Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seriously, Am I?

I've been going just a little crazy the last few weeks. The more I read books on bipolar, the more I think it is not just him, but also me that suffers from this disorder. Here is why I think I have it:
  • manic spending sprees (they start small and continue to escalate as I come up with things I need to get---usually supplies for trying something new)
  • irritable constantly (Sometimes I can't sit at the table with my family because I hate the way my son breathes when he eats)
  • writes letters in my head to people I'm mad at (found myself dazed and focused on this for 20 minutes)
  • negative and pessismistic most of the time
  • swing from mood to mood (around certain people, I am usually chipper, others not so much)
  • can be so up I dance and do stupid stuff in front of people
  • talk non-stop at times (Will be the center of attention)
  • overstimulated easily
  • cannot tolerate being around lots of little kids running around or loud kids in a car
  • can't make lunch and have a conversation at the same time without having some major anxiety
  • will delve into projects and lose the day working on them...but as soon as I master, I move onto something else (after money is spent)
  • think my kids and husband would have a better shot at life if I left
  • focused on one individual and how she has hurt me (even though my brain knows it's not intentional)
  • past times of panic attacks (didn't realize at the time that is what it is called)
  • not able to verbalize how I need help, just know that I do and frustrated that nobody is helping
  • feel like i just need people to do things for me because I can't do it myself (find me a doctor, make me a list, etc.)
  • angry when I'm not met with love and support when I step out on a limb with an idea or thought (usually met with opposition either by my mom or husband)
  • did I mention, negative? I think I always know what's best and that I could do it better.
  • Cry daily
  • Want to tune out what is doing on around me and ignore my daily schedule needs (okay, I know I'm depressed right?)

I was on Prozac for about a year once (it took a friend of mine seeing me in total disarray and unable to help myself for me to be convinced I needed it). I know my hormones are out of whack...but I have been dieting and excercising for about a month and no change in symptoms.

I wonder how much of this is in reaction to living with my bipolar husband and how much of it may be who I am with or without him. We did personality type testing with our counselor a few years back and the results came back nearly identical. The counselor said he'd never seen to people so much alike. This was before the bipolar diagnosis which explained so much more.

Anyway, I feel like a dope today. NO ONE would believe me if I told them any of this. My husband would think that I'm just trying to justify my actions or take the attention from him. My parents would definitely not believe me and chauk it up to "stress." I'm hoping that is what it is. Afterall, I've gone through these symptoms off and on throughout my life....it's just that now I've been experiencing all of them at the same time for about 2 months now...especially in the last 3 weeks. Something needs to change. I can't go on like this.

15 comments:

  1. you need a vacation! seriously! i've felt the same way myself, and had to go back to the doc to get my cursed effexor just so i could deal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mrs. Bipolar - could you be, sure. What would help? Some counseling to find out where you're at before you go hog wild and get on medication. I salute the fact that you're supporting your husband, but I hope that this doesn't absolve him of the responsibility for his life in your eyes. As the bi-polar wife of a non-bp, the diagnosis gets in the way of the normal expectations of life and I think there should be a way to live with this. Is it easy, not really? Does it take work, uh huh, but on both people's part. I was kind of saddened by your hope's 'for a cure' though you really didn't express it that way, it seemed that way to me. There's no cure, but hopefully a livable alternative. It's seriously hard always being 'the sick one' and bp ends up being to blame for so much that it probably isn't the blame for. Like everything God has a purpose for this trial to bless someone elses life and in turn you'll be blessed. Sometimes those are such empty words, but sometimes they're all we've got. Seriously, make sure that you're the healthiest you can be, all the time in order to deal with the ministry you've got here. Comment on your commenters so they'll continue to comment. Happy blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comments Carolyn. I guess I do believe there is a cure. Miraculous healing which we have a dear dear friend who was instantly healed. He was a cutter as well. He has not had ANY symptoms of bipolar since. This has been over 10 years now....he takes no medication. I guess that is the only cure I would allude to. The only reason I desire for him to be "cured" is for his own sanity. I hate to see him struggle in and out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know exactly what you're going through because I'm in the same place. Husband BiPolar - son 8, also diagnosed and on the same med as husband. I read through your list and could check off pretty much all of them because I feel the exact same way. I tried to get diagnosed but was told that I probably just needed to meditate! That pissed me off. It might be true but I can't focus long enough to do any meditation. I feel like I'm just coasting day to day trying to focus on something long enough to get it done - I cleaned the bathroom floors today - first time in months and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment just for that small thing.

