Personal Stories

I Lost My Husband to Bipolar Disorder

Never in a million years would I have guessed that my wonderful husband—a pillar in every community we’d ever called home and certainly the rock in our family—would fall prey to bipolar disorder. He was 34 years old and we were living a beautiful life with our four kids on the Big Island of Hawaii. He was a pastor, a musician, an entrepreneur, a surfer, a loving father and one of the most gifted, talented human beings I’ve ever met. He was never depressed, but rather had a constant zest for life and adventure.

In May of 2010, he started acting strangely. He was spacey, restless, emotional, and lost his appetite. He began unloading the dishwasher and putting things in the wrong places, which was very unlike him. I began to suspect he had a brain tumor. A scan showed no abnormalities, but sadly he quickly became extremely psychotic and had to be hospitalized.

The next four years were a nightmare and forced us to leave our home in Hawaii. My husband would go through periods of mania on a monthly basis and often went missing, later turning up in a mental hospital far away. It was during one of these times when he was missing that we lost him. In a state of confusion, he attempted a feat too great for his human abilities and it killed him shortly before his 39th birthday.

Living through this tragedy opened my eyes to the world of mental illness and all who suffer in the shadows. It also gave me a heart of compassion and a desire to help those who are supporting loved ones with mental illness. When one suffers, we all suffer.

We’re all in this together and it’s my desire to smash the stigma associated with mental illnesses of all kinds.

Be blessed.

 


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Note: This personal story was prepared by its author in his or her personal capacity. The opinions expressed are the author's own and do not reflect the views of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.