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DH with Bi-Polar.

(6 Posts)
MissSeventyNine Mon 24-Sep-12 23:07:38

My DH is a recovering alcoholic. We went through absolute hell when he was drinking. He was extremely ill and was hospitalised on numerous occasions. With the help of AA he has now been sober for 4 years and I have been proud that our marriage survived and we rebuilt our lives.

A few months ago however his behaviour changed. He became moody and irritable, criticising me for every little thing. He would not sit still; always had to be busy but then was not sleeping at night and did not want to get up in the morning. He blamed pressure of work.

I found out he had bought and taken what I assume was cocaine and was disgusted in him. Given his history with addiction I could not believe he could be so stupid!

After I discovered this he went to the dr who said he had severe depression and put him on antidepressants. Since then things have gone from bad to worse. He seems to keep things together at work but at home in the evenings, he is moody, angry. He is paranoid and convinced he is being watched or followed. The dr made a referral to to a psychiatrist but has indicated this may be bi polar. He is on medication for the paranoia but Hates taking it and resents me for telling him to. The paranoia is really upsetting.

Does anyone else have experience of this? I really dont know what to do and if I'm honest a big part of me wants to pack up my DCs and run! My DS has no memory of what happened before as he was very small and DD came after the recovery. I don't think I have the strength to support him through yet another recovery and i dont want to bear the brunt of it all again.

MorningGromit Mon 24-Sep-12 23:17:55

I do... but have no idea what to say. My mother is an alcoholic with bi-polar (i suspect she started drinking int he first place to deal wtih the intrusive thoughts sad ) . It's horrible.

I think its quite common for people with bi-polar to stop taking medication (either because they think they are well or because they are paranoid that "they" have poisoned it). (I am not a doctor, purely going on what I've learnt around my mum).

I don't like my children being around my mum when she is really unwell, so have no idea how I'd manage if it was my husband. IN my case they certainly wouldn't be necessarily safe left with her on her own...However I do know it must be completely terrifying for the person with bi-polar as its very real to them.

Looking back though, my mother is severely ill, sectioned most years. If your husband is functioning at work its possibly not the same. I do think you could do with help though. My mother has an assertive outreach worker I am able to talk to - do you have anything similar?

I completely understand you not wanting to support him through it again. It's such a hard call isn't it? Someone you love suffering terribly but also children who are too young to understand.

Absolutely no answers and I struggle with that kind of decision regularly. I wonder about taking my mother in but fear for my childrens safety...Thinking ofyou x

MissSeventyNine Mon 24-Sep-12 23:39:40

Thanks for the kind response. I am also wondering whether the drinking was a way of self medicating in the past? Up to now he has only seen the GP and has an appointment with the psychiatric service in October. He does keep it together at work; it all seems to hit when he gets home. He says when he's at work he doesn't get time to think and it's when he has nothing to concentrate on and it goes dark he gets agitated and paranoid.

He was wonderful before the drinking and we have happy since he stopped. I've been so proud of him for getting well. He is very successful in his career, a good dad and husband. I am mad as hell that after getting our lives back we now get this dropped on us!

I do feel terribly guilty for thinking I can't do this all over again. At the same time my 2 year old who was oblivious before is now 7 and all ears! I am worried I am not putting them first and protecting them if I stay.

I don't leave him with the children unattended. I say no if he asks to take them anywhere. I am trying to make sure they are not around disagreements or raised voices but it's hard when he is so agitated of an evening.

MissSeventyNine Mon 24-Sep-12 23:42:49

I should have said above, I do hope your mum's health improves for you both. It must be so hard to cope with both illnesses at the same time.

MorningGromit Mon 24-Sep-12 23:46:31

When my mum was properly diagnosed with bi-polar, and she was well enough to see that she had it, she was able to go on a course which looked at strategies for coping with a relapse, how family can help. If your husband is still on his way to being diagnosed, it may be that if he is willing to "work" with people on it that it can be managed a lot better than my mums is. So I wouldn't give up hope just yet (from the little I've heard that is!). If he has insight then that and medication might sort things out? I've no idea. Can you speak to your own GP about your worries?

Please don't feel guilty though (easier said than done. I've wished mum dead numerous times as a teen when life was just unbearable, and then felt so very guilty for ages afterwards. Doesn't help anything though). Of course you have a very real responsibility towards your children and it is such an emotional thing to go through on top of everything else for you - I'm not surprised you're not sure about going through it all again. Its another one of those things thats hard to understand if you haven't been there (I get a horrid empty feeling in my stomach if I hear anything like a bottle opening on the phone, or get a whiff of anything near my mum..)

It is a genuinely horrid position to be in sad x

TheSilverPussycat Tue 25-Sep-12 14:47:23

Why does he hate taking his med - are there side effects? It may be that he can be changed to something else. It looks like you'll have to hang on till his psychiatric assessment. Hopefully he will have support from a Community Team, with a Care Coordinator. These days they try to do a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, with strategies for impending depression, paranoia or mania that catch things in time.

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