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Question
Posted by: Annie | 2012/03/29

Worried about my Dad

Hi, I know many will probably think this is none of my business, but I’ m worried about my Dad. He is under a LOT of stress and pressure because of his wife. She is Bipolar 2, and is currently slightly looney. She cannot do ANYTHING without him  she cannot even drive to the shops (because she is on all sorts of medication that makes her too drowsy to drive). He has to travel for business quite frequently, and things go haywire when he is gone (I hear from my siblings who live with them).

Now I know that that has been stressful enough (what with him trying to keep the peace in the family, being the main income provider at this stage, running their business, financial difficulties, etc). But now to make things worse, three weeks ago my step mom had an episode where she tried to slit her wrists, didn’ t do a proper job (she didn’ t need to go to hospital to get stitched up) but she did get admitted into the psychiatric hospital a couple of days later. I visited my Dad a few days alter, he looked terrible. Now my step mom is out, and I am hearing from my siblings that they have all been kicked out by my step mom. They all have to be out by the weekend. They all have found places to go, luckily, but I am worried about my Dad.

It will be less of a financial strain for him, because now there are three people less in the house at least. BUUUT now he is stuck with my step mom. She is not a terrible person, she really isn’ t and she does have a heart of gold, but the Bipolar is really messing things up.

I am very worried about him now losing the sane people in the house  he now has no moral support in the house. I know he’ s a big boy, but still. He gets very frustrated. I know he will never hurt my step mom, and she is literally half his size, but I am actually worried for him (because she has broken a window once and she tried to stab one of my brothers). I am scared that she will do something to him, like in his sleep or something while she is having a moment.

Should I speak to him about it? I was planning on spending a weekend there at some stage, I don’ t know if that is such a good plan now.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Isn't it possible for you to arange to talk to the psychiatrist ( surely there MUST be one, as such complex Bipolar or similar disorders should never be treated solely by a GP )responsible for treating your stepmom, to offer to provide him with very relevant background information she is probably not telling him, and to ask him to take into account the severe stress her illness is placing on your dad.
Especially as you seem to have grounds for concern about her being a potential danger to others, as well as to herself, he needs to know about this and it is his absolute duty to take this into serious account when planning her treatment

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Just asking | 2012/04/01

Aren''t there effective medications that these people are supposed to take ?

Reply to Just asking
Posted by: Liza | 2012/03/29

If people have to worry about saying things that others might find offensive the whole time, they''d never say anything!

I suffer from Bipolar II and honestly - Your choice of words are definitely fitting for the situation. I''ve even referred to myself as looney when having an episode.

Sometimes people get offended far too easily for the littlest things. It''s as if they have nothing better to do... (Like that woman on the train this morning who thought it a personal affront when I refused to move up so her obese behind could take over her seat and mine!)

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Annie | 2012/03/29

Concerned Mom, I didn’ t mean any offense, but I see no insults in the words that I chose. She is being looney at the moment and she currently is not sane. I wish I could tell all the stories  I have given one or two incidences. If I could explain the whole story, then maybe you wouldn’ t take offense. I KNOW that Bipolar is difficult- I am in no ways saying that she is acting or pretending or ANYTHING like that. I KNOW that if on the correct treatment, it is still difficult but people can live with it. I am not being ignorant or anything like, but each and every case is different.

The word looney is defined as someone that is deranged (not that she is deranged) but also as someone who is possibly dangerous. Which she currently is- she recently threw each and every plate and bowl and cup she could get her hands on at the members of my family (they had to go out the next day and buy all new sets). She locked herself in her room once with my Dads gun (which he has since discarded- legally and safely, of course). So I do think that the word looney is fitting in her case.

The word SANE is defined as “ of sound mind, not mad or mentally ill” . Also, as reasonable and sensible. Which my step mother is not. A person of sound mind does not give three people and their pets two days to find a new place to live. A person sound of mind doesn’ t try stab people. Etc. Etc.


Again, I didn’ t mean any offense, but my choice of words is fitting for the situation. I am sorry if I offended you.

Reply to Annie
Posted by: Concerned Mom | 2012/03/29

Annie, I don''t have any advice for you, however I am quite angered by some of your statements being " and is currently slightly looney"  and " losing the sane people in the house" .

I find these statements highly offensive in that people who suffer from Bipolar Mood Disorder are neither looney nor insane. This is a very real, uncurable, but treatable illness. I have a daughter who suffers from BMD, and life is very difficult for her living with the stigma which people like yourself perpetuate.

I acknowledge that life can be very though and times can be trying when living with someone who has BMD, just like it is when living with someone who is terminal.

Please choose your words more carefully in future.

Reply to Concerned Mom
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/29

Isn't it possible for you to arange to talk to the psychiatrist ( surely there MUST be one, as such complex Bipolar or similar disorders should never be treated solely by a GP )responsible for treating your stepmom, to offer to provide him with very relevant background information she is probably not telling him, and to ask him to take into account the severe stress her illness is placing on your dad.
Especially as you seem to have grounds for concern about her being a potential danger to others, as well as to herself, he needs to know about this and it is his absolute duty to take this into serious account when planning her treatment

Reply to cybershrink

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