Mom Mseeking Help for Bipolar Fiancée

Updated on June 19, 2007
A.K. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
12 answers

i was wondering if anyone could give some advise on what to do ? my fiancee has been going through a bad depressing time he's been going through alot and haven't been able it eat for awhile. he won't got to the doctors cause he doesn't have insurance till next month. his pcp gave him lexapro but it doesnt seem to help Can any one help

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T.A.

answers from Washington DC on

A.,

Depending on how long he hasn't been able to eat and how his other "Activities of Daily Living" (bathing, brushing his teeth and hair, puttingon clean clothes, etc) are affected, it sounds like he may need hospitalization.

Depression that keeps him from eating is very serious.

I know he doesn't have insurance, but Capital Health at Mercer is a place to start because they have a program that pays for hospital stays when the patient can't.

There are also a good variety of antidepressant medication he can take since Lexapro isn't working for him. Wellbutrin is generally well tolerated by most and has good effects. Also, many antiseizure medicine can stabilize moods. One of those may work. Please don't stop trying with one medication. I can take time to find one that works for your fiancee.

If you ever think he's depressed enough to do something drastic, don't hesitate, don't wait, just call 911. If he talks about having a plan, get him to an emergency room. If he suddenly seems happy or relieved, DROP EVERYTHING and get him to an emergency room. That can mean he's decided to take action and harm himself.

This is also a very hard time for you too, A.. Please take care of you. He needs your help and support and you need to care for yourself so you can care for him.

Good luck and God Bless You.

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T.Y.

answers from Philadelphia on

My husband has tried Zoloft and Lexapro for Anxiety/Panic Disorder and Bipolar. He had luck with Zoloft but stopped taking it due to the side effects such as a rash all over his upper body. He says the Lexapro didn't help but I thought it was a mild help just not an outright cure. One very important thing is that he not stop taking any medication on his own without his doctor's help. When my husband did that it was horrible. I have known a few people that did this or they would try to self medicate. They could go into a deep depression and start drinking or using drugs to feel better. Just keep a very close eye on him. Also, I know how you feel with insurance, it's been an issue with us also. We tried to get help from the state and due to his condition they gave him insurance. You should try that. Another thing is to make sure you find a good doctor. The PCP isn't really supposed to prescribe those meds but he/she is probably just trying to help. Only a pyschiatrist is qualified to diagnose and prescribe those types of meds. That doesn't mean that the PCP is wrong but it's better to find someone that works with this type of thing everyday. For now call the PCP yourself and talk to someone. Tell them what's going on and ask what you should do. They may recommend something or they may try another medication. They can't help if they don't know. How long has he been taking the Lexapro? My husband's doctor told him it would take awhile before it would work. He needed to take it regularly for a few weeks. But if he's not eating, that's not good. You should definitely seek help from the ER or the PCP. Try to find a support group for him and for yourself...it's always nice to talk to someone that knows what you are going through. It is a hard thing to deal with for the both of you. Good luck.

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A.D.

answers from Reading on

I have taken Lexapro for anxiety issues not depression. That might not be the right one. Maybe effexor or Zoloft. He should continue the meds till he has insurance to see someone because just stopping it can be really dangerous, coudl cause him to get more depressed. Then once he sees a medical professonal they can change him to the right med.

Just keep doing what you are doing, wacthing him and saty concerned and just try your best to get him to eat and stay healthy. Try to get him out for walks to see the beautiful days out there, make him go to the food store with you it could make him hungry. Just don't give up. Good luck

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

I've been where you are in the past, my x-boyfriend was bi-polar. He was seeing a therapist and taking 2 different medications. He was seriously bi-polar, the mood swings were extreme and frightening. There was no middle of the road with him, either extremely happy or extremely angry.

He chose to self-medicate and no none knew, not even the therapist, who he had completely snowed that he was doing "OK" during therapy sessions.

Because of not managing his meds properly (he stopped taking them all together), he ended up taking his own life. We found out through the autopsy that he had trace amounts of the meds in his system. These drugs should be taken extremely seriously.

I dont tell you this to scare you but to hopefully prevent the same thing from happening with your fiance. If for any reason he chooses not to medicate or see a counselor, I would seriously reconsider marrying him. This is not a condition that goes away, unfortunately, but it can be successfully managed.

I give you a lot of credit for your loyalty and dedication.

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K.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I myself have manic depression. I know how hard it can be for you. Sometimes I dont know how my husband puts up with me. He needs to get on the right medicine. I am seeing a pdoc but it hasnt helped. He keeps giving me antidepressants which make my manic depression worse. Now i say manic depression becuase my primary doc said thats what i had but for pdoc is sticking with just depression even though the meds are make my sypmtoms worse. Can't he find some place that will offer therapy based on income? I am not sure where you are located, but i know mercy behavioral health does thier payments. I would honestly talk to him and let him know how you are dealing with this. Let him know that you are going to support him. Tell him to go back to his doctor and explain whats going on the neds arent working. Maybe his doctor can give him some places that could help him in your area.

