anyone live with someone with a mental illness?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hagardreams, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I lost it last night. My husband has been off of work since April, he was in a mental hospital for 6 weeks, then in August he took 5200 mg of his elavil pills and was in ICU for two weeks. Now they have diagnosed him with bipolar 2. I know he cant help the way he is acting, but it is taking its toll on me. I broke things last night, its just too much. He says this is all my fault, that he should still be working, and he isn't that bad off, ect. Like I said, I know he cant help it, but I am really about to lose my sanity.
    Is there anyone of you out there that deals with something simular and how do you deal with it. I have no life, we dont have the money, even to waste on gasoline just to get out of the house. Its too cold to go outside. He does go to an adult day care type place at the state mental hospital,4 days a week, which I really hate to say, but I look forward to everyday. On the three days he is home, I find myself staying in the bedroom, just so he wont continue to say such hurtfull things and send me off the deep end. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. God bless, Julie
  2. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    They just started him on lithium, about 5 weeks ago. I dont think its doing him any good. They also have him on wellbutrin? and something to help him sleep.
    My mother is bipolar and she cant take lithium, it makes her sick after about two weeks. It doesnt seem to be doing my husband any good.
    He was having very bad memory problems for about 3 years. Leading up to April, he would go to weld something at work and forget to turn the thing on, stuff like that. He would come home from work and just sit. I would talk and talk to him and he never heard a word I said. I finally put him in the state mental hospital. He is still mad about that, saying that it was my fault. Anyway, they sent him home and 6 weeks later, we got a bank statemnet and we only had .35 cents to our name. He said he was going back to work, and I told him he couldn't that the doctors told him when he left the hospital that he was not able to work. Thats when he took the pills and ended up in ICU. Now they have him in something called the PACT team. Its here in Oklahoma, and it for the seriously mentally ill. They keep a very close eye on him, give him only enough meds for one week at a time.
    He says stuff like, he hates our house, and hes always saying that next time he is going to do it right,( suicide). He says its my fault that he survived, that I should have not called 911. So much more, but you get the idea. I am trying so hard to be brave. I am in counseling, but my counsler seems to be getting sick and I only get to see her about 1 time a month now. This stress is making the fm pain much worse, and I have been a type 1 diabetic for 32 years, since I was a child. Our son lives with us, but his doctor says his depression is so bad right now that he cant work. My husband did get his disability last week, but I lost my medical and we are not going to make it on what he gets.
    God bless, and thanks for any adivse. Julie
  3. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    There is an organization called NAMI. National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Their purpose is to help the mentally ill and their families. NAMI runs a 12-week course for the family members. It is tought by those who have gone through what you are going through. They have guest speakers and give written handouts each week that go in a loose leaf notebook. It is not how to cure mental illness, as we all know mental illness is incurable; it teaches you how to cope and deal with crisis situations as they come up.

    I took the course last year and I highly recommend it. My daughter age 17 has Asperger's Syndrome, and my husband is bipolar and probably Asperger's as well so I have walked in your shoes. It sucks.

    My daughter had a psychotic breakdown at school and was suspended and had to be hospitalized. Had I not had the NAMI training under my belt, I would of panicked and been unable to be an effective advocate for her. I was able to get her the help she needed and ultimately get her readmitted to school.

    You will also meet other folks such as your self that deal with mental illness in the family on a daily basis. Believe it or not you will have some good chuckles as you share stories. Not that mental illness is funny. It isn't. But the camraderie you develop helps you over the rough times. I am still in touch with many of the folks I met.

    I hope there is a NAMI chapter near you.

    I understand about "having no life". It is very hard to deal with some one in your family that isn't balanced. I have 2 of them. They play off one another. Some days it's just awful. In May after my daughter's breakdown I got sick and ended up in the hospital and then again in September, I found out I have Crohn's disease and the doctor that treated me and saved my life said it was brought on by all the stress of dealing with these two people. So even with all my NAMI training I still lost it.

