HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Mental Health Support (Group) » I think a family member i...

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:10 AM

I think a family member is manic and bi-polar and it is scaring

me to death. I think I know the symptoms. Mood change. Grandiose ideas. Shouting to the edge of violence. I can Google the symptoms and I also have another relative diagnosed as bi-polar but if it's in you home and close it's hard to tell or understand if it's real. I just can't believe it's true or know what to do.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end.

37 replies, 8236 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply I think a family member is manic and bi-polar and it is scaring (Original post)
Lint Head Apr 2017 OP
furtheradu Apr 2017 #1
Lint Head Apr 2017 #15
brush Apr 2017 #26
cilla4progress Apr 2017 #2
steve2470 Apr 2017 #11
Skittles Apr 2017 #3
steve2470 Apr 2017 #10
Lint Head Apr 2017 #16
Lint Head Apr 2017 #20
nadine_mn Apr 2017 #4
Warpy Apr 2017 #5
Rollo Apr 2017 #6
Lint Head Apr 2017 #17
Lint Head Apr 2017 #19
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2017 #7
Lint Head Apr 2017 #18
retrowire Apr 2017 #23
steve2470 Apr 2017 #24
retrowire Apr 2017 #25
steve2470 Apr 2017 #28
retrowire Apr 2017 #29
steve2470 Apr 2017 #30
Warpy Apr 2017 #33
retrowire Apr 2017 #35
Warpy Apr 2017 #36
retrowire Apr 2017 #37
Skittles Apr 2017 #31
LastLiberal in PalmSprings Apr 2017 #8
steve2470 Apr 2017 #9
Lint Head Apr 2017 #13
nadine_mn Apr 2017 #27
LastLiberal in PalmSprings Apr 2017 #32
nadine_mn Apr 2017 #34
steve2470 Apr 2017 #12
Lint Head Apr 2017 #14
mopinko Apr 2017 #21
Lint Head Apr 2017 #22

Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:24 AM

1. I am so sorry You are dealing with this.

I know others here have experience & goood advice to share. I only know You need to take care of YourSelf. I send goood vibes of PEACE to YOU & Yours.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to furtheradu (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:14 AM

15. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Reply #15)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 02:36 PM

26. Get help. I've experience this. During the anger phase the person can get violent and do harm.

Medication may be called for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:36 AM

2. Seek professional advice

At once. Nothing to mess with. Good luck!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cilla4progress (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:36 AM

11. another amen here nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:40 AM

3. any chance this person would agree to see a medical professional

that is what they need

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:36 AM

10. amen nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:18 AM

16. We're trying to approach that. Convincing someone to

get help is sometimes very hard. They are convinced they are right about things and arguments get heated.
Thank you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skittles (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 09:05 AM

20. We have talked about it but it's difficult. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:41 AM

4. This is tough..because in a manic phase

People feel great so trying to talk to them is pointless. It's hard when people don't have insight to their behavior...even if it's as simple as acknowledging some thing is wrong.

One thing I am getting from your post (correct me if I'm wrong) is not knowing if the person actually is bi-polar? What stood out to me is your comment about "is it real".

What is real is that this person's behavior is scaring you - that doesn't need a diagnosis. There is a reason you are feeling scared - unpredictability in a person's mood especially extreme swings can make you feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells. And if no one else sees it, sometimes it can make you feel like you are going crazy.

I don't know your living situation so I can just make broad suggestions about making sure you are safe emotionally and physically - hopefully finding someone to talk to about the situation. I lived with a roommate who would have intense extremes in her moods: sometimes going into depressive episodes where she wouldn't pay her share of the rent risking eviction for both of us or she would invite random strangers to spend the night and waking up not knowing who the heck is in your home is terrifying. But she could put on a mask of such normalcy, I seemed like the crazy one. So do whatever you need to do to protect yourself from any consequences of their behavior.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 12:48 AM

5. I'm so very sorry. Yes, it is very frightening

and severe mania can encompass psychosis, usually as a result of sleep deprivation. Paranoia is the flip side of grandiosity, meaning the person will be too untrusting or downright frightened to listen to you.

