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Dealing with husband with mood disorder / manic episode

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Old 09-15-2011, 06:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern California,
Posts: 5
camgb HB User
Dealing with husband with mood disorder / manic episode

We have been married for 38 years; about six years ago at the age of 55 my husband was diagnosed with major depression, ADHD, anxiety; he took antidepressants for about 1.5 years but then they stopped working and for another year he tried various meds, without success. Now he will only take Ritalin for his ADHD, no other meds. Two years ago at the age of 55 he had his first manic episode that lasted several months; afterwards he went into a deep depression. He was diagnosed at that time with BiPolar 1; he did not accept the diagnosis, and would not take meds. He just recently had another manic episode that lasted for a few months; he is now calm, but still has some delusions. He has thrown me out of the house, will not talk with me except an occasional short email where he asks a question. He plans on divorcing me; says I am the cause of all of his problems, he feels I am the one who is sick and needs medical help. He says that the stress of taking care of me over the last two years has caused him to have this manic episode. I have read it is very common for a mentally ill person to blame his loved ones for everything. This has been very painful to deal with. I understand it is his illness causing him to act in this manner, but he will not accept he has a mood disorder and has turned his back on me, He has grown children (and grandchildren) that he hasn't spoken to in about a month. He has found new friends and it appears that they are his family now....part of his new life. He is with them everyday, all day long and into the night; one is a 20 year old male, a 39 year old male and a couple in their 50s. Any thoughts or advise on how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreciated. I have no plans on filing for divorce, but if he goes through with it, I have no choice but to accept it. I would hope that he stabilizes and we can work through this. But I don't know if that is even possible.

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with husband with mood disorder / manic episode

It's possible, but there are so many factors at play and things that would have to fall into place.

It's very straight forward if your husband does not recognize the fact that he has a severe mental disorder and refuses to get help for that disorder and refuses to be med compliant, there is not much you can do. An ADHD diagnosis in his 50's is pretty rare and 9 times out of 10 a misdiagnosis. Another part of the problem is that the only med he's taking is Ritalin, which is a stimulant and when mixed with Bi Polar it can cause far more problems than it can solve.

About the only option I can think of, is if your husband goes manic again and you are around have him committed on a 72 hr. hold so that he can be watched and properly diagnosed....perhaps then he will come to terms with the fact that Bi Polar is definitely a part of his life.

Part of people having trouble accepting this disease when DX'd later in life (especially men) is that they know it means they are losing their control on things, they know that their life will now be controlled by a med schedule and therapy...alot of folks can't handle that when they've lived so long in control of themselves and everything they do each day.

I wish I had some magic words of wisdom for what you should do at this time, but I don't. Perhaps there is someone in you and your husband's life that might be able to get through to him, a minister or trusted friend...don't be embarrassed to use whatever resources you have.

Take care,


Old 09-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern California,
Posts: 5
camgb HB User
Re: Dealing with husband with mood disorder / manic episode

Thank you for your comments; I only hope and pray that someday my husband will accept his illness and work to get (and stay) stabilized.

My husband has been involuntarily hospitalized 4 times since early 2009 (45 days total) and arrested 2 times. He tends to heavily drink alcohol, constantly drinks coffee and increased smoking cigarettes during these manic episodes. The first episode nearly tore our family apart, but I kept reminding our children that their father was very ill and did not understand what he was doing. This time around, he did not seem as delusional/out there; but there is more anger and irritability. Also, this time while in the hospital, he was diagnosed with Schizo-affective disorder. I really don't care what he is labeled as having; all I know is that he definitely has mood disorder and really needs to accept it and get professional help. He is currently seeing a pdoc; unfortunately, he is not a very good doctor; he did not even see my husband while he was hospitalized for 16 days. And when my husband was discharged, it took over 3 weeks for the doctor to return his call. We have tried to convince our husband/father to go to a new pdoc; but as long as his pdoc continues to give him Ritalin and confirm my husband has ADHD; my husband will not seek a second opinion. All I can do now is sit and wait to see if he comes to his senses or if he divorces, divide assets and starts a new life.

He has told me numerous times that he has moved on and I need to do the same. He says he loves me but cannot live with me anymore; because he is removing all the stressors in his life. He also constantly says "It's all good" during any conversations. He has changed so much; he talks differently and acts like a totally different person. He says he's 22 year old in his mind; but has an old man's body.

Up until 2005, he was very productive, had a very good job with much responsibility. I agree with your comment about ADHD; I feel he may not have it; and his mother said he never had problems as a child.

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