    The doctor told me I have got to do some thing every day for myself no matter how small, so I get out and walk, or I go to the store and buy some little inexpensive item just for me. Last week I went to the mall and bought things ONLY for me, not for any one else. I take long hot baths with scented candles, go to the movies, go out to breakfast with friends or even alone. I am beginning to research new careers and hobbies that I could do. I am creating a life for myself instead of being a doormat for these people, and as you know bipolar people can be nasty, and so can Aspies too. The stuff that comes out of them directed at their loved ones is just so mean and hurtful. And they will never change, so we must.

    God Bless You, and Good Luck
  4. LindaH

    LindaH New Member

    My son in law and both granddaughters have bipolar. My son in law also has ADD, OCD and learning disabilities. The girls also are ADHD. My daughter and her family live with my husband and me.

    My son in law lost three jobs in nine months time. He just isn't capable of holding a job. His therapist and other docs all agree he should be on disability. He is on his first appeal.

    I for one can vouch it is a living nightmare with them. They are rapid cyclers and feed off each other. The ten year old can be physically abusive. She is also such an angel. They both are when not in a bad cycle. My heart just breaks for my little girls.

    If you have a local NAMI chapter closeby I highly recommend it. It isn't easy and it's a hard road to travel. I only have a pinch of nerve left and my IBS has been raging for two months. If you don't mind prayers I will keep you in mine. If you do I will just have good thoughts for you.

    Hang in there and take care of yourself.

  5. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    The NAMI class is free. They don't charge a penny for it. I know you said that money is tight for you right now. I also notice someone else on here recommended the NAMI.

    Yes absolutely right, these people blame everyone else for their problems, until they have insight into there own condition not much can be done. I am so tired of it all.

    Call NAMI.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/23/2005]
  6. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I cant thank all of you enough for replying. I have been in such a bad place over this, and no outside help. This group has been the best thing for me. I am so glad I found it.
    I am going to look into NAMI, for me. I hope they have something close by so I can find others that understand what I am going through.
    Thanks again to all, and have a great thanksgiving. God bless, Julie
  7. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    My heart goes out to you. You need to protect you own "sanity".

    I am sorry if I sound cruel, but this can't continue forever - actually it can if you let it.

    You need to get out also for something social. I understand when money is a issue it is hard. Even if you had a friend or relative where you could go during the day. You could even go to the library or a mall.

    It is not "wasting money" for gas for you to get out of the house - I believe it is very important. You may wake up one day and find you have some serious mental problems.

    I developed severe anxiety and compulsive behaviors about 5 months ago. I am much better now, but realize that stress can cause these kinds of problems.

    I wish I lived near you, I would help you.

  8. hehmommy

    hehmommy New Member

    The first thing is to always remember this has nothing to do with you. This is an illness and not your fault. He needs to be regulated on meds. This can sometimes take awhile and several med changes before they hit on something that works for him. Even when they do he will still have cycling on ocassion. No meds for this mental illness are a cure all. It is a hard thing to deal with. My hubby has BiPolar and sometimes his depression can really get me down. I feel fortunate in that he is still bale to function for the most part and we are dealing with it pretty well so far. before he was on meds his moods were so bad-mania to depression real fast, but over the years he is getting more depression than the mania. Stress is the huge factor for him. I am sure your husband is feeling real bad that he can't go back to work. This is a very hard pill to swallow for men. Suicidal thoughts are common. Some people will act upon their thoughts. I am so sorry you have to deal with this. It sounds like he needs to be in a hospital again where they can get him straight on the meds so he can function at home. These meds can take awhile to kick in too. Try to hang in there. Get out of the house if you can to do things for yourself.

  9. DLsGroovyMoM

    DLsGroovyMoM New Member

    It really breaks my heart to know so many people have to deal with all of this crap!!

