What Do You Want From Me? -- For Caretakers

Last night at my group, there were three family members there, and all of them were at a loss about what to do with their relatives with bipolar disorder. Let me make a set of generalizations here -- some of them may apply and some not, but I think they may be helpful to those in this situation.

Most of us want to be in control of our own lives. Of course, that scares other people, because they see we can't control our own lives. So they get us to admit ourselves to the hospital or they 302 us. The former is better, of course. The latter builds further resentments.

When we come out, our caretakers hover over us, watching our every move, and seeing signs of sickness everywhere. It's not fun -- for either of us. The caretakers are scared and want to help and don't trust that we can care for ourselves.

This is probably true at the beginning, but after a while we can start taking care, and if we are still hovered over, we resent it and we can do self-destructive things like stopping taking meds or fighting with you about anything and everything.

It's really hard to find the right balance -- of caring and of trusting, too. It's just hard. On both sides.

Inside, we probably don't want to be doing these things. This passive resistance is for children, yet if we are treated that way, that's who we become.

You could ask us what we want the relationship to be. Depending on what we say... well, you have to negotiate, I guess.

We have the same kinds of problems with doctors and meds. The biggest reason why we don't take meds is because of the side effects. So when we say we don't like a med, we want off. And when we say we think we want this or that, the doctors should pay attention, but often they don't. They don't take us seriously. We're crazy after all. How could we know our own bodies?

Impatience is natural. The meds take weeks and maybe months to kick in. This has to be explained. Otherwise we'll expect change instantly and it won't happen and we'll want to move to something else, and if we aren't moved, we'll get angry and feel less of a person.

There's so much more. That's enough for now.
wundayatta wundayatta
56-60, M
1 Response Aug 12, 2010

Yes! I agree. Thank you for verbalizing it for me :)