Girlfriend's first manic episode, questions and advice please

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/25/2008 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
This may end up being a long post. Thank you for reading.

I'll start off by saying that my fiancee was never diagnosed bipolar. After what I've been through, and a lot of reading over the past few days, bipolar seems to explain everything. I'm not looking for a diagnosis, I'm looking for answers to questions and information.

I've been with my fiancee for 3 1/2 years. The first year and a half or so was wonderful. We loved each other so much and couldn't stop spending enough time together. We ended up getting engaged. She has always been drinking since I knew her but I never knew it was a problem until about 1 year ago. Her drinking got worse. She would try to diminish quantity but if she ran out of booze before the store closed, she would tell me she's going out for a cigarette and run out of the house to buy alcohol and drink in the park. If the stores were closed and she ran out, she would go to a bar (spend $15 for a cab just for 1 hours worth of drinking before the bar closes).

She started losing control of how much she would drink. She drank until she passed out and became belligerent. I've had to carry her home more times that I would like to remember.

She started feeling anxious and depressed and went to see a psychiatrist. She would lie to him about how much she drank. He prescribed her Ativan and Paxil. She became more depressed and kept drinking heavily even though she was on anti-depressants. She had a nervous breakdown at work and took a 2 month sick leave. During these 2 months she would drink until she fell asleep and wake up around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

She eventually started attending AA and managed 5 weeks of sobriety. During this time she was still incredibly lethargic. She would go to bed around midnight and wake up around 4pm. She wouldn't do any housework. She would basically wake up, eat dinner and go to bed. Then, she had a slip. This is when all hell broke loose.

She was drinking about 12 beers a night (she's 100lbs). She started talking to herself and yelling at herself. She would punch chairs and speak as if someone was sitting next to her. One night, about 4 weeks ago, my beautiful fiancee tried to commit suicide.

They released her from the hospital to me despite my objections. I don't get it. Someone tries to commit suicide while on suicide watch at the hospital and they think it's safe to release them??? Not even 48 hours observation? She was released from the psychiatric ward at the hospital. This is what I don't get. I'm at a loss for what to say. They basically said, she's not nuts, she's an alcoholic. Not our problem. If it wasn't for the booze she wouldn't have tried to kill herself. Get her into treatment.

The following week was the complete opposite. She seemed cheerful, excited about Halloween. She was making all these plans about costumes and candies and decorations. She would wake up @ 8am and go to sleep @ 4am. She was very chipper, even though she had quit drinking. I didn't understand. This wasn't at all like the first time she'd quit drinking, plus, she had just tried to commit suicide?

During this period of increased activity on her part, she got all wrapped up in her rehab documentation and research and got really involved in AA. She took care of many things around the house. The problem was, she wanted nothing to do with me anymore. She would just get annoyed as soon as I was in the same room as her. She kept telling me that we both need to work on ourselves individually and she can't concentrate on a relationship right now. She needs to make her sobriety her first priority. I agreed with her and tried to give her as much space as I could. I still felt neglected. It seemed like the only time she initiated conversation with me is if she needed cigarettes or money (she has no job due to her drinking). I felt used.

One night she was acting very suspicious. She had been on the computer all day and kept going back to the computer every so often and would close the door when she went. Suspecting she was up to something, I checked her internet history. I found her registered to an online dating site looking for intimate encounters and one night stands.

I called her and she confirmed it. I immediately canceled her cell phone as I was paying for it. I couldn't support this kind of behavior. I didn't understand anything anymore. How could she do this to me? I was doing everything I could to help her. I was completely distraught. I packed her things was going to send her to her parents house when she got home. When she finally got home, it was an ugly affair. She brought in a woman and a man from her AA meetings with her. I had this crazy AA woman yelling at me and calling me a controller and a manipulator and an abuser and not letting me get near my fiancee. It was all kind of quick. All I could do was talk loudly and ask her why she wants to waste our whole relationship for something stupid. I brought up the ad and she said it was none of my business and if I told her parents or her friends about it she would litter facebook with stories of me being an abuser.

I didn't hear from her for a few days and then she started e-mailing me and calling me and hounding me to make a decision about the house right away. That we were finished and that she wanted to know what I was planning on doing with the house. She also sent me an message saying that she was interested in someone else and I should quit trying to convince her to come back home. I couldn't believe she had the nerve to tell me she was interested in someone else. It was like a slap in the face. I couldn't believe it. After 3 weeks of her telling me that she can't be in a relationship for the first year of her recovery and that she needs time to focus on herself.... What is wrong with her? 2 days and already trying to get involved with someone else. Someone she probably met on an intimate encounters website?!?!?

