I need some suggestions

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 4/27/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm trying to help my husband understand what Bipolar is about and what I go through with the mood swings/cycles.  He's not big on reading so it makes it even tougher and when I try to talk to him about it he tries to get it but he just isn't.  Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can help him understand this better?  I'm having the same problem with the anxiety and panic attacks that I experience - he just has no clue.  HELP!!  Thanks for any help given, it will be much appreciated.
Take care,

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 4/27/2008 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Wen,

I am sorry to hear you are still having these problems.  I know this may sound a bit devious, but, the only way I got my partner to understand the anxiety was to make him feel it.  We planned a night out for dinner and I took the credit card he always uses out of his wallet.  Once we finished dinner and got the check he went to get his credit card and it wasn't there.  He frantically searched through the wallet over and over and was really getting nervous.  He knew it was in there, but it wasn't.  I paid the bill and he wanted to go straight home and he started to search.  I went upstairs to the bedroom and I told him I found it.  It must have fallen out while getting ready.  He couldn't figure out how it happend but we left it at that and he calmed down.  The next day I sat down with him and discussed my anxiety attacks and used the way he felt when he thought he lost the card as a reference and he finally understood what it feels like.  He still doesn't understand why it hasppens all the time and what triggers it, but it is a step closer.  I know this is probably the wrong way, but maybe you can take parts of it and make it work for you.  I was just at my wits end.  I know I will probably get blasted for this from the others here, but it worked for me and that's really all that matters.  I don't know how you can get him to understand mood swings.  Maybe buy him a fake lottery card that is a winner, let him get all happy and excited then tell him it's not real.  I have seen this on many funniest video shows and It sure looks like a high and a low to me.  Anyway, best of luck.  I hope someone will be able to give you some better advice that will help you out.  Take care

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 4/27/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   

my wife "got" that my chronic depression had turned much darker after i attempted suicide in 2000 after a botched epidural; steroid injection. the problem was trying to have my mother and our daughter and grand kids understand. we bought multiple copied of "Beautiful Mind" and sent it to them. my mother (as i guessed) was unable to finish the movie. our daughter and grandkids also "got it." perhaps this movie, even though it's dealing with schizophrenia and not bp, may have an impact.

lots of luck

That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1441
   Posted 4/28/2008 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Wen,....I KNOW it's been a long time! sad

I did the same as you. I bought all the books about depression and bipolar, etc. and my husband was just never a reader.

What helped me in that area was talking to my therapist about this same issue as you described. My therapist asked me to tell my husband that she would like for him to come to my next therapy session with me so that he and her could both help me with something I was going through.

My husband asked me what it was all about and I told him I'm having a hard time expressing some things to you and my therapist asked me to offer you the invitation to come to my next visit with me so that she can help me with expressing some things that I felt were important.

He asked me what they were and I told him I would just really like it if he were to come with me and we could discuss it there with my therapist. He said, if it will help you, sure I will come.

Then when we got there, I introduced her to him. My therapist explained to my husband that I really felt it was important for him to understand a little bit of how bipolar works and that I want him to know and understand  how hard/difficult ect., things are for me because of my bipolar. After I would share a situation, she would go into further detail to explain how bipolar works and why I do some of the things I do.

It made a huge difference. He then was able to become a stronger support person for me. Now if I need for him to come to an appointment with me, he knows there is a reason why and never refuses me. He is my #1 support person. Often times when I am having a hard time dealing with something, my therapist will ask me, "Would you like to bring your husband next time, so that I can explain some things about you to him?" And then I make the decision myself whether or not I want to bring him. Sometimes I ask her if I can bring him in next session so that she can help me explain to him what issues I am dealing with at the moment if my mind is just overwhelmed with things and I just can't get it out straight.

Hope this helps. Hope you stay well.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/28/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Taking your spouse to the doc is a great help and will show that your partner is supportive and desires to try to understand. Being bipolar is not easy as you know, and understanding it is certainly not easy--sometimes your family just can not believe that something is wrong--but as you know--it most definately is something going on wrong. I am currently trying to read this book called A unquiet mind--by Kay redfield Jamison---it's a struggle just reading the book because I get to see a inside look at myself but it is giving me something to look at.

Hope this helps you.

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