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01/10/2012 07:04 PM

I have MS and She is Bipolar, I am so lost...

lxsmileyxl
lxsmileyxl  
Posts: 5
New Member

I am going to make this as brief as I can. We started dating years ago and things were great. In 2010 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and my world was devastated. At this same time she had been dealing with some personality issues and was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. I was 20 and she was 25... I know we are young but just on life experience alone from all this health crap has forced a new level of maturity upon us both so please disregard that info as the only relevance I see in it is how the disease may effect an individual differently based on age.

ANYways.

Because of the stressful situation that was new to both of us we each ran away in our own different ways, in short, we split up twice since my diagnosis.

We recently started talking and she seemed great, just like the girl I met all those years back at work. I have seen her highs and lows and this didn't seem like either, she seemed "stable" and apparently she was on all these new meds, all the rights stuff you know? Though things seemed great I didn't want to jump into anything, I am not attracted to the on and off thing but she is like my best friend and its hard to NOT care about her.

For about a month things surprising stayed amazing between us but then she had a conversation with her Dad who has a way of putting weird ideas into her head and when she sets her mind set on something she is STUCK on it. She decided she wanted to get off ALL her meds and see what she was like without ANYTHING as she has always been on something for years and years and years and when ever a new problem popped up they just added something new to her old cocktail.

"What if all I need is 1 medication instead of 5". I didn't think this was a good idea but with all the needles and medications I have been on with MS I have done the same thing for the same reason so I said OK, I would support her through it.

Since then, just after a week, it's been so unbelievably hard to deal with her especially since she did not taper off some of her medications properly as she ran out and is having insurance issues. She is sensitive, argumentative, needy, sleepy, alert, doesn't want to go to work, has a horrible sense of time, wants to buy everything, she is just everything! Everything I say is wrong no matter if I agree or disagree with her and I'm trying my best to just accept that it's not her it's the BPD but right now I am on a high dose of steroids which causes rage and temper issues. I have learned to control it but it makes dealing with stressful situations like this so much harder especially when elevated stress levels causes my symptoms to flair leading to PHYSICAL pain. She was cussing at me the other night then in tears then I comforted her and the next day she was fine like nothing happened and for me it's hard to just switch like that.

How do I handle this properly? I want to learn all I can to know how to do this right but even someone like me who has a vast medical knowledge and has spent the last 2 years doing nothing but research am having a hard time finding good information. I am not even concerned about a relationship right now, I am just concerned about being a good friend the way I want a good friend to help me with my MS. I have spent the last year running an MS support group online, I help hundreds of people, get emails everyday, new friend requests on Facebook, I can help but with this I feel helpless, useless, that is frustrating me more than anything. I don't know what to do.

-Matt

mattsms.com

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01/10/2012 07:22 PM
marriedtoit
marriedtoit  
Posts: 11207
Group Leader

Welcome to the group. It sounds like she is not being monitored by a psychiatrist (pdoc) and while I know of some folks with bipolar who get a new doc who decides to start over with the meds, 1) they taper off and 2) they are closely monitored often with 3) inpatient care. Her deciding to go off all her meds as a personal psych experiment is a bad idea!!!! So the best of all possible worlds would be for her to get back on SOME meds--she needs to be on a mood stabilizer at minimum.

It sounds like the best isn't likely yet...

I think the second best thing you can do is distance yourself from her until she bottoms out, gets back on meds, and gets stable. I don't mean to cut all contact but just put some distance between you. (If you are not living together, sleep at your own place, for example.) You have to take care of your OWN medical needs--it makes no sense to destroy yourself trying to help her.

When you HAVE to (or want to--I assume you don't want to shut her out completely) deal with her, remember that if she is not medicated, she is 99% likely not stable. Consider her hijacked by bipolar disorder. If she is being irrational or angry, try not to engage--just tell yourself

"Oh, this is the disorder talking."

And I would, in your shoes, calmly and gently but surely try to convince her that her experiment without medication is not working. I found when my husband was manic (and in denial) he could best "hear" me if I kept it as nonconfrontational as possible. I would not say "You are being crazy" (or insane) but I would say "That is not rational. That is not reasonable." Sometimes I could ask him questions: "Do you think that is a reasonable reaction to X?" Sometimes, I would ask him to repeat himself and he would catch the irrationality. All of these worked some of the time. None of them worked all the time. And none worked when his mania became psychosis. That is the real danger if she becomes clinically manic. She could drain her savings, alienate her friends, lose her job, make impulsive and dangerous decisions (like driving too fast or having unprotected sex). When psychotic, they need to be hospitalized. My husband was getting messages from God...and he NOW says if he ever gets that way again, hospitalize him. He is terrified that in a psychosis he could hurt someone and never forgive himself.

I don't know if any of this helps. But you are not alone.


01/10/2012 07:37 PM
lxsmileyxl
lxsmileyxl  
Posts: 5
New Member

It does help immensely, if I have learned one thing from the MS group I run it's that people mostly just don't want to feel alone and once they realize they are not it all becomes easier.

