Hubby is in a down phase

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/13/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband is in a down phase again. This is the hardest part of the disease for me, as his spouse, to cope with. He's withdrawn, irritable, and acts nothing like the person I married - he's a college professor, but anyone who talked to him now would think he was some uneducated redneck with a bad sense of humor - and believe me, it is bad (racist, sexist, nothing like he would usually say in a million years). He also acts and sounds like an old man - he's only 49, but when he's like this, his voice gets high pitched and quavery, he moves really slowly, and he has trouble finding words for what he wants to say. But he believes nothing is wrong, says he's just a little tired. He was only diagnosed with BP in March, and has only had one other down phase like this since then, and at that time, the nurse practitioner he sees prescribed Abilify in addition to the lithium he takes regularly. It seemed to help bring him out of the last down phase, but it didn't prevent this one, and it's only been a little over a month since the last one. He has a medication appt tomorrow, so hopefully they can see if he needs something else.

The NP also said that it's typical for self-awareness disappear during times like this. After reading this board for a few months now, I'm feeling more compassion for him than I have in the past - I have just been so frustrated and so lonely, and I want him to acknowledge that something is wrong, but I understand that isn't going to happen, and what he really needs now is love and support and to be left alone. Fortunately, I'm busy this week with my teaching schedule and committee work, so I've been able to stay away from him - which seems to be what he wants, and it keeps me from saying that I've noticed anything different about him, which would only start an argument. I've also done things with friends. I'm posting here mainly to acknowledge how I'm feeling and let everyone know how I'm doing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1441
   Posted 7/14/2009 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi imacat2,

Sorry to hear about what you're going through.  I'm sure my hubby feels the same way too at times.  I know I've certainly put him through hell at times.

What I can share is that when I'm feeling really out of sorts, he makes sure that I'm in close contact with my doctors and sometimes even comes to my appointments just to give his side of how he see things in me.  That's important.

Also he gently tries to encourage me to get out of the house or to just do things that he knows I really like.  He knows during certain times socializing is really hard for me so he'll suggest something for us to do alone like going for a walk any maybe some ice-cream, going to the zoo or going out for dinner.

And yes...sometimes I just want to be left completely alone.  But that should not be left to go on too long.

If it is really hard for you, want not try to get some therapy for yourself?  You really deserve it.  It may help. A lot of people that help care for others who have illnesses seek that out and it helps.

Wishing you all the best.  Keep us posted on how his appt. goes and how your hangin on. blush

 Bipolar - 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 
Leo Buscaglia

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Sukay. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I know everyone is different, but it does help to get some input from someone who has been in a similar state of mind to my husband.

He didn't get any medication change today. He goes to group every other Tues., too, and they talked about sleep at his group today. Sounds like he thought that was useful - I don't think he realizes how much it throws him off if he doesn't sleep enough, or sleeps too much, so it was good for him to hear.

I don't mean to say I leave him completely alone. We've been taking walks with the dog together in the evening, which we all enjoy - he just doesn't go as far as the dog and I do - we walk together about 20 minutes, then he heads home and we go another 45-50 minutes. And he's ridden with me in the car to run errands, he just hasn't felt like going in stores or the dry cleaners or whatnot.

I am trying to work on acceptance. He is also a recovering alcoholic (in AA) and I go to Al-Anon, so I think a lot of the same tools can help me with this. I love him very much, and this is just part of who he is.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi imacat2,

Sorry to hear of your new set of problems. I to know what he is going through even though it may not reasably be right, in his mind it is. I know what he going through with not wanting to go anywhere this could be anxiety that is underlying with the bipolar. That is what I have. Hope thing will get better for you both I know you are going through a rough time and I will keep you in my thoughts. ((Hugs))

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