Welcome to HW Your situation sounds SO much like mine and my bf's. I am bipolar, type II. My bf and I have lived together just over a year now, and we've been together for almost 2. We both want to spend our lives together. My bf is supportive in so many ways. I am waiting to go back to school to get a better career so we can have a secure future. He has been and will continue to support us finacially while I go to school. He wants me to not worry; he wants to make me happy; he wants it all for us. The only time I feel he gets frustrated or upset, is when I'm depressed. Those are especially hard times. And sometimes he can get through it with me, but a lot of the times, it's stressful for us and our relationship.
I know how your wife is feeling, obviously. I have to commend you on so many things that you are doing right. You're reaching out and asking for help. It sounds like you are very educated about the illness...that is the biggest thing. You know about the illness, the different states, the meds, her meds. You're recognizing that this is out of her control (not blaming her). You realize that the state she is in, really will pass. It might come back again someday, but this episode will pass at some point. You even know generally how long this state she is in can last. I am so amazed at all you know! And I'm so glad b/c you'll help her that much more b/c of all you know. You really are being supportive, and I know that it can be so frustrating for you as well. Not only that, but it's painful for you to see your wife in pain.
I find so few people (even bp's) actually know about the antidpressant thing...causing mania. It's not that there are those ad's that would be better than others for bp...it really is the whole antidepressant thing. They all have the risk of having that mania affect. So if you're going to mention it to her doc, normally when ad's are used in bp treatment, it is in combination with something else, like a mood stabilizer or other bp meds. The doc might be willing to combine an antidepressant with another med for her.
It's so great that she doesn't drink, b/c it will cause depression for sure...It doesn't help with mania either. Good for her, really. She sounds very strong.
I get angry when I'm depressed. Irritable too. It's happened already today, b/c I'm crashing. As long as my bf keeps trying to comfort me and is calm with me (not frustrated) I can feel a bit better. Other things that help me...sometimes if I write in my journal about my symtpoms, what's stressing me out, if I get it out in my journal, sometimes it can bring some relief. Other times, I call my one girlfriend to see if I can come over for a tea...Talking with her about my symtpoms/things that are getting to me...helps. This forum is a tremendous help, and actually resuced me from a deep deep depression a few weeks ago. Everyone is very very supportive here.
Anyway, I hope that this passes for your wife much sooner than later. Post again, let us know how you're doing.