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Advice on first dealings with bipolar maina episode - Carers UK Forum

Advice on first dealings with bipolar maina episode

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hello,
* Pre warning there is a lot of info in this post, maybe I ramble a little, but I have struggled to find anyone to speak to who may have been through a similar experience *

This is my first time posting and first real experience of being a carer of my previously lovely wife before this manic episode. Now some background. I have been together with my wife for 12 years and married for 10. She has told me all the details of her bipolar and previous psychiatric hospital stays. In all of the time we have been together she has never gone into a manic phase or even shown any signs of it. I first noticed a difference in her when one morning at 5:45 she came into ours and our daughters room shining a torch in our faces. I woke up and she was talking at about 300 miles an hour and making no sense. I spoke to our go and she was prescribed diazepam. She didn't want to speak to the doctor herself and was scared to death of going into another unit.

She took the diazepam and slept for a short time and was acting quite normally. As soon as the doctors surgery closed (it was a Friday night) she changed again. She was no longer talking in sentences but decided she was psychic and was using phrases and catchphrases of famous people. I was making sure she was taking the tablets but the situation was getting worse. I broke down in front of her several times and this seemed to make her happy, and carry on with the nonsense she was talking.

I carried on looking after her until the Sunday. By this time I was physically and emotionally exhausted, she would follow me round and demand I make her cigarettes constantly. She then told me she had cheated on me which tore me apart. I asked who with and she mentioned 2 names one of which was her first fiancé who I know lived down South and the relationship did not end well ( she found him in her bra a knickers pleasuring himself!)

I called 111 and was told to go to a and e for an assessment as the diazepam were not helping and the situation was getting worse. We were eventually seen and my Wife kept repeating don't let them lock me up. I spoke with the mental health nurse and talked about inpatient treatment, or home based treatment. I wanted the best for my wife and opted for home based treatment. We were sent home and told to keep taking the diazepam.

I was almost dead on my feet, it had taken 9 hours to be seen in the hospital and I wanted to go to bed. As my wife had probably had 4 hours sleep in 3 days I suggested she did the same. She decided to stay up, and heard her open the front door and go outside and came back in mumbling to herself. She did the same thing 2 minutes later and was shouting into the street asking someone to come in. She closed the front door went into the lounge and starting turning the light on and off. I came downstairs to find out what was going on and make sure she was safe. I took the key out of the front door and went back to bed. For the next 30 minutes she would go into the hallway and ask me where the key was as I needed to let her mum in as she was outside and it was raining. It was 12:50 and her mum was not outside. She repeated this probably 15 times getting more and more aggressive. She then decided she wanted her mum.

I called her mum and my wife spoke to her and asked her if she was outside and if she had a present for her and then threw her phone to me. I explained what had happened and when it started as she had dealt with her during previous episodes. We went to pick her up and I was basically told to go to bed.

The next morning I woke up and heard laughing and joking coming from downstairs and thought everything was ok. I was met with a massively aggressive person, who looked like my wife, but was telling me to get out. I went upstairs to get some things together for me and my daughter ( who was staying at a relative's house ) and came back downstairs to have a cigarette and a coffee to wake up a little. She tried to push my out of the door, which I shrugged off and carried on with my objectives. As I was making a cup of coffee she came into the kitchen and threw another barrage of abuse towards me and started to punch me in the back as I wasn't reacting to her.

She emphasized the fact that I need to go and eventually I realised I wasn't helping anymore so left. I spoke with her mum on the phone and she said she couldn't cope with her anymore. I spoke again to the home based team who advised her mum to call an ambulance.

Meanwhile I have an in home camera and could hear my wife pounding on a door in the house and shouting threats to her mum. I panicked and called the police as it sounded as though she was going to kill her. The ambulance arrived just after the police and she was taken into a and e again.

I later found out she was going to be sectioned under section 2. I headed back home as I was told the house was a mess, and it was now safe! She had thrown everything she could carry into our hot tub and smashed everything up.

The following day I tried to find out some info on her and was not getting any callbacks or updates, and the mental health team at the hospital were not answering. After 5 hours on the phone I managed to find she had been admitted to another hospital and was told a number to contact them. I managed to get an update and finally find out what was happening.

