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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
So, I wondering how much dependence is reasonable.
My wife was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a few years back - and has been in therapy - and has improved her emotional regulation and conflict management skills significantly - although they are not good. She also has extremely low empathy and some communication issues. People scare her. She is currently quite depressed - and is sleeping until noon most days and basically wandering around the house watching movies and dropping stuff.
On one hand, I understand that she has genuine issues dealing with people and with life. I would like to help. But I'd also prefer that she develop her own coping skills instead of relying on me.
In particular, she's been asking me to help her:
(a) Go to sleep on time - both by watching TV with her in the evenings and by asking her to go to sleep with me. (doing these)
(b) Regulate her diet - by eating the foods she thinks are healthy. (Mostly fish, seaweed) (I've agreed, though they aren't really my cup of tea, I'm getting older and probably should acclimate myself.)
(c) Make her exercise - A bit of an issue, as I don't really have much time in the evenings, what with the TV watching and putting the child to sleep.
(d) Regulate the pills she is taking (hard, as she takes sleeping pills after I go to sleep. On the other hand, her sleeping pill use is a concern.)
(e) Make sure she bathes. (Sigh. I do remind her occasionally. Stinky annoys me after a week or two.)
(f) Handle her chores. (Sigh. Well, s'not like she asked. We have maids come weekly, but they're only willing to enter half the house...and keep quitting.)

So, anyways, my general approach has been to refuse responsibility for taking care of her - but to help her out with things where I'm willing/able to help or coach - and to suggest talking to her therapists. Excepting possibly the chores - where eh - I'm dealing with them because there's a limit to what a maidservice will tolerate.

My wife's opinion is that, when someone is having trouble with life, you kick their butt until they start dealing with it. For example, her father has been keeping her on the phone pretty consistently about her pill use - enrolled her in a diet clinic - ... That isn't a normal behavior in my family (we're kind of live and let live, with occasional 'y'know, that ain't a good idea'), but is pretty normal in hers. I'm trying to figure out whether and how to adapt. Any advice?


--argyle
 

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I would handle her sleeping pill bottle if I were you!
I think you are a saint, very few men would cater to a woman this much.
 

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In particular, she's been asking me to help her:
(a) Go to sleep on time - both by watching TV with her in the evenings and by asking her to go to sleep with me. (doing these)
This can be fixed with mirtazapine and various other drugs. Like your wife, I never want to go to bed. I would stay up until 3am playing games or watching youtube or a documentary if I didn't force myself to sleep. Mirtazapine changed all of this. It's the most powerful sedative I can imagine. It makes me extremely tired and I actually want to go to bed. Sleep quality is good too.

(b) Regulate her diet - by eating the foods she thinks are healthy. (Mostly fish, seaweed) (I've agreed, though they aren't really my cup of tea, I'm getting older and probably should acclimate myself.)
Or you could exercise and eat whatever you want. You should exercise anyway. Having good blood flow and a strong heart will save your life someday.

(c) Make her exercise - A bit of an issue, as I don't really have much time in the evenings, what with the TV watching and putting the child to sleep.
Put exercise equipment in front of the TV so you can do both at the same time. The biggest mistake people make is putting their home gym stuff away from their regular TV watching area. Out of sight, out of mind. People forget they have it or they don't want to abandon their family to be the loner exercising in the basement.

(d) Regulate the pills she is taking (hard, as she takes sleeping pills after I go to sleep. On the other hand, her sleeping pill use is a concern.)
Regulate the pills meaning ram them down her throat so she goes to bed at a reasonable time? Sleeping pills only work if they are taken early, like 9pm, so the drug wears off before it's time to wake up. Taking it at 1am will make a person sleep through their alarm.
I would only worry about the safety of her pills if they are opioids, benzodiazepines, or tricyclic antidepressants. Those will kill you if you take too much. Taking too much of something like mirtazapine feels horrible, but it's relatively safe. I thought it would make me sleep longer, but all it did was make me twitch a lot, have restless leg syndrome that night, and have weird hallucinations when I closed my eyes. It was not fun, and I did not sleep.


(f) Handle her chores. (Sigh. Well, s'not like she asked. We have maids come weekly, but they're only willing to enter half the house...and keep quitting.)
What kind of chores? Does her being lazy have a major effect on your life? My gf being lazy from time to time doesn't really affect me. She'll have a bunch of clothes on the floor, so I leave them there. My dirty clothes go in the laundry basket, and I do the laundry when I run out of clean clothes. I fold my own laundry then leave the rest for her to fold. She can be as messy as she wants and it doesn't affect me. I can't really nag her to do it because I'm not the one who suffers; my stuff is still clean, folded, and organized.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
dormant - I agree, but I wonder a bit. I wouldn't ask someone without legs to fetch stuff from the top shelf - and I suspect some of this stuff she just can't do.
indiecat - I wonder. The problem is that catering to people is usually bad for them.
Thanks - ShawnD
I'll look into mirtazapine. The issue isn't that she can't sleep - she sleeps 8-9 hours on her current sleeping pills - she stays up because she doesn't want to wake up alone and face the day.

I tend to workout over lunch. We've been thinking about a treadmill, she's been having knee pain and is afraid to do any exercise except swimming. The evenings would be nice, but by the time I get home and finish dinner, it is time for me to put the children to bed. The living room is too small, but I'd like to set something up in the garage - we can watch TV over wireless.

Ambien at the moment - sedative-hypnotic? She's also used seroquel and clonazapram?. No, regulate the pills as in monitor how much she's taking at 4 AM to go to sleep to avoid her overdosing. (She seems to vary her dosage a lot.)

Chores are not a major issue. Laundry is simple...I do the laundry and leave hers in the garage. Dishes are simple. I do them when I need them. Dropping random stuff on the floor constantly and leaving dishes and food everywhere is mildly irritating. Sleeping until past noon and begging me to keep quiet when I clean and very rarely watching our child...eh.

--Argyle
 

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My h got hooked on benzo's I do wish I had kept tabs, only because the kids and I suffered so much due to his misuse of them. But a person can only do so much.
 

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Ambien at the moment - sedative-hypnotic? She's also used seroquel and clonazapram?. No, regulate the pills as in monitor how much she's taking at 4 AM to go to sleep to avoid her overdosing. (She seems to vary her dosage a lot.)
Ambien is a benzo, but everything I can find on google says one needs to take a huge amount of it, more than 20x the prescribed dose, before it has the risk of killing someone. That's reassuring :)
That makes it a lot safer than alcohol unless a person is actually trying to commit suicide (because it's easier to down 50 pills than it is to drink a bottle of vodka in 5 minutes).

Don't worry about random dosing unless the results are terrible. The way I take drugs is very inconsistent because the demands of each day are different.
1) bupropion + trazodone is good for doing desk work and is only taken on week days
2) bupropion + fluoxetine is good for physical work such as cleaning
3) fluoxetine alone is great for socializing
4) mirtazapine can causes sleep or it cures extreme anxiety

My doctor's orders state that all 4 drugs should be taken every single day. I completely ignore that advice and play it by ear. The results seem a lot better when I'm the one controlling when things should be taken. I've seen people on fixed drug schedules and it's a disaster every time. They'll take a downer in the morning just because their doctor told them to, and it makes work impossible. They either get frustrated and quit or they get fired because they're too drugged up to work properly.
 
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