How long has he been on a lexapro? it takes up to 6 weeks to show any improvement. I know with the meds i am on after a week i went downhill. The antidepressants make it to where i cant eat, sleep, but i cant stop moving. I have the racing thoughts and totally feel like i am losing it. Ive tried explaining this to the pdoc but he doesnt seem to listen and put me on another antidepressant. Maybe after this one he will give me something that works. If you ever need to talk or what not email me [email protected]____.com remember if its hard for you dealing with this its ten times worse for your fiance.

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M.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I want to put this out there because it has not been mentioned and I think it's very important for you to know about this.

When I was younger...I was always depressed. I tried to commit suicide when I was around 8 years old. Then again when I was 19, 20, 21 and 22, 23 too many times. Obviously doing a very bad job of it. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19...I was on ALL kinds of meds. Too many to even talk about. When I was 23, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Was put on Lithium for that. Nothing was helping. I wasn't eating...sleeping...etc... My sister was tested for Celiac Disease for seizures she was having and she had it! Since it was hereditary, I got tested. I had it also. Once I got on a gluten free diet, my symptoms of bipolar disappeared (within a week I might add) and I immediately got off the meds with my doctor's consent. I have not been on medications since and I am 28 years old. I cannot tell you the difference between the way I was and the way I am now...it is truly amazing. I was always so sad and just wanted to exit this life. Now I don't even think about it and I am happy...happy enough to obviously bring a child into this life. :) But, it is an easy test to take to check for Celiac Disease. Also see www.celiac.com for other symptoms and more information. I think it is a worth while avenue to persue...it may save his life. It saved mine as I know that one day I would have succeeded in taking my own life.

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L.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

Dealing with bpd is very hard. Even when they are on their meds. This might sound funny and crazy. But try getting him to someone who can due massages. It could help him relax, not cure him, but might make it help some till he can get diagnosed corretly. And go for your self.

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J.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am not sure where you live, but there is a place in mckeesport called Mon Yough and also Turtle creek MMR goes by your income and it may be free depending on how much money he makes!

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K.B.

answers from Allentown on

He should talk to his PCP about changing his meds. I was on Lexapro for about a year, and it made me feel like a zomibe (I suffer from bi-polar disorder myself)....my doctor put me on a new drug called Abilify and it's done wonders in keeping my moods/depression in check!

Right now without insurance it will cost a bit to have the meds and the doctor's visit...but I agree with what other people are saying in that therapy is a key issue too!

There are alot of good webistes out there to help also:

www.bipolardisorder.com
www.nimh.nih.gov

to name two. Hope you can weather the storm until he's placed on the right meds and gets the right therapist! :)

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J.S.

answers from York on

I'd say he should call his PCP and tell them the Lexapro isn't working. It didn't work for me either. But he should call now and make appts for next month for a Dr for as soon as his insurance kicks in. Another thing he can do is call MH/MR... mental health and mental retardation. If you live in york it's located on the corner of Market and Beaver. He can actually qualify to have them pay for medication and therapy. I have it as a back up incase something happens to my normal insurance. I hope I've helped you a lil. Good luck and if you need to know anything else just hit me up.

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K.C.

answers from Reading on

I have both a mother and a brother with bipolar disorder. I have actually lost my brother. My advice to you would be that depression to that extreme is no joke... Insurance or not I would take this issue very seriously and take him to a live in hospital or the er (they will be able to locate a facility that has a bed available for him and can keep him in the hospital until one becomes available if they do not have one some where close by immediately). Trust me if you are worry you should take him immediately because a lot can happen in just a few hours with a patient with bipolar... You do not want to have any regrets or be wishing that you had done something differently than you did. Good luck, I know what you are going through and how you feel and it sucks. Keep us posted amd I hope all turns out well.

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C.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have bipolar disorder. I have found that medication and therapy is key. It makes a huge difference in the way that I am feeling. I also found abook that is very helpful as well as a website. There are even support groups in the area.(I found one in Delco).

The name of the book is: The Bipolar Workbook by Monica Ramirez Basco, PhD (I got this on Amazon.com but have also seen it in Borders).

The name of the website is: www.healthyplace.com

You can Google Bipolar Disorder support groups. That's how I found the one I found plus the website I gave you also has that tool.

The main thing to remember is that help has to be his idea. This is an illness that responds better to medication in addition to everything else. I was on Lexapro at one time and it also didn't work for me. I am have to take two different types of medications to balance everything. It will also benefit your fiancee if you are supportive of him and are educated about the disorder.

Good luck with everything and please try to find a way to get past waiting for the medical insurance. Even a payment plan is better than waiting. Ask his PCP to recommend a therapist. Being able to talk to someone that has some understanding of the illness makes all the difference in the world.

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