    I can only name a few in my family that are not either Bipolar or have a major depressive disorder. My therapist even said I was boarderline bipolar...whatever that means. Seems I have been around mental illness all my life...add the drug and alochol addictions and we have a nasty mix. My mom is the worst, We lived with her and my dad until last year and I finally had to get out. Things had been really bad for awhile but her drinking got totally out of control and she ended up in the hospital too.

    Like some of the others said as hard as it is IT IS UP TO THEM, I have begged, pleded, lectured, you name it. Only when I went to an AL-ANON meeting did I finally figure it out. I came home from that meeting with a new understanding of my mom and my reactions to her. Since then things have been better between us. When I know she is drinking or not taking her meds or something I just have to distance myself. It has been such a lifelong habit to argue with her and be mad b/c she was manic and drunk or worse depressed and drunk. I don't get mad anymore...I can't or it will end up killing me.

    Recently she had been sober for about 8months. I had finally gotten to the point that I was comfortabel enough to let her watch my son (2) for an hour here and there while I went to doctors appointments. Then about a two months ago I had a very important appt. and was just pulling in her drive way when my dad called and said she was very drunk and that I needed to find another babysitter. That was of course impossibe as I was not in the city I live in and my appt was in less than 20min. I ended up taking DevinLee with me and did not speak to her for almost a month. She finally emailed me and apoligized...which was a very big step for her. We are talking again now but I had to point blank tell her that when she is like that she is toxic to me and my family and I will not deal with it anymore. So far so good we will see.

    I know that being your husband it must be hard for you to distance yourself, but like some of the others have said, he may blame you and be a toxic figure in your life...but that is his denial and his thing. It is not about you nor is it your fault.

    I have also been a mental health nurse most of my nursing career (I worked in our state facility for a number of years)...the mentally ill can say and do some very nasty things...always remind your self that the words coming from thier mouth are not necessiarly the words of thier heart...I have always described it as a demon that has taken over thier helps me not be so affected by their actions.

    I have never heard of the programs suggested here...sad that our state seems to be so behind on mental health...we get no help or support for my mom...of the 5 times she has been in the hosptial 4 of those she was released with in 48hrs...reguardless of her threats to hurt herself or the fact that she went in with a blood alochol 4X legal limit.

    I hope that you get some know we are always here for you. I will keep you in my prayers!
    Love and Hugs
  10. Sachmo

    Sachmo New Member

    My son is bi-polar. When he is in his manic stage he can be very violent. It is very scary and my husband won't aknowledge the problem.

    The only words I can offer is prayer and hope that you and the people you love get the help you deserve.
  11. Muddieanne

    Muddieanne New Member

    I don't want to tell the details because it is too unpleasant to re-hash it for me. I felt very loved and very hated by him. I ended the marriage 12 years ago when he began hallucinating and I became afraid of him. I did it by refusing to take him back home after after he was hospitalized for the 10th time.

    I always wonder if the extreme stress I had with him caused the fibro? I am not suggesting anyone else do what I did. He was my 2nd husband and not the father of my children. For a long time I felt like a fool for being divorced twice. As time went and I'm older I don't spend time thinking about what others think of me. In reality,people are concentrating on their own problems,not mine,

    God help and bless everyone who is in this kind of situation. Marie
  12. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Here it is Thanksgiving day, and I am busy cooking. The Asperger daughter and the bipolar husband have already had one major blow out already.

    I just kinda ignored it and it simmered down, and then I put my daughter to work in the kitchen with me and once she had something to do she forgot about it.

    Those two are like oil and water. They feed off each other.

    I hope things go well at the table and I am praying for no more fighting, at least today.

    Blessings to all and Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. XKathiX

    XKathiX New Member

    I know you have gotten alot of good advice. I just wanted to write and let you know that I know how hard it is to live with someone bi-polar. It finally ruined my 10 year relationship because I couldn't take being "the one" to do everything anymore.

