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My wife seems changed.... permanently...

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Nukelavee

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Dec 17, 2019
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She said that she was feeling angry and I was the only one there to direct her anger against.
I've heard the anger somebody Bipolar can get is similar to that with BPD, so -

It's hard walking around with this "background" anger in you all the time, for no apparent reason. It's just there. As everybody knows, being angry makes us look for a way to vent it, so not having a target is maddening.

The longer you go without unleashing on somebody or thing that doesn't deserve it, the worse it gets. sometimes you end up creating a situation to justify the anger coming out into the open, sometimes it just shows up.

I've gotten better at mine, I think because I've put work into being more aware of that tendency, and to have a better understanding of how and why I am angry.

I think it could help if their was a discussion about her anger, that might help her understand and control it better.
 
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keith74

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I think it could help if their was a discussion about her anger, that might help her understand and control it better.
She told me that she was focusing on old family trauma and was getting mad at the grief her family caused her. She was getting mad at her mom, dad, and sister... but none of them were there except me. So she just unloaded on me, very personal and degrading attacks. She did apologize and said I didn't deserve the full blunt of her anger. She promised not to do that again, though I told her that next time I will just leave when she ever goes there again.
 
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keith74

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So my wife was over today. She started out ok in the early morning. But just like her last blowup, her mood slowing got worse and she started to vent intensely. Then she started to put me in the crosshairs. She didn't cross the line but was headed there. I was ready to leave but she left on her own. I've learned that it is not good if she stays for extended period of time.

One thing that was interesting was that she new she was ranting and I think she was self-aware enough to recognize it as a "manic rage". She said that it is important that she vents to some actual person (like me). I suppose she has a point that she needs to vent to someone. She didn't go overboard on me like last time and probably didn't cross the line (but started coming close). But it is still a very uncomfortable situation and very draining for me to be there. I feel like I should be a little more supportive if she is somewhat self-aware and acknowledges that she just needs an outlet for her building rage. But at the same time, I'm looking for a healthy boundary and to remind her that it is not good for our relationship.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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So my wife was over today. She started out ok in the early morning. But just like her last blowup, her mood slowing got worse and she started to vent intensely. Then she started to put me in the crosshairs. She didn't cross the line but was headed there. I was ready to leave but she left on her own. I've learned that it is not good if she stays for extended period of time.

One thing that was interesting was that she new she was ranting and I think she was self-aware enough to recognize it as a "manic rage". She said that it is important that she vents to some actual person (like me). I suppose she has a point that she needs to vent to someone. She didn't go overboard on me like last time and probably didn't cross the line (but started coming close). But it is still a very uncomfortable situation and very draining for me to be there. I feel like I should be a little more supportive if she is somewhat self-aware and acknowledges that she just needs an outlet for her building rage. But at the same time, I'm looking for a healthy boundary and to remind her that it is not good for our relationship.
It sounds like you have a good perspective on the situation and are doing all the right things... :hug:
 
K

keith74

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update: things have improved a bit. She ended up coming over that saturday and stayed with me until yesterday. She was under control for most of the time and only got irritated at me on a few occasions. There were even some nice times here and there. Being "firm but fair" seems to have helped as she knows now that I will not put up with it. She tries not to cross the line with me in terms of angry personal attacks. I have also been overly accommodating to her to keep the peace. It helps but it is a little draining for me so I had been looking forward to having my own space when she moved out (again temporary).

So things are better. She does have flare ups when she is triggered, but we also have some good times here and there. Hopefully the olanzapine continues to work through her system to stabilize her mood more (it is closing in on 3 weeks now since her first dose). Still some concern about her long term treatment plan as she feels olanzapine is just a short term thing and she refuses to go on her old mood stabilizing meds. Her psychiatrist tried to convince her to go back to them but that didn't go well. Both I and her psychiatrist are hoping that as she stabilizes more, she may be a little more agreeable. But right now she is still very strongly on the thinking that she will be fine without them.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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update: things have improved a bit. She ended up coming over that saturday and stayed with me until yesterday. She was under control for most of the time and only got irritated at me on a few occasions. There were even some nice times here and there. Being "firm but fair" seems to have helped as she knows now that I will not put up with it. She tries not to cross the line with me in terms of angry personal attacks. I have also been overly accommodating to her to keep the peace. It helps but it is a little draining for me so I had been looking forward to having my own space when she moved out (again temporary).

