor - and believe me, it is bad (racist, sexist, nothing like he would usually say in a million years). He also acts and sounds like an old man - he's only 49, but when he's like this, his voice gets high pitched and quavery, he moves really slowly, and he has trouble finding words for what he wants to say. But he believes nothing is wrong, says he's just a little tired. He was only diagnosed with BP in March, and has only had one other down phase like this since then, and at that time, the nurse practitioner he sees prescribed Abilify in addition to the lithium he takes regularly. It seemed to help bring him out of the last down phase, but it didn't prevent this one, and it's only been a little over a month since the last one. He has a medication appt tomorrow, so hopefully they can see if he needs something else.
The NP also said that it's typical for self-awareness disappear during times like this. After reading this board for a few months now, I'm feeling more compassion for him than I have in the past - I have just been so frustrated and so lonely, and I want him to acknowledge that something is wrong, but I understand that isn't going to happen, and what he really needs now is love and support and to be left alone. Fortunately, I'm busy this week with my teaching schedule and committee work, so I've been able to stay away from him - which seems to be what he wants, and it keeps me from saying that I've noticed anything different about him, which would only start an argument. I've also done things with friends. I'm posting here mainly to acknowledge how I'm feeling and let everyone know how I'm doing.