Her mother also called me to tell me how sorry she was for what I was going through. The whole family is upset about how things turned out and don't understand why she was doing this to me. She reassured me that I was great guy and that I'm most likely better off without her. No one understands. She seemed extra happy for some reason. Her mom said she had found her old spark again. Her mom doesn't get it. She said if she'd just got out of a serious relationship she would figure she'd be a little more gloomy. She had even been keeping up with her sobriety. She had been making all these plans about going back to school and getting a new job and her mom said she was talking a mile a minute. She couldn't keep up with her. She was always on the go and always excited and happy and not sleeping much. Her mom frequently had to tell her to calm down.

She was extremely irritated with me. She kept pressuring me to figure out what I was going to do with the house. She started threatening legal action. I couldn't understand. It had been less than a week since she left and she expected me to to figure everything out now. I told her that if I had to make a decision now, I would most likely have to sell the house as I don't know if I could afford it long term. I told her we would have to split the cost of renovating and marketing the home. She absolutely lost it when I said this. She came to the house while I was at work and took the computer, all the receipts for the more expensive things and the official legal documents pertaining to the ownership of the home.

She's been telling everyone that will listen that I've abused her for the entire length of our relationship. She makes it sound like I'm this terrible person and I physically abused her constantly. It's ridiculous.

Basically, what I'm most concerned about is the fact that she has gone through these intense jumps in moods for the past month.

- First, she wants to leave me.
-Then she wants to come back home.
-Then she starts drinking again.
-Then she attempts suicide and I have her sent to the hospital in an ambulance and spend the day there with her parents.
-Then she stops drinking for a week. She starts to get more active.
-Then she decides she wants to go party with all her friends and not have me along.
-Then she gets very distant and tells me she needs space
-Telling me she loves me and wouldn't know where she would be without me.
-Then I find out she's online looking for one night stands
-Then she leaves me again after I confront her about it.
-Then she stops taking her medication starts seeing someone else talking to her mom about how her life is great and she's going to get help and go back to school and get another job.
-All while trying to speed up this separation as quickly as she can and trying to figure out ways to dump me with all her responsibilities.
-Having her mom say her thoughts are racing and she can't keep up with her and that she's back to being extra active.
-Threatening legal action so fast after separation
-Telling our friends that I abused her. (I've never even been in a fight)
-Threatening to have me beat up because I am a horrible person and have done terrible things to her.

It's amazing. How can someone go from attempting suicide to bouncing off the walls happy and seeing other men all while going through a separation involving a home. All within a few weeks.

It's just frustrating that she's spreading these lies and delusions around. It just ends up making me suffer more than I have to. She is completely impossible to deal with or reason with at this time.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
She just started going acting delusional the week before we split up and it seems to be getting worse every day. She was finally admitted into rehab about a week ago. I've welcomed the break. I've been able to restore a little bit of my sanity. I am so very afraid for the day she gets out. I have no idea what to expect.

I believe she has a mental disorder. In the last phases of her alcoholism, she had started talking to herself. Yelling at herself. Hitting things that were beside her. I confronted her a few times to ask her who she was talking to. She simply replied... "them" and pointed to an empty corner. She's obviously mentally unstable. I'm just not sure how to deal with this whole situation. You really don't want to upset a person like that. There's no telling what her next thoughts or actions will be.

I spoke to my mother about the way she was acting and she told me she sounds a lot like a manic depressive. I began reading about this and found that she matched nearly every symptom.

She had just come off of 4 months of depression. She was showing signs of:
* Persistent sadness
* Fatigue or listlessness
* Sleep disturbances
o Excessive sleepiness
* Eating disturbances
o Loss of appetite and weight loss
* Loss of self-esteem
* Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt
* Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
* Persistent thoughts of death

Then, all of a sudden, within the blink of an eye. She started experiencing:
* Elevated mood
o Racing thoughts
o Hyperactivity
o Increased energy
o Lack of self-control
* Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
* Over-involvement in activities
* Reckless behavior
o Sexual promiscuity
o Impaired judgment
* Little need for sleep
* Easily agitated or irritated
* Poor temper control

Again, she has never been diagnosed and this is the first time I've seen her act anything like this. I believe her being bipolar would explain a lot. I'm not looking for a diagnosis. I'm just trying to prepare for her return from rehab. My questions are the following:

IF she is indeed suffering from bipolar disorder:

1) How long do these "manias" generally last? She's been manic for about 3 weeks now. (I have no idea how she's doing now that she's in rehab as she has no phone privileges).
2) How bad are the "crashes" after mania? Do you go straight from mania to a crash?, or do you come down slowly?
3) After you crash, do you feel remorseful for the awful things you've said and done? What are the chances she'd come crawling back for forgiveness? What are the chances she will hold on to her delusions of being abused and want to stay away from me?
4)Are you generally able to control your feelings of "indiscretion" once you are on medication and going through mania? Will she always be looking for random sex if she finds a right dose of medication and hits a manic phase?

