There are people here who are themselves experiencing this disorder, and there are those that are experiencing it 2nd hand as loved ones.
Fifi's description is almost exactly the same as mine, I read it and just couldn't believe I was reading it. It enforced a little in me that this is something that we can try to work through.
I think this is great to have a forum where it can be discussed by both affected sides. It seems to me that this could be very beneficial and therapeutic for all to discuss our feelings and experiences. (thank you for this forum and opporunity!)
Which leads me into some questions I have.
For those of us who are experiences it second hand with a loved one, the times when you are able to notice aggitation and the signs that they are about to lose control, how do you manage to divert the situation? and for those experiencing it, is there anything that you've been able to recognize that helps you to gain better control?
I am usually
able to notice when the situation is getting out of hand early, yet I don't feel I am doing enough to help divert it. If I leave the room, sometimes that works, yet other times it sets off a "switch" that only irritates him to the point of extreme rage directed at me. I've actually started just saying "NO, no I will not participate in this, I love you very much, you aren't yourself right now and fighting won't help anything, it just hurts." then I leave the room. Obviously this has had mixed results as the approach is somewhat direct. At times he will stay in the room and cuss to himself, slam things around, he used to take it out on the dogs, but now they follow me like a shadow (for protection? I'm not sure if they are protecting me or seeking protection from me). Other times he will follow me with intent to hurt.
If I stay in the room, it usually is worse, no matter how calm and non-irritated I try to look, he presses on me that something is wrong and it snowballs from there, no matter what I say. I've tried many different approaches, most of which are very benign as not to raise his defenses.
I have a lot of patience and am willing to work through this with my husband, I love him. Yet I also am deeply affected by violence and anger, I try very hard to maintain control of my emotions (fear, despair, confusion, hurt) when these episodes occur. Understanding what is happening with him is helping me a little with dealing with it (and every little counts.)
And when they are over? He's caring, loving, kind, sweet, thoughtful, smart... Its so hard to reconcile the two people within him.