Husband with Bipolar Disorder

After 25 years of marriage with many ups and downs I am convinced my husband is Bipolar. (he is also an active alcoholic which is why it has taken me so long to come to this conclusion. in the past I have attributed his bizarre behavior on the drinking.)

Anyway, my question is, after a bout of hypomania my husband starts to slip into depression. Just prior to this he often complains of physical ailments i.e. a cold, bronchitis, general aches and pains. Is this common? I am just now starting to pick up on this pattern but, in hind sight, this is very distinct and has always preceded a depressive "melt down". Thoughts?

Ben's Answer:

The short answer to your question is "yes." Most people have clues and tell-tale signs of an impending depression or mania. Hypomania is exhausting to the body, especially if it goes on for an extended time, and sleep is decreased. A typical outcome is to feel achy, worn out, sick and have lowered immune system. Depression itself, also sometimes includes these sorts of body aches and somatic symptoms.

Most importantly though -- if your husband doesn't stop drinking, he's not going to get better.

Thanks for posting to "Ask a Therapist."

Best Wishes,


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