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My husband is in assisted living for 4 years for Parkinson's & bipolar disorder. I have been in counseling for the past 4 years to learn to disengage myself so that I can take care of myself. I have fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue. Today I am too tired to even get dressed and when I phoned my husband to tell him I wouldn't be able to bring him for a few hours, he cried like a baby. I finally had to hang up on him because he just wouldn't stop begging. He doesn't seem to understand that I have my own health problems that I have to deal with no matter how many times I tell him.
Does anyone out there have a similar problem, and if so, how do you deal with it?

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Hi Maybelle, welcome to AC! By the way, if you want to learn a person's background information (like who they're caregiving for, etc...) just click on their name. When you do, you can see their "profile."

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For those of you ignorant about lithium, I should have clarified that it is lithium carbonate, not the lithium for batteries. Since I drive a new Sonata Hybrid, I also carry a lithium battery in my trunk. Never can be too careful!
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Frustrated, check out narcisstic disorder . The behavior you mentioned is not necessarily BPD. Bi polars have lots of ups and downs as well. When they are UP they often do not feel the need for the meds as they are feeling great and so starts the cycle again.
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I appreciate all the comments. Each and every one of you have been helpful to me. Thank you so much.
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I am really wondering how you get a person who is BP to get the help they need let alone take their meds - regularly, even! I am positive my mother and my oldest daughter are both BP and both have rages, are drama oriented, never fail to be at the center of stirring things up and alienating people from each other. My dad has lived in denial for 61 years and he now is as hopeless as she is. She can be mean as a snake, cry at the drop of a hat, rage, never thinks she is wrong and has a definite victim mentality. My daughter, now 36, is separated from her husband who also bent over backwards to please her and whenever she wanted something that wasn't reasonable she would tell him he wasn't 'being supportive' of her. She was not an indulged and spoiled child and there were consequences as she was growing up. Bot she and my mother are history-rewriters and are filled with viciousness whenever anyone sets a boundary with them or says they are wrong. Yes, I would hate to be a 'sufferer' of BPD myself but I can tell you, sandwiched in between two generations and an ex of a similarly disposed man, others around them suffer more.
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i just dont know what y'all wanna hear. im tripolar and about 89 % drunk. wuzza, wuzza, i didnt do it, nobody saw me and you cant prove a thing. sorry, its the best defense i have..
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Jujubean, I can understand that. It would be scary. I think my siblings hate that I openly admit to my OCD. They have some OCD as well but are self medicating, ahem. , I think it scares them when I have episodes and they can be mean to me about it. Like, just get over it. My brother used to get mad at me for being on meds for it. He would challenge my decisions about needing them. But I found out he is on some now himself. I think it is very scary to see a family member mentally ill for fear of becoming like them especially if there are some signs. But the world is so different now than when your first had his BPD -there still needs to be major work done in the mental health care field but it is better than just a few years ago, I think. Don't let your fear get in the way of help. Knowledge really is power. Thank you for sharing!!!
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@ ferris.
lithium is for batteries. 47 years of crazy doesnt make you an expert in BP..
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My heart goes out to you. My husband, now deceased had BPD, my son has it and so does my granddaughter. There are different types, my loved ones have Type I which is the most devastating. The greatest challenge for me is to remain steady under, what can be, a barrage of angry demands. PBD is caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitters.People with BPD often self medicate with substances such as alcohol and caffeine. The substances don't cause BPD, but they usually make it worse and can lead to addiction and then you have double trouble---what is referred to as a dual diagnosis. You don't have to make excuses for taking care of yourself, and you don't need his permission. He's very sick, and so you must make decisions. After-all if you don't take care of yourself you can't help him. Stay strong. God bless you
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My personal battle although I am the strongest healthiest person in my family and always have been, Is I live in fear as well of becoming as ill as they all had been....I find I do have a certain level of depression I live with but not much manic behavior as I have grown up witnessing...I do good enuf to get by but not well enuf to flourish to my full potential. I do feel the depression is embedded in me genetically from both parents. since caring for ma has factored into a lot of my issues and what I call my caregiver coma.... Thanks for letting me share!!!!
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In fact my dad's illness bankrupted our family several times over, and is directly responsible for mom being left in this condition...unprepared for elderlife, nearly destitute! And certainly taught us kids poor life skills....esp with money, that are still haunting me n my life!! It makes me angry to talk about it now.....
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My Father was a full blown bipolar alcoholic...Both brothers are also undiagnosed but suffering from major problems are no longer present in our family due to disruptive harmful behavior....I am still healing n dealing with the aftermath of this life. It is a terrible disease as well...all I can say is if he in a facility he is safe...we could not get control of my father and in a nutshell overmedicated and died six weeks later of his lithium toxicity! So losing track of your question just want to commiserate with you.... living with a bipolar is a similar hell to caregiving! I pray for you and all goes well!! Hugs!!!!
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Ferris1, wonderful posts. I am so glad you have found a good medicine to help you with your disorder. I have OCD and like Bi-polar have learned it is a brain issue. I need to take my own meds and , yes, I finally realized I cannot drink.

