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How Can I Help My Bipolar Wife?


My wife has a depression that is almost bipolar I cant remember the name of it. I find her crying for no reason and she sleeps a lot. I often find that she can be in a “good mood” or bad. I want to help but she just tells me nothing is wrong she hasn’t been taking her medication because we haven’t had the money to get it. I was wondering a few things. one is there any assistance that will help with the medication? and second the relationship that we have was great before, but I am finding it more and more difficult to compromise with her and I was wondering is there anything that I can do to help her through things? she wont tell me what if anything is wrong. please help me with this I need some advice on this matter. thank you for your time.

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

If your wife is truly experiencing a bipolar type mood disorder, the best thing you could do for her to help her stabilize her mood will be to do what you can to remove excuses that keep her from being on appropriate medication for her condition as prescribed by a psychiatrist. If you are in the United States, please look for the local community (or county) mental health center in your area. Though almost squeezed out of existence by lack of government funding, these centers are still places where people with limited means can gain access to psychiatric care. You can find the center nearest to you by calling the telephone operator, or looking in the blue government pages of your yellow pages telephone book. The police will know where to find the local clinic as well.


p> Dealing with a mentally ill spouse is a difficult thing to do. I also strongly suggest that you seek out a support group, or trusted clergy, friend or relative and talk about what you are going through. Talking can really help you to feel better.

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists

  • Will

    My wife has not been diagnosed with bipolar. But there is somthing mentally, effecting how she communicate with me. She is majority of times even upset/mad/ or controlling. we have been married for 5 years. We have probably only spent about 3 or 5 minutes a week trying to communicate, before something negative happen while we are talking. Then the conversastion is over, and really mad.

    The issues I'm having now is trying to understand the mood swings that is happening and how to deal with them. Currently what happens she will go off when I get home from work. She usually goes for about 2 - 3 hours. Currently my Wife works part-time and stay's home with our son. She has trouble remembering things. Majority of the times she seems like she's in another world. It's hard because I feel we aren't as connected at all. Right now I do alot of the work around the house. I usually try and get it done after I put our son to bed for the night.

    Sometime I just feel like I'm in this by myself. That I keep giving and never receiving anything in return. I miss my wife terribly. When she's not depressed or in a mood swing is the most fun loving person. When she's in one of her cycles or is depressed she is a shell of herself. I've read allot of books about Bipolar and living with a bipolar spouse. I know that she loves me but sometimes it feels like it just isn't there. I'm not a person to give up. I plan on living the rest of my life with my Wife and Son. I just need some advice on how to cope with the many faces of Bipolar.


  • Anonymous-1

    I know my wife go thew bipolar and depressed is its hard to hand it some times she upset and cry and flip out for no reason she is on some med and it help some times and times it help her with her biplor and depressed but the doctor as not said that she has it but i know she does because she lose her mind she is a stay home mom with my 2 sons and i go to work and then i come home and she just go off on me for no reason and i love her with all my heart we have been married for 2 years and it been a long road i dont know how to take her bipolar and depressed i am scare when she go off and when she get upset and when she filp out i need help to control her bipolar and depressed and we some times we spend time with each other and sometimes i feel i she does not care or loves me when she in a another world what do i do i am there for her when she goes thew this i am right beside her i know she scare when she come out of it she dont know what happend when she come back please help me what do i do to help her thew this

  • eric

    My wife and I have been together for going on 13 beautiful years....about 2 years ago she was diagnosed bipolar among other fancy ways of saying special............some if not all of you are experiencing our animal....I dont really have much to say, just to remind myself and all who may be reading , that tomorrow is always a new day....we have a wonderful 10 year old son....whom she seems to cling to very strongly during her moments... I watch in amazement sometimes at the power our child has to level her off just enough to remind her of her surroundings....and other times I fear his sight scares her into a depression that I can only try to understand and assist her through....on good days I am her beloved husband and father to her son....on bad days im the thing she wishes would burst into flame........just tonight i was reminded that i am unloved and should just go away...........tough sometimes but I will never lose sight of our animal...this is my vow and i take it as seriously today as the day we were greatest fear is not the pain she projects but the pain she reflects upon herself...she has never physically harmed herself, but i know there are still things she bottles up and i cant help but feel concerned for her always.......hey its a new day.......

  • Anonymous-2

    My wife has never been diagnosed with bipolar, but I am pretty sure she is. Much of what I read is the same thing I am going through. She gets mad if a somewhat racy commercial comes on, and my eyes don't move. Or, we pick a movie to watch and there is a racy or not so appropriate part, she gets mad and acts like that is why I picked the movie, even if I hhonestly never saw the movie and didn't know that part was in it! She always finds a reason to make me feel like a piece of crap and I am at the end of my rope. Her parents also told me they think she is and at one point they wanted to intervene. I have always been a social person and alot of fun, but after 6 years of this my own family says they don't even know me anymore. It is a sad life I live.

  • Lost

    All of the bipolar comments make too much sense to me! It's super hard living with someone who seems like they're rarely "present"...she's always wanting to talk about herself, her day, her stuggles, her problems, but does NOTHING to improve herself or her situation. I can only do so much...she does not work-she watches our 3 kids daily. When I get home she instantly is "off work" in her mind and now it's "my turn". So, I work from 8:30am-5:30 or 6PM, get home from work, finish homework, sometimes make dinner, I ALWAYS do bath-time because she can't "handle it"...the anxiety it gives her. Then it's time get all three into bed...after that I get to clean the house, do the bills, take the garbage out, walk the dog, etc. etc. Sometimes I wonder if doing this alone would actually be easier b/c I would not have a 4th person I had to take care of. SHe's the most needy person I've ever met but didn't know this when we married.

    Why are our kids such a burden to her? Why does she not want to get better/healthier? What can I do other than tell her I love her and to please seek outside therapy? Since I love her and my kids who is most important - her or them?????? I fear it may be time to move on and out with the kids for safety reason.

    Good luck to all who are going through this with your spouse or loved one. It's a challenge that is for sure!


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