My wife has had bipolar for over 50 years

I am new here and my wife who has had bipolar for over 50 years and all our marriage for 35 years. The doctors,consultants say she has bipolar but they never tell you too much. Currently she can't stop talking to her self ,repeating things and having what I would call anger anxiety attacks. The so called experts never seem to get her normal / stable,. It is not surprising really given you wait six months for an appointment with an expert and you always get someone different.

I am so tired of it and so depressed it really is getting me very depressed thinking that there s really no hope for her or me.

Does any one else have experience of these symptoms and feeling f hopelessness.

19 Replies

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  • My aunt is bipolar, and have been at least 40 years. I read an article that said omega3 , B12, and Magnesium are some of the deficiencies associated with bipolar, but my aunt want take these supplements, she don't want to take her prescribed medication. Look up what deficiency cause bipolar. I hope this helps you, but don't give up.

  • Many thanks

  • B12 deficiency can cause severe neuropsychiatric problems. The neuropsychiatric implications were first identified why a doctor tried using it as a placebo in treating a patient who was going through psychosis and was drug resistant intending to switch it to a drug once the patient had got used to taking it but never needed to do anymore than treat with B12.

    I had 40+ years of depression and anxiety before my B12 deficiency was finally identified and it is now gone - so it may be worth looking in to.

    Don't know if either of these links is of any use - you've probably seen them before. It might be worth trying to contact your local Mind and see if they have any support groups for carers in your area - or can recommend a group as there quite frequently are support groups. Really does sound as if you need a break to be able to recharge your batteries.

    mind.org.uk/information-sup...

    mind.org.uk/information-sup...

    Some people with bipolar find that mindfulness/mediation helps them - can help you to be more aware of what is happening and catch changes in mood quicker before they get to the point of becoming crises, so might be worth looking into that.

  • Thank you very much For your information,so kind .

    So glad you are well --take care.

  • Hi Smithy115

    I'm sorry to hear you and you wife's situation. I thought I would share my story, my mum had bipolar disease for years it was a very hard time for all of us as it took a long time to get the right medication to work. My advise is change doctors try different medications and she will find the best and will improve.

    As a child I didn't understand much but I have to say that what you are doing by supporting her as best as you can and not leaving is the best you can do. My mum managed to loose all her friends and family and was a disaster for her. So support and being there is such a great help. It is very demanding for you and stressful but do ask for help from GP, nurses, support groups. Anything you can find to talk about it and advice.

    Keep at it and trust me you are not alone and we know how hard it is. Let us know how you get on. Good luck x

  • Many thanks

  • I don't have bipolar but work with people who have and it is very difficult to stabilise there mood.

  • So sorry this has been your life. There are medications that help.

    Is she taking anything?

  • Lots of different drugs which the experts increase and then decrease the said levels depending on how the patients Mood swings are operating. It is a never ending cycle . The experts are all we have which in this field of medicine ain't very much ,all about trying to get the patient stable .... But not cured.

  • 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Hi smithy iam under a consultant at this moment they think I have bi polar they have given me a mood chart to fill for a month then I have to take it with me on my next visit I've had 3 sessions with councillors that have all mentioned they think. I have it! But it's taken a lot of phone calls and breakdowns to get this far but not sure what they will do next if iam diagnosed with it

  • Try and stay calm ......They will most likely put you on medication which may help you ....I do hope it works for you ....try and keep the same consultant ,that is very important if possible.

    There is a great book called "self help for my nerves" written by Doctor Clair Weekes get a hard/paper copy and read it when you need too. My wife used it like a Bible for over ten years, it did help her.

    All the very best.

  • Thank-you smithy

  • Hello Smithy, I've got bipolar disorder like your wife. I think the best she needs is a psychiatrist who can prescribe her the correct treatment. Our problem with this illness is that we need to be very down (depression) or very high (mania) to go to an hospital to see a psychiatrist. He or she is the only one who can give you the right treatment. It's very hard for the people who surround us, like family and friends, when we've got a crisis. I can understand it's not a very good situation for your wife and you. If she is getting worst insist with your GP to see a specialist. I wish you the best and I hope your wife gets better.