    My partner finally went on disability and I thought that would help, but it didn't. I figured if I was financially supporting us (it took a year for disability to come through) that she would at least help out around the house and pull her share. But that didn't happen and even when I addressed the issue it got worse.

    I finally couldn't take it anymore - my mental health was getting pretty bad. I also was getting way too resentful for my own good. I also became an alcohol - NOT her fault, it was my fault for picking up every drink. But the tension in the house was making it very difficult to remain sober.

    She has been out now since August. Interestingly my pain flared when she left and I was just diagnosed as having FM. The way my therapist saw it was that I was living very angrily for the last couple of years. I would come home from work tense and be very unhappy. The therapist said that when she finally left and I came home to a peaceful environment with my little dog and my niece next door, my body just relaxed and maybe that's why I'm feeling all the pain now. Makes sense to me.

    I just wanted you to know that I feel for your pain. It's easy for people to say it's not your fault, but I also know the personal pain of feeling responsible for someone even when you know intellectually that you are not.

    The most important thing is to take care of you. I'll send prayers your way.

  14. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I hate that so many of you have to deal with all this, but it is nice to know that I have someone on here that I can relate to. I have been with my husband for 28 years, and hes always been depressed. Everything he is doing now is so different than it use to be. I guess I have leared to live with his depression, but these slams in the face, I guess his manic moods are really hard to deal with. Its like a demon inside of him, trying its best to pull me down. Taking my pain meds, I think makes it worse. The pain meds help with my pain, but they also make me more nervous and I sure dont need that. Oh this life we live. I believe in the bible and know we are suppose to store our rewards in Heaven, but sometimes it seems that Heaven is so far away.
    Hope you all are having a good Thanksgiving. I am really suprised how many of us are online today. This is my get away. I would be on more, but I share the computer with my son who never gets off of here. He happens to be gone today, so I have it all to myself. God bless, and thanks so much again for sharing, and letting me know I am not alone. God bless, Julie
  15. pirtpain

    pirtpain New Member

    My God girl!! I just cannot imagine being in your spot. I have a sister who has had schisophrenia, not spelled right, since she was 20. She is now 50. I have been through so much with her over the years, but everyone's advice is so great. I don't know if you have a Welfare assistant program there that can help with some of the financial burden it would help to ease some of the pressure. Also, by all means lean on your friends, family, and fibromites for your moral support. I hope some relief is found soon for you and that you may be able to find time for yourself and your own health issues. We will be praying for you!

    PIRT (Barbara)
    [This Message was Edited on 11/24/2005]
  16. russiankids3

    russiankids3 New Member

    My husband and I adopted 3 kids (all older children) from Russia. The older two are siblings and my youngest is their half-brother. We were aware that we would encounter some difficulties adopting older kids, BUT... did we ever!!
    Oksana, 15y.o. and adopted at age 13 has post traumatic stress, fetal alcohol effects, depression, severe learning disabilites, and is a "cutter".
    Yevdokim (John) is 14 y.o., adopted at age 9 and has ADHD,oppositional defiant disorder, fetal alcohol effects, thought disorder and severe learning disabilities.
    Our youngest, Vasya, is 10y.o.and adopted at age 5. He is the child who has been in and out of mental hospitals since coming here and just came out of a three month stay 2 weeks ago. He has fetal alcohol effects, organic brain damage, OCD, ADHD, thought disorder, and reactive attachment disorder. Actually his brother and sis have RAD
    All three kids are so attractive and fun-loving. All have mild mental handicap also. Birth mom was alcoholic and drug-user, and kids lived in horrible Russian orphanages for 2 to 5 years. All three physically and sexually abused also. Most of this information was not passed on to our adoption agency or us. Were told they were developmentally delayed and would do fine with a loving home and parents.
    We love the kids, but all the stress has strained our marriage and I have had nothing but poor health since the boys arrived in 2000. Sometimes when I need to be away from them and rest I feel guilty leaving their care to my husband. Vasya requires constant supervision and can be physically agressive also. All doctors tell us he will always be dependent on us. He's such a character and the cutest little boy I have ever seen.
    I am well past worn out... doctors say that I can't go on like this, but I keep going until I'm so sick that I'm an invalid for days. Some days I wish I would not wake up in the morning--am fighting big time depression right now.
    Mental health issues creates so much chaos to other family members. I hope your husband seeks further treatment and that you can remain strong for him. He can be helped with the right interventions.
    I feel your pain and will pray for you. God bless and please find a way to have time away from your husband.