    Why is it so hard for others to see that things are not right in our world and that we need help and can't figure out how to ask for it or even what to ask? Shouldn't doctors and therapists know how to ask the questions - I'll fill out the form and they can tell me what to do to fix it, right? Why can't it be that simple? We can send people to the moon but we can't figure out why I can't remember what I did yesterday!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for sharing. I am someone who has symptoms/experiences similar to yours and have been diagnosed cyclothymic. My husband has never been diagnosed with any type of mental illness, but remembers times in his past where he went through periods of depression or having episodes with similar symptoms. I think going through something like this with someone who's depressed or bipolar naturally brings it out in those around them. We try to work on things together and empathize with each other. I really think he understands what I'm going through and it allows him to help me more. Stay strong.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am a man, married to a wife with Bipolar disorder. I happened by this site while searching for blogs for 'married to bipolar'. I find that I do relate strongly to a lot of what you are saying, Carol, and the other commenters too. In fact, I have thought on numerous occasions, "maybe I have this too". I think that we are just attuned to these kinds of symptoms and behaviors, and more apt to see them in ourselves. I also think that being married to a bipolar person will just stress you out so much that you do begin to do things yourself to mask stress and depression.

    One question: do any of you work? If so, have you told your boss that you have a bipolar spouse? I have not told mine, but I was wondering if it might help 'explain' to him why I look so tired and sometimes need to have a very flexible schedule.

    -James

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, I know your post is a bit old but I ll say a couple of things anyway. First of all, I hope u feel better. Dont worry about symptoms etc etc. Most people are a little bits of hypochondriacs and go through symptoms of various diseases to check if they have them. Most of the times people think they do and thats for two reasons. Firstly, because the symptoms especially in psychology are very obscure and not explained very well, sometimes not at all. The other reason is that people wont stop looking for symptoms until they are convieved that they do have the disease they are looking at. Anyway, about bipolar disorder its good to know that it is extremely overdiagnosed. We are talking about 50-60% ration. That means 1 in 2 people are wrongly diagnosed. Possibly you are or were under a lot of stress and act the way you do or did. Put things in perspective, possibly 95% of people have felt irritable the way you describe it, or day dreamt or got angry etc etc.. Below is a link I found around a year ago and seriously put my own hypochondriac fascination about mental illnesses. Unfortunately, we live in a world that even illnesses are promoted...

    http://www.cchr.org/?gclid=CIGImrecup4CFZ1h4wodGTDLmA#/videos/marketing-of-madness-psychotropics-the-story

    ReplyDelete
  8. My husband was diagnosed with BP I two years ago, and I have just been diagnosed with BP I and OCD. It took a while to get diagnosed, b/c the doc just thinks you're stressed and reading into things. What did it was I was put on an antidepressant for anxiety and I ended up reacting as many bipolars do -- went sky high with mania. The deal was sealed -- bipolar, too. It's a huge relief, b/c there are no unanswered questions of why the meds aren't taking care of everything. Instead I understand that during those times when my husband's treatment wasn't working, it was actually me and I was blaming him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for posting. I am new to it today, but am here because I am in your shoes as well and looking for tools to help me cope with life with him.

