New here, I have a hypomanic husband

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exhaustedwife
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/22/2009 12:04 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband and I were high school sweethearts.  We dated for several years before we married and the year before the wedding we went through a 'rough' patch *so I thought*.  We got through it and came out on the other side.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  Looking back, that was clearly his first hypomanic "episode".  We married the next summer on a Saturday afternoon.  He was actually a royal jerk that day but we had years of history and I am not the sort that needs fairy tales and I figured the stress of the wedding/extended family had gotten to him.  The days leading up to the wedding, frankly I was very distracted with wedding stuff.  Tuesday morning on what was supposed to be our honeymoon he woke up a different person in his second hypomanic episode.  *sigh*
 
Fast forward 8+ years.  He has been diagnosed (after being dragged and coerced by me into therapy) with Bipolar II, hypomania, rapid cycling.  Forgive me if some of that is redundant, I'm still fairly new to this.  By my guess/experience he has gone through only 2 depressive episodes that really aren't *that* bad.  He cycles between being in a 'normal' state and hypomania.  Of course as soon as the therapist tried to get him to acknowledge the Bipolar diagnosis and consider medication, he quit going.  Nothing is wrong with him, just ask him.  This has all taken place in the last year.  I had tried putting some of the puzzle together myself but had never heard of hypomania.  WOW, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g fell into place.  I am still having a very hard time with his behaviors and am here looking for answers, advice, and insight. 
 
I am not married to the same man I fell in love with so many years ago.  He was never the most thoughtful guy but he wasn't like *this*.  Even when he is not in a hypomanic stage his level of selfishness is astounding.  When he is hypomanic, he is verbally and emotionally abusive, punishing me for his anger.  I have still not figured out where the money goes.  Where does the money go???!!!  How is it possible to spend that much money with so little to show for it?  He says he doesn't know where it goes and if it weren't so laughable I would almost believe him.  On his way into a hypomanic state I can sometimes get him to recognize that this isn't normal or right but it doesn't last long.  I do believe he had affairs for the first half of our marriage but due to unrelated medical issues that isn't really possible anymore.  Of course, he denies it completely but there are only so many signs you can ignore.  I used to believe everything he said because lying didn't play into our relationship before this.  He ranges from taking on massive projects he will never finish to lying about drinking and who he is with during a hypomanic phase.  He always, always, takes his anger out on me.  Whatever good emotions or love we once had is dead but when I remember the relationship we once had, that man he once was, I still feel obligated to him through 'sickness and health' and all that if he really can't control his actions.  I don't know though, some of the things he says/ways he acts makes it extremely hard to believe he isn't fully aware of or in control of what he is doing.  We don't have children, won't be having children at this point so it's just me dealing with this.  I have my own life and can manage mostly but it is so difficult, nearly impossible.  It has come to a point where I cannot physically be around him during the 'peak' stage for safety's sake and to get away from the worst of it.  He has never physically abused me but the anger is getting so out of control I wonder if he will.  Sometimes I think he wonders the same thing.
 
I am in a pretty stressed state right now because it's coming again.  I can tell that his next 'cycle' is on it's way just in time for the holidays.  Ugh.  His hypomanic states start out slowish, escalate to a peak and then eventually go away again.  Over the years he has gotten worse during his cycles and has more of them, the last one lasted longer than expected.  He has also over time become more irrational and unreasonable.  There is absolutely no reasoning with him.  He has also lashed out at one of his bosses in fairly recent history. 
 
Is that common?  Does any of this strike those with more experience as common or uncommon? Does anyone have advice for how long it takes a bipolar person in denial to get help?  It really does not seem like he cares at ALL about anyone or anything other than himself or things that directly affect him.  Do any others living with hypomania feel this way?  If you experience the anger/irritability, do you mean what you say? (Yeah, I think I know the answer to that one but it can't hurt to ask.) Is anyone else a spouse that might have tips for getting through the worst of it?
 
Thanks in advance for any advice, insight, or other suggestions you may have to offer. 

BPWife
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 10/22/2009 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Exhausted Wife.
My husband of two years (dated for four before that) also suffers from the mania side of BP. So many of the things you wrote I can 100% relate to and have been through some of them. I don't know if I can answer all of your questions but I can let you know about some of my experiences.

