Depressed? - married to bipolar spouse

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4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/31/2008 1:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear friends,
 
This is my first post in the depression forum, but I am hoping some of you can help me.
I am married to a husband who suffers from Bipolar II disorder and ADHD.  Although he is on medications, his unpredictably hurtful behaviour still arises and is very hurtful and hard to ignore or forget.  Not to get too much into the ongoing and significant side effects that this illness has on the spouse, children and family of one who suffers from BP, but now I am very concerned about my emotional state and how hurt I am and how depressed I feel during his episodes.
 
I have been told in the past that I am suffering from situational depression.  I basically feel pretty good when things are going well in my marriage, but very depressed when my husband has his episodes and is hurtful toward me or damaging our family with his behaviour.  I feel high levels of stress during these times, but continue to have to go about my life as a mother, wife, student, employee, etc...and trudge on with all of my responsibilities.  it's during these times that I begin to feel overwhelmed, as though I cannot handle my life.  This is only when my marriage is not going well.  I feel hopeless, get angry, can't function at a high level like I usually do, I'm more tired, less motivated, upset, cry, etc...I know these are symptoms of depression, but how serious since they are only happening when these things are going on?
 
I am beginning to see a new counselor for myself.  But I am wondering how unhealthy this is for me and how serious.  Is this something that ultimately will get worse?  Is it inevitable that I will sink into chronic depression if I don't get treatment?  This scares me.
 
I need to be well and healthy and want to feel good for myself and my children!
 
Thank you so much for your insight and help.
 
4support

manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 12/31/2008 3:21 AM (GMT -6)   
 
  Hi 4support,
 
  My husband was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and he goes in and out of different sides of himself where he can be super supportive and gentle and then periods where I wonder who I am married to and I just try to keep my distance.  It's really hard living with two versions of the same guy.  I feel your pain!!
 
  I don't know if the depression will get worse.  I get depressed feelings due to the lack of fulfillment in the marriage in such times, but he always comes around so then things lighten up again.  I don't take meds., but I have to work hard to focus on the postiive things in my life when I'm not getting the happy feel good times in the marriage.
 
  As for advice, just do what you need to do for your own sanity, and also, if this is affecting you like this, what about the kids?  Make sure they also have someone to talk to. 
 
  I hope others will have some good advice for you.  Please keep reaching out for support.  You need outside support and objective opinions with what you are dealing with as your husband probably doesn't really 'see' how he is behaving and can't be the support you need in those times even if he might like to be. 
 
  Wishing you happiness and healing,
 
 manyembers

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 12/31/2008 6:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

Just because you suffer from situational depression it doesnt necessarily follow that you will develop chronic depression although it is a risk. When 2 people who both have mood disorders are in a relationship, I think there will always be good times and bad times but you can usually find a way to live with each other. Have you thought about seeing a coucillor together to work on this?

Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
"A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if your not enough without it, you will never be enough with it." - Irvine Blitzer (John Candy) in Cool Runnings
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/31/2008 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning 4suport,
I am so sorry you are going through this and I understand how you feel. Many people with Bipolar do very well on meds but the trick is to make sure they take their meds.  Often when they feel better because of their meds they think they are cured and quit taking them without telling anyone and then the sx are back.
Perhaps he needs an increase in meds or a reevaluation of his meds.
 
You must take care of yourself and know we understand that you have needs of your own so do make sure you get help and look to your friends and family for support as well as your HealingWell Family.
 
Stick with us
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 12/31/2008 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Kitt,

Thank you for writing to me.

My husband takes medications and goes to a clinic for treatment, although he should be seeing his therapist much more often. This situation is so complicated, I can't even begin to explain.

I just have so many worries and pressures right now. I am a Nursing student and getting ready to dive into a new semester, my husband's patterns of hurtful behaviour are continuing, I worry about my health because of the stress, and the impact his behavior is having on our young children. After 13 years and 6 years since his diagnosis, it seems the problems and unpredictability continue. I am at my wits end. I am struggling with what the right thing to do is.

I just feel totally beaten down by him and it's hurting - a lot. That's why I feel depressed when his episodes are going on. All I ever wanted was a loving, peaceful home where I could raise my children. I have always loved my husband madly and never want to see anything happen to my family, but it's as if I'm starting the reality of the situation in the face.

I am praying for the strength I once had. Even as a Christian, I feel I have done just about everything to make this work.

I am trying to take care of myself, but not doing a very good job.

Thank you,

4

acel0777
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/20/2009 5:12 AM (GMT -6)   
HI!!!
 
I just joined because I was googling "bipolar husband depressed wife" and it led me to your blog and I wanted so much to reply to you and get to know what you are going through.  Well, "bipolar husband depressed wife" describes my marriage, also.  I am also a Nursing student and I just finished my first year in December.  But unlike you, we don't have any kids yet.  I have been diagnosed with depression 2 years before my marriage, but only have been on meds for a year (I got married in 2006).  I have the same situational depression that you were talking about...being fine when everything's okay, but just can't function when things are not.  I have been at my wit's end, hanging in there, hopeful, all of the above.  I don't have support that I need from my family or friends.  They all tell me the same thing.  And it's very frustrating.  I hope you write back to me and get to know each other more and maybe let out our frustrations in a safe environment.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/20/2009 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
acel0777

Welcome to HealingWell and the Depression Forum. I am sure you will find many wonderful members to support you and just by finding this site you have made a huge leap toward finding support.
 
We have a welcome forum I will bring up so if you would like to share a bit about you that would be great.
 
Again a warm welcome to HealingWell.
 
Kitt
 
 
 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


DxbLady
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/1/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi 4Support n acel0777,

Thank goodness, I was beginning to feel as if there is something wrong with me being down. I feel your pain/frustration. I am at the end of my tether. My husband is also bipolar. The saddest thing is, that when courting, a bipolar guy is probably the epitome of Prince Charming - that's if they're on a high, what's just symptomatic behaviour can so easily be mistaken for grand gestures. I think that's the most heartbreaking thing for me. Remembering the "good times" and comparing to the awful lows.

Eight years and 3 kids later though, I wonder how long can one go on riding this emotional rollercoaster, and is it fair to kids? Just when you become complacent thinking things are finally OK, things fall apart. I know it's an illness, I used to be able to handle the highs and lows, even convinced myself the noble thing is be supportive, it's isn't their fault right? But now I'm beginning to hate the person I've become. I feel bitter and angry when he relapses, and I feel as if I am always giving 110% and getting nothing in return. Worst of all I start snapping at my kids, and I hate that. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership, and yet I feel lonely.

I first found out about his disorder 2 years into my marriage. When I wanted out, my family thought I was being selfish and shallow, un-Christian even. I wish there were someone who's been through it to warn me to get out or not have kids. So acel0777, my advice to you is, don't bring kids into your marriage. I know it may sound harsh, . But bipolar disorder, never goes away, at best it's managed.

Personally, I'm beginning to think we both might be better off without each other. I know my kids certainly will be. If only I can get past feeling guilty. :)

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34742
   Posted 3/1/2009 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
There is another thread on this same topic that you might want to join in on. It is newer than this one.

Is your husband taking any medication? If not, encourage him to see a pdoc and get on something to help him.

Are you going to any counseling? You could use the support in this situation. I know that it is hard to deal with because my mother was bipolar.

Check out the other thread, I am sure that you will find it interesting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/1/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
DxbLady

Just stopping by to welcome you and to tell you your story is heart breaking but it is so true in many cases.
do stay with us and know we care about all of our members.
 
Warm hugs
Kitt
 
 
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


MmDrm
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/21/2010 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi.
Thank you to all who have shared on this board to let the rest of us know that we are not alone.
 
My story:
With my spouse in total for 16 yrs, Married for 14, (he's been bipolar - with OCD & psychotic tendancies - the whole time, and undiagnosed till a couple of months ago). We have two children - 14 and 12. My husband also suffers from complex post traumatic stress disorder (he experienced every kind of abuse as a child. No, really - every kind.)
 
