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Kirk Reed

from Newark, DE

I have a wife with bipolar and two of our four kids (ages 8, 14, 16, 18) also show signs of bipolar. I also have one house with too many holes in the walls, although almost all have been fixed. All doors have been replaced with six panel hollow doors, but all the bedroom doors and some closet doors still have holes in them. Can't fix them.

My wife started slipping into deep depression when she started taking birth control once we got married. Since then, our lives have not been the same. It took many years to figure it out. She mostly has bursts of anger, very intense anger; she becomes exhausted and sleeps. I have seen this behavior in her brother also. I have stayed married to her because I understand it. Her brother is possibly ready to divorce for the second time.

Yes, she has been on medication for about the last ten years. She has been on Paxil and Depakote, which put 50 pounds on her. She got a bad rash a couple years ago, so she went off it. She dropped the weight, kept exercising (she always exercised a lot) and the weight fell off. Now, she is so depressed that she cannot appreciate life. She is trying out Zoloft. It's been a month, and so far, I have seen improvement. She actually says she is enjoying me being around. 

Looking back, what could have been done at the time to improve the situation? Treatment, medication, a different approach, or understanding from others around you?

I always took the verbal abuse, fixed the holes in the walls, etc. I insisted for her to get help. She did. Diagnosis and treatment is always time consuming and often a hit or miss. It takes time to try different medications; exercise is crucial to her well being. I am trying to educate my kids to be aware of what they may have in them. My wife's parents have never admitted this has been in their family.

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