Since she has been admitted she has been assaulted twice by the same patient so was put on 1:1 caring. She has also managed to get another patients phone whilst on this 1:1 care and call the police and make some allegations ( of which the police will not give me any information of them).

I have managed to talk to her tonight and she was very sharp with me, told me to take some cigarettes and take our daughter to her. She also told me we were done and she wanted her daughter there now. I found out from the nurse that she refused to attend her ward round and will now have to wait until next week to have her meds raised again as advised by the nurse.

I am almost never able to speak to anyone on the ward and if I do they have to go and check with the nurse and smallest amount of info is given. I am not able to go to the ward due to Covid 19 and I am getting to the point of frustration as I can't get any information from the nurses and it all feels a little hush hush

So my questions are this. Do the above symptoms sound like bipolar mania, or a personality disorder? Regarding the night she spent with her mother, she suffered abuse from her husband and tars all men with the same brush, she has said they didn't talk about me, but for my wife to throw me out the following day and behave in the way she did, I thought it was very suspicious. Are assaults common on psychiatric wards and is it usual that during 1:1 care she is not watched at all. I am worried about her safety. Is the breakup just caused by the mania, or am I wasting my time and money by running around taking clothes and cigarettes to someone who no longer wants me in her life.
Hello Simon, welcome to the forum

So sorry to hear about this situation, it sounds very stressful and upsetting for you. I'm sure there are others on here who are, or have been, in a similar situation and can offer some support.
Have you looked through the advice pages at Mind? there's a lot of information for people in your situation, both for supporting your wife but also, importantly, getting support for yourself. Details here:

https://www.mind.org.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQob ... gJdnvD_BwE

We're running weekly online meet ups for carers to get together and chat informally, people generally find them to be very supportive and enjoyable. Do join us if you'd like to, sign up details are here:

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ne-meetups

Best wishes

Jane
Hi Simon,

This is a classic Bipolar manic episode!

I hope the hospital have started to communicate with you and you've had some calls with your wife now. My Uncle is Bipolar and has been sectioned about 7 times that we know of. He refuses to take any meds and his bipolar is triggered by smoking weed combined with cycles of depression/ anxiety. He always seems to go manic in the summer.

My advice would be:
*Don't blame yourself
*Bipolar is very swings and roundabouts
*Call the hospital and ask to speak to the ward manager
*Ask for an update and medication review
*Insist you want to be part of the clinical reviews - via phone or video link

Everything you have described is classic bipolar. It often shows as confusion, fear, crying, laughing, stripping naked, hearing sounds from plug sockets, people feeling high and thinking they've found the meaning of life. Their conversation will be a fruit salad of words/ fears that dont make sense. Some elements seem lucid. Others angry, fearful, paranoid. Often it's triggered by the condition, drink, drugs or past traumas. Do not blame yourself.

Usually what mental health teams should give is:
*A mood stabilizer like an anti psychotic druge
*Lorazepam for anti anxiety (better than diazepam)
*Sleeping tablets

They should also do physical health checks and exclude things like UTIs causing confusion.

Recovery can be slow. Esp if the person doesnt want to take meds or believe they have an issue. The key is working with the MH teams and yourself to help your wife spot the warning signs of a manic/ depressive episode and mania earlier. This could be stuff like broken sleep patterns, feeling highly creative, wanting to take risks and meet with odd people, or putting themself in risky places, hallucinations etc.

I hope things are settling. Corona is making everything much worse for families and people in need. That feeds into paranoia.

Sadly some patients do get injured by other patients. You can log an email complaint with the NHS trust, I often do. Then things usually improve. It's also key they let you chat to your wife whether she's unwell or not. So also push for that. Remember some drugs will make her look or sound dulled or a bit zombie like. Asking for a med review can help ensure she's been given the right ones and correct dose.

MH care is very patchy in the UK and low paid. So keep pushing for answers. Usually when My uncle is sectioned it takes 2 weeks for him to settle on meds, then come out and be under the community team.

Good luck