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To think my sister needs to grow up?

(50 Posts)
godricswallow Sun 21-Feb-16 18:41:43

She is 27. We get on OK. We arent the best friends and we dont have a lot in common but we can be amicable to one another.

She has suffered from severe mental health problems for a long time. Came out of school with few prospects and has never really worked in a paid job. She has done periods of voluntary work but nothing that has last more than a few months because she "cant cope with it all". She claims she gets very anxious around people and finds it hard to trust them. She got a paid job last year but left it because she said it was causing her distress.

She is a nice girl dont get me wrong. She still lives with my parents and helps them out around the house and in whatever they need etc. She has her own money through the benefits she get for her mental illness but doesnt pay rent/towards household bills/food.

My parents keep falling out over the fact she is still at home and its causing a strain on their relationship. Growing up they were very happy together but her constant mood swings and lounging about is causing them a lot of stress. Its hars for me to see if im honest and I do blame her. Part of me doesnt want to but a big part of me does.

She has seen many therapists, none of which she seems to get on with. She is constantly going back and forth to the GP and trying different medications which dont seem to work for her.

I dont know much about mental health issues I really dont. But surely at 27 and when she has been on this cycle for years she needs to start to make a change?

GabiSolis Sun 21-Feb-16 18:43:38

Maybe you should start trying to find out more about her illness?

PurpleDaisies Sun 21-Feb-16 18:44:08

This sounds very familiar. Have you posted before?

Buttons23 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:45:49

Yeah sorry but it's very clear you know little about mental health. I very much doubt your sister wants to feel like that and it's not something that can just go away with age.

I honestly think if you want to understand your sister more then you need to research mental health issues.

FellOutOfBedTwice Sun 21-Feb-16 19:21:49

You have my sympathy as I have a sibling who is similar. However I now am of the opinion that you can lead a horse to water and all that. I now just keep well out of it. I've never been thanked for trying to help. I suggest you do the same.

Katenka Sun 21-Feb-16 19:24:21

I can't say Yabu. As I don't know your sister or you. You could be someone who who doesn't get how much she is struggling.

She could be someone who is clinging on to her diagnosis in order to not have to grow up. It happens, not often but does happen.

What your parents do is up to them. It may be better if the encourage her to move out.

But it's so difficult to judge when you don't know anyone.

Gabilan Sun 21-Feb-16 19:39:22

The fact that she gets benefits suggests it's serious. They're extremely difficult to claim. She is also trying to tackle this by seeing her GP and trying therapy. She's ill, OP. It sounds like she's trying to change but some MH problems are manageable at best - there's no magic cure. I wish there bloody was.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 21-Feb-16 19:43:12

I don't think it's reasonable expecting someone with mental health issues to grow up. That shows how little you understand her problems, so you're not in a position to give advice.

Theendispie Sun 21-Feb-16 19:44:31

She may be unwell for life regardless of assistance offered and taken. She should however contribute some of her money to the costs of the household which is why she receives benefits. They are very hard to receive for MH issues.

VoldysGoneMouldy Sun 21-Feb-16 19:47:13

You sound like a twat. Do you understand how utterly crippling a lifelong mental health condition can be? The fact you obviously don't believe her when she says she can't cope with it (your use of speech marks) would indicate not.

She's 27, and you haven't thought to educate yourself surrounding her condition. What an absolute gem.

araiba Sun 21-Feb-16 19:49:02

yes,she should grow up. and get rid of that mh thing too


Gabilan Sun 21-Feb-16 19:52:43

OP your use of "claims" and "lounges about" jar with me. Has it occurred to you that maybe she is genuinely stressed? I can hold down a full time job but I find it exhausting.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sun 21-Feb-16 19:54:34

You sound like a twat. Do you understand how utterly crippling a lifelong mental health condition can be

I don't think you sound like a twat at all. I've have a little really very small experience of helping family members through mh problems. It is incredibly tough and draining.

It sounds like your sister does have a lot of problems. I know how hard it can be to remain supportive.

Just try and remember however frustrationing you find her condition it's 10 times harder for her. Best of luck to you and your sister flowers

Gobbolino6 Sun 21-Feb-16 19:57:10

I have a long history of anxiety which has affected me at work and occasionally my ability to work at all.
It was a serious MH condition and it has taken years of major work to get me to a place where I am 'averagely' functional and able to enjoy a 'normal' life. At 27 I wasn't there, at 34 I am 90% recovered.
I wouldn't have got ESA, and if she is on this I think you can be pretty sure she doesn't 'just need to grow up'.

yorkshapudding Sun 21-Feb-16 19:59:09

I can understand you being concerned about your parents and the impact that caring for your sister appears to be having on their relationship. I do think YABU to criticise her without making an attempt to educate yourself about her condition and the ways in which it might interfere with her functioning. As others have said, if she is getting disability benefits then she has obviously been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and assessed as being unfit for work or requiring a significant amount of support.

