Author Topic: Getting help for spouse  (Read 11186 times)


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Getting help for spouse
« on: February 01, 2018, 08:40:34 pm »
Hi everyone,

I found this group while searching for how to get started with a possible bipolar disorder diagnosis for my husband. Our lives have been totally chaotic for the past few months and after reading extensively about bipolar disorder, I am pretty sure that is what is going on. He's also been self-medicating heavily with alcohol.

I scheduled him an appointment with his family doctor and he went but requested that I not be present. I respected that wish but now I'm a little nervous that he only mentioned a stomach issue he has been dealing with. He says they discussed it land that he will get a call from a psychiatrist in three weeks and that she said it was better not to stop drinking cold turkey. He's usually very honest and we have never had problems around this but he really has not been himself at all and I don't think he thinks he has bipolar disorder.

I really could use some advice from someone who has already been through this, either support person or person with bipolar. Is there anything else we can do in the meantime? I'm looking for a psychologist but there are so many and I feel lost trying to find a good fit. I also joined Al-anon family groups hoping to get help for myself. I don't know how much more of this I can take. He is very irritable and speaks terribly to me and about me to our young daughter. He is not participating at all in our family life. He sleeps 3-5 hours in the early morning after work (works nights) then goes out all day to run errands or "help" friends. Then he's off to work. Recently he befriended a guy who bought him a $400+ ticket to a sporting event and a $75 team jersey. He says the guy gambles. So now of course I'm paranoid that that could become a problem too. Money is already a very touchy point for us so I don't even want to bring it up.

I feel like giving up! I'm just nervous about sharing custody with him when he is unwell.

Any advice or a point in the right direction would be appreciated.



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Re: Getting help for spouse
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 04:02:58 am »
Hello Jane and welcome. That's a tough spot that you are in, but you are taking the right steps. One of the problems with trying to diagnose bipolar is that heavy drinking will often hide the bipolar or it can inflame bipolar. That is , bipolar may only become a problem when alcohol is being used.

 While I'm sure that somebody has gotten better while drinking heavily, I've never met anyone who had a serious mental illness and who got well while drinking heavily. (sorry to say)

 In regards to stopping drinking quickly his doctor may be right, but unless your husband is a full fledged alcoholic, there is no reason why he can't slowly cut back over a couple of weeks.

 I'm sorry that I don't have better answers for you,but until your husband is willing to seek it is a difficult situation. You are correct about seeking help for yourself.

 I sympathize with your situation and hopefully his psychiatrist will be able to talk with him. If he does come down from what you suspect is  manic high, that is the time to talk with him. Trying to talk sense to someone who is on a manic high usually only leads to arguments as they don't see any problem with their behaviours. Good luck and Take Care. paul m


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Re: Getting help for spouse
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 11:33:16 am »
 I wish I had some suggestions to help you find a solution. Make sure you take care of you too. Seeking help for what is happening at home and knowing that it isn't your fault. If you husband has a mental illness talking to your doctor about what is going on could help. It can be hard to admit how you are feeling on his part. He needs to know that there is help if it is a mental illness and he didn't do anything to cause it. Drinking can be used to mask how they are feeling. And I hope that you can find a way to work through this with or with out him living in your home. I hope you will keep coming here and posting this is a very safe place and is filled with some real good people who will help with information.