Mum with bipolar refusing to get help??

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
My mum has been in a depressive mood for a few months now and stopped going to therapy and leaving the house, every time I suggest getting help she changes the subject and makes the situation about something else.
My younger brother is going through a rough puberty and they’re always arguing, which isn’t helping her mental state. She’s starting to get more angry and frustrated and is shouting a lot more, which is what she does when she’s on her way to a meltdown.
I don’t know what support to ask for, I feel like I should try and get inpatient support as I’m 18 and can look after my brother while she’s getting help but I don’t know if there’s any available or if my mum would even bother.

I need help
Does your mother have a Social Worker?

Have you contacted her GP?

Who arranged for the therapy that she no longer attends? Could they help?
The main priority here is your young brother, and it's great he has you as his big sister to look after his interests. Puberty is a tough time in the easiest of families, and yours clearly isn't.

Is your dad on the scene at all? (I'm sort of assuming not, as you'd have mentioned him?)(eg if your bro could go and stay with him?)

Mental illness is a real pig - no other way to describe it. The main problem is so, so ofteh those with it don't 'know' they have it or don't 'accept' they have it and then refuse treatment (My own mum wouldn't take anything - 'they're trying to poison me!' was her attitude!!!!!)(all part of the 'plot' against her)

At 18 you're a legal adult, but on the other hand, you also need support and parenting, which presumably your dad is not around to provide, and your mum is incapable of doing (sadly, MI very often turns perfectly nice people into selfish, self-regarding monsters...sigh)

What is your own situation? eg, are you still at school, at college, going off to college, working? Are you living at home, and will you be (ie, if you aren't off to college/uni) (or, say, going into a flat share/moving in with a boyfriend etc).

Can your mum cope with 'daily life' even if unhappily (eg, can she go shoppoing, make meals, clean the house, etc etc etc), or does she need 'someone to look after her' every day. I DO HOPE NOT!

Can you and your bro sit down and have a good 'chat' - he will need you to 'offload' to, and since you survived puberty yourself, you're in a god position to sympathise, and, yes, talk 'girl stuffy' with him (big sisters can be good guides for teenage boys on how to navigate the really,really tricky waters of 'girl' etc etc) (on account of you being one!)

Can you and him form a 'team' in respect of mum? My (older) brother and I did that when we were growing up, and knowing my bro was there for me, and I was there for him, when mum was 'bad' really, really helped.

Your bro will probably be both scared for and resentful of your mum, wishing she could be 'ordinary' like all his mates' mums.

Can you 'do a deal' with him whereby he undertakes to 'watch his mouth and manners' around his mum, so as not to argue with her etc etc, so as not to exacerbate the situation. In the end, with people with mental illness, we have to learn to 'manage' them to a large degree. My bro and I learnt what to say, and what not to say (didn't always work - we could say 'the wrong thing' and not realise it, and the volcano would blow its top again, sigh).

It's also going to be essential to grow a thick skin - in the end, my brother and I just 'didn't bother' about mum's rages. We just hunkered down, went off to do 'something else' as she roamed around the house raging, and we just 'waited it out' until she was calm again. It was, in the end, pretty much 'water off a duck's back'....

Above all, I would say, it's essential for the both of you to realise that, whether or not your dad or any new partner for her is on the scene, her MI is NOT your responsibility. You can feel sorry for her, and do 'your bit', but you must NOT put off your own lives on her account. She would not want that (the 'real' her underneath the BPD)

Finally, are your brother's school aware of the home situation and that his mum is mentally ill? It's very important that they do, as they will (or at least should!) be prepared to 'cut him some slack' on that account.

I know things are pretty grim at the moment, but in five years time your young brother will be as old as you are now, and ready to start his own life - and you will be well underway with yours.
Georgia_1809 wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:19 am
My mum has been in a depressive mood for a few months now and stopped going to therapy and leaving the house, every time I suggest getting help she changes the subject and makes the situation about something else.
My younger brother is going through a rough puberty and they’re always arguing, which isn’t helping her mental state. She’s starting to get more angry and frustrated and is shouting a lot more, which is what she does when she’s on her way to a meltdown.
I don’t know what support to ask for, I feel like I should try and get inpatient support as I’m 18 and can look after my brother while she’s getting help but I don’t know if there’s any available or if my mum would even bother.

I need help
Reach out to Social Services, ask for help. You shouldn't have to be shouldering this burden on your own. You all need help - separately - from different resources.

Let us know how you get on. We are here for you. :)