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the repercussions of mania on SOs...


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Okay so I have this problem...

I got manic. And thinking I was some hot shit and feeling cocky and independant and hypersexy and sometimes paranoid and talking wthout thinking at all etc etc (all symptoms) I severely hurt my SO by word, deed, and quasy-dumping. That would be during the manic period that preceded my last instance of Serotonin Syndrome and the rapid-cycling madness that followed it...I was hospitalized two weeks later. So I was not well, obviously.

Now, maybe BP should not be used as an excuse for hurful behaviours (what do you guys think???) ON the other hand, I do love him, and I recoil in horror at some stuff I said/ did...does not fit my caracther and beliefs. I did go sorta crazy.

The worst of it is, while this was actually happening, he was supportive, would call everyday to see how I was and send messages of love. Now I am predictably depressed, don't get out of bed or return phone calls to anyone but him and my best friend, am suicidal...I actually fixed a date, as no one seems to love me anymore and I realized that I am becoming less and less functional and more and more hurtful as the years go by, but I don't want to do it so close to my daugther's birthday, it would be unfair...anyways. Now that I am in that state, he throws everything in my face, accusations and shit everytime I talk to him, which is seldom, as he doesn't call. Also accuses me of malingering, going into the hospital on purpose (NOT! I was commited) ;)

I try to say that I didn't mean it, makes no sense to take me seriously then and not now that I've calmed down, try to explain mania...he doesn't get it. How do you explain? any resources? does it even matter that I was not myself or am I a horrible person anyways and should bear responsibility? WIFEZILLA if you read this, does it help the partner to understand the illness? PLEASE HELP...I still love him. After we figth I cry for hours (the rest of the day actually) and want to hurt myself...

I started Lithium a couple days ago...a risky med for me as it raises serotonin, but they are throwing anything at me now, gunea pig I am. 150 mg and already I have side effects...but whatever. I don't care much about anything...who cares if the shit is so hard on the belly and makes me pee every 20 min. I go up to 300 next week.

Could anyone respond please? I need some support really bad. I know I haven't been around much, but I've been sick (physically then mentally) since rigth before spring, so forgive me.

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Wow...tough one for first thing in the morning and me with no caffine...LOL

Lets see what concepts I can put together.....

Here are my thoughts on being the SO of a BP person and where these thoughts/feelings come from:

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Freesoul,

A lot of what you are presently feeling is simply nothing more than being in a low spot with the illness.

It sounds simplistic, but when your meds take hold you will feel better, things won't look so bad, and you will be able to get out and do more things.

I do want to correct you on one point:

I started Lithium a couple days ago...a risky med for me as it raises serotonin, but they are throwing anything at me now, gunea pig I am. 150 mg and already I have side effects...but whatever. I don't care much about anything...who cares if the shit is so hard on the belly and makes me pee every 20 min. I go up to 300 next week.

Lithium is NOT a serotonin promoter, rather it is thought to act on sodium channels. So there is no danger of serotonin syndrome if that is what you are thinking of. As long as you don't have major kidney disease, and have regular blood tests, lithium has fairly minimal physical risks.

Lithium should start to have some effect mood wise in about a week or two.

Hope you feel better soon.

a.m.

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Thanks for saying that, AM...hope it's all true.

Li is listed as contributing to serotonin agonism mostly in combination with AD's but after my getting sick with that SS thrice, both my pdoc and I are getting paranoid. It's awful to go through and also causes mixed/rapid cycling after, so even once you get well physically, it will affect one mentally for weeks afterward...I hope I never go there again.

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Lithium is NOT a serotonin promoter, rather it is thought to act on sodium channels. So there is no danger of serotonin syndrome if that is what you are thinking of. As long as you don't have major kidney disease, and have regular blood tests, lithium has fairly minimal physical risks.

As per my former PDoc, lithium is not recommended for those individuals with thyroid conditions (especially hypothyroidism, which many of us MI have). Also, lithium could theoretically cause an increase in blood pressure, though most studies have proven that is not the case. Get those things checked before you start/decide to start on Li.

(Of course, I ended up not in the lithium crowd when I explained to aforementioned PDoc that I was not only hypothyroid, but also had issues with blood pressure and was pre-diabetic.)

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Freesoul

I can really sympathize with the pain of hurting someone you really love when you're manic. I did that, too, not that long ago. It still hurts thinking about it and I am still putting pieces together. I feel embarassed by stuff I did and said.

I know what you mean about feeling like it's using BP as an excuse for bad behavior...but it's important I think for both us and for our SO's to learn that sometimes, it really is the illness talking. I have acted really out of character while manic and it has been very helpful for me and for my love to learn that almost everyone with BP who gets truly manic does these very things: they say things they don't mean, they act in ways they normally wouldn't, and they do things they later regret.

Somehow knowing that those things are common to the disorder can be healing. It has been to me and my SO, anyway. Long journey there, I'm not going to lie. But I'm one of those romantics who believes that true love conquers all.

