Wife just recently diagnosed bipolar

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vmn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2006 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm currently in the military and just recently came back from a 4 month tour in Iraq. While I was there my wife became severely depressed and self referred herself to a psychologist. The psych originally thought she had PTSD but about 2 months before I came home the dr changed her diagnosis to bipolar II. My wife has always had mood swings but they didn't last very long and I could handle them. The psychologist says my wife is hypomanic - rapid cyclic. My wife can go by high on Mon, low on Tues and then high again on Wed. It used to be that she would have breaks between her ups and downs but ever since being diagnosed her highs and lows have gotten worse. I was in a very rare situation in Iraq in which I could talk to my wife by phone about 2x a day. During my last 3 - 4 weeks in Iraq she had a real bad time and told me to never call her and she wouldn't answer my calls or emails. At the time I still didn't know to much about BP and really took it to heart.
 
I've been home a little over a month now and things were pretty good. I had to leave again for work for a week and while I was gone she became very irritable and agitated. I've been home now for 4 days and she still has not made me feel welcome at home. In fact she even told me she wishes I hadn't come home. I have two children 3 & 5. Just two nights ago she yelled and cussed me out in front of my 5 yr old son for something I didn't do. I didn't know what to do. He was really effected by it and I've tried to explain that mommy is sick.
 
She is starting to change. Doing things she never would have done before. Things that I'm shocked that she has done. I love her and I've told her that I will never leave her and that I'll always be here for her. I've made it clear to here that I don't regret one bit being married to her (she asked) but I'm hanging on by a thread here.
 
She's very upset by all of this and ashamed. She has been referred to a psychiatrist but that only depresses her more. She dreads the idea of taking medicine everyday and says that she won't.
 
How do I talk to her to let her know that medicine would probably be a good thing without upsetting her?
How do I keep from getting to the point where the mean and hurtful things don't bother me because I don't care anymore?
How do I keep her from doing those things that end up embarassing her once she realizes what she's done especially when I have to be gone for work so much?
Would it be wrong for me to talk to her doctor about things she's done that I know she's not telling her about? I know if my wife found out it would really make her mad.
 
Thanks and sorry it's so long

tiffers
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 6/7/2006 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. I know this must be tough for you and the kids. Meds are so important. Before beginning taking my meds, I wasn't even able to get out of the bed or eat. Now, I am able to function fully at work and at home. It was a tough 3 months for my husband, but I am so thankful for him now. I was so mean to him when I first got sick. I would say really hurtful things and lash out at him because he was the only person I felt comfortable around. Remember your wife loves you and is going thru a really hard time. I know it is hard not to take the mean things she says to heart. If she is anything like me, she is lashing out at you because she knows you are the only one who will understand and love her thru this ordeal.
 
I'm not sure how to help you help her get on the meds. Could you introduce her to this forum so that she knows she is not alone and is assurred that there are others going thru the same thing? She could also read how the meds have helped others. I have found this forum to be very helpful.
 
Take care.
 
Tiff :)


vmn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2006 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Tiff. It really helps to read that there are other people going through this. I would love to introduce her to this forum. She is currently at her first psychiatrist appt and I hope she is able to really talk to them. She told me she was afraid she was going to go in there and lie because she didn't want to relive everything. I was hurt again this morning because I offered to drive her there and drive her back. She told me that she didn't need me to go (she actually had some choice words to go with it) but then i found out that she had her friend go with her. Her friend was diagnosed with BP 1 and is considered a high alert due to the suicide attempts. Her friend tells me that wy wife invites her because she's embarassed and wants to "protect' me or separate me from it. How can I truly support her and understand what's going on if she doesn't include me in what's going on. She tells her friend everything. Talks to her about her sessions and goes to her if she's having a bad day. She only comes to me if her friend isn't around. Her friend helped her a lot while I was gone but I'm here now and i dont understand why she won't come to me. She has always told me that she loves talking to me and that I'm a great listener but she keeps pushing me away with this and I don't understand.

Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 6/7/2006 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   

hello vmn, welcome to HW although I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I don't have much time to post right now, but just wanted to pass along some encouragement. You are most certainly on the right track and I commend you for wanting to face things head on. I personally think that its a good idea to go and talk to your wife's doctor. Even though patient confidentiality will protect your wife's privacy, her doctor can be an invaluable resource in helping you find the proper outlets and tools to help you both through this rough time. Her doctor can't discuss her as a patient, but he can talk to you as a person who loves and cares for someone affected by mental illness. I felt the same as your wife in being embarrassed, but knowing that you'll do what it takes to make sure you are both taken care of will go a long way. Just be patient and give her some space to warm up to the idea. Having someone who is patient and understanding that it is a slow process is important. Its important that you take care of yourself also since it is equally tiring on the caregivers and family.

Take care and best wishes,
Putter


tiffers
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 6/7/2006 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
As your wife becomes more accepting of her diagnosis, maybe she will begin to open up to you. It is scary to have a mental illness. At first, I too went to a friend who had been thru thje same ordeal. As I began to trust myself, I began to trust others too. I felt secure enough to discuss my feelings with my husband. At first, I was scared he would think I was crazy and would want a divorce. But, as I became more comfortable with my issues and my doctor, I began to open up to my husband. All you can do right now is let your wife know you are here for her when she needs you. Let her know that you want to help her but don't push her too much at first. Eventually, she will begin to feel better and will be grateful for your support.
FYI-This has actually made our marriage stronger. Hang in there!!
 
