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complicated mess - Is my wife Bipolar?

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Hi - 6 month ago my wife lost her brother to suicide. Since then she has undergone a total personality change. Prior to this event she was the most caring and loving wonderful wife who would never hurt me or my two grown up sons. It started when she stayed out all night with a man she now says she loves. She has left me at least 8 times now, because of her feelings for him, four of which she ran to him. When she goes to him she is in a manic or elevated state and takes no account of consequences or her safety. She barely knows this man, who has some serious mental baggage of his own, but is obsessed with him. She appears to cycle from depressed to manic on a 2 week cycle. She has increased energy levels and requires little sleep during the manic episodes. The manic episodes seem to build up slowly over a period of days, maybe 5/6, before she flips and runs to this guy. Unfortunately the very next morning she comes crashing down and feels terrible / extremely guilty about what she has done and then runs immediately back to me, which is destroying me. She then has a period of low mood, about 4/5 days before the gradual build up to manic state. She swings from telling me she loves me and is sorry to telling me she dosnt love me and wants to be with this guy. She was taking the anti depressant Sertraline which, the psychiatrist said was pushing her into a hyper state and that she was probably on the edge of the bipolar spectrum??? She was admitted to a Psychiatric unit after threatening suicide, following an overnight stay and her first sexual encounter with the man. She was diagnosed with "Complex Reactive Grief". This diagnosis was based on information from a Councilor my wife was seeing through work. They think that it is complex reactive bereavement in which she is trying to replace her brother, who died 7 month ago. She has hardly grieved for her brother at all. She is now staying with friends who one of which is diagnosed with bipolar. She is now telling me that she is bipolar because she has all the symtoms. The psychiatrist has prescribed her Quetiapine.

MY QUESTION IS
- DO YOU THINK THIS IS BIPOLAR OR SEVERAL MENTAL ISSUES CONFUSING THE DIAGNOSIS
- AND - IS SUCH RAPID (2 WEEKLY) CYCLES A SYMPTOM OF BIPOLAR?

Please, someone help me - Im going downhill!
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replied October 23rd, 2011
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Hi Onedge and welcome to ehealth: How old are the two of you?...How long have you been married?...I question if she is bipolar or going through Menopause...Take care...

Caroline
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replied October 24th, 2011
Sorry - should of stated that I'm 51 and she is 50. Her doctor said she has just gone through the menopause recently. We have been together 32 years
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replied October 24th, 2011
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Hi onedge....I think she is still in it...To begin with Sertaline alone is a pretty powerful drug...Adding Quetiapine to it is really going to make a powerful cocktail....First loves?....I still question if her OB-GYN could be sure she has gone through Menopause...
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replied October 24th, 2011
Been married 28 years. I should say that she is no longer on Sertaline, only the Quetiapine
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replied October 24th, 2011
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Did she have another lover before you or are you the only one she has ever had?
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replied October 24th, 2011
I am her only lover
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replied October 24th, 2011
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Makes sense...I will finish this in a second
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replied October 24th, 2011
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When a woman or should I say some women go through Menopause they can and many do awaken a new sexual part of themselves that they have never known....They become all that they had ever thought they could be in their mind...Sex becomes a new hunger...In her case, she has kind of lost control....Please understand I am not any kind of professional, but only a woman who knows life and profound love...I believe and this is only my thought, that something triggered her when her brother died...Not that she mourns him, but that she embraces life...Then possibly along came a man who stirred her soul...Found parts of herself that she never knew...Deep sexual want...The kind that even you and she never knew before...The same kind of deep erotic passion that my husband and I have found in the last ten years and as I, too, became all that I could be....Now she must find her way home....I am sending this off now and going to continue
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replied October 24th, 2011
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I believe she loves you, but also the new pure lust that she has found...It's really messing with her mind...I don't like the drug Quetiapine as this could make it worse...

What do you do?....First, you sound like a wonderful man...She is very lucky...I feel so bad for you...But, you must understand that she is not herself...She has embraced a part of herself that is a younger woman...She is wanted...she is loved and most of all she is mixed up....She does not love this other man, she loves the way he makes her feel....It's like she is in high school again...

More in a minute
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replied October 24th, 2011
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She needs help....But, I question if she is ready nor do I as a novice know what to tell you....I only know that I had a relative that kind of went this way in mid life...Kind of lost her way....So what do you do?...Leave her alone and hope that she doesn't get in anymore trouble...Or try and get her off of pills and see what her doctors say....In some ways your not battling another man, your battling a new woman that has emerged and found herself....I'll bet she is confused...God, I wish I knew what to say to help you....Maybe someone else will know...I send you my best wishes as well as my love...Take care...

Caroline

Don't give up on her...My husband and I have been married for 53 years next month and he, too, was my only lover....I wonder if her doctor ever gave her needed hormones?...I am signing off now as my husband is having double cataract surgery in the next two weeks...Tomorrow is the first one and I have to be up at 5 A.M. to get him to the hospital...I will try and check the forum in the next few days...Take care...
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replied October 24th, 2011
Thank you Caroline.
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