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New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Grass Range, MT, USA
Posts: 8
steflou HB User
New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

HI, I am new to this but this is the first forum I have seen that has many women members coping with a husband with bp. I hate to make this long but want to give a little bit of background.
I have been married 20 sometimes difficult years. My husband was recently diagnosed and put on zyprexa 2.5 mg today. He is currently depressed and is constantly talking about committing suicide. He has not told his dr about this as he knows he could be committed to a hospital and refuses to go to the point of threatened violence and so I also do not say anything.
My biggest problem is the guilt I am feeling and this sounds horrible when I say it that sometimes I think it would be for the best if he would go through with it. This is not the first time he has had suicidal thoughts. The last "episode" occurred 7 years ago and ended badly. (He spent a year in jail).
I also do not know how to explain my husbands behavior to my 3 sons, 18, 12, and 5 although the 18 year old is aware of exactly what is going on. My 12 year old is having extreme self esteem issues as one minute his dad says he is the only son he can count on and the next minute says he is on his list and worthless.
I have lots of questions so won't put them all down at once but am excited that there are other people out there who may be able to offer support. I live 30 miles from the nearest town and am very isolated and nobody in our families is aware of what is going on.

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:48 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Essex, Uk
Posts: 122
Wend68 HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

Hi Steflou,

Just wanted to say hi and welcome to the board! You certainly have your hands full at the moment! I agree with you it sounds like it would be best if he were to go into hospital as he is constantly talking of suicide, even if you have no choice it might be for his own good and safety. It would also be the quickest way to get him the help that he needs. Could you get in touch with NIMH? (I think that's what is called) and get some advice on your situation. I'm sure other's will chime in here to help you out, there are some really lovely caring people on here, Goody and Tshol to name just a couple i'm sure it won't be long till they can advise you better than myself as they have so much more experience in dealing with loved ones with BP. Well, welcome again and I hope you keep posting and update us on your situation. All the best!

wend x

Old 08-10-2007, 03:42 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 32
rose07 HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp


I went through that for years with my son, I used to sleep outside his room on the hallway just to make sure he made it through the next day. Today he is a healthy, full of life 19 year old going to college in a couple of I know first hand what you are going through. As tough as this sounds, you will have to Baker Act him. I did 3 times with my son and even though it absolutely broke my heart and tore me apart when I did it, it was actually the best thing I ever did.

Steflou, be aware that this is a real risk with bipolar people, and they can go though with it. I don't think this is something you want your kids to live with for the rest of their lives, or you, knowing you could have done something about it. Since he was recently diagnosed, it will take a little while to put all the pieces together until he gets well, but it can be done. My son is a perfect example on how bipolar people can live a healthy and happy life with the proper combination of therapy, medication, love, support, life style, eating and sleeping habits...please do not lose hope.

In order to help your husband first of all you have to really educate yourself when it comes to the illness, there is an immense amount of misinformation out there and it can lead you in the wrong direction, waste precious time or receive the wrong advice. All of your kids will have to understand what is going on with their dad and that this is an illness, nothing more and nothing less...he could of had diabetes but instead he has a chemical imbalance in his brain. They will have to understand that you are a team and in order for him to get better, you all have to work together. My little one was six years old when my older son started having the meltdowns, he was a very important part of the process to get him well.

Best of luck and stay strong.

Old 08-10-2007, 05:30 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: earth
Posts: 1,329
marshmallow HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

Steflou, you mentioned feeling guilty over feelings you had please dont. I lost my husband (unmedicated) and have been feeling so guilty because we separated. I have come to realize we are only human and cannot endure things at times. There are limits on what we can do to help another person and we have to know that or we can lose who we are and our joy will be gone. I hope things work out for you and your family. I am not feeling my best so my advice won't be great right now.

Old 08-10-2007, 07:25 AM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 32
rose07 HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp


Tsohl is 100% correct about being able to work in partnership with the psychiatrist rather than having to blindly follow directions. To give you an idea, we changed 5 psychiatrists, 3 therapists, 4 different medications, dosage and scheduled times before we found the right balance.

One thing I suggest is that you start creating a chart where you keep track of what happens right before a bipolar mania or depression. This will allow you to see patterns and will help you immensely in the recovery process.

Old 08-11-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
Join Date: May 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 5,813
goody2shuz HB Usergoody2shuz HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

Good Morning Steflou ~ I see that you already got lots of wonderful advice. It is quite difficult to support a BPer who is unstable. Sounds like your hubby can use more that the Zyprexa to get things under control and could use another mood stabilizer perhaps added to it. It is very rare that only one med will take care of things so that may be the problem right there.

