I recently posted in the relationship health board. It was recommended that I take a look at some of the postings here. Spooky man... Its like I had already had someone post for me. I need some help and advice. I dont know how to go about getting her diagnosed.
You see she has had a really tough life. However, she is capable of scary mood swings, rage and self destructive behaviour and in the next she is one of the most amazing women on this planet. I have been with her for 3 years now and its been a roller coaster ride from one extreme to another. She has destroyed all trust between us and I am close to ending our relationship. That was until I was sent here.
There is not many facilities where I live and the medical structure in our country is a joke. Is there a certain doctor, therapist etc that I should try locate and how do I get her there?
I would appreciate any assistance and I thank you in advance.
I too know nothing about healthcare in your country. However, it would be best if you could get her to go to a psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis. They have the specialized training and knowledge about the neuropharmaceuticals that general practicioners lack. Prescribing the drugs that will work for her is an inexact science..in other words, it usually involves some trial and error to find the right med. or combination of meds that work best to stabilize her with the fewest side effects. You need to be patient as sometimes this process can take awhile. But don't give up. If the first drug does not "work" hang in there and keep trying. Also every pdoc seems to have his own thoughts on how to treat bipolar, so sometimes you even have to switch pdocs if she's not responding to treatment. In our case we went through 3 or 4 pdocs and numerous combinations of meds before finally finding something that worked well.
Bipolar disorder can be managed with the proper medications and treatment and the individual can lead a relatively "normal" life. Generally though, if untreated, the episodes of mania and depression become more frequent, last longer and are more extreme. Drug and substance abuse are more common than in the general population. It is important to remember that bipolar is a brain disease, just like Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease, only instead of effecting movement and memory, it effects emotion and thought patterns.
Once you have a diagnosis it is important that you learn as much as possible. This is an illness that engulfs everyone surrounding the person who actually has it. There are a number of excellent books that help explain it.
Please keep posting with your comments and questions. When you have time, you might read through the various threads on this board. There is a lot of good information here and wonderful, supportive people who either are bipolar or love someone who is bipolar. Good luck to you and your girlfriend.
Thanks for your informative response. Healthcare is expensive especially with specialists. I had not realised that bipolar was a disease as you have explained. I have been going thru some of the posts and it seems that the biggest problem is getting the afflicted person to accept they have a problem that requires medication.
After 3 years of this roller coaster ride I am not sure that I still possess enough energy to go thru this. I take heart from the success stories. I have already started visiting other sites and emailed a bipolar assocation locally. I want to see her well and happy.
Hi, and welcome It sounds like you genuinely care for your girlfriend and she is lucky to have you to seek out the help that she may need.
Tsohl said most of what you need to know as did Mudhound, but one thing I must say is unless your girlfriend is open to getting the help she needs and wanting to have a better quality of life, no matter where you bring her if she has her mind closed to it or is denial she will most likely not succeed. The greatest success comes when the person KNOWS or has come to the realization that something is wrong and wants to fix it.
My daughter went through 7 months of therapy and being treated by a psychiatrist, three suicidal attempts and 4 hospitalizations before she was open to the help that she needed. For much of that time she was in what is often referred to as ap hyomanic/manic state, where everything was fine, and everybody else had the problem and was to blame for all that was going wrong in her life. She truly believed that everybody else was wrong and had the problem but our window of opportunity came when she came down from it and everything around her came crashing down. That was when she saw how desperately she needed help and we promised to find it for her.
Where do you see your girlfriend in all of this??? Do you think that she will accept help and does she see or recognize there is a problem??? How does she react when you suggest you find some help together????
This is something that you need to really look at because if your girlfriend is not ready to go for help and commit herself to wanting to get better then you will continue to ride this rollercoaster of her ups and downs watching her life as well as yours go on a downward spiral.
I know, it's alot to think about....I am not saying give up but I am suggesting that you look at the reality of the situation. It would be like supporting anybody else with a medical problem....if they aren't willing to accept the help to get themselves better so that they can be their best for you, then they really aren't giving their best in the relationship.
Please keep us posted on how things go and what decisions you may come to. This is a wonderful place to find support and the people here have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Thank you for your response. It has been difficult especially since I did not understand her behaviour. I have been considering ending the relationship because I thought she just wasnt ready for a committed relationship. I also believe that things always happen for a reason. We have often joked about how we became involved after so many years of knowing each other.
Maybe this is one of those. Maybe I am strong enough to stand by her through this. She has often said that she does things but has no idea why. Reactions that always point to everyone else being in the wrong including me. I recently suggested that we need professional help as she was suicidal and she was adamant that there was nothing wrong.
So I guess my biggest challenge will be to get her to see someone. She claims she wants to save our relationship and I am sure in her heart she loves me but she is out of control. The rage and aggression is intimidating especially from such a small person. I really do care for her but as I have read and like your advice, if she is not a willing participant then it becomes that much more difficult. I think that in her lucid moments she wants this to go away, I just need to find the trigger to get her to agree.
I really love this lady and we share a real bond due to some harsh realities we have had to face together. I realise now that a lot of the heartache and grief I have suffered has probably been because of the bipolar disorder and not from a character trait.I will hang in there and work on this. Thank you for your honest input, it really means a lot to me.
Last edited by dogmansa; 01-20-2007 at 11:50 PM.
Just an update. I have managed to locate a bipolar support group in our area and I will be joining them to learn more. I have also managed to secure the details of healthcare professionals that deal with bipolar disorder.
Its early days yet and my girlfriend is keeping a low profile. She still hasnt moved back home but I suspect she will be in contact some day soon.
I will not allow this to destroy my relationship so I will do my best to learn about what I have to do to get her well again.
Thanks again and I will keep you posted. God Bless...
That's some great news that you were able to find a support group in your area, and that you've taken some action to look into the healthcare professionals. At least now you have a plan and a direction instead of just floundering not really sure what's going on or why. Good luck to you and your girlfriend and I hope she is willing to look into getting the help that she needs. It sounds like she already has a great support system! (you!)
Keep us posted!
Last edited by rosequartz; 01-23-2007 at 10:26 AM.
You should check the 2 threads I've posted in the last 5 weeks. I believe you should go down the dx trail to see what happens. She must under all circumstances take responsibility for whatever the pdoc says. Reading my threads will give you deep insight on what your life will be if your GF doesn't give 150% to staying stable.
Thanks for your input, Things have become a lot more complicated as she is very confrontational at the moment. I have not seen her for a while and am busy compiling information for a care package of sorts. I understand from your experiences that if she does not accept her condition, I am in for a further rough time.
I am so close to backing off but I owe it t the both of us to try do this at least. She is a very headstrong and difficult person at the best of times...