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cathy
cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
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Hi there. I am engaged with my partner who is suffering from

Customer Question

Hi there.
I am engaged with my partner who is suffering from bipolar. There are times when he is really well and times he has been abusive under the influence of alcohol. He has been getting the treatment for a year or so. Also he had to go through the changes of different medication to suit his illness. Starting of this year we have a mortgage with puts us under a lot of pressure. With the long term abuse, I have now come to a decision to go on our seperate ways. We are still living together in the same house and I am concerned about his wellbeing and his mental issues and also my safety. Could you please help me how do I go through this process as I have no one to talk to.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  cathy replied 2 years ago.

cathy :

Hi and thank you for writing JA

cathy :

I have read your post and would be happy to chat with you about this. A few things you should know first:

cathy :

one is that a diagnosis of bi polar disorder can not be made unless the person is alcohol free for six months

cathy :

and if the person was not alcohol free six months before being diagnosed

cathy :

chances are they were mis diagnosed as 65 percent of those who were told by a physician that they had bi polar disorder did not

cathy :

and most of those who were misdiagnosed were substance abusers.

cathy :

So if you can tell me if he had six months of complete and total abstinence from all street drugs and alcohol at the time of his diagnosis its very likely he was mistakenly diagnosed. Let me know how to best guide you on this. Warm regards, Cathy

cathy :

Hi are you here?

Customer :

yes i am

cathy :

Hi and nice to see you I think I might be able to help you with this or at very least put your mind at ease

cathy :

can you tell me if he was using alcohol in the six months before the diagnosis of bi polar disorder

Customer :

Thank you Cathy. He did not drink for alteast 4-5 months also at that time we wre going through IVF

cathy :

Oh I see

cathy :

so he did not meet the criteria for diagnosis

cathy :

but thats okay because that same mistake is made on more than half

cathy :

of the people who were overdiagnosed

cathy :

which is of small comfort to yeou

cathy :

you

cathy :

but it might help you in the long run

cathy :

the primary issue then is the alcoholism which we now know is a genetic illness

cathy :

I will send you some info on this in a few moments and its much easier to treat

cathy :

so if he can address that you might be okay whether you leave him or decide to stay

cathy :

but until he has the appropriate treatment I would think its not a good time to make a decision

cathy :

its not his fault if he were misdiagnosed and certainly not his fault if he inherited the gabra 2 gene for alcoholism

cathy :

what he needs is appropriate treatment

cathy :

I would give him a chance to get that before dissolving the relationship

Customer :

How can he be misdiagnosed and then going through the medication, its been a rollar coaster ride for both of us?

cathy :

oh my I can imagine

cathy :

but over 65 percent were found to be over or misdiagnosed

cathy :

I sent you the study above

cathy :

I can well imagine you have been to heck and back

cathy :

in fact the study I sent you was the second confirmation study on this from Brown University here in the US

cathy :

for some reason I think the first studies on this were done in AU

Customer :

Thank you.Its been very hard and I have been strong for both of us trying to get it togehter. The problem is that he knows he should not be drinking whilst getting treatment.

cathy :

oh my yes

cathy :

I can only imagine what you have been throughe

cathy :

sorry I have a sticky e key on this computer so I make many typos

cathy :

its very hard to stop drinking after a long time of drinking

cathy :

people who drink alcoholically do so because they feel "sorta normal" when they drink

cathy :

actually their brains produce a chemical called prostaglandin e 1 that is a feel good chemical

cathy :

they do not produce the same chemicals as do non alcoholics

cathy :

but again

cathy :

since discovering and isolating the gene five years ago its now become very easy to treat

cathy :

and remarkably symptoms of alcoholism, even abstinent alcoholism mimic those of mild bi polar disorder or what they now call bi polar two

cathy :

but I completely understand your position

cathy :

you have been through so so much that no one would blame you if you threw in the towel no matter how much you have loved him, no one would blame you

Customer :

I don't think he will stop drinking tho... I can give it a try and help him sort out his life out if it has been misdignosed. Thats all I can do. So where should I start tho

cathy :

And yes I completely agree with you

cathy :

you were not put her to suffer and be long suffering to someone who refuses help

cathy :

You really need to think before giving this another try

cathy :

but while you are thinking you can help him by educating him on the nature of the illness

cathy :

and saying, look it is not your fault you got this gene but it is your responsibility to do something about it

cathy :

and you can even tell him its not his fault treatment was so bad in the past

cathy :

alcoholism and addiction are the only diseases where we used to blame the patient for not getting better

cathy :

instead of looking at our fields in medicine and mental health and ask?

cathy :

what the heck are we doing wrong that so many are still abusing alcohol?

cathy :

you can tell him it was our fault for years and years that no real and effective treatment was out there

cathy :

but you can also tell him that times have changed and now that we " get it" more and more are getting and staying well

cathy :

and he can stop drinking and feel good with out alcohol

Customer :

I will think about giving it another try. We are best friends and have so much in common. can't just throw a towel and walk away.

cathy :

I know he is a great guy with a huge problem. I know this.

cathy :

I have worked with thousands of alcoholics over the past thirty years and most if not all of them were pretty wonderful people with just one devastating illness.

