3 thoughts on “When Your Mentally Ill Child Refuses Help

  • May 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Dear Kat…that was the most difficult issue we dealt with when our bipolar daughter became an adult. As a child in our home we could transport her to the dr., follow up on medications and know when she needed help the most. As an adult child, we as parents felt helpless. I promised to pay for medications when she could not, pay for visits to her Dr. and drive her if necessary. I know that she didn’t want to be dependent on us. I just wanted her to embrace her bipolar and learn to manage it, without us. She couldn’t. The stigma was too great for her. She didn’t want to use bipolar as a crutch, she didn’t want people to treat her differently. She didn’t want anyone to know. She would not say, “I am bipolar.” Her father and I chose NOT to become her legal guardian, knowing that it would only make the situation worse. We knew that unless she wanted to change how she was managing her illness then there was very little we could do. We loved her unconditionally, kept her fed, a roof over her head, and cared for her children when she could not. Unfortunately,after struggling with depression from a divorce, our daughter chose to end her life. We missed the warning signs. And maybe she got better at hiding them. To this day I will wonder if we did the right thing. If there is anything I want to come out of this, is that if you are an adult with bipolar, please learn to manage your care and ask for help. Those who love you are more than willing to be there every step of the way.

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  • May 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    It was a long and difficult road with my son. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his early 20’s. But his problems showed up long before the diagnosis. When I learned that he had bipolar disorder, I knew in my heart that we had a lifetime of caring for him ahead of us. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years later. So it became a challenge to care for him as well as take care of myself. There were times when we were well and happy as a family(mother, father daughter, son) But there were also many times of fear despair frustration and overwhelm. Our son died at the age of 43 of alcoholic liver disease. He self medicated with alcohol. For a while we tortured ourselves with what if’s. If only we had done this or that, we might have been able to save him. The reality we couldnt save him because he didnt want to be saved. He knew he was killing himself with alcohol. And he was fine with that. More than anything he didnt want to drag us in to his drama. But somehow he always did. Our only comfort is that he knew we loved him to the very end.

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  • February 23, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Often people who suffer with mental disorders turn to drugs and alcohol to escape their pain or self medicate. This was the case with our adult son. After years of seeking help and he rejecting said help I found that my state (Florida) has a law called The Marchman Act that compels your loved one to get help. This may not be the answer for everyone, The Act will help those with co-ocurring diseases (mental and substance abuse). If it will help one person it’s worth the post. (I don’t post) It saved my son’s life.

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