Bipolar Disorder Community
How to help a relative with bipolar?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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How to help a relative with bipolar?

So my aunt was diagnosed with bipolar two years ago, and it's no secret. She doesn't take her meds long enough for them to have any effect on her do she has only gotten worse. She was entered into a mental hospital once, and released. We have tried driving her back 2 times but she almost crashed the car the second time, so we stopped. She is a heavy smoker- 2-3 packs a day- and doesn't really have any "close" family. She lives with one of her three children, but the other two are distant from her, and the one she lives with still argues with her constantly. Her husband left long ago but she still obsesses over him and has never met another man. The real problem (or at least I think) is how everybody reacts to her. Everybody acts like she is such a pain to be around, and then wonder why she is all of a sudden acting distant. They are all a little too caitous
around her and don't invite her to social events. I understand the last one, but we basically disowned her and then expect her to get better. I'm only 13 so I can't do much, but what can my parents do? My mother is her sister, and they have a rocky relationship. What can they do to act differently around her, for the better?
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You are very young and I can appreciate some of your concerns.  However knowledge is power and if your family chooses not to learn about your aunts symptoms and develop positive coping skills for dealing with her, there is not much you can do and I wouldn't put it on yourself to do anything to mend them.  You can decide to learn about this illness and the only thing you have control over is your own actions.  I am not saying it is easy.  I have been called complicated by everyone who I know.  My therapist said I was like nailing jello to a tree.  My psychiatrist said I was challenging.  The main thing is it isn't our fault we have this illness. Those who choose to enter our lives have to learn how to understand when we are cycling and what they can or can't do when we do.  It is a part time job for them but a full time job for us....

Good Luck,

Larry
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