Could this be a husband cycle?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    So you all probably know I'm convinced husband has a mood disorder. Maybe not full-blown BiPolar (BP), but definitely cyclothymic or something in the BiPolar (BP) spectrum. And he's a lot more pleasant to be around in the past year since he's been on Paxil and even more so since starting Lamictal.

    husband's birthday was the weekend before last. He was reasonably chipper and festive that weekend and even in the days leading up to it, but yikes was he ever grumpy and withdrawn the rest of the week! It's like he crashed hard after the high of all the excitement. He had no energy, just wanted to sleep all the time and complained(s) of not sleeping well.

    It wasn't until this Saturday when we went to Disneyland for his company picnic that he seemed to come out of his funk. Sunday comes, and as we'd discussed earlier in the week, he set out to clean out the rafters of the garage. Only he drags EVERYTHING out to the driveway and LEAVES it there. We're talking 18 years of boxes and boxes of boxes and odds and ends, old window blinds, curtain rods, electrical pvc pipe, spare lumber, fishing gear, memorabilia, stuffed animals, baskets, bike racks... you get the picture.

    He worked on it a bit more this evening, bringing the rest of the junk down and then putting some old doors we'd had stashed on the side yard up into the rafters to serve as shelves for whatever we end up putting back up there. He wants to have a garage sale. Which is fine with me. But there is so much stuff that has to be sorted through first... my neighbors drive by very curious about all the stuff piled up. We can't even close the garage door because it's all half in and out.

    But I digress.... the other strange thing I've noticed is that he's been very outgoing with strangers lately. He'll strike up conversation with just about anyone who makes eye contact with him. He usually tries to say something funny or does something to get a reaction out of them. Sometimes it's funny, but sometimes it borders on nosiness, or just plain obnoxiousness and I have to bite my lip to keep from telling him to be quiet. It's like he doesn't see that he's stepped over the line of being friendly and now he's just being intrusive. Before he was on Lamictal, he never would have opened up like this. I find myself trying to redirect his behavior like I do with the kids! Sheesh!

    I'm just wondering if this is sort of hypomania? Could the Paxil be exacerbating this? He doesn't seem any worse than he was before -- I just think maybe I see it more because he's not angry and irritable like before.

    Before Lamictal, he'd still have these high energy periods (like deciding he wanted a brick-on-sand walkway down the length of our 100 foot-long yard in January and setting up lights so he could work on it every night after work until 11:00pm!), but he'd be grumpy and have a short fuse most of the time, and he'd have moderate rages as well (like the time he had a meltdown in the car because the kids were making noise and as his screaming peaked he just parked the truck and left storming down the road at 11pm in the middle of nowhere -- actually about 3 miles outside a mountain town. I sat with three very scared little kids for about 30 minutes, debating on whether to continue on to our cabin another 15 miles up the road and leave him there to fend for himself (and risk more rage), or to go looking for him and try to calm him down.)

    He's still having trouble sleeping. Says it's like he can't turn his head off sometimes.

    Good news is he may have a psychiatrist appointment on Wednesday (first time in about 7 years). Bad news is I won't be able to go to help fill in the gaps ;)
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad he has an appointment. To me it sounds like it could be cycling but I'm just going from what I see with my difficult child. It's too bad you can't be at the appointment. Hopefully husband will fill them in completely.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gcv, it does sound like he's bona fide bipolar. I don't know diddly squat about Lamictal but others here can help you.
    It's great that your husband is on some medications and is working on his issues, though. I feel badly for him that he can't sleep and can't turn off the things in his head. Sigh.
    You've got your hands full.
    Good luck with-that gargage sale! Sounds like you're going to do the lion's share of the work.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    He sounds like my husband, better now but that was so him before medications!! Except the talking with strangers thing, husband did not and does not do that. I think some antidepressants can cause disinhibition (not sure if I made that word up) so maybe the paxil is to blame? Isn't he going to psychiatrist soon?
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yup yup yup! When did you come live in my world? I have been known to talk to strangers though that is a sure sign of impending problems because I have such high anxiety that I hate being out amongst The tackling projects that I cant possibly finish is normal for me. husband has come home to find me sitting on a pail in the kitchen scrubbing the lower cabinets for all I was worth, having emptied them all out. Meanwhile we dont have a clean dish to eat off of...lmao. I do get carried away.

    And the tantrums...well...lets just say I have so been there.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like BiPolar (BP) to me too.

    I'm good at tackling huge projects, then kick myself the whole time I'm forcing myself to finish them. (no one else will so I don't have a choice)

    Now I couldn't say about the strangers thing, although I've seen other bpers do it. My thing with strangers is......well weird........I slip on another peronna, so of like what I'd do for work or school. It lets me talk to strangers without my anxiety kicking in.

