Bipolar Disorder Community
Bipolar and Emotional Abuse
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Bipolar and Emotional Abuse

I've been married to 18 years to someone with bipolar, GAD and OCPD.  His symptoms are much closer to narcissism as he seems to be without empathy or concern for anyone else's needs.  I'm now divorcing him, and the damage he's doing to our children to make them be at his side is very concerning to me.  I am not trying to get him away from the kids, but he truly believes he knows what's best for everyone without taking their concerns into account.

I haven't wanted to bring the mental illness into the court system because he is searching for a job and I don't want to make life worse for him, but his thoughts are frightening to me.  He is full of blame and cannot take any suggestions, no matter how kindly said.  I'm concerned that he's self-medicating because he is on way too much Adderall (adderrall) for a man with bipolar and he has NO emotions for anyone, it's like he's dead inside until he feels "attacked".  His psychiatrist is only listening to him for medication requests and he's just legally numbing himself.  He doesn't want to feel because it's painful, so he's getting whatever he wants from his docs.  

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?  I don't want to make him worse, but I don't want our kids doing everything for their father out of guilt either.  We are currently moving in and out of our house for the kids weekdays/weekends and I have to get out or go nuts myself, but I can't leave the kids here because he's emotionally not here.  Though he'll do everything to put on an act that he's the father of the year.
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585414_tn?1288944902
The safety of your children should be first priority but one way to address this concerns if you don't want involve the court system is to have a meeting with him and his psychiatrist. Sometimes as an adverse side effect Adderall (adderrall) can worsen aggression in bipolar so his psychiatrist needs to be informed about this so he can adjust and/or change treatment within his discretion.
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Avatar_f_tn
The only advise I can give is to be careful with this. He is more than likely over medicating, but that doesn't change the fact that he has true medical problems. Don't let your anger for him affect his relationship with his children. I know you want to do what is best for your children, but if you bring his mental issues into court; it could end badly. As long as he doesn't pose a threat to the children, it shouldn't be a problem. I have seen people who behave the way you are describing. They shut themselves off emotionally, and they don't even have the problems your soon to be ex has. I think people shut themselves off to protect themselves. Plus, I'm sure the children love their father. Children love their parents most of the time,  no matter what!!!! You don't want to hurt them by taking their father away. I feel for you, and I wish you the best of luck.
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574118_tn?1305138884
your letter sounds very logical and well written.

Though with BP people some of them are self-centered in the sense not exactly selfish but feeling that others should show continual concern about them. Now after 18 years of BP your interest in him must have faded away and of course you lost your patience. The guy poor him is not stupid and he felt this so whereas he doesn't want to proceed with you either yet from time to time he must be kind to the family so that the children feel sympathy towards him.

His illness is not his fault and this something people must understand well. Also we heard one side of the story and didn't hear his story. Perhaps he felt that you find him so repelling and you mistreat him. In short we can't advise you what to do here. You need a counseling someone close to the family to tell you what to do. But since your relationship reached the point of no return, then his future is of no concern to you EXCEPT and provided it doesn't reflect badly on the children.

My advise in this situation is sure not to approach him because 18 years were enough. Neither to talk to his psychiatrist because meds' business is beyond your knowledge, but to approach the children instead. To tell them that their father is seriously ill and we better move away for our own sake. so long that they will not discover that they will have soon another father, but at least for sometime; so that they are convinced of your view in the future and that the divorce was right, because in fact it's you who shattered the family, so you are not to be blamed later.  

best of luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your comment.  I think the most difficult part of all this is his family won't help, they have written him off and he doesn't trust me, and in fact anytime I tell him this action makes us feel like...he accuses me of abusing him.  So I've told him that we'll email anything we have to say to one another, that way there is a record, and he doesn't hear my tone and take it the wrong way.

In court, I purposely made no mention of any mental illness on the paperwork because I didn't want him to be unable to find work or unfairly treated.  In return, he got in front of the judge for the first time and said he was being abused, but also that I couldn't move out because I can't afford it -- what he was saying knowing him all these years, is that he has no plans to get another job in the near future.

