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February 24, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Drastic change? Bipolar episode? Suicide concern?

An up-front disclosure: Not trying to substitute professional diagnosis by asking this question here. I did search and read the relevant postings from the past, and while there was lots of helpful information, I didn’t really see a response for my eventual question. Here we go:

I’m a 30 year old male, she’s 34. No kids. We’ve been together for 4 years in a serious, committed relationship that’s been, truthfully, about as good as it gets. Years ago, she was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder and it runs in her family. To date, there was only one prior episode that I witnessed and it happened when she tried switching to an alternate medication. It was a little confusing to me, but not too extreme and not all that hard to get past. What’s happening now, though, has blown my mind. I really can’t believe some of the things I’m hearing and seeing.

In recent months, her entire personality has changed. I’ve noticed that she has odd, interrupted sleep patterns. There are wild mood swings, going from elation to depression with no apparent reason. She’s clumsy and awkward, stumbling and dropping things. There are ever-changing flights of fancy where she’ll be totally enthralled with something new for a period of time, and then she loses interest just as fast. There seems to be a constant distraction all the time and it’s profoundly difficult to speak with her. It’s like she has a loss of self-awareness, bumping into people at stores, being inexplicably wide-eyed and talking in an unnecessarily loud voice much of the time. She blurts out some incredibly tactless statements when talking to anyone, whether or not she knows them. She used to be seriously into sewing, and just gave away all of her equipment and thousands of dollars worth of nice fabric to some random person. It was a lifelong hobby of hers. “Not interested anymore.” Our beautiful house here in the city that we’ve been tuning up; it’s all of a sudden “no good” and she doesn’t like it because there’s “bad energy.” Her close friends have noticed bits and pieces of this behavior too, even though she chooses to rarely see them anymore. “They don’t understand me.”

Then, there are the pets. I’m a genuine animal lover, and she certainly acted like she was one too. Our dogs and cats have all been rescued from horrible situations of abuse and neglect, and we’ve willingly spent gobs of time caring for them, ensuring that they’re healthy and happy. However now, she says she’s “sick of them” and “just wants them gone,” knowing full well that they’d likely be put down because of age and/or their physical handicaps. Let me reassure you that this *will not* happen. All of this is out of character to a degree that I can’t begin to describe. I’m thunderstruck.

She was always cool, calm and collected. Well spoken. Grounded. In control. She has a high-paying job and has worked hard to advance her career over the years, and I now have reason to suspect it might be in jeopardy because of some recent nonsense on her part.

I’ve tried broaching some of these subjects as respectfully and compassionately as I can, and I get nowhere. The reactions range from disinterest to white-hot rage to a manufactured arrogance that’s completely pathetic. It’s like I’m talking to her body with someone else’s mind in it. Her speech zig-zags all over the place and there isn’t a hint of rationality to much of what she says.

According to some of the bipolar-related text on Wiki, some of what she’s displaying falls under the category of either a manic , mixed or major depressive bipolar episode. She is taking her regular medications on the proper schedule, but I’m of the understanding that the requirements can change over time. Maybe that’s a factor here? She’ll have a glass of wine now and then, but nothing illegal/hardcore.

I’m not opposed to trying to work through this, but I am confused as hell and definitely at a loss for what to do next. This is really my main question here. What next? Wait it out a little bit and see if there’s a turn around? Get her in front of a professional a.s.a.p. at all cost? I’ve no idea. I’ve considered the famous cut ‘n’ run too, but I’d feel better if I gave it a real honest try before doing so.

Any insight you can share will be greatly appreciated, obviously. You’re welcome to use my email address if you’d rather not have your response displayed publicly. Thank you so much.
posted by peewee to Health & Fitness (48 answers total)
She needs new meds.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:26 PM on February 24, 2006

Let's hope it's as simple as Pollomacho suspects. You need a doctor to figure this one out. Now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:28 PM on February 24, 2006

Finding the right meds may take a little while and a lot of patience on your part, so I'm not sure it's all that simple actually.

