My Bipolar Husband Wont Get Help

by Melissa
(Madisonville, KY)

My husband was diagnosed ADHD as a child. He also had a back injury in '02 and had surgery for it in '03. We had been married for 2 years and had just had a baby when he got hurt. He was declared disabled in December '04, cannot work, cannot walk long, cannot sit up too long, isn't supposed to lift over 20 lbs, He has since been diagnosed with Severe Depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, bloody stools, acid reflux disease, spastic colon, you name it, he has it. He is on a multitude of medications. He refuses to go to the local mental health center, refuses to take meds for his mental problems. I believe that he is Bipolar. He has severe mood swings, it takes the smallest thing to set him off. I mean, anything.... And if some company, the pharmacy, cashier at Walmart, anyone that could give him a hard time, makes him mad, watch out.... He will be on a rampage. He never hits us, just screams, and makes us feel like dirt. I am beginning to be at my wits end. I don't know how to help him, or how to deal with him and he wasn't always this bad. I have tried to get him to go to a psychiatrist, he wont go. I don't feel right kicking my husband of 9 years to the curb because of mental problems, and he'd have nowhere to go. I don't know how he'd deal with having to start over. And I could just imagine the argument if I were to decide to tell him to leave. What can I do. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I love my husband, but sometimes I hate him......


Ben's Answer:

Melissa - I'm sorry you have to deal with such a difficult situation. Your husband would be a challenge for any health professional even if he agreed to get help. It would be hard to pin his behavior on any one thing - and even calling it Bipolar may be too simple an answer. It sounds like a lot of systemic health issues, that may relate to nutritional deficiencies, food allergies , digestive issues. Some of these physical symptoms may actually have been caused by some of the medications he's on. (I'm assuming he's on pain medication, among others). Any of these physical issues - not to mention chronic pain itself - could have a serious impact on his emotional state, and his neurological functioning could relate to it as well. I'd be interested to know what a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) would make of all this, if there are any such specialists in your area. Psychiatric medication might also help - but it's a sort of trial and error process that requires a real commitment and sometimes a lot of patience to figure out what medication helps.

Often a person really has to hit bottom before they get psychiatric treatment because they refuse otherwise. He really needs a doctor who is able to understand all of his health issues and treat him holistically.

I've also seen Energy Medicine/ Energy Psychology treatments like EFT have miraculous results with chronic pain, but again, he'd have to be a willing participant.

Unless he can "see the light" and recognize he needs help, all of this will make no difference. You have to consider your own well being, and that of your child. The negative impact of growing up with a raging, emotionally abusive father is a serious issue to consider. If you are not able to help your husband, should you allow your own life, and your child's life to be ruined along with his?
You can't save a person who doesn't accept help.

No easy answers here. I suggest you choose whatever ultimately brings you the most peace, even if the decision is painful.

Take Care,

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Mar 21, 2021
How can I help him?? NEW
by: Jenny

Hello, I’m not sure what to do. I suspect my husband might have some kind of bipolar disorder or something similar. Over the past few years he has become increasingly angry and agitated. He has periods where he sleeps all day and night, and others where he seems to never sleep and eat very little. Everything sets him off, and I mean everything. He isn’t physically violent but he uses violent words. I don’t actually want our marriage to end, but he is so angry he won’t agree to get help, he thinks that all of the problems he has are caused by me and our daughter - because we don’t listen enough, or we argue too much, or we’re stupid / crazy / etc. I honestly think he is mentally ill and deep (way deep) he either knows he isn’t well but thinks he can "fix it" on his own, or he has no idea that he is not well- and really thinks we’re being "mean" to him all the time. He refuses counseling, won’t talk to a Dr. what can I do to get him the help he needs?

Nov 17, 2018
Sacrificed NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm a domestic violence survivor who was in a 8 year marriage with a extremely jealous and violent man! I had my first child in this marriage and when my son was 3 months old and extremely colic I witnessed this man telling our 3 month old son to shut the G.D. up at 2 in the morning and not caring for my safety I jumped up and told him to never speak nor touch our son again I was so horrified by it all! Fear was an understatement that night as he slept I snuck out of the house to never return! I knew our safety didn't exist and never would after a safe house made us leave after the woman running it found out who my husband was in fear of the other women and children. He cared nothing for my child it was about possessing me that I convinced him to sign his rights over and I gave my son up for adoption to keep him safe! He's now 13 years old and I pray everyday he will understand the sacrifice I made to break the cycle of abuse and keep him safe I just know I wasn't going to allow this sick man to destroy this innocent child so to these woman who are being tormented daily please remember your children are too whatever it takes to get them out please do so because the damage is for a lifetime and these scared men are sick and need help but u can't help the unhelpful all you can do is protect your children by getting out even if you have to leave the county or state like I did. Beat Wishes Praying For You All!!!

