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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Partners, Family, Friends & Caregivers » What was your family member like on Prenisone?


06-11-2015, 06:24 AM   #1
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What was your family member like on Prenisone?

Hiya,

My boyfriend was diagnosed with Crohn's 2 months ago and has been tapering off prenisone and he's only on 2 a day now He's started taking azathioprine as well within the last few days.

I'm just after a bit of advice from people who have been/ had partners or family taking Pred.

The only way I can describe it is living with a cute little kitten on minute and the next living with a really really angry panther. I know it's all down to the steroids and that it isn't his fault.

Is there anything I can do to help him get through this?

Things have been really tough for us both since he got the diagnosis.
It's like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Everything is my fault, I can't do right from doing wrong. When he has a 'moment' (as we call them) he just goes mental. He gets aggressive and loud, he becomes so unbearable to be around that I have to leave the house for a few hours. But when I try to leave he screams in my face and locks me in the house
He's depressed about the weight he's been putting on, how our relationship is, how work is and how he generally feels all the time.
I'm trying so hard to keep things together for us and him, but I'm at the point of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for my little rant!

x
06-11-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
Cat-a-Tonic
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Hi, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry to hear about your boyfriend's treatment of you. Honestly, he sounds abusive to me, particularly the part about screaming in your face and locking you in the house! Have you mentioned any of this to his doctor? There are other steroid options besides prednisone (Entocort/budesonide is a milder steroid which shouldn't make mood swings as severe). The azathioprine should help him longer-term, but I believe it takes a while to kick in. How much longer is he going to be on pred?

Personally I was only ever on pred for a couple of very short times, but it never made me angry. It definitely did affect my moods, but in the opposite way. I felt pretty manic most of the time while on it and I got the "euphoria" side effect from it particularly the first time I was on pred. It made me feel so good, I literally felt like bursting out into song and dance like in a musical (and I cannot sing nor dance so I had to stop myself from doing that!). I got tons of energy from it and I used that energy to clean my whole house, all while wearing a huge grin on my face. So long story short, yes, it can definitely affect moods in a big way. BUT, he doesn't have to act on those moods or he can channel them into more productive ways (just like how I didn't openly act out my musical tendencies, and I channeled my excess energy into cleaning my house) and he certainly doesn't have to treat you so horribly. If it were me, I'd definitely contact his doctor and let them know what's going on and that this behavior can't continue, and ask for a solid plan for tapering him off the pred very soon and getting him some other form of help. He may need some other meds, such as an anti-depressant (you mentioned he's been depressed, but that's also no reason to treat you in such a way).

Also, if you feel safe doing so, when your boyfriend is in a good mood you might want to sit him down and explain to him how awful he makes you feel when he yells and does other terrible behaviors. Only do this if you feel safe doing so, if you think it'll set him off again then you may just need to find another way (which may include getting out of the relationship and getting away from him). Having a chronic illness or being on meds that affect your moods, both of those suck but neither of those are an excuse to be abusive. I'm sure he's doing poorly both mentally and physically, I've been there too, but never have I screamed at my husband nor locked him in or done anything along those lines.

Hang in there. Hopefully others can chime in with better advice than I'm able to give.
06-11-2015, 10:47 AM   #3
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What was he like before his illness or when not on steroids? Whatever the cause, some of his behaviour does not sound acceptable - as Cat said, screaming and locking you in the house is going too far. If this has been a drastic change in his nature, and you're certain it's the steroids, I would see if he can talk to his doctor about stopping them. Some people are not able to take prednisone because of its effects on mental health. There are other options (again, as Cat mentioned), which his doctor can help with. Reducing the dose may also help. Another potential option is additional medication to help his mood, such as antidepressants, which take a while to work but could help as a long term measure, or anti-anxiety medication which can be taken whenever he is worked up - has a "moment" - as they can quickly make a person relax.

