Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is it really bipolar?

I'm really starting to wonder if maybe DH's problem is due to something else, not necessarily bipolar???

It's all so strange, I'm not sure what to think. When I type in all of his symptoms on the internet, it always results in a ton of links to bipolar web sites. But a lot of his symptoms don't really fit a textbook case of bipolar, either. Like these memory problems. This morning I asked DH if he thought the memory problem that he had on the way to Spenders was just because he was drowsy, and he said, "No, it was something else completely." And he got this really scared look on his face, so I changed the subject again. That's not bipolar, from what I can tell.

And he's only 35. That's way way too young for dementia, isn't it?

I don't know what to look up to see what else it could be.

In the meantime, he did set up an appointment with the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioneer for Wednesday, so hopefully she'll have a better idea as to where to turn next....

And he has an appointment with his regular doctor on Jan. 22, and I think I want to go with, if he'll let me, just so I can listen to any test results that might be discussed (from the tests that he had done with the neuropsychologist in November). It seems kind of strange to me that nobody has called wanting to discuss the test results, and we haven't gotten any "all clear" letter from them, either (not that we were expecting that).

Today, DH has been very depressed. He's been just laying in bed, watching TV again. He's telling me that he feels "weird", "not right", and "pointless". So I've just tried to be supportive.

A question came to my mind this week, after the memory lapse on Saturday:
When I think about DH being bipolar, the fact that he is depressed, or any of his other behaviors or problems can make me so angry, even though I know with all my heart that this person is not the person I married. But still, all I can think of is how miserable he makes me.

But when I thought about him having dementia instead, suddenly I felt very guilty for being angry with him in those contexts. All I can think of is "oh, that poor guy, what can I do help?" I'm trying to decide if that is because of a deep-seeded prejudice that I have been harboring, or if maybe my mom having dementia makes it easier for me to understand? I've been trying to figure it out so that I can change how I respond to him if it turns out that we are just dealing with mental illness, as originally thought.


Pann said...

I think you might be just reacting to the specific behaviors that he has that make you angry.

The "bipolar" behaviors -- overspending, being listless and down, etc,-- are ones that make you angry because they are so unfair and affect your life so miserably.

The "dementia" behaviors -- like forgetting things -- make you frightened and worried.

You have a right to feel any of these emotions and more.

Just because he can't help doing these things, that does not mean that you shouldn't have an emotional reaction to it.

Don't let yourself fall into feeling guilty just for having feelings -- you are coping as well as you can.

I am sure you will do what you can to help your husband.

I sure hope you get some answers from the doctors soon.