Dealing with a family member's mental illness

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
2831 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

if she is endangering herself (or others) you can have her committed. but if she’s not doing anything like that that, then there’s nothing they can do to force it. it sucks, but since she’s an adult, that’s what has to happen.

Post # 3
80 posts
Worker bee

I work in mental health and see this sort of thing day in and day out.  I really empathize with you and your family because I know how difficult this kind of situation is.  If you’re in the US, the best thing I could recommend for you and your family is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (  It is a fantastic organization and my families always tell me that the Family to Family classes are really helpful.  They’re facilitated by others who have the same experiences with a family member suffering from mental illness rather than a mental health professional. 

Post # 4
6166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i don’t know how old your sister but if your parents don’t want her in the house during the day, they can kick her out if they take away her key.

my mother had some behavior issues with my brother when he was in high school.  he refused to go to school for 100 days.  my mom talked to the police about what she was legally allowed to do.  she did not have to provide a roof over his head during school hours or in this case her work (8-5).  she kicked my brother out in the morning, locked him out of the house, and let him back in when she came home from work.

Post # 5
49 posts

annb9:  I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are dealing with. This can be an incredible stressor so I just wanted to comment to say that it’s really important that you and your parents find some supportive resources for yourselves from the very beginning because this likely won’t be a short-term issue for your family. Like families who struggle with members who are addicted to drugs, one of the most frustrating aspects of coping with mental illness in the family is that there will be times that there is literally nothing you can do for the person you love. While this is a very difficult time for your sister, it is definitely a traumatic time for you and your parents too, so please do everything you can do cut yourself slack, practice self-care, and connect with others in your community who are coping with similar issues. 

Post # 7
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’m really sorry you are going through this.  I have experienced this first hand.  My ex-husband developed psychosis just after we met. Over our two years of dating it looked like he was well again and not having symptoms.  About 3 months before our wedding he got very sick and hid it from me.  He tried to medicate himself with massive amounts of alcohol and Im 99% sure other illegal drugs.  For some reason he didn’t want to take the medications the dr prescribed.  After we had been married onlay 3 months I had to leave him as he had become so I’ll he kept trying to kill me and would bash me all the time because the voices made him do it. He was checked into hispitals but then would say he was better even when he wasn’t just so he could go home and then the bashing and trying to kill me would start again. I had no choice I had to leave home. He refused all treatments and would not take medications.  

All im tying to show you with my story is that with adults you can’t make them except treatment or help.  They spiral out of control so quickly and so bad, but they still don’t notice how bad they are.  It’s really really hard but you have to let them go a bit and let them deal with it themselves.  It will get to a stage they get so unwell the hospitals make them stay and they medicate them and treat them against their will and they get better then. Hopefully once they go home they continue with the tablets and treatment but I’m sorry to say a lot don’t.  It ends up a never ending cycle. This is why it’s so important for you to go to cancelling and get as much help for yourself and your mum and dad so that you can be healthy and strong. Your sister will do what ever she wants and there isn’t any way you can stop this. you cant watch her 24/7.  You need to see that as hard as it is, it’s her life and you can try to help her but if she pushes you away it’s not your doing. You have done your best. 

All my love and best wishes to you. If you ever need to talk PM me. 

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