So things are better. She does have flare ups when she is triggered, but we also have some good times here and there. Hopefully the olanzapine continues to work through her system to stabilize her mood more (it is closing in on 3 weeks now since her first dose). Still some concern about her long term treatment plan as she feels olanzapine is just a short term thing and she refuses to go on her old mood stabilizing meds. Her psychiatrist tried to convince her to go back to them but that didn't go well. Both I and her psychiatrist are hoping that as she stabilizes more, she may be a little more agreeable. But right now she is still very strongly on the thinking that she will be fine without them.
Hi keith,

Glad your wife is feeling better. Typically, antipsychotics such as Olanzapine are prescribed to treat acute mania episodes but some people use it as a long term mood stabilisers, especially the patient has co-occuring psychotic/delusional feature or aggression. I myself have been on Aripiprazole for 6 months now and it has worked fine for me. If she's concerned about the side effects of Olanzapine, Aripiprazole is a good choice because it typically has fewer side effects in terms of sedation and weight gain.

Out of interest, which meds was she on previously, and is there any particular reason that she refuses to go back to them. Would she consider going on Lithium? Its considered to be the gold standard in Bipolar treatment and can really help those who haven't responded well to other meds.
 
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keith74

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146
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Canada
Hi keith,

Glad your wife is feeling better. Typically, antipsychotics such as Olanzapine are prescribed to treat acute mania episodes but some people use it as a long term mood stabilisers, especially the patient has co-occuring psychotic/delusional feature or aggression. I myself have been on Aripiprazole for 6 months now and it has worked fine for me. If she's concerned about the side effects of Olanzapine, Aripiprazole is a good choice because it typically has fewer side effects in terms of sedation and weight gain.

Out of interest, which meds was she on previously, and is there any particular reason that she refuses to go back to them. Would she consider going on Lithium? Its considered to be the gold standard in Bipolar treatment and can really help those who haven't responded well to other meds.
Thanks for the recommendation regarding Aripiprazole.

Her main med in the past was sodium valproate (depakote). 5 years ago she started on a mix of depakote and quetiapine (seroquel). She was never fully comfortable with depakote because of toxicity to the liver. But now she is like 100% against it. She views it as poison. She had some major GI issues recently (which she got successfully treated in the hospital) and feels the toxic meds were the cause and they are slowly killing her. She no longer feels meds are no longer a viable solution long term.

Her psychiatrist did suggest lithium and she got even angrier as she views it as even more toxic. She is more open to quetiapine as she views it as less toxic to her.

Overall she said she did a lot of self-reflection and feels that therapy and holistic care is more important than meds. She feels doctors are just pill pushers and no longer trusts them. I am trying to convince her that meds is as important as the the others too, that you need a nice balance. But her mind will not accept this. My hope is that as her mania dwindles more, she won't be so anti-med. If that doesn't happen, I fear for our longer term relationship.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Thanks for the recommendation regarding Aripiprazole.

Her main med in the past was sodium valproate (depakote). 5 years ago she started on a mix of depakote and quetiapine (seroquel). She was never fully comfortable with depakote because of toxicity to the liver. But now she is like 100% against it. She views it as poison. She had some major GI issues recently (which she got successfully treated in the hospital) and feels the toxic meds were the cause and they are slowly killing her. She no longer feels meds are no longer a viable solution long term.

Her psychiatrist did suggest lithium and she got even angrier as she views it as even more toxic. She is more open to quetiapine as she views it as less toxic to her.

Overall she said she did a lot of self-reflection and feels that therapy and holistic care is more important than meds. She feels doctors are just pill pushers and no longer trusts them. I am trying to convince her that meds is as important as the the others too, that you need a nice balance. But her mind will not accept this. My hope is that as her mania dwindles more, she won't be so anti-med. If that doesn't happen, I fear for our longer term relationship.

All of the thought, time, patience, understanding and caring you have put into this situation and your partner really has been wonderful to see. If you were in the position she is in do you think you would receive the same investment and support from her?
 
