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to think my sister is threatening suicide because she is jealous?

(186 Posts)
rugratowner Wed 17-May-17 11:53:27

I am new to mumsnet so forgive me if this is not an appropriate thing to ask, but I don't know who else to talk to about it:

A little background:

-I am a new mum to a 5 month old. (First grandchild for my parents)
-I got married one year ago.
-My sister (mid 20's) has just started her first job and still lives at home with my parents. Shes very pretty, slim, has lots of boyfriends. Started a great job recently.
-Sister has a history of depression (major episode about 8 years ago which caused our family a lot of heartache and stress as we just wanted her to get better and be happy.) But the passed few years she has been pretty happy...

-Firstly, last year she didn't turn up to my 2 day hen party (All expenses paid by my friend, so not like she couldn't afford it) She has never acknowledged/apologised that she never showed up. But my mum put this down to the fact that 'she is overwhelmed' and she didn't want to put pressure on her incase she gets depressed again.

-She later threatened to not come to my wedding (where she was my only bridesmaid) as she had booked her mini 5km marathon, and "it was selfish of me to have booked my wedding day on that day" (it was the only day the venue had available that year, and to be fair, I had no idea about this mini marathon.)
-She caused drama the night before my wedding. Leaving me to have my dinner alone (when it was supposed to be a joyous get together with the 'girls' in the family)

Recently (coincidentally?) since I have had my baby, I get texts from her threatening to kill herself. Saying life is too hard, there is no point to living e.t.c.
My mother often phones me up in tears to say she is worried my sister is sloping back down into depression as my sister keeps telling her she wants to commit suicide.

She texts me ways she would like to 'do it'.

Is this mean? My sister is a skinny size 6. Yet i receive picture messages from her very flat tummy saying "look at how fat I am". "What diet pills can I take?" (Bearing in mind I have just had a baby so am feeling extremely flabby and unattractive myself. It feels like she is trying to hurt me)

It feels like my family have to walk on eggshells around her and can't say what we really think. My DH is very unsympathetic and says it is all for attention.

I mainly feel sorry for my mum who is getting most of these threats and has to live with her behaviour (which is very selfish- i.e. not doing any of her washing, cooking, bed sheets, leaves dirty dishes around, makes a mess with her cooking and leaves for my mum to clean up) My mum can't say anything as she is terrified she will slip back into depression.

I worry she might 'do it' but also I worry my DH is right and she is just attention seeking.

Is this jealousy or a genuine reason to be concerned?
(Please don't be too harsh- I have tried to not make it sounds like me-me-me, but I can't put it any other way.)

grannytomine Wed 17-May-17 11:56:39

Diagnosing mental illness is very difficult, there is no way anyone on the internet can say if this is illness or attention seeking. I would hazard a guess that your husband isn't qualified either.

I think she needs professional help and so does your mum.

sooperdooper Wed 17-May-17 11:56:59

I think yabu to put her depression down to attention seeking, and not everyone is jealous of getting married or having kids - it's just not what everyone aspires to

Is your sister getting help for her depression? Has she seen a GP? Counselling? Does she take medication and has it been reviewed recently?

BillSykesDog Wed 17-May-17 11:57:31

She's not 'slipping back into depression', she's already in it. And if someone was that far gone they would do things like that for attention they would have mental health issues anyway!

Your attitude doesn't sound very nice.

Sparklewater Wed 17-May-17 11:58:57

What a horrible situation for all of you to be in.

It does sound like your sister is struggling, for whatever reason, and that she's (probably subconsciously) reverting to negative behaviours to get reassurance / attention. It's shitty for you, but not hugely surprising that it happens when something 'good' is happening to you, so you get positive attention.

What do you reply when she sends these texts?

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 17-May-17 12:00:00

Your attitude is really awful.

Redredredrose Wed 17-May-17 12:01:08

To me you sound completely smug, self-centred and complacent. Even your poor sister's original bought of deiressionnis described by the way it affected you. It really does sound like she's having a major depressive incident. She needs to see a doctor and tell them she's having suicidal ideation, and stay away from you and your husband since you both sound completely unsupportive.

Redredredrose Wed 17-May-17 12:01:26

*bout of depression

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 17-May-17 12:02:19

She's not 'slipping back into depression', she's already in it. And if someone was that far gone they would do things like that for attention they would have mental health issues anyway!

Exactly this. You have a very busy and stressful life right now with a young baby and I can understand you not having the emotional strength to cope with this as well. But she does need help and it would be good if you could do whatever you can to facilitate this.

Isthismummy Wed 17-May-17 12:03:20

I second Billsykesdog Your sister is already severely depressed.

Is she getting help for her issues? In the nicest possible way op this isn't about you. Somebody that distressed cannot think clearly or rationally. I've been there myself and it's like a living death.

Your DH is also less than kind to describe it as attention seeking. It sounds like your mum needs help as well. It must be horrendous for hersad

stitchglitched Wed 17-May-17 12:03:53

Tbh when I was in the depths of depression having to go on a two day hen party or be in front of alot of people as a bridesmaid would have been my worst nightmare and utterly overwhelming. In fact it still would be now and I'm not currently depressed!

I don't think she sounds jealous, I think she sounds ill. She needs to be encouraged to seek help for her issues especially if she is feeling suicidal.

Hisnamesblaine Wed 17-May-17 12:04:33

She's quite obviously IS depressed. How does she manage at work? Seems like she did you a favour not attending the hen..... I can imagine you would have been treading on eggshells the whole time. Does she have counselling or a thearapist?

WarwickDavisAsPlates Wed 17-May-17 12:06:03

I'm not sure what's she's meant to be jealous of.

Have you been getting a lot of support and attention recently? Is that what she's jealous of?

I'm not sure the hen do is really important. I have depression and I might arrange something with friends then the day comes and I can't face getting out of bed.

It sounds to me like she needs help. Your DH might try and be a little more sensitive, even if she is seeking attention the fact that she's doing it by threatening suicide is still worrying and still an indicator that she needs professional help.

PainCanBeBeautiful Wed 17-May-17 12:06:09

Unless you have depression and suicidal thoughts, you will never know what it's like or understand.

I get that it's hard for you, it's hard for my partner too.
I do think you sound selfish and self centred though.

ShieldMaidenMamma Wed 17-May-17 12:06:33

You keep going back to her looks as if you don't buy that she has emotions because of your own jealousy. And then you call her jealous. I'm not meaning to be harsh, but consider for a moment if someone who considered you pretty said they didn't care about any of your problems because they felt that with your looks, you had no right to complain. Looks have NO bearing on how happy a person IS or SHOULD be for others' sake

AroseforEmily Wed 17-May-17 12:06:42

I feel sorry for your sister, when I was depressed I wouldn't have gone to a hen party, wedding or other social event.
I'd guess that she isn't attention seeking but that all the good stuff in your life is making her life look bad.
In the depths of depression I wasn't capable of doing anything so I can understand her not doing domestic chores at home.
The best thing you can do is to gently encourage a visit to the GP/ mental health team.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Wed 17-May-17 12:07:13

None of your post is not about you. It sounds like you resent your sister and she's already depressed.

sonjadog Wed 17-May-17 12:08:28

Her behaviour is quite possibly the result of her depression. Could you encourage her to go to the doctors to get help with it?

Elphaba99 Wed 17-May-17 12:08:41

She may be a "skinny size 6" but if she has any body image problems she will literally be seeing herself as fat. If she's depressed (which it sounds as if she is), she won't be thinking "Oh, my sister has just had a baby therefore will be feeling insecure about her own weight". Everything gets very foggy and things are desperately unclear.

I think your Sister IS suffering from depression, hence the apparent lack of thought for others, lack of self-care and care about her environment, etc.

It is very hard for you having had a baby and getting distressing texts about suicide. But instead of being impatient and assuming she's jealous and attention seeking, you might want to encourage your Mum to take your sister to the GP and get her some treatment! Surely that would be better for everyone?

PS Please don't make the mistake of thinking she has nothing to be depressed about just because she's "skinny" - depression and mental health problems just do NOT work that way.

EdmundCleverClogs Wed 17-May-17 12:10:28

Sorry, but it reads to me like you (and your husband) haven't the slightest idea how all consuming depression is. It may present as 'attention seeking', but her history suggests she is absolutely struggling (the weight/fat comment could be a big red flag).

Why are you trying to brush it off as nothing? Because your husband says so? Stop putting it down to 'jealously' and thinking everyone must want the life you have, and start asking your sister how you can help her through this. This isn't about you, or even your mum (though it is difficult living with someone who's depressed, she has my sympathy). Step up or step away.

ShieldMaidenMamma Wed 17-May-17 12:11:05

PS Please don't make the mistake of thinking she has nothing to be depressed about just because she's "skinny" - depression and mental health problems just do NOT work that way.


Areyoufree Wed 17-May-17 12:11:45

Surprised at some of these replies - your post didn't come across badly to me at all. It's very difficult when someone has got into the habit of attention seeking behaviour - I had a friend once who used to call me up in the middle of the night muttering incoherently about how she had hurt herself and was bleeding, hang up... And then turn her phone off. Then she would be on Facebook the next day, like nothing had ever happened. She was struggling, but never actually wanted help - she just wanted sympathy. Any practical advice would be taken very badly. It's a tough situation, because there's no way forward. She's having a bad time, and has learned unhelpful coping strategies. Your Mother wants to help her, but ends up reinforcing them. You're stuck in the middle.

I don't have any advice, just wanted to say that I can appreciate what a tough situation this is for you all.

CycleHire Wed 17-May-17 12:12:57

I have been mentally ill and I know my family worried about me but their desire that I 'get better' also put extra pressure on me. It's not easy on the individual or the people who care about them I know.

I'm afraid your post does sound a bit complacent and smug. But I know it's natural when you have a young baby to be in your own little world and understandable you might not have much emotional energy for other people's problems. I also wonder if you think your mum should be doing more to help you when you have a new baby and you might be resentful of your sister taking up so much attention when you think she should be more independent.

If your sister is talking about suicide then that deserves to be taken seriously. I don't see how you, your husband or anyone else can know whether it's attention seeking or not. But talking about suicide is a major risk factor for actually going ahead. Please please you and/or your mum should be encouraging your sister to go to a doctor - make her an appointment and get her there. Let them make a diagnosis.

StumpyScot92 Wed 17-May-17 12:14:21

To be honest, I think mental health problems always seem like 'attention seeking' to people who have never had to deal with them.

A lot of people throw around words like depression and anxiety these days like its the common cold but for the people who truly suffer it can be terrifying and overwhelming and it can make you do and say stupid things that you don't mean.

I'm a recovering bulimic who about a year ago contemplated suicide with great seriousness, researched it and picked my method etc for 'when the time came'. I had no other 'bad things' going on in my life, my job is fine (albeit stressful at times) I have an amazing DP who I wouldn't trade for the world and a close knit group of friends who I know I could call at 3am in a pinch and would show up in their PJ's just to talk if I needed it. The thing is, I never felt able to open up to these people, my DP knows about my bulimia and is a fantastic ear when I need to talk and always supports me but I have still to this day never told him how low I got. So I joined an online forum with like minded people who convinced me to go to therapy (as did my DP), which I did. But I often had conversations with people on the site like your sister is with you, discussing how you don't see the point in living etc (sometimes I was the one listening, and sometimes I was the one feeling this way).

It might seem selfish to put those feelings on to someone else but sometimes the only way to relieve the burden was to share it.

Chances are she has a lot more going on in her mind that she can't shake, can't understand and can't put into words. Encourage her to see her GP, the wait for therapy in the UK is long but if you get a good therapist they are worth their weight in gold. If she can afford it, go private because then you can be a bit more choosey about who and when you speak to people.

However I do get that this is hard on you and your mum and everyone else who feels so helpless and confused, there are also counsellors and groups out there who help people who need to support those with mental health too. Take care of yourself and if you can, try to help your sister to take care of herself too.

rightsofwomen Wed 17-May-17 12:14:42

"(Bearing in mind I have just had a baby so am feeling extremely flabby and unattractive myself"

It's a shame you feel unattractive with your newly post-partum body.
Sure, it's good to plan to get back to your usual shape and into your old clothes, but there is NOTHING unattractive about a body that just gave birth.

As for your sister. Why not go with your Mum to the GP and talk about it with them. They should hopefully be able to advise you.

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