Bipolar 1 Disorder

Updated on July 28, 2011
C.A. asks from Allen, TX
15 answers

I've been married to my husband for 9 months now. When he was married before he told me his wife had him committed and he was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder and a few other things. He said she was crazy and they later took that diagnoses away from him. I've met the ex and totally understand what he means, so I never had another thought about it.
I'm starting to get concerned because I'm seeing signs of something and I don't know if it's a Bipolar thing or what it is.
He can be totally happy and then completely withdraw himself from everyone. He's constantly nit picking things I do that leaves me with my jaw on the floor. When I try to bring things up or point things out to him that I"m concerned about he turns it back on me and tells me it is all in my head. I love my husband very much and just want to help him, but I don't know how. I've suggested maybe talking to someone about this, but he says his diagnoses in past was false. End of story.
He constantly tells me how I should raise my kids and what I do wrong, but if I say anything to him he gets mad and doesn't speak to me for the rest of the day. I'm lost, sad, confused and honestly don't know what to do anymore.

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answers from Redding on

My husband has bipolar 1 disorder. If you want more info pm me. When they are in manic mode you really can't do anything right, you sort of have to let the episode ride and go with the flow the best you can. They also do not want dr intervention and get very defensive. Try some herbal remedies, he might go for that. Sam-E and GABA are good mood stablizers to begin with.
If you notice him not sleeping at night you are in the midst of an episode.

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answers from New York on

Google "borderline personality disorder" (BPD) - there are some similarities to bipolar - in that people seem to be either wildly happy or horribly sad. But that's where the similarity ends. BPD realy should be called emotional dysregulation - as people with BPD are overly senstive to everything - when people make faces at them, the way a person chews (if it's too loud), something someone said, etc. They feel emotions very, very intensely. so if someone says something to you that's not nice - you'd get over it pretty quickly. A person with BPD might completely flip out because they take it as a personal attack.

Psychiatric researchers know that people with BPD have a an enlarged part of the brain that controls emotions - but many people with BPD sufferd some kind of trauma as a child. My teenaged daughter has been diagnosed with it and I can assure you that she did not have a traumatic event as a child (she was never out of my sight, she never slept over anyone's house, the doors were never closed when older cousins were around, etc.). She has had this since she came out of the womb. She's an overly sensitve kid. She'll get furious with my husband if he brings home something for my son becuase she thinks he loves him more than her. She is learning to stop and evaluate her emotional response and consider whether her perception of an event is accurate or not.

We have some really difficult days - and then we have a lot of good days. We've also been told this is something that she will always deal with (it's worse of couse in adolescence, isn't everything?) and people with BPD can have a severe or a slight case and that it generally gets better as they get older. We've also been told that people with BPD often times have excellent careers and do well in their field but have tumultuous relationships becuase they're always making small things into giant things.

Once you get a chance to do some online research on BPD you'l find there are some questions to ask that will give you an idea if this is the disorder your husband (and now you) struggle with. There is a family tendency - and I see some of the qualities in my SIL and MIL (and to a less extent my husband). If you think this describes your husband try to get him and yourself into some counseling - and at the very least do some reading on your own so you can figure out how to work around this and deal with your own emotions. It can be overwhelming some days - and as I said there are other perfectly wonderful days!

Good luck mama - I hope this is a little bit helpful.

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answers from New York on

I was diagnosed bipolar in 93 & have been on lithium since. I would ask that he maybe goes to speak w/someone w/u - a psychiatrist would be the best. I would tell your husband it's not that you don't trust him, it's just that he is displaying behaviors that you are unsure of. If he is bipolar and is not medicated, things are going to only get much worse and if you wait until that point to try to intervene, it will be much harder. Best of luck to you.

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answers from Spartanburg on

When I married my ex I had no idea he could be sick. When we were living together (before getting married) he would make me feel anxious around him or confuse me with his irritable behavior because i could not pinpoint where it came from, though most of the times there seemed to be reasons for it, he made me believe all the time there was real reason behind it by binding it on things we could actually have a different opinion on, so it was difficult for me to understand it was not about personality traits, but about some mental issue. I knew nothing and never met anyone with mental issues before, it was unknown territory. You are actually lucky to know there is something going on (he even told you somehow), I found out by myself during our difficult 4 years marriage and full blown psycho episode which determined my decision to leave. Still to this day I have no idea what is his illness, his family never, ever, help me to understand but there are strong indicators he may be bipolar 1 or PBD. If you feel like you are walking on eggshells around him becasue he's overly sensitive and he feels you are not "on his side" you have a mental. You have the right to know what he has. Good luck finding out, I never could, but I'll keep trying. Only one piece of advice: protect your emotional health, they do wear you out.

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answers from Minneapolis on

His past diagnosis may have been innacurate. My ex has been diagnosed with chronic depression and then Bipolar Disorder II. What you are describing does not sound like Bipolar I - which would have manic phases, but more like Bipolar II - which instead of manic phases has phases of irritability and anger.

I am not a licensed psychologist, so can not diagnose your husband, but from what you describe, he could benefit from an evaluation and treatment, either counseling or medication, or both. This won't get better by itself and you can't help him.