It's impossible to explain this kind of insidiousness to others.  But I can honestly say he has never done anything nice that wasn't "watched" and that's not bipolar, is it?  I mean, if I ever got flowers, it was because someone was here for dinner and watched him give them.  I never got a birthday gift, a Christmas gift and he's never bought anything for the kids "just because."  I just can't tell if he's worse because he doesn't like what's happening (and who would?) Or because he is really getting worse.  

Time will tell, but ultimately, he doesn't think I have any right to divorce him and that's where the basis of the trouble is.
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Avatar_f_tn
None of what you describe sounds particularly Bipolar to me. Biplar is a mood disorder, so moods are unstable, high or low.
The behavior you describe more likely comes from his personality. It is possible he has a personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder? Borderline Personality Disorder? It's impossible for me to say, however wikipedia is a good resource in terms of having all the diagnostic information for these disorders so you can get some idea if he fits any of them.

A psychologist recently suggested to me that someone in my life sounded like they had Borderline PD. It's been a revelation to me. I'd given up on ever understanding this person. Their behavior was so confusing, and you can't talk to them about it, they blame and get increasingly emotional. The idea of them being Borderline has helped so much.

Your ex certainly sounds strange. It wouldn't surprise me if there has been plenty of emotional abuse (ie not giving you presents unless someone was there to see it!), and he's a good manipulator too (getting you to withhold info about his mental illness from the courts).

I would suggest getting a few disinterested parties on you side for some reality checks about his behavior. You don't say where you are from and I don't know what resources are available to you, but I would suggest a Lawyer or Legal aid, and some kind of domestic violence support, wether it's counseling or a support group, because emotional abuse is a form of violence. Public libraries are also a great resource for reading up on emotional abuse.

Best wishes, I hope some of this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
None of what you describe sounds particularly Bipolar to me. Biplar is a mood disorder, so moods are unstable, high or low.
The behavior you describe more likely comes from his personality. It is possible he has a personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder? Borderline Personality Disorder? It's impossible for me to say, however wikipedia is a good resource in terms of having all the diagnostic information for these disorders so you can get some idea if he fits any of them.

A psychologist recently suggested to me that someone in my life sounded like they had Borderline PD. It's been a revelation to me. I'd given up on ever understanding this person. Their behavior was so confusing, and you can't talk to them about it, they blame and get increasingly emotional. The idea of them being Borderline has helped so much.

Your ex certainly sounds strange. It wouldn't surprise me if there has been plenty of emotional abuse (ie not giving you presents unless someone was there to see it!), and he's a good manipulator too (getting you to withhold info about his mental illness from the courts).

I would suggest getting a few disinterested parties on you side for some reality checks about his behavior. You don't say where you are from and I don't know what resources are available to you, but I would suggest a Lawyer or Legal aid, and some kind of domestic violence support, wether it's counseling or a support group, because emotional abuse is a form of violence. Public libraries are also a great resource for reading up on emotional abuse.

Best wishes, I hope some of this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oops double post.
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Avatar_f_tn
You have a duty to tell the courts in my opinion. They are deciding the fate of your children and should know the entire story. Especially if he is crying abuse. If they believe him you may end up without the children. Let the courts decide what is relevant. As for potential employers - how would they find out it. Its not like they are going to read family court documents.

And his behaviour doesn't sound bipolar it sounds manipulative and malicious. That is not on the list of bipolar symptoms.

Just my two bits.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can not believe what I am reading he sounds just like my ex of 9 years.  He is bipolar and I am now wondering what else is wrong?  I have been discarded like an old shoe.  He is now with someone else then still seems to want me back.  The next day he  is accusing me of emotional abuse to him and tells everyone I am paranoid.  His narcissist behaviour is so hard to come to terms with.  But at the same time he texts me 40 times at day, stalks me and me and my kids are living in terror of what he will do next.  Had to take out a restraining order.  He has put on so much weight in 5 weeks I know he has bipolar but something else is going on.  Wish you all the best take the advice so many people have given me look after yourself and your kids.
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