Good luck, I do not envy you. If she will not or cannot seek the help she needs, then you need to take the tough step of getting yourself (and pets) out of there.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:33 PM on February 24, 2006

Get yourself and your pets the hell out of there, and cut off any financial entanglements you have. People in manic mode are far more likely to (accidentally or through negligence) hurt other people than they are to hurt themselves.

Once you have a good seperation of your personal life from hers, continue being as supportive as you can. Encourage her to check her medication levels with her doctor -- the body can build up a resistance over time.

There's nothing you can do to make the neurons in her brain fire the way you're used to, other than force feeding her medication. All you can ethically and respectfully do is seperate yourself from the maelstrom and encourage her to get help.
posted by tkolar at 12:35 PM on February 24, 2006

Your descriptions all match a serious manic episode, although it would be quite rare for it to last this long without her burning out. She certainly needs to see a psychiatrist, she may benefit from hospitalization. I would really try and talk her into it, and I would get her family involved if she is recalcitrant.

It's impossible to comment on the risk of suicide, except to say that her irrationality suggests that it's more likely than it otherwise would be. She should certainly be evaluated for suicide risk.

The other big option, other than mania brought on by her bipolar disorder is that she is using illegal drugs. Did she sell her sewing stuff for money to buy drugs and she's just saying that she gave it away.

Regardless, this isn't something to handle on your own, if for no other reason than you have tried to talk with her and she has not responded well. I would try talking her into a psych eval one more time and then I would get people together to make an intervention. I would do it now, tonight. The behavior you're describing, the changes in demeanor, are sufficient for even an ER visit.
posted by OmieWise at 12:36 PM on February 24, 2006

This may rain fire and brimstone down upon me, but...

* If your wife continues to refuse treatment in an active way
* If you have done what you can to convince her she needs help

...you may need to consider filing for divorce. Without help, this will continue to get worse rather than better and she is, for all practical purposes, not the woman you married anymore.

If she derails big time, you may be looking at a whole litany of problems, most of which will spill onto you - financial, physical, emotional, etc.
posted by unixrat at 12:38 PM on February 24, 2006

A lot of what you're saying sounds very familiar to me, having a family member with bipolar disorder. Scientists are starting to understand that dramatic swings of mania and depression can actually damage the brain, above and beyond the present symptoms. Bipolar disorder most often gets worse with age. The best thing you can do is get her to a good psychiatrist. I really do wish you a lot of luck.
posted by the jam at 12:41 PM on February 24, 2006

The behavior you're describing, the changes in demeanor, are sufficient for even an ER visit.

Agree with OmieWise.

I was going to ask whether you have any reason to worry about your own safety, but what kind of stupid question would that would be? There's no rhyme or reason to her unpredictable behavior.

She is in desperate need of help. Only you can decide how much you are prepared to invest (emotionally) in helping her get that help. And you cannot force her to do it, so prepare yourself for the possibility that she will refuse. If she does refuse, you need to remove yourself and the animals from the situation.

Does she have family who might help?
posted by lilybeane at 12:43 PM on February 24, 2006

It sounds like she may have gone off her meds. Maybe she was feeling normal, like she didn't need to worry anymore, didn't want the side affects, things were going well. The bipolar are notorious for resistance to medication.

Do as Omie Wise says. Make the first step, call in a pro.
posted by Sara Anne at 12:45 PM on February 24, 2006

CAT scan - could be something more serious/physical than bipolar disorder. She should be examined by a doctor.
posted by noahv at 12:46 PM on February 24, 2006

Get on the phone ASAP with whomever is currently prescribing her drugs. This is not a personality problem, this is a medical crisis.
posted by macinchik at 12:48 PM on February 24, 2006

I have no suggestions other than to be watchful of your own safety and mental wellness and to sympathize with you for a really difficult problem.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:49 PM on February 24, 2006

Seriously, cut, run don't look back and don't feel guilty. Even when you solve this particular problem, there will be new one just round the corner.
posted by 517 at 12:49 PM on February 24, 2006

Do not mess around with this. Get you both to a doctor ASAP. Take off work if you have to. Go now.
posted by grateful at 12:59 PM on February 24, 2006

It's likely both a medical and problem and a psychological one now (especially with damage done to areas of her life.)

