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Bipolar Disorder Message Board

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Hey Teester,

I can understand most people do not want to be the one that confronts someone about a concern they have about them, however, unless you want to continue to live as you are, you must be able to gather your strength and courage to approach her. I think that your husband needs to become more involved in this as well, get him to sit down with you sometime with the sole intention of speaking of this issue. Go somewhere if need be, out of the house so you have no distractions. Make a list of things you would like to discuss with him, and ask him to PATIENTLY listen . He is NOT going to want to hear of things his mother is doing- no one wants to believe someone in their family has a disease that will not just be cured with a flick of a magic wand. This is something the whole family needs to work on, if possible, get his siblings (if there is any) involved as well. Consider it necessary, especially if she tries to control things in others lives as she is doing in yours. Explain to her that you have every right to discuss this with her as you are being hurt, through emotional abuse and her taking control of things that are not in her territory. Request of her not to get defensive and be offended at the things you are going to tell her. She will most likely respond with self pity, she will probably think that you do not like her, or want her around. She may think you are jealous of her- explain to her that maybe you are, but you cannot allow her to dominate your life. Tell her how much you appreciate her wanting and willingness to help, and that she is more then welcome to come over. However, that she should start planning more in ahead, as you have things you would like to get done before you visit with people.

Instantly triggering an episode does not usually occur, its more set in patterns of seasons, life events or just gradual. You discussing this with her is important, its not something you should be scared of doing in case she gets down on herself. If you truly believe she will become depressed, remember that she is not on proper mediations (what I believe anyhow). Are you willing to approach your concerns with her doctor? This will also be very helpful. He will not give out any details, but he should be willing to accommodate your request of wanting to talk to her appropriately about her disease. If he is a good doctor, he will be assured your request is reasonable as education is always best.

I can see why you do not want to leave her with your son. Ask your husband what she was like when she took care of other kids- I am sure that if she raised your husband, she is capable of taking care of a child. its the degree of willpower from her to remember what she is doing, I would spend more time with the two of them, let her take care of him while you go about things as normal. Just watch and see if there are other things that alarm you. Plastic bags were once not considered an extremely dangerous thing in her mothering years., but her letting him sit on a chair alone is more dangerous. Do you trust her generally? Do you pick out things about her that could be potentially harmful? Do you watch others as carefully as you do her? Or do you notice yourself being more wary and apprehensive around just her? Your concerns are valid, but many people take their concerns over the top and produce an intentional dangerous person, rather then a human with regular faults like anyone. I am sure you have made some mistakes in your parenting, but have learned and obviously your son is healthy and alive. A misjudgment in you MILs caretaking could be upsetting to their relationship, as well as yours to your husbands. Many older people in society today are overeaters, as they did not grow with the abundance of food like we have now. Her freedom with food may be resulted of this, and obviously uncontrolled. Tell her you are trying to raise a healthy eater, and that your concerns for you husbands health has made you more aware of what you should be feeding your child. And that in this concern, you have regular diets and routines for him. In order to do this, you must allow this to be true. To do something is a lot more convincing then just to talk about something. Show her how you are feeding your son.

My own history with bipolar is long but very short at the same time. I have not been treated for it as I have other medical conditions that are needing to be stabilized before I start taking more meds. I have gone through depressions since age 10, my first truly manic episode was three years ago at age 18/19. Since, I have not been in any sort of a regular life pattern to determine any other moods. (I have hypothyroidism, dxd with thyroid cancer last fall, have gone through a great deal of emotions, but not linked to anything definite as of now). When my thyroid levels become stabilized, I will begin taking a anti-psychotic and a mood stabilizer. Most of my knowledge of bipolar disease comes from my own experience and research, as well as my ongoing degree in psychology. To be honest, I just have a ingrained sense of awareness of others and their emotions. I have worked with people for many years, counselling and helping them deal with life situations. I will be eventually going into psychiatry.

I know when I am entering a depression as I start withdrawing from my family and peers. I become mean and defensive, not caring who I hurt and why. My last depression was triggered by my medical circumstances, but many things where going on at the time so who knows. I am often depressed during December and January months, and more often hypomanic during the fall seasons. I would say I am too young with my episodes to have a good idea of my patterns.

Something to be aware of with a bipolar relative is that it is hereditary, and that your husband and son are potential carriers. I would not become worried unless you are having concerns already. Most people with the disorder have their first manic episode by their mid-twenties, and from that point on, the episodes could become more often and severe as time goes on. With treatment, the episodes will not be as prominent or severe, and most people can lead a regular life. This is where I see a problem with your MIL, she is not on proper meds for the proper treatment. She should be on a mood stabilizer, NOT an antidepressant. I cant say this enough.

I am very willing to help you with this, I just wish more people with bipolar disease had a support system that you are willing to provide. Ask more if you dare! I am not scared to answer with full honesty!


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