Concerned about my husband

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gossamer12
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/7/2017 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I am new to the site and this is my first time posting.

I have been with my husband for 8 years and we have a 5 year old son. Most of the time, he is loving, kind and a very fun, light hearted person. However 4-6 times a year he gets into a "mood" which can last 2-3 weeks and he is a completely different person.

The smallest thing irritates him. He will yell and scream and bang his hands against a table over something like slow internet. And if I tell him to calm down he'll say he'll do whatever the F*&( he wants, with no regard for how these blow ups affect me or our son. He'll blow everything out of proportion- if I express irritation about some small thing he'll say I want to leave him. Today he accused me of cheating on him with my teacher who lives in another country because I asked him not to interrupt our Skype call. He still has not apologized for that accusation, which is ridiculous since it goes against the very core of who I am. I have never even thought of cheating on him, there is zero appeal to me. My husband and child are my life.

Now he is having a nap in the middle of the day, also abnormal.

When these periods eventually pass, he usually apologizes for how he behaved and goes back to being sweet and loving and I am left feeling like a hurricane just blew through my life. The whole process makes me feel insane sometimes. There is always a period of extra sweetness after one of these bad periods, which I am very much looking forward to right now.

My family has witnessed some of these behaviours and expressed some concern. Now, they are used to it and I just avoid bringing him to their place when he is like this.

I have asked him to go see a professional and he says he has no interest in talk therapy as it is all BS and he has no problems, it's "all chemical". He said he just wants someone to give him some drugs so he doesn't have these "mood swings". But I feel like mood swings don't last for 2-3 weeks. Also he never goes to the doctor. I asked him to bring it up with his family doctor at his last check up and it's obvious that he positioned it as a "bad mood" because the doctor told him getting grumpy comes with age. What our family is experiencing is not grumpiness.

The flippant accusation of cheating has prompted me to write here, because it feels like a whole new level of bizarre. How do you help someone who doesn't want to help themselves? Are there books or other resources you would recommend so I can read up on what might be happening and better equip myself to deal with these challenges? Are there techniques I can use to inspire him to help?

I'm posting in this forum, because I feel like maybe he is bi-polar. His aunt had schizophrenia, and I'm not too familiar with the differences. I wish he would get diagnosed.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1024
   Posted 3/7/2017 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it’s good that you are reaching out for help.

As someone who has bi-polar, I recognize in myself someone of the things you say about your husband.

This includes the part about hesitating to get help. I had depression for several weeks, and couldn't make a decision as to what to do. I was living in an apartment by myself, wasn't good at taking care of myself, and was just going in circles over this problem.

My mind got where it couldn't handle it anymore, and I had a nervous breakdown. Luckily, I got to a psychiatrist in time, and recovered. But you're taking a real chance if you keep putting off getting help.

Your husband is lucky that he has someone else in the house trying to help him. He just doesn't know it.

(I was about 27 at the time of this first "bad" outbreak of emotional problems, which I think is about the time it can happen in a lot of people. I think your husband may be about this age.)

What has helped me is Lithium and an anti-depressant. The Lithium lowers the mania and helps lift the depression.

When I took my first Lithium tablet, I felt like the air being let out of a too tight balloon. I didn't know I was that uptight. I thought, "Why haven't I been taking Lithium before?"

My mother’s mother had bipolar, but there were no medications for it, and when visiting someone, she would go into their medicine cabinet and take whatever pills she saw, as she was seeking to calm this turmoil that was within her mind.

As a manic-depressive, and as her grandson, I know what she was feeling, this terror, and how she was looking for any relief from that. She would also go into bars and drink. So we can be glad that now bipolar is treatable.

You said, “Most of the time, he is loving, kind and a very fun, light hearted person. However 4-6 times a year he gets into a "mood" which can last 2-3 weeks and he is a completely different person.”

Then you added, “The smallest thing irritates him. He will yell and scream and bang his hands against a table over something like slow internet. And if I tell him to calm down he'll say he'll do whatever the F*&( he wants, with no regard for how these blow ups affect me or our son.”

The part where he accuses you of cheating, I can ID with, also. I’m not exactly sure what that is, although I connect it with feelings of inferiority (depresson?) and paranoia.

I’m not sure if paranoia is part of bipolar, I think it is in its larger stages, but that to me is what it feels like inside my mind, as well as feelings of inferiority during the depressive stage.

(For in the manic stage, he probably feels like he’s too good for you, so it makes sense, that in the depressed stage, when he’s feeling worthless, he thinks you’re too good for him, and coupled with paranoia, starts “seeing” you out with a very successful person and planning on leaving and…..”)

Also what I think he is doing here is, he’s driving you away. It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy. In depression, first he sees himself as a failure; that means you’re more successful than he is; that means, you seeing someone else.

He believes all of that, and in a way, wants it to happen so he’ll be right; his thinking will be clear; he will be the failure that he envisions for himself.

You say, “I have asked him to go see a professional and he says he has no interest in talk therapy as it is all BS and he has no problems, it's "all chemical".

