Post # 17
@LynnSnow: I was actually agreeing with you. My posts aren’t always as clear as I want them to be. It happens to the best of us.
What I was trying to say: I understand why the OP may feel frustrated (doesn’t mean her reasons are right), but I also understand and agree with the points you made – such as mental health being a very serious issue that needs to be discussed and that the OP shouldn’t be so quick to judge her sister.
And I didn’t mention BPD at all. I was speaking strictly about Depression since that is the personal experience I have and the experience I have witnessed among various close family members, as I mentioned above.
@LadyBear: It’s good that you haven’t said these things to her. If she’s in an emotionally fragile state already then it would do much more harm then good. Whatever you do, make sure you do it gently and out of love not frustration. . . and if you aren’t capable of curbing your resentment then you shouldn’t be getting involved at all. It will only make things worse in the long run.
Post # 18
@LadyBear: Hi sorry to hear about your family situation. From what I hear almost every family have one of these. My oldest sister is 50 and she’s seriously nuts. I think she very depressed. I’ve talked to her about getting help on which she got upset at me and felt like I was calling her crazy which I never did. I am from a family of 9. Every time one of our siblings gets a gf/bf, she does every thing she can to destroy it. She doesn’t like anyone and always throws herself a pity party. She often fights with her husband and runs out of the house whether it be 1 or 3am, shoes or no shoes. Sadly, there isn’t much we can do also. My second sister and mom still babies her, while I’ll talk cordially with her when I see her. Bc anything else she would start crying (even in public) and walk off bc nobody understands her. She has two children. One of which is in high school now and has problems of his own bc his mom isn’t emotionally there for him or if she tries she tells him “don’t hang out with your friends, all losers and smells like they smoke weed”. She doesn’t know any of his friends or ever taken the time to know them. It’s sad but we can’t do much for her until she realize she needs help and for my family, not any time soon.
Now, let’s move on to SO’s family. Family of three. Him and his sisters are all 1.5 years apart, youngest being 24 now. SO and middle sister are both doing well. Attended college and jobs great jobs. The youngest I was told had some mild depression in high school bc she wasn’t as bright as her sibblings and was always being compared to them by their parents. From them on, EVERYONE babies the youngest to a degree that I can’t fathom. At 24 yo. She’s not feeling well, HER mothers calls me to ask me questions, not her who would know her symptoms best, her mom. Youngest moved out of her apartment, we all went to help move. No problem, moving boxes is expected. Folding (yes, folding underwear and wiping dusty DVDs are not). She never drives if she doesn’t have too bc everyone is too worried, so everyone rotates driving on long trips but her. I think all of this babying will be a huge set back for his sister to be independent and makeresponsible decisions as she become a real adults. Her family tries to cushion every fall (did I mention when she got a promotion (nothing big), broke up with her bf (she initiated it), or needed to go to urgent care, her mother called SO, me, and her sister to talk to her and do with her to urgent call?). Urgent care ended up to be nothing of course -_-
Good luck with everything with your family. Try to keep sane tho it’s hard
Post # 19
@LoggerHead91207: Yeah, I went back a re-read what you had to say. I saw “however” and thought that it was a disagreeing “however” but I realized after I read it again, that it was agreeing/building on what I was saying. I added an edit my post, but you were likely already typing. This topic is really close to home, and I’ve dealt with, and am still dealing with a family member who “just doesn’t get why I can’t just grow up and deal with it.” (It being my mental health issues.) Luckily this person is not an immediate family member, but to my face this person told me “I do not like you as a person, but I love you as family.” I really think it is impossible to not like someone as a person, but love them as family, as I certainly do not feel any love from said family member.
Post # 20
So sorry you’re going through this. Has anyone ever spoken to her about going to a psychologist and/or a psychopharmachologist? When she starts her “freak outs” whomever she’s speaking to needs to tell her, “I cannot help you with your problem. You are tearing our family apart and you need to seek professional help. Can I help you find someone to talk to about your problems?” If she continues to be disruptive or doesn’t want your help and you’re on the phone then you need to hang up. If you’re in the same house/room you need to leave. You can’t fix her problems and they’re not your problems even though it feels like it. You especially can’t help her if she doesn’t want to fix herself.
