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stressed in bama
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 9/7/2007 12:33 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 just wondering if anyone out there feels the way I do. My husband just had a severe high from taking a cough syrup with codine and it sent him into a frenzy. For 3 days he didn't sleep and I finally took him to the ER and found out that he will never be able to teka codine again. My problem is after he gets back to normal I am so exhausted ifeel depressed. Yesterday and today I didn't get out of bed except to get ready and go to work.Just wondering how anyone else with a bipolar spouse handles it.

Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/7/2007 3:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi stressed in bama

I completely understand how you feel. I have been living with my bipolar hubbie for over 20 years and I have found time and time again that after he gets back to 'normal' (although in my case he never really gets back to normal as he is always either on his way back up or on his way back down). However, when he is in a slightly better place for a few days/weeks then suddenly I will feel awful, stressed, depressed anxious etc.

I think that it is because IMO this is because we really have to hold ourselves together, take a deep breath whilst our spouses are not, and then once they return to a more normal state of mind it is like letting out a huge sigh and our mind and body relaxes and that is the point when we collapse slightly and 'allow' ourselves to feel something. This is usually stress and exhaustion from the periods of having to look out and look after our partners.

We are like a tightly coiled spring that cannot stay this way for ever I think. I also think that the longer your hubbie isn't in a good place then the worse obviously the fallout is going to be for you later. A couple of years ago my hubbie was in a manic state for about 6 months which gradually ended in a huge crash for him which took a long time to get out of. As a result for the next 9 or so months I just couldn't get myself together which was unusual for me as I have the odd down day but not for months on end, I really did feel genuinely depressed and lethargic etc. for a long time so it is understandable for you to have a few bad days now.

That is how I see it anyway. It is of course bad timing because it means you rarely seem to have any 'normal' periods between the both of you, either he is manic or depressed and then we are tired, depressed and stressed once it is all over for a period of time. It really isn't fair for anyone :-)

I don't really have a magic answer as to how I handle it. I do try and detach myself a little now when my hubbie is going through these periods otherwise I find they totally envelop me as well but have only managed to do this fairly recently and not to a great success.

From another point of view, maybe you just need to accept that you have been under stress whilst he is in these periods, give yourself a break and plan to have a few days following 'an episode' when you really do nothing but try and relax and do stuff for yourself even if it means staying in bed for a couple of days - is it really that bad to do this? Give yourself a break during these times and do things that are going to cheer you up. Can he look after you during this time like you have obviously supported him?

Also, does your hubbie realise and appreciate what effects his BP has on you as I have found that this makes a huge difference as to how I react and also how he 'treats me and looks after me' after one of these periods when he is in more normal state. You don't say how long you have been together so wasn't sure of your experience with the condition.

Hope this makes you feel less alone :-)

Honey Bee

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 9/7/2007 4:52:02 AM (GMT-6)


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 9/7/2007 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Stressed, I'm with Honey Bee on this. While I don't deal in the extreme high/lows that you do, adding anything of a stimulant (antihistamine, cough syrup, decongestants, codeine...etc.) throws my H's meds off too. The defensive snarling, snapping, low frustration tolerance, excessive whining, depression...etc. starts up in greater volume and he feels near impossible to live with. It is tedious and tiring. The ricochet effect on you is perfectly understandable. In fact, I find I can do better if I see what is happening, do what I must for my man, but get on with it for me too. See, I get that until he re-stabilizes on his meds; there is nothing I can do that will have any "great" effect on him anyway. And it is better if I don’t engage with him too much. It simply has to run its course. SO, I watch and observe him, make sure he is not going too far with any of it, and then stay clear until it is over. I have gotten better about not needing that day or two recovery time afterwards. See, if we spouses allowed ourselves to feel the sadness that our much loved partners have to go through this...being the sensitive sorts that we are...especially while they are in the throws of it…it would be a mess. So, we shut off until a "better" time comes. Then, when that time finally comes…it all "HITS". It is like a person with migraines who gets one AFTER a stressful event is over, not during. Our minds and bodies are unique that way. So, don't make it worse by judging that it is suppose to be different. It isn't. In fact, knowing that this is what happens, observe next time what YOU do during it and then breathe through it where you can, write in a journal, as Honey said...detach a bit during it as there is not much you can do anyway to change it until he comes down. Then, once it is over...(I know you will think this is strange...but) take yourself to the movies after work instead of coming home (try to make it a comedy so you can laugh a lot). I find it tricks my mind sometimes and I only need a few hours of rest for me to get back on my feet afterwards. Otherwise it is that feeling of being hit by a tone of bricks and I can't move. Hope that helps a bit. LFW

P.S. Hi Honey Bee!

