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Anyone know anything about bi-polar?

Old 01-26-2013, 04:19 PM
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Anyone know anything about bi-polar?

Last week at my therapist appointment, I was talking about how VERY normal my AH was acting. Almost like pretending that we aren't having any problems and conversing with us as a family in absolutely normal ways. He was helpful around the house, conversing about TV, helping ds out with his math and not getting bent out of shape about the ADHD kid stuff, etc. He even spoke to a pediatrician at our club about our son's tics(Tourettes) and he seemed genuinely interested in our son's plight. Usually, he just ignores stuff like this. He was completely disinterested when I came home from the neuropsychologist appointment and I told him the diagnosis, etc. It was like I was talking to a wall.

Anyway, she suggested that he is bi-polar. I've had 2 other previous therapists in the past(recently and a few years ago before the drinking started) who asked me this question. I haven't really given it much thought as I don't know anything about it.

AH is back east working with his siblings in finalizing the plans for his mother's funeral. He is sooooo normal right now. What's funny is that he complains about stuff with his siblings and I sit there nodding my head thinking: gee, I don't know that's like. It's like he doesn't see that the things they do are exactly what he does to me. He was talking about how his brother was complaining about how manipulative their mother was and AH was commenting about how crazy making it can be. Ummm, yeah, hello, I know ALL about that. I have been keeping my mouth shut. I have chosen to NOT bring up his patterns at this point since they are in mourning and dealing with so much right now but I'm so confused by his behavior. He was telling me about the settling of the estate and how important it is that I be the beneficiary on it. He wants to set up a family trust so that when we die, the estate won't go through probate. He keeps talking about US. Now, this is coming from a man who proclaims (repeatedly) that I am cheating on him and that our marriage is crap and that it's over and that he has nothing to live for. UGH!!! God, please help me stay detached.

I never know how long this up tick will last. Yes, I've seen these patterns before and I get suckered in because they last for months. After a while, you let your guard down and then the crap hits the fan again and you sit there wondering what the heck is going on, right? Anyway, I was looking for resources on bi-polar or wondering if this is just related to the alcoholism itself? Thoughts?
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:32 PM
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My husband is bi-polar.

I don't see anything in your post that is a red flag other than 3 therapists have mentioned it - that would make me sit up and pay attention. It wouldn't make me label him as such. Moody people are often labeled bi-polar - depressed people are often labeled clinically depressed when they are in fact BP II.

There are 3 kinds by the way - BPI, BPII and cyclothemia. I'm sorry I would have to have some more information on why you (or they) think he may be. I am fine with open discussion and questions about what to look for.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:48 PM
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It's funny because every time I've read the list of symptoms, I've thought: no, that really doesn't fit. This is seriously like he has turned off a part of his brain and is acting like a normal husband and father should. It's one of the reasons we've lasted this long because the normal is really secure feeling. Ah is on Paxil right now, too, but I'm not sure that it was very helpful except in the very beginning when he definitely seemed to be on a seratonin high.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:12 PM
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Well......I never thought my husband was bi-polar either. I thought, damn I don't know what I thought. Yes I do - I thought he had borderline personality disorder was sure of it.

I had an uncle with BP and my husband wasn't like that. But uncle was BP I and hubby is BP II. BPI is the classic with mania that becomes delusional and depressions that are so deep and dark they can't function. BPII mania is irritability and insomnia. Depression is more prevalent than mania but functional. More like a black cloud fallowing them around RAH was never so depressed he wouldn't get out of bed. BPII is characterized by "rapid cycling" which is a switch from manic to depressed and it can happen within minutes, hours, days, or months. Just depends on the person. Cyclothemia is the less serious form of BP .....

There is no test for it. There are red flags for it one of them being that anti depressants don't work or only work briefly - in fact they can cause the person with BP to rapid cycle more.

If you are seeing some attributes that indicate its a possibility I advise he see a psychiatrist who specializes in it (definitely not a psychologist/GP combo). BP II can be especially elusive and very, very often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Its miserable to live with untreated. MISERABLE - at least it was for me - and it was for him too he knew something was wrong. Treated its so life changing.

Yes you will often find addiction issues with mental disorders as a means of self medication - but there are plenty of people that are alcoholics that don't have mental disorders either.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:25 PM
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LOL, I swore my AH was borderline, too, but that was before the drinking started again. He does see a psychologist right now and has been treated by a psychiatrist. He was diagnosed with depression and anxiety issues. Of course, since AH doesn't like to confide in me and lies to me about what he tells his doctors, I don't really know if he got a different diagnosis, etc. Or, maybe he just doesn't listen when the doctors talk to him anyway. Our marriage therapist swore that AH had difficulty processing what he was hearing, which he said in a joking way. He was referring to the fact that he'd say the same thing every week, over and over again, only to find that AH just plain old didn't hear it. My take on it was that AH heard it, he just didn't want to address it or deal with it as he is deep in denial.

Either way, I don't think he'd be ready to get a diagnosis. Hey, he's mr happy right now so he doesn't need help. This is what happened when the Paxil really kicked in. He got happy and he stopped going to therapy.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:30 AM
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I thought my xbf was bipolar at times, because he would be really nice and then be in these totally foul moods. I know his ex wife dragged him to a psych, who put him on Zoloft and that made all of his problems worse.

I had a roommate who was in college and she had bipolar and also drank a lot. I think sometimes they drink to self medicate. Also an alcoholic can act like they're bipolar due to the violent mood swings. It's all pretty confusing.

I also suffer from depression and anxiety and I can tell you there are periods of relative calm when I feel fine, but excessive stress or interpersonal conflicts really make me nuts.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:45 PM
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Alot of alcoholics are bipolar and drink to self medicate......it is also a deficiency in b vitamins......
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:11 PM
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From what I read about bipolar vs borderline is the bipolar is a medical brain chemistry issue and is more unpredictable and uncontrollable swing and borderline mood swings are actually not uncontrollable but are part of a personality disorder, where the sufferer is choosing to behave in a manipulative way, or is reacting to emotional stimulus rather than biological.

disclaimer - I'm not in the mental health profession, just read a couple books on borderline personality
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:13 PM
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My AH is BPII. He self-medicated with alcohol. He was always mildly depressive and irritable, except when he was hypomanic -- and man, sometimes the mania was FUN. It's weird to admit, but he was all jokes, sex, and charm, until pinging around got on his nerves and he got irritable and tetchy about everything, and had terrible insomnia. In hindsight, I think part of the reason he really started drinking was the anxiety and insomnia.

The cycling was never more pronounced than when he first started trying to get sober. It was total insanity and he was miserable to be around.

If you are seeing some attributes that indicate its a possibility I advise he see a psychiatrist who specializes in it (definitely not a psychologist/GP combo). BP II can be especially elusive and very, very often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all.

Its miserable to live with untreated. MISERABLE - at least it was for me - and it was for him too he knew something was wrong. Treated its so life changing.
Yes, agreed. Although I have to say that a lot of the symptoms you describe with your AH over time don't sound like BP. I'm not a doctor, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:31 PM
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Most people who are bi-polar would go completely manic when taking an anti-depressant alone. If I recall, he was taking paxil.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:19 PM
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I certainly wouldn't know. But therapists who don't know about alcoholislm may not understand that drunks are volatile when they drink, moving between euphoria and depression while under the influence.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:23 PM
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I dont know anything about bi-polar, but you could ask on the f&f substance abuse forum; there are always people there talking about bipolar. After reading a lot of their posts, and comparing what you have described about AH, I dont really see it.
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