Posted 11/18/2012 1:22 AM (GMT -6)
Bless your heart! Listen, I have been married to my husband for 22 years and I am bipolar. I am not only bipolar, but I have attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and socialized anxiety disorder.
I do not know who her doctor is, but she needs a new one and fast. Bipolar disorder does not have to be a death sentence and can be controlled to a great extent. Why are they treating her for depression and not bipolar disorder? The depression comes from the disorder! Is her doctor a psychiatrist? If not, get her to one ASAP.
Someone with this degree of symptoms should be treated immediately.
Now, let me give you some insight.
When she hurts you, it is not her, it is the chemical imbalance. There are many beneficial medications that can be prescribed to bring her chemicals back into a somewhat normal range. Some suggestions are Zyprexa, Abilify, Respirdal, Geodone and Clorazil. These are all considered anti-psychotics. I have taken all of them. Personally, I had the best results on Zyprexa and Geodone, but everyone is different. Now that I have stabilized, I no longer have the need to take any of these.
Also, there are many mood stabilizers and anti-convulsants that are extremely helpful in this type of disorder. The one that saved my life was Lithium, but some others are Depakote, Tegritol, Lamictal and Trileptal. I did not do well on Depakote, but many have success with it. I am currently on Lamictal and doing quite well.
It is possible that she also needs something to control anxiety. My favorite is the only one that doesn't make me feel tired or feel like a walking zombie is Xanax. I take 2 mg every morning and again at bed time and also use sublingual .5's for panic attacks.
One more thing to consider regarding medication is concerning her sleep. Someone with bipolar disorder can only remain in a stable state as long as they are getting adequate quality sleep. Seroquil is a wonderful sedative that also has antidepressant qualities and may be a good start. I am no longer on Seroquil, but achieve this necessary deep sleep with trazadone.
The dosage is tricky at first, but if dedicated, the two of you and your physician can adjust the dosages of each medications she is prescribed until the achieved balance has been reached. Some medications take longer to see results than others, but generally the sleep assistance starts some relief as the other medications begin to kick in.
It is dangerous to allow her to be untreated for this condition. She could cause harm to herself or others. If you are to the point that you feel she may or are ever in question of it, you must take her to the emergency room immediately. That is an important warning and could be life changing for both of you if not heeded.
It is very important that you are well informed about what needs to be done. You do not have time right now to go out and buy a bunch of books and read up on the subject. What you need to do is make sure she has an appointment with a Board Certified Psychiatrist.
The next step is more important than you can imagine. Prior to the visit, try really hard to separate your emotions from the situation and list the behaviors she is experiencing due to the disorder. Sit down and think about it.
Your list could look like this...
1. Mood swings from euphoric to violent without warning, settling more toward the violent side
2. Seething anger and rage with rash decision making due to inability to calm down
3. Seemingly constant need to strike out at something
5. Forgets where she places things or what she was talking about in the middle of a sentence
6. Self medicates with caffeine, sugar or alcohol
7. Does not sleep through the night or is taking OTC sleep medication and is groggy in the morning
8. A simple word, whether spoken or overheard can send her reeling into an angry fit
These are the types of things that you need to prepare yourself to address with her doctor. You live with her, you know her symptoms. When making the appointment, make it clear to the doctor's staff that it is crucial that the visit be ASAP because she is unstable and let them know that you will be emailing or faxing your list ahead of time so the doctor will be aware of symptoms she may not realize she is suffering from. They will work with you to get her in and her doctor will usually be glad that you are supportive enough to let him know what is going on without angering her in his office by mentioning it. It is much better if he ask the questions and she answer, feeling you there for support. It is also very important that you take her to and sit in on every visit.
There is more than one reason for this. First, she may become very upset at any visit and not thinking clearly, attempt to drive home while crying. This should never happen and until she is stable, she cannot make that decision for herself. Second, you are going to notice changes in her behaviors or issues that she may not notice and from time to time the doctor will want to ask you if you are seeing anything that she has not mentioned or if you have noticed her reaction to side effects that she hasn't talked about. It will be a great benefit to both of you if you are both dedicated to her recovery.
Now, here is the warning. Do not make any statements to her about how you think she is or is not doing on medications. Only ask her how she feels. Do not tell her that you could tell that this or that was happening. You are only going to make her feel as if she is less competent than you and she will more than likely be pissed. Bipolar disorder is a tricky matter. It doesn't qualify you as insane, but there is such a stigma attached to it that many people can mistakenly overstep their boundaries. It is like "I can call me crazy, but you're dead if you call me crazy" if you get my drift.
I am telling you from experience, do not waste one minute. Get her an appointment. I, personally, would not make it with whomever is treating her for depression. If they cannot identify the threat of bipolar disorder out of control, they are clearly not who you should be seeing. You make the appointment, telling them she is bipolar and currently unstable so you need the appointment ASAP, explain that you will be emailing or faxing over information for her doctor to review and go straight to the pharmacy after the appointment.
Just doing this can change both of your lives for the better! You clearly love her. Get her there, get the healing started, let her cry when she needs to and give her room to heal at her own pace.
May God Bless you both! Please let me know how it goes! I will be praying!
"I can't" means "I have given up". "I can't just now" means "I will be able someday". Quote from my daily life with my grandson.