Wed | Apr 26, 2017

Is my husband bipolar?

Published:Tuesday | March 17, 2015 | 3:00 AM

Q Is my husband bipolar? He has massive mood swings. Sometimes he is calm and cool to be around. At other times, he is miserable and aggressive and finds fault with everything. We have a son, and at times he will buy him many good toys and gadgets and even play football with him. At times he is great fun. At other times, he curses him as rude and sends him to the naughty corner for hours for minor infractions. He never gives our son any slack but is a great fault finder.

He can be a darling to me, taking me to exotic places and buying me expensive jewellrey. We also dine at good restaurants. Then at other times, he complains about the food bill and expenditure on the credit cards. He then shouts at me, or for days he does not talk to me and sends instructions via text messages.

He wants his father to visit often and stays for weeks at a time, but when my mother visits, he sulks. He barely speaks to her. We have adequate bedroom space and both parents can even stay simultaneously. In addition, his friends can visit anytime, but my friends need to give notice about their visit. But then again, he might be the perfect host to my visiting friends. When he is in those moods, I do not talk to him and even sleep in my son's bedroom.

Is there something medically wrong with him or is it psychological?

A It must be remembered that married life is like a roller coaster with ups and downs. That is why the marriage vows are 'for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and health'. In every marriage, tongue and teeth will meet. Marriage is not a novel with an ending of living happily ever after.

Bipolar disorder is said to be a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, from one extreme to the other. There will be bizarre changes in energy, activity levels, and the ability to function daily. A person might be depressed at one time and elated at another time. However, bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through in life.

It might not be best to withdraw from him when he is in one of those moods. Therefore, he needs for you to be communicating with him when he is in those down moods. You need to help him to critically analyse his behaviour, and, hopefully, it could lead to changes in behaviour. He perhaps is in need of your comfort in the matrimonial bedroom.

You need to have a serious talk with your husband and make him understand how his conduct is affecting you and your son. It appears that he is flaunting power even as he is a good provider. He wants to control people and things. It is an abuse of power. Obviously, he has issues. Nevertheless, it is a good habit for your friends to state that they are visiting and you should insist that his friends do likewise.

In addition, you need him to get a medical evaluation to help determine whether he is bipolar.

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