(Closed) Not really wedding related…but emotional! Losing a friend to mental illness

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
781 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I want to give you a big hug.  You’re an awesome friend for sticking around.  I’m a psych nurse and it makes such a huge difference for some patients to have a support system.  It’s definitely hard…I’d suggest you go to NAMI (national alliance for the mentally ill), they have many resources for friends/family of the mentally ill.  But as much as you want to be a friend to her, remember to take care/protect yourself too.

Post # 4
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

You have my sympathy. My mother suffers from a similar condition, and always has. In fact, much of my childhood was spent trying to hold the family together and deal with her problems. She is now properly medicated for the first time in her life, after finally accepting that she has an illness, and last year I saw for the first time that she actually had a personality, which was a little sad. Now she is just a bit pathetic… very lonely, having driven everyone away, and in bad physical health… not the scary creature of my childhood.

You come first. These issues can send everyone around the sick person mad as well, and that won’t help anyone. If you are strong enough to deal with it, then by all means do, but if you feel fragile then you need to take a break, and that doesn’t make you a terrible person. People like this can drag you down with them if you aren’t careful. You need to make it clear to your friend that she is sick, and she can only come to your wedding if she takes her medication. If she is a complete mess, then she cannot come. Follow through with your threat… don’t risk runing your whole day when you have a guest who is capable of almost ANYTHING (I knowthis from experience).

Don’t worry about runing your friendship if she can’t come. People like this have ways of explaining away unpleasant things in their minds to avoid confronting the truth. For example: I am not sick. So why would my friend say that? Because the secret service have brainwashed her! But it’s not her fault! Sad to have to rely on someone’s fantasy and illness to save a friendship, but if she wasn’t sick then she would still be invited, right?

I hope this didn’t come across unpleasantly at all… you have my sympathy, and I hope I can be of some help!

Post # 5
4770 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sounds like you’re friends with my brother.  Being put through hell for the last 17 years as it ripped my family completly apart, you kinda loose all sympathy for that person, well at least I do becasue you see the cycle repeat and repeat and repeat and he’s had every opportunity in the world for some odd odd reason.  My parents would give up their life for him if they could.  He gets everything he wants but throws it all away. 

Illness or no illness and unfortunately, with mental illness you can’t really seperate the person from the illness.  Constantly my parents would drill into me, that’s not him, that’s the illness, but he IS the illness and the most toxic person I’ve ever met.  At some point you have to wonder how much more you can take and to what extent is it worth it?  I’ve seen my mom’s life compleatly extinguish to the point that she was more sick than he was.  So it makes me think he’s only one life that is destroyed there is no reason why I should destroy mine like my mom did and as I’m scared my dad will too and I really want nothing at all whatsoever to do with him becasue that one life, which is him, will destroy any other life that will alow it to get close. 

I can’t blame your friend’s fam or you if you cut the friend out of your life.  When you see constantly the same cycle repeat and no matter what anyone or anything does to help they just stay in the cycle it is really impossible to stick by them. 

Post # 6
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

@Atalanta:  I’m in a similiar situation to you. 

I see my brother, but having any kind of relationship with him is not an option for me. His unwillingness to stay medicated, makes him angry and unreasonable to deal with. I have chosen at this point in my life that if chooses not to help himself, then I can’t help him either. My only defense is to detach. 

I understand the guilt that you feel. My brother is married (she’s wonderful and much different than he, but obviously a few screws are loose) and I didn’t invite them to my wedding either, knowing that he would probably cause a scene. I’m pregnant and he will take no part in this childs life, except in the same way I do. I see him on Christmas morning at my parents, but we usually exchange a total of 10 words. My bonus son doesn’t know him as uncle, but describes him as the funny guy at Meme and Papa’s house.

Sometimes you have to make decisions for you and be a little selfish even though it’s hard. 

Post # 7
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My mom suffers from severe manic depression. Her reality is completely distorted. She has been in and out of mental facilities for the last three years. She’s had minor success with a couple of procedures, but I still miss the old mom. She’s lost her house, her family (all but my and one or two of her siblings), all of her money, and her job. The one person who has helped her through it all was her best friend. She has stood by her side, held her hand through procedures, driven her to the hospital, paid some of her bills, etc. I know it is a TON to take on, but I am beyond grateful that she has a friend who loves her that much to take care of her.

I really dont have advice to give. But I would recommend, if you are comfortable, looking in to having her put in a mental care facility. If you think she is of danger to herself or others, all you need to do is call the police. She will be angry at you. She may refuse to see you. But it might give you some peace of mind to know that she is at least getting help, even if it isn’t by her own free will.

I wish you the best of luck, and if you need any advice, please PM me.

Post # 8
3798 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I dont’ really have advice, but my family went through something similar this past year when one of my family members had to be in the hospital a few times for mental illness…so I’ve seen how hard it is.

I understand why you would want to let go and enjoy your wedding, etc. You will have to make that decision as to whether you want her there or not. Just keep being the friend that you are to her…it’s totally normal to feel the way you feel right now. However, being a friend to her is the best thing you can do. She most likely appreciates it in ways she will never let you know.

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