temporarily bipolar? (g2)

I actually have more of a question.

Some years back, a friend’s spouse became rather erratic. I don’t know all the details, grand was a hellacious gossip with a vast truckload of source material for embellishment (30 years later, the doc declares grand had been early stage dementia pretty much from my birth on. Guess who wasn’t shocked?). However, I do know or understand that their spouse was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when their behavior got pretty strange, put on a medication regime and they were pretty much cut out of the finances and given an allowance.

Fast forward a half dozen years, the spouse stopped taking medication when they became pregnant and declared they didn’t need anymore, that things “adjusted” after their child was born. As far as I can tell, she simply has the energy of an energizer bunny on coke 24/7 and is just generally an early to bed, early rise type of person. They have a structure to their daily routine and their skills with organization are second to none. This is years and years ago now, and I’m happy to report they are one of the most together couples I know.

But I just want to know. I had always thought things like bipolar disorder were as much a part of your being as having a particular hair color, having asperger’s, or arthritis. I’ve never even considered it could ever just go away. Something just sounds really odd there and its kind of been bugging me for years. Is there something else that can be caused by a hormone imbalance but still manifest like bipolar disorder?

Anyone have any experience/feedback on this one?

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  1. #1 by blahpolar on December 10, 2014 - 8:44 am

    It doesn’t ever get cured, but it can go into long term remission. It’s a recurring disorder though.

  2. #2 by You Can Change Your Spouse on December 10, 2014 - 11:01 am

    Doctors aren’t always right. Spouse may never have had bipolar in the first place. Who’s to say now anyway, when all the facts are hearsay?
    Obviously there was something wrong but they had the clarity to work out a life for themselves that didn’t involve the meds. Plus they had to deal with grand all along. Kudos to them. John

  3. #3 by g2 on December 10, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    hmm, I guess I will expand further. During one erratic period in particular, she had disappeared for a couple weeks with a mutual friend of the couple of the opposite sex. He was the one who ended calling my friend to come get her. I’m a little sketchy past this point but apparently when they found her she was broke and had been going nonstop for three days straight.

    Nowadays, she is very devoted to her family. But she takes a focused obsession with things like coupons, dieting, exercising, trips, etc that make me wonder if she hasn’t just channeled it to a functional level and maybe it wasn’t all that severe? Is that a thing?

    What I mean is, when they were planning a vacation a while back, I was presented with a 4 inch thick binder completely with maps, coupons, attraction articles, hints, tips, etc of where they should go and what they should do. It wasn’t regimented like a drill sergeant, but when I say her skill in organization is second to none, this is how it manifests.

    She loves a particular show so much, she has watched it several times from beginning to end (over six seasons) and can quote lines from just about any episode. This isn’t just one case, but many things, this is just my best example off the top of my head.

    From what I did research about bipolar when we all first heard the term, it sounded like a good match, but it doesn’t really now. Ever since then, there hasn’t been any manic episodes that I could ever tell. Our friend isn’t the type to get into things much, but I know those early days were really rough on him.

    Have there ever been points where hormonal fluctuations have affected it? Have you guys had any experience with… oh, I dunno, certain things that affect hormones, puberty, monthly cycle, birth control, etc… have they ever caused it to worsen or lessen?

    Thanks for jumping in on this!

  4. #4 by You Can Change Your Spouse on December 10, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    sounds like an issue of control. She had periods of losing control of herself and going off the rails for days/weeks. Now she controls absolutely everything in her life to a t, because the alternative to her is completely losing control again. Do you know what her childhood was like?

  5. #5 by g2 on December 12, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    hmmm, YCCYS you might have something there. I don’t know much about her childhood. I know she is the eldest of three and she doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents. These “swings” occurred right before our friend married her. They had been living together for a bit then. I don’t know much of what their relationship was like before then, like I said our friend is private.

    Blahpolar, thanks for checking in on this. When I first heard the term “bipolar” I read what limited amount of information I could on the subject (before interwebs). I know she was on lithium for a bit there, and it seemed to help.

    I’m one of those who latches onto something new like a rabid dog and I have to read everything I can about it. I like dragging the elephant into the middle of the room and discussing the shit out of the thing because I think he gets smaller when we acknowledge him, so it is really frustrating that these two have this unspoken taboo about discussing it. I suppose they want to leave what’s the past in the past, but isn’t there a possibility it could come back (as Blahpower points out, it always remains if bipolar)? Their child is about to go off to college, the birth of whom marked the big turnaround in the first place. Wouldn’t knowing what to do to stave off a massive episode be a good thing? If there are coping mechanisms to minimize, etc.

    But if its about control…maybe redirecting to something she can obsess about is the answer. It would almost be lovely if it were so simple. It makes me wonder what spurred her to toss out control back then. God, I’m a nosy ass.

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