For me, not him. And guess what she asked me after I went through the introductory blah blah blah. Has your husband ever been diagnosed with BP? Yes, I guess it is that obvious. Anyway, not sure if I like her. The appt was at her home. Her son answered the door. As soon as we walked out of her office, her son was asking, "are you ready?" And they went out and got in their car. I'm going to try again next week. I have 3 free sessions, so I might as well try before I decide. Her biggest priority was for us to work on my relationship and setting the non-negotiables. I have to say, though, you guys are SO much better than any therapist!
For me, I didnt really like going to someones home when we did a few times. She had things in the oven, her husband would go in and out of the house, we were in a separate room, but we could hear the doors and him talking on the phone, it just didnt feel professional. I have been to a home therapist for years. Since it is free, you have nothing to lose and at least she wants you to set your boundaries. Younare right though, I wish I had this group from the befinning, I didnt find it until hubby was home.
Yeah, it felt strange with her kids there in the house. I wondered what they were thinking - yeah, another crazy lady coming to talk at my mom... They are probably used to it, but I'd rather go to a friend's house if that's the situation. The positive thing, after analyzing it all, is that she picked out that the main issue I needed help with was my husband. We mostly talked about my work stress, and the huge pressure I'm under, but in the end when she summed it up, she talked about how partners of people with BP really need a lot of support, and getting a plan in place is essential. Really, though, he's the one who needs that. When we went to therapy a few years ago, we always ended up talking about HIM and his stuff. When I went to my own therapy, same thing. I need to talk about ME for a while. All the roles I have. All the things I juggle on a daily basis. Once we get the plan defined, then I want to work on some of my own stuff.
On a very positive note, when I opened up the computer just now, there were 2 new things on the desktop. One was a listing for all the depression / BP support groups in the area, and the other was the AA meeting times and locations. He still doesn't believe that he has BP, and he got a doctor to say he was "just" depressed and anxious, but he also said "all the right things", and was depressed when that was discussed. He has said he might be interested in revisiting the diagnosis. A positive step, if you ask me! Now if he can just keep this momentum when he starts to feel better again!
I know what you mean, as soon as my husband was compliant with something, i jumped on it before it passed.
04/25/2012 08:16 PM
Posts: 1021 Senior Member
Definitely go since its complimentary. I know what you mean about learning more here.
I think it's good to get some time to talk about what's going on with you. I'm sure it's awkward at her house, but like you said its free! Why not? And I like how she noted how much support the spouses of BP spouse need.
I also think its good that your husband is at least looking into positive things.
Also. It's really taken a good 3 months for my husband to start to acknowledge the BP.
If your husband has been in denial about mental illness, and is very resistant, then do NOT fight him about the BP label. I think getting help from a psychiatrist is KEY. And letting you have access to the psychiatrist would be even BETTER.
Here is the sequence that often happens for bipolar men---they get manic. It sucks for their loved ones but not for them. They don't seek help. But then they have their depression, and they reach out for help. They get prescribed an antidepressant....AND this can cause mania. (Rather often.) BUT....if they are getting the help and allow you access to the pdoc, you can call right away when they start not sleeping and using pressured speech and the pdoc can add a mood stabilizer to the mix. The key is HIS WILLINGNESS TO GET PSYCHIATRIC HELP, for now, and not the label. (That will come later and will be important, but for right now, accepting he has psych problems seems the most important step.)
04/25/2012 09:14 PM
Posts: 145 Member
Such a great point, married. He absolutely acknowledges that he has mental illness, though it changes from "just" the PTSD to "just" the depression and anxiety. I am not pushing a label at all, but I do what I can to help him understand what it looks like from the outside. I agree that getting him in to see a doc is the #1 priority. A question, though. His experience so far (in 2 states now) is that the appointments are rushed, there is a quick discussion and the writing of a prescription, but then it's hard to get back in for a follow up appointment. I have not been to his appointments with him, but it does seem that the availability of pdocs is limited. There were 2 total where we used to live, and it was so hard to get an appt. In a non life-threatening emergency, it was about 2-3 months between calling and actually getting an appointment. So to do med checks, etc, really didn't work. He was on one so long he got addicted to it, though they later decided it wasn't actually helping. He's still on it now because he can't get off of it. Who knows - maybe it is doing something, but it's impossible to really know.
This is all very confusing!
Now I need sleep. It has been one long week so far.
04/25/2012 09:24 PM
Posts: 11098 Group Leader
updown....The HORRIBLE TRUTH about our supposedly "best in the world" healthcare system is that it is only the best if you are super-rich.
Here is what is standard--A person sees a psychiatrist for a 45 minute intake appointment (the staff might cover some of this--like asking history of episodes, etc etc)--and then they get diagnosed and put on meds.
EVERY APPOINTMENT AFTER THAT IS, BECAUSE OF INSURANCE COMPANY REGULATIONS, TWENTY MINUTES. My husband feels like the system really doesn't care about how he feels--the 20 minutes is just about adjusting meds. And I agree!
And in many parts of the country, your mental health services might be really limited.
I am sorry about these realities. They make me very angry and very sad!
04/26/2012 05:13 AM
Posts: 145 Member
My husband also says they don't care about him. They don't! I hate that reality, too. its just one more roadblock because it is harder to motivated him to go if he knows they won't really talk to him. Ugh! Yes, our system is touted as being great, but there are SO many flaws!
04/26/2012 05:39 AM
Posts: 3169 VIP Member
I partly blame Kaiser and their medical facility for my wife's manic attack. They were only seeing her once every three months, and when she went manic, I could not get anybody to listen. The whole big box insurance run medical facility has frustrated me from the beginning. Not one contact name on their website.
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