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sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/18/2005 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I'm new to this chat thing but not to experience of living with bipolar. Long story short, my husband was diagnosed 10 years ago with this and for the most part has done well on lithium. Unfortunately every fall he cycles, this one has been difficult. I feel very alone and wondered if anyone had some tips on getting through this time. This is the first time I have ever sought out support, but I don't think I can keep going through this with him without some help. He is exploding over every little thing and it is difficult not to take it personally.   

Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 10/18/2005 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome sooblue
I think you'll find the support you're looking for here at healingwell. I don't know where I'd be without this site.
I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with your husband. Alot of us here have had difficulty this fall, myself included.
Is it possible his doctor could be consulted? Perhaps they could add something to take the edge off his irritation.
You sound like you have a great deal of patience. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a spouse that goes above and beyond the norm to try and brave the storm with us. I hope things get better soon.
Take Care
Ellie

Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 10/18/2005 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Sooblue, welcome to the site. Have you looked in to getting the lights they treat SAD with? I know it helps a lot. I am a BP1 rapid cycler who also has trouble with the seasons. I put bright lights behind my shades to give the appearence of a bright and sunny day. This helps me a great deal to keep from loosing my cool too!! Shannon 1 may have some great ideas as well. She is a nurse, and goes by psychnurse. She has helped a number of us.

Sandra

BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs


sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sandra!
My husband has been giving me some mixed responses on what his doctor has suggested with the light therapy. For quite some time he told me they didn't think it would help (which I questioned), recently he said they started suggesting to try it but HE doesn't think it will help. He has had an appointment with his doctor but unfortunately they had to reschedule to this coming Friday. I, at this point don't think it would hurt to try the light therapy. He said he he doesn't want to take an antidepressant this fall because he was able to make it through last fall without. I can respect this but don't think he realizes the impact this has on me & our 2 kids.

Sooblue

Arenace
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 10/19/2005 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
SooBlue, Perhaps if you caught him in a rational moment he would listen while you explain how difficult it is on you and the kids? I know that it was hard on my children when I was in a bad state!!!

Regarding the lights, they do help me. A LOT. All I can say is when my brain is fooled in to thinking that it is bright and sunny outside, I feel more bright and sunny inside!! LOL I don't have any actual "SAD" lights, perhaps I will do that this year, but I do have very strong lights in one window where I spend a great deal of time. It works great in fooling me, so far. If I want to I can even have a "sunny day" in the middle of the night!! I do know also that flourescent lights are not good. There light has a negative effect. The only answer there is to get the "natural light" kind. That would help a little bit.

Hope to hear from you again soon,

Sandra

BP brings new meaning to Life's Little Ups and Downs


sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for such a warm welcome! It is so nice to talk and get input on this. There are some days I feel like I just can't do this all by myself. I try to be as supportive as I can for him, but as you know there are some days that are much worse than others. My family is very supportive but they do have a tendency to "side" with him & tell me I just have help him through things. His family on the other hand either pretends he doesn't have the illness or think if he goes to church he will be all better (not that going to church is wrong or not going to help, but I don't think it will cure him) either way they aren't the most supportive to the situation.

I'm going to try to suggest the light therapy again when he is in a more welcoming state. I do have to ask a question to anyone that can give me some input. Am I out of line to inform the doctor of times like this when I see such a change in his mood and behavior? I want to respect his privacy but at the same time I don't know if he is completely forthcoming in sharing things with the physician.

