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  1. #41
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    I am going to try to make sure my husband never goes back to the VA for psychiatry, even if I have to pay cash. The pscyh doctor of some sort he talked to today -- a different one than before -- didn't even know about Depakaote being worse than Abilify for black box warnings concerning most individuals. In any case, she wanted to give him Depakote instead of his regular Abilify, and I was raising hell about potential liver concerns since my brother had bad liver labs from Depakote. She was even dismissing his own conerns about his previous experience with Depakote years ago of swelling feet. She did not even tell him about any potential side effects before prescribing Depakote.

  2. #42
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    That's appalling.

  3. #43
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    On the positive side, I got to personally experience my own manic rage I already left a negative review for the VA on Google.

  4. #44
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    BTW, found out today the VA provider who was prescribing was a PharmD (doctor of pharmacy), not a psychiatric provider. Husband complained to psychiatrist, who was very understanding. Apparently, at the VA, the PharmD is the gatekeeper for getting approval for certain (non-formulary) medications.

  5. #45
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    More good news from the VA. His psychiatrist was on the phone with him today to make sure he is doing well, and she is calling him again tomorrow.

    Incidentally, I went to pickup his Zyprexa refill today at the VA (since he is switching again from Abilify to Zyprexa), and it feels like a military base over there. I had to go through two security checkpoints since they are still on semi-lockdown. The first checkpoint was to make sure you are supposed to be there, and the second one was to make sure you have a mask on.

  6. #46
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Hospitals up here are like that. You are funneled through only manned entrances where you need to be wearing a mask, use sterilizer on your hands, and answer a series of questions before you are cleared to enter.

    Then you are double checked when you get to your destination in the hospital to check again that you were screened at the front, still wearing a mask, and again use the hand sterilizer (since you came up an elevator or through some additional doors).

    At the pharmacy, I wear a mask anyway but I'm pretty sure if I wasn't I'd be given one or asked to leave until I got one.

  7. #47
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Happy update:

    Husband has not yelled since switching back to Zyprexa.

    Even if he is just at a good point in a cycle, I am happy for the break

    But if he does get acutely manic, he can take a higher dose again for a few days. The psychiatrist has him at 20 mg twice a day for acute episodes, and 20 mg a day otherwise.

  8. #48
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    Another post of venting and processing:

    The problem now is that some other symptoms have come back or worsened. He is more restless (wanting another dog, complaining of boredom all the time), smoking marijuana more (almost twice as much as before -- he is reaching his legal limit every week), and has gone back to sneaking in cigarettes.

    I think another reason he is smoking more marijuana is we have more disposable income now and/or the cost of the marijuana has gone down to some degree.

    After he refused again to call his psychiatrist (due to his almost-zero insight), I told him I am done, but we are already smoothing things over. But I also told him: Would you want to live with you? Someone who complains about being bored all the time, who spends a lot of our money on marijuana, and smokes cigarettes even though his sister is dying from lung disease?

    I called his sister to let her know that is more bipolar than usual.

    I told him I think he needs to see a psychiatrist outside the VA. His answer of course: "I have nothing to say to a psychiatrist," and of course I replied "I have plenty to say about you ."
    Last edited by Daniel; September 24th, 2020 at 01:12 PM.

  9. #49
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    The VA psychiatrist told my husband that his restlessness could have been a side effect of the Zyprexa. So she lowered his dose a week ago. So far, so good.

  10. #50
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    Re: How to Care for and Cope With a Bipolar Spouse

    OMG. Looking forward to Phoenix traffic after spending a few hours with his sister and her husband, who also seem to have bipolar disorder. He and them are so loud together today since they are arguing over the past. I would go insane if here much longer.

    Update: The traffic was about the same level of dissatisfaction
    Last edited by Daniel; October 22nd, 2020 at 05:16 PM.

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