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  1. #1
    THREADKILLER Prototype's Avatar
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    Default Living with someone who is Bipolar.

    My ISFP wife was recently diagnosed with Bipolar on top of Clinical depression, and it's bothersome because of how much she has changed in the 1.5 yrs. Over the last year her moods at first would shift dramatically biweekly, now it seems like it's almost every 3-4 days. I have known about her emotional imbalances for about 11 yrs and now it's starting to take it's toll on me. I may have become a "crutch" so she can continue her self-loathing predicament.

    I have read up on some of the behaviors that this disorder can unleash,... like promiscuity... That terrifies me...

    Have any of you lived with/or is living with somebody who has bipolar disorder?

    What should I expect, as it might get worse?

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    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    From my experience of having a few members of my family with serious mental health problems, I would say it is hard to speculate how bipolar disorder and/or any other mental health problems may progress.

    Unlike diseases, mental health problems effect people in very different ways. It means mood disorders are harder to understand, and it is the very reason little is known about them, despite many dramatic changes and breakthrough in most areas of medical treatment. Also for that very reason, it is very common for psychologists not to even agree on a diagnosis.

    Spontaneousness is common with people with bipolar disorder, but that is not to say necessarily promiscuity, it is much more likely to be spontaneous shopping. As far as I know men with bipolar disorder are more likely more lean towards promiscuity, and women financial extravagance. I suppose this also tends to apply to the rest of society as well.
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    Narcissism, plain and simple.

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    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    It looks like there's a reasonable support group/forum for bipolar, here :

    Bipolar Disorder

    Not to say, people here might not be able to help, but a place dedicated to it might be worth a browse, ask some questions.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demigod View Post
    My ISFP wife was recently diagnosed with Bipolar on top of Clinical depression, and it's bothersome because of how much she has changed in the 1.5 yrs. Over the last year her moods at first would shift dramatically biweekly, now it seems like it's almost every 3-4 days. I have known about her emotional imbalances for about 11 yrs and now it's starting to take it's toll on me. I may have become a "crutch" so she can continue her self-loathing predicament.

    I have read up on some of the behaviors that this disorder can unleash,... like promiscuity... That terrifies me...

    Have any of you lived with/or is living with somebody who has bipolar disorder?

    What should I expect, as it might get worse?
    Which type of bipolar does she have?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #5
    Senior Member Griffi97's Avatar
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    My mother was bipolar and was also an ISFP. Strange, Brittney Spears is also probably ISFP and is supposedly under treatment for BPD now. I recognized some of that behavior in Brittany some time ago and have been pretty worried she's going to end up committing suicide.

    At any rate, my mother starting showing signs in her early to mid-twenties. It seems like it was primarily depression at first but then progressed to dramatic mood swings. When manic she would exercise for hours or clean the house, etc. She loved her "up" swings and she was quite the life of the party during those times. At the other end of the spectrum, sometimes she wouldn't come out of her room for days.

    My mother definitely had trouble maintaining romantic relationships over the years. Unfortunately for her, none of the usual medications helped much. She suffered from toxic side effects of lithium and had to stop taking it. And antidepressants alone weren't cutting it. She used alcohol to self-medicate. I can't say that promiscuity was ever an issue for her, at least that I know of.

    I hope for your wife's sake that some medication regimen can be found that will help her. I also feel that excessive stress contributes to the problem, so you being a "rock" for her can only be a good thing. I know how difficult it is, but inside, she is the same person she has always been. She is just struggling with her demons, and she needs you to love her as much as you ever have. Finding a support group is a great idea for both of you.

    Oh, and there is some evidence that taking omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) may help stabilize mood and combat depression. Not all doctors are familiar with info on nutritional supplements like fish oil but you can find the studies online I'm sure.

  6. #6
    THREADKILLER Prototype's Avatar
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    I do notice the "highs and lows", usually she will become a clean freak during her highs... The lows usually result into large amounts of stress(more like hopelessness).

    I remind her when it's needed to, of how much I love her and important she is to everyone, to continue to be positive, or tell her things like "If you know that what you think is causing you grief, then it's nothing worth thinking about". I also encourage her to get more sunshine(vitamin B-12?).

    I was diagnosed with ADD at 14, I love eating fish, because of the Omega-3 that I need, I encourage her to eat more of it too.

    I'm unsure of whether she is a stage 1 or 2. If her moods now regularly switch every week or so, would that be a stage 2...? Rapid cycling?

    She is currently on 2 different medications(Olanzapine, Venaflaxine). She's going to be having another appointment with our Doctor in regards to the medication dosage, I'll likely go with her to get an understanding of how the medication will affect her as well as the family.

    Thanks for the replies, they are helpful.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    If you haven't already done so, you may want to consider reading some books on bipolar and depression. Also consider spending some time on forums for bipolar and depressive people so you can get a better feel for the condition and people's experiences with medications, etc.

    We can offer a little moral support and a bit of our own experiences here, but you really need more and better information than most of us can give you.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Senior Member Kristiana's Avatar
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    I have been diagnosed with bipolar (and am a psychology grad student, go figure). On the right meds, I still have my limitations but overall am not that difficult to get along with. That's great she is going to see a psychiatrist again, as it sounds like her meds are not really helping her, which means they may be the wrong ones for her body and brain chemistry. Bipolar needs to be treated with medications - it does not go away on its own, it is inherently neurological - and the right meds may be different from person to person.

    I am not extremely familiar with either of the meds you say she's on, but Olanzapine is an antipsychotic, and I am wary of doctors prescribing antipsychotics for Type II. IMO Type II is better treated with mood stabilizers and/or antidepressants.

    Rapid cycling is separate from Type I or Type II. I am not a professional but it sounds like she is Type II with rapid cycling. I had ultradian cycling (moods rapidly changing several times a day) before I found the right meds, and it is not fun at all... it feels like you have next to no control over your life.

    Omega-3 is also a great supplement. I take it too

    Promiscuity was never a problem for me, neither were insane shopping sprees. My hypomanic episodes usually would be characterized by me sleeping a lot less and turning into an extrovert, haha. In the worst ones (I've only had one or two of these), I'd get interesting delusional thoughts that I just had to tell everyone. LOL.
    j'adore les chats

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