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Old 01-21-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
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Bethann01 HB User
Marriage, clonzepam, finding a therapist--questions

For those of you who are married (or in any form of a long-term relationship) and are the person with bipolar do you feel like there's a power inbalance because you're the "crazy" one?

It has been a lousy year, starting with a hypomanic episode last March, depression that lasted into July, and then who knows what, maybe a mixed state, that still isn't over, complete with a resumption of anorexic behavior, extreme anxiety, and a lot of anger.

This fall, DH kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing on a daily basis for me to go see my pdoc, even though I told him that the only real option was clonzepam. I finally gave in and did, now I'm on it, presumably addicted after two months, and am rapidly deteriorating--crying all the time, the anxiety is less controlled than it was with every other daily use of Ativan, less productive at work which is a big problem, etc.

So, if you made it this far:
1) I'll be traveling for the next month or so. Can my pdoc safely wean me off clonezpam while I'm out of town? How bad will the withdrawl be and how long will it take? (I currently take 2mg/day.)
2) How do you deal with the fact that a spouse won't admit that he bullied you into undesirable medications (I am 100% compliant with my lamictal and seroquel), in part because I was doing stuff that annoyed him, like cleaning a lot. When he annoys me, I just have to deal with it because I can't tell him he's mentally wrong. I hate that he acts like he gets to evaluate my mental condition in a way that's more meaningful than my evaluation.
3) Any suggestions on finding a therapist that is experienced with bipolar? I don't think a family therapist can really help. Also, since I'm finishing my doctorate, I have trouble respecting someone without a degree that is higher than mine. I also have a history of being a malpractice magnet, so I'm very nervous about trusting new doctors.
4) How much time is it okay to take phone "interviewing" prospective therapists--will they do this?

Any perspective, advice, etc. is more than welcome and appreciated. Even if you're not in a relationship, if you have any advice about the the drug issue or finding a good therapist, I'd love to hear it.

 
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:55 AM   #2
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esolc HB User
Re: Marriage, clonzepam, finding a therapist--questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethann01 View Post
For those of you who are married (or in any form of a long-term relationship) and are the person with bipolar do you feel like there's a power inbalance because you're the "crazy" one?

It has been a lousy year, starting with a hypomanic episode last March, depression that lasted into July, and then who knows what, maybe a mixed state, that still isn't over, complete with a resumption of anorexic behavior, extreme anxiety, and a lot of anger.

This fall, DH kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing on a daily basis for me to go see my pdoc, even though I told him that the only real option was clonzepam. I finally gave in and did, now I'm on it, presumably addicted after two months, and am rapidly deteriorating--crying all the time, the anxiety is less controlled than it was with every other daily use of Ativan, less productive at work which is a big problem, etc.

So, if you made it this far:
1) I'll be traveling for the next month or so. Can my pdoc safely wean me off clonezpam while I'm out of town? How bad will the withdrawl be and how long will it take? (I currently take 2mg/day.)
2) How do you deal with the fact that a spouse won't admit that he bullied you into undesirable medications (I am 100% compliant with my lamictal and seroquel), in part because I was doing stuff that annoyed him, like cleaning a lot. When he annoys me, I just have to deal with it because I can't tell him he's mentally wrong. I hate that he acts like he gets to evaluate my mental condition in a way that's more meaningful than my evaluation.
3) Any suggestions on finding a therapist that is experienced with bipolar? I don't think a family therapist can really help. Also, since I'm finishing my doctorate, I have trouble respecting someone without a degree that is higher than mine. I also have a history of being a malpractice magnet, so I'm very nervous about trusting new doctors.
4) How much time is it okay to take phone "interviewing" prospective therapists--will they do this?

Any perspective, advice, etc. is more than welcome and appreciated. Even if you're not in a relationship, if you have any advice about the the drug issue or finding a good therapist, I'd love to hear it.
Taking me off of drugs as long as I followed the Doc.'s orders, which was half a pill for 7 days and then go cold turkey or what ever he tells me, I have had very few problems in that respect.

As far as my wife is concerned I have to keep remembering the fact, that if you have never had a broken arm, how would a person know how it really feels. I have had her in on my sessions with the Doctor and Therapist, but we still have a lot of tention between the two. I to feel like I am treated like a two year old by my wife so I tend to just keep to myself. I have found in my journey, that changing doctors is not a bad thing. The older doctors seem to relegate medicenes that are from years ago, to where now I have a Younger Doctor who has many medicenes in his arsonal, plus knows a lot more about cross over drugs. I have had five doctors to this point and the fith doctor told me he would not mind if I got a second opinion on his therapy for me.

I hear of many couples splitting up because of they do not understand this illness. I think most people just consider us as being cry babies. I have even had those thoughts, but continue to make the original vows we took work, but who knows, it is a day by day thing.

I feel I have to let my heart guide me through the process, I usually ask the doctor, who they feel comfortable with as a therapist. I have also gone the other way and asked the therapist the doctors they feel, they can work with in a given situation. It is very hard to find a therapist that is not an R.N. with continued study in mental therapy.I feel you need took look for someone will skilled with my Bipolar. I have also found after having now had different therapist, that there do exist those that have Particular Knowledge in Bipolar. I always sign Hippa, between my therapist and doctors. This way I feel that each has more information at that point on how to deal with my illness. I have finally taken ownership of my illness and often times have refused or suggested medicene cocktails as I call them that might be beneficial to me.

