Family Members & Caretakers

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arthurmary
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 11/12/2007 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Have a sister that is bipolar.  Help in her care constantly.  She has been hospitalized at leat 7 times so far this year. She is under care of a psychiatrist and an internist.  Has medical problems that are separate and related to the side effects from lithium, etc.  Also have a brother who is diagnosed schizophrenic and I think is more sociopathic.  Do not have a relationship with him at all.  We do not like each other.  Mental illness seems to be at the root of a lot of the dysfunction in my birth family.  Too late to remedy any of that.  Yet, still deal with deep feelings of guilt, etc. centered around my mentally ill sister, etc.  Are there any groups, etc. to help family members and or caretakers of bipolar patients, etc. ?  Could be useful to talk to people who can relate.  Very difficult to talk to my own family or anyonelse about this.  Have RA/Osteo, myself and the stress is really getting to me!
DX:  RA/Osteo & Spinal Stenosis 5 years
  Methotrexate/Prednisone/Plaquenil/Folic Acid/Nexium/Ultracet or Flexiril
    Arthotec
 


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 11/12/2007 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Arthurmary, Welcome...you found a good on-line support group here. As to other ones, there are some support groups you can attend and I hope that the others on the board can help lead you to those. I hear how difficult all this must be for you, and how the pain exacerbates your own conditions. Hopefully here, knowing you have found us, it will help bring the stress down a bit. The first thing I want to share is that I had a step brother who I was raised with from the time I was 5, who was schizophrenic too. Do not feel guilty. I also had NO relationship with him in my adulthood. I feared him and felt safer when he moved away. It is a hard situation. Mine was treated from the time he was 13, in and out of the hospital, but compounded it by also abusing the prescription drugs with street drugs and liquor. He had bouts of seemingly getting healthier, but finally resigned himself to live in a protected environment of a nursing home in his late 30's. He died of heart failure at 40 in the end because of all the damage to his heart from all the drug abuse. As to your sister, again, YOU rationally already know that you have nothing to feel guilty about. You had nothing to do with her having the condition. And the fact that you don’t, again, is genetic. Why do some get the cancer gene in a family and others don’t….???? She didn’t ask for this, but neither did you for her. So guilt is a wasted emotion here. Sorrow for her...understandable. But guilty....NOPE. All you can do is offer your love and support and hope that eventually it all gets straightened out. If she will let you be privy to all the information from the dr.'s, then hopefully she will allow you to be part of her team that she trusts to help her make the good decisions regarding her treatment. But during the process, do not let her abuse you emotionally. You need to trust yourself when something is off with her....you need to trust that it really is....that sort of thing. I hope you have lots of others who are helping here too, it can be too heartbreaking to try and go it alone otherwise. Plus, given your conditions…too exhausting. If you don’t have family members to help also, hire some when needed to give yourself a break if you can. Hang in there and glad you found us. LFW
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