Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Startling Fact About How To Support A Spouse with Bipolar Disorder

The Bipolar Mood Disorder trifecta--diagnosis, treatment and denial--should not be your aspiration if you're helping support a bipolar wife or husband. My husband's official diagnosis of bipolar disorder which finally led to his stabilizing Lithium treatment took 15 years for the medical establishment to uncover! While actual diagnosis is much faster and easier today with advanced medical research and treatment resources, thinking you'll get your spouse a diagnosis, some drugs, a few counseling sessions and be "done" couldn't be further from reality.

Many spouses refuse to take their medication--or refuse to take it regularly once they start to feel better. Approximately 60% of Bipolar patients have "dual diagnoses" like alcoholism or drug addiction (so-called self-medication issues). They may even have another undiagnosed personality disorder, like narcissism. There's also the possibility that the bipolar mood disorder medication eventually will stop working or be too toxic.

No Cure for Bipolar Mood Disorder

Your vigil is never ending; you don't have enough fingers and toes to plug up all the holes in the dike of caring for somebody with bipolar disorder. Bipolar never goes away, and it's never cured, only treated. To think otherwise is to fuel your denial and alienate yourself from your bipolar wife or husband who will rightly accuse you of not understanding.

I got good at living in the moment but kept two eyes open at all times: One on my husband's bipolar mood disorders and the other on his psychiatrist's after-hours speed-dial number on my cell phone. There is no happy ending. In fact, if you can't live by the old saying, "It's the journey, not the destination," then I advise you not to take this trip with someone you care about who's been diagnosed with a bipolar mood disorder.

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