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Bipolar Disorder/bipolar mother & cutting all ties


mental illness is no excuse for absuive behavior wrote at 2008-07-05 15:14:00
I understand how you feel. I am 31 years old and I have a mentally ill mother who I haven't spoken to in years. She has described her illness as being psychotic schizophrenic and bipolar with manic depression and she has always been on medication. she has also hurt family members including myself. She was very emotionally and physically abusive towards me and by the age of 19, I left home because I just couldn't handle this abuse anymore. my father just sat there and did nothing to help when the situation got far beyond our control. everything she did was accepted because my father felt that she has a mental illness and this is why she behaves the way that she does. It got to a point where I felt that she could do something terrible such as  stab me or even commit suicide and when I decided to get help, I was on my own. When I went to her doctor and psychiatrist for help, they told me that I had no right to ask about their patient and her treatments were none of my business. I felt very alone and scared that she would end up doing something terrible and get away with her actions because she would say that she was mentally ill. I was blamed for breaking up the family when I left and my father and brother still have the nerve to ask me why I don't have a relationship with her. I have tried to explain to them that her actions are unacceptable, regardless of mental illness, but she has manipulated them into thinking that she is the victim as always.  I understand that she has an illness, but when you grow up in an environment where someone is emotionally abusive and draining every part of my being by turning my own family members against me through manipulation, I had to cut her off. I am not going to feel guilty for wanting to live an abusive free life. Just because you are mentally ill doesn't give that person the right to treat other people like garbage, especially family members. Your sister may not understand, but I certainly do and applaud you for taking a stand and cutting her out of your life.

Lani wrote at 2016-05-11 16:35:17
You are an adult and not responsible for your mother. As a grown person, your responsibility is to your own mental health.

Your mother is mentally ill, but you are not her caretaker, you are her victim. Keep the ties cut. Let the other people in your family who believe that she is a victim deal with her.

Have a happy life. Live every day and leave the past in the past. That includes your mother. Mental illness for manic depressive people is like an addiction. Many MDs get high on the swing up, punish people close to them during their depression and are medication resistant because they do not want to miss the high.

They need to take responsibility for their own illness. Until your mother does that, (she won't) you keep the door closed and live on.

Lani wrote at 2016-05-11 16:40:12
No. Family does not mean listening to NAMI and being a kicking post with artificial boundaries for the mentally ill who refuse to stay on medication so they can function as a family member.

The right answer is the same for the mentally ill as it is for addicts. Once they turn away from recovery, family closes the door until they are ready to accept treatment. No treatment, no family.

Family is not responsible for propping up mentally ill family who refuse help and are an emotional drain. Mental illness does not make people bad or unloved, but when they refuse help they lose the right to lean upon those that love them as enablers. No help, no medication, no contact.

Bipolar Disorder

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Libby Bonner


I can answers questions from family members of adult patients with serious mental illnesses. I am most familiar with bipolar disorder [manic-depression] and schizophrenia. I use principles of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to provide clinical info, emotional support, and practical suggestions, including finances/insurance. Emphasis is on family health; family preservation and functioning; coping skills; and effective communications with patients [consumers] and with providers of services. I am not qualified to help families with patients under 18 I cannot answer questions about herbal remedies.


I have a daughter w/ bipolar illness. Have experience with clinical medicine/psychiatry through my work in a hospital library. I have taken and now monitor the NAMI Family to Family educational program and I facilitate NAMI family caring and sharing evenings.

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