Supporting and promoting the well-being of mental health carers and their families.
Mental Health Carers Austalia.
Something’s not right
10-09-2019 06:54 PM
Dealing with depressed and BP partner
hoping to get some sort of suggestions on what to do and how to deal with my partner. He was in hospital at the start of the year due to a psychotic episode. He was heavily smoking weed and became extremely paranoid that I was cheating and would question me endlessly often asking the same questions and never believing me. He was in hospital for a week and quickly recovered within a few months. He retreated from his friends, was angry at a lot of people and thought everyone was treating him badly. It was an extremely difficult time for me to manage as I had never encountered someone so close to me with a mental health issue other than depression. I stayed quite strong through it all but when he was recovering I couldn’t feel like I could talk to him about the way he treated me and now feel like I’ve kind of being carrying a bit of resentment towards him. I’ve tried to tell him how I was feeling during that time, however I think he thinks I’m trying to attack him when I tell him and so doesn’t really take me seriously. I also think he has forgotten about some things and because he was only seeing things from his distorted perspective he now can’t understand how he projected into me...
He has stopped taking his meds and has started smoking weed again and is increasingly becoming more depressed,
im not sure what to do
11-09-2019 03:58 PM
Re: Dealing with depressed and BP partner
Hi @Lilymills14 ,
Having a loved one in psychosis is very scary and being the person in it is harrowing.
Psychosis effects everyone differently and isn't particular to Bipolar & Schizophrenia, just about all diagnoses can escalate that far where hallucinations and delusions manifest while unwell. But it sounds like your partner may have lashed out at you, or behaved in ways that have really rattled you.
It is by all means possible to develop traumatic stress from being a carer or from being in a mental health unit with other acute patients.
To spring back only after a few months, I am not a doctor, but I am thinking that it could have been drug induced, but then again possibly not. But your partner has been very lucky that it didn't derail him for 12-36months like it does a lot of people.
Has the psychiatrist told you if they believe it was?
It can't be easy having another variable to contend with, with the addiction. He would have to completely detox for quite a period for doctors to get an accurate diagnosis and to see his mood across time, drug and alcohol free. Maybe that he is able to tolerate high amounts of drugs or alcohol is an indication that he doesn't have a severe case, because it would flip his biology if he did & he'd end up in ED again, but that is no reason to feel comfort, mental ill health can come on so suddenly for all of us, and most people are at risk to some degree across the life span.
My psychiatrist said that psychiatry really lost something when they started becoming obsessed with 'symptoms' like checking off a list, and going straight to a diagnosis, and turning away from the phenomena, and ceasing to examine the actual content of hallucinations. By examining the nature and content of hallucinations an experienced doctor will be able to tell if they could be dissociative or trauma based hallucinations as opposed to drug induced or something like BP or SZ. At the end of the day only the couple knows the sticking points in their relationship and if the cheating paranoia could be relieved with some relationship counselling it may be worth looking into it.
The body will also give the doctor some clues, especially the heart rate and blood pressure and if bradycardia is persistent they will get some clues and a little more info about the person's experiences by looking at the physiology and not just the mental health without having to ask the patient explicitly. Marks can be left on the body and nervous system and this may help the doctors come to a more accurate diagnosis.
I think irregardless of what your partners diagnosis is, the relationship would need help from a trained professional to help you navigate past this traumatic time. Its not possible to do it on your own and we are not supposed to.
If I was in your position I would get myself individual psychotherapy too because you need a private space where you can talk without fear of aggression and blame. I hope you can find the right professionals to help you on your journey. You guys might break up for very pedestrian common place reasons that effect all couples and not to do with mental illness. You still have to be compatible to make it work and currently your needs aren't even being heard.
11-09-2019 04:31 PM
Re: Dealing with depressed and BP partner
Welcome to the forums, I'm one of the moderators. That sounds incredibly difficult experiencing your partner's paranoia that was fixated on you. That must have been so painful at the time and it's understandable you would still have emotions around that, which don't go away just because someone has recovered from their psychosis. On top of that I can hear you are worried about his current drug use and what that might mean for you both. I hope you find the forums are really supportive place.
And @Corny it is so good to get the benefit of your experience. I wanted to flag that the forums are a peer support space so part of our guidelines involves not giving medical advice. So many members have a lot of experience around mental health and treatment and there is so much wisdom here, but when it comes to medical advice it is always best to consult with our health professionals.
Take care and hope to see you on the forums more @Lilymills14,