Posted by Selzach.
My mom is bipolar. She suffered post-partum psychosis after my birth and tried to kill herself. She was hospitalized for a year and eventually got well when the doctors realized she was bipolar, not just depressed, and got her onto the right meds. She was an great single mom and was mostly stable for over 20 years.
About 9 years ago she suffered neurological damage, we think from her meds. Her then-psychiatrist wasn’t monitoring her as frequently as he should have. It was awful – at one point she didn’t know who I was and couldn’t do simple tasks like dial a phone or balance her checkbook. Eventually another doctor figured out what was going on and put Mom through a series of neurological tests and got the meds straightened out. Mom improved, but was never the same. She went on disability because she can’t cope with stress and can’t really learn new skills. She now averages 3-4 visits to the psych unit a year. Her personality has changed as well. She used to be fun and kind. Now she’s judgmental, rude, and has a warped sense of entitlement. I don’t like what she’s become. If she was a friend or acquaintance, I would have written her out of my life years ago.
She’s pushed my husband to the point where he wants nothing to do with her. We do what we can to help her and we get complaints and a nasty attitude in return. I don’t feel like I can talk to him about it, because he’s (rightfully) angry at her. My dad understands what I’m going through, but has little sympathy for my mom after all he went through with her…it’s hard to
hear one parent be brutally honest about the other. Most of my friends have no idea what it’s like and have little comfort to offer. A few others ignore the subject when I bring it up – I guess the stigma of mental illness is too much for them.
This weekend my husband and I had her involuntarily committed. We went out for a few hours and she took an overdose of some meds. It’s not clear if she was only trying to go to sleep or was hoping to die. I sat and held her hand while my husband called the sheriff’s office. I don’t know what will happen when she’s released from the crisis unit. She can’t live alone, and staying with us isn’t enough anymore. I’m so scared for her, and I’m near my breaking point.
I don’t know how to help her or if I can help.