Toddlers: 24 Months+

anyone else have a DH with mental illness?

my DH was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder...I always thought something like that so I wasn't shocked. At the time he was willing to at least take medicine but I don't know that he's ever completely accepted it. I could see a difference with him on the medicine...he claimed it didn't work but refused to try anything else. He was also seeing a psychologist who managed the meds but he doesn't like her and refused to try anyone else. He has since stopped taking the meds and seeing this dr. I have seen glimpses of the way he was prior to being diagnosed but he's basically saying now that there is nothing wrong with him and the dr was wrong. This had caused such a big problem in our marriage and I thought when he got diagnosed and was on medicine it would solve most of our problems...he's so moody and can be explosive at any moment. I feel like I never know what to expect! I also hate when  he starts screaming about nonsense in front our kids! He's so stubborn and I don't know what else to do but I hate how he gets!! :(
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Re: anyone else have a DH with mental illness?

  • {{hugs}}  Are you seeing a therapist also?  That would be my recommendation.  It will not only help you deal internally with his issues, but also how to discuss them in a way that is productive.  

    H has struggled with depression, ptsd, and anxiety which have recently come to a head.  We've seen counselors here and there which have helped but, well, only so much.  ANYWAY, his anxiety has recently began to affect our daily life as a family, which it never had before, so he has been started on a sleep aid (rx by his PCP) which has actually improved his attitude a little.  He was sleeping maybe a few hours a night, waking frequently, and his mood was severely affected.  

    He has also let me know that he is ready to see a doctor that specializes in ptsd to help resolve some other issues, so we're working on getting that set up now.

    Do you know why he refused to try a different doctor?  Mental illness is such a scary thing, especially something like bi-polar disorder.  H was raised to think that any type of mental illness is a sign of weakness, so he has gone untreated for basically his whole life.  It's sad when I think about it, how he may have missed out enjoying things because he was angry or sad or anxious or whatever.  As long as you feel that you and your LOs are safe I would try to 1. see a therapist for yourself, and 2. try to give him a little time.  There were times when I would get very confrontational and offensive towards DH and all that ever lead to was a fight.  When I would give him a little space is when we could really have productive conversations about how his behavior is affecting our family, and how to try to get back on the same level again.

    Good luck with everything; again, it is so, so hard to go through so I hope you're able to get him help.
  • I have only tangential experience with bi-polar.  That said, staying on meds and staying active with a therapist would be a REQUIREMENT for me to stay married to someone with bi-polar.  Otherwise, he is an unpredictable threat and it's not safe for anyone - especially the kids, who will suffer from his outbursts and be denied a secure home.

    I know it sounds harsh, but this is a totally black and white picture for me.

    Please see a therapist yourself, to help understand and work through your feelings and emotions on the issue.

    Good luck!  I hope he'll come around.  My fingers are crossed for you.
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    jcrising[Deleted User]fraseyLexiSophie55
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  • I'm so sorry you're going through this. My sister is mentally ill and it's extremely hard to deal with. I agree with PP about seeking out a therapist for yourself. He/she will be able to offer you advice and maybe have suggestions for a new doctor for you DH, as well. Would he be willing to see someone new if you did the research on new docs and all he had to do was show up? I know my sister has no motivation and takes no responsibility for herself (all part of the illness, I think), basically, but is willing to accept help when offered. Could you find a new doc and set up an appointment?
    jlpev
  • I have only tangential experience with bi-polar.  That said, staying on meds and staying active with a therapist would be a REQUIREMENT for me to stay married to someone with bi-polar.  Otherwise, he is an unpredictable threat and it's not safe for anyone - especially the kids, who will suffer from his outbursts and be denied a secure home.

    I know it sounds harsh, but this is a totally black and white picture for me.

    Please see a therapist yourself, to help understand and work through your feelings and emotions on the issue.

    Good luck!  I hope he'll come around.  My fingers are crossed for you.
    This exactly.  One of the difficulties with dealing with bipolar disorders is its unpredictability and the fact that as he ages, it could change and potentially get much worse.  I wouldn't want my children in such a potentially scary environment.  I would require him to be on meds and in therapy, and I agree you should also seek therapy to deal with the difficulties you are facing.  Remember, bipolar never gets better or goes away -- only the symptoms can be treated with medication and therapy. Without those two things, it will likely get out of control, and you don't want yourself or your children in the line of fire. Many hugs to you and good luck.


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  • thanks everyone! I have seen a therapist in the past to deal with some things and was thinking I may go back....I found another doc near our house so I may wait a bit and then try to suggest this new person.
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    frasey
  • tas1883 said:

    My DH has an undiagnosed learning disability.  He refuses to be tested. We were seeing a marriage counselor for almost 2 years who asked him a few times to be tested to help me understand why he was being the way he was and not willing to move forward.   He kept going on about how stupid he is and how he can't do anything right.  I found out about a lot of his early childhood during those 2 years and things that happened 30 years ago at school which wouldn't happen today or even 10 years ago and I kind of understand why he does some of the things he does.  We stopped seeing the counselor a while back as we were not accomplishing anything and I am trying to convince him to try someone else out.  The bad part is he still refuses to be tested or even see a MD for what I think is mild depression which runs in his family. 

    Does your H have any family support that could help you get him back to seeing the doctor and on his meds?  I know my DH has none which is a big frustration on my part.

    his mom knows about his bi-polar but his family never discusses anything serious...she hasn't even talked to him about it since she found out. His siblings don't know either so not really....I really get the brunt of it b/c we live together obviously...
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  • Here's the thing - the kids cannot protect themselves from his outburts and his episodes.  They will expect him to behave like a "normal" adult, and will internalize his negative behavior, thinking that they caused it and that it is normal and that something is wrong with them to be causing the negative outbursts he has.  That will f***-up their brains.  I know because I grew up in a household with mental issues.  (And hey, turns out narcissism is not treatable.)