She has already begun to affect your relationship with your family and I think you should probably seen counseling yourself if you havne’t already. You do not (DO NOT) want her actions to start affecting your marriage.
Post # 21
@LynnSnow: Lol! That’s ok. I understand it was a bit confusing.
I was fortunate to have an understanding family. I think its because my Aunt was depressed for a long time (she had some other health issues as well) and wound up killing herself; I think having something like that hit so close to home can change your perspective a lot.
And I also feel very strongly that people are way too judgemental when it comes to mental health. No one chooses to be mentally ill, just like no one chooses to get cancer. It sucks that more people don’t really understand that.
Post # 22
@OctBride-2012: You are tearing our family apart and you need to seek professional help.
Actually no, you should never lay this kind of blame on a sick person, even if it is true. Just like “fat shaming” doesn’t get overweight people to lose weight, guilting a person with mental illness doesn’t get them to seek help.
Post # 23
@LoggerHead91207: Exactly. Society has trained us how to deal with people who are physically ill, but unfortunately, not many people know how to properly cope with those that have mental illnesses, especially because they can effect people to such varying degrees, and it can be hard when someone doesn’t react to a situation “normally”. I wish everyone would read up on mental health issues, and learn how to more properly handle the “unseen” illness.
As you know, it is extremely hard for someone to admit to themselves that they might be mentally unwell. And honestly, as cliche as it sounds, people need to go listen to that old Matchbox 20 song, “Unwell”.
But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be…me
Post # 24
Contrary to the opinion of a pp, I do think it is possible to love someone as a family member, but not like them or their behavior. But for circumstance of birth,I think many of us have people in our lives that we would not choose to associate with if they were not family.
@LadyBear: You can’t fix it. Nor is it your responsibility to fix your sister. I suggest counselling, not to fix you, but to give you a better understanding of your role and the limitations of same. When you are feeling better about your position in this, you may want to suggest counselling for your other famiy members.
Post # 25
@LynnSnow: Yeah, rethinking things you’re correct. She does need to tell her she need to speak to a professional though. It’s hard dealing with someone with mental issues. My husband and I are doing it right now with her brother and it’s so infuriating sometimes.
Post # 26
I don’t know if this is relevant, but it’s occurred to me that maybe I should mention that my Darling Husband has clinical depression so I do have some experience with people who mental health issues. I am patient with him, and we have learned how to navigate his episodes as a team.
I struggle with my sister more because I don’t know who can help her. Darling Husband had family members who made sure he got help when he started showing signs of depression. My family didn’t do that for my sister – I’m not sure any of us realized she was sick until the suicide attempt – and my parents aren’t taking the needed steps to talk to her, although I’ve asked them to.
I don’t know who else is left – I agree that it probably shouldn’t be me because of our difficult relationship, but I feel as if there is no one else. I don’t want to lose my sister or watch my family fall to pieces.
Post # 27
I dealt with something similar with my ex. He was diagnosed as bipolar (post divorce), and he attached himself to me – even though I was his ex, I was the person he called for EVERYTHING. I finally had to have the conversation with him of ‘I understand that you’re sick, and you’re working to get help. But I can’t be your 24/7 on call person. I’m your EX wife, and this is not appropriate behavior.’ It wasn’t healthy for either of us, and it got to the point where I was terrified to look at my phone in case he called.
I know you can’t force her to get help. But it would probably be a good idea for you and your parents to see a professional. You’ll be able to understand her situation better, and you’ll be able to set appropriate boundaries and hopefully improve communication with her.
Post # 28
@LadyBear: I’m sorry you and your sister and family are going through this and I understand first hand the difficulties you face. Thank you for being honest about your resentment — it is only natural in these circumstances you describe and considering your history with her. I do think that you can get past that and as pp said, reach a point where you can eventually disengage from it all so it doesn’t harm you.