    My husband has some major issues that I see are getting progressively worse with age. (not that they were great to begin with) easy child is currently doubting the AS diagnosis and leaning more toward paranoid schizophrenia. lol I don't know about that, but she sure has hit the nail on the head with the paranoia.

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Okay, so looks like he's going to the appointment tomorrow...

    WO -- I am VERY worried he'll draw a blank (deer-in-headlights-syndrome) when he's there. This morning he already got stupid and said to me "So WHY am I going there?"

    Terry -- Thanks. husband thinks we'll be having this sale on Sunday... I said that's fine if he wants to work towards that goal (but I seriously doubt we'll be ready, knowing what's on the calendar for the rest of the week). He just doesn't manage projects like this very well. ANd NO, I am NOT doing the bulk of the work -- even if that means the crap sits out there for a month!

    CM30 -- I highly suspect the Paxil is disinhibiting him. Hopefully the psychiatrist will discuss lowering this. I'm afraid if I address it with husband he'll take it as criticism right now... but that could just be me remembering the "old" husband... maybe he'd listen?

    Janet -- The whole chatting up strangers thing is actually kind of amusing. I'm watching this, though because I'm concerned it could morph into something bigger. difficult child 2 does this as well.

    I'm thinking of calling to leave a voicemail for the psychiatrist about tomorrow since I can't be there... Or maybe since husband is truly at a loss for how to talk to the psychiatrist about why I'm insisting he go there, I should just give him some notes to talk from? How do you guide someone who clearly needs help but without stepping on his toes and making him feel totally inept?
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    DL/Lisa -- that "other persona" mode is really what he seems to be like when he's talking to strangers. It's like he's suddenly this bigger-than-life guy who acts like he's known you all your life and he tries to have this personal conversation with you, but you've never laid eyes on him before! When you don't have to live with it day in and day out, it's funny for a little while, even charming. But when you can't go anywhere with him without a "show" beginning, it can be a bit alarming. I try to ingnore it now -- I just hope it doesn't evolve into something worse. I think before, his anxiety levels kept it in check (but also made him an obsessive angry s.o.b.). Now that he's on Lamictal, he's not angry, and the Paxil maybe is making him Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky...
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GCV...could you maybe make him a quick, down and dirty medical history report to take. Kinda like a parent report.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Janet, I just emailed him a list of discussion points to take with him (plus directions :D )

    I've kept the psychiatrist updated over the years with what's been going on with husband. Even made an appointment last year to go in and specifically talk about him by myself. I think he has a pretty good grasp of what's really going on with husband, so hopefully this will be a productive session and he'll come away with a good plan for the medication issues he's facing (discontinuing Lamictal because of rash and recurrent seizures and the potential for losing the mood stabilizing benefits he's had). psychiatrist remembers husband as this guy who always came to the office looking like he was ready for a fight -- angry at the world and could snap at any moment. He's going to be shocked at what a different person he is now!

    I take the boys back on the 13th, so I can give him a verbal update on husband then.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was just reading through this and i think it's a good idea to give the psychiatrist a heads up about your concerns and things you are seeing.

    But, I'm really responding to thank you for mentioning the difference in conversing with people. difficult child does that and I never thought about it as related to BiPolar (BP). I thought it was more a reflection of him being confident when he feels good and shying away from others when he's "down". But after reading this, I can see that the pattern is going right along with the mood cycling. HMMMM... I learn something new everyday!

    I hope husband's appointment goes well and you continue to see changes for the better. Boy- I could relate to the cleaning the garage story too! i don't know how you handle everything with all of them!!
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    klmno -- confidence is one thing, but when I see difficult child or husband going out of his way to tell something to a complete stranger without stopping to think if it's relevant at all to that person or is my difficult child/husband doing this because of a sense of grandiosity (OF COURSE they'd be interested in what I have to say! Who wouldn't?) or inflated self importance.... Know what I mean?? The average Joe is happy to just keep their thoughts to themselves, or they are satisfied with knowing something without having to share it with the world. I guess it's that over-the-top enthusiasm that I'm talking about. It's a very fine line. You have to gauge it within the overall context of what's normal for that person, I guess....

    Okay, I'm rambling now!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm thinking along the same lines. For difficult child, he normally won't even ask a person a normal question himself. So, at first when I noticed him going up to neighbors (adults who live next door but we didn't know too well) asking them a question or starting a conversation, I was glad that he was getting over some of his anxiety or shyness (whatever it was). Now, I'm thinking maybe this is something that comes and goes with him- along with other highs and lows.