K

keith74

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146
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Canada
All of the thought, time, patience, understanding and caring you have put into this situation and your partner really has been wonderful to see. If you were in the position she is in do you think you would receive the same investment and support from her?
thank you for the kind words. If the situation was reversed, I would hope that she would give me the same support. I think she would. She was an amazing partner for 10 years... could not have asked for a better companion. That is why I am so fearful that she may not return to the person that I knew... or someone close to it. I understand that people change, especially after some trauma. But I hope her base personality is still there.
 
one light

one light

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This is such a confusing situation for you 'and' your wife, all this medication - what you can do while you are working on what's best, is spend some time on a little research on 'self healing procedures' - I had such a strong feeling to tell you this, so its said... stay on meds of course until new doors/possible options open for you both...
 
HLon99

HLon99

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Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
320
Location
London, UK
Thanks for the recommendation regarding Aripiprazole.

Her main med in the past was sodium valproate (depakote). 5 years ago she started on a mix of depakote and quetiapine (seroquel). She was never fully comfortable with depakote because of toxicity to the liver. But now she is like 100% against it. She views it as poison. She had some major GI issues recently (which she got successfully treated in the hospital) and feels the toxic meds were the cause and they are slowly killing her. She no longer feels meds are no longer a viable solution long term.

Her psychiatrist did suggest lithium and she got even angrier as she views it as even more toxic. She is more open to quetiapine as she views it as less toxic to her.

Overall she said she did a lot of self-reflection and feels that therapy and holistic care is more important than meds. She feels doctors are just pill pushers and no longer trusts them. I am trying to convince her that meds is as important as the the others too, that you need a nice balance. But her mind will not accept this. My hope is that as her mania dwindles more, she won't be so anti-med. If that doesn't happen, I fear for our longer term relationship.
Taking a holistic approach towards mental health is vital full recovery and a good quality of life. But Mania is a legitimate psychiatric emergency and the only proven treatment for it is medication. When a person has struggled with mental health for as long as your wife has had, its understandable that she has grown a bit distrustful of doctors. Some of them are indeed pill pushers, but a lot of them are just trying the best they can to help. Maybe now that your wife is out of the hospital, try and find her a good psychiatrist with whom you can establish a good relationship and work towards your wife's long term goals.

Concerning medications, and again I'm not a professional, but I think its strange that they prescribed Depakote. Its typically not prescribed to women of child bearing age, due to the potential to cause horrible birth defects. Its also known to be toxic to the liver. Lithium on the other hand, while it is toxic in overdose, it tends to be safer for women. There will be a lot of side-effects going into it, but once you get the levels correct its a reasonably safe medicine. Talk to her about it, perhaps you can change her mind. It can really help provide long term stabilisation for people with strong manic episodes.
 
Z

Zoe1

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Maybe now that your wife is out of the hospital, try and find her a good psychiatrist with whom you can establish a good relationship and work towards your wife's long term goals
hopefully with her permission that you have a relationship with her psychiatrist ?
 
K

keith74

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146
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Canada
Taking a holistic approach towards mental health is vital full recovery and a good quality of life. But Mania is a legitimate psychiatric emergency and the only proven treatment for it is medication. When a person has struggled with mental health for as long as your wife has had, its understandable that she has grown a bit distrustful of doctors. Some of them are indeed pill pushers, but a lot of them are just trying the best they can to help. Maybe now that your wife is out of the hospital, try and find her a good psychiatrist with whom you can establish a good relationship and work towards your wife's long term goals.

Concerning medications, and again I'm not a professional, but I think its strange that they prescribed Depakote. Its typically not prescribed to women of child bearing age, due to the potential to cause horrible birth defects. Its also known to be toxic to the liver. Lithium on the other hand, while it is toxic in overdose, it tends to be safer for women. There will be a lot of side-effects going into it, but once you get the levels correct its a reasonably safe medicine. Talk to her about it, perhaps you can change her mind. It can really help provide long term stabilisation for people with strong manic episodes.
Yes I hope she find a new one that she trusts. I don't know all her med history but I *think* she tried lithium long time ago and it didn't agree with her for whatever reason. So they tried depakote and she reacted to that better. We knew the issue with birth defects and that was part of the reason why we chose not to have any children. But yes, she is very aware of its toxicity to the liver and hence she used to get a lot of blood tests and ultrasounds. But she feels like as she is getting older, she doesn't want to deal with the toxicity anymore (I guess this is fair). For some reason she seems to hate lithium more than depakote. She is much more versed on how all these meds work than me so she really shuts down any discussion we have over meds. I hope she can find some other drug that will work for her. I think she is more willing to try anti-psychotics (like seroquel) more than the classic mood stabilizer.
 
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