My sis just diagnosed

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kare15bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/26/2006 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  This is my first time posting on this forum (I post on the UC forum and occassionaly the Anxiety forum).  Anyway, my older sister (she is 26) was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder this past week.  She's having a very difficult time dealing with it.  I don't know very much about the disease but I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of advice about how to approach her. She says she sometimes feels so depressed that she doesn't want to be a wife to her husband, or even a mother to her two very young children.  I just don't want her to get so down.  I want to let her know that it will get better once her medication begins working.  I don't want her to give up.  What can I do or say to help her at this difficult time?
 
Thank you and I hope you all have a great day.
 
Karen
  • Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis and Proctitis in Aug 2005
  • 400mg of Asacol (4X3daily)
  • Canasa Suppositories (twice daily)
  • Hydrocortisone enemas
  • Rowasa enemas
  • Acidophilus, Vitamins, Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice


Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 8/26/2006 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Mostly hon, just be there for her. Early diagnosis and med trials are very trying. It takes some time to fine the correct cocktail to treat a person, (reactions to psychiatric meds are very individual) so she's going to be dealing with some rough days until they find the "magic" combo for her. Try to be as supportive as possible, even when she's being difficult, (and there will be those days) maybe give her a break from the kids from time to time or take her out to dinner or something so she can get a break from the husband as well. I hope he is supportive to her in this also. That can make all the difference in the world.
Take Care
Ellie
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
Unknown
 
 
 


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 8/27/2006 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Karen,

The best advice I can give is to remember the illness first when dealing with difficult situations with your sister. Often reactions she has may seem personal, but they will be part and parcel of this illness -- even if that seems hard to believe, and even if she doesn't believe it. Don't throw the illness back in her face if she gets testy or depressed or anything ("well, that's just the bipolar talking" will absolutely go down a treat!), but do remember this when you are reacting to things that she says.

This will get easier once she's been through the diagnosis and has been found meds that help her, but I fully understand that this early stage will be tough for her -- and all those around her. As Ellie says, be there for her and make sure she knows she can reach out to you.

The other thing that will help you and others who are close to your sister is to do some research into the condition -- as well as into how it affects relationships with loved ones. I have found this has really helped me with my ex (who is also going through the mill with these early stages -- may be bipolar, may be ptsd). Sometimes I still react as if I don't know there's an illness (for which I kick myself repeatedly!!) but I *am* learning, and it *is* getting easier to separate him and his illness in my head.

Perhaps at some point your sister might even be open to the idea of coming here and discussing what she's going through -- that might help her a lot -- to see that she's not alone and to get advice from the wonderful peeps here who have so much experience that they can share with her.

Best wishes to you and (((Karen)))

Rosie x
********************
People are not like fish: they do not work better battered.
 
********************


kare15bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/27/2006 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you very much for your advice and suggestions. Both of your postings have given me a better outlook on the situation. I actually did mention this forum to her last night. I let her know that it has really helped me (posting on the UC forum) because I actually get to communicate with people that are going through what I am also going through. I just found out she's on Lamictal (sp ?). Is it okay for her to consume adult drinks while on this?
Again, thank you both for your support. I'm continually surprised by how wonderful, helpful, and understand everyone in this entire forum is.

I hope you all have a wonder day.

Karen
  • Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis and Proctitis in Aug 2005
  • 400mg of Asacol (4X3daily)
  • Canasa Suppositories (twice daily)
  • Hydrocortisone enemas
  • Rowasa enemas
  • Acidophilus, Vitamins, Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 8/27/2006 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Karen,
 
So glad this forum is helping you gain a more positive outlook. -- Bipolar is so difficult to get your head round at first -- for sufferers and friends/family. Fortunately there are some great info resources out there, which can really help you to establish more of a sense of what's going on, even when your sister doesn't want to talk about it and/or acknowledge it (and there may well be instances of one or both of these things happening on her journey to recovery). A great book I found was The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, by J. Miklowitz (I think those details are correct -- on loan to ex at present -- but you can find it in the resources/books section on the right-hand side of the page). That was a real education for me -- as has been coming here and asking questions or letting things out.
 
With the Lamictal, one great thing is that it has a detailed website -- http://www.lamictal.com/ -- with info on the med as well as bipolar itself. Nothing in the details says to avoid alcohol on this med, but it's possible your sister is on others with it, and there may be instructions for thos. The other thing is that anyone with bipolar should be careful about there alcohol intake. -- Alcohol affects moods and that can be a trigger for an episode. Also, some bipolar sufferers use alcohol so "self-medicate" because it dulls things out -- but of course they resurge and then some when you come down from the alcohol. Is there a particular reason you asked about this? Is this something that you worry about with your sister?
 
You have a wonderful day too. -- Your sister is lucky to have you there for her.
 
Rosie x
********************
People are not like fish: they do not work better battered.
 
********************


kare15bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 8/28/2006 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the response. I don't believe my sister has an alcohol problem right now. Though I do know that in her past she did have her run ins with substances. I was just asking about it because I know that she's on the new medication and I did see her drinking (casually) the other night at dinner. Anyhow, I am going to take your advice Ellie 1 and give her a break from her children this weekend in order for her to have some alone time with her husband.

Thanks again,

Karen
  • Diagnosed with Left-Sided Colitis and Proctitis in Aug 2005
  • 400mg of Asacol (4X3daily)
  • Canasa Suppositories (twice daily)
  • Hydrocortisone enemas
  • Rowasa enemas
  • Acidophilus, Vitamins, Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice


Ellie 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 8/28/2006 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like a good plan. Everyone needs a little break from time to time and with her emotional issues, she probably needs a little time to reconnect with the hubby. You're a good sister. Wish I had one like that.
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
Unknown
 
 
 

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