Yes I agree that it is a bad idea it's just I have experimented on myself so much that I couldn't be hypocritical about it.... Then again I beleive I am stronger then she is in certain areas.

ANYWAYS my point is this, she lost her insurance with Kaiser because she just turned 26. She has no doctor no nothing. She just got insurance through her job but it is super crappy and she is having a hard time finding a doctor at all let alone a good one.... The mood stabilizer is the one she stopped cold turkey and the one with the most withdrawal symptoms if you don't taper correctly. The only thing I have that can help her is Clonazepam which helps calm her down a bit at work....

As far as the distancing goes I am trying to do so but she has been so attached to me these last couple weeks and like yesterday I just calmly suggested we didn't hang out after she got out work at night because I was tired and she got so upset. Today I kind of said the same thing and she got all offended. She texts me ALL DAY every 5 minutes while at school and work. I can't get anything done so I don't know how she can at work/school.

I am certain that she will loose her job in the next few weeks, they already don't like her and are looking for a reason to fire her, it's been obvious, and now that all this is coming up? It's just a matter of time. Today was her fisrt day in one of her classes and she missed it because she didn't wake up. They will probably drop her and if that's the case she will loose her financial aid because she hasn't enough credits. She is digging herself into a hole and talking about it just angers her but I'm not there to wake her up everyday and get her out the door on time.


01/12/2012 10:06 AM
sallyo
sallyoPosts: 3684
Senior Member

Wow Matt! Welcome to the group!

Has she tried a nonprofit mental health clinic? Also, some of the drug companies have programs to help those who are low income.

http://www.lillytruassist.com/Pages/index.aspx

http://www.rxassist.org/Search/Prog_Details.cfm? program_Id=423&PD_Id=1827&Drug_Id=2530&Company_Id=5& search_type=1

She really needs to want to help herself before she'll make much progress. Going off the meds cold turkey is very, very dangerous and is probably aggravating her condition. I hope she'll make better decisions soon!

As for you: You MUST take care of yourself first. I'm sure you know this, but consider it a reminder. Read some of the other posts here about how people in similar situations have dealt with the emotional overload that comes with this disorder. Remember that her brain is sick right now, so don't argue with her (it won't do any good and will just cause more trouble). Stay as calm and as reasonable as possible. If you feel rage coming because of your medications, tell her that you need to take a break in the conversation and leave the room, don't answer her texts, etc.

You have a lot on your plate! Please take care of yourself and let us know how you're doing. You are definitely not alone in having a loved one with this disorder.


01/12/2012 10:15 AM
lxsmileyxl
lxsmileyxl  
Posts: 5
New Member

Yes we had an incident last night and one first thing this morning, it is getting extremely stressful. Every time I bring up the medication issue she gets extremely pissed off and stops talking. This morning I brought it up again but from a "I care about you and want to see you happy again" perspective and she let me talk and it went "well". So she is trying to get in sooner to see someone about it. She is not opposed to meds she just wants to know WHO SHE IS when she is on nothing and I explained that who she is is miserable, depressed, irritable, etc because she is imbalanced. Who she is SUPPOSED to be is the girl who was taking her meds two weeks ago and enjoying life with me doing what ever.

So we will see where this goes now and I actually had brought up the assistant programs to her as well since money is an issue. I know for my meds if you qualify they will pay for the entire thing! So I told her Im sure they have that available for her as well.

Thanks for the replies thought, they do help when it comes to confirming I am not the only one and that I really am not the one being a jerk, I just want HER to be happy even if that means I am out of the picture, I made a commitment this year to help her better he health and yes I am watching out for me but I am trying to stick by her and not abandon her because I know what that feels like but I told her if it starts physically effecting me I am going to have to step aside a bit.

This is definitely strengthening my patients I have to say.


01/12/2012 10:37 AM
sallyo
sallyoPosts: 3684
Senior Member

My husband tried that, too, at one point and quickly realized having nothing is worse. I hope she'll get to that point SOON!! I'm glad to know you are taking care of yourself, too. Mental illness can become so all consuming that it's easy to fall into the trap of neglecting our own needs. It definitely is patience-trying! Hang in there!

01/12/2012 03:18 PM
lxsmileyxl
lxsmileyxl  
Posts: 5
New Member

Well it looks like she is a bit more motivated today to get back on a treatment but I can tell she doesn't want to jump right into it, she is looking up homeopathic remedies and what not while she tries to get into a doctor so we shall see...

01/12/2012 11:16 PM
marriedtoit
marriedtoit  
Posts: 11207
Group Leader

Oh dear. The homeopathic stage. Most of us have been through that.

It might help you to read "I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help."

The videos at this website might be helpful too:

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-tv/ default.htm?catId=20013&vidId=091e9c5e803a10ff

I recommend the Helping Your Bipolar Love One I and II

Hang in there.....


01/13/2012 09:22 AM
lxsmileyxl
lxsmileyxl  
Posts: 5
New Member

Thank you for the link, I like these kind of videos, they have similar Multiple Sclerosis videos haha but they have some good advice! Thanks!
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