PeeWee - it's pretty simple. Get on the phone to whoever she speaks to on a regular basis for her therapy (may be one and the same as the person who prescribes for her.)

Much more serious of a problem is if she is not in talk therapy. She's struggling with a feedback mechanism (which isn't working - both her internal one and her external one, you).

If she's not in talk therapy, you'll have some more drastic problems. You'll need to convince her that she needs to see her practioner that a reevaluation is needed. She'll likely resist - the simplest ploy is to tell her that you feel her behavior is odd and out of whack; that she should humor you with a visit to the physician/psychaitrist. After all, if you're wrong, you'll insist, you'll shut up about it. She'll go to spite you, or because you'll reason with her, but the reality is that she'll go.

Work damage is often reversable. Objects can be rebought. Even your noble efforts with the pets are solvable.

But if this is a "committed relationship that’s been, truthfully, about as good as it gets" you shouldn't realistically be thinking of running, until you're out of options.

I'm not sure an ER visit is mandatory - it would be if she was talking about suicide.

Realistically, a reevaluation of where she stands with her meds needs to be done ASAP; possibly, calling the physician right now may yield a saturday appointment.
posted by filmgeek at 1:00 PM on February 24, 2006

Just because someone was once diagnosed with one condition, doesn't mean they can't get sicker, or sick with something else. My brother is a schizophrenic, and I'm his caregiver, so I have some idea of what you're going through.

Good news is, professionals are less and less likely to act as if they are diagnosing a disease when they use terms like "bipolar" and more like they are using convenient descriptors for symptoms. That's good, IMHO, because it's more honest. Bad news is, many people who are initially evaluated as bipolar go on, later in life, to develop more bizarre behaviors, and are then re-classified as suffering from schizoaffective disorders.

Good news about the bad news is that drug regimens and treatment protocols have improved greatly in the last 10 years for treating the psychotic aspects of these conditions. Newer atypical anti-psychotics in combination with other drug therapies can mitigate many of the thought pattern problems that used to be completely debilitating.

Bad news about the bad news is, that unless the correct therapies are applied and managed, your SO may be at significantly higher risk for major problems, including suicide, than the general population. She may, and in the absence of a definitive medical evaluation, I stress may be a danger to others, including you, as well.

You need to get her current situation re-evaluated by her treatment professionals. Problem is, if you are not her husband, or don't have an appropriate medical power of attorney for your state, your ability to help her, if she is disinclined to follow your advice voluntarily, is minimal. But you may be able to at least have an informal conversation with her doctors, although they may not be able to disclose much to you in return, without her consent.

Do try. If she is trying to self-manage the early phases of psychotic episodes, as many people do, she's in trouble already, and may soon not be able to help herself.

Again, IANAD, and you need some professional help and advice. Please get it.
posted by paulsc at 1:00 PM on February 24, 2006

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), ignore 517. Call her doctor(s) and/or take her to an ER today. Either her meds no longer work or she's not taking them anymore.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on February 24, 2006

This is an extremely bad situation to be in for both of you, and I am sorry you have to go through it.

I would argue strongly against the people here who suggest that you should remove yourself from the situation or cut all ties or (god forbid) divorce her. I suspect that leaving would remove any checks that your presence may have on her behavior. You have one job right now, and that is to get professional help for her. From your description this is probably not something she wants, or feels she needs. But it is what you need to do. Otherwise the situation is likely to escalate.

