Anyone have experience with bipolar

Does anyone have a strategy for dealing with a bipolar spouse?

My husband is bipolar 2 with paranoid delusions. We are going through a rough patch right now, a veritable roller coaster ride of pain and distortion.

On the regular bipolar forums, there is a popular thought that “you deserve better than this” “you deserve to be happy” “if it does not suit you then leave”. I do not particularly subscribe to these thoughts. I got married for life.

OTOH how to deal with this?

Yesterday, I told him that I would not be on the roller coaster with him otherwise we both go down and we have kids to deal with…how do I avoid getting sucked in by his dysfunction?

Anyone here dealing with similar issues?

Praying to St. Dymphna for your husband’s health & recovery. Praying for you & your children.

I’m assuming he’s already in counseling and on medication.

Can you also get counseling to help you deal with these issues?

I know of a group called “NAMI”, National Alliance on Mental Illness, which offers support groups. nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/Education_and_Training/Education_Training_and_Peer_Support_Center/NAMI_Support_Group/Default1066.htm

My brother is severely bi-polar with a rage disorder to accompany it. As a family there have been some real hard times. He still lives with my father, and is on many medications. At least my brother does recognize when it is time to be hospitalized for treatment, but things are very difficult.

I can only suggest that you may need to establish a plan of sorts that deals with the bad periods. There have to be certain behaviors and actions that are not accepted and that he understands you would have him hospitalized for, or that would require HIM to move out temporarily. It is all too easy for the families of such individuals to take on more than they should in the name of helping them. This is what has happened with my brother in many ways. But my dad will not force him to be on his own.

Now at this stage it would be nearly impossible for my brother to ever make it without help in a structured mental health facility if something should happen to our father. I guess all I am saying is there has to be some ground rules for behavior and consequences when certain behaviors become a problem (like violent outbursts.) Of course there does need to be a review of medications and their levels, and that usually requires good supervision if not hospitalization.

Having watched my brother over the years I am glad he made a choice to never marry due to this. There is no way a marriage would have survived the turmoil. Sadly, in many cases like this a divorce or annulment may be the only avenue to remain safe, and especially if children are involved. Otherwise you have to find ways to safely manage symptoms, your reactions and hospitalizations. It is a sad, dark journey and you certainly have my prayers.

I have some experience with a similar situation. Dealing with a bipolar spouse who is having paranoid delusions is very, very, very difficult. But please don’t give in to what you are hearing on those forums. Stand by your husband, and do your best to get help for him, even though it may be extremely difficult at times.

Some specific points of advice, in no particular order:

[LIST]
*] Make sure that your husband is getting good psychiatric treatment, including the proper medication. As with any type of doctor, some psychiatrists are better than others. Find the best one that you can – someone whom your husband trusts (at least when he is not in a paranoid state).
*] Make sure that you meet with the psychiatrist to discuss your husband’s condition, and make sure that your husband has signed whatever forms he needs to sign so that the doctor can legally discuss your husband’s medical situation with you. This will be necessary at times when your husband is having a manic or paranoid episode.
*] If your husband is in a manic or paranoid state and refuses psychiatric help, then make sure that you call his psychiatrist, let him know what is happening, and find out what you need to do. If you have to, if your husband gets bad enough and if you have no other option, you may even have to take him to a hospital and have him committed temporarily. (And if you are having trouble getting your husband to see a psychiatrist even when he is reasonably well, then this may be the best thing you can do for your husband, because it will force him to get started on treatment.)
*] Get help and support from close, trusted family members. The more paranoid your husband gets, the fewer people he will trust. His mom (or possibly his dad) might be especially helpful in these times.
*] When your husband is not in his right mind, explain as best you can to your kids, in an age-appropriate way, that daddy is sick and not thinking right, and that the doctor will help him get better. And if there is a grandparent or other trusted relative who can keep the kids during times like this, that would be a good idea.
[/LIST]

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is intended as medical advice. As mentioned in my first point above, a good doctor is the place to start, and he or she can advise you about things like medication and hospitalization.

Does anyone have a strategy for dealing with a bipolar spouse?

Well, he needs to get treatment and medication for sure.

My husband is bipolar 2 with paranoid delusions. We are going through a rough patch right now, a veritable roller coaster ride of pain and distortion.

I’m sorry to hear that. :gopray:

On the regular bipolar forums, there is a popular thought that “you deserve better than this” “you deserve to be happy” “if it does not suit you then leave”. I do not particularly subscribe to these thoughts.

There’s all kinds of garbage like that on those kinds of forums. Even some counselors will tell people to leave their spouses instead of trying to fix it. :rolleyes:

That’s just modern secular nonsense. “Oh, just like leave when it gets hard”.

As one older couple put it “we came from an era when if something was broken, you didn’t go out and buy new; you fixed it”.

I got married for life.

:thumbsup:

OTOH how to deal with this?

