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Bipolar? Worried About Loved One

This post was written by David Oliver on November 3, 2010
Posted Under: Uncategorized

Hi,

I have a scary story to tell you that someone told me.

Jerry is a supporter to a mom with bipolar disorder. He hadn’t heard from her in a week, and he was worried. It turns out that he had something to be worried about. When he called his mom, he

found out that she had been in bed all week, and had stopped taking all her bipolar medications.

I told you this was a scary story!

When Jerry asked his mom why she stopped taking her medications, she told him she was just “tired of taking all those pills.” That was it! That was her whole reason – that she was tired of taking them! Jerry asked her if she had talked to her doctor, and she said no, that she didn’t want him to know. Well, that’s a red flag right there – that told Jerry that his mom knew what she was doing was wrong. And the fact that she had been in bed for a week was another indication that something was wrong, too.

She said that she was too depressed to get out of bed and do anything. Jerry tried to tell her that was because she wasn’t taking her medication, but she wouldn’t listen to him.

Two days later, Jerry’s mom was in the hospital. Her husband had found her in bed, hysterical, and hallucinating. The staff at the hospital put her back on her medications, and a week later,

she was stable and “normal” (for her).

Jerry had a long talk with his mom after that, about how important it was for her to keep taking her medications as they were prescribed for her. It was easier to get through to her this time, as she did not want to have to repeat the hospital experience.

It’s been several months now, and I saw Jerry the other day and asked him how his mom is doing. He said she is doing great! She is an active part of her bipolar support group, and she is even doing some volunteer work! He said she is more “herself” than ever before, and she seems really happy.

The difference? She is taking her medication on a regular basis now. It’s a shame, though, that it had to take a trip to the hospital to make her become medication compliant.

But that’s what happens to many people with bipolar disorder. They don’t want to take their

medication for various reasons, so they just stop taking it. This is very dangerous, and in

some cases, can even be fatal! In almost all cases, though, it will cause the person to go into

a bipolar episode. Sometimes there will even be hallucinations, like Jerry’s mom had!

Well, I have to go!

Your Friend,

Dave

Reader Comments

Post responses below

#1 
Written By David Oliver on November 3rd, 2010 @ 6:33 am

My father is also bi-polar and has chosen to decrease his medicines because….he wants the manic high. My sister and I have done everything we can think of to lovingly deal with his behaviors. He continues to get very defensive and angry whenever we set the boundaries necessary or try and convince him othewise. Our sanity is taking a toll now as well – we have been forced to cut off communication with him until or unless he chooses to take the medicine the doctor prescribes. We felt we had no other choice.

#2 
Written By Lynn on November 3rd, 2010 @ 10:31 am

Hello David
I do understand his mom. I’ve been in bed for 2-3 weeks. I just feel empty inside. I don’t feel that spark in my heart. Even though I am taking my meds.both for biplar and my not having a thyroid. Things just get old. I’ll pray for his mom. God bless you all
Margaret

#3 
Written By Margaret on November 3rd, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

I’m getting a little concerned right now. In one way it’s great to see my loved one more cheerful than he has been in a long while. On the other hand he has started drinking again after nearly a year of going off it. He is only drinking a little occasionally, but it always starts that way. He is getting more active and productive at last, and even getting closer to me again, which is not a bad thing as I still love him and care about him a lot. As far as I know he is taking his meds, but I can’t be totally sure as I’m not with him every day and can only take his word for it. He is not showing signs of hypomania yet and there is no stress in his life at the moment. I can only hope he sees sense about the drink. One of the first signs to watch out for is religious delusions starting small and getting bigger. Right now he wants to be an atheist. This could be his own worry about a possible episode, thinking that if he has no beliefs at all he can’t develop any delusions. I will keep an eye out.

