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Topic : 08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

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Created on : Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:43:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 03/07/06) Dr. Phil explores the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. This illness takes its victims on an emotional rollercoaster ride -- from elation to extreme irritability, intense rage, or devastating depression. First, Cathy was diagnosed with Bipolar II, 10 years ago and claims she goes from zero to psycho in 15 seconds. Dr. Phil takes a look at the toll her disorder takes on her two boys, and brings the family together for a dramatic moment of emotional healing. Then, during various manic episodes, Fred has stolen a taxi, crashed into a Starbucks, and climbed to the top of a church. He hears voices and believes that movie stars like Denzel Washington and Robert De Niro are talking to him through their movies. Still, Fred thinks he’s ready to move out of his parents’ house and live on his own for good … but should his family let him? Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

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September 3, 2006, 6:33 pm CDT

my prayers to you

Quote From: lovevacation

 

My husband has done the same to me. My husband and I have been married 10 years this year.

We also have 4 kid (twins8, 12,16)  He has always taken anxiety pills.  It has always been under control and then some major entered his life and overnight he just woke up and said he had no feelings for me or the kids anymore.  We were building a new home at the time and when it was completed in June he did not move in with us.  He moved to one of our rentals.  We are legally seperated right now.  He has now set himself up a regular home and to me it seems he has no plans of coming back.  He says he loves us but he doesn't know why he'd give up everything.

Things seem to be getting worse and worse.  He doesn't really have anything to do with me and the kids.  The only thing I can say on the positive side is that he does still work.  He does still provide for us but It's pretty expensive running two households so I feel like I might have to start worrying soon.

Every day I worry about what my life will hold tomorrow.  It is hard to concentrate on anything else.

At first like I was in total shock.  I had to go through the whole grieving process.  Now everyday I just hope I can see a glimmer of something in his eyes.  He is a stranger to me.

If you would like to chat more let me know.  We could use the support.

Shannon

I was just diagnosed with bipolar.... I am now going thru the medicine adjustment thing... Ive never had major manic episodes or any real anger problems... but one thing I can say that might make you feel better is that ITS NOTHING YOU HAVE DONE just keep that in mind. Bipolar is a real problem and if you read information on it maybe you will get some incite on this problem... Dr.s usualy dont tell you much. If he is going thru medicine changes he might just be overwhealemed and may very likely snap out of it once the right combination is found. I am very sorry about you and your children.. I am sure you are living a true nightmare. But you will make it. Yur husband might just be needing a break so to speak... I know sometimes I have felt that it is hard enough dealing with my own mind let alone trying to live my life and emotionaly sometimes I felt dead. I hope he gets better soon that way you can get your family back. Dont give up on him yet. As long as he's not being harmfull to you or your kids deafanitly try to work with him and maybe he will realize where he belongs.

 

~Josie~

 
September 5, 2006, 6:22 am CDT

thank you for the words of incouragment

Quote From: tearslikerain

I was just diagnosed with bipolar.... I am now going thru the medicine adjustment thing... Ive never had major manic episodes or any real anger problems... but one thing I can say that might make you feel better is that ITS NOTHING YOU HAVE DONE just keep that in mind. Bipolar is a real problem and if you read information on it maybe you will get some incite on this problem... Dr.s usualy dont tell you much. If he is going thru medicine changes he might just be overwhealemed and may very likely snap out of it once the right combination is found. I am very sorry about you and your children.. I am sure you are living a true nightmare. But you will make it. Yur husband might just be needing a break so to speak... I know sometimes I have felt that it is hard enough dealing with my own mind let alone trying to live my life and emotionaly sometimes I felt dead. I hope he gets better soon that way you can get your family back. Dont give up on him yet. As long as he's not being harmfull to you or your kids deafanitly try to work with him and maybe he will realize where he belongs.

