I don't know how to help him or myself
December 2, 2012 6:21 AM Subscribe
My boyfriend of 8 years just had what looks very much like a manic episode. It involved him doing incredibly stupid, dangerous stuff with alcohol that got him arrested. He's out of jail now, he's in touch with a lawyer... So, the legal stuff is as settled as it can be right now. But now we're dealing with much larger psychological issues, and I am desperate for advice.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a 30 y/o woman, and he is a 30 y/o man. We live in Washington, but I don't wanna give more info than that.
He has a history of bipolar disorder in his family. His brother and his mom have both had manic episodes that were seriously dangerous in the past. He's always been scared of being bipolar, but he's never had an episode of mania before. Instead, he's only ever sought treatment for depression. He's on a medication for depression that can exacerbate symptoms of bipolar disorder. He is acting depressed now. He is in no way a threat to me, and he is not currently a threat to himself but he has a history of self-harm.
He has no health insurance. There's an assistance program that got him three free sessions with a therapist in the area. He has seen the therapist (NOT psychiatrist) once and is scheduled to see him again next week. But the therapist is out of town right now and cannot be reached.
I do not want to describe the behavior he exhibited, but I want to stress just how incredibly out of character it was. The behavior he describes, like the things he did and everything, just do not match the man I've known for so many years. And his actions were insane. I mean that literally. They were insane behaviors. I am terribly frightened, and he is terribly frightened. The only thing I really know right now is that he needs help, and there's very little of it I am able to give. I'm not a mental health expert, I'm just his girlfriend. I love him terribly.
I would be so grateful for any advice you may be able to give. First, do you know any resources in the state of Washington that may be able to help him? Would AA maybe be helpful? He's not an alcoholic, but his behavior did involve alcohol.
Second, do you have any advice for me? I feel lost and helpless, and angry and shamed, and worried and sympathetic, and.... and I don't know. I do not feel like I know how to handle this, and I am flailing. I could use help making sense of what is going on with him, and with figuring out what I can / should do to help. I also am desperate for advice about what I can do to take care of myself, while all of this is going on around me.
Thank you for any advice you can give.