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Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hello. I hope this is okay to write here. I just have no one else to turn to, and am really struggling at the moment, trying to deal with emotions surrounding my husband who has bipolar. We have been together for 13 years and he has just started treatment in the last month. We have known for a few years what his diagnosis was but it was a long road to get to the point of him seeing a psychiatrist and starting medication. 

  I guess I just don’t know what to feel any more. In the time before treatment, I guess I felt entitled to be angry at him “he’s the one that won’t get help”. I always felt able to leave if it got too bad (I never did but having that back up plan allowed me to feel just a tiny bit in control). But now, I have to be the eternally patient and supportive partner. If I’m not I feel so guilty. Even though his moods were unpredictable before, I was so used to gauging them and reacting accordingly. Now I don’t know how to read him any more. It scares me, the unknown. I am just so weary. We have 3 small children and it feels as though I spend every waking minute propping them all up, but no one ever does the same for me.

   I wish I had someone to talk to. Just to ask if I’m okay and maybe the burden wouldn’t feel so heavy. But he pleaded with me not to tell anyone so of course I wouldn’t. I just feel so alone. 

 

15 REPLIES 15

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Good morning @Berry  😀

Welcome to the forums. 

 

Grief is a lonely process and is an ongoing emotion of loving and caring for someone with a chronic illness but you are not alone.  

 

Meds are only part of the treatment plan in bipolar and side effects = yikes.  As with most conditions there are lifestyle factors that make a difference too.

 

I will tag you in a couple of threads, please feel free to join in and ask whatever you want, we are here to support each other.

 

Even though your hubby does not want you to tell anyone, you are entitled to your own support. Carers Australia are a good starting point and there are specific support services for mental health carers (usually free). Seeing a counselor ourselves can help us with coping mechanisms and strategies to help us through.

 

 

 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Thanks Darcy so much for your reply. I never thought of it as grief but I guess that’s exactly what it is. I will have a look at the threads you mentioned and also will look at Carers Australia. 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

I think we go through a series of emotions @Berry, our loved ones can say and do hurtful things. 

 

I found that when I learned about the emotional responses carers get and learning how my own past and personality influenced them it made a huge difference and I have been able to tackle some of the negative ones that I did not like in myself. 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hi @Berry 

Welcome to the forum - feel free to look at my thread where I tell more about my story with my partner MsS ... we have been together for over 20 yrs and I want you to Know this forum is a safe place to reach out and find support , ask questions, chit chat and learn from others experiences ... I have found it invaluable and just knowing there is a place where others going through remarkably similar journeys are around to offer advice or even just empathy - I often feel like unless you’ve been thrrr as a carer for your loved one it’s hard to truly understand the unique challenges ... anyway welcome ... and feel free to ask questions anytime just tag me @Sophie1 in your post and it will flag my attention - happy to listen or offer thoughts on topics anytime 

 

 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

How are you going @Berry 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hi Berry,

 

I know exactly how you feel as I am going through a similar thing with my husband (together 15 years) who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 in November last year. He has been hospitalised twice in that time and while in a terrible manic episode last year, did some things that have been very hard to process and have caused a lot of pain. I too feel the guilt. I often think “imagine if that was me I would want someone to help me” and also “it’s not his fault he is ill” which are both true, but I often feel like my happiness in life is being sacrificed to be the supportive partner. I also feel I don’t know who he is anymore. I don’t know which parts are bipolar and which parts are him.

 

My husband as well begged me not to tell anyone about the bipolar and I have been going this alone. We have no children and it is difficult, I can only imagine how much more hard it is on you having to not only be a support to your husband, but be there for your kids.

 

I have come to the conclusion that I just have to wait. Wait and see how the treatment goes, wait and see if the relationship can be repaired. Wait and see who he is when stable. I too feel the unknown and it is scary. 

 

I guess I just want to say I hear you and I understand exactly what you are saying.

 

How are you going at the moment? 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hi there 

 

I have only just signed up totbus sits today and saw your post.

I do not have young children... rather feel too old to be trying to deal with this.

My husband has just been medicated... second time around and I feel sad, heart broken, fearful, exhausted and very much alone. 

So I do empathise.  I keep reminding myself it is the bipolar and not the man himself but we are only human.  I think I am supportive most of the time but I have lost it a Few times also. It is relentless and all giving and understanding.

 

Guess that is why I am on here to hopefully receive a little too.

 

Hang in there and be kind to yourself.

 

 

 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hi @Dunks 

 

Welcome to the forum, I am only new here myself. 

 

My husband has only been medicated  for the first time, it has taken a longer than I thought it would for him to find stability on the medication. I have all the same feelings as you. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but admittedly find comfort in knowing I am not the only one going through this. Did your husband find stability the first time? I’m not sure what that is going to look like, it’s scary to me incase it is still horrible.

 

Re: Life after treatment for bipolar disorder

Hi @cloud9

It is comforting to hear from other people. It is such a lonely scary journey.

The first time MrW went manic and had to be hospitalised  ...... we had 4 months leading up to this where I had no idea what was happening except he was going faster and faster, spending heaps, gambling and being really bombastic  and collecting junk.

After hospital he was like a zombie and it did take a year or so to get him back and build his confidence up again.

 

Now 3 years later it has  appeared again but we did get on to it sooner.

 

I am trying really hard to not react but rather stay calm but it can be hard when I feel so superfluous in his life and am on the receiving end of his frustrstions and anger.

 

I have temporarily lost my partner but he is having a ball.

 

Such a cruel disease but hearing other people surviving is inspiring

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