Contact her doctor directly if you can and get his advice on what to do. And I agree with OmnieWise and lilybeane that an emergency room visit is probably justified, but may be very difficult to do. And to contradict lilybeane, if she refuses you can, in fact, force her to get help. If you can demonstrate that she is a danger to herself or others, she can be committed involuntarily (I am not a doctor or a lawyer, and commission criteria differ from place to place. This would be a good thing to talk to her doctor about.) This is, of course, something you don't want to do unless you have to.

Good luck. Hopefully with good care and the right meds, she will go back to being the same woman you fell in love with.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 1:07 PM on February 24, 2006

If you even think she is threatening suicide call 911. The reason for this is that she can legally be picked up and evaluated and possibly held for 72 hours. That could get the treatment ball rolling.

And yes, what you describe is definitely bipolar behavior. At the very least get a call in to her doc to let him or her know what is going on.

And definitely, a manic episode CAN last for awhile, particularly if the sufferer is BP 1.

(If she has credit cards HIDE THEM. NOW.)
posted by konolia at 1:14 PM on February 24, 2006

I hate the "cut and run" responses, because they don't help anything. I used to be married to a bi-polar woman, and it ended when she had enough of my patience.

My ex would never admit to having a problem, and so she remained unmedicated for most of our marriage. I get how you are feeling: hopeless, out of control. For me it caused depression from the stress of dealing with her on a daily basis and trying to mitigate all of the daily life struggles.

If you can get her help, get her help. If you can't get yourself help.
posted by Quartermass at 1:19 PM on February 24, 2006

Sounds a lot like a severe manic episode, but these things can get triggered by lots of different things. It's not at all surprising that she refuses help - typically these folks are on top of the world and *very* impatient with others who suggest otherwise.

I second an emergency call to her physician or psychiatrist. It's quite possible that they switched her meds or changed her dosages without you knowing about it. Or, she could be taking something else that interferes with the functioning of the meds. Or, she could've decided to lighten up her dosage without telling anyone. But definitely get in touch with a professional right away.

If you can stand it, stick around - she's really going to need you after this episode burns itself out. Before you cut and run, I'd suggest you get in touch with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. You don't mention your location in your profile, but many locations have support groups for family and friends of people with these disorders.
posted by jasper411 at 1:52 PM on February 24, 2006

Read An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison. It will tell you a bit about what bipolar disorder looks like from the inside, and might make you see why so many go off their meds. She needs to try different meds or a different therapist.

Jamison's other books on bipolar disorder are also worth reading, but I though Unquiet Mind was the best.
posted by phliar at 1:58 PM on February 24, 2006

Lazlo Hollyfeld wrote:

You have one job right now, and that is to get professional help for her.

I strongly strongly disagree with this statement. Your job is take care of yourself. When and if you have accomplished that, then look to helping her.

If you absolutely feel the need for self sacrifice, then consider what a few others have said: when she comes down from this she is going to need you healthy and whole, and (if her job situation deteriorates) financially sound enough to support her while she gets back on her feet.

Don't let her take you into bankruptcy with her. I've seen it happen, and it's really really ugly.
posted by tkolar at 2:21 PM on February 24, 2006

Speaking as someone with a bipolar relative, let me echo the others here who say CALL HER DOCTOR RIGHT NOW. She is probably going to need a few weeks of hospitalization, both to keep her safe while she's in this manic phase, and to do medical evaluations (bloodwork, CAT scan, etc.) to see what's going on with her body physically.

Somewhere in there is the same smart, loving, ambitious woman you know, but she's trapped underneath a sudden avalanche of neurochemicals. Every day she stays in this state, she's going to do more damage to her social world and her physical well-being. If you love her, get her help! It is going to be emotionally difficult for you--you may indeed have to commit her to a hospital for a little while--but you can save her life. When she snaps out of the crazy-state she's in, I have to believe she's going to thank you for this. Please help her right away and don't wait anymore.