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/19/2005 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello sooblue, geez do I know what you are saying in both directions. I am also type I , but also grew up with a  granmother with depression and a father with Bipolar. Neither treated for it. Well my dad self-medicated, due to "stress". Anywyas, the impact as far as a child , is severe. It causes children to have attachtment issues, self-esttem and confidence or the lack there of, also to add to all that, the feeling of hopelessness and love. It's so overwhelming , just thinking of all the thought I had, like what did I do, whay doesn't he like me and I was an exceptionally well behaved CHILD. Now being 28, I finally get it and love and accept him. He would do anything for me. It was hard for him then to say I love you , now he says it all the time. Wow, it makes a difference. Still he is not medicated, so I don't know if he is type II or if he was just depressed. Not sure. Either way both are rough. So with all that said, I think you would be benefiting him and your family by raising the doc's eyebrows a bit. Although your husband might be upset at first, but if he's not gonna be COMPLETELY honest , then someone should.I have gone through all denials in the world, and over half-dozen or more meds. Now after having a child, I realize there is no room for selfishness, but all kinds of room for compromise. Talk to him first, explain how it affects the whole family and that it isn't his fault, unless he refuses to get a med adjustment. I do it all the time. I think it's adjusted more in the summer actually for me. I hate heat, sun, and blah... blah.. but also don't like dreary days. It has to be perfect! Ha That's not alot to ask for is it? Kidding. Maybe he needs another med added , or an increase... something. Watch how you approacg the situation to him, and all can be well. I welcome you and look forward to hearing about the outcome. Sincerely, Nickie  ( not always there, but always looking) 

sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Nickie for your input! We have 2 kids & I worry so much on how this effects them. I know when I have brought his attention in the past to him snapping at the kids & how they don't understand he opens his eyes to what's going on with his illness. I hope things are well for you right now.

Sooblue

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/19/2005 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Sooblue, that is a great sign that he recognizes and acknowledges his behavior. I am the same way sometimes, not even realizing what I do or say. Usually someone tells me. I try to be extra careful around my daughter. How do you handle the situation? You seem like a concerned mother and wife. It's rough on your end as well. Well it was nice to talk with ya , Nickie

sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/19/2005 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Nickie
My kids are 6 & 8 and I think they both just at this point when he snaps at them think he is just in a bad mood like any other adult sometimes gets. Yet, in the past month or so my 8yr. old asked "why is dad so mad all the time?" That really hit home for me. Usually I try to subtly suggest when it's just he & I that he may not realize how harsh he sounded to a kid. Mind you this doesn't always work but after years of marriage counsling I think he knows that's the que for him to look at his actions. Although, after our 8yr. old asked that question recently I kind of went off on him about how I can be "the punching bag" but the kids are off limits (so much for years of counsling). I felt really bad after, but it made me so angry to see him hurt her like that. I try to remind myself that he would NEVER intentionally be hurtful to them, but like you said, I don't think he even realizes how he sounds.

After I got so angry with him I have noticed he seems a little more aware of his responses to them. I am very thankful that he has come as far as he has with acknowledging his behavior, I think thats why when we fall back into a rough time it makes it so frustrating because just when you think you have a handle on it, it rears its ugly head again! Sooblue

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/20/2005 3:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Sooblue, I have said those exact same words to my mother , yet I was slightly older. It was so confusing to think , that my dad was always in a bad mood. My mom would say he 's cranky, or tired,or just plain shake her head. She really got the worse end, but I think like you she preferred it thay way. Although my dad would infuriate me when he would do that, because I was so sympathetic towards my mom. It really isn't a great situation to be in at all. I feel bad your daughter is going through , kinda what I did. I wish now, that my mom would of explained it better to me, on what my dad's real condition was. Maybe she didn't know how! Either way, I truely hope your children don't get affected to bad, are they very sensitive kids? I was , then as I got older I was miss thing with an attitude, purposely trying to sabbotage everything. I wanted my dad to not like me. Remember though I am Bipolar as well, and I really showed it at the ages of 15-well now. My goal is to just be aware of my actions, and take responsibility for most, and to reach stability with few relapses. Large goal huh? Well I have to go to class, thanks for listening Nickie!! smurf

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/20/2005 3:28 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, soooo blue,

I'm so sorry you have to go through this, I never know who I'm sorrier for, us or our families.  I think it would defo have to be the family members.   You can take what Nickie (kittycat) said about her dad and apply the same to me, I was his punching bag, and along with verbal and emotional abuse, he regularly beat me until I had welts with a leather strap.  Sometimes I never knew WHAT I had done and was afraid of his coming home at night, fearing another beating for whatever reason.  He still won't get treatment, but self medicates.