What is it you would like her to do? You say she needs to "make a change" but do you have any constructive suggestions as to how she might achieve this? "Grow up" is not constructive. It is possible that your sister may benefit from working towards a more independent living situation but it doesn't sounds as though you are best placed to make that judgement as you admit you know very little about her illness.

Foslady Sun 21-Feb-16 19:59:26

Ok OP - what changes do you suggest? Take it She's tried changing her meds if she's going to the Dr's regularly, and she's tried to find a therapist she can work with. What do you think she needs to do???

MollyRedskirts Sun 21-Feb-16 20:02:52

I'm going to be very honest at the risk of being flamed. You sound a bit like me talking about my brother a year ago. Similar age, similar everything. Except in the past year, my brother has been sectioned twice because his anxiety and depression had progressed to a point where he was a danger to himself. On the surface, he still appears like how you describe your sister.

It doesn't matter whether you think your sister should be able to make a change. The simple fact is that she can't, because she's ill. Change what, exactly? She can't magically make her illness go away.

Foslady Sun 21-Feb-16 20:08:53

Change 'mental health' to 'heart disease' OP, then maybe you can see how hurtful your post is. Your sister is ill, saying she should change things by now is like saying 'surely your heart shouldn't be an issue now, your 27'

iwuddarryl Sun 21-Feb-16 20:10:03

It's good that the OP is concerned for her parents.
Looking after someone with MH problems must cause a huge strain on their marriage.
People don't want to here that, but it does.
You say your sister get benefits? Maybe you could gently suggest that she contributes something towards her boards. Even a little amount could ease the strain a little.
Could you also offer to go out with your sister for the day (maybe once a week and somewhere your sister won't feel anxious)

Just having the one day (or even half a day a week) without your sister there, will give your parents the breathing space they obviously need.
It's not just about the sister.
MH affects the whole family.

iwuddarryl Sun 21-Feb-16 20:10:23

hear that

Bellatrixurstrange Sun 21-Feb-16 20:13:00

YABVU but I think the reason for this is jealousy. Your sister, in your opinion, does not have to be "grown up" due to her mental health condition. You are jealous because in your eyes she gets to live on Easy Street without having to work for her gains. You should be ashamed of yourself - what does she have to do to prove she's ill? Shave her head and have a breakdown?! Jesus wept! With sisters like you who needs enemies?!

One day an event might trigger YOU to become ill. Then you'll know how it feels to struggle to live like the people you went to school with. You'll feel depressed at every birthday knowing another year has passed and you're still not fulfilling your potential and your friends who used to spend time with you have lost interest.

Stop being a despicable jealous narrow-minded bigot and support your sister. She may get run over tomorrow then how would you feel? Coz if it were me I'd feel ashamed of myself for being such a selfish cunt. Grow up!!!

Arfarfanarf Sun 21-Feb-16 20:13:45

Do you think that her mental illness is a choice and something she could decide not to have or that she could shake off if only she tried hard enough?

What is it that you think she should be doing?

Severe mental illness is not something someone can snap out of or decide to stop having. Life is probably very hard for her.

If your parents can't support her any more and need help, then fair enough, they can see whether she can move into some other accommodation but please try not to blame your sister for her illness. I guarantee nobody's life is made worse by it than hers'

queenMab99 Sun 21-Feb-16 20:14:36

If she gets benefits, they are to cover her living expenses, she should be paying something towards her keep, it will be even more difficult for her when she can no longer rely on parents, if she has never had to budget. I think the op is slightly more detached from the situation than her parents and can see problems ahead if nothing changes. people with MH issues do need support, however treating them as children to be eternally cared for is not a viable solution.

EweAreHere Sun 21-Feb-16 20:16:08

You can only control your behaviour, and actions. Not your sister's and not your parents'. So while I'm sure it's terribly difficult to watch your parents' stress and your sister's refusal/inability to live differently, it is not your place to do much about the situation. The only thing you can do is quietly tell your parents that you won't be taking on their caretaking role of your sister in the future if they think this is the plan and you don't plan to.

PovertyPain Sun 21-Feb-16 20:16:23

That's a lovely post iwuddaryle

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