Dealing with meantal illness of a family member!!!

United States
March 6, 2008 9:31am CST
Here is the definition of bipolar from the dictionary online. Bipolar Psychology Relating to a major affective disorder that is characterized by episodes of mania and depression. The reason I'm writing about Bipolar disorder is my aunt was just recently diagnosed with it. To give a little background for the last 16 yrs my aunt has cycled through depression and other things and became an alcoholic and has been suicidal.. When this first started happening she was still functional. Then it got to the point where she moved back in with my gram, her mother. At once my aunt was very full of life and was a social worker. But that has all changed she has tried to kill herself around every holiday so the family has started to dread holidays aslo when she gets drunk and is around you become her target and punching bag she will literally try and start a fight with you and follow you from room to room. It's very upsetting, She got so aggressive the one time when she was drunk that she actually pucnhed me while I was pregnant because I wouldn't feed into her and was trying to avoid the confrontation by leaving the room. Needless to say I had to hold her upside down by her ankles to get her to stop and listen. Not fun at all... Especially since I'm a high risk pregnancy.... Things just got worse and worse there were a few times when she went and checked herself into clinics for her depression and problems but that was mainly becuase she wanted to make sure she kept her SSD. Every time she left one of those psych facilities she was never better never and it was always with what ever she felt like having that week. LOL! I know I should find it funny but psychology was her major in college and we have a dr of psychology in the family that she was close with .. So she knew what to say and how to act to get the diagnoses she wanted and the meds she wanted. Well just recently she was involuntarily committed because she tried to kill herself again at my grams house and the cops saw that my gram had barracaded herself in her room, so to make a long story short my gram said she didn't want my aunt to come back again I changed the locks and my aunt went off to the hospital. Yeah us. But at this point we have had it and decided some tough love was in order noone took calls from her no one called her and no one went to see her or help her in any way. This was 3 weeks ago and during the second week my aunt called my gram and apologized to her and my gram told her she still wasn't moving back in with her that she had her own place and to use it. They have been talking and that is how we found that the latest diagnoses is BiPolar .. I'm hoping it's correct and after reading it, It does sound alot like her. Here is the link to get additional information if you are not familiar with BiPolar. http://www.realmentalhealth.com/bipolar/overview.asp So now that I'm done ranting, Has anyone ever had to deal with BiPolar? If so, what is it like and what are your experiences ? How does it go once the family member is medicated? Just trying to figure out what comes next! Thanks everyone and have a nice day....
4 people like this
4 responses
@julievy (595)
• United States
6 Mar 08
If you're in the US ask an attorney or a county social worker about a Jarvis Order. My sister in law is bipolar and can be extremely difficult when she does not take her medication. The Jarvis order (obviously court ordered) requires that she take her meds. She gets them by injection once per week. If she doesn't show up for her shot the county will send a Sheriff Deputy to pick her up and bring her to the doc. The Sister in law always stops taking her meds as soon as the order expires. She doesn't think that she needs them - although she's attempted to kill herself several times and threated to kill others. One time we caught her coming up the stairs to our bedroom with a meat cleaver wrapped in a towel! Therefore, the county now has a permanant Jarvis Order in effect. We have to go to court every 9 months to get it renewed, but it's worth it. She is a sweet, intelligent loving person - with the meds!
@trinihd (996)
• United States
6 Mar 08
*Shock* A meat cleaver! How VERY scary!! Wow! I must say you are very brave. I am very glad to know her meds do work for her. Is it that every person has to take a different type of medication? It sounds like a complicated disorder.
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
6 Mar 08
I have never had to deal with that type of person that close to me no. However my ex's sister was diagnosed bipolar, but she wasn't like the person you discribed at all.. She was more withdrawn and abused pills rather then booze, and she would take scissors and cut chunks from her skin when she was feeling badly.. I dont know the extent of her illness, but i believe her mother is the same way. . I feel sympathy for you bella, it really much be hard to deal with someone bipolar that close to home. I hope she got the right diagnosis this time and she is on her way to being better.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 08
I enclosed a link to information on bipolar becuase their are three types of bipolar. So she might have another form of it. I hope she got the right diagnoses to. But so far so good she seems like a totally different person than what she was .. She almost seems like the person she was before she had her mental break. We talked for a while tonight and she is thinking about going back for a masters now .. LOL!! It was a good night and I'll take a good night over a bad anytime.
1 person likes this
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
8 Mar 08
sorry bella i admit i didnt visit the link.. I forgot to mention that she also had 15 cats 3 dogs a hampster and some fish. as well as a girlfriend, and two kids. lol. i can't imagine having 15 cats. and they were all like special needs cats. this one had to have this medicine, and that one had to have this food, and that one couldnt eat this ones food.. HECTIC. I wouldnt be able to keep track of all that!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 08
yeah I know what you mean I have five kids 3 cat and a puppers and my SO and I have issues keeping up with them at times and they don't have any special needs LOL!!!
1 person likes this
@diego9774 (172)
• United States
7 Mar 08
I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder for sometime now and to put it very simply, I have to be med compliant and go to therapy to function. When I say function I mean reduce the symptoms to the point that they don't interfere with my day to day life. This took a while working with my Pyschiatrist.And as things change,We tweak my meds sometimes depending on whats going.I also combine this with ongoing therapy.Thats what works for me. Now one thing you should know is from what you are stating is that she might have a problem with addiction which often mirrors symptoms of Bipolar disorder. In order for a Dr. To properly diagnose someone with it, they have to be clean and sober otherwise they cant tell what the actual problem is. My prayers are with you and you're family that this works out for you.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Mar 08
Well they had her in the pysch ward for almost three weeks and only diagnosed her right before she left so she was detoxed when they had her I think that is why they kept her so long so that they can be sure of what she had and give a proper diagnoses. I just hope that it work for her. She is now going to therapy and taking meds and seems to be back to the person I knew before her mental break.
@lishiwei (1553)
• China
6 Mar 08
To dealing this kind of things we should use the right way,or it will hurt others.If I have good ideas sometimes,I will tell you as soon as possible.
2 people like this