Yesterday, I told him that I would not be on the roller coaster with him otherwise we both go down and we have kids to deal with…how do I avoid getting sucked in by his dysfunction?

It’s good to clearly state your feelings and stand your ground. :yup: You need to help him try and overcome this, but ultimately only he can make the choice to recognize his behavior and make the adjustment.

Daily Mass and prayers for all involved. I dedicate a decade of my Rosary daily for everyone that suffers from spiritual, mental and emotional disorders. Your husband and brother will be included. God Bless, Memaw

Thank you lots of prayer and time spent in adoration.

I must say that I feel like quite the fraud coming to Christ as a last resort and not as a first response in heartfelt reverence…:blush:

Thank you for the advice, I will look for something for me…a while back I investigated these support group but not one was working with the commitments that I have (4kids, work etc)

I will look again.

I have felt that way also. I think it comes from feeling we need to do what we can before bothering God. He seems to want it the other way around, but we get a lot of things backward. :o

At the moment, he is severely depressed and destructive…in the sense that he is actively attempting to destroy our marriage and our family. He has admitted so much.

He has never been violent, just cruel. The behaviour comes in waves with triggers (Easter was trying as are all family holidays).

Can you elaborate on what a plan would entail?

I have told him that I would not participate in his downward spiral but at the same time I have no clue HOW not to participate. Any suggestions?

Thanks for replying

Thank you for affirming my choice. My search for like-minded people led me to this forum.

[LIST]

*] Make sure that your husband is getting good psychiatric treatment, including the proper medication. As with any type of doctor, some psychiatrists are better than others. Find the best one that you can – someone whom your husband trusts (at least when he is not in a paranoid state).
*] Make sure that you meet with the psychiatrist to discuss your husband’s condition, and make sure that your husband has signed whatever forms he needs to sign so that the doctor can legally discuss your husband’s medical situation with you. This will be necessary at times when your husband is having a manic or paranoid episode.
*] If your husband is in a manic or paranoid state and refuses psychiatric help, then make sure that you call his psychiatrist, let him know what is happening, and find out what you need to do. If you have to, if your husband gets bad enough and if you have no other option, you may even have to take him to a hospital and have him committed temporarily. (And if you are having trouble getting your husband to see a psychiatrist even when he is reasonably well, then this may be the best thing you can do for your husband, because it will force him to get started on treatment.)

We, well he, is doing a natural protocol which is very very effective, except when he figures that he is well and stops taking it. His brother was schizophrenic in and out of the psych ward, medicated and wound up committing suicide. This gives him tremendous mistrust of the psychiatric route…Thanks to God for putting us in contact with a brilliant Naturopath who has helped us tremendously.

I am greatly worried that the time may come when he will be forcibly committed…one day at a time.

Full access has been granted to me.

*] Get help and support from close, trusted family members. The more paranoid your husband gets, the fewer people he will trust. His mom (or possibly his dad) might be especially helpful in these times.

He has no living parent or sibling. I believe his mom to have been paranoid delusional herself so learned behaviour also enters into play.

This last attempt at destruction was a direct attack on MY family who are my #1 source of support, leaving me flat and alone.

*] When your husband is not in his right mind, explain as best you can to your kids, in an age-appropriate way, that daddy is sick and not thinking right, and that the doctor will help him get better. And if there is a grandparent or other trusted relative who can keep the kids during times like this, that would be a good idea.
[/LIST]

Our kids are amazing, they do understand that he is sick and as time goes on it is more and more apparent. The 7 year old is too young to notice and she is an innocent breath of fresh air…the 9 year-old bears the brunt because she is old enough to see but not old enough to truly understand…the 12 and 11 year old are more understanding.

Sadly no family support in the same city (grandparents 5 hours away)

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is intended as medical advice. As mentioned in my first point above, a good doctor is the place to start, and he or she can advise you about things like medication and hospitalization.

Absolutely…

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Knowing that someone understand is helpful in itself

Thank you for your response, ultimately it is up to him…many a conversation around this!. It would be so much easier with a magic wand!

Thank you for including us in your prayers.

He did come with me to adoration last Friday…that is a beginning. I am trying to convince him to go to daily mass.

He will be spending the summer in Fatima, may Our Lady bring him peace!

Hoping that I can teach my kids to go to Christ first.

I understand.

Is he spending the summer there by himself? Maybe that will give you time to get some counseling on how to best deal with the situation. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am sure he would change things too if he could. God Bless, Memaw

He will be there with friends (drinking buddies) for the first 3 weeks then I join him with the kids for the remainder of the summer. While I am looking forward to time with the kids, I am already worrying about his mental state…usually being away from me enhances the paranoia and negative thought patterns plus the drinking, usually not a good mix…:frowning:

I can assure you that this is very painful for him as well.

Please consult with a mental health professional for appropriate coping strategies.

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