I have damn good reason to believe that he is bi-polar....he is in a deep depression again ...I go through this at least twice a month.
FML, welcome to the TAM forum. I strongly recommend you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two BY YOURSELF -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you and your future child will be dealing with. Even if your fiance does have bipolar disorder, it is important that you also become familiar with the symptoms (i.e., the red flags) for BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). I advise this for several reasons.
is that a recent study (pub. 2008) found that half of those diagnosed with bipolar-1 also have full-blown BPD. Significantly, this was NOT a small, isolated study undertaken by a single university or hospital. Instead, the study took four years to complete, covered nearly 35,000 American adults (in face to face interviews), and was funded by NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health).
A second reason
is that your fiance's going through these mood changes "at least twice a month"
is NOT typical of bipolar. Rather, such frequent mood changes are far more often associated with BPD mood changes. Because bipolar moods are caused by gradual changes in body chemistry, they typically take two weeks to develop and another two weeks to fade away. And they usually are so infrequent that just 4 mood swings a year is considered "rapid cycling." Granted, in some people, ultra-rapid bipolar cycling can occur every week or two (or even every day or two) but it is quite rare (far below the 6% incidence for BPD).
In contrast, BPD mood changes typically occur so rapidly that no "swing" has time to occur at all. Instead, the person flips from loving you to devaluing you (even hating you) in a few seconds. I mention this because some of the mood changes you see -- if not most -- may be the result of strong BPD traits.
This rapid change is possible because BPD mood "flips" are not caused by body chemistry changes. Rather, they are event-triggered by minor things you say or do. Importantly, you don't have to do a thing to CREATE a BPDer's anger. It has been there since early childhood. You therefore only have to do some trivial thing that TRIGGERS the anger that is already there.
This is why BPD sufferers tend to have far more difficulty controlling their anger -- and tend to be far more vindictive and mean -- than is true for bipolar sufferers. And this is why I find it troubling that you describe your fiance's bad moods as "mean, nasty, hateful, and wanting to ignore the world and make it pay."
If you would like to read more about the major differences between bipolar and BPD behaviors, I suggest you read my post at Confused
. I identify a dozen differences I've seen between my BPDer exW and my bipolar-1 foster son.
A third reason
for learning to spot BPD traits is that, if your fiance is diagnosed with both BPD and bipolar, it is very unlikely his therapist will mention "BPD" to him, much less to you. It is widely known -- both inside and outside the psychiatric profession -- that psychologists and other therapists usually withhold this information from their BPDer patients -- for the protection of those patients.
The therapists know, for example, that all Axis-1 disorders like bipolar are covered by insurance but BPD and the other Axis-2 disorders typically are not. And there are several other important reasons for withholding the information. If you would like to read about them, please see my post at It's official, I'm getting divorced
. Significantly, although it is easy to spot the red flags, only a professional can determine whether those symptoms are so severe as to meet 100% of the diagnostic criteria for "having BPD."
Whenever BPD is a serious risk -- as is often true whenever bipolar-1 is diagnosed -- relying on your fiance's therapist for candid advice would be as foolish as relying on his attorney for candid advice during a divorce. His therapist is not your friend
. It therefore is important you see a professional who is ethically bound to protect YOUR best interests, not his.
Finally, if you would like to read more about spotting the red flags of BPD, I suggest you read my description of them in Maybe's thread at My list of hell!
. If that description rings some bells, I would be glad to discuss them with you. Take care, FML.