I think that people with mental disorders are responsible for their own health and well being. They need to keep up on their meds and doctor visits but even then episodes can happen. I know how exhausting it is to deal with a person with a mentla illness- but please know it is still an illness. BUT that does not mean one should enable the afflicted person. It is a fine line of compassion and enabling. My husband and I struggle with this ourselves. Sometimes it is easier to enable my fears than not. ---

Good luck to you , Maybelle and your husband. You both have a plate full. Day by day. Sometimes that is all that gets me through things ---by taking it day by day.

Blessings to you and your husband.
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Thank you 1tired for validating what my 47 yrs. research and having this disorder has found. One cannot drink alcohol or take illegal drugs further throwing a wrench into the brain's chemistry. All of us take our brain's for granted until it becomes robbed of memory. Also, EVERYONE has some varying degrees of manic depression (bipolar disorder), so those of us with it cannot be blamed for every relationship that sours. Fortunately for me, my husband was married to a woman with schizophrenia, so when I told him I had bipolar disorder, he thought that living with me would be a piece of cake! We will celebrate our 28th year this month.
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well im drinking everclear and ice water this evening. BP aint got a chance.
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Well Capn, I worked in a behavioral health unit for a lot of years. BPD is a disorder of brain chemistry. The substance abuse is usually someone trying to fix their feelings with drugs or alcohol. I was lucky enough to be able to start a support group at our hospital for those co-occurring illnesses. I think that Ferris is correct about the Parkinsons meds. I too had a ex with BPD and firm boundaries and being sure that the meds are taken AS PERSCRIBED are critical. Be sure to take care of yourself first, like they say on the airplane :) Hugs!
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bipolar is notorious for one outstanding feature; it destroys relationships. i built my ex a beautiful home, sidejobbed in the garage, built her a beautiful classic nova, gorgeous terraced flower gardens, you name it, i lived to make her happy. well because of a lifelong BP disorder thart M - F still wasnt happy. how do you think old cappy was feeling at this point? unappreciated would be a good start. BP can cause suicides but rarely. women threaten, men occasionally eat a bullet. the big loser is relationships.
@ loveisblue,
to this day medical professionals are not prepared to say whether BP is caused by substance abuse or if the substance abuse is a means of self medicating for BP but the two are intertwined in nearly every case.
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Thanks to all of you who responded. All of you had comforting answers to offer. God bless all of you and thanks for caring.
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I don't know, but I think sometimes the less you say to them, the better, as they have less to "feed" off of. Sometimes, with my mother if she says something unreasonable, I'll just let her talk, but I won't say much, or anything, unless she really pressures me to. I don't think my mother is bi-polar but she can be hard to get along with sometimes.
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Maybelle - As a nurse and person with Bipolar Disorder, I would much rather have my diagnosis than yours. At least my lithium keeps me stable, but what you are describing with your husband seems to indicate his dopamine med for his Parkinson's is interfering with whatever he is taking for bipolar. The crying is likely the depressive cycle, and the dopamine could be lowering his serotonin levels. Have both his doctors (unless only one is treating both conditions) aware of his behaviors and how they affect you. We cannot do anything for you, but both of your doctors can help each of you deal with each of your own conditions. My best to the both of you!
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MY ex spouse is bi polar...and alcoholic....of course he feels he is cured now....which is why his daughter doesn't see him and he is my ex now.....physically and emotionally abusive......total DEAL breaker....terrible disease but a lot of help out there...IF they want it!
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I think there are a lot of people on this forum that deal with that type of behavior. It must be terribly sad for you and at the same time totally frustrating when you have your own health issues. I think that you did the right thing - set boundaries and then stick to them, take time for yourself, stop feeling so guilty - you did not give him these physical and mental problems. If you are doing the best that you can - that just has to be enough. Good luck and hugs to u.
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I have a daughter and mother with it and all I can say is that when you love someone with BPD you have to create boundaries for yourself. Otherwise, they suck the life and health right out of you. In some ways BPD affects those around the person with in even more than it does the person who actually has it. Your symptoms of pain become intrinsically part of his mental health problems. The last thing either of you need is for both of you to be a mess, so if you are actually needing someone to tell you to be what I think you feel must be selfish somehow, I am telling you to do that. God bless you.
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