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My sister (bipolarison disorder)
March 9, 2001
5:50 am
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Sammy
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My sister when she was young tried to commit suicide by taking a whole heap of head ache pills. It was not successful.

Years later, she was getting on with life. I still thought she was mentally unstable but I was only her brother. She had only one counselling session and believed she didn't need any more. Then there were various times where she hit me with a cup or wouldn't let me in the house, threatening me with a large knife when I tried to climb through one of the windows. When ever she calmed down, she would always say that it was a joke. One time she waited for 3 hours in my room in the dark just so she could go "boo". I was afraid, very afraid.

Then she had a boyfriend who wanted to get married. She was in her last year of uni and completing her social work degree. He tried to convince her to leave uni and get married. She said no and then he said I found someone on-line to marry in the US. She was devastated. So much so, that she was admitted into hospital for bipolarison disorder. A disease she had just learnt about in her social work degree. The hospital would give her new information and then she would start to manifest the info she had just learnt. She would tell people that she had a mental disease to her friends or even potiential love interest. Even when the boyfriend had been so mean, when she left the mental hospital, went back and slept with him. She now blames her boyfriend for giving her bipolarison disorder.

This is probably sounding aweful, I'm practically calling my sister a liar. I'm not disputing that she isn't mentally ill but I feel that she is conning the doctors so that she can obtain the attention. She often talks about how everyone doesn't care about her and that she is the middle child and that this is middle child syndrome. Then she will try and get everyone to say she was in a worse way in hospital than my younger brother who was in hospital for a bleed on the brain. He was in there for four months while she was in hospital for a month and he had his brain opperated. I don't mind telling her that even though it is a lie but it eats up my mother who spent four months in a not so nice place. The brain injury ward was like a zombie ward.

My grandmother had the same condition but it was never diagnosed. She would watch medical shows and claim that she had back pains after watching a story on back pains. She also wanted to be the centre of attention and was very hurt when we went away on holidays and never telephoned often. That was because the telephone was near a washing machine and it was difficult finding another pay phone. She in the end killed herself but that was out of revenge for my grandfather not wanting her to have friends and live in a very oppressed lifestyle. Her killing herself doesn't really come in to it, only illustrates what a whacked up family I have on one side.

What the question was about if you are still reading is, do I have the diagnosis wrong. Is biopolarison about attention grabbing, even to the point that you fake diseases? What can I do when she won't take counselling and no one in the family agrees that she needs theraphy?

March 9, 2001
6:24 am
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Sammy
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Sorry to add more but I had a friend who had bipolarison. I didn't realise it at the time. Actually I we were dating. She worked in a deli and was very paranoid, saying that her parents were sending people to check on her. She would act all depressed and then suddenly excited. She acted in a normal way, in that she didn't discuss it with anyone, except her best friend and even now I don't know the full story. So I'm capable of diagnosing a person who has bipolarison. To me, its more a game to my sister, trying to grab the attention, even when I have gone out with her friends.

This isn't about sibling rivalry, as I'm quite successful and in no need to be the centre of attention. Because I have been the eldest, she has dislikes the fact that I've done things first. I even didn't get my driver's license because she could do it first and it wasn't enough.

March 9, 2001
3:49 pm
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Cici
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Do you want opinions of daignoses? I hesitate to do this because this is third-hand information.

I have to mention that it isn't uncommon for people to diagnose themselves with diseases that they hear about or learn about. We call it "psych student syndrome" in my department. This is because symptoms are always on a continuum, and everyone can have at least some of the characteristics. It is severity and problems with functioning in everyday life that distinguish a pathology from a personality problem.

Obviously there is some difficulty with her functioning in every day life, regardless of what the diagnosis may be. A lot of people who work in social work of psychology/psychiatry have had or have psychological problems of their own, or family members who have problems, which is why they are more sensitive to that arena than others.

If your description above were an exam in a psych class, I would lean more toward either borderline personality disorder (which is characterized by attention seeking behaviors - often negative attention seeking - unstable moods and huge mood swings, instability in personal relationship, and unstabel self-image) or histrionic personality disorder (characterized by attention seeking behavior and dependency, as well as unstable self-image).

The thing about this is that personality disorders are notoriously difficult to treat and impossible to medicate. Whatever the diagnosis, she apparently felt unable to care for herself.

Forgive her for being needy. We all are, some times. Try to understand why she would need to do something like this. In understanding, we can at least reconcile ourselves with the problem, even if she can never do it herself. Any anger or resentment or irritation towards her because of her behvaior is waster energy.

March 9, 2001
4:46 pm
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Cici
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March 10, 2001
1:42 pm
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janes
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How is it all affecting you?

Distance yourself from your siter's problems and get on with your life.

YOU cannot change her....sympathy to your mother...(you need to support mom) but your sister's life is in HER control...not yours.

As oldest child ... give up the control issues and let it go....

We oldest kids tend to have control probs. I think.

Live your own life.....let sis live hers.

If she is bipolar....she can seek meds or not....it is her life.

Be successful, be there for your folks and control YOU.

March 12, 2001
1:17 am
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Sammy
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How is it all affecting you? Good question. Before I answer it, thankyou for all the responses and the site. Does anyone have a site for improving your patience?

I'll admit that I'm not the most patient person, nor do I like waiting. If you have a head ache, I either go to bed, take a hot bath or take a panadol. Depending on how bad the head ache, with the next few hours it will be cured. Definitely by the following morning it will be gone. Mental illnesses are not like that.

I don't want to control my sister's life. She can do anything she wants. It's hard to explain how I feel. I guess it is hard letting go and looking after your younger siblings. I used to always keep the bus at our bus stop from going because she was always late. She always thought it was the bus driver being nice. I guess it is harder to know how to be supportive as it is frustrating when you think she isn't getting the right help. You also have to hear from everyone else, my mother, my father and my brother about what they think and try and glue together all the conflicting views. Anyway, thanks for the advice. I guess life will continue in pretty much the same way but I will be more opened and patient.

March 12, 2001
12:41 pm
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cloud
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sounds like me!

March 13, 2001
7:39 am
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janes
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The hardest thing in the world is letting go I think. It sounds harsh and mean but we each grow at our own speed and if someone else is always there to pick up the pieces for us...we never learn to do it our selves. Plus I think we starting thinking WE CAN"T.

Be sympathetic, compassionate..but never do for someone else what they can do for themselves.

good luck...and smiles to you. Your family is lucky you care

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