It’s tough to see someone simply give up on themselves and lose all faith in their ability to thrive. When it’s a friend or family member, you do what you can to help, with the understanding that they will attempt to help themselves as well. In this case, my daughter won’t do anything to help herself and is willing to let my wife and I do everything for her. Part of me wants to let her sink or swim, but I can’t do that. I’m not willing to let her be without health care or let her be homeless or destitute, or even committed to a long-term mental hospital. She wants others to take care of everything for her, including her health, and she can’t or won’t understand that she needs to be a partner in this. Until she agrees to take some responsibility for her own health, I don’t know what else to do. I wish I had a better answer.
[note: severely edited]
I’m not doing well. My anxiety was not as bad this week, but I still feel unstable. I’m not doing my work adequately. I’m not taking care of the little tasks that need to be done at home. My brain is foggy sometimes, and I just mentally check out for a while. I’m having trouble focusing on anything more than my immediate needs, but there are so many things besides myself that I need to worry about.
My daughter is really struggling with her mental health. Her psychiatrist moved away, and I’ve been trying to get her to make an appointment with another one. She has severe phone anxiety, and she sits in her room and cries about it rather than making a call. She will run out of medicine soon and that will be very bad for her. In addition she has something physically wrong where she feels constant nausea and vomits nearly every day. She knows she needs to take action, but she is so emotionally fragile that she gets upset and turns into a “fussy baby” (her words). For me, it’s like having a special needs child who needs help doing everything, and I’m not dealing with it very well at the moment.
One positive thing: I got my first vaccine shot a few days ago, with no side effects other than a little muscle soreness at the injection point. I’m hearing that the second shot makes you feel ill for a day or two, but I’m not worried about that. I’m just glad we are taking steps to eventually get back to a normal life. At the same time, I feel bad for all the people who have died and all the families affected.
Old friends of this site will recall that my daughter has schizoaffective disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. If you didn’t know already, schizoaffective disorder combines all the fun of bipolar with the psychosis and disorganized thinking of schizophrenia.
She is medicated, and thanks to us she has been taking her pills, but I don’t think they are working very well. She has tried several combinations without much success.
Yesterday my wife and I were out on an errand for a few hours. When we got home, Nicole was crying and said she had just called 911. Apparently she was hallucinating; she thought she had self-harmed, then she didn’t think she had, and I think she was scared by that time. When police and paramedics arrived she thought she was back to reality, but she willingly went to the ER for a psych evaluation. They admitted her to the hospital soon after she arrived.
There may have been warning signs for her. She said two days ago that she was having the sense of derealization again (where she feels detached from our world and that none of what we see or feel is real). I should have recognized that and made her call her doctor.
Another factor is that she had been drinking. She knows alcohol and psychotropic drugs are not a good mix, but this reaction was different than a previous time. [And obviously, we can never have alcohol in the house again.]
For the millionth time, I am cursing myself for passing on my defective genes.
I’ve had bipolar disorder since I was a pre-teen. It has cost me several important relationships, educational and job opportunities, and tens of thousands of dollars over the years. It has nearly cost me my life on a few occasions. Besides the monetary cost of the medicine I take, there is the weight gain associated with the Abilify, which causes me problems such as high blood pressure, the potential for heart disease, lack of mobility, and embarrassment. Bipolar medication may one day cost me my intellect, if the potential for early dementia becomes a reality.
My bipolar has also inflicted a toll on the family. My wife has stayed with me despite nearly 30 years of instability and unpredictability, and it has cost her happiness and many sleepless nights ridden with fear and anxiety. She constantly feels like she has to work harder to make more money to pay for the medical bills, so she works at a physical job and always has sometimes debilitating aches and pains.
My son and daughter grew up in an unstable home where I wasn’t mentally present for long periods, which in my opinion caused psychological issues which remain today. My defective genes surfaced in my daughter, who had first been diagnosed with bipolar, then schizoaffective disorder and anxiety disorder. Her illness has cost her most of her friends, dreams of a normal life, two potential career paths, and many thousands of dollars in medical bills for us to pay.