You can't force anyone to seek treatment unless you can demonstrate threats to you or anyone else, preferably in front of multiple witnesses. Even then it's a short hold for evaluation and the person can still refuse treatment. The laws on this suck, they went from involuntary commitment of people nobody wanted any more to no help at all, really no matter how desperately it is needed.

If you can manage to get this person to get into voluntary treatment during a depressive episode, that can be your best bet.

Protect yourself. Leave if you have to. Make an appointment with a mental help therapist yourself to find out coping strategies and what your local laws will allow you to do.

Cops are no help at all since they consider tasers to be tranquilizers. They're not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 01:02 AM

6. Good advice...

I went through a similar situation, albeit not manic/depressive, with a family member. A mental health professional should know what sorts of help may be available for the relative, and it can help the concerned family member to talk about the situation as well.

Unfortunately sometimes it can take a psychotic break, job loss, run in with the law, or other dramatic event to happen before the afflicted person agrees to be helped, or they may be forced into it by court order.

It can be very tough, especially for those who have lived with the sick individual for some time and finally realize professional help is needed. It tends to impact the whole family, but each individual in different ways.

Good luck!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:19 AM

17. Thank you so much.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:22 AM

19. You are so kind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 02:43 AM

7. Stay as far away as possible from this person.

Unless he or she lives in your own home. And in that case, can you move out? Can you make that person move out?

It's my opinion that there are lots of things people should simply refuse to tolerate or put up with, and a family member who is manic or bi-polar is definitely one of those.

You are NOT responsible for this person or his (or her) opinions, behaviors, or anything else. So ignore the behavior or remove yourself from it, whichever is appropriate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:20 AM

18. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 01:03 PM

23. WTF?

Great advice here. I sure hope my family abandons my bipolar ass. :Applause:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to retrowire (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 01:54 PM

24. +1 nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to steve2470 (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 01:58 PM

25. Seriously

I'm even shocked the OP was thankful for that bit of advice.

This is reinforcing the stigma that mental illness is something to be quarantined and avoided. It hurts. Really.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to retrowire (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:26 PM

28. I think the OP wanted to avoid unpleasantness

That was my take on it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to steve2470 (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:33 PM

29. Well abandoning family is a hell of a way to do it. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to retrowire (Reply #29)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:33 PM

30. agreed! to be clear, I do NOT think the OP wants to abandon family

I think she didn't want to argue/debate/fight with the response.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to retrowire (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 10:22 PM

33. No, sometimes it is called "staying alive."

A dead family isn't going to do the bipolar person any good, is it? Sometimes you need to leave the area until the manic episode starts to slide back toward depression and the person is reachable.

There is a big difference between leaving when it's not safe and full abandonment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 19, 2017, 06:48 AM

35. Well since the shouting is violent

I would want the authorities called on myself at least. But no abandonment.

Don't leave them alone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to retrowire (Reply #35)

Wed Apr 19, 2017, 04:21 PM

36. Cops here kill mentally ill people

It got so bad the DOJ took over our police force a couple of years ago. Cops everywhere are using tasers as tranquilizers, which they're not, or worse, their guns.

They're worse than useless if you want someone to live long enough to get treatment.

If the OP is in danger, s/he has to leave that area. Period.

I'm sorry about your abandonment issues. They don't apply in this case.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #36)

Wed Apr 19, 2017, 04:25 PM

37. Post edited for clarity and wiser words

You are immediately assuming that bipolar disorder = murderous tendencies.

If there was ever an example of misleading mental health stigmas, this is it.

Bipolar people are more likely to harm/kill themselves than others. We are not psychopaths, literally.