I'm thinking of you. And I'm with the others...yes, give the meds time to kick in. And ask your SO for time...assure him that you're doing your part to manage this illness...you're seeing the doctor...you're taking your meds...and you're learning.

Take care of yourself. Don't be hard on yourself. You're healing. This really is an illness. It's not your fault.

~Cat

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Thanks to evryone who contributed...I'm still trying to get myself out of that particular bind. We'll see. But I'm tired of pleading and saying sorry aleady! hope my frustration doesn't turn into meanness soon.

As for Lithium and the horrible drepression. Well still taking it, and it got me up from that slump! about the third day I started felling better; this is typical of me, if I'm going to react well to a med it happens quickly rather than the usual couple of weeks.

But I'm sleeping just about six hours though. I feel a little high actually. I get into strange states of conciousness. And I had this experiece today, really weird...I went to Playland (amusement park) and a couple of the rides that are really vertigo-provoking sent me into tremors, loss of balance, shaking, electrial-shocks-all-over my-body thing that continued for 20-30 minutes. Couldn't even walk straight! for that long. Seriously, WTF???

Don't know what to think of that. Was it hypereflexia? just my body trying to adjust? brain shivers?

But anyways, the Li agrees with me otherwise and will continue it for as long as possible.

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hey freesoul --

Strange that you mentioned your weird lithium-induced side effects.

I had almost the exact same issues starting up on Lamictal (and for a couple days following each dosage increase).

Then again, both of these drugs interfere with sodium channel function, so it makes sense.

Just my $0.02,

--herrfous

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During a mania, I decided to leave my loving husband (he was depressed and I BP, but that's no excuse for what I did). I rented a van and took half our stuff, leaving him with the car, during a day when he was at work and i was at home. he came home to an empty house. he begged and begged me to come back, and we were seperated for 2 years before our divorce was final.

sure, manias can have a major impact. i was even medicated. you just have to really watch.

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Sorry not related to original post, but OMG Loon I left my ex in the same manner, just packed up my share of belongings and split while he was at work with no warning. Is that the manic way to end a relationship? Not that I regret it, he was a bastard, but it was kind of dramatic and avoidant behavior.

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Hey! Yes, several times I just packed up the one bag and left. With one or boh my kids, and a couple times by myself. To go to a women's shelter, since I had no money...or to hitchike alone accross the country forever (turned around quickly on that one! jeezz) or to follow some vision. Or because I was tired of that particular city, once. Manic, no doubt, but we didn't know that then...

A few times I'd leave while depressed, no clothes of course since I planned to off myself befioore the day was out on account of some real or perceived argument, thing he did/said, whatever. Then I'd call and threaten that I was gonna jump in front of the train or off the bridge and he had to talk me down.

It would have been easier for me to get diagnosed if I had clear psychosis I suppose. I get extremely delusional, even quite paranoid, but it all always makes sense on some level; I don't get frank psychosis. No I'm not complaining!

Still, I'm amazed that he never called a doctor or got help. He just lived with it, just accepted it as part of me for 12 yrs!!! and tried to deal with it. Some of the violence in the latter years was realated to him trying to prevent me from leaving, or getting fed up with what he thought were constant "mind games" (in reality, it was me thinking completely differently in different mood states). When it wasn't me attacking him, of course...

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Hey! Yes, several times I just packed up the one bag and left. With one or boh my kids, and a couple times by myself. To go to a women's shelter, since I had no money...or to hitchike alone accross the country forever (turned around quickly on that one! jeezz) or to follow some vision. Or because I was tired of that particular city, once. Manic, no doubt, but we didn't know that then...

A few times I'd leave while depressed, no clothes of course since I planned to off myself befioore the day was out on account of some real or perceived argument, thing he did/said, whatever. Then I'd call and threaten that I was gonna jump in front of the train or off the bridge and he had to talk me down.

It would have been easier for me to get diagnosed if I had clear psychosis I suppose. I get extremely delusional, even quite paranoid, but it all always makes sense on some level; I don't get frank psychosis. No I'm not complaining!

Still, I'm amazed that he never called a doctor or got help. He just lived with it, just accepted it as part of me for 12 yrs!!! and tried to deal with it. Some of the violence in the latter years was realated to him trying to prevent me from leaving, or getting fed up with what he thought were constant "mind games" (in reality, it was me thinking completely differently in different mood states). When it wasn't me attacking him, of course...

So it must be a BP thing. I have always fantasized about running away, have done it a few times. It must be some sort of escapism thing. I've moved so many times I cannot count. Hmmm....

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yes, it seems that one thing we do to our SOs is leaving them with no explaination or warning. sometimes i get into the "i love him and want him back!" mode, even though we were both MI and it wasn't working. it usually happens when i see pics of us together- we looked so in love and happy.

we're mental.

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