Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to have found this site. Judging by the post I've read here so far, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here who give great advice. I'm looking forward to being able to discuss bipolar issues with others who have first hand experience living with bipolar loved ones.
I'm a mom to a 12 year old bipolar son (diagnosed at 7) and wife to a 47 year old bipolar man who was only diagnosed about 6 months ago. We have 3 other children, ages 22, 20, and 16 yrs. old who are not bipolar. Our family has always been extremely close, in part because the love my husband and I have for one another always served as the foundation for our family. We are one of those couples that people would comment about on what a love story we are, and how madly in love they could tell we are. Even through the long road of our son being diagnosed, his many manic episodes, depression, and finally working with the Dr. until she had a cocktail that stabilized him, we were a team, unshakeable, or so I thought.
Then it all came crashing down when my husband seemed to change overnight. It was so dramatic that my first thought was that he had a brain tumor! We took him in to see my son's psychiatrist
who diagnosed him with bipolar disorder/ADD/most likely also PTSD. This man was my rock, kind, loving, patient, thoughtful.....now he is the total opposite. It is honestly as if he is posessed at times and someone else has taken over his body. I will try to have pleasant conversation with him, but he processes the information all wrong and somehow thinks what I said was a slight to him?!?
He then lashes out at me with snide remarks. I try to explain that he misunderstood what I was saying, and try to avoid doing anything to make him angry. If he simply asks for a glass, and while reaching for one I hesitate for a moment, he loses his patience and sighs deeply, rolls his eyes, his whole body language shows irritation. This happens most of the time. During his rare moments of being nice I'm usually so on edge waiting for the other shoe to drop that I can't be my normally happy self. I used to always be upbeat, laughing, silly, just having a lot of fun with him and my children. Now, I'm walking around feeling like I'm holding back the tears all the time. My nerves are shot, and I'm so lonely. I really miss my husband/best friend and feel almost in a state of grief over the loss of the husband and life I used to have. My best friend since grade school is who I usually tell everything, but she was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Right now I'm trying to take care of her too, and she comments on how my being silly and cheerful helps her, so I bring her down by telling her what it's like at home right now. My family doesn't believe bipolar is a real disorder, I know this from my sons diagnosis. My immediate family knows all to well how real it is, with having first their brother and now father bipolar, but I don't know if I should ask my young adult children for help, since it's their father I'm complaining about
? I feel at a loss for people in my life who I can seek help or advice from.
The Dr. has adjusted his meds a few times now, but nothing seems to work long. He's currently on Lamictal, Vivance, Abilify. I've been keeping a log on his moods. He does a complete cycle exactly every 2 weeks, from irritable to anger, then to mania where he's a little too elated (thinks he can do 10 projects in one day) to mania where he's mad at the world and he must clean the entire kitchen top to bottom.(he used to could care less about it.), then sadness where he just wants to lay on the sofa all day and doesn't have two words to say to anyone. I want to help him but it's difficult when he thinks he's doing fine. He seems to see things totally different than they really are. And when he says hurtful things he never will say he is sorry. He says he does feel bad that I look so sad lately, but that basically he can't help it so I need to learn to deal with it. If anyone has any advice please respond, I would greatly appreciate it.
Sorry to have gone on so long here, just trying to give the full picture in words is very difficult.