Please stop with this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:46 PM

31. so compassionate

this is how you would treat a loved one or friend?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 03:55 AM

8. A view from inside the disease

I'm diagnosed as bipolar. I have two states: on meds and off meds. On meds* keeps me within a reasonable range of emotions. I still get depressed (nothing matters, my whole life's been a failure despite my accomplishments as a lawyer, pilot, television director, etc.) and manic (I'll start a half dozen projects at once. I talk really fast and can't stop). Meds limit my time in either state, and return my thought processes to what for me passes as normal.

Off meds is pure hell. As mentioned earlier, grandiosity is probably the most obvious symptom of mania. That shows up as spending money I don't have, making bad decisions without thinking them out beforehand. For me, depression is the worst. I've taken several trips into what I call the Abyss, where it feels like my entire life force has been ripped from me. Mentally, it's like every bad thought I've ever had about myself comes racing out at the same time. The first time I fell into the Abyss I became suicidal (didn't act on it, fortunately) and unable to sleep more than three hours each night. The worst thing was not knowing whether it would ever end. (It did, after several months of Prozac.)

Talking with my wife, I know that from the outside it's horrible. You feel powerless watching the one you love suffer, not knowing during an unmedicated trip into the Abyss whether they'll be alive or not when you come home from work. When they're manic you feel helpless to stop them from hurting themselves.

So here is my advice as one with more than 30 years experience with the condition to someone in a relationship with a person who is bipolar. This is from the perspective of one who has made five trips into the Abyss and has finally accepted that I will have to take drugs the rest of my life:

1. First of all, take care of yourself, financially, physically and spiritually. Cut up their credit cards, move money into a separate account, protect your assets. Eat properly, go for walks, pray, be with friends, find a support group that works for you.

2. Support your loved one in getting professional help. Sometimes that means a gentle suggestion, but don't be afraid to use all the tools available to help the person. For minor mood swings talk therapy will often help; anything beyond that and you're talking meds. Be aware that coming up with the right drug mix is a trial-and-error process. In fact, while it's fairly easy to diagnose depression, diagnosing a patient as bipolar can take up to eight years, because being manic looks "normal" to someone used to seeing you stuck in depression.

3. Know that with proper treatment the deep depression or wild mania your loved one is in will end. Without treatment it may also end, just not pleasantly. The pain of depression can be so severe that it seems that death is the only way out. (BTW, I lived in L.A. during my first trip into the Abyss, and when I called the Suicide Hot Line I got a busy signal!)

4. You can't talk someone out of a depression. It just makes the downward spiral worse. What my wife and I have learned is for her to say, "Stop!" when she first sees me diving down. She may have to repeat it several times, but it usually works.

5. On the mania side, a gentle reminder, "You're talking really fast," or, "Take a deep breath and calm down," seems to work best. The big thing is to keep it simple. Distraction sometimes works.

Mental illness sucks, both for the person with it and those who care about them. Because I know what happens when I'm off the meds (I've tried several times, hence multiple trips into the Abyss) I am grudgingly recognizing that I can no longer fly as a pilot, or pursue a dream of sailing around the world. Meds slow your thought processes down, and sometimes even driving can be a challenge. It diminishes your enjoyment of life, of relationships, and there are times you can't see any acceptable future, let alone an inspiring one. You are aware that you are isolating yourself from your family and friends, or hurting the one you most love because she can't do anything but just be there.

Blah, blah, blah. The short answer, for me personally, is (1) find meds that work, and stay on them, (2) get therapy, or join a support group, or both, (3) be kind to yourself--you're sick, not defective--and be especially kind to those close to you, and (4) keep reminding yourself that you have a purpose in life--even if it's just to be someone who can share their experience of being bipolar with another person who wants to know about this condition.

Good luck, and I hope it all turns out well for you and the person you care about.

*I know there are those who eschew drugs in favor of a good diet, meditation and exercise. While that helped a little, it wasn't enough, hence I sought professional help. "Better living through chemistry," as my psychiatrist says.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:34 AM

9. THIS IS EXCELLENT, thank you so much from the father of a bipolar son, the son of a bipolar father,

a retired therapist who has worked with bipolar patients, and a lifetime major depression patient myself. I would encourage you to post this as an OP in its own right in GD, but if not I understand.

