Worried about brother with bi-polar disorder

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rubixqueen24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/26/2011 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,
I usually am in the Crohn's disease forum but this time I need help for someone other than myself.  I have an older brother that is 41 years old living with bi-polar disorder.  Most of the time he is fine but the winter months always seem to get him every year.  He will stop taking his meds (seraquil) and thus will stop sleeping which eventually makes him appear crazy ie: seeing, smelling and hearing things that are not there.  Last year he came to my house saying that the cops were trying to gas him out of his apartment.  He also stops showering and does not seem to be eating much. He lives alone (which does not help) and is very shy which means he has no friends and has never had a girlfriend to my knowledge.  He has been to jail a few times (during his psychotic phases). He has been to college but all of his jobs are labor jobs - construction, packing boxes.  He is incredibly smart and is very musically inclined but will never put himself out there because of his fear of failure. He also has a big caring heart, and also a religious person.  He goes over to my folks place every Sunday but they are getting older and when they are gone one of us will have to take over taking care of him.  Two weeks he had an episode which resulted in my other brother, and brother-in-law to go over to my parents house.  He just goes completely psycho and it is scary as hell!  He also after 5 years of sobriety has taken to the bottle again in efforts to "self-medicate".  It is very difficult time for him and for us to watch him deteriorate like this.  I hate bi-polar so much; a terrible disorder!
 
We need a permanent sollution for him.  We would like him not too live alone; I am looking into assisted living but don't think he will go for living with a bunch of old people.  I really want him to have friends and a real life, he only seems to have a half life, even when he is well.  I don't know how to help him, it just is so depressing.  Does anyone have any advice?  Any help would be appreciated.  I love my brother and want him to have all the happiness that everyone else has experienced; he deserves it!

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 12/26/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, rubixqueen24, and welcome to the Depression Forum,

I'm really sorry that your brother has bipolar illness. It's a difficult one to deal with, particularly if the patient is not willing to take control of his life and learn how to care for himself.

In my view, there are several things he might consider doing:

1. To get back into psychotherapy (to get properly medicated and to eradicate the fears he has of life, failure, and people).

2. To ask his psychotherapist about two of the newer medications to assist with bipolar chemical imbalance: Lamotrigine (Lamictal) and Abilify.  Either one of them seems to be of help to many who have bipolar illness. Often, one med alone is not enough. (Take a look at the number of medications some on the Bipolar Forum take for stability.)

3. Omit alcohol from the diet; it makes bipolar illness and depression worse. Omit caffeine from the diet; it also makes bipolar illness and depression worse.

4. Get on a diet that is alkaline more than it is acidic. (See Alkaline Foods. com to learn which ones are more appropriate for an alkaline
fluid condition of the body.)

5. Get into a church (after he has stabilized) that will help him learn a level of life that has real depth and sense of peace and contentment in it.

6. See, if after you have him stabilized, you can persuade him to communicate on our Bipolar Forum about his needs--where nobody knows who he is but is just a fellow sufferer who might have some encouragement or advice to help your brother. It will amaze him to see how others with the illness cope.

Take care of yourself, of course, first.

Thanks for posting; please let us know how he gets along.

Have a good New Year!

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 12/26/2011 11:08:12 AM (GMT-7)


bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/26/2011 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
There are group homes,especially for those that are disabled, mentally or physically. These should be regulated by your state, but I have seen everything from abysmal to terrific depending on owner/operators, so be careful.

In group homes, each client has their own room with their stuff, meals are usually provided and meds given by staff. Group activities vary, some homes have nothing, others may have alot. Most people pay with their disability check and are given small amounts of pocket money for personal items. This too should be regulated by state, but they can be notoriously lax on inspections.

I would contact mental health professionals in the area and see if they can give you any recommendations, or state dept of mental health for info.

It may or may not be a good fit and he would probably fight it initially but really, it sounds like that might be the best and/or only option. Like I said, some homes are run by very caring people...just investigate for complaints etc.

My husband has mild bipolar and we struggle with meds too. I understand your worry and frustration and hope for the best for your brother. He really needs to be back on his meds somehow.

Take care
Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

cymbalta seroquel hydrocodone klonopin magnesium potassium

rubixqueen24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your thoughts and kindness. I will look into everything you said and have already begun the process. I am attending a bi-polar meet up group this evening as well to better understand what he is going through. I will keep you all posted. I just realized that there is an actual bi-polar forum on the site, I will check over there as well. Thank you again.
~ Martina

Jim1969
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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 12/26/2011 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
One thing that everyone has forgotten to mention is that before you can do anything other than try to convince him to do the right thing for himself is that you will need to tackle the legal issues which if you are looking for a long term "solution" is to get him declared incapable of caring for himself and be made his guardian. Once that is done you can then make the decisions for his care, medication, etc.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.
Moderator Depression Forum.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Martina,

I think you have gotten some very good advice. Though if he is hearing and seeing things, it makes me think he might be schitzophrenic. I would highly suggest him seeing a psychiatrist.

I hope that you get help soon. It is so hard to watch somebody else go through this. The best you can do is be encouraging and make suggestions. The group home sounds like it might be good for him.

Wishing you all the best.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

rubixqueen24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/26/2011 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
He went home from my parents house last night. He is not picking up the phone. We are so worried that he will injure himself or someone else.

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/26/2011 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
He can be committed to a psych ward if his family believes he will hurt himself or others,against his will. Once he is back on meds, he would be more open to solutions.

You need to send someone for a "welfare check"-maybe?

Please let us know

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

cymbalta seroquel hydrocodone klonopin magnesium potassium

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 12/26/2011 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Know that we are all thinking about you right now. I hope that you can get through to him. I hope that he is okay. Let us know what you find out.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 12/26/2011 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
agree with karen, seems his sympotoms are more in the schizophrenia area,

with compassion, jamie
EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE PERSONALITY DISORDER,

RAPID CYCLING BI-POLAR DISORDER

REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

rubixqueen24
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/26/2011 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a quick update, my sister finally got a hold of him and she said he sounded completely fine and was talking about going to work tomorrow. At least for tonight I think he will be ok. We are going to have him over for movie night in a few days, just the siblings and talk about some suggestions to help his healing. We are not going to discuss housing yet. I think we will start with getting a psychologist he can see weekly for a while and talking to him about getting involved with the bipolar community. I am thankful that we can all rest a little easier this evening. A long way to go but one day at a time. Thanks again for lending an ear and sound advice. ~ Martina

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 12/26/2011 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Martina,

One day at a time is right. That is all that we can do. I am sure that this is going to work out for the best. Keep the faith.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/27/2011 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   
So glad to hear that Martina!!

And your plan sounds eminently reasonable...first things first..voluntary self-help is what you want...I wish you the best. Would you let us know please what happens? We care abouut you and your brother

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

cymbalta seroquel hydrocodone klonopin magnesium potassium
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