 

Josie

You know it's nice for someone to finally say something incouraging.  I have read everything there is to know about Bipolar so I do definately understand it is not our fault.  The problem I'm feeling is that he just seems so disinterested in our family.  I know from what I've read it happens and a lot of the time all that he can do is think about himself it is just really hard to deal with.  I see him doing things that are so out of character for him and it's hard for me to imagine he is just going to get better.  The sad thing is he is losing faith too.  He is never violent although in the beginning he just kept saying he wanted to kill everyone.  He's past that with the help of the meds.  I love him, I truely do but to be honest with you everytime we see each other I either get mad or start to cry.  It is so emotional for me to know there is nothing I can do or say to make him feel any different.  I look at him and have no idea who this man is.  I'm trying to be very patient but it's getting harder everyday.

I tell him that I'm not expecting him to move home, not really expecting much just to show some kind of interest in us, a phone call to make sure we were okay, just something and he can't even do that. 

My hardest thing is just remembering what we had and wondering if we will every really get that back again.  I know this is a disease, a life long struggle but I keep hoping we will have some kind of normalcy at some point.

Thank you again for the words of incouragment and I sure hope we can talk again.

I also wish you a fast healing process because I do have sympothy for all of you.  I can't imagine what you are going through Either.  I know this is more than about us.  Hope all goes well.

Shannon

 
September 6, 2006, 8:51 am CDT

I don't know what to say

Quote From: lovevacation

You know it's nice for someone to finally say something incouraging.  I have read everything there is to know about Bipolar so I do definately understand it is not our fault.  The problem I'm feeling is that he just seems so disinterested in our family.  I know from what I've read it happens and a lot of the time all that he can do is think about himself it is just really hard to deal with.  I see him doing things that are so out of character for him and it's hard for me to imagine he is just going to get better.  The sad thing is he is losing faith too.  He is never violent although in the beginning he just kept saying he wanted to kill everyone.  He's past that with the help of the meds.  I love him, I truely do but to be honest with you everytime we see each other I either get mad or start to cry.  It is so emotional for me to know there is nothing I can do or say to make him feel any different.  I look at him and have no idea who this man is.  I'm trying to be very patient but it's getting harder everyday.

I tell him that I'm not expecting him to move home, not really expecting much just to show some kind of interest in us, a phone call to make sure we were okay, just something and he can't even do that. 

My hardest thing is just remembering what we had and wondering if we will every really get that back again.  I know this is a disease, a life long struggle but I keep hoping we will have some kind of normalcy at some point.

Thank you again for the words of incouragment and I sure hope we can talk again.

I also wish you a fast healing process because I do have sympothy for all of you.  I can't imagine what you are going through Either.  I know this is more than about us.  Hope all goes well.

Shannon

Wow, your spouses have left you. I don't know what to say that could make it all better.  I'll pray for you, that you can find happiness, no matter what happens.  Trust in God. He has a plan for you.  Pray a lot...turn it over to God...lean on Him...He's always there for you.  I'll keep you both in my prayers. 

 

I was diagnosed with bipolar 15 years ago, and I had to try a lot of meds before finding the right combination.  My husband stayed steadfast and true through the whole thing, even when I was "Oger Mom", with a bad temper.  Both mania and depression can cause anger.  My doctor says that Bipolar depression is different than the "standard" depression.  Bipolar depression is more psychotic, and the mode of thinking is very distorted.

 

If you husband has expressed wanting to kill everyone, perhaps he is distancing himself for your safety. 

 

Keep in contact with your spouses.  Don't pressure them to come home.  They will come when they are ready.  Just let them know how much you love them and care about them.  They may not be capable of loving anybody else right now...perhaps they can't even love themselves right now.  Let them know that you are praying for them.  If they are expressing that they want to harm themselves or others, get the police involved...they can get them into the hospital and keep everybody safe.

 

Bipolar disorder makes people do things "out of character" for them.  Over-spending is usually done in the manic phase, or in a mixed episode.  Thoughts of harm to self or others can happen in both phases.  It takes time to find the right meds and to become stable.  I hope that everything turns out for the best.