Thank you for spending your time and energy doing this! You officially rock!

Steve

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:12 AM

13. Thank you so much. Your information and input is encouraging.

I also appreciate the time you took to reply to my post
Folks on DU are always so kind when things get tough.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 03:17 PM

27. Thank for this insight- do you mind if I ask a personal question?

How/when did you realize you needed help? Did you come to it on your own or did love ones guide you?

My mental health journey started at court ordered counseling when I was 8 (abusive dad wanted custody so we had to have supervised visits which included counseling - which was shit) and from then on I always saw a school counselor in high school, college, law school and then off and on as I got older. Got really serious about it around 5 yrs ago, finally had a therapist who understood what I was going through.

Because I was a self-mutilator in my teens through adulthood, that was always a sure ticket to getting help - but never addressed the reason behind it. Always seemed that the help was directed at making sure I wasn't upsetting people rather than finding out why I was upset.

Sorry if it is too personal a question - and I am sorry for those times you have been in the Abyss - how terrifying for you and your wife.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nadine_mn (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 09:03 PM

32. I became aware that something was wrong when I was in high school

First of all, I'm truly sorry that you have had to go through the journey you've been on. I'm glad you have found a therapist that you connect with. I found that was really a key component to my growth; trying to figure it out on my own just wasn't working. "Trying to fix a sick mind with a sick mind doesn't work," as the saying goes. I really identify with your finding that most of the people we turned to for help seeming to be more interested in their perception of themselves than what was going on with us. I know I found myself trying to please them rather than getting better. I even had one therapist tell me that the reason he couldn't help me was that I was "too angry" for therapy, and another that I was "too arrogant." Huh?!?

Anyway, back to school. Most of the time I was a pretty sharp student. Not straight A's, but close. Then I noticed that I would suddenly feel like someone had draped a wet blanket over my brain. Not a major depression, just something different. The second or third time it happened I approached my parents and said, "There's something wrong with my mind -- I need to see someone."

My parents were understanding and supportive -- NOT! They reacted like I had said I was a pedophile or worse, a Democrat. "THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM!"

I continued to cycle between moderate mania and depression from then on. And while I wanted to get help, I knew that if I did so it would be wrong (see above statement). Each time I sought help an obstacle blocked the way. For example, in the Air Force (I was a navigator/officer) I sunk into such a deep depression I went to talk to the flight surgeon about it and was told by the sergeant at the admitting desk, "You really don't want to do that if you want to keep your wings."

Because I didn't trust my mind to be functional 100% of the time I didn't pursue flying as a pilot in the Air Force, even though I had my private pilot's license and absolutely loved it. I didn't seek help, though, even outside the service (which would have been a BIG no-no).

I left the Air Force, entered law school, and because the depressive episodes were getting worse about halfway through I began seeing a psychologist, whom I called a "counselor" so as not to conflict with parental directive #1 above. Talk therapy helped, but when I told him there was something physically wrong with my brain he said that couldn't be true. (This was about a decade before MRIs showed it was true, that there could be a physical cause for depression.)

So to answer your question, all along my life I had tried to get help on my own. No court directive, no parental support, no outside help whatsoever. I don't know if that's good or bad, it's just what's so.

The final straw -- my first trip into the Abyss -- came when I was almost 40. I was in L.A., flying with the Air Force Reserves full time, working a second full time job, writing screenplays (unproduced) and learning to program computers. Meanwhile the stress was building, in my marriage, my finances (a wife who didn't understand the concept of income versus outgo, and that the former must exceed the latter), and the sudden death of my kid brother. In the middle of this Bush Sr. decided to go to war with Saddam Hussein.

O.k., this is something I learned after the first major depression. There are eight stressors that contribute to a major depression: (1) financial problems, (2) marital problems, (3) a death in the family, (4) war, (5) loss of a job, (6) serious illness, in yourself or a loved one, (7) a family history of depression, and (8) substance abuse. Any three combined can lead to major depression. I had seven. (Not a drug or alcohol abuser, thank God.)

