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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm 54, male, a dr. Suffer from bipolar disorder since

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I'm 54, male, a dr. Suffer from bipolar disorder since childhood. only diagnosed 5 yrs ago, antidepressants & calcium little effect, except awful side effects. Relation with wife of 20 yrs: quarrels every few days then make-up. She doesn't know of diagnosis, is afraid of mental illnesses, but otherwise v.supportive. Now have probs with my 2 teenage girls, dont talk much with me. Feel marriage v.close to breaking up: I keep accusing wife of cheating with another woman (I think she spends all her time with for emotional support) & I repeatedly threaten divorce, but v.afraid of losing her emotional support. v.lost, no good psychiatric support in the African country i live in.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like there are a number of issues going on in your life that need addressed. It may be that many of the problems you are having in your life are at least partly due to your struggles to feel better with your diagnosis of Bipolar. Because of that, let's address the Bipolar first.
Addressing the medications you are taking is the first step. The ones you are on do not seem to be helping and the best way to treat Bipolar is through medications, as you may already know. The most prescribed medications for Bipolar is Lithium. You can also take Depakote as well. If the medication your doctor put you on is an anti depressant, it may not work. It is questionable to use with Bipolar because it does not address the imbalances of Bipolar but rather just the depression experienced with Bipolar. It does not stabilize the mood swings experienced with Bipolar. You may want to ask your doctor again about your medication and see if you can be put on medicine for Bipolar, such as the ones above or the equivalent. You may also want to get a second opinion, if possible.
Also, if you can, try to see a therapist. You can do this either in person or on line. You deserve the support and it can also help you to talk about what is going on in your life.
There are other things you can do to help yourself. Here are some links to help you: olar_disorder_medications.htm
Also, consider support groups either on line or in person. Talking to others who have the same symptoms as you can help you feel less alone and provide much needed support.
You may also want to talk to your wife about seeing a therapist together (either in person or on line) and work through your issues. She may need to learn to understand your illness so she can be supportive. Here is a site that may help her and where she can find support:
Here are some other resources to help you with your wife:
Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli
If you feel your wife is cheating, then it is important that the both of you work through your feelings and learn to communicate. Regaining trust is also vital. You can do this through therapy, self help and improving your communication. The same is true with your teen children. Kids look to their parents for guidance and a close relationship. Try to make yourself available for your kids and see what they have to say to you. If possible, make them part of the therapy you have as well.
I hope this has helped you,
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm afraid i have been self medicating, as no competent psychiatrists here. the depression is what gets me: severe, stops my daily activities, feel alone & stay indoors, while wife continues with her life, in fact spends most time at her work or social activities: she is quite busy. she does believe there's any prob in our life (financially ok, both successful professionals, 4 nice kids). when episodes occur (every few days) i send her a message about her close friend, or stop talking to her, then leave the house for a few days. then feel alone, guilty & come back. today she has taken the kids & went to her sister's. at the beginning of an episode, i reaaly do want to divorce her, then it's the opposite.

What you feel makes sense. If you have been self treating for the Bipolar, your symptoms are most likely going to cause you to feel as you do, particularly about your wife. And it will be easy to see your marriage the way you do because you are suffering right now and basically struggling on your own.
You may want to see if your regular doctor can prescribe Bipolar medications for you. Or if you can consult with someone on line for help. You not only need to have someone evaluate what type of Bipolar you may have, but also try to find a medication that will work for you. In the meanwhile, try to seek out therapy, on line if needed. You can find therapists who will Skype with you or provide phone or chat therapy. You can also use self help to provide you with tools you can use to help yourself, your marriage and your relationship with your children.
You may also want to try an alternative vitamin regiment that may provide some relief. Check with your own doctor first before you try it. Most individuals who choose to try natural methods do so under the close observation of an osteopath or other holistic medicine professional. Also, some doctors will also support alternative medicines, some will not. And if you are a medical professional yourself, you may know if this will work for you.
It is important to know that nutritional supplements vary in their purity and in their potency. Therefore, it is in your best interest to use a pharmaceutical oriented company like who produces products with high quality guidelines.
As an example of an alternative supplement:
1000 mg. of Omega 3 fatty acid
10 mg. Zinc
500 mg. Calcium
100 mg Magnesium Glycenate
These have been shown to have mood stabilizing properties. But because everyone's body chemistry is different, be sure your son is seen by a professional before you consider this alternative.
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answers were helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.