 

Keep praying, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Becky

 

PS the Dr. Phil's Bipolar message board has a lot of compassionate people reading and posting to the board.  Come visit...there may be some people who have been through what you're experiencing right now.  Go to "message boards", then to "Mental Health", then to "Bipolar Disorder".  Please keep us posted on your progress.

 
September 6, 2006, 9:34 am CDT

something I forgot to say

Something that might help YOU deal with your spouse's Bipolar Disorder is to get into counseling for your own stress of dealing with your current situation.  Anybody with Bipolar Disorder should be seeing a psychiatrist AND a counselor to learn how to live with this life-long condition.  There are ways to cope with it, and medication plus coping skills are key to a happy life.  The people who live with someone with Bipolar Disorder should be in counseling too, to help understand your own feelings about what is going on, and how to cope.  It is depressing and distressing to be going through such a major event in your life...counseling can help.  God Bless.  Becky
 
September 6, 2006, 9:38 am CDT

oh, and...

Oh, and something that may help you to understand your spouse is to read a book called "Salt and Sugar", written by Jane Thompson, who has Bipolar Disorder, herself, and has been through major life problems because of the Bipolar Disorder.  You can find it on authorhouse.com

Another book that may be helpful was written by Patty Duke, who also has Bipolar Disorder.

 
September 7, 2006, 10:19 pm CDT

Thanks!

Quote From: mustbecrazy

Wow, your spouses have left you. I don't know what to say that could make it all better.  I'll pray for you, that you can find happiness, no matter what happens.  Trust in God. He has a plan for you.  Pray a lot...turn it over to God...lean on Him...He's always there for you.  I'll keep you both in my prayers. 

 

I was diagnosed with bipolar 15 years ago, and I had to try a lot of meds before finding the right combination.  My husband stayed steadfast and true through the whole thing, even when I was "Oger Mom", with a bad temper.  Both mania and depression can cause anger.  My doctor says that Bipolar depression is different than the "standard" depression.  Bipolar depression is more psychotic, and the mode of thinking is very distorted.

 

If you husband has expressed wanting to kill everyone, perhaps he is distancing himself for your safety. 

 

Keep in contact with your spouses.  Don't pressure them to come home.  They will come when they are ready.  Just let them know how much you love them and care about them.  They may not be capable of loving anybody else right now...perhaps they can't even love themselves right now.  Let them know that you are praying for them.  If they are expressing that they want to harm themselves or others, get the police involved...they can get them into the hospital and keep everybody safe.

 

Bipolar disorder makes people do things "out of character" for them.  Over-spending is usually done in the manic phase, or in a mixed episode.  Thoughts of harm to self or others can happen in both phases.  It takes time to find the right meds and to become stable.  I hope that everything turns out for the best.

 

Keep praying, and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Becky

 

PS the Dr. Phil's Bipolar message board has a lot of compassionate people reading and posting to the board.  Come visit...there may be some people who have been through what you're experiencing right now.  Go to "message boards", then to "Mental Health", then to "Bipolar Disorder".  Please keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks you for the words of incouragment.  You know that was what I found hard to believe about all of this.  Everything I read about Bipolar I hardly ever heard of them leaving their families.  This nice person was only the second one.  And to hear that she had left him with no remorse no matter how hurt and confused he was summed everything up for me.  That was my life. 

I do pray a lot, cry a lot, think a lot and try to focus on my kids more.  The only difference with him being away is that it seems that he is running istead of trying to face this with the people that love him most.  The scary thing for me is that I want to be hopeful, but the longer he stays away, and the longer he ignores his family it's going to make it all that much harder to let him back in.  If he ever decides to come back.  Right now I have my doubts.  I know I don't trust him so that would be another issue I have to deal with.

The best part in all of this(I do feel sorry for this other man) but it is nice to hear that someone else is living my life.  Someone that can understand my feelings, my fears, my pain instead of the illness of my husband.  Sometimes I think the other family members get left behind.

