I have been fighting with myself inside debating whether to talk with his family about his episode right now or not. You see, it took him 5 years after he was actually diagnosed, to let them know about it. When his wife left him (after 17 years of being together), he never let anyone in after that; never wanted to find another support person. His siblings are dealing/coping with their own illnessess as well as his mother. So there are two thoughts that come to mind:
1. Can his family be there for him on a continous basis; do they have the mental capacity to be strong for him when he needs it?
2. Will my boyfriend feel betrayed and will I have overstepped my boudaries, should I try and involve his family or any friends?
Also, he only has two close friends and neither of them know anything about his disorder. That is the way he wants it. I cannot, at least, feel I can't betray his trust by telling them and asking to check on him.
If you have any other idea to see of someone can check on him...besides befriending the mailman and having him check on my boyfriend when he drops the mail off, I'm pretty much out of ideas in that respect.
Oh..and btw...he has two roommates, so he isn't totally alone. He has hs own room, nut at least there are two other bodies around the house on a regular basis and I think that's helpful.
Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 7/30/2007 6:35:58 PM (GMT-6)
I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking time out to express your feelings and insight on our situatoin. You have no idea how much I can relate to you. Thank, thank you, thank you!
As for my boyfriend, yes, since he was 13 as well, he has had this disorder. He has been diagnosed with manic depressive disorder, with anxiety. However, since two weeks ago, his psych doctor has decided to re-evaluate his diagnosis. This is why he is charting his moods, etc. Since he burned his meds out for the seventh time in the last 10years or so, I am assuming his doctor wants to make sure he gives him the right meds and that means testing all over again. It's just so very painful and frustrating and requires an immnese amount of patience and faith that it will get better soon.
I know he is hurting so much right now and yes, it is very painful not to let me in, but I am getting strength from these forums as well as the bipolar/depression groups I attend weekly. I have basically immersed myself into education on these various disorders as well as the treatments and medication with their known side effects.
As for the stigmas and prejudice views; I have already experienced many. Unfortunately, one of my closest friends cannot seem to comprehend the illness fully and thinks I should just "dump the dude". I also have another friend that feels the same and can't believe I'm willing to not only stick it out, but plan on getting myself ready to deal with this for a life time.
Fortunately, I have two other friends, one that is bipolar II or B(is that right? I'm still learning) and the other with mild depression that experiences regular episodes. They both have been extremely supportive and constantly remind me that I need to not take any of this personally.
You see, I have known my boyfriend (as a friend) for many years. I know his heart, I know who he truly is and we both not only have accepted the other in all our grand flawed glory, but would not want it any other way. I simply cannot imagine another man that can give me such peace and comfort and straight from the gut laughter, and strong deep love. I don't know if I can fully explain it in the english language, but it is a feeling that has not been duplicated with anyone else before. And believe me, I've been in many relationships throughout my life time as well as married and divorced. I thought it couldn't get any better. Then my boyfriend and I started this romance, and the universe had a way of proving me wrong; it could be better, absolutely and incredibly better
So when this came around, I did not hesitate for a second; I was going to stay with him through thick and thin. This is the thin part but I know in time we'll see the light at the end of the tunnel..just a matter of time really..and I'll wait.
I'm due to fly out there in the next three weeks. He is very aware of me coming out. I appreciate what you said and I definitely think I will keep that in mind. Maybe play it by ear the week that I'm due to leave. Should it be extremely bad, I'll cancel the plans and stay here. I have my support group meeting tomorrow and will talk to them about this to see if they have any advice. It is a mix of both people suffering from bipolar disorder as well as friends and family that are close to them.
Thank you for the word on breaking the trust issue. I needed to hear that, and now I know that I just need to have faith and just rely that he is doing everything in his power to try and stay above water...and just ride this out.
There is a group called "NAMI", I think it's called National Alliance for Mental Illness. Anyway, they have a chapter out in my area. They offer a 12-week education course on depressive disorders. Have you heard of it? They educate on the actual biological side of it, the treatments, detecting the early signs, medications and side effects associated with it, etc. I start this course in September. I figure I need to take advantage of all that is out there and available to me so that I support him the best that I can and also take care of myself while I'm at it.
I hope that I continue to hear from you as I feel I can learn a lot from your own experience.
Again, thank you so very much for your words of encouragement and opinions on the situation.
peace, love and dark chocolate..wickedly cool comfort.
I read your posts with great interest. I've never really dealt with anyone bi-polar personally, but I know it can so very difficult, for the patient and the loved ones. One of my good friends, Cindy has a son Austin who is in his early 20's and he had been doing very well. He has gotten in this rock band and he purposely went off his medication because he thought he could be more creative. He was playing down in Florida and got manic down there. We live in KY and she was just trying to get him back home safely. He is back home, but is still manic even though he is back on his medication.
It jumps out at me that you really, really love this guy. You are doing all this research, your are going to support groups, coming on this forum. I am really proud of you. I hope when he gets his head straight again, he realizes what he has. I wish you both the very best.
You seem to know what your doing and you obviously love this man, how lucky you both are to have found each other. You also seem to know that Bipolar is very tough for the person to deal with.
I have a girlfriend who is bipolar and OCD. She will call me long distance in a panic and beg me to help her as she hears voices telling her to hurt people. She is in therapy and is on meds, but she also was taking a narcotic for pain. (No longer taking narcotic). Narcotics can react negatively in some people on AD meds. As she was talking to me on the phone the voice, HE, was talking to her about me. I felt like I was in the middle of a bad movie but I hung in and promised to send her some things and to tell the voice to shut up.
My point is Bipolar can switch from high to low to high in a New York Minute. The good news with therapy and staying on their meds they can function very well. Once he is better, do not let him go off meds because he thinks he does not need them anymore.
NAMI is very well known and they have chapters in every state. I had the whole list at one time........it is on their web site if others are looking for a group.
I would encourage you to post to the Bipolar forum too.
I have a feeling You will also win the personal battles you are fighting in your life! (((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))
Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 8/5/2007 7:02:55 PM (GMT-6)