    I just want to tell you that living with my bp husband has turned me into a monster. I feel like I have lost my sanity trying to make sense of our day to day lives. I am a raving lunatic most of the time, at least in my head anyway. And before marriage, I was very calm and had endless patience. Maybe that's why God put me with him. It takes people with the strength and patience and forgiveness and understanding, that only God can give. I read that you are a Christian, and that's probably why you're still married. I will pray for you and your husband. I really will. I know I feel alone in this as none of my friends understand. And at times I do push away from God too, like recently. Maybe praying for you is His way of pulling me back.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks like it's been a while since anyone's written, but I want to chime in that in our BPSO support group we were just talking about this--is bipolar contagious? There are a lot of us who get a little crazy going through the ups and downs and being the designated sane person in the relationship doesn't always make it so. It seems that some in the group are from families who have a long history of bipolar disorder which makes it possible to have inherited the genetics for the disorder, but which also makes bipolar behavior seem more comfortable and normal than it would for people from healthy families. So far I'm still (married 25 years) the designated sane one. We'll see how long that holds out.

    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  11. My husband also has bipolar and sometimes I feel like I am the one with the disorder. I think it is great that you are being so supportive of your husband, I feel like having someone there for them is a really key thing. I wanted to share with you a very helpful bipolar website http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus-ba. If you get a chance I suggest you take a look because there is a lot of good information.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wanted to add something here that i hope may help someone who comes across this. i am married to a man with bp 2. He told me about it before we got married but he played it down. He told me he just got 'sad' for a few days every now and then but that he'd managed to manage it for several years. He is an extremely intelligent and talented man. i took his work for it - of course he swept me off my feet, was incredibly romantic, promised me the world etc. We got married and soon after i felt like i was going mad. i would find myself crying in the shower, i became withdrawn, started comfort eating, piled on weight quickly, had no energy, struggled to do house work, struggled to leave the house. I doubted my judgement and my sanity. it started with judgement because i knew things weren't right. he was patronizing or would shout me down if i didn't agree with him. if i responded in kind he would cry and i would feel like a dreadful spouse. I started agreeing with him and tolerating his opinions and need to be right about everything. If we ever did disagree i would always be the one who apologised and said i was wrong just to end his streams of tears. A year later i because depressed and wondered whether i had the problem. he even told me on several occasions that anyone would think i had the mood disorder. it made me doubt myself until i got some space. i sent him back home (overseas) for Christmas and i went to stay with my mum for what was meant to be a month. it turned into three and although i told no one about what my marriage was really like and his bp, i felt back to my old self. it was like i had some time to regenerate without the constant drama,his sleepless nights, his anxiety. i could finally sleep through for more than a few days without waking and hearing the tv on at 4am or him crying. It made me realise that it clearly had started to impact on my mental health too.

    It may sound harsh and if i come across that way its not my intention. i do really love him and i value marriage. but i have no doubt that living in the same cycle of moods will have a knock on affect on those near and dear, those living those cycles too.

    i doubt many of you are bp like your spouse but i do think if your questioning your own sanity its because it is taking a genuine toll on you. Either you let it pull you down till you break and end up mentally ill or you acknowledge it and help yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Keep up the good work. I don't think your crazy, perhaps a bit overwhelmed.
    I like your blog and just stumbled upon it today to see what I could do to increase my readership on my blog/website for spouses of bipolar disorder.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just a thought that I wanted to share. Have you read the book "The Narcissistic Family" by Stephanie Donaldson? You may not be suffering from Bipolar Disorder, but from being part of a narcissistic family. Your symptoms seem quite similar. I highly recommend getting the book and reading through the examples within. If you find yourself saying that you are similar to many of these other children (now adults) from these families, you will just need a good counselor to help walk you through the steps to learning how to change some of your coping mechanisms that you may have been brought up with or have developed while married to a bipolar husband. May God be with you on this journey. He loves you and He would never want you to suffer. He will give you the insights you need.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love spell came out tremendously, I highly recommending robinson.buckler@yahoo.com for whatever problems you are experiencing in your relationship. He also healed my husband from Bipolar disorder. his love spell is absolutely wonderful .
    Elizabeth kings, USA

    ReplyDelete

PLEASE post comments. Comments affirm me to continue blogging for some reason. Thank you!