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Old 04-25-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
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Simes HB User
Living with someone with Bi Polar.

I live with my 3 children and my wife who suffers with Bi polar. Over the last 4 years she has had 2 bad attacks from this which needed hospitalization. This was very stressful and very upsetting on our children.
We live day to day on a bit of a knife edge of mood swings from my wife, never knowing if something is said incorrectly or in the wrong way will trigger an argument. Sometimes she is fine and full of life and interactment with family, friends the children, me etc etc... but overnight can become very negative about neighbours, friends, family household stuff etc. Even a pile of ironing can be such a trauma to get involved with. I don't mean a full blown out attack of mania or depression, I just mean the day to day running of the house, arguments between the kids, paying bills, getting shopping in.... just normal everyday stuff that should not even phase anyone.
She becomes very bitter towards me and others for no apparent reason and can say the most awful, hurtful and nasty things and doesn't think she's said anything wrong. Also never do we get an apology for the stress and arguments she creates.
I find the whole thing really hard to cope with sometimes, as do my children.
When she is fine everything is fine, when her mood changes it does not only change for her it changes the whole mood and atmosphere of the house, sometimes to unbearable limits where I feel I could explode.
I know she cannot help it, and I love her to bits and am here for the duration, but many times I could just walk out and leave, but cannot for the sake of everyone around us.
This does sounds like I'm a total whinge bag, and self centered, but after years of treading on eggshells and not knowing what to say for the best and this feeling of guilt she can cast over you, it is very hard to cope with !!
Does any other people in the same situation as me feel like this, and how do you cope, or do you just accept and get on with it like I do !
Thanks for listening, x

 
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Hi
I sat and read your message this morning with tears streaming down my face. That in itself should indicate to you that I have Bipolar and I was a wife. The portrail of living with someone who suffers with Bipoar is just like the description my husband would give of living with me. In that, you are not alone, and I know exactly how hard it is for you. I lost my husband because of the moods and behaviours, and my relationhips with my children will never be as they should. They all including my husband are kind to me and keep me going, but they can only take so much. I was the one to walk out and leave them all, something I will regret for the rest of my life. I did it during a manic period, though I believed I was trying to protect them from me. I still do feel I have to protect them to a degree, but the loss of my family has lead me to be very ill. So I think what I am saying is keep doing the very best you can, your fantastic. Good Luck

Last edited by hb-mod; 04-26-2010 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Removed Quote. Please use "QUICK reply" rather than "QUOTE reply". Thanks!

 
Old 04-25-2010, 04:53 PM   #3
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blp101 HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

This sounds very familiar from my perspective as the set up is identical to mine, however I fit the role of your wife. It is incredibly difficult to understand when your loved one turns into someone else at the slightest mis communication or event that the next day will no longer be a problem to them. My faults include forgetting conversations within minutes of having them, taking on small responsibilities like getting the car taxed and then not even forgetting the task but the whole conversation leading up to getting this done. Then vehemently arguing that this was never arranged and that I am being tricked into doing things because I am an easy target. My partner is fantastic although I try the patience of a saint. She is very supportive although at time me or the BP however you want to view it throws a curveball that knocks her for 6. My memory is that of a geriatric at the age of 34 which is very scary and causes over reactions when I realise what I have and haven't done. I take CBT which is working absolute wonders. My partner and I also go to counseling together where we both get to talk about we are dealing with he illness as a couple and that has been amazing. We have recently understood that her role is not only as my partner and mother but as a carer. This is important, as a carer you need independant support to understand what is happening and what you can do for yourself. If you have a support network you can be more effective at home. It isn't easy but it doesn't have to be so hard on you all. Breaking down tasks in the day using a check list is great. I ise a service called Don't forget the Milk which is free online and allows you take control of everyday tasks and see them in one place. Ithelps me to be able to tick of a task on the list so I am not overwhelmed buy everyday life. When I forget things it causes stress and anxiety as well as embarrasement and triggers arguments, a more organised approach takes away all the nasty surprises!

