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Anyone with experience of Manic episodes please. - Carers UK Forum

Anyone with experience of Manic episodes please.

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Good morning all

I am struggling to deal with all the stuff going on with my husband and this acute phase. He has now been on a locked psychiatric ward for nine weeks, he is sectioned on a section 3 and I heard yesterday the tribunal is likely to be in three weeks time. He is on new treatment and he is warmer to staff and patients, but not so much me. The staff and myself don't support discharge, I have said in my report to the tribunal he can’t come home to me in his current state as he is threatening and abusive to me and keeps going on about divorce and his future plans alone without me.
During the nine weeks I have been on a roller coaster ride, of aggressive outbursts to my face and by telephone. He is threatening to me, with no regard for my feelings or how hurtful the comments he makes are; he is obsessed with a divorce once he is out of the ward, this isn't something we ever discussed prior to this most recent event and isn't something I support. He is talking about his plans for the future, all alone and how with the divorce settlement he will begin to live his live alone.
Whilst on the ward he has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, a diagnosis he refuses to accept and one he refuses to take the mood stabilising medication for, therefore remains in an elated state. He will only comply with the anti psychotic medication, previously diagnosed with schizophrenia for 15 years and one he accepts.
Yesterday, I went to the ward; bear in mind that over the last nine weeks, I have gone for weeks without seeing him, days and days with no phone contact, therefore underneath all this I miss him greatly. Prior to this latest episode we have always had a good life together, in- deed weeks prior to admission he was telling me he couldn’t imagine life without me, now he says the most hurtful of things to me, for example we have no children due to me apparently, he told me last week?? When this is due to him not wanting them and being ill, now for 15 years. We have been together for 18, married for 7 in July. He took the decision to not have children prior to our marriage at that time I wanted him more than children I may never have.
Yesterday, for the first time in 9 weeks, I sat down with him on the ward, in the dining room. He was nice to me for about an hour and we chatted about general stuff, nothing major, it was apparent he is still unwell, when he made comments like this ward isn't like it used to be and the staff are all out for themselves? He introduced me as his wife to several patients and we chatted to them? I thought we were having a nice time, he even made me a cup of tea, the afternoon was going well and it was lovely.
He advised he is staying in touch with his friend who left the ward on Thursday when he gets out and they have swopped numbers. This is a male friend and as my husband has no friends usually I was pleased he may have perhaps made at least one?? Well a little hesitant due to the other person having issues and not imagining mental illness in two friends may be a good thing?
Then the bomb shell was dropped and it all began. He started to advise me when he gets out, he still wants a divorce, remember no mention of this in the weeks preceding admission, but now a keen feature in his mind. I said I don't want to talk about this in here, he said but I want to and the thought of it keeps me going. He advised me of the plan he has, how the accepts will be divided and so long as I play ball, disagreeing with nothing he wants, I will be better off financially and will not lose my home?
He talks of his future plans and how he will still be around to offer me support if I need it but he will have his own life. He talks of getting a job?? Bear in mind for the last 10 years he has been unable to work due to ill health and during that time he has had years of being fairly stable, therefore in my mind work is not really an option. I tell him and keep saying I don't want to talk about this in here, plus I ask him, what are you sharing with other patients in here about me??
My husband is a usually quiet man who doesn't tell folks his business. He tells me he is saying about the divorce, I ask him if he is telling folks about any financial settlement when he gets out. He says no just the staff. I then start to tell him that a woman stopped me outside and knows a lot about me and him, he says oh yes that is so and so, then I see red. I am going to keep in touch with her once I leave here too, only as a friend... This woman has already intermitted to me she fancies my husband and I have told staff I am not happy with this, they offer little support?
I got up exceptionally upset, I leave I come home in tears??
I calm down I ring the ward, they tell me he is still in a manic phase and once out of it the future may look very different to him. I read online that when folk are in a manic phase they make grand plans, and have amazing ideas, which may be unrealistic once they are well again. I still know this may be the case with him, I still hurt though.
I am now left distraught, hurt, exposed, and humiliated exposed to people I don't know, by him... Right now I hate him?? He is embarrassing me to this woman and other patients telling them where we live, where I work?? But he introduced me as his wife to so many of them and then went in for kill with the divorce thing again? It is confusing to me and I feel betrayed by him.
I have asked him to not contact me again, I will collect his washing once a week from the ward and drop the money off we have agreed he can have, but that is it. I have nothing to say to him. I don’t want to see him. I have heard nothing since yesterday, when he made a threat if I don’t comply with his wishes he will ensure I lose my home. The house we live in I bought with a huge deposit from my inheritance when my father died.
I have made contact also with a solicitor (last week) who is looking into what I can do to exclude him from our home as he poses a threat to me, plus I can’t have him home in this delusional state, were discharge given following the tribunal, as that would be detrimental to me and also him.
I am drained please your support is greatly needed??
Oh, my dear, what a time you are having - how absolutely ghastly to go through all this.

It's so incredibly difficult to know what to suggest. Part of me is saying 'Go with the divorce! Run, run, run as fast as you can away from such a deadly, destructive situation! Make a new life yourself, away from all this!'

But that is easy to say - not easy to do. Not easy to walk away from someone you love, that you have invested so much of your life with.

BUT, maybe the time has come to sit down, maybe with an expert in his particular mental illness and how it is presenting, and ask the toughest question of all: Can he ever get better?