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/8/2007 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm just recovering from a very hard 4 month BP episode, Stressed, and not surprisingly, now that I'm better, suddenly my non-BP husband is getting very tired a lot and very depressed. I think the phenomenon you're describing is very common. So now I'm trying to do my part and give him time to relax, think and get his head back together so we can both be okay. He's seeing a counselor now too, to help him sort out his mild depression, and hopefully he'll be right as rain soon. The important thing, like Honey Bee said, is to give yourself a break. Let him take care of you once in a while!


serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


nev
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 9/8/2007 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I post over on the Fibromyalgia board usually. I have a BP friend who comes in and out of my life and started hopping over here to get educated and know what's what.

Each of you have spoken of being strong and resilient in your spouses time of need.

I have a severely handicapped brother, therefore my mother frequently stayed with him for surgeries and such. The crash and burn you all speak of is exactly what my mother described after a long hospital stay, worrying about life and death, and caring for my brother's needs.

I am glad to know you guys have each other here to bounce things back and forth. Cause talking to a neighbor or friend just doesn't do.


Serafena- I am so proud of you for noticing your husbands need, and it is so sweet and caring of you to pick up the slack when you are physically/mentally able. I am also thankful you have your husband there for you, when you have needs. Wow!

Bama, Honey Bee & lfw- It is just awesome that you care so much that you come here for support/answers. It is obvious that each of you want to be there for your spouses. I DO encourage you to take care of yourselves in special ways as you guys have mentioned above. Whatever that may be- staying in bed all day(s),getting your hair/nails done, seeing your therapist or writing. Whatever helps you to recooperate, being days or weeks. I URGE you to remember your needs before you crash completely. Kinda like drinking water before you get thirsty/dehydrated.

You guys here, whether with the dx or related/friend to the diagnosed, it is my pleasure to come here to learn about BP to know better how to deal with my come and go friend.

Where would we be with out this thing called the internet???

-nev

Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 9/9/2007 2:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi nev

Thanks for the nice comments, they are appreciated.

You are right that it is a pleasure to come to these forums (I visit the Depression and BP one) as everyone is so unbelievably kind, thoughtful and helpful. Also, talking to a friend or neighbour or family member has never worked for me as they haven't experienced my and my hubbies life so really don't get it at all. The people on these 2 forums in particular for me do 'totally' get how we all feel and I am eternally grateful for finding them. I don't post that often but usually read them once or twice a day.

My hubbie and I have had a couple of bad experiences with other other forums (not for BP) but other hobbies we have and they put me off as they were unebelievably *****y, petty and jealous places full of small minded people unlike these forums which are totally the opposite.

I am very glad I found them.

:-)

Honey Bee

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/9/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Nev. That was very kind. My husband and I work hard to stay healthy and take care of each other -- that's what it's all about, right? We don't always succeed, but we try.

I agree HoneyBee. These forums are unlike any others I've ever seen. It's hard to find people to talk about these issues with in real life, hard to coordinate support groups, etc. I've been really grateful for this board. We take care of each other here too.

serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


stressed in bama
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 9/10/2007 12:24 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 Thanks to you all for the support. I get no help from my husbands kids or his family so I do feel like I am in this all by myself. I work a full time job and take care of everything at home. When my hubby can he works but as far as anything around the house I get to do it all. I had a goos weekend. We started working out and walking  and it is helping the stress somewhat. It helps to know I am not the only one who is going through this. I don't know anyone around our area who is bipolar or has a bipolar spouse. So thanks again for your words of encouragement.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 9/10/2007 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you are bearing a lot of the burden, Stressed. That is so hard. No wonder you're exhausted. I wanna sleep for 2 days just reading about it.

There are bipolar support groups and groups for spouses if you'd like to meet some people in your area who are going through the same things you are.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance runs support groups in many places:
http://www.dbsalliance.org

And the National Alliance for Mental Health also has support groups nation wide:
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?section=Find_Support

Finally, try the listing of support groups at your local clinic or hospital. You might find something useful there. It really helps to feel like you're not the only one in the universe dealing with these problems and it's especially nice to meet other people face to face.

serafena
Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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