 
Old 04-25-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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mowgli HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

there is another catagory for this- I think it's relationships or something, but my partner could sit down and have an awfully long conversation with you about living with a missus with BP. I assuming (though one never should) that your wife is on meds and seeing someone? Maybe her meds need tweaking? When you say you never get an apology, it is probably because she doesn't realise how much a (insert word here) she is being- I know I don't. I'm not as bad as used to be because I'm working on being more social, there are times when it's only by peoples reactions that I think that maybe my actions were a bit aggressive or anti-social, so then I find myself wondering how much I miss of my bad manners that people don't point out because they don't want a further arguement... does that make sense?
Anyway, good on you for sticking around, it's tough at times.

 
Old 05-23-2010, 06:56 AM   #5
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Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Hi I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years he was diagnosed with bipolar about 6 months ago everyday is a challange for me not knowing whether he is going to be in a good mood, hyper, angry or depressed he has een on two different meds in the last six months and the latest ones have stopped working as effectively as they were he has been told that his condition is getting worse. the only way i have found to deal with his condition and not go crazy my self has been to talk to my mum bout it and get a load off my chest. I love him too much to ever leave him because of his illness any advice you could give me would be hugely appreciated he is on the verge of another emotional breakdown which i am dreading for himself more than me i just want to be able to help him but i dont know how

 
Old 05-24-2010, 01:32 AM   #6
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blp101 HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

From the other side of the fence (BPII) I can't begin to imagine exactly the strain you are under, however my partner who has the patience of a saint, come with me to my CBT sessions and we also have couples counseling with the same counselor. This is a great time in a neutral environment for her to be able to tell me what she feels like when I am at either end of the scale. She also seeks counseling for her self and this is as important as my own care regime. Otherwise who cares for the carer? There are a number of support groups for carers of BP and at least this gives you an opportunity to compare notes and techniques and to feel that you are not alone either. A more structured, safe environment where both parties can communicate well is the difference between staying together and drifting apart.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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*mister* HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
We live day to day on a bit of a knife edge of mood swings from my wife, never knowing if something is said incorrectly or in the wrong way will trigger an argument..... She becomes very bitter towards me and others for no apparent reason and can say the most awful, hurtful and nasty things and doesn't think she's said anything wrong.
Simes, you are describing event-triggered mood changes, which are more indicative of BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) than bipolar disorder.

There are several clear differences between the two disorders. One is that bipolar mood swings are very slow because they are caused by gradual changes in body chemistry. They are considered rapid if as many as four occur in a year. Hence, the two mood changes that you talk about occurring in 4 years sound like bipolar mood changes.

In sharp contrast, four BPD mood changes can easily occur in four days. BPD rages, for example, typically last about 5 hours and rarely as long as 36 hours (if the BPD sufferer is inner-directed, you will not witness a raging screaming person but, instead, a quiet withdrawn person who turns her anger onto herself).

A second difference is that the onset is very different. Whereas a bipolar change may occur over several weeks, a BPD change typically occurs in less than a minute -- often in only 15 seconds -- because it is event-triggered by some innocent comment or action.

A third difference is that, whereas bipolar can cause people to be irritable and obnoxious during the manic phase, it does not rise to the level of meanness you see when a BPD is splitting you black. The difference is huge: while a manic person may regard you as an irritation, a BPD person can perceive you as Hitler and will treat you accordingly.

Finally, a fourth difference is that a bipolar sufferer -- whether depressed or manic -- usually is able to trust you if she knows you well. Untreated BPDs, however, are unable to trust -- even though they sometimes may claim otherwise. This lack of trust means that BPDers tend to get jealous easily and that there is no foundation on which to build a relationship.

