Dusta, never consider the idea that you might be responsible for what's wrong with your mother-in-law. That is just not true. She has an illness that causes her to have "highs" (spending sprees, for one thing) and lows (creating a depressed atmosphere wherever she is present). Contemplation of suicide is one symptom of severe depression. Medication will help her stabilize to a more acceptable level of behavior.
Bipolar illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain, Dusta, and a med called a "mood stabilizer" will help very much to make her life more "even toned". Please wait for that to happen; then you might be able to relate to her more willingingly.
Steer clear as long as she is in a mood, though. Explain to the father-in-law if he asks about
how you feel so that he knows you have difficulty relating to the illness. (Many people do, understandably.)
In defense of bipolar patients, I will add that, with proper medication, bipolar folks are quite capable of living productive, effective lives, and are frequently very intelligent people often with a gifted ability of one type or another, usually in the arts.
(I have to leave now for a business appointment, so if I don't respond immediately to another thread from you, it will be because I'm out of my home for a while this afternoon.)
Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 4/13/2012 9:06:16 AM (GMT-6)