My husband was diagnosed about 20 years ago. He's been hospitalized probably over 12 times since then and five times since we've been together - all involuntary as it was the only way anyone could get him the help he needed to stablize. He was in denial and did not accept his condition. He would go on and off his meds (lithium only) but was mostly off. Most of the time he wouldn't even fill the prescriptions he got when he was released from the hospital. He's lost jobs, ruined a few friendships and one relationship. He ran up his credit cards and medical bills so high that he had to declare bankruptcy in 2006. Through all of it, I wanted to support and help him but he refused to talk about it. In March things got bad again so he was hospitalized. I told him that I wasn't going to brush things under the carpet anymore and he had to do something. He agreed but six weeks later he was manic again. He left to play in a poker game and I told him to never come home. Two days later his mother had him put back in the hospital . It was the hardest thing ever because I love my husband more than anything. I wanted to fight for my marriage and he didn't even know he was ruining it along with his own life (you can go back and read all of my posts from that time period). Now that's the bad stuff.

The GOOD part is that after his hospitalization and some very tough love from me and his family, he has finally accepted that he suffers from BP and needs to take his meds daily. He's been compliant with the meds for almost six months now, sees his pdoc regularly and is trying to slowly get back into the financial industry for work. I was already handling the bill paying but while he was in the hospital I moved all of my paycheck to my checking account that he does not have access to. We still have a joint checking account but only about $500 is in it. He HATES that I control nor does he have access to about 95% of our money but it had to be done. He keeps telling me that he wants access to our savings account (I never put his name on that account) but I explain that when he was manic he tried to access and remove all of the money to play poker with it so he can't have access to it. Again, he hates it but deep down I know he understands that it's a safety precaution for US - not against him.

My husband is a sweet loving caring man and I'm honored to be his wife. I tell him all the time that I love him and that he is my best friend. When we talk about him taking his meds (he calls it "the regiment"), I tell him that I am SO proud of him for taking responsibility for his condition. I say that I'll never understand how HARD it is to accept but am so happy and proud of him for doing so.

It's hard being married - throw in BP and it's even harder! But I try to always remember the good and that he's got a medical condition that can be managed. A lot of people use the comparision to diabetes.

Sorry for the long post but I would also suggest two things - go to a therapist who knows and/or works with BP on your own and come here often. Both of those things got me through March through May.

Good luck!

BPWife

exhaustedwife
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/24/2009 12:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for sharing and the encouragement. I do have a counselor I go to from time to time for myself, usually during the mania. I was really hoping a few posters who are bipolar themselves would chime in as well with their prospectives. I guess part of what I'm looking for is a way to better understand this from his end.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/24/2009 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi exhaustedwife,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar forum.

You ask a lot of difficult questions, which I will try to answer, but I'm not sure I can put your mind at ease.

You ask if it's common for the bp cycles to get worse, to lash out at bosses, at spouses. It is VERY common. It's not GOOD, but it's common. BP definitely gets worse over time, and the cycles will come faster too, unless he's treated. Many bipolars have a hard time keeping jobs, because work can be really stressful and stress makes the cycles worse. Many bp's also have anxiety or panic issues as well, so that makes it worse also.

You ask how long it takes for a bp person in denial to get help. Sometimes they never do -- it depends on how bad the mania is. If your husband can still be reasoned with -- and obviously he can given that he's gone to the doc's -- you should urge him to stay on his treatment plan. Many bp's go off their meds when they get manic, and obviously that's very bad. It's important that you stay his friend, urge him to get help for himself, because you want him to feel better.

He doesn't care only about himself and he doesn't really mean the things he says. Underneath the surface he feels a lot of guilt and regret, which only makes the cycles worse. Deep down, he probably has terrible self-esteem problems. Most of us do. That only magnifies the pain of mania and depression. Which is why bp's should really be in counseling too.

I wish you the best. I know how terrible it must be to try and live with a bipolar spouse. I am ever-grateful to my poor husband. Make it clear to your husband that you're glad he's getting help and try and help him stay on his meds. They have their problems, but they really do make life so much easier.

Yours,
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER


exhaustedwife
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/24/2009 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for answering. It is good to get answers whether or not they are what I'm hoping for. The counselor I am seeing now wasn't sure about the cycles getting worse or not. She hasn't dealt with bipolar patients a lot b/c she refers them out to a psychiatrist.

He only went to therapy to the point of a diagnosis. He then became defensive and never went back. He has never been on meds and doesn't have a scrip. He refuses to accept one.

I've never even seen a hint of panic or anxiety issues. Those I am personally familiar with, going through my own battle for a while when we were dating. He has also been diagnosed a few times in his life with ADD but denies that too.

Oddly enough he has never had trouble keeping a job. He has a strong work ethic only magnified by his tirelessness when manic. One of his middle bosses though has had enough so if he gets worse it's only a matter of time.

