Posted 8/29/2020 6:38 PM (GMT -6)
It’s good that you wrote in.
You said, “My wife has always exhibited mild symptoms of bipolar disorder, but was never diagnosed, or even really thought about it.”
As far as diagnosed, it sounds like she is bipolar, as I am.
Mayoclinic.org says the symptoms of depression are:
"feel(ing) sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities."
"When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly."
I inherited my bipolar from my mother’s mother. The way I came to find out my diagnosis was by talking to a lay counselor who knew my uncle and he said, “He was bipolar, and you probably are, too.” The psychiatrists I had seen missed it, since I had come in as depressed and they diagnosed me as depressed.
Why they couldn’t ask me questions about possible mania, I don’t know. But when they dx you wrong, they medicate you wrong. They can dx you as only depressed, give you anti-depressants, which can send you into mania. But with nothing to treat the mania (I take Lithium stabilizer for that and Mirtazapine anti-depressant), I had anxiety attacks.
So it’s very important that the psy. knows about the mania if your wife goes in as depressed.
Bipolar can start in teens or early 20s, net says.
It can be very difficult to get a bipolar to see a psy. When I was manic, I couldn’t slow down enough to even think about that or what to do if I did think about it.
When depressed, I didn’t feel like going to a psy. When did I go? When I was depressed. Why? Probably because my mother talked me into it. What would that be, intervention?
Can you talk to her when she's depressed about this? It usually takes a family member, and you qualify. She won't trust an outsider.
I would think you would also need the name of a psy. You can look up on the net search engine for: “psychiatrist for my hometown.” Write down a few names and phone numbers and pick one.
You might want to call one or more local hospitals and ask them if they have a women’s health center. Ask them if they can recommend the name of a psychiatrist, and a therapist while you’re talking to them. Then see if she’ll go in just for a therapy session, then ask the therapist for the name of a psychiatrist.
There are all kinds of medicines for this. My grandmother had bipolar but there were no medicines for that in the 1930's, 40's and early 1950's. So she lived some years in a state mental institution, 100 miles from home. So your wife is actually in a good situation, she just doesn’t know it.
My grandmother would have given anything for medicine. She used to go into people’s medicine cabinets looking for a pill that would make her better. Your wife has the medicines available to her but won’t go to a psy. to get them.
Several types of treatment are available and one of them is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which this website, healingwell,com, advocates. Data for that on this forum (bipolar) can be found above the list of names of people, such as you, who have written in for suggestions. You might want to look at that.
CBT is described as, “identifying unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replacing them with healthy, positive ones. CBT can help identify what triggers your bipolar episodes. You also learn effective strategies to manage stress and to cope with upsetting situations."
It’s a matter of trying to be positive about the problem, any problem, before you go into it so it can increase your chances of solving it by having a mindset that looks for a solution (positive) rather than a defeat (negative).
Any negative will be in the unconscious so you won’t see it, which is why it is important that you believe going into the problem that you can solve it (positive thinking).
If you go into the problem thinking, this is over my head, then it closes down your unconscious to deliberately not find a solution, cause your conscious told it to. But if you go into the same problem thinking you can solve it, it opens up your unconscious to look for a solution. Because you told it to.
Your unconscious is waiting for orders.