"He said he just wants someone to give him some drugs so he doesn't have these "mood swings". But I feel like mood swings don't last for 2-3 weeks."

"Also he never goes to the doctor. I asked him to bring it up with his family doctor at his last check up and it's obvious that he positioned it as a "bad mood" because the doctor told him getting grumpy comes with age. What our family is experiencing is not grumpiness.”

"So, he really doesn’t want to go to the doctor."

To go with the tough part of this problem first, I don’t how to solve that, either.

You ask, “Are there books or other resources you would recommend so I can read up on what might be happening and better equip myself to deal with these challenges?”

And “Are there techniques I can use to inspire him to help?”

Great question. Um.

What helped me solve problems is that I came across something that said being positive going into a problem that you can solve it, doubles the chances that you will do so. You sound like you are positive and that should be a big help.

You may never solve this problem, but never stop being positive that you can solve it.

You can show him this letter, if you want. I might say something like, “This might not be causing you problems, but it sure is causing me and our son problems. If you can’t do this for yourself, seeing a psychiatrist, how about doing this for your wife and your son?"

"Also, your behavior is affecting this marriage, so consider doing it for that reason, also."

You can remind him about being positive about this problem, and how important it is that he have that attitude going into it. A little bit of information at the doctor's office about what it going on is not going to hurt anybody.

Second, you can say, you don’t have to take any medicine, just talk to the psychiatrist and see what he or she thinks. Go back for a second visit, and talk about that some more. about if medicine might help. All you’re doing is getting information that can help you.

Also, you need to go when you’re not in one of your states. You need to go when your decision making ability is there.

Also, in the future, it gets worse, you’ll already have a psychiatrist.

You mentioned, “His aunt had schizophrenia, and I'm not too familiar with the differences.”

As I said, my grandmother had bipolar, so that’s where I got it from. It skipped a generation.

So, he might want to look for that in his family line, first with his parents, then grandparents, for it can skip a generation. He can ask his parents, or aunts and uncles, if anyone in the family had mood swings.

I think you’re right to be getting on this.

You and he will have to work as a team, for your son if no one else.

Meaning he will have to get positive about this, and be a team player, not a horse’s ass. Did I say that?

Some families will not get through this. OK? It is very tough. Some families don’t have what it takes. We don’t know what side of the ledger your family is on.

You have a good second baseman, that would be you. It’s the third baseman we’re wondering about. If he comes through, we have a good team. If doesn’t, we might lose this one. Junior might have to suffer, because of the third baseman.

I found the below on the net search engine by typing in: “schizophrenia” and then in a separate search: “bipolar” and would suggest you search the net also under these topics. (I don't think this is schizophrenia.)

Mayoclinic.org (schizophrenia)

Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don't exist
• Disorganized thinking (speech). Disorganized thinking is inferred from disorganized speech. Effective communication can be impaired, and answers to questions may be partially or completely unrelated.
• Negative symptoms. This refers to reduced or lack of ability to function normally. For example, the person may neglect personal hygiene or appear to lack emotion (doesn't make eye contact, doesn't change facial expressions or speaks in a monotone). Also, the person may have lose interest in everyday activities, socially withdraw or lack the ability to experience pleasure.

Nih.gov (bipolar)

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

• Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

• Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
Signs and Symptoms

• People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviors. These distinct periods are called “mood episodes.” Mood episodes are drastically different from the moods and behaviors that are typical for the person. Extreme changes in energy, activity, and sleep go along with mood episodes.

• Sometimes a mood episode includes symptoms of both manic and depressive symptoms. This is called an episode with mixed features. People experiencing an episode with mixed features may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while at the same time feeling extremely energized.

• Bipolar disorder can be present even when mood swings are less extreme. For example, some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania, a less severe form of mania. During a hypomanic episode, an individual may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. The person may not feel that anything is wrong, but family and friends may recognize the mood swings and/or changes in activity levels as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression.

• Diagnosis

• Proper diagnosis and treatment help people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and productive lives. Talking with a doctor or other licensed mental health professional is the first step for anyone who thinks he or she may have bipolar disorder. The doctor can complete a physical exam to rule out other conditions. If the problems are not caused by other illnesses, the doctor may conduct a mental health evaluation or provide a referral to a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder.

Medications

Different types of medications can help control symptoms of bipolar disorder. An individual may need to try several different medications before finding ones that work best.

Medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder include:
• Mood stabilizers
• Atypical antipsychotics
• Antidepressants

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 3/7/2017 7:01:26 PM (GMT-7)


theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19782
   Posted 3/7/2017 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
bi-polar is a chemical imbalance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
do not feed the humans!!!
'

gossamer12
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/8/2017 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
big friendly elephant - thanks for responding, if this is actually bi-polar I am very hopeful that medication would be a huge help. smile

Tim Tam- I can't tell you how much your response means to me... I honestly felt like crying reading through what you wrote, it's just a relief to feel support from someone who understands. I have felt so alone, confused and helpless, and I now feel like I have a few ideas on how to move forward from here. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond so thoroughly and thoughtfully.