I hope he doesn't mean these things. It seems like he has lost the ability to feel. Self-esteem problems wouldn't surprise me. I wish he were agreeable to counseling. I think I lost my one and only shot. His grandmother was bipolar with a psychosis mania. She was hospitalized over and over again throughout her life and it became this huge source of family shame. So even though several of her kids and grandkids have varying degrees of psychosis or hypomania types of bipolar they ignore it and refuse to talk about it. One other at least has been hospitalized and a few are on meds but it is still treated like a state secret.

Again, thank you for your input and this board. I'm hoping to learn a lot here.

Ksmommyxo
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/21/2010 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
wow! Its as if I hear the "halleluja bells" already. I'm a 19 year old wife & mother to one. My husband & I have been together since I was 15. He has always been my best friend, the love of my life. I married him a week shy of my 18th birthday. However, just a few months before that I started seeing the symptoms of Hypomania. He has not been diagnosed yet however, I'm positive that it's a reasonable diagnosis. After he turned 21 in August of 2008 thats when everything started falling apart. The first mood swing I noticed was when he came to visit me (he was a active duty soldier in the US Army). It was October 2008when he made the long trip home, arriving with a couple of his buddies, they were all intoxicated to the max, iI was surprised the drove across 3 states without killing anyone or themselves. I noticed him being beligerent & quite disrespectful to me in front of his friends refferring to me as B****, because I was a bit embrrassed about his beligerence. I decided to let him sleep it off. The following days we took a road trip to some of the scenic places in our state. I noticed his phone kept going off uncontrollably whenn i realized it was another girl calling him i questioned it calmly, blinded to the fact of what i thought would never happen. He becam very fidgity and angry. He spoke & defended himself so fast. It was harsh & decided to blame me for being "Insecure" he pushed me down out of anger. A few hours later he was all lovey dovey. Because we only had a few days left together i brushed it off & thought nothing more to it. I wanted to enjoy my time with my guy. The following months passed & he had racked up $10,000 in debt from going to strip clubs & drinking. His next leave time he had a "manic" attack once more this time he insisted on drinking everywhere we went & blowing me off unless i did favors for him. This was definately not the person I fell in love with. We used to have so much fun and be goofy & carefree. To sum it up a bit, we married March 2009 I forgave his behaviors thinking it was just a "phase" and it would get better... well I was mistaken... I got pregnant in May & just had my son February 2010. My husband was kicked out ofthe army for his drinking problem & urge to fight everyone for anything if he didnt get his way.He preceeded to drink & not look for a job. I have been supporting him for the past year. His minimal mood swings eventually turned into a once a month thing and now the person i look at every night before bed is full of hate and hostility i can see it in his eyes. I admit sometimes I fear for my life and my childs life. His attacks are so spontaneous and occur at the most random times. He is currently in Jail as of april 2010 for criminal damage, domestic violence, child endangerment and disorderly conduct. All the incidents leading to the charges happened while he was over intoxicated and having an attack. I am currently awaiting an approval for an involuntary confinement upon him, to recieve help and I pray he accepts it soon before his son understands. He doesnt deserve to be taught such chaos. any advise as in staying by his side, or leaving him?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 4/21/2010 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

Welcome to healingwell. You have to take in consideration what is best for your son and then for yourself. If you are fearing for your life, I would say to move on. If he tries to get help, fine, see what happens in the future. But take care of your son and you first.

It is a hard way to go living with this situation if the other person doesn't get help. And for support sake, it would be good if you were in counseling too. You could use some guidance and as I said, support. It would make you stronger too.

I hope that he changes, but it is not going to change if he doesn't get some help for himself. It could get worse. There is a section in the bipolar resources at the top of the page that is for people as yourself with a bipolar spouse. You will most likely find something that will help you there. Please check it out.

Take care,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


happy bill
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 4/21/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Now we dont need to be harsh around here, she is scared and tired, two things which together can really make it hard for you to see things straight.

Ok so you wanted to hear from a BP man about what we feel and how we feel. First off let me tell you that BP is a very sneaky desease. It just doesnt come on over night, it sneaks up on you over years slowly changing how you think and feel. That is why it is so tough to convince someone to get help. You see they feel comletely normal and fine, to us this is how everone feels. And we can think and make logical decisions (at least to our mind) and they make complete sense. Example from me. I was running around having sex all over town with anything that moved. In my mind i was justified because my wife wasnt giving me the amount of sex i needed at home. This all took years to get to this point, it started slowly and just got worse and worse. When my wife found out she hit the roof, as you would expect.

