Changing meds?

I am the spouse of a bipolar, the last year has been very stressful for us and he has come to the conclusion that he wants out of our relationship of 21 years because he doesn’t know what he wants in life. His daughters(18 and 16)and I are seeing a pattern from his last major episode 14 years ago. His meds have not been changed in that time frame and his symptoms or episodes are becoming clearer and clearer. He refuses to see it that way and will not go to a doctor. Any ideas on how to make him see what is going on?
As with most question, this is difficult to answer. When one is at the beginning of an episode, it’s hard to see and/or admit things are going downhill. If we’ve been stable for a long period of time, it’s easier to believe we are still stable and will always be stable. After all … we’ve made it that far already, right?
Unfortunately, we are rarely right in these cases. Though most of us (including me) try to shy away from the subjects about meds, I’m not going to lie that I do believe that sometimes meds need to be changed after time. Our bodies change, which means the chemicals and hormones in our bodies change. This means that our bodies process medications differently¬† as we age.
So is it possible he needs a med change? Sure, it’s possible. Convincing him of this, not as possible. We bipolarees are stubborn. After awhile, its frustrating to admit our wrongs. Why must we always be wrong? Why can’t we see what you can see?
I have little advice as to how to convince him he’s not doing well. The best I can advise is to talk with his doctor, even if he won’t. Share your concerns. And share your concerns with your husband. He might not seem to be listening, but I promise, he is hearing you. Just don’t try to see too accusatory. Show concern, not anger. With the proper support, between his doctor, you and his daughters, I hope things will turn around. It just takes time.
My heart is with you and your family. I’m sorry if my words were not helpful. It’s not easy dealing with us bipolar folks. But one thing can be sure, we are listening, even when you think we’re not. We are just as scared as our loved ones, if not more. But at the same time, sometimes it’s hard to see when we’re falling. And it’s twice as hard to admit.
I wish the best to you. And please keep in mind it’s a very rough time of the year for those of us who suffer from bipolar disorder. Try to take it easy on him, but please keep a careful eye on him as well. I now it sounds contradictory, but I promise … it makes sense!

5 thoughts on “Changing meds?

  1. Sometimes when us people with bipolar say something drastic like “we want out of a relationship” we don’t always really want things to end. For me my level of frustration goes up, and i have little patience to deal with everyday life. When this happens i can “give up” on things like relationships or even myself. I am not sure if this is what is happening with your husband. However I am wondering if you were to take a “time out” or a “trial separation” so the both of you can have a break and lessen some of the stress may be an option. Although that may be difficult for the two of you it may prevent a final separation or divorce in the end…..and like the author who tried to answer your question mentioned perhaps a med change is needed as well. Good luck I hope things work out for the both of you.

  2. MB, very caring, understanding article. it turned on a little lightbulb. I finally internalized the fact, like you said, that my changes in cycling are not always evident to me. It really scares me that I am not aware of my actions. My first thought is, am I not in touch with reality? I know what losing touch with reality can become. Please, God, don’t let me go there again.

  3. Wonderful post MB, I would rate this article as one of your bests actually!,Just like Jan mentioned below its like a little light bulb that goes off in your head to make you wake up to see what really IS reality. Meds aren’t a fool proof cure ,there is no “magic” pill, but there is always a little hope-light at the end of the tunnel that can offer something,its better than nothing. It is hard for us with bipolar to let others love us too,because it means work for us to love them back; That means responsibilities,respect and caring for those who have done it for us unconditionally,its very hard to comprehend if youre not bipolar.

  4. It’s funny really how an article where you’re just writing to explain something instead of writing to impress becomes the article everyone loves.

    I’m glad you were able to benefit from this. <3

  5. Can I just throw something out there? I was diagnosed with bi-polar about 6 years back. At that time i went through a lot and my marriage fell apart and i left for awhile. we have three kids together and have been together for 19 years. I ended up in the hospital and got the treatment i needed and got on the right meds. I went back to my spouse and it took a long time to get better. But upon getting better i found myself. and in finding myself i realized there were things that i didn’t like about my life, things that i wanted to change and things that i wanted to get back in my life. I just have to say this, but why are you so sure that this has something to do with his bipolar? I find it very frustrating that people around us “bipolarees” seem to attach everything to our disease. Perhaps he’s just like millions of others out there, who aren’t bipolar and is looking for a change in life??? just something to think about. I know it’s not what you want to hear but…just don’t assume it’s always related to him being bipolar.

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