I'm New. Please Help Me. I just got married

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Whathappened?
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2007 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I met the most wonderful man 13 months ago on E Harmony.  I'm 32 and he is 31 and we were married this August.  He told me in the beginning he was Bi Polar and currently takes 150 mg of Lamictal (sp).  I too struggle with depression.  I always had a bit of a problem with "labels".  Sometimes I wonder if the doctors go a little overboard with diagnosing you.  I am a full supporter of meds, and believe if it works, great.  But I always hesitated on the "labels".  He was fine.  Calm, even temperment.  Him and I shared the same views..  "it is what it is"  "everything happens for a reason" - "trust the process" You could tell we both had been through it and learned great lessons.  Admittedly we put ALOT on our plates.  We got engaged in February, bought a house, closed in June, had a destination wedding in the Bahamas with 12 people, ALOT was going on.  I noticed as soon as our plans started to really pick up, he became more irritable, short tempered, and sarcastic.  We weren't even married yet and I was seeing someone completely different.  And I KNOW, this is NOT the real him.  I know it.  Please just trust me on that.  Well it has gotten worse and I found out, that he stopped taking his medication.  Well not "stopped" - but with all of the goings on, and schedules being out of whack, and traveling, he kept forgetting.  He was supposed to re-order his 90 day supply on 9/14 and his still has 41 pills left.  In no way is he taking his meds regularly.  He has been nasty to me.  Very hurtful.  But then very sorry.  It's like who I fell in love with....is gone...   If I didn't know any better, I would say I was in an abusive relationship (no physical abuse) - He is starting counseling next week. He wants to be better.  But I am so so sad. And I'M angry.  What happened?  I guess he is REALLY bi polar???  Please don't be upset that I questioned it.  I have tried so hard over the last 3 months to make him happy and nothing seems to work.  He feels a lot of guilt for what is going on.  Can anyone help me understand this?  Is this the Bipolar? 

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/4/2007 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Whathappened?
Welcome to the forum, I hope we can help you and you find the support you are looking for here.

To answer your question, Yep. That's bipolar. I'm no doctor, but it sure sounds like he's manic. This is what commonly happens when bipolar patients stop taking their meds. Combine that with severe stressors like buying a house and getting married and you've got mania stew.

He needs to get to his psychiatrist for a re-evalutation, get back on his meds, and get in counseling ASAP. So it sounds like he's more or less doing what its going to take to get back to normal. But you should know a couple of things. 1, the process of getting healthy again can take months. It's not a matter of popping a pill and feeling better two weeks later. 2, bipolar literally goes in cycles. So once someone goes manic, they almost always drop to depressed afterwards, even if they're medicated. Doctors try and use medications to shorten the depression, but it still almost always happens. So be patient and gentle with him, and as long as he's doing what he needs to do to get better he will eventually feel better. Just to give you one example, my last cycle lasted 4 months.

In the meantime, what you need to do is get educated. Those labels are there for a reason. I don't mean to sound condescending. I'm not "mad" that you "questioned" the label, not in the least. But Bipolar Disorder is not a label any more than Diabetes is a label for a medical condition. Bipolar Disorder is a medical condition. Diabetics need insulin, bipolars need their medications or they end up manic or depressed, and you're just seeing the first signs of it. Get online or check out some books on bipolar disorder and learn what you can about the disorder so you can be more helpful to him in the future.

Here are some links, and my favorite book, and I'm sure others can offer you more. Again, welcome, and as you struggle through this problem, please feel free to ask questions, vent, whatever. You'll quickly see there are many spouses who come here for support as well.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-publication.shtml
http://www.bipolar.com/
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&Contentid=7950

"The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know" by David Miklowitz
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


Whathappened?
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2007 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena, thank you for your reply. I am at work and am trying so hard not to cry right now. I am really feeling sorry for myself and I guess I am wrong for that. I almost feel "tricked" - we waited so long to be together. It feels like the minute we were able, he "left". I am blown away. I thought the destructiveness of bi polar happened WHEN you were figuring out that you were. So, do you think this would have happened even if he didn't miss a day of meds? The stress of buying a house and getting married? I don't know if I can do this - I just want to run away. I feel sad for myself now and for us and for him. Thank you. I will look at your resources. I won't give up on him or us, but I'm not coping well with this at all.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/4/2007 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, frankly, yes. It's quite possible that it could have happened even if he had been taking his meds. The meds don't always work forever. They often need to be adjusted. Extreme stressors can trigger episodes regardless of medications, and h**l, sometimes there's no clear-cut reason for it. There's not always an obvious reason why an episode starts. But his forgetting to take his meds regularly almost certainly added to the problem. For example, I've been on meds and pretty stable for a couple of years. But this Spring I had a relative die. It triggered a 4 month cycle. See? Even with the meds the cycle started. I needed to see my psychiatrist regularly while we figured out new medications (because obviously the old ones weren't doing their jobs anymore,) have more frequent therapy, and have a whole lot of support from my family. I stopped working for a couple of months.

