Is My Husband Bi-polar?

Updated on June 07, 2013
K.M. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

After reading your answers to my first post I wondering if my husband can be bi-polar. How can I tell if has this mental illness?What are the signs? He is very angry most of the time, just like a time ticking bomb. I never know when he will explode. He switches very easliy from being calm to being extremely nervous and violent. He has always been like this. I know that his father is also abusive with his mother so maybe it is something genetic. He also looses his temper very often with our toddler. One day he took a knife from the kitchen-he needed to repair something-and than he gave the knife to our 3 years old to bring it in to me. I was freaked out!!! How can he put a knife in his hands?? I was really worried.

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answers from Denver on

A diagnosis will not change the fact that you and your child are in danger. Too many women use a mental disorder as an excuse to be doormats and to put up with horrible behaviors. The behaviors, whether from a mental disorder, a head injury, or a traumatic childhood are unacceptable. Love does not hurt. Love does not put up with harmful behaviors. Love does not give pardon to one person and allow the other people in the family to be harmed. Marriage was not designed to trap women (or children who have no power at all) in an abusive situation. Marriage was designed to be a place of support, nurturing and caring by BOTH parties, not just one.

Please reach out to a shelter and get information. Please find a counselor (a shelter can help you with this) that can support you in healing your own childhood woundings that would have you stay with anyone that would harm you or your children in any way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Oh boy.. I'm really sad to read this post. I feel for you. What do you mean by violent? My sweet fellow Mom... I think you need to get the hell out of there and I don't say that flippantly....You love your child otherwise you wouldn't be posting about your fears. Tell us more about your family support system.. your financial means...can you safely get out of there? Violent is scary.... young toddlers can push a lot of buttons and if your husband isn't balanced he may not contain his frustrations and do something to your child that the child will not recover from. Please, please, please protect your child and yourself. I know you want to which is why you wrote here. Don't ignore this chica... what is violent? get out...get out... get out.....don't look cannot help him. He will not get better. You cannot manage him. Don't think you can. Has he hit you? document everything so you can be protected. Call a women's shelter and find out your rights. Please keep us posted. You can do this. Any other circumstance is better than walking on eggshells and god forbid he fatally hurts your child. Please save this child from an unbalanced man. It's your job. It's your child. take care my fellow mom.... you have help here.... vent away...but please get out..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I read your last post and really it does not matter what he has at this point. What you need to do is change something. Either tell him that there is something going on with him and he needs to address it NOW or find a way to leave.

I feel so bad for you. How can you live in that situation? Fear for yourself, fear for your child. I would be petrified to leave, however, somehow gather the strength to do something.

Also look to yourself as to why you have put up with this so long and why you married a man that was so angry. You need to realize that you are worth more or you will just get another man who is the same.

Watch out for men who are to "perfect" in the beginning. The ones who are always there, put you at the center of the universe, etc. They can be the ones who are controlling and angry.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Only a mental health professional can determine whether your husband has a psych issue. Whether he has an actual psychiatric disorder or it's just his personality, a professional will be able to help with deal with his issues in a reasonable, constructive, and healthy manner, which is important to you and your kids, whether you decide to stay with him or leave him. Speaking as an attorney who formerly practiced family law, custody issues in a divorce can get real nasty, especially if one parent is unreasonable, has a psych issue, or history of domestic violence, etc. This is not something you can run from even if you decide to leave him -- you'll be dealing with him until your kid turns 18 whether you like it or not. So no matter what you decide in terms of your relationship with your husband, try to convince him to get help!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't know what he could or could not have. I do know something MAJOR is going on with him. He needs serious professional help.

I think you are asking the wrong question. You asked if you should stay for your child. You should be asking, if you should leave for your child. The answer to that question, is YES. A million times, yes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Who knows?
Your husband could find out if he's willing to work with a psychiatrist.
From the way you've described him, I wouldn't hold my breath for him to find out & get help.

The man hits you.
Isn't that enough reason to throw him out? Yesterday?

(From your last post--the last thing you need to do isbjumpninto the arms of a co-worker! Women are generally smart & strong enough to solve their own problems. Self esteem should not come from the attention of a man--any man. Get yourself some help.)

