I got this email the other day, and I wanted to share it with you:
“I think I’m going crazy. Half of the time my wife is in a good mood but the other half of the time she’s yelling and angry at me and I dont know what I did to deserve it. Either that or she’s ignoring me and sulking like a baby. I’m so tired of trying to figure her out! But at the same time I love her and wouldn’t even think of leaving her. I just wish I could help her in some way. I hate to see her so depressed but I hate it when we fight, too, especially when I don’t know what its about. Im so confused because she doesn’t seem to act this way around anyone else but me. I just wish she’d be in a good mood all the time. Do you think I’m being selfish?”
Well, first of all…I’m not a psychiatrist or therapist, or any other kind of doctor or mental health professional, like I always say, so I can’t begin to counsel this man professionally. All I can do is give my personal opinion. But it sure does seem like he’s struggling with his wife and her bipolar disorder, doesn’t it? Worse yet, it seems like she’s struggling with it herself. If she were more stable, she wouldn’t be showing these signs and symptoms, like the anger and other acting out behavior her husband described (moodiness, etc.).
First, let’s talk about the signs of bipolar mania. Many people think it’s about being excessively happy. But that’s not always the case. It can also mean increased irritability, anger, agitation,etc. In this case, I would say that fighting with her husband, especially when it seems to be for no good reason, is a good indication of that. However, she is also showing signs of depression as well. What he says about “ignoring me, and sulking like a baby,” could be just plain old depression. He even says, “I hate to see her so depressed.” So there may be other signs of depression that this man is not describing in his email to me as well.
He says, “I’m so tired of trying to figure her out!” As a supporter, you may be feeling the same way. It is hard to “figure out” bipolar disorder. Even your loved one, when asked what is wrong, may only be able to tell you, “Nothing’s wrong.” Or they may just say, “I’m fine.” When they’re obviously not fine. They may not be able to figure it out any better than you can sometimes! He says that she only acts this way around him. Well, that could be because sometimes people with bipolar disorder act like they’re wearing a mask around other people, afraid of what they’d think of them (the person with bipolar disorder) if they really knew how the person was thinking or feeling. But when they get home, they drop that mask, and they trust their supporter, so their true thoughts and feelings come out (sometimes in a negative way).
This man says, “I just wish she’d be in a good mood all the time.” I know that when I was living with my mom, and she was yelling at me all the time, I sure felt the same way. I wanted her to be “normal.” I thought every other mom was happy all the time. But my friend, no one is in a good mood all the time, whether they have bipolar disorder or not. Are YOU in a good mood all the time? Then how can you expect your loved one to be in a good mood ALL the time?
Finally, this man in the email asks, “Do you think I’m being selfish?” Well, I have my own opinions, but…What do YOU think? Do you think this man is being selfish?
Well, I have to go!