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Partner is having bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety. Taking prozac and fluoxetine. Effective cure?

Dec 2014
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Practicing since : 2007
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Our 24 yr old son is living with a woman who we think may have BPD. She has depression & anxiety issues which our son tries to help her with, but often his caretaking behavior causes him to give up plans and commitments with his siblings. He now has told his sister that she can no longer be in their lives. My hysband's heart has been madly racing all weekend, and his blood pressure has been about 150/100 for at least a day. He now says he's going to call our son and read him the riot act. I told him I don't think that's an approach that will help & will only drive our son further into his girldriend's arms. I'm worried for my family, my son, and I have immediate concern that my husband will have a heart attack through this whole thing. What's the best way to help this situation. The girlfriend is seeing a psychologist and has been advised to start on Prozac to help her through her own anxiety. My son is on a wait list to start seeing a therapist. Can the girlfriend get better? Can our son get better? Can the family pull back together? How best to proceed?
Posted Sat, 13 Apr 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi 1 hour later
Welcome to Health Care Magic

First of all I would like to describe a brief summary of the problem you have mentioned. Your son is staying with a girl who is suspected to have anxiety and bipolar disorder. She is on Prozac or Fluoxetine, and is seeing a Psychologist. Due to over caring attitude of your son towards that girl, you people are being ignored. He is giving up commitments towards family in caring her. Due to all these issues your husband has developed high blood pressure.

Now coming to your queries

You have mentioned that she is on Fluoxetine. She may be having anxiety and BPD. But I doubt on that diagnosis, and I will need more details about her symptoms in order to reach the diagnosis. Fluoxetine is usually not prescribed in cases of BPD, it is a good anti anxiety drug but in BPD it can cause Manic Shift. So most likely she is suffering from some anxiety disorder, as per my opinion.

Anxiety can be treated easily. Medicines like she is taking (Fluoxetine) are very useful and these control anxiety as well as depressive symptoms. But these medicines are needed to take for long time. Non medicine treatment like Behavior therapy and Relaxation techniques also have equal efficacy to medicines. So persistence and faith in treatment result in recovery. She can get better.

Once she sees improvement your son will get better. He is over protecting and caring her out of sympathy. The patients of anxiety disorder usually seek help from some one, and in this case your son is her support.

Yes definitely the family will be together again, but you have to proceed gradually. See like you have already mentioned, if your husband will scold him he will drive more close to her. So anger, or showing aggression is not a solution. First of all I will advise you people to sit together (you, your husband and daughter) and discuss what you people actually want.
Can you accept him with that girl or you want him without that girl?
If she is acceptable to you people then look for easy way to deal with him.
One thing is to call him, and discuss with him about his roles for you, your husband and daughter. Don't show anger to him, talk with him politely. Negotiate with him for weekends, tell him that he can live with her, he can give her time but that time should not be that part of your time.
Best way to approach is by negotiations, you can't change him. Give him suggestions but don't impose your decisions on him. This is beginning, with time he will adjust with her and you. He is an adult and he will decide in favor of himself and his family.

If you want to ask more questions you can ask again in follow up. Don't take undue stress, as it will have deleterious effect on your health and your husbands health. Take good care of your husband and request him to proceed without anger, things will improve with time.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi MD
(Consultant Psychiatrist)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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