Tiff :)


vmn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2006 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again for the responses. I will definitely be coming back here as new things happen and questions arise. Hopefully my wife will be interested in this as well.

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 6/7/2006 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Is your wife taking her medication like she is supposed to??If not,no wonder she's acting out..........Or maybe there's a better med.for her yet......
SnowyLynne


vmn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2006 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My wife is currently only on Celexa and that obviously only helps with the depression and for some reason it's having no effect right now and I know she is taking it. She went for her first psychiatric visit today and I just heard how it went. Her psychologist finally was able to get her to see a psychiatrist after having decided that she was bp about a month ago. The problem was is she didn't get to see the psychiatrist she wanted to. She saw more of an ER psych because the one her current dr wants her to see is booked for a while and they were trying to get her the right meds ASAP. This psychd didn't read the whole diagnosis, answered phone calls while my wife was in there, and kept reminding her that she had a mtg to go to. She told me wife that she was exaggerating and that things weren't as bad as she said. She told my wife to stop taking the Celexa and prescribed her prozac. She also said that it's a hormonal problem but if she had read the whole report she would have seen that my wife has already had similar tests and an MRI.

My wife is seriously upset now and I couldn't be more mad. SHe went to her psychologist and told her everything she couldn't believe what had happened either. She is going to try and get my wife in with the original psychiatrist because my wife's dr knows her personally and trusts her.

I couldn't imagine a worse thing that could have happened right now. I could tell she was barely holding herself together. She was trying real hard to be nice but had to ask me to leave. I let her know that I love her and I'm here for her but I'm not sure what else to do and it's frustrating having to watch this from the sidelines.

tiffers
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 6/7/2006 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry her visit went bad. Hopefully she will be able to get in to see the recommended psychiatrist soon. FYI-my doc switched one of my antidepressants last week b/c she said some meds can cause more hormonal changes than others, which can lead to even worse moods. Also, I have had to switch psych docs b/c I felt one didin't listen or understand me. Good decision to try to see the other doc ASAP. Hopefullt the psychologist will be able to pull a few strings to get your wife in fast. Try to hang in there! It will get better!
 
Tiff :)


Akram
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 6/8/2006 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
hi vmn,

I'm bipolar too, i spent over 4 years not wanting to get helped. i was having feelings that i am sorry for myself and that there is nothing that can be done to change me back. i isolated my self and i spent a lot of time on computer games over the internet, i used to get angry if someone tries to talk to me i would scream sometimes i was very stressed and angry at myself also, i had some really misrable days i remember. i was sent to doctors they gave me anti-deppresants i went though 4 doctors who were not able to help me , finally my family put me in the hospital because i was refusing my medication and tried to stop it several times. in the hospital they made sure i take the meds on time, i was really upset in the first week , but slowly i began to accept that i should be treated.

Finally last year i went to a really good doctor but i had to fly to get to him. i see him every months he diagnosed me as biploar, he gave me 6 pills and it took a few months to see the results but now i am a difirent person than i was last year. i am working full time, spending time with my friends, spending time with relatives

I hope you can convince your wife that she can be MUCH BETTER if she takes the medication. but make sure u go to a really good doctor.
                                                     To be or not to Be


vmn
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/8/2006 12:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Akram. I appreciate you sharing that. Things are actually great today. She starting becoming a little manic last night but this morning she woke up stable (a word her and I have decided to use because we don't like saying normal). We had a really great talk and she told me she wants to take the medication because she is tired of hurting me and she's tired of not feeling in control. She went with me to the dr office today to see if there was someone I could talk to. We ended up running into that really bad doctor she saw yesterday. The doc apoligized and said she realized she made a mistake. After a long talk my wife was given depakote and was told to come back in a week. The doctor even wants me there so she can talk to me as well.

If you are familiar with depakote my wife would really like to hear your impressions on it. Her friend takes it and is really losing her hair and having a hard time controlling her weight. Is the hair loss pretty common? Are there any other side effects we should look for?

Thanks everyone,

-V

Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 6/8/2006 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   

V - so glad to hear that things are moving in the right directions. Guess its a typical two steps forward, one step back situation. Just remember that baby steps can go a long way and it sounds like you are closer to finding something that's going to work.

As far as the depakote, every one is totally different, but at this point in time I am doing really well with it. I never had the hair loss, but did have some slight weight gain in the beggining. Once i was stable after about a year, I weaned off the effexor i was taking and have since lost a considerable amount of the weight that I had gained while ill and recovering. When it comes to the weight thing and medication, I decided long ago that I would sooner be a little heavier and healthy, happy, stable, content, productive, etc. than be the skinny, stressed, depressed, unhappy, individual I was before the medication. Now I only take the depakote and feel pretty confident that it is working well for me. I do get the blood tests regularly and am on a fairly low dose but am also pretty med sensitive. And I think because of the chemistry of it, its important to drink lots of water.

Obviously, everyone is going to have a different experience, I just wanted to let you know that there are good stories. Just make sure that your wife gives it a little time to kick in and is open with her doctor about her concerns or sideeffects. There are lots of options and sometimes it will take a few mediciations to do the trick.


putter@healingwell.net

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