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partners of those who suffer from a psychiatric disorder
Hello! My name is... 
24th-Aug-2006 03:05 pm
if you want me I'll be in the bar
Welcome to the community! Since I suggested the introduction thing, I figured I should at least try to follow my own rules. ;)

My name is Kika, but if you've forgotten my name by the time you finish reading this, I won't hold it against you. I'm 26, female, and currently living with my girlfriend in the US.We're in a long distance relationship; in about two days I'll have to return to Europe, where I live for most of the year. I'm a certified social worker, but I don't have a job at the moment. I spent the two years since my graduation studying human behavior, child development and American studies at my local university while keeping an eye out for a job. I'm a reader, a writer, not much of a talker. I listen well.

My beautiful and hilarious girlfriend, J, is 32 years old. She rolls her eyes at me often, plays the guitar badly, is adored by little children all over the world and talks in her sleep. We have been together for two and a half years. She is bipolar and also suffers from attention deficit disorder. She was diagnosed years ago, but is still struggling to find a medication that truly benefits her. She has had epileptic seizures in the past, before being medicated, which further complicates matters for her psychiatrist. J is currently taking Lithobid, Effexor and Lamictal. She uses Ambien as a sleeping aid. She recently started on a fish oil (omega-3) regimen and she takes Maca (lepidium spp.) as a dietary supplement. She's also seeing a very capable therapist with an excellent sense of humor. We both like her immensely.

Issues we've dealt with in the past and still encounter at present are J's almost shockingly unreliable memory, the various side-effects from the medication she's taking, and her insatiable need for sleep (which sometimes makes me feel like I am competing with the illness for her time and attention). She also has a tendency to obsess over things that don't seem to deserve such attention and has difficulty making decisions on anything. Her libido is as unreliable as her memory, which puts a strain on our relationship sometimes. And then there's my own bouts of 'when will it be my turn?', often combined with guilt over being an extra burden on her. What's getting us through most of these things are our communication skills, which must be one of our strongest qualities. We don't shut down (anymore), we don't walk out on each other or get defensive. We try to talk it out and if that doesn't work, we talk about it some more at a later time.

We feel truly lucky to have found each other, and I feel very happy to have her in my life. Being in this relationship has taught me a lot. I'm hoping this community and its members will teach me even more. :)
25th-Aug-2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
I didn't know she had seizures in the past. I know someone else who is bipolar and had seizures a lot when she was a kid, and they seem to be coming back. She is starting treatment at a place doing some research on how the two interact with each other and how to treat them together. I wonder how common it is to have had both?

T and I have experienced a lot of the issues you mentioned, including the loads of sleep and competition for time and lack of libido.
28th-Aug-2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
She's only ever had a couple of seizures, didn't start having them until she was in her twenties (suffice to say she had everyone quite worried, as this usually indicates something much worse), and hasn't had any since then (because of the medication or because she 'grew out of it', it's impossible to say). It's interesting that they're doing that research; I hadn't thought of making a connection, even though, y'know, brain already acting whacky, why not have there be a common cause or something, right?
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