(And a tiny aside: is it possible she's pregnant and doesn't know it? Pregnancy hormones play havoc with the brains and bodies of neurotypical women; I can only imagine what they would do to a bipolar woman. It might explain the sudden onset of this manic episode.)
posted by Asparagirl at 2:25 PM on February 24, 2006

After thinking about it a bit, I came back in to say a few more things:

1) Your SO is most definately at higher risk of suicide. I only equvocated above because of the possiblity that she's using drugs instead of having a major manic episode. But, people with BPDO are more likely to commit suicide than the general population, and the time when they are most likely to do it is during the manic rather than during the depressive phase.

2) This really doesn't sound at all like schizoaffective DO, and I say that with some professional expertise.

3) Of course you should pay attention to your safety, but there really isn't a reason to cut and run here. The overriding need is to get your SO help, not to protect yourself. I would think about trying to board your pets somewhere else for a while, perhaps.
posted by OmieWise at 2:53 PM on February 24, 2006

Where did everyone get the impression that they are married?
posted by xmutex at 2:54 PM on February 24, 2006


Get yourself and your pets the hell out of there, and cut off any financial entanglements you have. People in manic mode are far more likely to (accidentally or through negligence) hurt other people than they are to hurt themselves.

it seems that every time i come across posts to ask metafilter regarding major issues with their loved ones (such as this posting), there is someone who suggests a complete cut-off. i always feel disappointed when i read those comments.
posted by moz at 3:06 PM on February 24, 2006

It was convenient the last time I really wigged out that my dad was sickly and old: he got me to accompany him to the ER for his physical problems, then somehow I wound up being evaluated for three days and prescribed some heavy medications. Maybe he told somebody "I'd like to have my son seen too, he's losing it" -- or maybe just they overheard me yammering about a Satanic coven that infiltrated the CIA to get me.

I do not suggest abandoning her. I'd suggest you figure a way to get her seen ASAP. (Dad was having horrible abdominal cramps; not that he wasn't -- that was his "stress symptom" -- and I gather I brought it on.) One good thing about a weekend evening is it means the ER is the only place to go.
posted by davy at 3:17 PM on February 24, 2006

"She’s clumsy and awkward, stumbling and dropping things. "

Is that a normal symptom of bipolar disorder? To me it would suggest organic brain damage, as with e.g. a tumor. But I'll defer to those with greater expertise.
posted by orthogonality at 4:26 PM on February 24, 2006

She needs help of the can't-wait-till-monday variety. Call her doctor ASAP, convey that it is an emergency and have the answering service page the doctor. If the doctor will speak to you at all (I don't know if this situation trumps confidentiality agreements) perhaps he/she will have your SO pre-admited and you won't have to deal with the ER.
posted by necessitas at 4:30 PM on February 24, 2006

It's quite a leap to go from talking about someone who's manic/depressive and possiby suicidal to concluding that peewee should run for his life! Let's not get carried away.

The woman may be pretty screwed up at the moment, but that doesn't make her Lizzie Borden. She has been holding down a job. And while talking about getting rid of her pets (implying have them euthanised) doesn't sit to well with me either, that doesn't make her a threat to others. Lots of people, unfortunately, get pets that they aren't prepared to care for and dump them on the ASPCA or worse.

And if we would expect someone in a committed relationship (married or not) to stand by their SO if s/he had cancer and such, I would expect them to take a good try at trying to work this situation out. It's an illness.

I think that the best advice so far was CALL HER DOCTOR ASAP. Don't worry about disturbing him/her. Malpractice being what it is today, a potentially suicidal woman for whom the doc has prescribed meds should grab the doc's attention.
posted by bim at 5:42 PM on February 24, 2006

peewee, if you're comfortable with it, please let us know how you are. I know we're total strangers from the internet and all, but I'm worried about you and your SO.
posted by jesourie at 6:39 PM on February 24, 2006

Is that a normal symptom of bipolar disorder?