  • Hi Albimarin,

    Thank you for your kind response......I agree it is all to do with the psychiatrist....unfortunately due to the state of the NHS and when you move into the old age mental health system all we have in our area is locumn psychiatrist and given it takes about six months to get an appointment ,when you do get one there is no consistency as you see a different expert ever time.

    In my opinion bipolar is without doubt one of the worst illness any one could have and unless you have it or live with it for many years nobody really knows what a terrible illness it is.

    I do hope you have a good support system and they have you on the correct tablets that makes you life worthwhile.

    My wife because of her age is having to have her tablets changed/reduced and unfortunately that is where we are at the moment.

    All the very best to you and please keep believing.

  • Thanks a lot. I like a lot your reply. I think the government should invest a lot of more in mental health. For the moment the only doctor who control my medication is my GP. If I feel in need to go to the psychiatrist, I have to wait 4 months???. It's hard for my partner as well. Yesterday, my partner and me, for the first time, went to a group about bipolar. It went well, I'm going to go next month again. It's a shame it's not each week. In the meanwhile I also can go to the nurse from the psychiatric team. Keep believing as well, this is like a fight with not end. If you have good moments, when your wife's mood is more stable, make the most of it, like we do

  • Cheers mate...take care.

  • I was diagnosed with bipolar 21 years ago. I had gone psychotic and that was the first major episode I had. I usually had the depression but not the mania, until 1995. I was prescribed Lithium and was stable until I came off Lithium on the advice of a psychiatrist who had read a report that said Lithium was bad to take for someone with osteo-arthritis. I was given another mood stabilizer but did not take it seriously with not needing regular blood tests. I thought maybe I did not need it - so very wrong. I managed around 18 months before I went manic and then straight into psychosis once more. I came out of the psych unit after 10 months and still not on Lithium. I again went psychotic and I lost everything, family, home, dog and everything. I ended up living rough and then in hostels and 'friends' houses. Its took 7 years for me to feel stable again. I was on Lithium for 4 of those years but living in a bad situation so still very depressed although more reactive depression. It is for sure, for me, the most evil of conditions. A chemical imbalance in the brain and you need medication to put the balance there. I wonder with your wife is there a possibility that she may have another condition running alongside the bipolar? I only query that because I have worked in the user movement and seen people who have only been treated for the primary condition on their medical records and have had a secondary condition, undiagnosed, running alongside. The average wait for me for a psychiatrist is 6 weeks. I am in East Yorkshire. I do have 117 entitlement (due to being on section 3's in the past) and I am still seen by a CPN who arranges appointments with the psychiatrist. If your wife does not have a CPN you can ask your GP for a referral. This may help you with some of the very understandable feelings you have. My family just could not cope with the manifestation's of my psychosis's. I have to say I understand that totally. I basically went to hell and took them with me 3 times + all the many severe depressions. The good news here for me is I am now almost 10 years in remission. Not cured but for now I am, to all intents and purposes, and I intend to remain that way. No way will I ever stop taking Lithium ever again. I wish you the best and I admire that you have stayed around for so long supporting your wife despite your own feelings of depression and desolation. Take care.

  • Cazmarelda,

    Thank you for your kind and informative message.

    I will check out those points you have raised....one of the problems my wife has they have reduced her lithium by one third per night due to her age and the side effects that have now caused her hands to shake violently. They are replacing and reducing a lot of her tabs due to her age ... we are in their hands so we are going through it at the moment.

    Anyway, I am sure glad you came through your horrors and are feeling much more stabil....you keep taking the tablets prescribed you must especially the lithium.

    You be very proud of yourself ,you were in a really bad place and you climbed out of that hell...you are a very brave individual.

    I obviously wish you all the very best and stay safe!

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