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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/8/2009 3:26 AM (GMT -6)   
As long as I can remember, my mother has been struggling with bipolar disorder but she has always been stubborn about getting help. She refuses to go to a doctor. about 12 years ago she tried the whole medication thing but things only seemed to get worse (I think because she didn't give the medicine a chance). Her ups and downs have become more severe over the years and at least once or twice a week she has an episode. Almost once a month she has a severe episode of deep depression in which she sometimes threatens suicide. This is hurting my family a lot. I have learned to deal with her condition the best I can (I am 20 y.o.) but I am worried about my two younger brothers because she often expresses these thoughts in front of them, sometimes in a violent/frightening manner, and blames her children and her husband for her unhappiness. She and my father also share an alcohol problem that they are both in denial about, which upsets the situation a great deal. My father has been with her for over 25 years now and has become extremely burned out in dealing with it. He never expresses concern when she threatens to hurt herself even though it scares me and my younger brothers. Regarding this issue, I am convinced that my mother needs help and is now too far gone to do it on her own. Nowadays she rarely is thinking clearly and reacts irrationally in almost every situation. She says things that are extremely hurtful to her children that I know she couldn't possibly mean and her moods control every situation in our lives daily. I want very much for her to get help because I know that it takes only one moment of irrational or insane thought to make an irreversible decision. This is especially hurtful to me because I have unfortunately picked up some of these traits because it runs in my family and I have struggled with it myself but have managed to keep it under control for the sake of my family.
Her most recent threat was a few hours ago. I hate the position that it puts me in. When she gets in this particular place in her mind, she is impossible to talk or reason with, she's hysterical and basically incoherent. As I said, my dad doesn't take these threats seriously, which angers my mother more, I think. Every time this happens, I beg my dad to do something. I tell him that she needs help and he needs to make the decision for her because it's obvious that she won't help herself (I think because she's so far gone that she has no motivation to, and the fact that she's gotten quite comfortable in her place of control). I let him know how much our family suffers because of this situation and beg him to get her help. I would love it if she would get checked in somewhere, not because I want to punish her, but because I really want her to get help and I don't know what else I can do. My dad always acts very insensitive about this because he's very stubborn himself and he is convinced that she'll get over it and that its just an emotional spectacle. Even if he's right, I would still want to get her help anyway because she needs it and I don't want her to hurt herself. My brother has tried talking to him, too, but my dad doesn't seem to care. I then say that if he won't do anything, I'll have to do something. He then yells at me and tells me I don't know anything and intimidates me the best he can, saying that if I take action it will without a doubt result in their divorce.
I don't know what to do! My dad insists that if he forces her to see a doctor that she'll divorce him and he says the same will happen if I do anything. I haven't done a very good job in explaining, this situation is extremely complicated and I'm a little jumbled right now. My mother has a lot of personal problems with me that make it difficult for me to get her help against her will. My dad knows this and hangs it over my head saying that if I do anything, on top of the divorce, she'll also never forgive me and hate me forever.
=( I'm trying to find out where the counseling office is at my college because its free and I don't have any $$ to pay for anything myself, but there's no info on the website about it.
Ugh I don't know what to do!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/8/2009 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi TeaTime,

First let me welcome you to Healing Well.

You are in a terrible position. I'm sorry to hear it. Your mother and father sound like they are in a very co-dependent relationship and mutually supporting one anothers' illnesses. (Alcohol abuse being an illness too.) Your father is very threatened by the idea of you intervening where he does not because it would upset the balance (however unhealthy) that they have worked out.

I definitely think you should urge your mother to see a doctor and you should be upfront with your dad about doing this, however angry he gets. It sounds like she's enduring some very rapid cycling. But you also should know that these people are unlikely to heed your advice. They are comfortable (a strange word for it) in their mutual agreement. You can't have your mother committed -- such a thing doesn't really exist except in very unusual circumstances. All you can do is take your mother at her word when she threatens to hurt herself and call 911. The police will determine if your mother means what she says and decide if she needs to be taken to the hospital. But know that in most cases the longest they would hold her, even if she were suicidal, is 72 hours. Then she'll get back out and probably not be happy with you. If you can handle that (and I think you should try) then call next time she threatens to hurt herself.

I also think you should get yourself some therapy. Growing up in such an environment must have been very hard, and dealing with their illnesses now must also be very hard. You could use professional support right now to help you decide how to proceed and how to protect yourself.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

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