Spouse of bipolar introduction

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted Today 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,

My husband has bipolar. Like many of you, there are a thousand stories I can tell about our life together with this illness. We have three children. My husband doesn't have the depression-can't-get-out-of-bed thing, but he has the hypomanic-with-lots-of-anger-and-irritability. He can be paranoid and delusional when episodes are really bad, is an alcoholic, and has crippling anxiety. If it wasn't for the anxiety he probably wouldn't stay on his medication.

He's been on medication only a year. He is in his mid-30s, so he spent most of his life trying to use self-control to keep his mood swings in check. After his moods were cycling so rapidly he was having an all-out-episode every few days and it was dangerous to be with him, so I took the kids and left (first time ever). He had always been terrified of taking meds, but our 18 years together had not brought stability, rather he was getting more and more unstable as time went on. Something had to give, thank God he decided to say yes to treatment and medication so our family could be back together.

On meds he became more stable than I'd ever seen him. He was suddenly concerned about myself more than himself not just for fleeting moments but for days, then weeks at a time. He didn't get angry when stressful things happened. I kept waiting for the anger to come back, worried it was too good to be true. When our car was broken into he did get mad, but it wasn't taken out on me, didn't sent him into a drinking binge, just mad him mad at the situation. A day or two later the anger was gone. It didn't derail his stability. After that I embraced the "new life" and was in a constant state of gratefulness, often to the point of tears (and I'm not a big crying type).

A month ago his irritability started to return. First it was stress at work, he insisted he wanted to change from day shift in the warehouse he works in to the early-morning shift. Said he was tired of sleeping too much and could get away from the irritating things on his current shift. He started drinking daily again, but not as excessively as before. They finally let him transfer just in time for holiday overtime. Instead of starting at 4 am, he was going in at midnight. That's when the hypomania started. Every day he'd come home hyped up, have his beer, then come in and eat. He'd be happy and talking non-stop but I started to react with fear when I saw this instability return, and when he sees this fear it triggers his anger. Weekends when he rests bring the stability back again. But every morning he does the same routine until he finally falls asleep....usually too late to get sufficient rest.

He refused to let me go to the psychiatrist with him. I don't want to be his mother, want him to take responsibility for his stability, but maybe this just isn't going to happen. He came home and said the doctor did not adjust his medication and said he'll stabilize with time as his body adjusts to his new sleep schedule. He admitted he did not tell her about the two manic episodes he had over the holidays. I wonder how clear a picture she had, although he went in clearly hypo and angry to his appointment.

All this led to me diving into research mode again...books on bipolar, Stephen Fry's documentary on bipolar, youtube diaries for bipolar couples (one bipolar one not), articles online, and a search for my own therapist to help me with what I'm calling "Post Traumatic Eric Syndrome". Anytime I see him hypomanic I get hyperviligent and scared, I feel like crying, I walk on eggshells so I won't trigger him. If I do trigger him (usually my fear is written all over my body language) he gets verbally abusive and blames me for his mood.

I have found it impossible to find support with friends because no one understands the disorder. I'm hoping this forum will help along with my own doctor (looking for one with bipolar experience). My battery is running out, nice to meet you all, sorry if this post is all over the place.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4427
   Posted 12/17/2015 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello bellashrew,

Welcome to the forum :-)! I am glad you joined us. You will definitely find the support here. I came here looking for support too. The members were very understanding, kind and supportive.

I am sorry for what you are currently going through. Are you attending any counseling for yourself? This can really be hard on you and affect you. Please ensure you take care of yourself. Please check out our resources section where you can get information on coping techniques:

Please do not stay and put with any form of abuse. It starts slowly and it can worsen over time if not treated. He needs to seek treatment. However, you and your kids need to be in a safe environment.

Please know that we are here for you. Welcome again, and I hope to learn more about you.

Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 12/19/2015 10:31 PM (GMT -7)   
without acceptance, no treatment, no treatment an increase in agitation, mania and depression, which can lead into a manic psychosis. remember, treatment and effective management has got to be fully enforced. medication is a must. psychiatric support is a must.

one thing I always like to say is that it is a very complex disorder, and just as much for the person going through it. I have been on all sides of the spectrum, I am at effective management level-with a dose of expressive mania that I channel in a creative way that is not selling all of my stuff to sail the seas on a container ship around the world!!! I am in a mixed state now, but I manage it. the thing is people actually, with bi-polar1 particulary, enjoy the rush of mania and hypomania. the crash is brutal.

safety is key. things can turn sharp and quick. do not prolong your welfare and the children if help is not immediately sort by your partner. you will be manipulated, lied to, etc. medication takes away the buzz so to speak, thus a lot of people, men and women with bi-polar will forgo medication and treatment like the plague.

we are here for you. keep strong. remember it is a chemical imbalance of the brain, and medication and treatment must be enacted immediately. many healing thoughts.


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