I'm sorry that this is so hard for you. I know it's a lot to take on. It's unfortunate that you didn't understand what you were getting into with bipolar disorder. It's not a one-time thing, it's a lifetime thing.

Did you see a doctor when you were depressed? Do you see a therapist? It might help you deal with this. No doubt YOU have been under a fair amount of stress with all this change as well, only to have your dream husband turn angry and unpredictable on you.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/4/2007 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
By the way -- don't feel bad for being sad. We all understand how hard this is for our spouses. I'm signing off for a while now. Hopefully others will show up soon and give you some more perspectives...
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


Whathappened?
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2007 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I thought of his meds needing to be adjusted. I did a little research on that and realized his doseage is not that high. I have had many depressive episodes over the years, mainly because I thought I was "fine now" and stopped taking my meds. But as soon as I got back on track, for the most part, I was back to being functional and have let go of that dream that I can ever stop taking them. I was expecting the same thing with him. He went back to his prescriber the other day and he wasn't ready to up or change his meds. The deeper I get into this, the more I want to go and punch that doctor. He gave him a phone number for counseling. He was hospitalized 2 years ago. he keeps saying to me "i feel like I am going back where i was and I don't want to go there" - I don't think HE realizes what you are sharing with me and yes, it is unfortunate that i did not realize. I would have married him anyway, but I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. And I have no one to talk to about this. As much as my family loves my husband, they were a little concerned that we moved so fast. Nobody will say it, but they will be thinking we moved too fast, etc. ESPECIALLY since this is my 2nd marriage. I was married before, it was very short lived and my ex was pretty much like my husband but was almost proud of it, he was a jerk. Can you imagine how that adds to my sadness? I'm sorry, I really feel like I am dumping and having a pity party.

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/4/2007 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Whathappened?
 
I just wanted to welcome you to the HW family and the Bipolar Forum.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/4/2007 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Whathappened?, Several things I want to share with you.
1. I am a spouse of a BPII, rapid recycler. We have 3 kids, our oldest is also a BPII, Rapid Recycler, w/ADHD to boot. I am WELL versed in this issue.
2. I know how you are feeling about the feeling of being "deceived" in a way. On our honeymoon I met the "other man" I would end up spending many years of my life with off and on (for many years mostly ON!). I too felt angry and what I want to share with you is "don't be so hard on yourself for your reaction", it is human of you. You have just had your "dream" obliterated and you need to mourn that. This doesn't mean you can not create a great new one grounded in reality that will be just as wonderful, but you have to not hide from the reality of what you are dealing with.
3.We struggled for many years with issues. When our oldest was 8 when dx with BP/ADHD. My husband stepped up and admitted to the pdoc that he had all the BP symptoms to since he was a kid, and he felt they needed to talk. From that point on, life got a little easier because we got answers, and he started and has found a good balance of meds. But, they don't always stay level, and therefore the relationship with the pdoc is critical to stay on top of. My husband and son NEVER go more than 2 to 3 months without an appointment now. At the beginning it was every week or two and it stretched out as things leveled. But in addition to this, our pdoc is fully accessible by phone anytime to discuss questions, issues that arise, the need to shift a medication...etc. I am part of these “wellness” teams and have a relationship with all the doctors as well.
4. There are a few critical things you need to know from a spouse perspective
a. YOU must become a part of your husbands "wellness" team. You must be allowed to talk openly about the BP together, you must be a part of his relationship with the doctors - albeit that you do not have to go to all appointments with him, but they must know you, you must go together occasionally, you must be allowed to speak to them whenever you feel it necessary, you want your opportunity for input about what you are observing on a regular basis.
b. You must lay the law down from the start with your husband that while you are there to support and love him in wellness and stability, the ownership and personal responsibility of this condition are completely his. HE has to fight for his own wellness first and foremost and take the responsible right actions (#1 is consistently take his meds – that has to be mandatory, see his pdoc regularly, see his therapist regularly, and potentially join a support group - and perhaps you should consider joining a spousal group for you). He has to own his own choices and behaviors. He has to know you will not allow him to spill it all over you and you'll take it.
c. YOU must get educated and not hide from this (anymore than you could hide from your depression). Seeing your therapist on a regular basis is not a bad idea during this time either as it will help you as you have a depression issue to manage, control and stay responsible about. Yes he is BP, he told you that up front...you just made your decision to not listen or educate yourself about what that meant because everything felt so good and right. Now you are finding out what having a BP spouse means. So here is the deal...you can waste a lot of time and let him play around with meds, good boy one minute, bad boy the next while you build up resentment and damage is done to the relationship and you.. OR, you can be strong and lay down the healthy ground-rules for you both about expectations to manage your lives together so that the real love can exist and flourish between you, and you can both lead dominantly balanced lives – and have safeguards and support in place when additional help may be needed.
d. If he doesn’t own his own condition and fight for his own wellness, you will live a life of turmoil with him at the whim of his various “states”. You must learn to take as good care of yourself as you try to take of him, and that must include asking yourself hard questions at times and being honest about the answers. Ex: Is this the life you want for yourself if he were never to stay responsible or get balanced, even if there are a few good moments? Is this the life YOU want to lead forever? Are you willing to live with a BP, who may have his struggles, but it is a fight you fight together as a team on the same side, where love can still grow, for the rest of your life? Are you still willing if he is not responsible about it? --- things like that.
e. You have a chance to set your life up together and REALLY have it work. But it will take work and honesty on both your parts. It is critical he wants it too and doesn’t play a game with himself about BP. “It is, what it is”, and he can let the BP destroy what you both are striving to build together, or consciously decide he’s not playing around with this - and get and keep the help he needs and control the BP vs. it controlling him. The sooner that choice is committed to, the better it will be. The more damage that is done between you will make it harder for you to want to stay or repair it.
Good luck to you both. LFW