Jul 17, 2011
restraining orders will not work
by: Anonymous

my husband is also bipolar. he has threatened the lives of my and my children, should I decide to 'pack up and leave'. He has also bragged about coming back through the false security net of a restraining order, in the middle of the night to kill, not just me, but anyone I have involved (neighbors, friends, family, etc), then he tells me what life will be like in prison, it does NOT scare him!
He refuses help, so unless I want to die, my only choice is to stay here and listen to the agressive abusive behavior, and threats of hurting me. He started goingto a mixed martial arts class, thinking it would be good for his depressive episodes, and get him out of the house (he cant hold a job).Now he begs me to try to hit him so he can hurt me really bad, but I have never hit him, nor do I wish to, especially now. Treated like a child, if I dont do exactly as he says, he threatens consequences, such as breaking my cell phone, laptop, tearing apart all of my college books, or violence. (by the way, this is my fourth computer, and sixth cell phone, and Ihave a corded phone because he has crushed 6 cordless phones WITH HIS HANDS). I am not allowed contact with anyone at school, due to his paranoid delusions of infidelity. He obsesses over stockpiling gas masks, food and ammunition, and takes half of our grocery bill to stockpile beans noodles, and rice.
There is no help for me and my kids...we will NOT be safe anywhere we try to go and hide, he will find us, he has promised that.

A restraining order WILL NOT WORK, I've had them before, but never on HIM, and the police say that they have to physically SEE the offender violating the order.

Ben's Response:

This is a really scary situation. I know the level of police action really varies from one town to another. But I can say that where I live, I've seen guys go to jail for breaking restraining orders - even when the wife has lied to the police in order to get him locked up. This is a case of extreme abuse and his threats of violence are a criminal act. Bipolar Disorder alone does not explain this level of antisocial behavior. I would suggest completely leaving the area with our kids, or going to a abused women's shelter with your kids to stay safe. This is a dangerous situation that is not likely to change on its own, and also subjects your kids (and you) to emotional/psychological trauma that is likely to have long term consequences.

Prayers and Strength to you. I wish you well.


May 03, 2010
I am going through the same
by: Tamara

My second Husband of three years was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder when he was young. He refuses to take medication and binges on alcohol. I am also at the point where I need to leave this relationship. When he is low he tends to be very verbally and emotionally abusive. I almost think that because he is not happy he doesn't want me to be. I am wondering if his problem is something worse then bi polar. Some times he is so cruel that I am just shocked at the things he says. He has spit in my face 2 times and wakes up the next day like nothing happens. I have had the police to my house 3 times because he was screaming so loud at me. All they do is try and make me go to a shelter but, I feel that I should be able to keep my home. My child is grown up so I don't have her to worry about. before we were married he was a wonderful man and I swear; the very day we married he changed. he also has a lot of stomach related health problems. I know that when I try to leave it is going to be so horrible. I know he will do anything to make my life difficult if I leave. I grew up in a happy home and have a lot of family who care a lot about me. I am almost afraid he will try to hurt me some day. It just seems like the police will not do anything to help until they find you dead. I wish they could forceful take him to a psychiatric ward so he can get help.

Lonely and miserable, Tamara

Ben's Comment:

Just because a person has Bipolar Disorder doesn't excuse them from having to be a decent human being. Even if your husband doesn't remember spitting in your face when you tell him the next day - he should be bending over backwards to make sure he doesn't do it again. If he's binging on alcohol and refusing to treat his Bipolar disorder and his wife is telling him that he's being abusive - then he's an alcoholic in denial. And he's an abuser. Whether bipolar or not.

Bipolar disorder tends to intensify what is already there. Or it will bring to the surface, any "shadow" issues -- those emotions, thoughts and behaviors that are normally suppressed or denied. He may have little to no control in the midst of a manic episode, but it's very likely that alcohol makes him even less inhibited and less in control of his actions. And it's just no excuse. He's not drunk all the time. And he's not manic all the time. Refusing help is a choice.

If you ever did decide to leave and he threatened your safety, I'd suggest getting a restraining order. It can be a good way to protect yourself. Any violation of a restraining order can land him in jail. It might be a sobering experience for him.

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