Is there anyway that you can convince your husband to go in to see his doctor??? And you be a part of discussing your concerns??? I know that he is afraid of being committed but things are most likely going to get worse unless he gets some type of help. I know it would be difficult but you may have to resort to calling 911 if you feel that things are getting violent. You owe that to yourself and your children....if at all possible perhaps confide in your 18 year old about how you may have to resort to doing this in order to get your husband help and that perhaps when the time comes that he can take the other kids out somewhere before you do so.

I know it is difficult but try not to isolate yourself so much. Is there anybody that you trust, a good friend, who you can talk to?? And if not perhaps there is a BP support group you could join not too far away. As you already have been advised it would be good if you got in touch with NAMI and explain your situation and have somebody advise you what resources are available to you in the area and what you can do with the given situation.

I am glad that you came here...please feel free to talk to us or let out some of your concerns. This is a great place where you will find many who are walking in the same pair of shoes.

(((((HUGS))))))) and prayers for you & your family ~ Goody

Old 08-11-2007, 08:17 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Grass Range, MT, USA
Posts: 8
steflou HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp

HI, I am so grateful for all the great advice and support I have already received. I kind of have a unique situation. I live 30 miles from any town and so help is not real close. That also contributes to the isolation.
I will be meeting with his counselor on Friday and can then discuss other medications that may be helpful. He seems to have improved depression wise since he has been on the Zyprexa but now is extremely irritable to the point that he insisted our 18 year old move out of the house. I talked him out of that for now. My oldest son seems to take the brunt of his anger which backfires as he is the one most likely to talk back. I also have suspicions that my son may also be bipolar.
I guess the hardest part right now is that he has always had extreme behaviors but now he has an excuse for them. "It's not my fault; it's because I'm bipolar. What's your excuse?" Any suggestions on how to deal with angry outbursts would be helpful as I am not dealing real well with them right now. I am close to the end of the rope and my anger surfaces very quickly.
Thanks again for the support.

Last edited by steflou; 08-11-2007 at 08:22 AM.

Old 08-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 2,779
tsohl HB User
Re: New user; Need advice on how to cope with husband and bp


Oops, I thought you lived in Sweet Grass. There is a NAMI group in Billings, which looks like it is closer to you! You'll have to check the website for the phone number of the organizer there, as I see I goofed by posting the other one.

First, I think it is quite common for the BP dad and oldest son to butt heads, or if the son is BP, and the dad, they butt heads, too! Would your husband be willing to take Omega 3 supplements in addition to his medication? That might help a bit in the interim.

The irritability may be a sign of hypomania. Most of us think of mania as the typical definition of feeling over-the-top, "I can do anything" type of feelings. Hypomania often presents as anger, uncontrolled rage, irritability, difficulty sleeping, etc. Antidepressants can cause someone who has BP to flip into a hypomanic mode if they are not on a mood stabilizer. I'm not sure what is going on. Xyprexa is usually given when a patient presents with a lot of manic symptoms rather than severe depression....there are other atypical antipsychotic drugs that better deal with the depressive symptoms. Anyway, if you can hang on until you meet with the doctor, hopefully you can get another med that will work better. If it helps you hang on, when your husband finds the meds that work best for him, these angry outbursts should go away or at the very least, he should be able to control them.

If it would help your sons any, you could look on one of the online booksellers for books that are written specifically to help children understand a parent or relative who has BP. The important thing is to let them know dad is ill and that it is not their behavior or existence that is causing dad to behave this way. And you are right; it is entirely possible that at least one of your children will also have bipolar tendencies. You have issues on both sides if your dad was alcoholic. So it would be helpful for all your boys to learn about bipolarity. If they are interested in science they may actually find it quite interesting.

You might look online for the work of Dr. Daniel Amen. He does a type of spectral imaging which yields "photos" of the bipolar brain; the brain with ADD; the brain on marijuana, etc. He has made a whole atlas of brain imaging, some of which is shown online. Really very interesting stuff. Maybe this winter when you're snowed in you can peruse it in detail, if interested.

I'm rambling here...but hopefully something I've said will be of interest or use to you.

Keep posting. You will find a whole herd of us that know exactly what you are dealing with!!


Last edited by tsohl; 08-11-2007 at 10:10 AM.

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