These 'bad periods' started a few years ago, but it has really just been in the last year that things have escalated to the point I've become worried about him and our family. As you mentioned with your grandma, he often self medicates- during the day he will take herbal sleeping pills and skullcap to try to get through normal activities. Sometimes it helps, and other times nothing helps.

Drinking alcohol makes things dramatically worse during one of these phases- especially brown liquor of any sort- to the point that I have requested that he stay away from brown liquor altogether. He is also reliant on nicotine. He vapes and he has tried to drop the nicotine strength but I asked him to increase it because it has such a dramatic effect on his behaviour. Your note about Lithium making you feel like a balloon releasing air made me feel excited, because I can just imagine what it would be like if it had the same effect for him. I have actually brought up lithium in the past and he seemed to have concerns that it would make him feel numb.

Last night he stayed up until 2 in the morning playing online poker (not real money, thank god)... he had to get up at 5:30 am this morning for work, so I was stunned to see him still awake. This seems to be consistent with the sleep disturbances mentioned in the description of bipolar you posted in your response. (I remember once last year during one of these 'phases' he stayed up the entire night and I was bewildered to see him still sitting at his computer when I came downstairs at 7am.

The other thing you mentioned that really struck me was needing a "third baseman"... this is something that is desperately needed, I think. He does not tend to talk about this with anyone else but me. I think that is a critical step in creating a stable base of support. Kind of like a three legged stool. With just me and him, the support is just not fully there. I'm willing to do whatever I can to support him, but sometimes doing it alone feels like a herculean task. I am going to recommend that he take a look at this group (when the decision making ability is back- another really good recommendation.)

Anyway, I am rambling a little now, and sorry for that. But I just want to say that your note is a shining ray of optimism in my life right now and I can't tell you how much that means to me. Thank you!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41709
   Posted 3/9/2017 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
The hard thing with bi-polar, is often they don't want to get help. A lot of depressed people don't like taking meds. If he refuses, there isn't much you can do other than offer support.

I hope that he is open to the help. I hope you find some good books, there are a lot of them out there. Often I get books on Amazon. They are real reasonable. You can get used ones for very little. I would do a search on some books for him and for you to learn more.

I hope things get better. Keep posting, it really helps.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1024
   Posted 3/10/2017 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your nice response.

If your husband is bipolar, how does he do in job situations, for I had trouble with that, also.

You said, “during the day he will take herbal sleeping pills and skullcap to try to get through normal activities. Sometimes it helps, and other times nothing helps.”

I went through several weeks where I had a bad situation with medicine, felt I was forced to stay away from it, and I, too headed for the health food store. Whatever they had for bipolar felt like drinking water to me.

Also, the longer I went without my medicines, anti-depressant and my beloved Lithium, I could feel my brain deteriorating. I still have memory loss from that lapse, and my ability to solve problems and think was diminished also.

So his postponing going to a psychiatrist, at least just to see what the psychiatrist says, has not only been rough on his family, it’s rough on the extra tension he is causing himself and possibly loss of brain function. It is burning up brain cells, probably.

It is like hanging from a limb for a long time without taking a break, it could be destroying muscle. The brain, too, can be under too much stress for too long, and it‘s not necessary. He could be carrying 100 extra pounds in his mind and he doesn’t have to.

Also, drinking would be like putting fuel on a fire with bipolar.

The fact that nicotine helps him probably shows how much Lithium would help. (They now have more modern medicines than Lithium, but that’s all I know to compare it with.)

I assume nicotine can be a calmative, well, that’s what Lithium does. That’s what it did for me. I wouldn’t have the intensity to stay up all night on the computer, but will have a more level schedule.

His concern that Lithium will “make him feel numb” is a worry I had, also. It will just take the edge off of his nervousness, so that he can produced more, like I did. You’re not producing when you’re agitated.

He might also need the positive thinking situation. The reasons it took me a lot time to improve was my negativity, and it could be the same thing with him, also.

He doesn’t have to be positive all the time, just when he wants to solve a problem, like this one. Five minutes. Even I could be positive for five minutes. Then we can both go back to being our old selves: a complete jerk. No doubt.

Or, “One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem.”

I’m just now catching on to what you meant when you stated,
“Kind of like a three legged stool. With just me and him, the support is just not fully there. I'm willing to do whatever I can to support him, but sometimes doing it alone feels like a herculean task.”

OK, I got it.

Then you said, which I didn’t pick up on, either, “I am going to recommend that he take a look at this group (when the decision making ability is back.”

That’s a good idea, also.

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19782
   Posted 3/11/2017 1:20 AM (GMT -6)   
a mens group is a good idea, mens sheds are around, well in oz anyway, mens sheds give men an opportunity to talk, whilst making stuff at the sheds, highly productive and self effacing. i have done mens shed program. some mental health providers have them, and bigger charities like thew salvos. in this sort of environment his own sense of character will thru others highlight the immediacy of support and help needed, and with other fellas around he will feel more open to communication, therapy and medication. just a thought, bfe is a straight shooter these days, but is not heartless. i knew tim tam would write a book, thus i precluded myself from the initial answer.
do not feed the humans!!!
'
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