In the Margin
London Free Press city columnist Ian Gillespie takes you to the edges of his beat, telling the stories behind and around his columns
Posted: 2010-02-18 18:33:47 Last updated: 2010-02-19 12:37:41
On Wednesday, I described Ross Daily's candid revelations about his struggles with mental illness. (You can read it by clicking here.)
That column prompted the following email from a local reader (whose name I've withheld, at her request).
My husband suffers from ADHD and now probably bipolar as well, and like many others, he'd rather not speak about it. This is very frustrating on my end, because excuses get tiring, especially when you know the true cause to the ending of 70+ jobs is really the mental illness.
"He didn't know he was ADHD until several years ago, and he is in his 40's. He shows the same brilliant and distracted features as Ross (Daily). He didn't know he was bipolar until a month or so ago- and this is only because the ADHD and depression medication he had recently been put on gave him a very bad reaction- it suppressed his natural ability to control the bipolar and made him an all-out, extremely angry individual. . . . I had to call the cops one night. This was extremely difficult to do, especially since my husband was never an angry person; it was completely out of character and there was absolutely no way to reason with him. Of course the cops can't do anything. . . . He was misdiagnosed by the doctors (or basically experimented on with a bag full of different medications), had a very bad reaction, and you would think that somewhere along the line the medical profession would be there to help. But you know what my family doctor said? He said, "Well, I think he has completely lost it." And the cops say, "You should separate because it will only get worse." Amazing, because I've lived with this man for almost 10 years quite peacefully, and within a week he has become a write-off to society. Our doctor has been of very little help since he was diagnosed a couple years ago. The first psychiatrist he sent my husband to said that my husband didn't have anything wrong with him if he could finish university with a decent mark. It apparently didn't blink lights at him that he dropped out 6 or 7 times in order to do it. The next psychiatrist diagnosed him with ADHD, but that was all he could do; no treatment. The third psychiatrist my husband had to find. She was available, but the appointment was at 10:00PM on a Sunday night, 4 hours late. Nobody saw the bipolar, and nobody was concerned about the rising anger. But as soon as they heard about the police coming out, and myself and the children having to live/sleep at my parents home for safety, they all woke up an yanked him off the medication and tried to blame each other.
"And where we sit now is my husband no longer trusts our family doctor, and other doctors are hesitant to take him on as a patient, I assume because of his mental illness. There is a lot of abandonment. Nothing much anyone can do. I was told by everyone to 'keep my distance' from him and not let the kids near him. This begs the question, what if I wasn't there to see the rising anger and notify the doctors? Where would he be now? Luckily within the last week his anger has subsided. He's on anti-psychotics to bring him back down to his 'normal', which includes ADHD and Bipolar. Honestly, I can take living with numerous job turnovers, but I know it has worn my husband down. He's embarrassed, and I hate to see that. I'm not embarrassed of him and I wish others would see that as well."