What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Colin_1705
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What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

Postby Colin_1705 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:47 pm

What help and support can you expect from a good mental health team if your spouse has bi polar?

If your spouse says "do not tell him anything". Can you still expect some help, especially if the bipolar can affect the three children?

jenny lucas
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Re: What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

Postby jenny lucas » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:23 pm

Good old catch 22! That said, if children are involved, that may make them 'relent' - there may possibly be a 'safeguarding' issue of some kind, and that may give you some leverage??

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Re: What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

Postby sonia_15111 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:39 pm

I have been a carer for my husband who is bi-polar for the past 20 years. I completely understand how difficult it is to liaise with mental health support when your partner is uncooperative and distrustful. The problem is that they do not always have the insight to see how their mental health condition is effecting their behaviour. Usually when you are introduced to the mental health services it is when you are in crisis and your partner is unwell so the professionals will see your partners behaviour when they are ill and they will not know what they are usually like. Some people can be over the top, loud and excitable and not be bi polar. This is where it necessary for you to step in and advise that this is not how your partner usually presents when well. This is difficult as your partner may feel that you are being disloyal but when they start to recover they will understand your reasons.
If you are not truthful with the professionals your partner may not get the correct help.
I have occasionally spoken to my husbands consultant before an appointment to put her in the picture of how things are going, she can then access my husbands responses to her questions.
We receive 3 monthly appointments with a consultant psychiatrist at our local mental health centre, we can also call them for support in between appointments. My husband has also received counselling, cbt and joined various groups referred by his consultant. There was also an offer of a social worker and when our children were under 18 we had a family support worker who came to the home. I will admit that it was only after 10 years of diagnosis that my husband agreed to any of these services. Prior to this he was unable to accept that he was actually bipolar, I think he still is loathe to accept this although he does cooperate. My point being that there should be a support network out there for you. Good Luck

jenny lucas
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Re: What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

Postby jenny lucas » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:07 pm

Is this a time for 'firm love'?? As in 'Seek and accept help or our marriage is over' type thing?

I agree there is a fundamental cognitive problem when the MH person says 'But I'm not ill in the first place so why would I need to seek and accept help?', but in a way that isn't the point. They don't have to 'agree with you' they simply have to accept the terms of the 'marriage bargain' - which is 'accept help or I walk out, because my love for you is not a bottomless pit of sympathy etc. YOU have to 'put something in' to this marriage, or it isn't a marriage at all and I want out.'

That's putting it VERY bluntly, obviously, but it is what it 'boils down to' in the end.

However compassionately we feel about someone with MH, we should never forget that WE have a 'right to a good life too', irrespective of whether an MH spouse can understand the burden they are on us!

(I would say the same in respect of someone with dementia, as well - my MIL cannot cognitively comprehend why she was a 'burden' but she WAS, all the same, which is why I 'withdrew my total care' from her - of course she suffered - as in, she didn't get to live with me any more, but it truly was not 'my fault' that she had dementia, and it is not anyone's 'fault' if their partner has MH by the same token.)

Apols all round if my attitude offends or annoys, but there it is. There's a 'limit to tolerance'....and I think, too, that it can take reaching that limit to actually change things as well, for the better. While we 'tolerate' we can slip into 'enable' instead of 'support' and that is not good for the MH patient is it? In a way, we have to be 'firm' for THEIR sake, as well as ours!

Colin_1705
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Re: What. Support should you expect if your spouse has bi polar

Postby Colin_1705 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 pm

I remember very clearly, about twenty years ago now.
Patient had an out patients appointment with the psychiatrist. He wanted her to go into hospital, she did not want to and ran out of the room. I was. Waiting in the cafe, the psychiatrist came out to speak to me in the corridor in public. And said he wanted my partner to go into hospital, I replied that I did not think that was a good idea. Too which he replied "She is your responsibility then"

I wonder what would have happened if I had agreed with him? I think he would have tried to get me to sign something as Nearest Relative.

But he failed to talk to me privately and he failed to offer me support from the CMHT.

I just think that services in my County are totally dysfunctional


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