#4 
Written By nightlady on November 3rd, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

I am bipolar myself and I have a really hard time in trying to remember to take all of my meds. Im in the process to try more meds and increase the ones that need to be increased. Its a scary process, I really hate the feelings that I get on a daily basis. I will get super mania and really irritable, angry, and other emotions and then in no time im scared of everything. Crying my eyes out, while questioning myself “what is going on” I know its really hard on my family and friends because they don’t understand the feelings that im getting and not able to control. I go in some kind of rage and don’t remember anything after that point until something happens and I snap into reality. For example two nights ago around 9 pm I went in my backyard where there is a small shed built to put all of are stuff that we don’t use right now. I took my small flashlight and went to the shed well there was totes stacked high up over everywhere in that shed. I took some totes down and looked thru them for a little bit and then my mania kicked in and I climbed all the way to the top which was over 10 ft. I wanted to look at the totes on the top I guess…After I got too the very top standing and balancing on the unsteady totes, I felt the tote start to slip and crash down and that’s what it took to bring me in reality. I looked down and started panicking and crying because I have no idea how I got there and it was really dark and all I had was a small light of a flashlight. I was terrified and I yelled as loud as I could for help. no body at all heard me. It took me over 3 hrs to get down without crashing into the bottom totes. I finally got down by moving the totes and putting them together to make it sturdier, but I was scared to death. I have no idea how I got up there so easy without falling once. The weird part is that there are days I get scared to walk outside to my backyard when it is dark, I get scared of my own shadow and im very scared of people. Even if they are family and I see them all the time I still get the nervous anxiety feeling, and at times scared to death. Does anyone else get this feeling? Well I hope that everyone that needs help will get it, it takes me a long time to ask for help from anybody! Well I hope you all take care and have your episodes under control because I sure don’t! gotta go for now and God Bless You All!

#5 
Written By kristine on November 6th, 2010 @ 9:44 am

My daughter lives on her own now, but we have to take care of her expenses (debt payee). She takes her medications. I make sure to see her or call her every few days to gauge her responses. I ask her what she’s been up to, and if it’s nothing, I will definitely swing by and ask her to go for a walk with me or ask if she needs anything at the store. It works well if make it about me: “Hey, I haven’t gone out for a walk lately, and it’s such a beautiful day. Let’s go. I’ll be by in 10 minutes.” Something like that. Just get your loved one up and out. This won’t work if they are super depressed and in bed, I realize, but if they just haven’t been out of the house all day, it works wonders for you and them. It helps me and her to run by to see what’s up. Yesterday, I hadn’t talked to her in a few days, so did the “What did you do this week?conversation. Took her some milk and some dinner, as I was picking up food for our dinner, too. This way I could see her, and see if she was alright. She looked okay, and we made plans to go shopping on Sunday for food and church. My point is, you have to keep in touch regularly. I recommend one outing per week with your loved one if you live nearby. I can be anything: church, shopping, lunch, movie, a walk, etc. Devoting a little time each week will help everyone!

#6 
Written By Joanne on November 6th, 2010 @ 9:47 am

YOU KNOW DAVE,

LIFE IS STRANGE ENOUGH AND IF ONE DOES NOT “CONSCIOUSLY” TAKE NOTICE OF “Lively activity WITHIN THEIR “OWN INNER WORLDS” THEY MAY BE PUSHED TO ‘get scary’ – we get tired of every day things – such as pills, watching the same tv shows, shopping, banking but these are the necessary things we need to do in life so the day goes by quicker – simply incorporating “other activities” in between the tv watching and pill etc. could stabilize and cause everything else to be normal. A neighbor of mine has a relative who sometimes goes in and out of his/her gender and becomes a variety of people but there’s medication for that like you said…helping that person integrate with “other distractions” everyday might essentially make taking the meds and watching tv (if that is part of the medication) a little normal.

I agree with Joan of 11/6 -Devotion of little time each week will help anybody

#7 
Written By RELIEF IN SIGHT on November 12th, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

I can be anything: church, shopping, lunch, movie, a walk, etc.

#8 
Written By HAPPY FRIDAY on November 12th, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

When is it necessary to step in and force our 75 yr old bipolar father into hospitalization to get regulated? He is determined to prove that he is just fine and needs no meds. He has been on his manic high for months now and his spending sprees has caused him to run completely out of money. He refuses to accept the need for any help – except to receive money from us to enable him to continue to spend of course. We are suppose to meet with his doctor next week – what questions do we ask him?

#9 
Written By Lynn on November 20th, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

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