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Partner in denial



New member
Jan 31, 2010
Hi All

I'm 43, married with 3 young kids, my wife (42) has been on a major manic episode for the last 3 months (I think perhaps made worse by moving home 6 weeks ago). All the usual signs: reckless spending, drinking too much, sleeping too little, rage and provocative, confrontational and risky behaviour, flitting from one thing to the next etc.

A couple of days before Xmas, she said: "Yes, I have MD and I need help".

'Brilliant, at last' I thought.

Since then however she has seen a mental health doc once and reported back that actually, she is just stressed and I am the problem. She is an Oxford grad and very able to talk her corner..

Everyone who knows her: family and friends on both sides, are convinced she is bipolar. Our eldest (12), bless her, cannot comprehend how her mum cannot see how odd her behaviour is, and likewise, it is very difficult for me and others close to her to disassociate the illness from her actions. It is now ripping our family apart.

So, a couple of questions, if I may:

1. How do you get treatment for someone who denies they have BD?

2. Are there any good coping mechanisms you could advise (bearing in mind I have run the gamut from total acquiescence to confronting her bad/dodgy decisions..)

Thanks - I appreciate any advice going - don't know where to turn anymore..


Active member
Jan 24, 2010
I can really empathise with your situation. I havent as yet been diagnosed with bipolar, but im now sure i have a form of it. Like you my family have been destroyed because of my actions/moods/behaviour. My husband and i split 18mths ago....my decision whilst in a state. The same as when i then bought a house almost to convince myself that i couldnt go back to our relationship. Ive ignored family contact and things got to breaking point the other week....ive since been to gp, and have been referred to psychiatrist. Like your wife, i refused to see what was happening, until it was too late....my moods/behaviour had done the damage.

All I can say is hang in there....your wife has to get help herself. Its taken me many years to even actually believe what others were saying. Try and get her to read some of the posts on this forum, and make sure you and the children get as much support as you can. TC :cry::grouphug:


Well-known member
Dec 16, 2009
Have you been to the docs with her? Has she been keeping mood diaries?
I was referred to CMHT by my GP and had to keep mood diaries for a month which helped the psychiatric doc to understand what was going on.

My husband is at end of his tether with my moods, I find it is a good idea if I just go for a walk rather than argue with him. He pulls me out of social situations if I start comming across as 'odd' and it is better for me to avoid alcohol as it makes the moods much worse.
It took me years of being told by family that something was wrong and I needed help, I thought it was just me, just normal, it wasn't until I noticed a pattern that I took action before I screwed up my life again.


Hi EndOfTether,

I hate to tell you this, but if she's currently in a Manic Episode I very much doubt she will see anyone's side of things, not until she crashes into a depression. Some people though, don't crash into a depression, their mood sets straight into an even keel.
When this happens, is probably when she'll more likely see eye to eye with you and others and actually do something about it, that is if it's not too late and the Manic Episode gets worse where she may need hospitalisation (touch wood this doesn't happen).

But all you can do is try I guess, give it another go and have a chat with her, I hope that despite being in a Manic phrase she will understand what's going on and seek the help she needs.

I'm sorry to put a downer on things, but i'm just trying to be realistic.

Wishing you all the best and I wish your wife well.


New member
Jan 31, 2010
Thanks :) Can't value this sharing highly enough. And thanks for the group hug :grouphug:

I did go to her original GP visit when she admitted to MD and she was then referred to the Mental Health unit. She had the one appt there 3 weeks ago and has another due in 3 weeks time. I was concerned about the delay and so called them up and told them the background from my POV and explained that my wife's sisters were willing/keen to corroborate. I don't know for sure, but I gather that they asked my wife's permission to talk to her sisters and I'm guessing she refused, since they have had no joy in reaching said doc...

Since then, this week, she has not been out every night at pub and has been going to bed at decent hour (one extreme to another, her normal hour up until a week or so ago was 4am, she is now in bed tonight at 9pm!), so I am hopeful that that will help.

In the meantime, our eldest wrote this poem, which though personal to us, could resonate with others etc etc :) Sorry but it is very long, but I (biased dad n all think it's amazing..) thought it might contribute :)

"Many a night
I have gone without sleep
That sleep does not overcome me
and the nightmares to settle on
I lie, and ponder,
Listening to the she-wolf
Ambling around in the dark
She coughs
A hacking, sickening cough.
And she blames Man.
Man and his parents.
She manifests on his providing pockets.
Drinks the blood of fermented plants,
Till she no lnger believes she is a she-wolf,
But an innocent, human creature,
Who has been terrorised by the aggressive Man.
I am there to witness her roars,
But when she finds my feelings,
The truth,
Wrapped up in the smallest part of my mind,
She attacks.
On the mother of Man,
On Man himself.
Blames them,
for my age, my ability to comprehend,
My emotions, my eyes, my ears,
For me.
She wallows
In the ill-treated minds,
Of underage children,
Loving, trying Man,
and the parents of the man she loves.
Finding a loophole in Man's
Ever-attempting moves,
For a chance to slice through Man's heart.
Never stopping to realise
Her cubs are watching,
The blood she drinks,
The fire she eats,
The poison dripping from her mouth.
She always expects
The world to revolve round her.
If it does not,
She is pleased, for this
is another reason to rear up,
Numquam aluid natura, aluid sapientia dicit.
And I know that the wisdom is the hard-bearing truth.
As I crouch in the corner of shattered thoughts,
I just let the nightmares fly by.
Using what little hope I have left,
To will the full moon away,
And for the she-wolf
To turn back into
The smiling woman
I used to know."

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