Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Hubby's Blog

Hey guys. Quick update-

I see my doctor tommorrow, and will hopefully come home with a medication change or head to the hospital. I can't handle this depression any longer; I spent all day in bed today. Thankfully, my hubby made a great dinner and an awesome friend came by tonight, so that kept my spirits up, but I'm thinking about suicide often, and that scares me. I know I need to stay on top of my illness, and I know that my doctor wanted to try keeping me off anti-depressants, but the past month has proven that I can't do it. I will let you all know the outcome, wish me luck.

My hubby finished his blog yesterday, so I'm typing it up for him. He asked me to remind you all that essays (or writing) is not his strong suit, but he wanted to provide his view.

"So, the first thing I should do is introduce myself as Kim's husband, Chris. Kim has been telling me that many of you are asking how you can help a loved one suffering from Bipolar Disorder (or any mental illness really). Well, the first thing you should do to help is learn as much as you can about the disorder and how your loved one is affected. Early in our relationship, we found a book that I found very helpful, "Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder" by Julie A Fast and John D. Preston. As someone living with a Bipolar person, my first role as a husband is to be the first line of defense. That means I had to find out Kim's triggers and know the early signs of a relapse. Any time I see the early signs in Kim I let her know what I see and we try to get her out of the situation that is stressing her out.

Having Bipolar disorder means Kim can't handle as much stress as many other people so whenever there is a lot of stress in her life she is most likely to have a relapse. Now, I know there is always going to be stress in life-my job is to keep a limit to it. Some ways I can help Kim in those stressful times is to just do as many little things as I can-like making plans for us to go out, doing extra things around the house and making sure I do not argue with her. There will be days when your loved one will get mad at you or yell at you and you may not understand why (or think they are totally overreacting); in that case, just be patient. Do not argue-just apologize or let them "get it out". They are just having a bad day. When they are ready you will be able to talk to them about what happened. Usually for Kim she was usually yelled at or got into an argument at work where she could not fully release her emotions. So she holds back and releases it on the first person (usually me).

Lastly, the most important thing I find is KEEPING AN OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION about the illness, the symptoms and the triggers. Every day when I come home I ask Kim, "How was your day?" or "How are you doing?" and make sure they get into their mental wellness of that day. Every case is different, and every Bipolar will have different triggers, different warning signs, and different ways to treat and deal with it. So, I hope you find this helpful with your relationships, and if any of you have questions, please leave them here and Kim will relay them to me. "

Isn't my hubby wonderful???! What do you all think about his advice?


  1. Wow! Your hubby is definately on the right track. Being ill is NOT a character flaw!

    However, even the most patient, understanding of people have their limits...its called being human. Frustration/anger comes from the circumstance of dealing with mental illness & NOT about the loved one themselves. As Chris indicates, learning & understanding the illness & being supportive of a loved one who is trying to live their life inspite of being ill is definately the key. Knowing the symptoms & triggers are very important & helpful.

    Mental illness does not define you as a person. It is struggle & challenge that one deals with in life.....with a help from their family, friends, care-givers & qualified medical support.

    The most destructive/painful scenerio for a sufferer of mental illness is isolation & being shunned. Nobody asks for this disease.....remember that when you see your loved one struggle to cope with everyday life.

  2. Stevie-Thanks for your insightful post. You've clearly had some experience in this area.

    And you are most certainly right-we are all human, and living with a mentally ill person can stress out the most calm and easy going of all people! Haha. In all seriousness though, it takes A LOT of patience. Our marriage is by no means perfect, and we have to work on it everyday....and that's without my disorder. My illnesses are just one extra "bonus" we have to deal with on a daily basis. I'm very lucky to have such an understanding husband. Especially one who not only wants to learn how to "deal" with my illness, but wants to help me to learn what my triggers are and how to help ME learn about myself. Often your loved ones see things before you do; I find that is especially true in mental illnesses. You have some wise words. Chris tries to keep in mind daily that I have a mood-altering illness that I never asked for, and that sometimes I take out things that I shouldn't on him. I try to keep in mind that Chris is human and can only take so much "abuse", and that I have to cut him a break sometimes. I think having a balance of both mindsets is what works for us.

    Thanks for posting! :)

  3. A Facebook comment from Lori Houghton-Bennetts:

    "Chris this is the most amazing thing ever written about the first line of defense for the bipolar person. Peter has dealt with it for 27 years and it has been challenging at times, however he has ALWAYS been there and I Kim and I could not have gotten through what we have without the support of you guys!"

  4. A Facebook comment from Cait Kerns:

    "It's so sweet that he wrote this for you, i'm so happy that you found him :) love you kimmy xo"


Please let me know what you think!