Forgiveness is important and we can't control which side effects we get, and you are already doing the important thing by recognising that. Will he try and help himself feel better? For example, can you make some diet and exercise plans with him to help control the weight gain and make him feel a bit better about himself?
06-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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I have Crohn's and was on prednisone for several months. I can tell you, from my perspective, I was a beast. I went from feeling fine to RAGING mad to emotional crying mess. I yelled more at my children, I was short tempered and had absolutely ZERO patience. I hated how I felt on prednisone and could not wait to get off. I cried to my husband several times saying I was so sorry, that I just felt MAD all the time. He said it wasn't as terrible as I made it seem...but my parents noticed that I had absolutely zero patience and tolerance for things that my children did.

I still feel guilty about it. I even contemplated going to my GP for anxiety meds. Thankfully I am no longer on the prednisone and I feel normal again (mood wise). I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this, and I am sorry for your boyfriend. Talk to his doctor...get him off the steroids or on some anxiety meds. He needs your help and you need his doctor's help. And stay safe.
06-11-2015, 04:14 PM   #5
Jennifer
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Hi Confused_ and welcome to the forum!

I appreciate you coming onto the forum and trying to get some understanding and help for your boyfriend. However his behavior is concerning and I don't think it can be blamed on the steroids. If he truly believes that it is then he should talk to his doctor so he can taper off of it immediately. From what I understand is that he's already tapering off of it but I'm not sure what the dose is or what dose he started at or how fast his taper is. For some people their moods can become extreme and when that happens they should let their doctor know so they can find a better medication for them. Depending on where his inflammation is, Entocort is an option as mentioned.

Personally I have been on Prednisone many times but I was always in control of my own actions. Abuse is abuse no matter what's causing it. Make sure you take care of yourself while you're trying to help him as well. In this type of situation I feel that your safety comes first. Some people may think that yelling isn't so bad but it is. Locking you in the house is controlling and abusive. You're afraid to leave because something might happen. I've been in an abusive relationship before where it was just harsh words that put me down with some yelling which eventually lead to me getting shoved around making me fall and get injured by whatever furniture I fell on. I blamed the stress he was under and I blamed myself. The fact is that he was sweet as pie when I first met him but as we got to know each other over time he started to show who he really was. We dated for 5 years before I finally left him.

So it's hard to say if you're in a new relationship that's leading towards more domestic violence or if his medication is affecting him so much that he's not the same person anymore while on it. Either way you need to stay safe and he needs to contact his doctor about it. If he won't then I think that may give you an idea of who he is as a person. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
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06-12-2015, 04:59 AM   #6
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What was he like before his illness or when not on steroids? Whatever the cause, some of his behaviour does not sound acceptable - as Cat said, screaming and locking you in the house is going too far. If this has been a drastic change in his nature, and you're certain it's the steroids, I would see if he can talk to his doctor about stopping them. Some people are not able to take prednisone because of its effects on mental health. There are other options (again, as Cat mentioned), which his doctor can help with. Reducing the dose may also help. Another potential option is additional medication to help his mood, such as antidepressants, which take a while to work but could help as a long term measure, or anti-anxiety medication which can be taken whenever he is worked up - has a "moment" - as they can quickly make a person relax.

Forgiveness is important and we can't control which side effects we get, and you are already doing the important thing by recognising that. Will he try and help himself feel better? For example, can you make some diet and exercise plans with him to help control the weight gain and make him feel a bit better about himself?
He wasn't like it before the steroids. He's got an appointment with his Dr today, so I'm hoping he will talk to him about changing to something else and antidepressants. I currently have a diet plan for him and as for exercise I try and encourage him to come for small walks and things but I'm not having much luck at the moment. Finger crossed some time in the future he will come with me

Thank you for your advice
06-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #7
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Hiya,

