Hello. I first posted this today in the Bipolar spouses group. I am not sure what the difference in the groups is, but I am learning.
Hello. My wife is Bipolar and I currently just needed to talk. We have been together for almost 3 and a half years, and will have been married for 2 years in June. Unfortunately I work on the road as a consultant and am only home on the weekends. It seems she went off her meds a month ago. She says that the meds turn her into a zombie and she does not want that anymore. I keep telling her she needs to talk with her doctor and change the meds until they are right. I know it can take years to get it right.
I found out she was off her meds when she took a turn for the worse last week. First she got depressed, then she started taking part of her medication. It sent her into a strange spin.
She has decided that she needs to change her life, including reevaluating her marriage to me. She tells me that, then stops taking my phone calls during the week. She has started spending a lot on the credit cards, and I notice several of the charges are for a local bar. She has not become hateful, as I have seen some people say their bipolar spouses have become. But she has become indifferent to our relationship. She says she feels like a different person, and feels she wasted her life. I am worried that in an un medicated state like this, she might do something that will end our marriage or cause some other harm. The spending is hurting, but can be recovered. What can I do if I can't get her back on her meds or to the doctor? Will this just blow over? In the past, she became depressed and she wanted to be back on her meds, but this time she has a paranoid edge to her thinking and does not want to be controlled in any way shape or form.
I am sorry my thoughts are disjointed, it is turning out harder to write this down then I thought
Welcome Silverlock, it definitely sounds like she is going through a manic episode, making impulsive decisions without thinking of the consequences.
She needs to get back on her meds. There are many of us on here where that is a big dealbreaker if our spouses don't take their meds. They are not at fault for having this disorder, but they are at fault if they are not willing to take their meds and get therapy to remain stable.
It will not just blow over, she needs to go see her dr, with you if possible and go back on meds asap. If I were you and couldn't be there with her, I would let the dr know what has transpired and solicit their help in getting her meds adjusted and taken asap.
I am sorry you are going through this, at least she is diagnosed and not in denial about her disorder, but she needs to understand the importance of her taking the meds to be stable.
Share all you want here, vent here, whatever you have to or want to do...we are here for you.
Welcome to our group! Most everyone in this group are currently in relationships with a loved one who has bipolar disorder, or they are trying to hang onto the relationship. So again welcome! Yes, your wife seems manic to me. The indifference, that is normal. You have to get some meds into her. There are a couple of them that are particularly effective in knocking a manic episode in the head and stopping it a little more quickly. At least that is what I have understood. My husband takes Risperdone when he is getting a little psychosis, whether his mood goes up or down. Help me everybody. What are some other meds? Are thy Zyprexa or Seroquel or something? I don't know how you can get her to take them. I guess it's wrong to put it in something. My husband knows that I will do anything. Applesauce and Risperdone anyone?????
The difference between the two groups is basically that our group is primarily spouses who are still in a relationship, trying to stay in their relationship or trying to decide if they want to stay. But we get people in all stages of dealing with bp. The other group is kind of the same, they get people in all stages including people that are no longer in a relationship but trying to go through the grieving process of letting it go.
That said, I think with you being gone all week, your wife is really left to her own devices. I would suggest you have a support "circle" or "team" in place who can help keep an eye on her, check up on her to make sure she is ok. If you can ask a family member to help you out with this, that would be ideal, but a close friend would be a good choice, too.
The pdoc needs to know the current situation. She may need more intensive treatment if she is manic and on the loose. You can call the pdoc and give him/her the information. See what he/she says. (He might not tell you anything if there isn't a release of information for you) Tell the pdoc about the paranoid edge to her thinking. That's important.
It seems like her time spent at the bar may have gotten her thinking that she needs a different life. Maybe she can't handle not having you around all week. It's not the ideal situation for a marriage where bp is involved. If I left my husband for a week at a time, I'd be afraid of what would happen and he's been stable for almost a year!
I'm not sure how you would get her to take her meds or get her to the dr if she is manic. That could be a huge challenge. Talking to a manic person might prove to be very frustrating. Just brainstorming here, could a family member get through to her? How about a letter from you? Something that tells her how much you love her and care about her health. Tell her that you want her to be happy and not feeling like a zombie on her meds, but you see some things happening that make you wonder if she is ok. Try not to be confrontational, but very loving and compassionate.