I would suggest, however, that before you disengage, if you can bring yourself to it, visit your sister when it is not a crisis time. I know, I know, it seems like it is always a crisis time, right? Well, find a pocket of time. If your parents or another family member can come along, great, but if not, consider visiting her and talking with her about getting consistent help. Don’t invite too many people and make a big deal intervention out of it or else she’s more likely to feel attacked. Emphasize the options, not so much the past and how this or that was ruined. Talk future tense and in the now of helpful options before her. Hopefully, she’ll accept your help or the help of someone else to guide her toward the right counseling and/or medication. But she has to want to do it. If not, I suggest you keep contact with her to a minimum if mom and dad call and ask why you’re disengaging, tell them you’ve done your duty.
People aren’t bipolar — they have Bipolar Disorder. There is a difference and it is good to acknowledge the proper term. Your sister is a person who might have Bipolar Disorder, she might be depressed, she might have severe anxiety. It could be any number of things. But the disorder doesn’t define her entirely, much like any disease wouldn’t define someone entirely. It is certainly clouding who she is, I know, and it is a part of her, but not the whole puzzle. Good luck to you and your family.
Post # 29
As the sibling of a sister with psychiatric conditions I can tell you this is not an easy thing. Sometimes they just really can’t help being how they are. For starters I would strongly try to get her to go to a psychiatric evaluation. Things can change for the better with treatment. They won’t be perfect, or ideal, but with some treatment things can be manageable. She’ll very likely find herself at a happier place, and that will also reflect on peace of mind for all of you.
For sure her way of dealing with things will still be there, but she might have less and less tantrums and be a bit more productive. If she truly has a mental disease, they can be real dissabilities. And therefore, her not being as successful as you guys are has an explanation. To be honest, it wouldn’t be fair to measure her success or failures with the same chart of yours.
And trust me I understand and feel your pain. I just had one hell of a summer with my sister. And NOT in a good way. It is hard to understand them, at times to even like them and not reject them. It is hard to remind ourselves that sometimes they can’t really help themselves. And I say sometimes because one of their traits is that they can be really manipulative!
When I am feeling really at the verge of going nuts, I try to remember my worst days, my lowest points ever and how it feels to have your mind in such a dark place and being such a chaotic place. Then I try to imagine how it would feel to always feel like that. It’s Heartbreaking. So by doing this I can regain some compassion to deal with her while still not crossing the line of the boundaries I’ve had to set as I grow up. I am the baby sister, which is even trickier because there is also a respect aspect going on as she’s 13 years older.
Good luck. And I would strongly advice to motivate her to get evaluated. Make her feel hope that she could be/do so much better with a little help.
Post # 30
@LadyBear: Sounds similar to the situation between me and my sister.
Long story short, I’m done with her. She won’t be invited to my wedding. She won’t know my future children. I’m done.
Live your life and stop taking care of her.
Post # 31
@LadyBear: Wanna trade sisters? As bad as your sister seems…mine may be even worse. She’s 39, and addicted to drugs. She has destroyed our family…like a tornado rips through a neighborhood-flat destroyed it. My parents have raised her oldest, and now her younger two. She has almost died too many times to count. She went through acute liver failure (comatose for days), 2 major drug induced vehicle accidents (hit a dump truck head on). She was resuscitated at the scene and air lifted where she spent weeks fighting for her life. She has went unconscious at picnics from chewing narcotic pain patches, been septic from skin infections. The list goes on and on. I’ve tried and tried to help (including getting her into rehab, she refused). To this day, she says she does not have a drug problem. Her husband was so high at the ER 2 weeks ago that the staff called the police and he was arrested after assaulting the officer, but she still maintains no drug dependency. My parents pamper her like a baby, and don’t even call me or my family on Thanksgiving. I feel your pain OP….I really really do. It gets so old! I’ve decided to cut off my family. People that don’t want to change….won’t.