Then the bottom dropped out. Remember what I said about losing my life force (see previous post)? That happened at the worst possible time--two weeks before my Reserve unit was called up to go to Saudi Arabia. And no matter what I did I couldn't break it. I knew this was what I had trained my entire military life for, but all I could think of was, "If I go to Saudi Arabia they'll give me a gun..."

I didn't go to the war, got kicked out of the Air Force (after 17 1/2 years), tried to find help and failed, and in the middle of this my wife said she wanted a divorce. So much for "better or worse." It turned out she was more interested in the "richer" part of "richer or poorer."

It wasn't until I moved to the desert I was able to seek out and find professional help, both a psychiatrist (we've been together for 27 years) and several psychologists (20+ years).

I found work as a television director for a Palm Springs station, but when the psychiatrist took me off meds a couple of years later to see if my depression was recurring or a one time good deal, the bottom dropped out again. No more t.v. for me. (It takes about a year and a half to climb out of the Abyss.)

Ever since then I have been reaching out for whatever help I can find. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Like I said, each time I got off the meds it resulted in another trip into the Abyss.

That's the long answer to your question. I was fortunate in that early on I knew something was wrong, unfortunate in that I listened to my parents' reaction and didn't seek help on my own earlier in my life, like undergraduate school. My family and friends were at a loss to help me, either because they denied there was anything wrong (thanks, Mom and Dad), or were powerless to help.

As it turns out I was right when I said there can be something physically wrong with a brain. Functional MRIs have shown that while a healthy brain has a rainbow of colors, a depressed brain is made up of blue and black. Also, each major depressive episode is like breaking a bone in the same place. The brain suffers further physical trauma.

My advice to someone in a similar situations is, "Find help, and don't stop until you find it." Whatever it takes, however many people you have to see, get help. If you need to, find as many people as it takes to act as your advocates and get you where you need to be. (Depression causes lethargy, plus it's not fair to put the burden on one person.) I'm fortunate in that my current wife does that. When we were dating, she hung in there during my third trip to the Abyss, when both her family and I were telling her she needed to get out of the relationship to take care of herself. She has driven me to appointments when I couldn't do it, gently reminded me to take my meds if I start acting squirrely, and just generally been there for me every step of the way these past 27 years.

Like I said in my previous post, mental illness sucks. You watch your friends build their lives -- careers, marriage (and sometimes divorce), have families, begin their retirements. Each day you struggle just to get through the next 24 hours. And there's always the shame that you feel because you think that somehow it's your fault. The only two things that seem to help me are acceptance and gratitude, and if I can manage those 10% of the time I think I'm doing good.

BTW, it's possible to have a successful career, even if you're bipolar. A lot of celebrities have chronicled their own battles with depression. I imagine that's true in most careers. My mileage just happened to vary.

The main reason I wrote my previous post -- which was hard to put out into the world -- and this one, which is even more personal and hence more challenging, is that what I have to share might encourage one person to seek help. To let them know that there is life, despite the illness. It may not look like anyone else's, but it is life, and despite my occasional dark thoughts, I know it's better than the alternative.

Oh, as a final aside, sometimes I'll be percolating right along feeling good about the day and out of nowhere comes the thought, "Well, at least I get to die." That used to upset me, and I found the more I resisted it the more it persisted. Now what I do is simply count each occurrence. "There's number one. There's number two..." After awhile the thought gets tired of the game and goes away for the rest of the day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. And for caring enough about yourself and others in your life who might be in a similar position. Mental illness may not be able to be cured, but its effects can be ameliorated with the right help, and the support of family and friends.

Good luck.

Steve



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #32)

Wed Apr 19, 2017, 12:48 AM

34. Thank you so much for sharing your story - that takes a lot of courage

To be so open about something that is so stigmatized. I knew something was wrong early in high school but only recently really understood the whole picture - not just the outward symptoms.