No. That's one of the reasons I thought about some other kind of intoxication. Some kind of organic brain problem would also be a possibility.
posted by OmieWise at 6:43 PM on February 24, 2006

Get her in front of a professional a.s.a.p. at all cost?

Simply put, yes.

Call her doc, tell him/her what's going on (doc won't be able to tell you anything, of course), have him/her meet you at the hospital.
posted by desuetude at 8:14 PM on February 24, 2006

I also would like to express disgust at those who suggest just cutting and running. v v sad.

I don't pretend to have any idea what you're dealing with but my heart goes out to you. I hope you're able to find a good (or at least tolerable) course of action.
posted by ancamp at 8:30 PM on February 24, 2006

I don't express any disgust at those who suggest leaving. Living with someone who is bipolar and and symptomatic means committing to live in a world that is completely upside down. But that's neither here nor there. The course of action right now is to get her to a doctor and see what help balanced meds can do.
posted by the jam at 8:41 PM on February 24, 2006

moz wrote:

it seems that every time i come across posts to ask metafilter regarding major issues with their loved ones (such as this posting), there is someone who suggests a complete cut-off. i always feel disappointed when i read those comments.

Of course, if you finished reading my post you'll notice that I didn't suggest a complete cut-off. I suggested getting himself out of the immediate danger zone, and supporting her from a distance.

As I said in a seperate post, I've seen this go down before and it wasn't pretty. As much as I'm pulling for her to come down from the mania, I've seen firsthand just how much destruction can be wrought (financially and otherwise) in a manic phase.
posted by tkolar at 10:27 PM on February 24, 2006

My father is bipolar and has had some episodes over the last few years that really, really scared me. I don't think I can add to the excellent advice that has already been given (except don't cut and run!) but I'd just like to remind you to make sure you're OK through all this, even after your SO is back to being more like the woman you know. I know I've spent the last few years watching my father, monitoring his behavior, hoping he won't have another episode and desperately afraid he will every time he acts a little off. You say she's only had one other episode while you've been together, so her behavior over the next few weeks/months (as you follow the good advice you've been given) will probably be hard to deal with. My father changed a lot after his first major episode, and it was really hard to deal with his changes and my own fear. My mother had to commit my father, and I know that it's been extremely hard for her to maintain him and their relationship since then. Basically, don't neglect yourself. Take care of her as best you can, but don't be afraid to get help with dealing with any of the aftereffects of this.
posted by MadamM at 10:35 PM on February 24, 2006

I agree with the manic episode idea. A manic episode, IME, makes a person totally incapable of coexisting with ambiguity- the pets have to go because they require ongoing maintenance which could be too much to deal with, the tactlessness comes from an inability to tolerate white lies etc. Think of it as an extended period of settling everything completely so the person can then retreat to a nice quiet place and not have to worry.

I agree that she needs help and from a professional. You obviously love her and are willing to cover for her and protect her but keep a close eye on things like credit cards and bank accounts. Consider cutting them off for now if you can.

Just a comment: has she changed birth control or hit pre-menopause? Hormones can really affect mental health IME.
posted by fshgrl at 11:35 PM on February 24, 2006

Since this thread appears to have less restriction in it than I would expect, I have to wonder about the people who have expressed disgust about the suggestion to cut and run. Have they ever had a personal experience with this type of situation?

I won't over generalize here but if it were a blood family member, obviously cutting and running is out of the question, but you are talking about a person whose presence in your life is something you get to make a choice on. Given that you get to make a choice, I am telling you the choice I would make if I were given that option.