It is has been very difficult - I was young when we met, and I was very impressionable and naive, so I spent a lot of time doubting myself, buying into the paranoid accusations and thinking I must be a bad person, or insane as I couldn't understand why he was so sure I was out to get him all the time, and yet internally I felt only love, confusion and hurt, none of the manipulation, coldness and hatefulness I was constantly accused of.
 
As I became older and stronger, I realized I wasn't the problem. I researched, realized there was a problem. After probably a year of me asking, he agreed to see the doctor. This person told him there was no help from him but drugs that would make him relive everything in his sleep - to the point that he might accidentally attack me. Then the dr talked about himself and his wife's mental problems for about 45 mins. It's amazing that some doctors even get licensed. This man wasn't just incompetent, he was a danger to his patients. That was all that was needed to almost stop my husband from ever trying to pursue help again. I managed to switch doctors and convince him once again to try, even though I felt like I failed him the first time. This new doctor, a wonderful man, assembled a team to help him including a psychiatrist and psychologist, and he himself participates very actively in my husband's care.
Seroquel caused insane weight gain (my husband's family is rife with heart attacks, so massive weight gain isn't an option).
Ziprasidone (Zeldox) is exaccerbating all bp symptoms. His paranoia is epic, and the psychosis is escalating to the point I am worried about him becoming violent with others.
He is at the hospital right now - he was starting to show some really bad physical side effects as well (the kind they list under signs of stroke... wonderful how it just gets better and better, eh?).
My vacation started today. I feel like a bad person because I am very bitter that the only days off I will get this year with my family are going to be added to that ever growing list of things that get completely destroyed by this disorder. I am not a nurse, but I work in the support services field, frontline with people who are dying. I really needed just a small break, just a rest. I am so tired. Of all the coping.
 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34742
   Posted 8/22/2010 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi MmDrm,
 
Welcome to the HealingWell Depression forum.  Has your husband ever tried abilify.  It is a good drug for bipolar and any psychotic problems that a person might have.  I take it as a mood stabilizer and it really does help.  Though it is up to the doctor, you might want to mention it.  The doctor would know if it is a good drug for your husband. 
 
I am sorry that you are suffering so.  I hope that you can enjoy some of your vacation.  Do something nice for your self, you definately deserve it.  Even if it is just a bubble bath.  You have been through so much.
 
Did you say if you were going to counseling yourself?  It really would help you with support and direction.  I hope that you are going.  It is times like these when we need help coping with other's problems, especially when they are so close to us. 
 
I hope that things get better for you.  Please do keep posting and let us know what's up.
 
Take care,
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

MmDrm
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/22/2010 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for your reply Karen. My husband was admitted to the hospital last night, and is likely to be there for a few days. He will be seeing a psychiatrist today and I will ask about abilify - we haven't heard of that medication. It's nice to know there are alternatives out there - till now I thought it was pretty much lithium, seroquel and zeldox. I am not in therapy right now - not sure if I have insurance to cover that, but I am looking into it. One of the reasons I came to this board was in case I can't afford therapy, I know I need to talk to someone.
I am taking my kids to a movie tonight, so they feel like we are doing vacation-type things, but I feel too guilty to do anything just for myself. I feel ashamed I even complained about my trip being ruined. I love my husband so much, and just don't want him to suffer. I miss him already. I know things have been hard, but I owe it to him to try to be stronger.
 
Thank you for being there, Karen, and for sharing. It means the world to me to have somewhere to talk about this stuff - it has been bottled up for some time.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34742
   Posted 8/22/2010 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   

That is what this board is for.  Even if we can't give you advice, you can still vent and get things off of your chest.  The weekends are slow.  So you will get more responses during the week.  But everybody here is so kind and compassionate.  It really helps with our daily situations. 

I am sorry that your husband had to go to the hospital, but I am sure it was the best thing at that time.  I hope that he gets better soon.  Often we need that extra help and the environment of structure.  I think it will help him emensly.  (sp)... 

Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.  We all really do care. 

