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Bipolar Disorder Message Board

Bipolar Disorder Board Index

[QUOTE=tsohl;2913409]Hello goodiel,

Welcome to the board. It sounds like you really have your hands full. I hope you will find some quick answers to your questions from people who have some similar experiences to you.

As you know bipolar disorder has a strong genetic link. Given your husband's family history and the behaviors you have described, it certainly sounds as though he too may be bipolar.

Many people who have bipolar disorder do not have "classic" mania, which is what we commonly think of as euphoria. Particularly in BP2 mania or hypomania often presents as irritability, anger and agitation. Other symptoms are racing thoughts, inability to sleep more than a few hours at a time, or sleep disturbances in general.

It is also possible to have mixed episodes where he might have some depression, but still be very short-tempered and easily irritated, as in the driving situations you described. Change is very difficult for someone who has BP. Moving to a new country, the addition of a new baby and now you being pregnant may all have combined to trigger an episode of BP, perhaps for the first time.

You will need to watch him carefully because if he is bipolar and is taking an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer in place, he could be tipped over into an episode of mania, or in some cases, it can increase the depression.

I would recommend that you (or, preferably he) start keeping a simple mood chart where you record what medication he is taking, the dose and on a scale of 1-10, if he is depressed, agitated, overly happy, etc. This is important while the pdoc is trying to get the right meds in place. Later on, down the road, it is useful to be able to trace a history of how long an episode lasts, what time of year it occurs, how long a period of "stability" is there between episodes, etc. We always think we'll remember the details, but then you get to the pdoc and forget half of what you wanted to say. This will help you plan ahead and kindof watch out for potential triggers that might set off an episode. Sometimes you can even tie things to particular foods, or cravings, sometimes something unusual that you might not have even thought about.

In the meantime, I suggest you educate yourself about BP. Learn everything you can about the various medications and treatments so that you can be a partner working with the pdoc and your husband. Hopefully he also will want to educate himself. This knowledge will also be important as you will want to keep an eye on your children as they grow and develop.

Hope this little bit of information helps. Please post with your questions and comments. Hopefully your husband will take an active interest in his condition and will want to learn as much as possible so he will be better able to manage his BP, if it turns out that this is his diagnosis.

Take care,
thank you for your response. This has been going on for years, just progressively getting worse. And because we have moved three times in the last three years and I have been pregnant, than nursing than pregnant again. I have not taken an active role in researching and learning and trying to help the situation. Mostly, I have begged and pleaded, and cried and antagonized and cried... SO now with the new addition coming and having had a rough year with our first in which my husband just could not handle the baby crying or any complaints from me, b/c in his eyes I am tough and can handle it...I have actively been researching and documenting incidents. I do not want my second child to have to live his first year listening to mommy and daddy fight all the time, with daddy cursing and mommy crying. I feel guilty enough over putting my little girl thru it. And fortunately my baby is so incredibly happy, she almost never cries or complains. I understand this problem doesn't always appear until someone is in their 30's is that correct? With my husband's mom it began in her 30's just after she delivered my husband and his brother(they are twins). They believe it was postpartum turned into bi-polar... SHe was actually labotimized (sp?) and given shock treatments, it was horrible. SO I don't blame my husband for being in denial and being leary of treatment. I am very PROUD OF HIM that he is trying the meds. AND i am afraid trying too many to find the one that will work, will be a difficult thing for him, b/c of his mom's history. I again, pray my kids do not get this.

In my opinion, I think it would be ok for him to look at this board. Be sure he understands the rules of the HealthBoards -- that you cannot get the address or personal information about another poster. Some boards do allow this. But here you get banned if you attempt to find out how to contact another. So if that would be worrying him, you might want to let him know that.

It is interesting you mention smoking marijuana. Something like at least 60% of individuals with BP self medicate in an attempt to control how they are feeling and to gain some stability over their moods. I only found out my son's junior year in college that he had suspected he was bipolar from about 9th grade on and had been self-medicating with pot through this entire time. It relaxed him and just took the edge off enough that it allowed him to function in a way that NONE of us knew that he was having problems or that he was using drugs!! So we went through a transition after he graduated and had his first post-college job getting him off the street drugs and onto the psychotropic drugs for bipolar disorder 1, rapid cycling type!!

If you are worried that your husband will react adversely to you writing about your situation on this board, you could buy a book or go to the library and try to find a recent book that explains "soft bipolar." There is a good one out there called [U]Why am I still Depressed? Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder [/U]by Jim Phelps. It is recent, published in March of 2006.

I hope others will post with their opinion.

Hi, Goodiel:wave: I was asked to stop by and see that Tsohl already has things well covered but just wanted to offer you and your husband more support. If it helps out any, I came here (another forum) seeking help for our marriage and received such wonderful support and actually did bring my hubby into it and if he survived that then I think that your hubby will be able to see that inbetween the lines you are not here to air out all your dirty laundry but genuinely are here out of love and concern for him. I hope that he will realize that for himself and see how lucky he is to have a wife who loves him enough to seek out some help. Let's hope that he puts aside any foolish pride he may have and is open to seeking out the help that he may need.

As a fellow NYer I feel it is my obligation to give you my take on things....okay???

Your husband definitely appears to want help, however, in order to receive it you must go about things aggressively. It sounds like from what I have read that he is being treated by a psychologist which is okay but if it were my hubby I would seek out a well recommended board certified pychiatrist who will do an extensive evaluation in order to properly diagnose whether your husband has Bipolar or not. Nobody here can tell for sounds as if he definitely has symptoms of it but he should really be diagnosed by a professional. The psychologist is good as somebody he can talk to and follow through with but still a psychiatrist is really the best equipped to do the proper diagnosis and treatmnet with meds.

My daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar 8 months ago. She is 15 and kids usually present differently than adults. She started with severe irritability, agitation, frustration....we didn't know what or when it would happen but when it did it was God awful. The cursing and fighting and always placing the blame on us for whatever was happening to her which for the most part we had no idea just happened over and over again. She ran away a few times was self injuring and attempted suicide a few times. She was put on an antidepressant being treated for Major Depressive Disorder and as they increased her dose she got only worse. Turns out that without a mood stabilizer in place a mania was triggered which is quite common in somebody who has Bipolar but not yet diagnosed. I mention this because even though Wellbutrin is one of the antidepressants that has the least likelihood to induce mania it still can without a mood stabilizer in place. So keep that in mind as they increase it in your husband.

It sounds as if your husband is exhibiting symptoms of hypomania which is more of a mixed state and a less energized mania. Severe irritability, blaming, manipulation to get their way, a grandiosity that everything they say or think is right and a strong energy to get away or run over anybody in the way of getting their way is quite common. Often they cannot be reasoned with and lack logic.....they see things as they see them and they are right and everybody else is wrong. They really believe this and that nothing is wrong with them and that everybody else has a problem which is causing them to feel the way that they feel. It is painful to experience this with somebody you love and you are often left hurt but the one who is angry doesn't even realize that what they are doing or saying at the time is is just the way it is.

Okay....there is a window of opportunity that comes when there is the calm before the next storm. That is the time to present your concerns and ask your loved one to seek out help. Often your loved one will agree but then another hypomania sets in and they don't feel that they need help. Eventually they will hit rock bottom and you will be able to get it but it is soo exhausting a process.

Bipolar is genetic and your husband is already genetically predisposed to having Bipolar ince his mom has it. I am sure that he already knows this and the fears that he must harbor from having to see his mother go through it and knowing that he may have to go through the same must be so difficult. However, the sooner that Bipolar is diagnosed and treated the better the overall outcome. Usually it takes 10 years before somebody gets diagnosed which has allowed the disorder to worsten when if treatment were sought earlier it would have been easier to treat and not quite as severe. That is why it is SOOOO important that your husband be properly diagnosed and treated ASAP. EST (Electro Shock Therapy) is rarely used and only when absolutely necessary when somebody is severely psychotic. The hardest part is to first have the person admit there is a problem and secondly find the right combo of meds that will help. It's like a roll of the dice and what works for one doesn't always work for another. Many times the meds are customized according to one's response to them.

So....your hubby owes it to himself and his family to find out what is going on. And then if diagnosed as Bipolar finding the right med combo. The more he educates himself about the meds and treatments the better things will go. Once on the right meds he will lead a happy and productive life.

Many people with Bipolar will self medicate with alcohol and pot....they offer temporary relief of the symptoms but over time will worsten the disorder and often lead to an addiction as well that will need to be treated. As Tsohl already said, pot can overtime trigger a psychotic episode which if the person had been properly diagnosed and medicated wouldn't have occurrred. With the right meds your husband will be feeling more stable like he did when he smoked pot and the urge to self medicate will go away.

My daughter is on Seroquel and Lamictal. The Seroquel is an antipsychotic (she never had psychosis but antipsychotics help out with the manic side of things) and it really helps out tremendously with her irritability, anger, and agitation. It also is known to help with the depressive side of the disorder. The Lamictal is the mood stabilizer that seems to be a wonderful drug in the sense that it has very few side effects and really helps with depression. Since my daughter originally presented with depression we have found these two drugs to be a good combo for her. We are only 8 months into treatment and have yet to be stabilized but things are so much better. We are making some adjustments with her meds since we have seen more signs of breakthrough hypomania but expect things to improve once we increase the Seroquel a bit more.

I hope that what I have shared will help you out in someway. Oh and one big thing to take into consideration....any big change or stressful event in ones life will trigger the onset of Bipolar. It could be in the form of such events as a career change, death, loss of a pet, birth of a baby, or a big move. For my daughter it was a death in the family and her recent breakthrough of hypomania comes after learning about my brother's decline in health who she is close to.

Please feel free to ask any more questions you or your husband may have. Nobody here is here to judge and the board is quite anonymous so it is a great place to seek help. I find that I can come here to get help and support more than I can from my own family or any support groups available within my commumity. So that is something you may wish to relay off to your hubby as well.

Please keep us all posted with how things go.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody (a fellow NYer;) ):angel: :wave:
I am in the city. if you know anyone, would appreciate it. My husband walked out of the therapy saying how I always rub people wrong. I didn't do anything other than try to answer the questions honestly. She just kept telling me to shut up b/c she wanted to hear from him, which just gave him a reason to be annoyed with me. But what is the point of going to the dr. if you don't give the right info. I only went b/c the therapist said I should. Anyway, the therapist was going to speak with her and try to smooth things over, b/c he really believes she's the right dr. and he really believes my husband is bipolar. So I am going to at least give it until the next visit to see what happens. I just wonder about whether I should go or not. The therapist gave her a detailed letter describing his feelings about my husband. We both read it and agreed with his analysis.... cross your fingers for me that this new dr. which took 3weeks to get into see will actually get past her distaste for me and help my husband.

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