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  • BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

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    Old 02-14-2007, 10:13 AM   #1
    4support
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    BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi to all BP spouses out there...

    I am married to a BP/ADD husband who is medicated. We are trying to find him a new pdoc that he likes to find out if there needs to be an adjustment to his meds. I am wondering if an adjustment may be all he needs to "stabilize" his behaviour, the main problem being his constant defensiveness toward me, negativity (down on himself and 'life' in general), 'on edge', angry and argumentative personality. He seems to embrace the dx most of the time, but at the same time is 'skeptical' of it (even though he has been seen by 4 pdocs and a therapist and had multiple evaluations and a family history) and tries to blame HIS behaviour and the resulting conflict on me, which is really wearing me down. He finds constant fault with me and I just don't know what to believe or what the illness is saying anymore. Does he mean these things he says? The therapist has said that he can control these things on his own, but is it difficult to do this? My husband finds therapy "one sided" and thinks the therapist "sides with me" when he is advised to work on specific things. He doesn't seem to want to listen to anyone who tries to help him. I just want him to take responsiblity for his behaviour and be committed to managing the BP.

    I realize that everyone dx as having BP is still their own individual self, but is there anyone out there willing to share with me how you feel about yourself in general as a result of this illness and why the nonBP spouse has such a hard time helping or getting thru (to where it feels hopeless sometimes), and why the nonBP spouse who has shown great love, support & patience is still is given such a hard time. I tell my husband and show him over and over that I love him and want him to be well, but it's as if he's not hearing me judging by the things he says. It's very frustrating. Another thing...what if I need support at times? I feel like all i ever do is support him, what about my needs?

    My husband tells me that he "would go nuts without his family", yet seems to be in denial realizing that he MUST be committed to managing this illness if he is going to keep his family with him. When I try to talk with him about his hurtful behaviour, he tells me it's my fault and that I'm always telling him what's wrong with him and that "HE doesn't want to live that way" when I am telling him that I don't want to live that way. He argues like a child by saying the same things back to me (but without the rationale), and nothing is ever resolved. It's as if my feelings don't matter. We have 2 young children that are just as confused by their father's behaviour.

    Thank you for helping me understand.
    4support

     
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    Old 02-14-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    I have had those questions so many times too. You sure we are not married to the same person?

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    what difference does it make if they mean it or if they're just saying it intionally to hurt, or even if they can't help themself? The result is the same. I hope you're not willing to discount his behavior just because maybe he doesn't "mean it". They need to be responsible for their actions, whether they mean them or not. It hurts just the same, right?

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi rosequartz,
    Yes the result is the same and I absolutely want him to be accountable for anything that comes out of his mouth. After reading some of the BPer posts about how they say things and then can't believe they've said them to the people they love the most, I'm just trying to understand this illness better. My husband is doing some of the things he needs to do to try to manage it (meds/pdoc/occasional therapist) and this gives me hope and shows me that he is at least making efforts, but at the same time we nonBP spouses should not have to take the abuse of what this illness dishes out. I agree with you on that. It seems that as one educates themself on what this illness can do to the family, they should be able to have better control. Keeping in mind that for me, and I have tried and I mean really tried, it is still difficult to understand the BP mind and I will never be able to because I am not in those shoes. I know it is a struggle, but we who love those with this disorder also struggle! I remember before my husband was dx and started taking lithium, his behaviour was 100x worse and I have seen the difference meds can make, now I am wondering if his meds need adjusting and if that will 'solve' some of the lashing out. Some feel that the behaviour can be stabilized just through the right med-mix.

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 05:53 PM   #5
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi marshmallow,
    how are you doing tonight?
    it does appear that many stories mimic eachother, however even when I show my husband some of these posts, he is still halfway in denial - sometimes he'll say he knows "he doesn't always treat me right" and
    then he'll say "well it's YOU, not ME". Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!!
    Take care.
    4support

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 06:19 PM   #6
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hey,
    nevermind im just having one of those night! disregard

    Last edited by teresa2007; 02-14-2007 at 07:10 PM. Reason: I figured out the answer

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 06:44 PM   #7
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    As someone who is bipolar and medicated, I can speak to the fact that sometimes things come out of my mouth that I can't believe. Some of the medications have side effects of somnolence or "foggy brain" - I know that when I feel this way (usually right after I take my morning dose), my ability to communicate effectively declines for about 1-2 hours. It is an awful feeling going from being able to discern between 100 thoughts (as occurs with hypomania or mania) to only being able to think about one thing at a time. Also, when starts getting close to the time for my next dose, I feel myself "speed up" and sometimes I will get irritable at the smallest thing. My suggestion to you and your husband is to manage a mood chart over a long period of time while keeping track of what "triggers" your husband into these rants. Eventually, he will be able to train his mind and body to recognize when his behavior is becoming a little bit extreme towards you, himself, or others. He will then gradually monitor his own behavior and recognize what he is "doing wrong" and adapt accordingly. I don't mean to state the obvious, but it is a HUGE lifestyle change for you and him both. My partner and I make recording in my mood chart something we do together - it helps bring us closer and opens up the lines of communication about things that happened during the day between us. Good luck.

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:03 PM   #8
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    What a great suggestion, Live For Music!!! I am sure that many here will benefit from that. I also notice that my daughter gets much more irritable the week of her period so during her last pdoc visit she was given a perscription for 25mgs Seroquel tabs to be taken every 8 hours in addition to her usual dosage to use during that time on a need to be basis. The pdoc explained to her that she may also notice that she may need it during extra stressful periods when she is triggered. He is allowing her to get to know her moods better and determine when there may be a time that she may benefit from some extra Seroquel.