    Why do you want your kids to experience this? They will.  You cannot always hide them from it (even if you tried, they would at the least experience the act of you hiding them from it, which will still cause problems).  Growing up in fear SUCKS.

    (I know I come across as harsh.  I have no sympathy, pity, or consideration for people with serious mental health issues that do harm other people and still refuse to get medical care.)
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  • I have been thinking a lot about this since reading your post and I fear for you and your kids' safety.  I think you need to give him an ultimatum - meds and therapy or you and the kids leave.  It will be the most difficult thing you can ever do, but it would be much worse if he has some sort of bipolar episode that makes him dangerous and he harms your kids (which he would never do except for this serious illness that he is suffering with).  PLEASE make him get help or get out.


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    [Deleted User]Beevol
  • DH has ADHD that he has been dealing with his whole life. He's been on meds, but has never consistently taken them until about 4 months ago. Something major took place at work that was his fault, and he realized that his inaction was more of a problem for him then he realized. It has always been a source of great stress for our marriage and relationship when he would be off his meds. He would usually start to take them, then forget, then not bother to get back on them on until something major would happen, like me telling him that I've had enough and if he doesn't seek help, then I'm out.

    This last incident, he nearly lost his job (and still could, he's not completely out of hot water yet), and he realized the impact that this would have on him, and us as a family. Through work, counseling was made available to him, and he started seeing one of the psychiatrists that his work provides. This has made a WORLD of difference for him. He was seeing a psychologist prior to that, but she was specific in dealing with only ADD/ADHD, and she wasn't helping him beyond giving him prescriptions to meds he wasn't remembering to take. I'd asked him about seeing someone else, and he would always refuse. Because he had to go to this new doctor through work, he's now seeing both. The same doctor for the ADHD and the psychiatrist to deal with issues that weren't part of that. The sessions that work gave him are done, but we're going to pay for DH to continue seeing this doctor, because she has done so much for him in such a short time. DH would game for hours on end, he was depressed, he was shut off, he'd never exercise, it was tough to get him to help out with chores.. Now he's started running, taking care of himself, remembering to take his meds, he helps so much with everything...

    For me, if DH wouldn't have gone for help, at some point we wouldn't have survived. It's a deal breaker for me at this point. Now that DD has come along, I can't have him falling apart all the time, and if it comes to it, and he won't seek help, I've told him I have to do what's best for myself and my daughter, I refuse to be with someone who won't help themselves when it's available.

    Anyway, that was longer than I expected, but my suggestion would be to find a way to get him to deal with the problem. Counseling for you might be beneficial to cope, but if he's not willing to admit to, or seek treatment for his problem, then it's not going to change anything. I'm sorry that you are in this situation.
  • I am so sorry you are going through this, Bipolar disorder is a very serious, but treatable, illness. The stigma that persists about psychiatric illness leads to many people denying their illness, not seeking help, not having access to care, and not having support from family and friends in dealing with it.

    I agree with other posters that you must take care of yourself and your children. It is unhealthy and possibly unsafe for your children to be around their father until he is treated and stable. I'm sorry.
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
  • There is nothing less fun than 8 hours at knifepoint with the person who tells you they love you.. and wondering IF they love you ENOUGH not to do it.,... and please don't get me started on the guilt tripping that goes on in "family therapy" to keep spouses at their side.. and that is by the medical staff not your spouse.  I was lucky enough not to have kids with my ex husband,  so I know that makes a huge difference in how you tackle this.  

    Listen to the previous posters and get help, if he won't  take it.. get help for you and your kids  to create a safe environment until he is ready to knuckle down and keep his family safe.  Your kids have to be your #1 priority.  I hate to say it but I still think Bi Polar is sadly over diagnosed and over prescribed and used as a scapegoat for bad attitudes and people who want an excuse not to deal with stress... We all got shit going on sometimes.. you either deal with it or roll over

    ...Not everyone with issues  is Bi Polar..some are just asshats.  If he truly is, then he needs help or he will lose his family eventually.

    HUGZ wish you and your family the best, hope you can work this out.  

    Oh and on a side note..about the therapist, I agree with trying a different one..  my ex started refusing to attend his therapy sessions because he said the therapist was a hypocrite... she wanted them to reveal all in group sessions about past drug abuse and such and she refused to answer their questions regarding her own useage ... If he feels unable to trust or relate to the therapist, that could be part of the problem.
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  • I grew up in a house hold with a dad who had a "chemical inbalance". My dad sounds just like your h. My dad was awesome when he was on his meds. But horrible when off. I hated being home. He would even be physical with my brothers & mom.
    I sometimes wish my mom would have stood up for herself & us kids. But my dad would have gone nuts probably. Depression runs deep in his family. My grandpa committed suicide. So my mom was scared to leave him.
    I would definitely seek a therapist. Don't be afraid to leave. I remember begging my mom too. I love my dad dearly but growing up with him was hell. Good luck!!
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  • If he doesn't want to get help, and doesn't think that getting help will "work" then there is very little that you can do to help him or make him do the things he needs to do for himself. 

    If/when you get to the point where you are done with his emotional violence and when you begin to see how living in fear of Daddy is impacting your girls, then give him an ultimatum and be prepared to leave. Right now, he has zero incentive to get help - it causes him no discomfort for things to be as they are, so why should he bother doing anything differently? 
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