Thankfully i was blessed with a moment of clarity that allowed me to see that i was the one with a problem. Most normal people dont want to think they have a mental disorder, let alone BP. Hell its hard enough getting people to admit they are ADD let alone BP. So with this moment of clarity came acceptance that i needed to get help.

Now i take one med a day (respridone) and have been on the "wagon" for almost 2 years now. It took lots of work, therpay, and the acceptance by me that i will need to be medicated the rest of my life. I have lost a little but in the end i have gained so much more. Even my wife and worked thru our problems and are going great now.

SO BP isnt a death sentence to a marriage. It just means you have to love and work extra hard. Now if you cant, than you should get a divorce, because this desease doesnt go away and it doesnt get better with age. But if you are willing to work at it and get the help u need you can live and have a successful relationshi with your hubby. But all of that is dependent that he gets help and accets that he is owerless over BP and needs to accept help to learn to manage it.

Hope this helps.

Bill

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 4/22/2010 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   
You are not safe!  LEAVE - at least until he gets stable on medications!
 
Hang in there dear!  ((((hug))))
Bipolar 2
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 4/22/2010 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I removed OB's post as it was flaming other members. And was very unfair.

I hope that you are safe now. I can't imagine living with somebody who is so scarey. You and your son come first. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


CuriousAthena
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/5/2016 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

I am in a 37 year marriage to a naturopathic doctor with Hypomania. His episodes are far apart and it makes it easy to focus on the good thins and forget about the bad. He is currently in a manic attack and usually during these he verbally abuses me and tells me he is going to divorce me. He told me two days ago this is his plan now.

Only once did he take lithium carbonate (self-medicated) for his condition. He did not stick with it though. He has all of the symptoms and they start with him waking up early like 4:30 or 5:00am. This is my clue that mania is coming on. He always has some "logical reason" that he is feeling so good. Usually related to some new health product he has on the shelf.

This current episode which started sometime in December like a week before Xmas. I had a total hip repleacement on Dec. 28th. He was fine until the family and freinds left on Dec. 3rd. Now I am a ***** and he is going to Divorce me. I cannot tell you how many times I have been threatened with this.

My girlfriend who is a Mental Health Specialist showed me the HypoMania survey she uses and he had all of them at a high level except the god complex one. Anyway.....How do you get a Naturopathic Doctor in practice for 30 years age 63 to get a proper diagnosis. All I want is for him to understand this is a REAL mental disorder. He was hospitalized twice when he was in college, before i met him...once age 19 and once age 21.

This forum is like a breathe of fresh air.

UserANONYMOUS
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4234
   Posted 1/6/2016 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey CuriousAthena,

Just replied to your other post, but this post answered a question I asked you. Lol.

Have you asked your friend to try talking to him? Maybe she will be able to convince him to see a doc?

UA
Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.

CuriousAthena
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/6/2016 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
No....my husband believes I have an anger addiction problem. I do get angry when he insists that the problem is me and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. I tell him he has all the symptoms and has for the 37 years we have been together.

He is now telling me he is divorcing me, for real this time. He has done this at least 20 times always during one of his manic fits.

He will not listen to any of my friends but maybe his sister could get to him.

I think it is normal to get angry when you are verbally abused and told you are stupid.

CuriousAthena
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/6/2016 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
So when my husband goes manic like he started on Dec. 20th....I have already said he gets verbally abusive and tells me what a lousy person and stupid person I am. Then 95% of the times he says he is going to Divorce me in 90 Days. He did this. I just had a total hip replacemnt surgery on Dec. 28th. Today he has told me he has changed his mind. This is maddening. It is equal to walking around wondering when an alcoholic is going to act out.

How do I know when I should say let's separate for 6 months. I cannot do anything until I can walk and be empowered by myself.....

One things I am 95% sure is I want him to be diagnosed. I am pretty sure he will not agree to this. Do I push for this?

Does anyone have any experience with this?

CuriousAthena
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2016
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/6/2016 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I forgot to reply to my friend. He has already asked me who I have told and said he does not care what they think. I did not tell him all of the people I have told like his sister who is a nurse. I told him the 6 people I thought he could handle. I have told all of my grown up children and sent them information on Hypomania.

UserANONYMOUS
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4234
   Posted 1/8/2016 4:49 AM (GMT -7)   
CuriousAthena, this is an old thread you posted on. The members here have not been active. Please feel free to start a new thread. This way you may get more responses :-).

Are you in counseling or therapy?

I understand that you want your husband to get a diagnosis. But it is really up to him. He must want to get a diagnosis and get help. If he does not want help, there's nothing much anyone can do. He has to be willing.

I hope things will get better for you.

UA
Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.
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