Customer :

yep you are right.. so what should I do now

cathy :

okay a few things

cathy :

first off I am going to send you a few more articles to read over and then one book to check out of your local public library

cathy :

and you read them over and share them with him

cathy :

and then you go about finding someone who can treat him appropriately

cathy :

are you near Perth?

Customer :

No Perth is 4-5 hors flight from Sydney.

cathy :

oh my okay

cathy :

forgive me my bad geography in AU

cathy :

okay I know someone in Perth is the reason I ask

cathy :

okay let me send you those articles and give you the name of the book

cathy :

and that will give you a good start on this

Customer :

Okay, thats a start. Any specialist in Sydney tho

cathy :

in the interim, does you guy drink beer or the hard stuff?

Customer :

Only beer

cathy :

okay good

cathy :

well not good, that sounds so wrong

cathy :

the reason I am saying okay good is that beer is a little less damaging than say whiskey or vodka

cathy :

and of course he must not be permitted to drink and drive

cathy :

but he already knows this

Customer :

Yes he knows it all

cathy :

but he is permitted to drink beer and only beer until he sees a specialist

cathy :

no point in asking him not to drink just yet

cathy :

because until a solution can be offered no point he will do it anyway

cathy :

but for me, given the clients I see, I usually have to ask them to stick to beer or wine and not drink any hard spiriits

cathy :

okay I am going to move us to q and a which is an email format and I will send you those articles and that book citation.

Customer :

Ok see I dont want him to stop drinking. He just need to know when to stop. He drinks only on the weekends but currently because of the situation its every day

cathy :

before I do that as we cannot return to chat from there.e

cathy :

ah but his brain cant do that

cathy :

his brain cannot do that the way that yours can

Customer :

Cathy thank you very much for your help really appreciate talking on line.

cathy :

its been my pleasure and do hang in there

cathy :

at the same time

Customer :

Puts my mind at ease

cathy :

I trust you will know if and when you done all you can and it is time to walk away

cathy :

remember

cathy :

you were put here to be happy and find joy in life

cathy :

so give it your best shot

cathy :

but know when its time and you have done all you can

Customer :

thnak you and I will try and give it a go

cathy :

okay I am moving us to q and a now

cathy :

you be well and take good care of you

cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
cathy and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  cathy replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your help. Will follow it up and try and give my best shot with the details you have provided.

 

Thank you again.

Expert:  cathy replied 2 years ago.
Okay here is that article about the over diagnosis of bi polar disorder and I will be right back with a few others, thank you for your patience as it will take me about fifteen minutes to send you all the citations I wish you to see.\

http://www.articlesbase.com/addictions-articles/over-diagnosis-of-bipolar-disorder-2041351.html
cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
cathy and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  cathy replied 2 years ago.
Okay here is that article about the over diagnosis of bi polar disorder and I will be right back with a few others, thank you for your patience as it will take me about fifteen minutes to send you all the citations I wish you to see.

http://www.articlesbase.com/addictions-articles/over-diagnosis-of-bipolar-disorder-2041351.html
and here is an important one on alcoholism
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656604/
and I will be right back with the book I would like you to read from your local library. thanks again for your patience. While I do not think that nutrition is the key to the cure this is such a well written book (and it was written so many years before the gene was identified) that I ask all my clients in your situation to read it. It is a quick read but will help you so very much so please check it out of the library and read her chapters the biochemistry of the illness and the history of the science of treating alcoholism. You will be amazed.
http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Weeks-Sobriety-Alcoholism-Nutrition/dp/0449002594 There is one more article I am struggling to find for you, I will try that now.
http://www.downstate.edu/hbnl/pdf/2006-Agrawal-Association%20of%20GABRA2%20with%20Drug%20Dependence%20in%20the% I know this is a very scientific article but I thought I had read somewhere that our friends in the AU were the very first to do work on the gabra2 gene and this article (if you can slog through it) will show you that this is so! You Aussies are always cutting edge in these areas. Warm wishes to you. Cathy

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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