Oct 05, 2012
I just sent the following message to my husbands family (he's the oldest of 7) and to put it nicely, they were never thrilled to have me in his life. Plus our bipolar being completely out of control has done a lot of damage to them as well, I hope they can put there pain and anger aside to help their brother....
Your brother needs ALL of you to pull together and become a healthy support system.
I don't know which of you guys is aware, but, a few weeks ago he was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder, something I was diagnosed with at 17.
It is a severe mental health disease, and not something he can just control with self discipline, or medication (the medication is actually a very small part of the treatment process)
He is having an extremely hard time excepting the diagnosis and is so lost.
Please guys, I love your brother so much, and realize I can't help him at all if I'm not treating my disease either, which I have been doing aggressively with a treatment called Dialectical behavior therapy, support group therapy, and following the known lifestyle changes needed for bipolar.
The damage that he and I have done to each other by not treating our disease, can be placed largely on myself because I was aware of my diagnosis and just denying need for active constant treatment.
I would love for him to see the amazing opportunity we both have to heal together, and achieve a happy healthy functioning life with the built in support of someone who knows exactly what the other is going through and is also maintaining certain lifestyle changes that are needed.
Unfortunately all he can see is past destructive behaviors with us, and not a lot to support the idea of healthy function.
All I can do for him right now is wait for him to cope with this diagnosis, and make the decision that it isn't the end of the world.
FAMILY SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL TO HIS TREATMENT!!!
I've gotten a few websites from people in my support groups, that they said helped their families to grasp what this disease is.
An example of what the sites will tell you guys in terms of how you can help, is...
Tips for coping with bipolar disorder in the family
Accept your loved one’s limits – People with bipolar disorder can’t control their moods. They can’t just snap out of a depression or get a hold of themselves during a manic episode. Neither depression nor mania can be overcome through self-control, willpower, or reasoning. Telling a person to “Stop acting crazy” or “Look on the bright side” won’t help.
Accept your own limits – You can’t rescue a person with bipolar disorder, nor can you force someone to take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness.
Reduce stress – Stress makes bipolar disorder worse, so try to find ways to reduce stress in your family member’s life. Ask how you can help and volunteer to take over some of the person’s responsibilities if needed. Establishing and enforcing a daily routine— with regular times for getting up, having meals, and going to bed—can also reduce family stress.
Communicate – Open and honest communication is essential to coping with bipolar disorder in the family. Share your concerns in a loving way, ask the person how he or she is feeling, and make an effort to truly listen—even if you disagree with your loved one or don’t relate to what’s being said.
......The sites cover everything from, signs, personality traits, prevention of episodes, and the medical definitions for what this disease really is.
these are just 4 of the many many many I was given.
Whether or not he chooses to be with me or not I can handle that, but not the idea of him being lost and alone I cant except.
I know how much you love him, and how his pain has hurt and confused all of you deeply at one point or another.
I'm giving you the tools to stop not only his pain but the entire families.
I love you guys, and I'm sorry for not taking control and responsibility for myself earlier, there for maybe preventing some of his pain.