You know you cannot go on like this, it's tearing you to pieces. If it has an endpoint, then you have something to work towards, but if he cannot get better (however that is achieved), then do you have any option other than to call it quits?

As for what he is saying to you in hospital, or to others, it would seem to my personal opinion that it doesn't really matter, does it? The very fact that he is in hospital, indicates that he can only speak to you 'from inside his madness', and that it is not therefore 'the real him'. And if he is speaking to other patients, then, they too, are 'discounted' as 'real' people because they are not in the 'real' world that you are in.

In practical terms, seeing a solicitor on your own behalf seems like an excellent and prudent thing to do, not just to help prevent him coming home before he can cope with the real outside world again, but also to safeguard your own financial position, should it actually come to a divorce.

This is just a passing thought and, like everything I say, comes only from my utterly inexpert and inauthoratiative comments (I'm just another person, with little experience in any of these matters), is that when he talks to you about divorcing you and starting a new life, I wonder if inside his head he's using a divorce as a 'symbol' of 'shedding' not you, specfiially, but his insanity? Is this him trying to envisage a life for himself where he doesn't have mental illness any more? or, as you indicate, is it part of his general grandiose ideas that come from his mania?

On a point of law, it seems odd to me that you say he is refusing a particular medication, because if he has been sectioned is he legally entitled any more to refuse it? (But maybe there are categories of sectioning??)

I wish I could find more positive and helpful things to say to you, but the situation is clearly quite, quite agonising for you, with no obvious 'way out' or any road marked ' Back to happiness'......

Wishing you a happier time to come, however that may be achieved, Jenny
It's a terrible situation, I don't have any knowledge of mental health issues like this, but I was married for 34 years (now widowed). I would be absolutely devastated if my husband said any of the things to me that yours has done. I hate confrontation of any kind, so did my husband, so we always worked through things, rather than argued. He seems to think he is in charge of you, that he can "control" you, so I think, maybe, you should assert your own authority. Make it clear that IF you visit him, you will walk away the moment he is unpleasant to you. If he says one word on the phone you don't like, put it down and leave the answerphone on. Regardless of whether or not he is in a manic episode, you need to protect yourself as much as possible from this emotional roller coaster. In the long run, I hope that he gets better and you can build a new relationship, if that is what you want?
Trigpoint this is so awful for you. I have no experience with the 'manic' phase - it's not something my son does. I do believe though that the whole episode, the divorce and everything, is a construct of the illness and not your 'real' husband. My son says terrible things to and about people when he's ill and the only reason seems to be that in his psychotic state he thinks they are threatening him somehow. It gets extra confusing because he can be quite lucid eg. when he's just woken up but quickly goes downhill as he gets more tired and anxious.

I agree that you should leave the situation/put the phone down immediately when he gets unpleasant, for your own sake, you don't need to hear that stuff.

Just wishing for you that this all resolves as soon as possible. Xx.
Hi I know this post is probably too late I went through went you are going through my husband had a manic episode this year and he wanted a divorce and made friends with a few women on fb one sent him naked pictures I know its ver very very hard and you feel like your world is ending, what I did was keep telling myself hubby is not himself it was like he was taken over by someone else mania is awful and can be destroying but your husband is clearly not himself try to ride the storm I had to detach emotionally and wait for the meds to work which does feel like a life time, my husband wasn't allowed home until the hospital knew the meds were working, be strong we are all here for you
I have manic episodes.
No its not too late Mezz and hi Trace.
He's got Schizoaffective Disorder which has both manic and psychotic symptoms! He's admitted last week to his nurse he's no better now than upon admission..
He is now speaking to me.. That's a slight improvement...
Still waiting 3 months now.. X
No its not too late Mezz and hi Trace.
He's got Schizoaffective Disorder which has both manic and psychotic symptoms! He's admitted last week to his nurse he's no better now than upon admission..
He is now speaking to me.. That's a slight improvement...
Still waiting 3 months now.. X
Having dealt with similar for many years (my wife has been admitted many times in the manic phase) perhaps I could contribute something.
There is nothing more distressing than seeing the one you love in this situation, nobody who hasn't experienced this first hand could ever begin to understand.
If you can do it (& I appreciate the inner strength needed to do so) then do absolutely nothing.
The person you are visiting may look like it but he is not your hubby.
Ever seen a movie where aliens take over someone's body?? This is the same but the alien is a hurtful, manipulating, deceptive illness.
In time he WILL come out of this, you just have to hang in there and take everything said with a pinch of salt - he may remember none of it once the alien is banished.
The right medication will in time control this but it's not all about pills. You'll need to identify triggers and make sure he gets plenty of sleep etc.
I appreciate you're in a lonely place, not many people (including ward staff unfortunately) will understand. If I can assist in any way just ask, hope this helps - it's really not the real him you're visiting!
Thank you for your replies very useful. He's diagnosed now with Schizoaffective Disorder which he refuses to accept. He's adamant he's not got psychosis or any mood elements to his condition. He's completely no insight at all! He's more tolerant of complete strangers on ward, patients he now calls "friends" it's sad, he has no friends on outside something he clearly craves presently. Usually this doesnt bother him. He's not manic running round talking nonsense he's manic writing his ideas down for hours a day. This he describes as his creative side coming out.. He seems adamant all staff and family are against him, paranoid delusions which are difficult to know what say.
Today he's asking for a SMART phone so can go on Internet with. However, I've asked staff to ask consultant if this allowed. Once he finds out I've asked he'll kick off.
My goodness today despite him withdrawn his tribunal application feel drained..