Anyway.  I will keep praying and I hope you will for us to.  My name is Shannon his name is Tim.

We have four kids Lakeyn, Kennedy, Morgan, and Dustin.  Nice to talk to you all and would appreciate any help you could give me.

 
September 8, 2006, 9:23 am CDT

my prayer list just keeps getting longer all the time

Quote From: lovevacation

Thanks you for the words of incouragment.  You know that was what I found hard to believe about all of this.  Everything I read about Bipolar I hardly ever heard of them leaving their families.  This nice person was only the second one.  And to hear that she had left him with no remorse no matter how hurt and confused he was summed everything up for me.  That was my life. 

I do pray a lot, cry a lot, think a lot and try to focus on my kids more.  The only difference with him being away is that it seems that he is running istead of trying to face this with the people that love him most.  The scary thing for me is that I want to be hopeful, but the longer he stays away, and the longer he ignores his family it's going to make it all that much harder to let him back in.  If he ever decides to come back.  Right now I have my doubts.  I know I don't trust him so that would be another issue I have to deal with.

The best part in all of this(I do feel sorry for this other man) but it is nice to hear that someone else is living my life.  Someone that can understand my feelings, my fears, my pain instead of the illness of my husband.  Sometimes I think the other family members get left behind.

Anyway.  I will keep praying and I hope you will for us to.  My name is Shannon his name is Tim.

We have four kids Lakeyn, Kennedy, Morgan, and Dustin.  Nice to talk to you all and would appreciate any help you could give me.

I'm glad to hear that you are moving on with your life...I hope Tim can find peace in his mind.  I will continue to pray for you and your family.  I just can't imagine how painful this must be for you.  I feel extremely blessed that my husband, John, is in my life, and my three boys, John III, Scott, and Matthew.

 

Keep your friends nearby...keep praying and crying.  Crying washes the windows of our souls.

 

Becky

 
September 17, 2006, 11:36 am CDT

meds

Quote From: mustbecrazy

I hope you are feeling better, as it has been awhile since you posted.  You family should be your main support when you need it.  Afterall, you've been there for them all of their lives.  Your family loves you and will not get tired of taking care of "mom". 

 

Unmedicated Bipolar disorder is a fast train on a short track!

 

If you are worried about medication side effects, discuss it with your doctor.  Ask about side effects for every medication that your doctor wants to prescribe.  But, remember that everybody experiences side effects individually.  You may not have all of the side effects that the drug lists...you might not have any.  Sometimes, it is a trade-off...a few side effects in exchange for a peaceful mind.  Yes, you will need medication for the rest of your life, but you are still alive, and the meds can get you to a new level of normal.  Counseling is sooooo important too.  Counseling will give you the tools you need to cope with every day stressors.  It will help you to recognize your mood swings before they become extreme.

 

I have been on Bipolar meds for 10 years...I can't say it has all been a picnic, but I'm on a good combination of meds, and I take life one day at a time.

 

I'll pray for you.