Yet, despite these four clear differences between the two disorders, many people confuse the two. The primary source of this confusion, seems to be that roughly a third of BPD sufferers also have the bipolar disorder. This causes BPD to often be misdiagnosed as bipolar. I am not a psychologist. I am speaking based on my 12 years of experience taking care of my bipolar foster son and 15 years of taking care of my BPD exW. If you would like to read more about these two disorders, I would be glad to provide links to several good articles.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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justmel30 HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a teenager. I remember how bad things were in my house. I was moody, one minute over the top with excitement, but if everybody didn't react correctly, then I made that house miserable. They put me on medications......I hated it! It was like not being able to be free to be me anymore. I was suicidal.....sort of. Oh I pulled lots of crazy stunts back then. I would slit my wrists almost weekly, everytime somebody disagreed with me......then I would get all sorts of attention, get to talk about my feelings etc. But one day my mom said to me to go ahead and die. She said she would miss me, and grieve me, but she was going to go on with her life and she was tired of worrying about mine. OMG! That really gave me something to think about. I was no longer the center of everybodies universe! And they ment it! Everyone in the family started going on with their business, and I had no more control! This left me with a new feeling, I didn't want to manipulate them anymore, or have them be sympathetic to me. I wanted to be a part of them. But they wanted no part of me as a bipolar.....so I had to learn a whole new way of life. I had to learn that EVERYBODY has feelings....not just me. I had to learn that everybody has an inner dialog, they just refrain from saying the things that go through their heads. But most of all I needed to learn that the world doesnt center around me....nor should it! Today, no more bipolar, no more attitudes, no more anger.....I NEVER feel suicidal. I'm a mom, I have friends......I pretty much carry on with life, and I've been off medications and have been for a decade. The medical community really hates me, lol. They think perhaps I was misdiagnosed. But in my own opinion, bipolar is a self induced syndrome by manipulative, selfish people who really want attention. Think about it.....how many times for those of you who know a bipolar person have you heard them say.....it makes me feel like.....it triggers ME.......my feelings are........i feel like I want to......I want to..... etc. And everyone else in the house is left to walk on eggshells. I think medication is probably necessary for them when they are in the thick of it, and not wanting to do anything for themselves, but for the most part, I dont think it is a chemical disorder. I think it is absolutely fixable. But the person has to want to fix themselves. For me, the worst thing in the world was to have everybody taken out of the equation. Once everyone was gone......who would be my audience? Anywho, I just wanted to throw that out there. As.......what I like to call......a recovering bipolar, I really feel like it's something that can be overcome. Today...these behaviors are so far removed from me....it's like a really bad dream from a long long time ago. I would NEVER behave like that today. It takes too much energy, I have too much to get done, not to mention the fact that I want to look in the mirror and be proud of the person I see......not embarassed.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 09:58 AM   #9
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Redneon82 HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

In the movie "The House of Yes", the daughter is "allegedly" mentally ill and everyone tiptoed around her, careful to give her everything she wanted so as to not set off another "episode". One of the characters (a visitor to the home) finally had enough and told her "you're not mentally ill, you're just spoiled!" (I'm paraphrasing). And the "allegedly" mentally ill character says "well, finally the truth is being spoken around here!" (again, I'm paraphrasing). It's just a flim, but I found that to be surprisingly accurate with a lot of people I've encountered who use their bad childhoods or their fragile emotional states or their time of the month or their astrological signs or WHATEVER as an excuse to run their world and everyone around them. It's a shame because then those who are truly mentally ill and need help get scorned upon and ridiculed.
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"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong

 
Old 05-26-2010, 02:28 PM   #10
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digmusic HB Userdigmusic HB Userdigmusic HB Userdigmusic HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

I think your wife has borderline personality disorder, not bipolar. I'm not a doctor, but it sounds more like BPD.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 05-27-2010 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Directing comments to the original poster.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 04:40 PM   #11
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Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Our stories are almost identical. Except we haven't brought children into the picture. We have been together for three years and have lived together for two years. Every day is a challenge. Mornings used to be the worst part of the day. If I so much as made the wrong facial expression or changed the tone in my voice, all hell would break loose. There are about a dozen holes on the walls of our apartment. The verbal abuse, and threats of leaving have gotten out of control. I feel absolutely disrespected every single day of my life. It is so draining and mentally exhausting. This passed episode has put us in a bad financial position. I don't know where to draw the line anymore. And I honestly feel like I am not strong enough for this anymore. Medications helped for about two weeks. I feel like we took a step forward and two steps back. I recently moved back home with my parents because I personally and psychologically couldn't handle it anymore. It seems like I have more respect from afar, however, there are still the occasional screaming voice mails only to hear "I love you and miss you," ten minutes later. I can't change someone. But what I can do is remove myself from the situation. I am so deeply in love. But when I find myself crying myself to sleep every single night or staying in bed all day or night not knowing or worrying about where they are, it takes a toll on my sanity.

 
Old 05-31-2010, 07:09 PM   #12
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*mister* HB User
Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desperate4help4 View Post
If I so much as made the wrong facial expression or changed the tone in my voice, all hell would break loose. There are about a dozen holes on the walls of our apartment. The verbal abuse, and threats of leaving have gotten out of control.
Desperate, I am so sorry to hear that you have suffered through this also. It sounds like your partner also may have strong traits of BPD. If you would like to read about it, I suggest you start with this article describing male BPDers by therapist Shari Schreiber. It is at [DELETED] .