Just a quick update! Things aren't good still. It was a very long weekend with another flare up. Things didn't go too well this weekend and I threatened to leave I haven't left yet, but we are due to talk about the pred and everything else tonight. Doctors won't give him Entocort, so we are running out of options now. He's upset his closest friends this weekend, so in some way it's nice to know that it's not just me and I'm not being uncalled for when i say he's being a lemon.
He now ignores me when we see each other after not seeing each other for the entire day. He's forgetting the conversations we've had and he's even gone as far as making me think that I've made them up and that I'm lying.
I packed my bag last night and surprise surprise he begged me to stay. He said he'd stop taking pred and that he'd rather deal with those consequences that have to lose me. I know that I should be happy about that, but I want him to put his health first, not me.
I won't ever be able to understand what taking pred is like and I do feel for everyone that takes it. But can someone answer me this? Did they always blame everything on the steroid? By everything I mean everything, down to just blurting complete hurtful rubbish about someone for them to hear and then 'forgetting' what you've said the next minute?
He said to me last night that he wants to concentrate on us, and by that he means just spend the next month spending time together not seeing friends or family, I thought I'd give it ago. Not even 24 hours later he emails me at work and asks if he can go and help a friend work on their car. So much for attempting to sort us out.

I give up. I don't know what else I can do.

I'm sorry for the rant x
06-15-2015, 01:49 PM   #8
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Do his friends think this is a complete change from his normal behaviour? If this is truly totally different to how he is when he's not on steroids, he needs to start tapering off them right away, in my (non-medical) opinion. But if he's been on them a while, he will need to taper gradually as stopping suddenly can be worse. Have his doctors said there are no alternatives to prednisone? I can't believe that to be true. I think it's an established fact that not everyone can tolerate prednisone, and for some that's because the effects on their mental health are too severe. I would try and get an appointment with a new doctor, if necessary. The alternatives may not be as effective as prednisone, but if these are the side effects it's causing him then it's not worth it.

It may be better to have some time apart, if you feel you need to. If it's impossible to work things out about your relationship when he is like this, don't keep trying for the moment; you can sort things out when he is himself again. You need to keep yourself safe, and sane as well. Why does he want you both to stop seeing friends and family? I'm not sure that sounds like a positive thing, or how it would help. But it sounds like now is not the time to make long term decisions about your relationship; support him as he gets himself healthy first.

I did not feel anger when I was on steroids, but I have had various medications that have affected my emotions significantly, so I can believe the steroids are affecting him in ways he can't control.

Last edited by UnXmas; 06-15-2015 at 02:27 PM.
06-15-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
Jennifer
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Stopping Prednisone suddenly can be life threatening. Make sure he knows about the possibility of Adrenal Insufficiency/Crisis if he stops it suddenly.

As mentioned steroids affect everyone differently but even if this is all because of the steroid, it's not a healthy relationship for either of you. I also find it hard to believe that his doctor would say that there isn't something else for him to try. Were you at the appointment or is this what your boyfriend told you? I find it hard to believe that his doctor would not try to get him off the steroid faster if he actually told his doctor about his behavior.

As for leaving someone, that can be hard and when you pack your things in front of them then they will try to get you to stay. As you can see though he's already finding excuses to hang out with other people but I bet if you tried that then suddenly you would be the bad guy for not staying at home to work on the relationship. If you truly want to leave then you may need to take items out of the house slowly so you don't have so many things to take when you finally do decide to leave. Maybe store some things in your car or at a friend's house instead of in the house.

If all of this behavior is from the steroid then it may be possible to get back together but it may take some time for it to work it's way out of his system after he takes his last dose. He should also inform his doctor of these behavior changes so Prednisone can be avoided in the future if he needs another medication. I don't take it because it messes up my blood pressure too much and that's not good with my heart condition so if it affects someone too much mentally then it's also not the right medication for them.

Good luck to you and keep us posted.
06-16-2015, 07:30 AM   #10
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Besides what others have said about abuse (& I totally agree with) I'll share my perspective. My daughter has been on pred. pretty much the last 3 years. When she started she hadn't started puberty. Once she did finally get her period her time of the month was a roller coaster from hell. She would yell, scream, cry get deeply sad. Jeckl & Hyde described it well.