Call a women's center for a plan to leave--this is a very dangerous time period when dealing with an abusive man. They can guide you as to the safest way to get him our of your life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

K., it's not your place to diagnose him. But to play along for a bit...

There are different forms of bi-polar depression. Some people cycle rapidly and severely while others find that their symptoms come and go over long periods of time. "Manic" phases can include things on the milder end of things like impulsive behavior (sexual impulsiveness, spending money, shopping sprees, quitting a job), lots of energy and little need for sleep, behavior that looks like "speeding," to things like drinking or drug binges, disappearing for days (road trips etc.) all the way to full-on psychosis. "Depressive" phases can include milder symptoms like fatigue, irritability, wanting to sleep a lot, feeling unmotivated, feeling anti-social, not wanting to spend time doing things that normally bring enjoyment or spend time with loved ones all the way up to debilitating things like not being able to get out of bed, not being able to work or care for oneself or others, being in physical pain, being suicidal. Some people with bi-polar depression cycle from one side to the other while others have periods of normal behavior and still others experience both at once. Generally, manic phases are shorter than depressive phases but some people spend time equally in both.

I can tell you that it took my husband almost 20 years to get diagnosed with bi-polar. He was repeatedly diagnosed with and treated for depression with ADHD. It really wasn't until we were married and was able to share my observations about the cyclical nature of his moods that his doctors were able to see the bi-polar and treat for that. Even my husband didn't recognize the cycles, and it's his body and brain and life!

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter why he behaves the way he does. You are not safe, your child is not safe, your husband is a ticking time bomb that's not being treated.

Please get you and your son safe before considering what could be behind your husband's behavior. He may have something treatable, or he could just be a violent SOB who will never change. Figuring out what, if anything, is wrong with him and treatable will take a long time and you don't have that luxury. I understand wanting to save your marriage, but you've got to save yourself and your son first and worry about your husband second.

FWIW, my husband isn't violent. In 10 years of marriage he was aggressive towards me once and I had him arrested for it. Mental illness doesn't excuse violence.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Nobody knows from this point of view. What you have told us is enough to know that something has to change. Yes, bipolar disorder can be inherited.
So can poor coping skills. Impulsivity can lead to poor judgement, like the handing a knife to a three yr old. But all of us do stupid things at times.

This is true. It's not getting better without change. If he is bipolar, he will not change without psychological help and meds but with them is hope. You need to be safe. That's your first priority. That's why we said you need a women's shelter or family. It could be a different illness, like, borderline personality disorder. They HATE to be left. They can be very dangerous because of it.
Get help. Get your papers together. Get shelter. Get out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

might be bipolar.. but could be regular depression.. or anxiety.. when men are anxious or depressed they often act angry..

see if you can convince him to see a psychiatrist..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Talk with Social services in your area and ask what it would take to have him commited for a psyc eval.

But no matter what get out -- find a shelter, file for a divorce, do whatever you need to to get out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I cannot diagnose him over the computer with just your side to the story, but I will not at my age deal with anyone or anything (job, neighborhood, social event) that makes me on edge.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Having lived with and worked with individuals with bi-polar disorder, your husband sounds like he has it. But that doesn't really matter. What matters is your safety and the safety of your 3 year old. Go to a women's shelter, get help from social services in your community. You need to move on without this man. Get help and get out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

anyone who would put a knife in the hands of a baby is more than just bipolar-he's utterly deranged. Endangering a child is a crime-just because your child is yours does not mean you can do anything you want to him. Children have to be cared for and loved and protected. Your husband has demonstrated in that single act alone that he, for whatever bull #$%^ reason is incapable of parenting a child. Something's got to give-Believe me when I say that holding a child who is not alive is hell and the agony is unbearable. Tell your husband to get some help-having his son be his door mat is not going to magically make up for his less than stellar childhood.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Have him see a doctor.I don't know about this question.



answers from New York on

Please be careful with you husband. My brother had temper problems and caused a lot of trouble in our family. I became afraid of him as an adult and my daughter has nothing to do with him, due to him losing his temper with her a couple of times. He goes off on rants and starts screaming and cussing, it is very scary. Your husband should get medications for bi-polar or for his volatile temper before something bad happens. There is help out there, you have to tell him to get some help or threaten to leave and make sure you have a place to go. You should not subject your child or yourself to a violent person.

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