You can't make him seek help, but you can seek help for yourself. From my experience, living with a man with mental health issues such as you describe is living in an abusive relationship.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I thought you could only have someone committed if they were a danger to themselves or others. If she had him committed I would think the docs saw a reason for it. Then what docs took the diagnosis away. I bet it was not the doctor who diagnosed him. Unfortunately, I do not think your husband is being totally honest with you. If he refuses help then I think you should seek it for yourself. This situation could get much worse which is so sad since there are so many medicines that could help your husband. Best of luck.

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answers from Providence on

He could be in denial. Many people who have a mental illness often dismiss their diagnosis, and often go untreated for long periods of time. It is possible that he has been able to live symptom free for a long time, however, if he does have a diagnosed disease, it is only a matter of time to where he could really have a full on psychiatric episode. Especially if he is not on any medication. On the other hand, many people have temporary issues to where they would need to be treated, and then can handle themselves , in which case they no longer are considered to have a clinical diagnosis, but utilize a type of therapy called Dialectic Behavioral Therapy.

In any case, I would let him know that his behavior scares you and makes you uncomfortable. That you are not telling him that he has this diagnosis, but that if he isn't able to change his behavior, then you and him both need to go and talk to someone.


answers from New York on

You should do a lot of reading about BiPolar disorder before you let the exwife's opinion influence you. Also read books on communicating with men like Mars and Venus so you can improve communication with him hopefully to the point of convincing him to go to a counselor. Even a marriage counselor would be helpful he/she will encourage a psychologist if he/she sees it is necessary. that way the suggestion is coming from someone else. Good luck.



answers from Tyler on

Standard behavior for people with mental disorders is to deflect, and to make the other person think he/she is the crazy one. Get help NOW! Even if he won't, you need back up. Oh, and don't believe EVERYTHING a spouse says about the ex. After my sister's divorce from her psychiatrist husband, she learned that the "crazy Ex" wasn't really crazy at all. HE was the one with all the mental problems, and he projected those problems on to the 1st wife to justify her leaving him. I brought my sister home after he systematically stripped her of all her confidence. It took months to restore her to the normal, self-sufficient person she was before she met him!



answers from Dallas on

There are good meds out there for this. Get him to see a doc asap! Time for the real talk with him about your concerns. Counciling+meds. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I have several family members that are bi-polar and this is the kind of behavior they exhibit. It is their reality not yours that is way off. Don't waste your breath on trying to convince him he is wrong. He needs medication and therapy but probably won't get it or take the medicine. His ex-wife probably was right. I would get myself to a good support group or a counselor to help you. It is a very difficult disease.


answers from Dallas on

There are many new medications for bipolar and other disorders. Do your best to convince your husband to get evaluated and on the right meds (if that's what he needs). BUT....... and it is a big BUT, you are right to be concerned and take care of yourself too. You've only been married 9 months. How you "set up" your marriage now will help or hurt it for later. If he won't go for help you could go yourself..... be sure you are taking care of yourself too, and not just going along.



answers from Dallas on

Get out NOW! Before you invest any more time and emotion into this relationship. They're GREAT while they're on meds, but they get to thinking that they feel SO good, they don't need the meds anymore, so they stop taking them. It's an unending circle and it will NEVER end - oh maybe when you're in your 60's. You'll be walking on eggshells, trying to avert every possible thing that MIGHT become a disaster. You'll make yourself crazy. You'll be constantly defending yourself. You'll start making excuses for him to friends. You'll start canceling visits with friends. You'll more than likely stop going to church because he thinks they're all hypocrits and you don't want to go alone because you don't want anyone to know you're having trouble. It will be a constant battle with your children because HE wants to be #1 and your kids are just greedy little spoiled brats who are going to suck you dry of every cent and sweet thought you ever had.

But then ONE DAY, you'll wake up - AFTER you've alienated everyone in your life (friends, family, kids, grandkids), gained 50 pounds, let yourself and your housework go and just SIT with him staring at the TV because you don't want him to think that you don't want to spend time with him, watching some god-awful thing that you have absolutely NO interest'll wake up and wonder who you are and where the REAL YOU went.

It will NEVER be HIS fault - it's all YOU. You would do well to re-think your opinion of his ex-wife ..... don't be too hard on her. I don't know how long they were married, but these guys are GREAT at pouring on the romance and love and tenderness.....usually it takes longer than 9 months for their true self to show, but you see little things and you wonder. So, I say again: GET OUT NOW!!!

Good luck

get out NOW!



answers from Chicago on

Is there anyway you could turn to his family for support. Maybe if more than one person encourages him to see someone and be evaluated, it will be a more positive experience for him. If that is not an option, maybe you should consider finding someone for you to talk to. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

like everyone else has said, you can't make him get help or even physically help him, but you can help you as much as possible.
maybe consider calling NAMI - Nat'l Alliance for Mental Illness....tons of resources, local support groups for families of people w/mental illness & for people w/mental illness. i think their website's
either way, good luck to you. bipolar 1 and 2 are both very difficult to deal with even WITH meds sometimes. if you're a believer, just pray, pray, pray & then on the worldly (physical) side, just do what you can to help yourself deal w/it & maybe he'll come around. you have to somehow prepare yourself too though that he may never think there's an issue, y'know??
idk sweetie, but good luck

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