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To be totally miffed at this? Family member with MH issues

(36 Posts)
Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 05:53:04

I have a sister who is extremely unwell at the moment, she is bi polar and has a personality disorder! SHe has not been taking her meds and for the first time in 15 years has become a danger to herself and others!

I spotted this early on, tried to talk and get her to attend drs, to no avail. So I took control of the situation, I contacted her GP also my GP, explained my worries! My GP is wonderful and also confirmed her worries and that my sister needed a mental health assessment! So cutting a long story short! A very very stressful 10 days ensued! Police involvement, lots of anger from my sister to me, lots of dashing round to various places to ensure my sister was safe, not harmed herself etc etc!

I am pleased to say that last Friday, she was taken to hospital and is safe! Refusing to see family at the moment, but once things have settled down that will change!

I am now met with the drama of the rest of my family, who did sod all! And now saying to me, don't you feel bad you did that? No, I don't, should I? I had to take control to ensure everyone was safe, my sister has suicidal tendencies and things were escalating alarmingly! A mental health assessment is a medical decision, not me ringing and having the power to throw someone in an institution as it was 200 years ago!

In short I am being made to feel wrong, this is now that my sister is safe and well! Before that I was being harassed every five minutes to get things sorted!

I have had to get up and leave my office twice to rush 10 miles to deal with situations! And loads of other stuff outside work hours!The others have done nothing!

In short I was damed if I did and damned if I didn't!

I feel to call a family meeting and explain this all to them and that we are all responsible to try and ensure that our sister does not get this ill again!

I would call a meeting, but I am so bloody angry at their now whoa are us attitude, that I can't be bothered to see them!

I hope I don't come across as heartless, I'm not, but my sister as a doctor and social worker said was extremely unwell and is now receiving treatment, she will now get better!

I think my family are uncomfortable with mental health issues and don't see that this situation was the same as if she had a physical life threatening illness! She needed hospital care!

AIBU to feel outraged by the rest of the family?

Chottie Fri 18-Jan-13 05:49:29

You have been incredibly strong, dealing with a really difficult situation. From what you have posted, there was no other option. If everyone had stood back what would have happened then?!?!?

Do you think the other members of your family feel a bit guilty as they did nothing and attacking you is their way of dealing with it?

AdoraBell Fri 18-Jan-13 01:58:55

It shouldn't be the OP's responsibility, but the fact is many people don't like the idea that their relative has MH issues. Neither of my parents took any responsibility when their son (my brother) had a complete breakdown, for example. It really is amazing what people can deny when they set their mind to it.

OP you absolutely did the right thing, even if your sister never acknowledges the fact, you quite probably saved her life.

One option re your family is to tell them now that next time intervention is needed X family member is to be called because you've done your turn. You may not feel comfortable doing that, if you don't then ignore me, but as long as you continue to drop everything and run to your sister's aid then no one else needs to put themselves out. I'm not saying you would be wrong to continue to rescue her, just that it shouldn't always fall to you.

samithesausage Fri 18-Jan-13 01:07:46

The problem with mental health is that it is an invisible disability. Some people just don't notice it or don't want to notice it until its too late.
She's lucky to have a sister like you. Hopefully she's going to be back on track soon.

Yfronts Fri 18-Jan-13 00:44:14

They seemed to play down her issues as they can't cope/understand/deal with it. But I recon you could have saved her life?

Is it worth writing to your sister (if allowed) to say that you took these steps because you love her deeply?

susanann Thu 17-Jan-13 22:40:13

well done charlie. perhaps your family didnt know how to cope with it and now feel embarrassed at their lack of action? so glad you stepped in. Hope your sis is soon well again.

Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:41:00

Horatia is everyone said why is it my responsibility and no one did anything, then a lot of people including my sister would be in serious danger.

I took it as my responsibility because she is my sister and I could see she was unwell.

HoratiaWinwood Thu 17-Jan-13 21:26:46

It's Horati*a*.

Admittedly I worded my post poorly: I didn't mean "why is it your business" but "why is it your responsibility" IYSWIM. I still don't see why it should have fallen to the OP to save her sister, and I wonder if the family has a history of ignoring problems until they either go away or explode.

OP, I'm sorry if I offended you. Next time I read a thread quickly and get confused, I'll just stay away.

Moominsarescary Thu 17-Jan-13 21:19:39

Luckily your sister had you around op to look out for her.

Too many people like horatio don't think it's their responsibility if a family member becomes unwell, when it's so important that they get the help and support they need ASAP before things progress

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 17-Jan-13 21:14:57

Charlie It takes real love to do something like that, she obviously needs help, well done for braving the storm and getting her safe, she may not thank you now, but one day she might.

Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:08:57

Oh angel I am so sorry to hear that, dreadfully sad x x

AngelWreakinHavoc Thu 17-Jan-13 21:07:54

I had a complete mental breakdown 5 years ago and had no one to help. I lost my home, my kids and my life, I was screaming out for help at the time and I never got it till I finally cracked. I wish I had a Sister back then like you. You absolutley did the right thing smile thanks

Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:02:22

On horatio, the reason I had to deal with it, was because someone needed to take control!

In fairness, one person needs to be coordinating things, that was me. But I would have welcomed some support in the back ground.

Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 21:00:16

Elmsfilbert that is great, a true reflection that mental health illness, is like a physical illness, it just needs the right meds to make life liveable.

Sadly, there is still too much ignorance of mental illness, too many people fear talking about it.


StormyWeek Thu 17-Jan-13 20:54:21

Wow Horatia, you don't seem to "understand" anything. Maybe you should ignore the thread!!!!

Charlie, you've done the best thing for your sister and she will be so thankful. My mum flashed her boobs at the local priest, told everyone my Dad had been promoted, and donated huge amounts of money we didn't have, to charity, in one of her many manic phases. She's now bi-polar, rather than back then being a manic-depressive. Different name, same shit storm. She never remembers the mad stuff she does, which is GOOD.

Your families reaction is wierd and depressing. I don't think you should engage with them just yet- they have no right to berate you.

People like your sister, in her state, need others to take care of them. Yu did the right thing. Repeat the mantra, and rest easy x

Charlie97 Thu 17-Jan-13 20:48:42

Thanks all, feel a lot better about it all today. Especially with all these positive comments. I know in my heart I did the right thing, it started on Boxing Day, it was just a "feeling" I had then, nothing I can say specific. By the 9th jan it had reached a critical level, with very extreme behaviour, so imagine how it would have been had it continued by now.

Spoke to hospital today and she is still unwilling to see me, I do know this will change!

But already, they are considering moving her from the high dependency ward, maybe middle of next week. So that's positive.

The family have obviously picked up on my feelings, they have been texting most of the day and being very positive.

Thanks for all your positive comments, I hope soon her meds are sorted and everything will be better for her.

All that and only one! grin


sukysue Thu 17-Jan-13 20:34:25

Well done op your sis is getting the treatment she needs sod your family weaklings by the sound of it.

SirBoobAlot Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:47

Your sister is lucky to have someone willing to take the needed steps to put her care first.

Your family have the attitude they are will not be helpful for you, or for your sister whilst she is ill.

Take care of yourself now whilst she is in hospital.

Emzfilbert Thu 17-Jan-13 20:26:07

As someone with bi polar I can say in my opinion you absolutely did the right thing. In the past I have been sectioned following my family's intervention which at the time I found really hard to take and was very angry but without their intervention I could be dead now rather than happily married with a beautiful 6 month old daughter.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 20:15:43

I think the OP can be allowed a few exclamation marks given what she's just had to cope with.

You did the right thing, OP. Hospital beds aren't exactly in plentiful supply - if they've admitted her then she clearly needed to be admitted.

Moominsarescary Thu 17-Jan-13 20:10:03

How do exclamation marks make an op hard to read hmm

HoratiaWinwood Thu 17-Jan-13 19:03:43

Is your full stop key broken? All the exclamation marks make your OP hard to read.

I don't understand why it was particularly your responsibility to get help for your sister. I don't understand what reservations the rest of your family have.

I hope your sister is well again soon.

MammaTJ Thu 17-Jan-13 19:01:55

I worked in a psychiatric hospital and know that once people are on the road to recovery their resentment turns to gratitude.

I work with someone, she is also a friend, who has bi polar, she has been grateful too when people have stepped in to help her.

DeepRedBetty Thu 17-Jan-13 18:56:52

The only thing yabu about is using exclamation marks at the end of every sentence grin

Really pleased dsis is safe, and sad that the rest of your family don't seem to realise that getting someone admitted is actually incredibly hard work, what with the chronic under-funding of MH services. There's no way she would have been admitted if she didn't have a genuine crisis level need.

Best wishes for a speedy return to health for her, and here's some biscuit biscuit biscuit to virtually chuck at your twit relatives.

McNewPants2013 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:48:10

well done Charlie.

you got the help your sister was in urgent need for, if your family cant see that than i am glad your sister has you.

gordyslovesheep Thu 17-Jan-13 18:43:55

YANBU - My sis is Bi polar - thankfully under control for the past 15 years but you did the right thing and I am sorry your family are being so bloody silly x

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