Your story gives me a lot of hope for my own future. In a way I think I've been running away from my mental health ever since I was a kid: overachieving, working, creating chaos in work and personal relationships, binge drinking etc....just distracting myself with real or made up emergencies which were exhausting and self destructive but still better than the alternative of facing myself.

In late 2007 my life became a bad country song: lost my job, my grandpa died, my dog died, my grandma died and then another dog died - all in a span of less than 2 yrs My grandparents were my world - they were the ones to keep me sane, so losing them was just awful. And I don't know what happened...it's like after 2010 my life just stopped. I haven't been able to work, I struggle to get out of bed most days. I found a good therapist in 2011 and have worked with him as much as finances and insurance has allowed. It's like all that running away through distraction finally caught up with me. I have no idea how my husband of 18 yrs has managed to stay with me through all of this. I think the hardest part was a few years ago realizing how I was acting in the emotionally abusive and unstable ways I so wanted to avoid. That scared me so much, that I was becoming what I had tried to escape, I retreated even further. Other crap has happened since..life stressors like you mentioned, but only one had the effect of throwing me back off course and reversing 3 yrs of forward progress. I just feel like at 44 I have wasted my "good" years and what's the point?

Reading your post has given me a boost of strength to see that I still have time to enjoy life instead of just getting through it. Thank you...I think we all have so much to learn and teach each other and I am so grateful for you taking the time to share your experience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 05:50 AM

12. This was alluded to by another poster but....

under the law in many, if not most or all, jurisdictions, you can FORCE someone to get mental health treatment if they are in danger of hurting themselves or others. Of course, the criteria are very very strict and you have to prove to the cops and/or the courts that you are telling the truth and that the person, indeed, meets the criteria.

The cops usually know the criteria, it's part of their job. However, as one poster said, the cops are not famous for being kind gentle intervenors in mental health crises (they are simply not trained well, not that they are bad people). Cops are the absolute last resort.

Go to the mental health court in your jurisdiction. It's typically in the county courthouse and everyone working there knows where it is. The clerk there will know which paperwork to fill out and will help you as much as he or she can. You do NOT need a lawyer. Having a lawyer is helpful but NOT NECESSARY. It's not that difficult to do. You just have to learn the paperwork and procedures.

In my jurisdiction, it's called an ex parte procedure, and once your court date is set, you show up with your evidence (usually your testimony verbally) and see if you can bring an extra witness or two. If my memory serves me well, you need to have at least two eyewitnesses to the behavior to meet criteria. However, if that's absolutely impossible to meet, I would imagine the judge would accept only your testimony. You have to remember that this procedure HAS been abused, so you will be viewed very carefully as to your motives.

If anyone has strenous objections to that procedure for civil rights reasons, I'm NOT going to debate them with you. I get it, it is a way of forcing someone to do something. However, it's in the law to protect people from mental illness. Go take the debate to GD, NOT here.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to steve2470 (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 08:13 AM

14. Thank you so much.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 09:45 AM

21. not much i can add here, but

does this person have a regular doc? it never hurts to look for physical problems first. they are more intertwined than our current stove-piped medical system would suggest.
i have gone through a fair amount of this stuff, some physical, like my ex's horrible bout of apnea that had him depressed and me scared witless, to a bi-polar daughter who was out of control at 14.

in my ex's case, it was clear to me that it was intertwined w sleep. he had an abscessed tonsil (!) that threw his sleep in the shitter. i got him to see a pcp, and talked them into a month of ambien. even w the apnea, he was able to get some decent sleep and felt better.

i would try to find a good shrink, check them out, try to figure out who would be a good fit. dont know where you are, maybe there isnt a lot of choice to be had. but if there is, it is a whole lot easier to say- i think this person can help you- than- lets get out the phone book and see. somehow the idea of picking a name out of a hat was more than i could bear, for them or for me, trying to cope w it.


hang in there. stay in touch.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 18, 2017, 09:49 AM

22. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread