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AIBU to think that the families of people with Mental Illness need more help than we get, because getting support is near on impossible [title amended by MNHQ at OP's request]

(159 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 15:26:41

I was going to NC but thought if I did, because of the contents I'd be labelled goady or a troll, I don't know.

I just want to know, Why is it, if you have a mental illness diagnosis, you can get away with anything you want to, at the cost of people being hurt, mentally and physically?

A member of my family is very ill, but nobody will do anything. Nobody at all will help, and it's making everyone involved in he life ill themselves.
Her parents are 79 and 80 years old. Yet still have to listen and travel and maintain her home and personal care because she won't clean, won't cook, won't move out of her house to buy food, and just screams at them daily, the most disgusting things. Her mother cries to me on the phone that she thinks one day she's going to just fall asleep and not wake up, and sometimes she hopes that she does, because she knows what she's waking up to.

I've moved house and moved town to escape the upset, of her walking into my home, screaming at my children and at me, accusing DH of false imprisonment, and of murder, sending Police to my home because she believes we are all political prisoners, so we left and moved into another County. I tried and tried to get her help, but she refuses medication. Says it makes her tired and fat. This has been said after every single medication switch, from tablets to a depot injection.
But now, the MHS have deemed fit to discharge her, and said its against her human rights to be medicated against her will.

Now, we are having to look at moving house again, because she found people online to find out our address and landline phone number for her (even though we're ex directory, and not on the main electoral register), and now uses that information to hound us.

I have told her, over and over and over, and over again, to leave me alone. I've honestly begged in tears for her to stop. I can't listen to the outlandish and to be honest, disgusting delusions and hallucinations anymore.
I've had enough. I've heard them for 20 years, but distanced myself from her 10 years ago because she refused help every time, was Sectioned three times in different districts but appealed each one, and was released, and then the very same day started to upset and disturb my children.

She absolutely refuses to see that she is ill. She says her medical records and psychiatric reports have been falsified, the doctors used her for experiments into genital mutilation and implanting pregnancies in her which they then removed (this is all in the UK by the way, no cultural or religious reason for her to think she's been victim of FGM).

She attacked in the street late last year, gouges in my arms and bruises on my neck and back, but when I phoned the police they said they couldn't arrest her as she is mentally ill, and they would have to refer it on to her local mental health services.

I have contacted the local MHS in her area, the Crisis Team, and the Police there even, because she has threatened to travel and get into my home here "to make sure I know straight from her face".
She has harrassed DD1 who is a child, messaging about how the Royal Family personally sanctioned her rape and her mutilation, and that her DDad (my DH) keeps me locked up which is why I don't talk to her any more.

I can't take this anymore. I've kept all texts and phone records, and there are literally dozens and dozens of messages from both me, DH and her own Parents, to leave us alone. I'm done trying to help when she won't help herself.

Today, the Police have come AGAIN to check on my welfare, despite me explaining to them the last fucking time, that she is mentally ill with a formal diagnosis.
I'm taking mood stabilisers, beta blockers and Diazepam from my GP at the moment because I can't breathe properly, can't sleep, and just go between sadness and rage that nobody will do anything to help.

The MHS tell me to contact the Crisis Team, if it's that urgent.
The Crisis Team told me to contact the police if I feel threatened or if she is a danger to herself,or anyone else.
And the POLICE just told me their hands are tied, because there's different provisions for handling the mentally ill, than general public.

I live a quiet and happy life normally, just me, DCs and DH, but this is making things hell. I can't sleep, DH is really upset he's publicly being labelled a wife beater and keeping me under house arrest, and our DCs are feeling the knock on effect because I jump when the door knocks, the phone rings, and dread knowing what's next, and nobody will help.

Can someone please tell me what the hell I can do, because I can't see a way forward and out of this.
Get a mental health diagnosis, and you can so what you want.

How do I get her treatment, or someone to at least do something, before I crack up? What the hell do I do?

VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 15:31:38

Thank you to anyone who has any advice about what (if anything) can be done.x

fourcorneredcircle Sun 20-Mar-16 15:36:24

I didn't want to read and run, I have a brother with significant MH issues too. The time and effort it takes to keep him safe and my family out of harms reach is something that people from the outside looking in can find hard to comprehend. You have done everything right but the system is failing you. Do you have any local MH support groups? For families I mean. If not, a local MH support group for those who are I'll may be able to point you in a sensible direction. flowers

FixItUpChappie Sun 20-Mar-16 15:42:14

Its about a system that's all about individual rights and not at all about public safety (or even about the individuals safety/quality of life). I'm so sorry your in this position OP - it's not fair on anyone.

I hope someone with practical advice will be by soon.

Can you get a restraining order that includes your DH, kids, residence, kids school?

hiddenhome2 Sun 20-Mar-16 15:48:11

What a nightmare shock

Is she travelling to your area to harass you and your family? I agree that you should look into getting a restraining order, but I don't know what the courts would do if she broke it ? Enforce treatment on her, who knows. I'd get legal advice though. You deserve to live your life in peace without this level of fear and disruption.

ChannelFiftySeven Sun 20-Mar-16 15:51:17

The police have not done their job from what it sounds! Yes there are different ways that people with mental health move through the various systems but if you have been physically assaulted they have to investigate this. This is the same with the harassment you are experiencing. The police should be investigating this, supporting you and if necessary arresting her. They are perfectly capable of arresting people with mental health diagnoses.

But, having said all that, it is a difficult area and services often pass the buck - mental health, social care, the police - they all do it at times.

In this situation it sounds like the police should be arresting this woman and then, if they deem it necessary, arranging a mental health act assessment. If this woman is ill and putting people at risk she is section-able.

Good luck with it all.

firesidechat Sun 20-Mar-16 15:54:31

I can't say too much because it might upset the inlaws if they saw this, but my husband has a relative just like this and at times it has been absolute hell for the whole family. It is only now that the person is old and in a secure home for the rest of her life, that we can relax a bit.

I look at the person and think their life must be hell too, but it doesn't appear so. The delusions have largely protected them from the full consequences of their actions and according to this person there is nothing wrong with them and we are all out to get her.

I can't offer much in the way of practical help because getting help is very difficult, but also didn't want you to think that you were alone. To distance yourself totally is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, but it appears to be of limited use if this person is so determined to track you down. Our relative lacked the capacity to do that, thank goodness.

Can you get a restraining order against her? Can you keep pushing the police to act? Not easy I know, but there seems to be some buck passing going on here and I'm not sure I believe that action can't be taken by the police. Saying that, in our case action was only taken when our relative threatened people outside of the family. When it's just family members being hurt no one seems to care.

Sorry, that all sounds horribly bleak.

Bickwood Sun 20-Mar-16 15:56:24


pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 16:00:47

I don't think it's true to say the family suffer more but certainly families suffer too

More so than physical illness I think.

As with any situation - you have to protect yourself. MH is not an excuse, it may be a reason but it doesn't excuse the behaviour.

OTheHugeManatee Sun 20-Mar-16 16:02:43


VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 16:05:07

Thank you all for your responses, I have just spoke to a social worker who has told me the same as Channel57 essentially, that the police haven't exhausted the powers they do have.
I've been told to call 101 and tell them that they've spoken to an Approved Mental Health Practitioner, who recommends they go to her home to do a welfare check.

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 16:06:04

Also. I think you know this - she's not refusing to see anything. A well person could make the choice and refuse to acknowledge something.

Her illness means she can't see how inappropriate her behaviour is. It must be really scary to believe everything she does.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't harm you, and that you shouldn't protect yourself and your family from it. You absolutely should and you cannot be responsible for her or her actions. Her illness is making you ill.

BettyBi0 Sun 20-Mar-16 16:16:04

If you've kept records of dates and incidents then you can and should
get a legal restraining order. When she breaches the terms of this the police have a legal duty to act. Every time they have to act it increases the chances of her being re-sectioned as the police will have a duty to inform and involve community mental health teams.

I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you and your family - especially where children are involved. Have you tried contacting Mind for advice?

AmonAmarth Sun 20-Mar-16 16:20:16

I'm mentally ill and I always thought it made me suffer to the point of being suicidal, but apparently I just think I can get away with anything and it's my family who really have it hard.

OuchLegoHurts Sun 20-Mar-16 16:29:36

I'm mentally ill and I always thought it made me suffer to the point of being suicidal, but apparently I just think I can get away with anything and it's my family who really have it hard

Well in fairness, I think it totally depends on how you've treated your family!

VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 16:30:24

pigeonpoo you're right, I know, the rational side of my head knows that she can't help how she feels.
But the rest of me that has to have police turning up, calls from my DDs school, and not being allowed to sleep uninterrupted make me really angry and want to project it at her for what she's doing.
I know that's not a good way to be and I feel ashamed for hating her so much sometimes. She was amazing when I was growing up, I can't actually think of any time I didn't feel safe. I had a good childhood, and was loved and happy.
I say I hate her but I don't, I hate who she is now

MoonriseKingdom Sun 20-Mar-16 16:32:24

What a nightmare for your family. I have a sibling who has chronic schizophrenia. He had repeated episodes of psychosis in the past although this has been well controlled by medication in the past few years. I know it is hard to see but honestly as bad as things were for us (and I have some hair raising stories) life for him was worse. He really believed that people including those he loved the most wanted to kill him. He saw conspiracy and plotting everywhere. He was convinced the most awful things were true and yet knew that no one would believe him. I certainly wouldn't have chosen to trade places with him.

It sounds like people are passing the buck in your relatives case. As someone else said when she physically attacked you the police could have taken her in and got her assessed. I really hope you can get some help flowers

VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 16:35:48


I am sorry if my post has upset you. I am projecting my absolute despair at a situation that doesn't seem to be an answer to. I've been beaten, harrassed, kept awake for days, had riot vans turn up to my house on my Mum's insistence that I'm lying dead in my living room, had meetings at my childrens schools because she's said my family is in danger, banging on my windows in the night because theres "someone after her", and my children upset and confused because they don't know what their Nanny means in her texts to them.

My problem is not with people with mental illnesses. My problem is feeling I'm alone trying to cope with this because nobody will help my family. But I'm sorry if my phrasing of this has offended you.

Throwingshadeagain Sun 20-Mar-16 16:37:27

I feel extremely sorry for you OP and sympathise hugely but I think your thread title is insensitive and will be very hurtful for people going through the agony of mental illness.

I'd ask MN to change it so that it's more personal to your situation, rather than a general 'families suffer more than mentally ill people'.

pigeonpoo Sun 20-Mar-16 16:37:46

I know Violet

You hate the illness. You hate what the illness has caused her to do. You hate that the illness excuses her behaviour with some people, because the behaviour is still awful and consequences harmful regardless of the reason why. And it is an injustice when professionals like the police don't recognise that. While a court should decide if behaviour is punished, and could excuse it. The police shouldn't refuse to intervene to stop the harmful behaviour affecting others.

It's still the illness. It's not her personality. But MH becomes so emeshed, it's hard not to take it personally or see it as the person. She will be living hell too, sadly

Gabilan Sun 20-Mar-16 16:39:47

OP to answer your title question, it depends hugely on the type of MH problem. I have depression and day to day it doesn't generally impact on those around me. When it's bad it must be concerning for others particularly if they think I might harm myself.

For me, day to day, it rarely stops. I run to stand still and it is exhausting. I'm continually on guard and perpetually battling the black dogs that try to run me down. I'm not sectionable. I'm beholden to exactly the same standards of behaviour as everyone else.

I'm sorry you're going through all this but this one individual is just that. Millions of people cope with MH problems day in, day out and are very aware of how they impact on others.

sonjadog Sun 20-Mar-16 16:40:08

What happens when you ring the police back and tell them what the other services say? Or do you have email for them all? Could you mail them all together, tell exactly what has been happening and make it very clear that one of them needs to take charge, no passing the responsibility on to someone else. And then write again and again if they ignore?

I guess you've probabably done that already. I don't really know what you can do, but it sounds like hell.

VioletVaccine Sun 20-Mar-16 16:45:34

Throwingshadeagain I'd be happy for MNHQ to amend my OP title as I think you're right that it might come across as offensive or minimising struggles I know people with MH issues do face. I'm just really drained and probably venting too, but I didn't want to offend anyone sad

PurpleDaisies Sun 20-Mar-16 16:49:43

Violet I know what you meant with your thread title and it sounds like you're in a horrible situation. I do agree it isn't worded in a very helpful way-I bet if you report it Mnhq would change it for you.

Throwingshadeagain Sun 20-Mar-16 16:51:41

Oh gosh I know you didn't mean to offend, just report it and ask it to be slightly amended x

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