I'm sure I have a ton more questions. Then again, I'm not really sure about anything right now. I'm not sure I could ever accept her back as a loving partner in a relationship. I love her very much. Right now, my main concern is to try to get her the help she needs. We will have to see where our relationship takes us after.

I can live with highs and lows, but I can't live with unfaithfulness. I may be able to let it go this time (even though, she claims she hasn't had sex with anyone, I wouldn't believe her. I will need her to get tested and show me the results before any hope of a romantic relationship could continue.)

Thanks for reading and thanks for the advice.

I edited your post due to Forum Rule #1

1. No discussion of any illegal activity or threats of violence. (ie. threats of suicide or self-injury, or threatened or intended physical harm). Discussions of suicide or self-harm that are deemed negative and therefore potentially injurious to others are also not permitted.

Post Edited By Moderator (olivia of course) : 11/26/2008 7:49:17 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/27/2008 8:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Danny Disco,

Thank you for joining HealingWell and the bipolar board. We can try and answer your questions, but here's the thing -- bipolar is different for every person. What's normal for me is not going to be normal for your ex. If she does have bipolar, everything is going to be complicated and worsened by the alcohol.

1.Manias can last from a few days to months, so there's no way for me to answer that question for you.

2.Most people crash quickly from a mania.

3. There's no way of knowing if she'll feel remorseful -- that's entirely dependent on her personality.

4. Generally, the hypersexuality is controlled by medication. In fact, the meds generally dull libido.

I always say that bipolar doesn't CHANGE your personality, it turns it up or turns it down.

I'm sorry about the allegations of abuse, but what I would do if I were you, because you're talking about selling a house and her lying about your relationship, I would seek some legal advice, pronto. It's time for you to stop worrying so hard for her, and start taking care of yourself. She's not going to be fair to you, and you have to protect yourself from that. Unless she gets to a psychiatrist and gets medicated, you don't know who you're dealing with -- she's unreliable. So take care of yourself, get a lawyer lined up, and prepare for a fight. I'm sorry about that.

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 11/28/2008 3:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I have bipolar 1 and your fiance sounds like she is undergoing a period of psychosis. If you would like, I could give you my psychiatrist's phone number and you could talk to him and get a confirmed diagnosis. I have been through a period of psychosis when I was belligerent and kept doing stupid things like registering my father on matrimonial websites. My psychiatrist will speak to you for free (I am a regular client and I will settle with him later)- he lives in India so you will have to make an international call (I assure you it will be worth it to get a proper diagnosis); he is a private practitioner and I have been seeing him for a year and half. Unfortunately, the laws in the U.S. make it impossible for the most mentally ill patients to get medication unless they want to. And sometimes really ill people cannot make the best choices.

My psychiatrist was formerly the chair of the psychiatry department at the Armed Forces Medical College. He works closely with an American psychologist. Both of them will be able to let you know what the best course of action is. Let me know if you would like his number.

I really want to help you because your fiance's sound like she is psychotic and I have experienced that hell for 6 months. I have also given hell to everyone I know and to 6 psychiatrists and social workers, all of who tried to help but couldn't and finally they got me "court ordered" to get myself tested.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/28/2008 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, thanks for the replies.

Sure, I guess PM me his number.

I'm not sure how he'd be able to diagnose her without actually speaking with her, or what good a diagnosis will do if I'm not able to get her to cooperate once she's out of rehab.

I guess it's a start. I appreciate your replies. thanks again.

happy bill
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 11/28/2008 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   


  It sounds like you did a decent job on the observation part of the diagnosis. Remember us bipolars dont know what normal is, to us you all just are in the slow lane and we are speeding past. LOL LOL Its kind of you to try and get help for her, but like everything, you have to want to help yourself before you can let anyone help you.

    Good luck though. Bill

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/28/2008 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Danny, Shebsy's offer is extremely kind. I just wanted to offer the idea that you could also call a couple of local psychiatrists -- ones that she could also go and see in person -- and get similar information. That might be better in the long run, because she can see them face to face. However, if she's breaking up with you and accusing you of being abusive, you've got to wonder how it's going to look if you're calling her and asking her to see a psychiatrist. You might better leave that to someone in her family at this point. She's no longer responding positively to your efforts and I'd hate to see you get hurt further.

Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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