The abuse and anger you describe is more indicative of BPD than bipolar. In a post above, I describe four behavioral differences between them. Medication can work wonders with bipolar (which is caused by body chemistry changes) but cannot do much for BPD (which is not caused by body chemistry but, rather, by a thought disorder). Medicine can, however, help moderate the depression that accompanies BPD -- but the person will still have all the other symptoms.

BPD is something that cannot be cured but which the individual can learn to manage -- but the change must come from inside them. You cannot fix it. It was very wise of you to move back to your parents' home. If you find that link helpful, I would be glad to suggest others if you want. Please take care and stay safe.

Last edited by Mod-S4; 05-31-2010 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Do not post commercial web sites. Please read and follow the Posting Policy of this board. Thanks.

 
Old 08-23-2010, 12:08 AM   #13
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Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes View Post
I live with my 3 children and my wife who suffers with Bi polar. Over the last 4 years she has had 2 bad attacks from this which needed hospitalization. This was very stressful and very upsetting on our children.
We live day to day on a bit of a knife edge of mood swings from my wife, never knowing if something is said incorrectly or in the wrong way will trigger an argument. Sometimes she is fine and full of life and interactment with family, friends the children, me etc etc... but overnight can become very negative about neighbours, friends, family household stuff etc. Even a pile of ironing can be such a trauma to get involved with. I don't mean a full blown out attack of mania or depression, I just mean the day to day running of the house, arguments between the kids, paying bills, getting shopping in.... just normal everyday stuff that should not even phase anyone.
She becomes very bitter towards me and others for no apparent reason and can say the most awful, hurtful and nasty things and doesn't think she's said anything wrong. Also never do we get an apology for the stress and arguments she creates.
I find the whole thing really hard to cope with sometimes, as do my children.
When she is fine everything is fine, when her mood changes it does not only change for her it changes the whole mood and atmosphere of the house, sometimes to unbearable limits where I feel I could explode.
I know she cannot help it, and I love her to bits and am here for the duration, but many times I could just walk out and leave, but cannot for the sake of everyone around us.
This does sounds like I'm a total whinge bag, and self centered, but after years of treading on eggshells and not knowing what to say for the best and this feeling of guilt she can cast over you, it is very hard to cope with !!
Does any other people in the same situation as me feel like this, and how do you cope, or do you just accept and get on with it like I do !
Thanks for listening, x
I am new to this website but have been living with my bipolar boyfriend for seven yrs. Am trying to raise my daughter at the same time but its like walking on eggshells every day. School just started 2 weeks ago and he made us leave in a rage then begged us back. Soon as we came home he threw us out again. She had to register in 2 different schools in 2 weeks now im at my brothers house and will have to home school. This after working for him for 7 years in commercial lawn business which he claimed today all I do is ride a lawnmower. All I asked him today was are u in a bad mood and it was a disaster. I was on a website 3 years ago staying at our car lot for weeks with my daughter but I finally gave up and went home. I dont know what to do he is destroying us but claims its all our fault. I am finally about to give it up the horrible things he says to me and my little girl are unmentionable...but ive stuck beside him while every dime I made went into his bank account. I have no friends left and am back on this blog trying to figure out is he worth it? He lies drinks and gambles and he was diagnosed with bipolar when he was young but I thought I could fix it. Tomorrow morning he will call and say +why did you leave. Im afraid he uses bipolar to take everything I have and I am also afraid of him as he is 6ft4 and very angry at any given moment. I would like to know if anyone out there has been through this cause he says its all my fault. I have slept in the yard and been left in other cities when we were traveling without a dime and no one to call. Do u have any advice? I dont want to have a nervous breakdown because every minute of the day you never know when his mood will change in an instant. Thanks for letting me talk we were fairly well off and now Im sitting here with ten dollars and a 14 yr old daughter. The things that I have done to save him from self destructing are unbelievable but is there a time when you know you cant go back? Just wanted to see if anyone else has been through this.

 
Old 08-23-2010, 08:59 AM   #14
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Re: Living with someone with Bi Polar.

This all is terrible for your daughter. Think about what is best for her and stay away. It doesn't matter if you think you "love" him, your daughter has to come first.

 
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