Hugs, Karen


  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

annsu
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/15/2010 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi- I was searching for spousal support and came across this group. I have a BP husband and feel as if all hope is gone. He was diagnosed a few years back, but never was proactive until about 6 months ago. And when I say proactive I mean he came to terms with the fact that he is bipolar and he began trying different meds. But as he tries one med after another I am beginning to realize there is no miracle pill or combo of pills to take it all away. He may be a tiny bit more mellow but he still makes nasty comments, is always in defense mode and is selfish and ungrateful. I have tried to be understanding and tell myself he is sick but at times I am angry and feel trapped. He has threatened to take my son if he leaves and to be honset I am scared of him when he has an outburst. So I am a prisoner because I will never let him take my son. And yes I know if he just up and ran off with him I could call the authorites but what would he do to me when he was released? I truly believe he would do something horrible because he will never live without his son. I live in fear and walk on eggshells constantly. I too think about all the things this disease has taken from me. I will never own a home because his credit is horrible and he spends way more money than he makes. I spend every penny I make on bills while he goes and buys things for himself.He job jumps because he can't get along with anyone and when I don't agree with his decisions he attacks me saying that I don't support him at all. And I still am constantly criticized and my character attacked. I wish i could leave, but then part of me loves him and wants to stay. I think I have always had an issue with depression but now I alos have an issue with anxiety. He gets on me about that too and I feel like saying- gee I wonder why I have an issue with anxiety?? I pray things will get better but I really do feel as if there is no hope and I am destined to live a miserable life trapped with someone who treats me like **** 90% of the time. Thank you for letting me vent...I don't feel so alone at least when I know there are others in my shoes, although I woul not wish my situation on anyone. sad

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/15/2010 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
annsu,
 
Hello and welcome to the Depression Forum.  I am sorry to read you are having a rough time and I do hope you seek counseling for yourself.
 
I am going to post a link I took off of the Bipolar Forum that you might find helpful as it speaks to spouses and families of the person with bipolar.  It is a support group also.
 
 
Stick with us here and know that we care.  I am sure you will be hearing from other members soon.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

annsu
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/16/2010 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for welcoming me. I am currently not in treatment but am looking for a doc to deal with the depression and anxiety at least. At this time we live in a pretty rural area so there are no support groups for partners of bp's. I do think that therapy would help me alot since I can't really talk openly about the things I go through with friends or family; they would think I am out of my mind for staying. My mother knows he is bp but she does not know how he talks to me, the threats he has made or how scary he is when having an outburst. I am sure telling her would complicate things because she would pressure me to leave. At this point I feel I have no choice but to stay for my safety and his well being so here I am...

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/16/2010 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
 
I am sorry there is no support groups around you but talking with us is a good thing and you are brave coming forward and taking a chance on sharing with us.  We won't let you down.
 
I'm really hoping that now that your husband is on medicine that he can stick with it and he must go to therapy to deal with his 'demon's. I'm hoping that once he starts feeling better, and hopefully you'll notice an improvement, he'll think clearer and maybe you can both go to counseling together, go to a place where you feel 'safe' to discuss some of your thoughts. If not, I think you should definitely go to get some professional advice on how to deal with it and work to get him on board now  that he has to take ownership of his illness.
 
For yourself, perhaps you could start by talking to your own Primary Care Doctor about how you are feeling and what you need for you.  I am a supporter of asking for what you need so please do advocate for yourself.   It is a lonely existance, and very tiring always being the rock in the relationship.
 
Sending you lots of healing hugs,
 
Kindly,
 
Kitt
 

 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Lvgrl
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/17/2012 1:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Annu your post sounds exactly like my life! I pray that things are better for you.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 34742
   Posted 6/17/2012 6:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lvgrl,

Welcome to the forum. This post is a couple of years old, so I don't know if Annu is going to post back. I would like to welcome you to the forum and encourage you to post on more recent posts. Usually on the first page. I hope that you feel better. Tell us more about yourself. If you would like to, feel free to start your own thread and tell us some things about yourself.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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