She was at her worst when she wasn't coming to terms with her disease & when she was angry she had it. She lashed out (mostly at her dad) and isolated herself. She has been through cycles of this. Since we can't seem to get her off prednisone until after surgery next month she has been relying on her breathing techniques & other things she has learned through her IBD therapist.

Your boyfriend's behavior is unacceptable. Maybe seeing a therapist would help him deal short term how to manage his emotions long term on or off prednisone. He has IBD for the rest of his life.
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06-18-2015, 07:12 AM   #11
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Hiya Everyone,

Things are on the up! We sat down and had a long talk (8 1/2 hours to be precise!). He understands where I am coming from now and that things couldn't have carried on the way they were.

I've spoken to the IBD nurse about everything, and she can't believe the way Pred was making him react. She was quiet shocked and she admitted it's one of the worst reactions she's heard of. She said that some of the things I mentioned he didn't mention in the consultation with the Doctor, so she's made a note and said she's speak to the doctor about it. Sure enough she rang my boyfriend the day after offering him something else to take something else instead of Pred. Hopefully this will work a bit better!

I'm actively making an effort to be around more even when he's in a grumpy mood and takes it all out on me, because now he realizes when to stop himself. We've even booked 2 days off of work next week to spend together as it's been ages (nearly 2 months) since we spent quality time together. I offered to go fishing with him and he's offered to go for a nice walk along the beach with me

Thank you to you all for your help!
06-18-2015, 07:23 AM   #12
UnXmas
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I'm glad it's looking better. Is he beginning to taper off prednisone now? His mood may still be up and down a lot through the tapering period and maybe even once he's off it - sometimes it takes a while to get it out of your system, and side effects can persist once off it, though I'm not sure if that's the case with mental side effects. That won't last long though. Enjoy your time together and I hope he has success with the new medication.
06-18-2015, 10:36 PM   #13
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I personally was put on prednisone for a foot injury before I was symptomatic with IBD. Here is the thing...I didn't react any differently toward people, but inside I knew something was very wrong. I'm normally a happy, optimistic, and giving person. On steriods, I wanted everyone dead. I wasn't going to act on my feelings, but I honestly did not want anyone talking to me and whoever tried I had these horrifically negative feelings about. I lasted 3 days until I called the prescribing physician and described my issue to him. He called it "steriod psychosis" and that I should immediately stop the medication. I have not taken steriod since and it is considered an "allergic" reaction.

Whether or not it can turn a normal person into an abusive one I cannot tell you. My husband noticed I was crying a lot but I wasn't lashing out at anyone during that time. I guess I was so shocked at the feelings I was having that the way I "dealt" with them was by crying.

I'm glad the doctor decided to take your boyfriend off the steriods. He probably should stear clear of them in the future as well. Kudos to you for taking such good care of him and being proactive...he is very fortunate to have someone like you in his life!
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07-29-2015, 10:05 AM   #14
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Hiya everyone,

Just to update you all, my partner and I have now split up and he's moved out of the house

He started coming home at midnight every night and he disappeared for and entire weekend with telling me he wasn't coming home or even contacting me to let me know he was ok. People think that he has someone else on the side as he didn't care about me at all towards the end.

Things didn't go too good when I said I was done with everything, he cut off the internet, hid the house phones, took my car, told my mum I was bipolar (which really was the last straw for me, as I'm not). Now he's moved out, he took both of the tv, the fridge freezer and the washing machine so I have nothing in the house now. Oh well, fresh start!

Anyway thank you all for the support!

xx
07-29-2015, 12:02 PM   #15
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Really sorry to hear how things turned out but glad that you are looking ahead to a fresh start. You most definitely deserve better
08-24-2015, 07:59 PM   #16
george john
 
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Steroids will react differently in people. As far as how someone reacts depends on so many things, other meds, amount of stress one is under. Just to give a blanket answer that prednisone will make one flip out is easy answer. It will cause some to have a break with reality. Can cause huge change in personality and temper may even see things not there. Believe me I know this for fact.
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