I'm thinking you should try this route before throwing out ultimatums. But it may come to that if she continues to spiral out of control. And if she is a danger to herself or others, like if she's drinking and driving even, you could try getting her involuntarily committed. Talk to the pdoc about that.
You might have to take some time off to deal with this. I don't think she should be left alone for 5 days.
Keep posting, tell us more about what's going on. Hopefully we can help!
Post edited by: wifeonbpexpress, at: 03/20/2012 02:44 PM
Thanks for the response. The hard part is that I am working out of state during the week. I want to take off the rest of the week and rush home, but I don't think that would be good right now. Looking around the forums, I found were people had said that their loved ones on Meds did not have to be zombies. That sometimes it may take awhile, but the right meds can be found. I sent her a text with that (Since she was not answering my calls). Her response was "I do not want to take the meds. I would rather self medicate.". I then told her I was sorry to hear that, but asked if she would at least discuss that with her doctor. Then the response was "Please don't push right now. I am starting to get adjusted to having feelings. I like it?" Then it spiraled after that to the point where she told me not to text her anymore.
She has kept her doctor information from me, and till now she seemed to be doing ok so I let it slide (Big Mistake). So my next plan, if she has not come down by this weekend, is to get her doctor off the med bottles when I am home.
No, she doesn't have to feel like a zombie. That is not true. There are infinite combinations of meds that could be tried. I know that in my husband's case he hasn't ever felt like a zombie and he's been on a good many different kinds of meds.
So she wants to self-medicate? I assume she means drinking since she is frequenting a local bar. That's not good. Alcohol can really do a number on her unmedicated mind. (And medicated mind, for that matter)
Definitely find out who the pdoc is and call ASAP. I'd be really nervous with her talking like that and not being able to see what she's up to every day.
03/20/2012 02:59 PM
Posts: 3165 VIP Member
Wifeonbpexpress, Thanks for the insights. I think the main thing that kicked off the spiral of living life is that there have been several deaths around her recently. Family members of friends and old co workers. That was the first time she said that she felt like life was passing her by.
I am kind of working behind the scenes right now with her friends. I have asked them not to confront her, but to gently be there for her. I hope that will help. She sees me right now as someone trying to keep her down.
Unfortunately, family is not a good option in the area. Her brother is staying with us right now because he just lost his job. She was first very happy he was there because he was helping around the house and backing her up with the kids. But then two weeks late, she went from being very happy he was there, to upset that he was telling the kids what to do. I told her if he was overstepping, she needed to talk with him, and I would even mediate if she wanted.
Her mother is the only other person in the area, and she is extremely bipolar but will not admit it. She has been hell from the beginning and even refused to come to our wedding. Two weeks ago, she was wanting to confront her mother about how horrible she had been to her and her brother, especially since her mother had been rude to her brother since he came to town. Sad thing is, one of the last things my wife told me was that her mom came over this weekend, and they bonded over complaining about her brother. I am going to have to talk with him this weekend as well. I do not think he knows what is going on. If she is feeling pressure from him, I might ask him to come down to my job site for a week or two and stay with me if him being there is making things worse.
It is frustrating. She did something like this over two years ago, but we were not married and it blew over in a week. This is already lasting long and I do not know if it will go away until I somehow get the doctor involved.
03/20/2012 03:00 PM
Posts: 3899 Group Leader
Yes, when unstable their thinking is distorted, thats why we really need to be part of their treatment team and build a rapport with their doctor so they can see we are not the enemy which many are told when unattended and we want stability for our spouses. We really need to know what meds, how much, and when to take them, at least until stability is obtained.
It is also real important that she understands self medicating can be very dangerous, it can induce mania and or depression.
Getting a support team while you are gone so much is probably very necessary right now since you say you are unable to take time off of work.
03/20/2012 03:02 PM
Posts: 402 Member
Hey Silverlock. Sorry for what you're going through. Going through much the same on my end (longer marriage, but more recent diagnosis, so less time with meds).
My wife too complains about medications. She doesn't say she feels like a zombie, but that the meds prevent her from "feeling joy" (and more recently that they "make her sad"--she is probably experiencing the beginnings of depression). I'm pretty sure there's a combo out there won't have that effect, so we're going to keep trying. Hopefully you and yours can too.
03/20/2012 03:04 PM
Posts: 3165 VIP Member
I have told her before I was concerned about her wine consumption. What it all comes down to is that I became too complacent. I was convinced she wanted to beat it. I have to remember that the bipolar monster can come out at any time, and it changes a persons thoughts.
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