So I'm new to the forum but I want to share my story in case it is helpful to others going through similar challenges. My wife and I met when we were both students at BYU and we hit it off right away. We had similar interests and we can talk for hours, and we were both very attracted to each other. She is the curvy blonde with big lips that I like. We had a quick engagement and got married in the temple within 5 months of meeting. We chose to have a family pretty quickly and I've never regretted that decision.
Now, cue the ominous music...
After our second child was born and my wife stopped nursing, something went horribly wrong with her personality. She would keep me up all night ranting about nonsense, telling me that she was having religious visions or that she was going to die, call me constantly at work, or theorize on any number of other delusions. At one point, after she had gone multiple days without sleep, I literally had to lay on top of her and put my hand over her mouth to try to get her to sleep but she would just keep talking beneath my hand as though I could hear her perfectly. Thus began my introduction to her mental illness that was later diagnoses as bipolar disorder. Hers is the version with psychotic episodes, so she not only experiences mania, but she also has delusions that are flat out crazy. I ended up having to take her, usually against her will, to behavioral health facilities (euphemism for mental hospital) so she could be locked up and heavily medicated for 3 weeks at a time. They would pump her full of medicine and give her back to me when the insurance stopped paying, regardless of her condition. The stress of the situation would at times become almost unbearable, especially when she would cycle again and relapse into a nonsensical episode of psychosis after a period of relative stability. I did the only thing I could, keep my head down and work at my job to maintain the benefits that we so desperately needed, and to try to minimize the damage this craziness was inflicting on my children both socially and mentally. We had to move multiple times because of the way she treated our neighbors and ward members.
Then, after a period of about 6 years of on-again off-again bipolar hell, we found a doctor who helped her. This doctor didn't take insurance so I was hesitant to use her initially, but it ended up being the best money I have ever spent. The doctor identified a mix of hormone supplements, anti-psychotics, and mood stabilizers that work. My wife was able to lose the weight gain that some of the medicines caused, she was able to manage her episodes with medicine and coping skils, and her personality came back. After years of being lost to our family, my wife came back. She has now been almost entirely stable, at least stable enough to avoid hospital stays, for 4 years now. It's an absolute miracle for our family. So many times I prayed for her, but it was honestly very hard to believe when she was in the depths of an episode, perhaps singing like an opera singer in an emergency room, that she one day could recover to the degree she has recovered.
I know to most of you this won't be a story that you can relate to, but I also know that for some of you it will be all too familiar. For those in the later camp, I just want you to know that there is hope. Things can get better and your loved ones can learn to manage and treat their conditions if they are willing to try.