    To this day I am trying to get her to keep a mood chart....I am pretty much documenting any significant changes I see in her but am trying to get her to take on more responsibility for getting to know her moods and identifying her triggers so that she can then do something either to avoid them OR come up with some coping skills to get through them.

    I think you brought up a great point and that is that the meds will help out only so much and that therapy and a good knowledge of what triggers particular behavior can go a long way in avoiding and controlling hurtful words and actions.

    Thanks for posting, your idea is a great one which I feel many will benefit from here.

    (((HUGS)))) ~ Goody

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:06 PM   #9
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hey its me again, I am going to copy this and give it to my husband because this is exactly how i feel. Tee

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:13 PM   #10
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    I don't know that I can help much, but I am the BP husband. Three times over, I often look back at my past marriages and notice the same things you are talking about. It is very difficult for both sides. I will say that staying on top of your meds helps alot, but that can be a constant battle in it's self. I have been through 4 pdocs myself. It can be a real search to find the right one. And then when your meds seem to be working, it's time to change again. Meds are very important, but so is the right attitude. As you can tell I kinda know what to do, but have trouble following through. Hope I helped even a little.

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:19 PM   #11
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi, Dut Everything shared here helps so welcome and looking forward to seeing some more of you around this board. It's a wonderful place for those who are Bipolar as well as those like me who have a loved one and want to learn all they can from the other side so that they can offer the best support by having a better understanding of what it is like to have Bipolar.

    Thanks for your honesty....having a good attitude and taking the meds and keeping on top of things is the best you can do to keep things balanced within your life.

    I wish you the best ~ Goody

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:21 PM   #12
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi Tee,

    Thank you for your insight!
    It helps to hear from someone in the other shoes...
    I'm trying to understand more from the BP perspective - if you say something that you don't mean that obviously hurts your husband, how does he react or how do you expect him to react? And how do you react? Do you blame the situation on him or are you accountable for your own words? The reason I am asking is because this is usually a point of escalation of conflict in our home. I tell my husband he has hurt me or what he said is untrue or unacceptable, he tells me I'm nuts for thinking that (invalidating my feelings of hurt) and that everything is 'my' fault and we end up arguing over it with absolutely no resolution. He then feels that I am "talking down to him" or "telling him what's wrong with him" and usually reiterates how much "he knows he sucks", when in reality I would never want him to think that about himself (I realize this is deep) and I am only trying to point out when some of the things he says are not realistic, hurtful, off-base or untrue in an effort to prevent future conflict. You have to remember that we who really LOVE our BP spouses naturally become hurt and confused and eventually start to question the BPers love for us when they continue to try to blame everything on us and say such hurtful things...maybe this is my husband's own issue that he is having a hard time being accountable for his actions, I don't know, but that's why I am asking.

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:30 PM   #13
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    I'm the BP wife, and all I can tell you is this. Sometimes I can't stand who I am, then I get irritable and lash out at those around me. Then I get angry because my husband loves me enough to care and not leave me, and I feel guilty for being so nasty to him. Its like a double whammy. I hate myself for being a nut, then I hate myself more for treating him or the kids wrong. I don't know if that makes sense, but thats my BP view on it.

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:32 PM   #14
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hi Dut,

    Thank you so much for your insight from the other perspective. It has helped a lot to read it. I am a compassionate person and I know that my husband is struggling. You mentioned the 'right attitude' which is what I am waiting on from him I guess - one minute he embraces his dx and the next he thinks everyone else is 'full of it'. This is why I am trying my very best to understand this illness, although we will never FULLY understand...of course we'd have to be in your shoes. As you know, there is no way that this condition does not affect the rest of the family. We are going thru the same challenges with finding the right pdoc (he has been thru 4), and also finding the right med-mix (which I think needs adjusting at the moment). It has been a shocker to see how incompetent some of these pdocs can be with truly HELPING someone. What I am hearing you say is that even with the right meds, it is an ongoing commitment to monitor those and address any changes by getting the appropriate treatment. I appreciate your honesty. I am just trying to keep my little family together, I really do love my husband and the worst thing is the unpredictability of his moods and the things that come flying out of his mouth from nowhere at times.

    Thanks for your help,
    4support

     
    Old 02-14-2007, 07:54 PM   #15
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    Re: BP spouses on meds - do you mean the things you say??

    Hey 4,
    I have to really think about this, but me and my husband has been married 9 yrs and when we were first married everything was great as in most marriage are, everything he over looked. I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago but before i was diagnosed we didnt know what was wrong with me. But from the beginning of my marriage to now i see a big change in my husband. I basically sucked the life out of him. But when i was diagnosed he started understanding why i did and said the things i did, it didnt make it easier but he understands alittle better now and knows how to reponsed to me now.
    When i screamed at him and said hateful things it really hurt him and i didnt know what i was saying i just knew i was hurt and messed inside and i had to get it out somehow and unfornately it was at my husband.
    He would always try to rationalize things with me or tell me what i was doing wrong or saying wrong and thats made me more angry.
    I just know that when im like that i need support, oh i know that must be really difficult i could only imagine i never really thought about the other side of bipolar until i came on this board. I thought it was all about me and my disorder boy was i wrong! I feel for you people, I guess because of you constantly on pins and needles never knowing whats going to happen next.
    My husband or i thought always talked down to me and that made me feel worse because i already have a low self esteem.
    So all those things angered me more when i just wish he would of you know i really cant answer that because when im at my worse nothing really helps except leaving me alone. I hope i helped some. I just know that when i said those hurtful thing and tried to apologize afterwards theres just somethings you can never take back and thats the killer. Thank for letting me share
    Tee(:

     
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