New to forum - Need advice

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/27/2005 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this community and am hoping to find some help. My mom and my stepdad both suffer from Bipolar Disorder, but refuse to take any medication for it. I am at my wits end with my mom especially. She is so negative about life it is scary and it just gets worse with each passing year. She hasn't worked in years, which is weird to me, she used to be so much stronger. She is super paranoid - even got rid of her microwave recently because she believes it can cause cancer. She forgets things all the time, like whole conversations or arguments we have had. She lives in the middle of nowhere, with no friends, which I think makes things worse. She rarely leaves the house and has little motivation to do anything to make herself happy anymore. Both her and my stepdad can't manage money, they have lost everything, and ended up moving onto my grandma's land. My stepdad is even worse, you never know what he is thinking. He is the type to keep his depression bottled up inside untill he runs off. He has disappeared two or three times now. I never know if I can trust him when he comes back. His manic stages are the weirdest, one time he rearranged our furniture three times in two days. I used to live with them until I was 16 and couldn't take it anymore, then I moved in with my Dad. Now that I have a daughter, I want more than ever to get along with them, but it is so hard. I just don't know what to do. I really worry about my mom, but don't want to make her mad at me. Does anyone have any advice?

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/2/2005 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi jacc99--
Welcome to the forum. You are definitely in the right place.
I've never encountered your situation, so any advice I could give about talking to your mom and your stepdad probably wouldn't be too helpful. One of the best things that you can do right now *for yourself* is to look for a support group for family members of someone with a mental illness. People in the group may have more experience in working with their ill family members and be able to help you know what to say and when and how to say it.
Here are some websites that are good places to start: This is the site for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Many cities or counties have chapters. They have a 12-week Family-to-Family course for family members and address a variety of topics. I've never taken the course, but I've been assured that it's extremely helpful. Most NAMI affiliates also have support groups available. This is the site for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. This organization is a little more geared toward consumers but also has helpful information for families and friends. Home of Dr. Ivan's Depression Central, a truly awesome site for anyone with a mental illness or family members. Information and support for people with bipolar disorder, including humor (some very dark).
Also try the psychiatry department of your local hospital. They may have support groups available either for family members of people with mental illnesses or for family members who are caregivers for anyone with a chronic illness (yes, bipolar disorder is a chronic illness, too).
Get as much support for yourself as you can. This is traumatic for you, too, as much as it is for your mom and your stepdad. Are you married? Do you have brothers or sisters you can depend upon? Are there any trusted family friends you can talk to about this?
Once again, welcome to the forum. Keep coming back.
"Don't worry about a thing/Cause every little thing's gonna be all right."
--Bob Marley and the Wailers

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/2/2005 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I need some help I have a friend at school who is to say the least is somewhat concerning me. It seems that he ranges his emotions quite randomly. Sometimes he seems like he's in a good mood, others, he is pissed off for no apparant reason. My friends and I are planning a trip to Canada after we graduate High School this year, and he was planning on going with us. This trip was in the planning stages ever since our sophomore year and he was more than willing to go. Then all of a sudden he told a friend of mine that he didn't want to go and there was no reasoning behind it. We were all taken aback because he was, first of all, one of the people driving up, and secondly, he was ready and raring to go. Then maybe about a week later he wants to go again, and of course, to keep him quiet we let him, plus we needed the ride. Now one thing that seems to dispell the whole bipolar theory is that he is kinda lonely and has a poor self esteem. He has asked several of the girls in our group of friends out and they have all turned him down. Now, this brings up the whole issue of the prom and not having a date, he thinks he is a loser, and seems to sincerely believe that, somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy I think. Now another issue is that he seems to be the weaker link in the group and tends to be the butt of many jokes, but nothing serious. No one goes out of their way to make fun of him, he thinks that everything that is said toward him is a personal offense, which is not the case, because there are other people who are at the ass end of things all the time but they can laugh it off and continue on, why can't he? But my question for anyone who is diagnosed with, or a professional on bi polar disorder, does this person sound like someone who is bi polar, or depressed? He displays only some signs, I don't really see anything that manic about him so I am kind of second guessing here. But if there are any suggestions anyone can give me, or even tell me if my suspicions are wrong, please respond. Thank you.
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