Anyhoo, my sob story over.  about your hubby:   He is depressed, which happens to all of us in the fall.  Sometimes we get "mixed" states in which there is slight to full mania WITH depression at the same time (can you imagine), that's the absolute worst.  But, he probably wont due to the lith.  When is the last time he had his level checked?????  It changes from time to time, esp with seasons, so get it checked, it may need an adjustment.  He does need some kind of antidepressant, I recommend Lamictal, it is a stabilizer that keeps us from going low, and the lith can too, it just boosts it.  Lamictal with Wellbutrin is the ultimate mix  for BP depression, since our depression is much different than regular depression or clinical depression, it comes with massive fatigue, way worse than other people, can make us totally nonfunctional if bad enough.  Please have him see his doc, this CAN be helped, I don't know of ANY BPs that take only one med.   There are more than two facets of this disease and teh fact that it changes SOOOOOO often requires multiple meds.  They have to be added when the needs arise, just like now with your husband.  His mania may be controlled (if therapeutic level of lith), but depression has set in due to the season.  (shorter days, lack of adequate sunlight IS the culprit).  The light therapy is almost identical to sunlight and DOES work.   Kittycat is right about overhead or flourescent lighting, instant bad mood; they only hurt.  Just lamps wont help.  I suggest putting Reveal bulbs in all lamps, and they have something called Vitalights for flourescent lighting which makes a big difference, but doesn't work like light therapy.  Just helps, sometimes a lot.  I can totally tell the difference with Reveal bulbs.  That is why many of us prefer the dark in rooms we can still see just fine, but no "bad" lighting to darken the mood.  We are SOOOO sensitive in all 5 senses, people wouldn't believe or understand that.

As far as talking to his doc, I believe it won't do much good, he won't be able to talk to you because it is illegal and medically unethical for him to, and if he brings up the fact he has talked to you or even listened, it will cause anger in your husband.  Respect his privacy and just keep driving home the fact that he is damaging his children, that will probably do it after a bit of time.

I hope this helps, if I can answer anymore, just ask.

Shannon1


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/21/2005 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Good point Shannon. Duh? Hello me forgetting about pt. confidentialty, what a dingy blonde. Ha I thought maybe if she went with him to the appointment, with his consent and offered input. Is that allowed? as long as he consent sor not? I really don't know. Of course then it would be uncomfortable and he would probably talk less... here's me talking out loud again. Oh never mind.

psychnurse
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 807
   Posted 10/21/2005 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Lol, Nick, defo having a blonde moment! yeah

If he gives the docs office a written consent for his wife to personally talk to the doc, or if he agrees to let her come with him to his appointment(s) it's ok, but must be in writing in his chart.  Otherwise, no way Jose!


Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key


sooblue
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/24/2005 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone!

Just an update. Thanks to your advice my husband & I had some good talks. He had an appointment with his pdoc and they are checking his lithium level (it was last checked in the spring), the plan is to possibly increase the dose pending on what his results show and to see his doc more frequently for a while. He also changed our light bulbs to the Reveal ones & increase their wattage! He agreed that it couldn't hurt. He thought that SAD was just about not liking the fall or winter time because the lighting issue, so he talked a bit more about it & has a better understanding of it.

As for the patient confidentiality thing, i used to go with him to his appointments but haven't in a long time for a couple of reasons. One, he was doing quite well and there really wasn't a need & two, I wanted to give him the respect and privacy of taking care of his own illness. But with all that has been happening recently I didn't know if I should start going with again. Sorry if I was unclear in the question.
Sincerely, Sooblue

kittycat27
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 10/24/2005 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear his is doing better. Like I said before, recognizing his own issues and how it affects the family is key. I am proud that he is taking the neccesary steps forward. Wow even changing the buls, that is great. I hope you all will benefit from his awareness, that you so kindly brought to his attention. You must have great communication skills, keep that going strong and everything will fall into place. Nice to hear from you, Nickie 
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