I’m bipolar, I write about it a lot. I cover a lot of mental health topics on this blog. I’m passionate about it. But even people who are super understanding and have been through a lot have their limits, and I want to talk about that. I want to talk about something that deeply annoys me in bipolar communities, and that’s people who have access to treatment and refuse it because they like the high of mania despite the fact that they are putting their loved ones through daily hell.
Untreated bipolar happens to everyone with the disorder. We all start untreated. Sometimes people can’t afford it. Sometimes we have to go off our medications for health reasons. Sometimes we haven’t found the right treatment and we’re in limbo as we try to get it right. It’s hard and I will support people through those rocky years without any hesitation. It’s when people have no excuse for being untreated. It’s when they give up because it’s difficult to find the right meds and therapy. It’s when they don’t do anything to try and prevent their toxic actions that hurt people. It’s when they roll over in defeat without caring the consequences.
And there are consequences, a lot of them. Untreated bipolar disorder destroys families, it ruins marriages, drains savings, and it hurts children. There is a reason bipolar disorder has a bad reputation, people have bad experiences with bipolar people, and it’s one thing for people to put those aside when they know their loved one is trying hard to correct their actions. It understandable to have to fight with this disorder, and loved ones should be patient, but I don’t blame people for not wanting to be part of an untreated bipolar persons life if they have no plans to get treatment and solve their problems.
It sounds harsh, but so is actively hurting people with your actions.
As I’ve said before and I’ve said again, bipolar disorder can own your emotions. I don’t always have control over my emotions, but I do have control over my actions. It’s my responsibility to be responsible for myself and make sure I have the proper care I need.
2 thoughts on “My limit: People with access to bipolar treatment who choose not to treat it.”
My sister is bipolar. Or borderline. Or whatever the new psychiatrist she meets at the hospital diagnoses. We don’t know. We see she’s in pain, we can see she has an abnormal behavior, intense feelings that can make her violent, with herself, and with others (the police had to come and get her to the hospital once, for she was threatening her then boyfriend with a knife). It’s very hard because it’s “part” of her very creative and intense personality, and I guess she’s afraid of being alienated if she goes into treatment.
The problem is that she’s not going any better, while she’s tearing the family apart. I have the feeling that her worst fear is being abandoned by her family / not loved anymore. But she’s got a very strange way of coping with it, trying to push us to our limits so that she can see we won’t abandon her. It’s really exhausting. What I fear is that my dad, whose love she seems so attached to (a bit like a 10-year-old girl), will someday have enough of it, and just go and have a new life far away. He loves his daughter (like, really, she doesn’t seem to see it, but he’s really doing a lot for her), but he can’t cope anymore with all the troubles she creates so that he comes and saves her. The problem is the day he will let her know, this will be the hardest day in her life (and quite frankly, it would be the same for me), and I really dread that day. I hope she gets treatment, because none of us wants it. I sometimes wish she could tell us all (her family) that we’re a bunch of crappy people, and go and be happy in a life of her own, far from a family that brings no solution, but might bring more sorrow in the end. She’s got everything for it (if she doesn’t sabotage herself), and who knows, maybe the love she seems to look for in her family (we love her, but it seems she wants us to love her like when she was a little girl sometimes), and she doesn’t find, will stop hurting her so much. I’d miss her, I’d find it unfair, but if she can be happy, be herself, and build her own life, I’ll be happy.
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That’s a very hard situation. I applaud you and your family for the weight you are carrying. I’m keeping both you and your family in my prayers. I hope your sister finds treatment and stability soon!