Dasa
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 10/4/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
What Happened,

Welcome to the forum. I'm new too. I'm trying to learn like you are and my heart goes out to you that your dream is getting shattered right in front of you and your future isn't what you thought it would be. I'm going through alot of the same. I hope you find some good answers.

LFW, You are so knowldegeable and so strong. How long ago was it that your husband and child were diagnosed? Are they able to function well in their daily lives now?

Thank you for being here to help the rest of us.......Dasa

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/4/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
If what I share has value and is helping you or anyone else, I am so grateful. I have dealt with much in my 47 years, and had A LOT of therapy before and during my marriage. I have learned what works and what doesn’t for me. I love my H & S dearly, but if I am not strong and the balancing rod around here, then I know our lives will simply not be manageable. Not for me, not for them, and not for our other two children either. Certain things are critical to make it function. That is what I shared. I also know how easy it is to get consumed by it all as the spouse if you don’t also put yourself on the list of things you take care of, and for me by keeping clean boundries such as these, it in turn helps me take care of me. I came to this site months ago worn down by it all just like you because I was managing but felt so isolated and alone. HW has been a godsend for me too. It has helped me take my families wellness to a new level, and I just want to share that and pass it forward. I hope that I am doing that. To answer your question, I have been married to a BP for almost 16 years. He and my son were diagnosed officially 5+ years ago, our oldest son is almost 14, we also have b/g twin 61/2 yr. olds. I have said this many times on the sight, that my H & S seem to be (by comparison) on the milder side of the spectrum. But make no mistake that regardless of where on the spectrum your loved one is….NONE of it is easy.  But if structure, with partnership, and most importantly their desire to lead their own team for wellness, is not there, it now crosses to impossible.  Their drive and committment to their own wellness is the critical component.  And you can not MAKE someone be ready - THEY have to.  And love or not, you also don’t have to suffer along if they don't, won't or are not ready. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 10/4/2007 7:04:57 PM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/4/2007 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
There's no need for embarrassment, Whathappened? It's okay to be overwhelmed. I think everyone is at first.

If your husband doesn't know much about the bipolar, then he needs to learn more as well. It sounds as if his current doctor doesn't think he needs new meds, just that he needs to take the ones he's on. That's good news. If a couple weeks go by and you don't start to see improvement, send him back to the doctor.

Another thing is to go with him to the doctor armed with a list of questions about bipolar and how to maintain it. Let the doctor know you're a new wife and ask him to "fill you in" on the basic "care and feeding of your bipolar spouse" if you will. (Ooooh. I gotta write that book!) I'm sure he'll be more than willing to help. IF HE'S NOT -- new doctor. Life's too short to deal with crummy doctors.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


Ann3425
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 10/5/2007 1:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Do not feel alone Whathappened. I consider myself well educated, attractive and rational...yet I did not see bf's BP until after two months of dating...he did not reveal. For someone without a physiologically based depression...you never can figure them out. One day all put together and the next day irrational for no predictable reason involving yourself. For me after a year of dating, I decided with major input from him to end relationship. Only been a month, I still dream of reconciliation and the wedding we spoke about but it is not going to happen. Yet, for you your husband is trying-willing to take meds consistently and listen to doc. That is the important factor in this he is willing to attend treatment and allow you to participate. I knew it was over for good when he would introduce me as future wife but not allow me to go to psych. appt. "...cause you will tell him I haven't been taking my meds regularly, quit psychotherapy and am drinking daily..." Thump to my head with a 2 by 4 think that was a huge red flag. So, my point is hubby is trying...makes all the difference. Ann

Whathappened?
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/5/2007 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
You have all brought me so much comfort. Thank you so much for the time you took to share with me your stories, and your tips for me. I am going to do everything you all suggested and I look forward to a "friendship" with all of you. I bet there are resources for great books for me, and I love to read, that is the first thing I am going to do. thank you very much.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/5/2007 6:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Fantastic. Keep us posted.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

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