 Just wanted to let you know that lithium was a nightmare for me.....I was on it for about a 2 years plus 2 different antidepressants one at a time and eventually a anti anxiety med.  The side effects of the Lithium were unbearable and I was offered no alternatives (I don't know if they had some of the current meds that I am on now). Lithium gave me uncontrollable diarrhea, I couldn't even go for a walk around the block. I was also so letargic I felt weak as a puppy. I eventually went off my meds and I went about 1 year with nothing, then I began to explore holistic meds and therapys but after about another year I began to rapid cycle so severly that I hospitalized myself for about 5 days and they started me on Wellbuterin. It took abou 8 weeks to get my first consultation and durig that time some of my symptoms worsened. I then saw my new doctor and he has been a godsend. The meds I am on  have very few  (if any) side effects.  He was hoping to wean me down on some of them but I am in the process of a divorce right now and it's just not realistic right now.... I know that I will HAVE to stay on my meds for the rest of my life and I don't care. It is obvious to me and those around me that I must. My husband cut all financial help to me in May and I lost my job and the past 2 weeks I went without medications it was becoming a nightmare.  I was noticing the changes  right away but  the people around me were getting very annoyed with the behaviors that I had begun to express. Normally, I sometimes check with my friends to see if some of the thoughts that go through my head are realistic or exaggerated. Without my meds the thoughts began racing so fast and I began to act an them (not violent, just kinda strange, very irritable and annoying) not dong a double check and my sentences began to become just as unfocused and racing as my mind. I had gone to a church group, my doctor (free samples) for meds but until 2 days ago I got refills and slowed down some already. i am very sensitive to changes and even though they mostly say you won't feel the effects for a few weeks, I can tell right away. I guess by reading this you can see they haven't gone away totally. Tell your doctor that you are displeased with the way your meds are working, maybe he/she will try something else. It is also within your rights to get a second or third opinion for a treatment plan from other doctors. See what they might suggest. Change doctors if you aren't completely satisfied with the way you are being treated for your disorder. My doctor is a psychiatrist AND a neurologist. This disease is neurological in origin (along with other factors). Good Luck, I think Lithium may help some, however, there are so many new drugs  out and I have found them to be better for me.
 
September 17, 2006, 11:59 am CDT

Know your meds

Quote From: meli27

 

I have tried antidepressants, antipsychotics and nothing worked. I tried seraquel, sorry cant remember how to spell it but it is a mood stabbalizer and that worked amazingly well. I will say I quit taking it do to my friends and loved ones telling to quit because of medical reports that scared them about the meds. I am hoping to get financially capable so i can afford differant mood stabalizers, which work much better than the antidepressants/antipsychotic.

 Sometimes it amazes me that people are un educated (no offense but please use the resources we have) about the meds they put into their bodies. The inserts and handouts that are given to you with the medications at the time you pick them up are informational as to the use and side effects and possible interactions with other medications. Seroquel is known a s an anti-psycotic drug. It is used to treat mania, schizophrenia and certain other mental condidtions. It can decrease hallucinations and improve concentration. It can help you think more clearly and positively about yourself, be less nervous and take a part in everyday life. It also has effects on the cycles of bipolar and lessening the extreme highs and lows but so do all the meds we take in conjunction with each other. There are many other meds that act PRIMARILY as a mood stabilizer.
 
September 17, 2006, 12:13 pm CDT

Self absorbtion

Quote From: bpwoman76

 Hi

I do really well with my BP also, but I agree with you.

It is so much more than just mood swings.

I don't have a problem with the money thing, and my thoughts really don't race when I am on my meds, but I also struggle with low self esteem, chronic anxiety, memory problems, ADHD type symptoms, paranoia and I am self centered to a certain degree.  I would not say  selfish though.

People with a chronic illness need to focus on themselves to a certain extent to stay well.

I think that the two guests do represent extremes of the disorder, but that there behavior is very bipolar.  I totally agree with you on that point.

I look at Kathy and say "there but for the grace of God and a good shrink go I" because I am a n angry when manic type too.   I have just been lucky enough to respond to treatment and to get early intervention.

But it is hard for me to see the disease in its extreme form and scary too.  Maybe that is why the other poster responded in the way that they did.
 Boy ! it's funny but I have always said it was a me, me, me world. I have to really concentrate on asking others on how they are doing and then really listen and be a friend. I will vent or rant and rave when others are going through sometimes a worse situation than I and I always try to explain that I do not mean to negate or make less of their situation. I know mentally that everyone has their ups and downs and I get very guilty about my way of thinking. I really believe I am fortunate to have the life I do...I see others that have it so much worse. I just forget that alot. I am a whine (or vent) but I try to explain myself and why I think that way and say "call me a WHAAAmbulance" or "give me some cheese with my whine" and it helps take some of the resentment or misunderstanding away.
 
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