For me trust is a funny thing, since I worked in the University arena for 30 years as a business consultant for Private Food Contractors, I find that there are times when you listen to the Type 1 educated personalities and other times when the Janitor can provide me with more perspective than any of the Administrations I work with on a daily basis. I am now on disability, but still find I react in the same way when aquiring information or help from people. I always say medicene is a practice not a final answer as in 2+2=4. So many symptoms overlape each other for Bipolars, it becomes trial and error on mine and the doctor's part.

For me I have to see and talk to the therapist at least for one visit to see if the therapist and me are on the same page about my needs and I about her/his approach. To me it is a little like working with people in the work place. You tend to gravitate towards people you can see and talk to face to face. Some of my best interviews have been a round of golf, lunch etc. with peopple I am thinking of working with and of course they, size you up as someone they may be able to work with. In otherwords I don't believe in structured interviews, because they tend to become text book rather than raw nerve.

Please if you see any miss-splellings or gramatical errors, I am crawling out of a deep hole of cognitive therapy. It finally got so bad I coould not answer the question 9*7= What. But that is water under the bridge and I am starting to feel in a better place.

I hope you find what you need. At one point, I moved everyting I owned to my bedroom and that is where I stayed for a year to avoid confrontations. May God Bless and Help you through this journey remember one door closes only to open another.

Case

 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:35 AM   #3
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hmarie1598 HB User
Re: Marriage, clonzepam, finding a therapist--questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethann01 View Post
For those of you who are married (or in any form of a long-term relationship) and are the person with bipolar do you feel like there's a power inbalance because you're the "crazy" one?

It has been a lousy year, starting with a hypomanic episode last March, depression that lasted into July, and then who knows what, maybe a mixed state, that still isn't over, complete with a resumption of anorexic behavior, extreme anxiety, and a lot of anger.

This fall, DH kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing on a daily basis for me to go see my pdoc, even though I told him that the only real option was clonzepam. I finally gave in and did, now I'm on it, presumably addicted after two months, and am rapidly deteriorating--crying all the time, the anxiety is less controlled than it was with every other daily use of Ativan, less productive at work which is a big problem, etc.

So, if you made it this far:
1) I'll be traveling for the next month or so. Can my pdoc safely wean me off clonezpam while I'm out of town? How bad will the withdrawl be and how long will it take? (I currently take 2mg/day.)
2) How do you deal with the fact that a spouse won't admit that he bullied you into undesirable medications (I am 100% compliant with my lamictal and seroquel), in part because I was doing stuff that annoyed him, like cleaning a lot. When he annoys me, I just have to deal with it because I can't tell him he's mentally wrong. I hate that he acts like he gets to evaluate my mental condition in a way that's more meaningful than my evaluation.
3) Any suggestions on finding a therapist that is experienced with bipolar? I don't think a family therapist can really help. Also, since I'm finishing my doctorate, I have trouble respecting someone without a degree that is higher than mine. I also have a history of being a malpractice magnet, so I'm very nervous about trusting new doctors.
4) How much time is it okay to take phone "interviewing" prospective therapists--will they do this?

Any perspective, advice, etc. is more than welcome and appreciated. Even if you're not in a relationship, if you have any advice about the the drug issue or finding a good therapist, I'd love to hear it.


Oh boy, I've been on clonazepam for years. It's a wonder drug when used for the right things, but it is extremely addictive. It's been said that benzos are more addictive than heroin. I can't disagree with that ether as I know what it's like to run low/out. Having said that, after two months you may be ok having your doc wean you off, but do it ever so slowly. You take 2mg now? Go down to 3.5, 3, 2.5, etc. This is your best bet with a benzo. Unless you're super human and don't get withdrawl symptoms. I'll tell you though, the withdrawls I've experienced just from a shortage range from rage to delirium and hallucinations. I mean like, could barely tell my nightmares from reality. Not good. So be very careful.
In response to your partner bullying you into taking meds, I am familiar with that too. My current fiance doesn't, but I have dealt with it before. It is not fair, and just throw out the "you couldn't possibly understand" card. This leaves the honest ones speechless and the ones in denial will argue, ether way it's not for him to decide. Whether you annoy him or not. Spouses annoy each other, he should probably just learn to deal with that. Just because he's not mentally ill doesn't give him the right to annoy you and not the other way around, huh uh. That's give and take.
Finally, I wish I could help you with the therapist thing, but I won't see one in my town because our medical providers here are awful. So I wish you luck with that.

 
Old 01-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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Bethann01 HB User
Re: Marriage, clonzepam, finding a therapist--questions

Thanks for all the advice.

Pdoc and I agreed I will taper off clonzepam once I'm done traveling. He's doing it slowly, and I'm only taking 1mg/day, and I've only been on it for 2 months. We are going to discuss using Ativan every day--which would also be addictive--but works very well without side effects.

DH and I have agreed to go to counseling. We're still having trouble communicating, but that's what the counselor's for. We're going to try a colleague of my pdoc who knows a lot about bipolar and does a lot of counseling.

How do you help your partner come to terms with the need for counseling? I've accepted the reality that I will be meeting with a pdoc for life, and have been in and out of counseling for years, but he is feeling upset that we need to do this (not like I'm making him). I tried acknowleging that its hard when you first start, and for me its old hat so I don't think of it that way, and giving him space. Any other suggestions to make it easier/less scary for him?

 
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