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01/27/2012 08:08 AM

Trying to cope with husbands diagnosis....

sgm
Posts: 2
Member

Sad My husband of almost 32 years was diagnosed bipolar last spring. He also is a brittle diabetic and has many health problems related to that such as neuropathy of his legs, hands, and stomach. He also has COPD and other lung issues and also gastroparesis. Then to add to the picture, has a more recent diagnosis of PTSD. He started a regiment of medications as well as visits to his psychiatrist immediately and the medications have been changed many times. He also sees a therapist monthly. The cycles of his bipolar are so quick, almost daily it seems sometimes. I feel like I walk on egg shells constantly as just about anything will set him off resulting in very ugly, nasty conversations. He was physically agressive for quite a while but that is one area we have seen improvement from the medications. His memory during episodes is non-existent and he has trouble with short term memory but his long term seems much better. He can remember a phone number we had 20 years ago but cant remember why he went to the grocery store sometimes. His outbursts have alienated most of our friends and he has even had to quit working due to his outbursts, memory issues, and inability to complete the tasks of his job. I surely do not see the man I married or even the one of as little at 10 years ago. We have two daughters who are still unable to accept the diagnosis and the responses I get when asking for help is not plesent, "mom, just deal with it" or many suggestions of how I SHOULD handle my life AND his but surely no active help. In fact, we rarely see them anymore. Since he is unable to maintain work, he has been determined disabled and unemployable by the VA and more recently by SS. I hate to see the person who was the go-getter, trying to do and go and be with others continue to just sit in the chair and watch the same television shows day in and day out. I know there is no instantaneous miracle cure but I am at my whits end on how to cope anymore. I feel I am alone in our marriage although he says he loves me but usually follows that up with a statement about it is HIS disorder and really not any acknowledgement that it has affected not only our marriage, our family, our friendships and even his job. Any advise?
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01/27/2012 08:58 AM
uppitywoman
uppitywoman  
Posts: 42707
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Hello sgm and welcome to the group. I am very sorry for your situation. It sounds very difficult because he is not yet stabilized. I am sure they keep changing medications because they are trying to find the right ones that will work for him. It took some time for the right ones to be found for me, but now I no long have angry outbursts when I am manic, nor go into deep depressions. That is the goal they are trying to achieve for him. It's hard waiting while trial and error goes on, but the right "cocktail" will be found for him and then he won't be like this. I am truly sorry that you have no support. That just makes it harder. I suggest going to a therapist for taking care of you, because you need a break. You also might approach him about couples counseling.

There is a support group especially for spouses of those with bipolar that you might want to join. You will be able to talk with others in the same boat.

http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/bipolar-spouses- discussions


01/27/2012 10:54 AM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16593
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi there. Dealing with bipolar is hard on the person as well as the people around him/her. It's not easy at all. When stabilized it does get easier. It does take time, like Uppity said to find the right mix of medications. I think it's really sad that he sits in a chair all of the time and watches television. That's no way to live. He needs to be up, exercise, communicate with people. It sounds as if he is depressed. I think maybe a medication adjustment to help the depression would help out. Communicate very well with the psychiatrist and let him know what is going on with him and how he acts. It's very important so he can address these issues. Go to his appointments with him if you aren't already. That will help. Talk with him and support him as best you can. You have us and also the bipolar support group and spouses in active relationships support group her on MDJ. I'm glad you are reaching out to us. We will be here to support you. You won't feel so alone I hope. Welcome to the group!

02/27/2012 08:15 AM
sgm
Posts: 2
Member

Well, it has been another month. Still feeling left out in the cold with this entire situation. My husbands medication to help him sleep has been adjusted and so he is getting some sleep (an therefore, I am as he is not wandering the house or just standing staring at me). Has had a couple of therapy appointments where I was able to attend. However, according to him, his life is good, no difficulties, no worries. He still gets up in the morning and watches TV and sleeps all day. Will do anything asked of him to do as long as not to what he feels is too strenuous or taxing. I have also come to realize in the last month something I probably have known for a long time that on top of everything else, I feel he is abusing his pain medication for his back/neuopathy of his legs. He disagrees but when he takes an entire months worth in one week and then is lying to me about where they have gone, placed blame elsewhere, even asked others for theirs, I don't see any other answer. I did bring this up to his therapist who I feel is giving him the benefit and indiating maybe he needs to go to a pain management therapy. I just dont know. He has always been the all-or-none type when it comes to things like medication or drinking (thank goodness he does not drink at all anymore). I have decided to try to not let his not wanting to do with friends, family and others so much and continue to do things to keep me in the world of people! -then I feel I am abandoning him. UGH. Sad
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