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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Rose, Community Member, asks

Q: I think my husband is bipolar, but our marriage counselor and husband doubt me, what can I do?

My husband had a severe depression 4 years ago and came out of it after being on an antidepressant.  He continued that med for a couple of years.  His lifestyle has always been rushed, obsessively competing in his job, overplanning family activities and personal goals, and neglecting what he feels is mundane - house maintainance...  He is moody -highs and lows - and can be extremely mean, blaming me for all our financial problems.  I feel I bear the responsibility (not financial) of our family of four children and am the glue that holds it all together.  I was diagnosed with ADD 1.5 years ago and feel my husband has almost all the same symptoms I do, except the spaciness and the disability to follow a conversation.  He twists everything around at our counseling sessions and makes it all about my ADD.  I feel beaten down afterwards and am frustrated.  The sessions lift him up.  What will help?  I have read that bipolars have the ability to deceive others about their condition, thus rarely being identified.  Could this be happening with us?   

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Answers (7)
NewBride, Community Member
6/16/09 10:40am

I can't tell you for sure, but I CAN tell you what happened to me and it sounds VERY similar.  I had found my BP ex a counsiler to talk to because he was always stressed and became sad and moody (plus he still had childhood issues to work thru)... well he fooled that counsiler for 2 yrs!  And by the time I got a marriage counsiler (because he started to take it out on me) he was so different in front of her it amazed me.  The symptoms sound similar - loss of memory and concentration, mood swings, anger outbursts, go go go lifestyle, obsessed with certain projects, overplanning, then the depression got worse for longer periods, then chatting on the phone for hours like a school girl....... blaming me for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he could think of to yell at me for...

 

When they both found out he was diagnosed BP they were shocked.  I remember telling them both "I tried to tell you what was going on at home and you didn't believe me!"... they both apologized.  They said that yes, BP's can be VERY decieving and manipulative, which is how my ex fools his friends I guess.  They still have no idea. 

 

 

Find him a good psych dr.  That is the only person who diagnosed him correctly.  Counsilers are talk therapy.  BP's need both but for a definite diagnosis you need a pro.  Good luck to you.

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Steve Vazquez, Community Member
1/28/09 8:28pm

I can understand very well, the over-exaggerating the person with BP practices, increases their own belief that their perceptions are true, and in turn this gives credibility to their (false) presentation to the facts!  I only found out about my ex-girlfriend's over-exaggerating, when she left where she was receiving free housing and help to accept my rescuing at my place; soon she was over-exaggerating my faults and character defects!  She even shared with her friend, on the phone how I was treating her so well and that she was treating me terribly.    I eventually learned to view BP as a magnetic Bias, that her behavior would always drift towards the strongest force, and that her historic experience had taught her to ‘expect’ from others the worst, and (hick-up; forget the good that was coming her way), and treat those others with distance and animosity. 

I would suggest that if the counseling is in a clergy environment that you ask for another clergy or lay person join the counselor in a future.  If it is a secular counselor than ask if he/she has an associate that you might speak to, and if possibly they could attend a future session with the three of you.   Trying to establish credibility on you own when you feel you are on the defensive is an up-hill chore! 

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NewBride, Community Member
1/29/09 9:46am

I've got to say, what you have described is VERY similar to what I went thru with my ex.  The symptoms and his actions seem very familiar.  He would be obsessive with certain things, twist the truth all the time, over exaggerate, have highs and lows... everything eventually became about him.... no remorse or empathy sometimes....he had insomnia for a year....well you can read my story thru my posts.  It sounds very likely he could be BP.  And often times BP's can fool others - it's a hard illness to diagnos.  My ex's counsiler didn't even know he was BP until we took him to a psych to get properly diagnosed!  His friends didn't even know bc he kept it so well hidden and only put on his best in public... little did they know the crazy way he was acting at home and treating me - who he also blamed for his GENETIC ILLNESS. 

 

My advice is if you love him, stick it out and take any avenue neccessary to get him diagnosed or at least checked out.  But if you are the one giving and giving and trying and things don't change, you really need to think about yourself, want YOU want, and your kids.  Sometimes it's just not worth it.  I went through so much pain and am finally begining to get my life back and am so much happier now.  I also suggest you watch your kids closely, as this is a genetic illness.  Good luck to you.

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Sleepless in KC, Community Member
1/29/09 11:49am

I am so new to this, but I recognize my situation in so many things you say.  I am always blamed after the mania.  I'm the one who won't let things go; I am the one who won't stop yelling; I am the one "who puts himself in situations" that cause her to go off on me.  I am accused of "abandoning her" when I take my kids (not hers) out of the house for a weekend because she won't stop yelling at me when they are in the house.

 

I am seeking independent counseling.  I am demanding that she do the same.  If she does not, I am going to leave.  I can handle the verbal attacks, as awful as they may be.  But I cannot allow my kids to be exposed to this.

 

Good luck and take care of yourself.

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Matilda, Community Member
1/29/09 12:44pm

Sounds exactly like what I went through with my husband. And he has been diagnosed with BiPolar 2. Unfortunately there is not a damned thing you can do. The difficulty is with BiPolar 2, the patients, like our husbands, are usually high functioning, charming, persuasive and most people will look at you as if you are the one with problems.Even your friends and family. Especially when the lying husbands say so. The courts will not support you if you want to divorce, when it comes to protecting your children. The only things I can recommend to you is what attorneys and judges have told me over the years. Go home, shut up, suck it up and wait it out if you have kids. If you do not have kids, get out. And what therapists have helped me with: if you have to stay, learn to disconnect emotionally. Find a good therapist to keep you from going mad. And try to create a life for yourself. Because narcissistic personality disorder often goes hand in hand with the BiPolar 2, he'll likely never even notice the difference. Mine hasn't. And it's 8 years now. 

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DizzyLizzy, Community Member
1/29/09 7:48pm

I'm 46 and have suffered from BP for 23 years, have been married 24 years. I suggest having joint sessions with your psychiatrist. I don't believe a marriage counselor has the training to make decisions in this department.  

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mamaxy97, Community Member
2/12/09 2:29pm

Wow, your post and all of the answers to your post sound way too similar to my situation with my husband. We saw a "marriage counselor" for a while and she was completely blinded by the disorder my husband was in. She actually made me question rather or not I was going crazy myself, when my husband was the one who had completely changed and everyone around him knew something was different about him. My husband was baker acted, but the psych. who came in the day after the evening he was admitted released him after speaking to him for only a few minutes.

He became very criticle of me, harping on me about my weight (I was about 30lbs overweight at the time), and the fact that I had not finished my education. He was obsessive with it, he began attacking my son with regard to his weight as well. He would say things that did not make sense,his favorite phrase was "I don't want to want what I want" and was constantly forgetting things. He locked his keys in his care 3 times in a 1 month period. His office at work was in total disorganization, I had to go and organize several times for him. He had a distinct glare, that when he would look at a person instead of looking at them it was like he was looking through them. He would scream like I have never heard before at the children. I was unable to have him diagnosed, and I am just waiting for his next episode...not sure how to handle. I removed caffein from his diet, and as of right now he seems to be back to normal outside of minor video game obsessions.

All I can say is PRAY, PRAY, PRAY....that is what I am doing.

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By Rose, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 01/28/09