Perhaps your experience will be different, I hope that it is. Regardless, the future holds a lot of pain for you and you should be aware of it when you are deciding what to do.
posted by 517 at 8:38 AM on February 25, 2006

The physical symptoms sound like Psychomotor retardation and are common in some presentations of BPD, acute and chronic depression etc., What you are describing is somone who, for whatever reason, (and we could speculate for hours about organic causes, illicit drugs etc., )is DECOMPENSATING at a very steady rate. Do look to practical issues like your financial arrangements, but not before she has had a complete physical and psychiatric work-up. It is urgent.
Wishing you all the best
posted by Wilder at 8:41 AM on February 25, 2006

"She’s clumsy and awkward, stumbling and dropping things. "
also sounds like a big warning signal to me, in addition to the personality changes. Is it possible that she had a minor stroke that wasn't diagnosed? Get her to a doctor, ASAP. A neurologist as well as a pyschiatrist. Best wishes for a difficult situation.
posted by emd3737 at 10:32 AM on February 25, 2006

"Cut and run" is cruel, 517. If you're the kind of friend/SO that runs at the first sign of trouble, that's awful. It's not like she was hiding the fact that she was bipolar all along.

Please everyone, be careful with your abbreviations - bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (bpd) are not the same thing.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:14 PM on February 25, 2006

An update and some clarifications:

It’s been a hectic time since I posted my question. Between phoning her doctor and friends, checking the responses here, taking my own precautions and checking in on her, I’ve been going close to full throttle. Thankfully, she’s been pretty subdued and has spent most of the time watching television programs.

Her doctor, the one that treats this condition and prescribed the medications, spoke to her privately at first, then with both of us, and finally just with me. He sees a definite concern that needs to be addressed, but didn’t feel that any kind of emergency hospitalization or other dramatic action was in order. We have a priority appointment first thing Monday morning.

Talking to her friends, my goal was to get them over here so we could all talk about this collectively, but their reactions were not positive. Nobody came over and only one of them talked to me at any length. It was as if they’d heard enough of her antics and were closed to the idea of dealing with any of it. She must've really pissed them off somehow.

To touch on some of the questions that were raised:

We’re not married or engaged, but the relationship has been very serious and real by all standards. As far as what’s next? I’m going to stay close by for the immediate future and watch the direction that this thing goes. I’d hate myself if I didn’t stick it out long enough to give what I’d consider a fair shot. Beyond that, who knows. It could just as well be the beginning of the end.

Illicit drugs: Doubt it. I see her enough to think that I’d be able to pick up on it in some fashion, if it were the case.

Pregnancy: I guess I honestly can’t say for sure, other than it wouldn’t have been by me. Things have been a little “uneventful” in recent times, if you know what I mean. I don’t suspect that she’s cheated, but with all these new developments it seems nothing is out of the question.

Practical considerations: I believe there’s not too much immediate danger, financially speaking. She doesn’t have access to anything I control; personally or as a part of my business.

Me: I’m choosing to stay logical and focused for now, although I’m sure my mind is going to be all over the place as soon as the initial shock fades.

So that ought to bring you up to date. You’ll never know how touched I am by the number, quality and directness of all of your comments. To those who emailed, I will get in touch just as soon as I have the time to craft a proper response. I thank you all again, as it has helped me a great, great deal. I owe you.
posted by peewee at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2006

Thanks for the update, peewee. Good luck and better tomorrows to you....
posted by tkolar at 5:40 PM on February 25, 2006

Thanks for the update. Hang in there and good luck tomorrow. I hope your SO starts feeling better soon.
posted by Asparagirl at 6:21 PM on February 25, 2006

Another thanks for the update, peewee. Lots of folks are pulling for you (and your SO too, of course).
posted by scody at 1:07 AM on February 26, 2006

Thanks for the update peewee. Good luck, and please do check out the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance I suggested. It's been an exceedingly useful resource for my patients and their family members. It will both educate you on her condition, connect you with others who are in your shoes, and help you think about you and your friend's future together. Just check the sidebar to see if there's a local chapter.

As you've found out, it can be quite a ride to be in a relationship with someone who has these conditions. They can be *so* wonderful and charismatic, but often burn through relationships. Sometimes that's an essential part of people coming to terms with their condition, sad to say.
posted by jasper411 at 2:39 PM on February 26, 2006

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