Husband's suicide attempt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by goldenguru, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hello board friends -

    This may not be the 'correct' forum for this - but I feel 'closer' to this group than in the other forums.

    Last week hubby intentionally overdosed. I found him when I got home from work unconscious and breathing erratically. He spent 4 days on life support and is just now turning a corner.

    Of course he will be discharged from mental health in just a few days because our medical system refuses to see the seriousness of mental illness. Because managed health care plans are woefully inadequate.

    He has suffered with depression for over a decade. We have tried every medication cocktail known to psychiatric medicine. We have tried ECT. My question is this -

    Is there anything out there that anyone knows of (even non traditional modes of treatment) that we have not tried? At this point - we are willing to try just about anything.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm so sorry.

    I know you said you've tried every medication cocktail, but if he hasn't tried lamictal with the lithium, I would suggest that first. How often does he take the klonopin? When I'm depressed, the klonopin makes it worse.

    Natural treatments - acupuncture, mindfulness meditation (Kelly Howell has a bunch of good meditation/relaxation CD's - you'll need headphones), yoga, Tai Chi, Omega-3. Light therapy is contraindicated in bipolar patients because it can trigger mania.

    I did a google with the terms: bipolar depression, holistic and came up with a lot of information. There's a lot to sort through and some of it sounds kind of kooky, but there's also some good information, too. Just have to sort through it.

    How many times has he had ECT? Did he experience any relief from it? I've known of a few people that had success with one treatment and others who needed a few treatments.

    As the psychiatric community learns more about this disorder, they are coming to the realization that throwing medications at it is not the only answer. Therapy and whole body treatment is needed to really attain results.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

  4. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I don't have any suggestions, just wanted to send sympathy and support. What a difficult situation for both of you.
    Your friend,
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm so very sorry. Watching someone suffer from mental illness with no treatment that works well is horrible and frustrating. Has husband tried the Lamictal? I know it's made an enormous difference with a vast number of people.

  6. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I'm so sorry for both of you. I couldn't imagine the pain someone must be in to make that choice. I hope you take some time to find a little peace for yourself. Hugs.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    GG, I'm so very sorry.
    Others have given suggestions on the medications front. I can only offer strength, support and many gentle hugs.

  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{{GG}}} I'm so sorry. Heather has made some really good suggestions. I think treating the 'whole body' rather than just the mental illness alone is the way to go for as much 'natural' remedy as you can get. Perhaps consulting with a wholistic health provider or naturopath/nutritionist to at least see how his diet can be changed for the better could be a start. I've also heard good things about lamictal and under very careful supervision by a DR, good results. Everyone seems to react differently to it, however.

    Sending healing and peaceful thoughts and prayers your way. Remember to take time for yourself, GG. Hugs~
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry to hear of your family's pain. I hope that you both will find some relief. I have done some reading on ECT in the past, and they usually recommend a 6 - 12 treatment course over a period of 3 - 4 weeks, then continuation with medications and therapy and maintenance treatments if necessary. I'm not sure what your husband has been able to utilize out of the insurance. Is the doctor or therapist at all helpful to you? Someone should be lighting a fire under your insurance agency.
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I am sorry about your husband.

    We have had great success with the gluten free diet relieving depression/anxiety in my house. My daughter and I both feel better mentally on it. My daughter also has to do casein free (milk). I believe when she has milk, she is mean and violent and when she has gluten, she is irritable and angry. I think if she were still eating it regularly, she would end up with a bipolar diagnosis.

    I have read on the gluten free board about people being diagnosis'ed with bipolar and/or depression and being able to get off their medications after starting the diet. If you are interested, I can send you a copy of an e-mail from the national celiac listserve describing what happens to people on the gluten free diet who have a little bit of gluten. It sounds like bipolar.

    You could have your husband get tested for celiac disease, but a negative result wouldn't mean the gluten free diet wouldn't help him. No one in my family has had a positive test, but many of us benefit from the diet in different ways. You could also just try the diet and see if he felt better. I could feel the results by the second day, but some people take longer.

    I was taking Lexapro when I started the girlfriend diet and could tell that I would need to get off from it by the second day. I felt "giddy". I was able to taper off without any medical supervision but it could be challenging figuring out what to do about medications. My daughter tapered off very slowly over about a year from her Lexapro.

    Another unconventional cause I have found for bipolar is Lyme disease. To research this, you would need to look into the alternative Lyme information. Most of the information you will see about Lyme dismisses what Lyme patients believe to be true. Here is a link about neuropsychiatric effects of Lyme.
  11. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Just another here wanting to reach out and say how very sorry I am to hear of husband's suicide attempt.

    I sure hope yall find something that works.
    Hugs and care,
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't have any advice, just wanted to send gentle hugs and warrior strength.
  13. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    GG, I'm so sorry. {{{hugs}}}

    I don't have immediate suggestions beyond what's already been posted but will wrack my brains and do some research ...
    in the meantime lots of prayers and good wishes for you and your family.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Hi and hugs - I've been there so many times with my x - and it's never something you can recover from fully - we just don't understand that level of pain or outcry.

    I used to think my x's suicide attempts (10 in 11 years) were a way for him to get attention and in most of his attempts there was always a safety plan - he knew someone would be home, coming home, didn't help matters, just further frustrated the situation.

    If you have tried everything - including just bowing down on the floor and praying with all his heart? Then I think I would seek someone in non-traditional medicine - find a Chinese herbologist - they are phenominal if you follow through with the treatment. Alsd check out light treatments for SAD.

    For you, my friend, I am so sorry. I know there arent' answers to the questions you have, but know you have so many people here that care about you and are keeping your husband in their thoughts and prayers.


    Hugs & Love
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am so sorry. been there done that. Also realize the system stinks.

    Our psychiatrist's do believe in Light Therapy depending on where you live and if it is monitored. Mornings and depending on his sleep schedule.
    L-tryptophan, Melotonin and omegas are things that have been studied for depression and BiPolar (BP).

    Schedule, diet, exercise (yoga, meditation, pilates), journals... all so important.
    These are a pain but with medications they help.
    Support... talking, a great therapist.
    Saying NO to things that are too much, taking time off when needed.

    It takes a lot to see these things. Inner and outer health.

    I am so sorry
  16. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    He hasn't tried lamictal & lithium. He has had some success with- lithium and effexor. I will ask his doctor about adding/changing to the lamictal. He takes klonopin @ night for sleep - every night. I will also mention this to his doctor.

    He did one round of ECT. Like 9 treatments. It didn't help at all. He had terrible memory difficulties for quite a while afterwards. I'm not sure I would want to try them again.

    "Throwing medications". What a great descriptor. Thanks for your insights.
  17. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Grrrrr. My insurance company informed me that we are 'allowed' 15 inpatient days. Period. After that they will not pay. So, the decision is "Do I bring him home before he's ready just incase he need hospitalization later in the year?" Under what other circumstances are insurance companies allowed to say "I'm sorry you're sick. We're not paying anymore"? Very frustrating. Very.
  18. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Thank you and yes I would be gald for the email regarding gluten in our diets. His diet is terribly unhealthy I'm afraid.

    Thanks too for the link. We live in Michigan (where there is a significant number of Lyme disease cases) and we are outdoor sorts of people. This would be worth looking at.

    Thank you so much.
  19. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My hubby meant it. I actually came home earlier than expected and ruined his plan.

    10 times in 11 years?? OMGosh. I'm so sorry Star. I couldn't deal with that. Seriously. I would be crazy.
  20. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    And to the rest - thank you for the thoughts, hugs and prayers. It has been a very difficult journey.

    This board has been so supportive over the years. I am thankful for you all.