  17. hagardreams

    hagardreams New Member

    I find myself praying for all of you. I know I am in a bad place, but when I hear your situations, it makes me feel so selfish. I am praying for all of you, and hope that God will give each and everyone of you a special blessing. God bless you all, Julie
  18. millennia

    millennia New Member

    I always thought bipolar disorder was so rare, I'm surprised so many of us have relatives with this disease. Can't help but wonder how badly it has affected our symptoms. I have a ten year old adopted daughter who has early onset bipolar disorder. It is so painful to not be able to help her at times. Obviously I do what I can, I take her to the doctor, I watch her take her meds and make sure she swallows them (bipolar people are famous for not taking their meds), but still with all the meds we've tried and the therapy and everything we do... Sometimes I see this change in her eyes, it is like she has just totally lost control and I know that there is no reasoning with her. To see someone you love in pain, so lost, and not be able to help. It is a horrible thing. And how you feel about yourself for getting mad at what is beyond their control, that is a horrible feeling too. But we need to vent, we're chronically ill dealing with mentally ill family, if we're still going than we've done pretty well. Sometimes we all have to do what is best for ourselves.
  19. akwildflower

    akwildflower New Member

    I'm new here and could not help but read your message. I have been a mental health therapist for 20 years and have fibro (diagnosed in '02) and major depression (probably really PTSD as I was sexually abused as a child). My 16 year-old son has ADHD. The stigma regarding all of these illnesses is still terrible and there is much work to be done to dispel the myths!! I work two jobs and am raising two teenagers so I know what you mean about having no social life. My husband (also a therapist!) copes by involving himself in many Church-related activites! He gets angry because I need more support than some other people. (I don't look sick!!!)

    I, too, would suggest contacting NAMI. In fact, I'm considering doing that myself. Why should I be ashamed of my illnesses? My friend who is a medical doctor is never ashamed when she gets a sinus infection! The brain is a part of the body and it gets sick, too!

    Enough of my soapbox!! Please take care of yourself and don't be afraid to ask people for help. Faith-based organizations such as the United Methodist Church and Catholic Church come to my mind. And always remember that you are not responsible for anyone else's behavior. Remember, too, that you are not alone! May God bless and keep you.

    Peace and all good--
  20. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    My husband suffers from OCD. He has to have everything in perfect order, and clean ( he's not worried about germs, just having everything clean and put away at all times, no matter what it takes to get it that way).

    There are so many aspects of this illness, that greatly affect whoever lives with them.

    He takes medication, and it's helped some, but per his doctor, he got treatment too late in life to ever be much more than 50% better.

    We look back, and can see that it must have started when he was about 12 years old. That was in the late 50's, and there were no medications, and really no one knew what was wrong with him.

    He tries so hard. He's really a good person, but sometimes his problems are so overwhelming, he looses his temper with me. It's been pretty bad at times.

    But, we turned our lives over to the Lord when we were about 23 years old, and we have learned to do a lot of praying!!

    It hasn't been easy. We didn't have children because he was afraid he would pass it along to them, and he was afraid he would not be able to cope with children, because you can't expect them to be neat and clean.

    I thought I had it hard living with someone with OCD, but when I read of how many others have so much worse in their families, I feel ashamed of myself.

    I know without a shadow of a doubt that my FM was either brought on, or made worse because of the stress I've had at home.

    God bless each one of you.