What to Do if Someone with Bipolar Refuses Treatment

May 24, 2013 Natasha Tracy

Even once a person with bipolar disorder knows he's sick, he might still refuse treatment. Here's what a loved one can do for a bipolar refusing treatment.

Bipolar disorder is a scary illness, but sometimes even scarier is the idea of treatment. Logically, going to the doctor, getting a diagnosis and getting help doesn’t sound scary, but if you’re the one faced with psychiatrists, personal, probing questions, destroying what you know and treatments that might make you feel worse before you feel better, you might find the concept daunting.

But what do you do if you’re a loved one of a person with bipolar (or another mental illness) who is refusing treatment?

Why Do People Refuse Bipolar Treatment?

People refuse treatment for many reasons. As I mentioned, one of them is fear of treatment and fear of the unknown but there are other reasons too, such as:

  • Fear of doctors
  • Lack of trust or belief in medical treatment
  • Fear of side effects
  • No wanting to lose the mania of bipolar disorder
  • Fear of labeling and stigma

What’s a Loved One to Do About Bipolar Treatment Refusal?

And sometimes, when faced with this wall of reasons not to get treatment, it can seem absolutely hopeless to get the person to see reason. But here’s the thing, this wall of reasons basically comes down to only one thing: fear. And bipolar education creates knowledge and that knowledge dispels fear.

Offer Facts About Bipolar Treatment

So my best advice is to take a very logical approach with a loved one and deal with each fear one at a time. Sit down and ask the person why they are refusing treatment. Only he or she knows for sure, so make sure you at least understand his perspective as it’s absolutely real and valid.

And then start dealing with the fear. If the person is afraid of doctors, this is perfectly reasonable. You can help by researching what will happen in the appointment ahead of time. You can help by researching doctors in the area and finding the best one. You can help by facilitating and going to the appointment. You can help by supporting the patient’s wishes during the appointment. Doctors absolutely can be scary but what a patient really needs is someone on his side so that he doesn’t feel “out-gunned” by someone in a position of authority.

If the fear is lack of trust or faith in medical treatment, this is understandable too. Then it’s time to do research on treatments and find success stories for the person to read.

In short, calm, rational conversation can often pinpoint exactly why a person is refusing help and doing some research on your part can help assuage whatever fear the patient may have.

But What if They Still Refuse Bipolar Treatment?

Okay, but what if you’ve done all that and the person still refuses treatment?

Well, then you might want to remind them of what the problems are and what treatment can do. People only need help for a mental illness once the mental illness becomes a problem in their lives like when a person loses a job, or does poorly in school, or destroys relationships and so on. It’s then that help is needed and so it’s entirely appropriate to remind the person of these problems and talk about how something needs to be done to address them.

And if not treatment, then what? Does the person want to live without being able to work? Does he not want personal relationships? Does he want to flunk out of school? Probably not. And treatment is the way to address all these issues.

And if you do all that and you’re supportive and you try your best and the person still refuses to budge, then you need to respect his opinion. I know it’s hard to hear when you love someone, but unless the person is a minor or unless he’s a danger to himself or others, the person absolutely has the right to refuse treatment. We’re adults. We get to make choices and then live with the ramifications thereof, even if our loved ones disagree.

(And once that choice is made, you, as a loved one, have your own choices to make, many of which can be very hard, but that will have to wait for another article.)

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2013, May 24). What to Do if Someone with Bipolar Refuses Treatment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 18 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

October, 19 2018 at 6:50 pm

Hello my boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for a year, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age, he has always refused treatment, that it leads up to him being homeless, but eventually he was able to get a place to live, a couple of months ago he started taking his medication, I was able to convince him to get on them, but a couple of weeks ago he spoke to a person at his gym who told him that medications are bad and unhealthy because of the side effects, so he decided to get off them, and its been hell ever since, he has become very manic, and he blames his manic episodes on being stressed out because of not finding a job, but he fails to realize that the reason he can not keep a job is because of his mental illness, I spoke to his family and they all have given up on him and they tell me to do the same but I feel bad leaving him and I have so much love for him that it breaks my heart, and this has become a stress for me and I already suffer from anxiety, what should I do? please help!

Brandy T.
June, 18 2018 at 10:15 pm

I think my husband is depressed or has bipolar disorder. He went from having some self esteem issues but acting normal for years, to a totally different person within the last 1-1.5 years. He used to be kind, caring, loving, supportive, protective, and patient. Now he's blank and emotionless most of the time, he's easily angered/agitated, he's not sleeping well but when he does sleep he has night terrors, everything is my fault now, his mood changes on a dime, his body always hurts, he wants to eat sweets all the time, he's always tired and doesn't feel like doing anything, he's spending a lot of money shopping, everything he takes an interest in becomes an obsession, he keeps signing up for college and dropping out, he has no sense of happiness or contentment with anything, he's also burying himself in his computer and his phone all the time instead of enjoying time with our infant son. His mom has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and his brother has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I've tried to talk with him about it gently. I've told him I've noticed some changes in him and I'm concerned. I've asked what's bothering him. I've told him that I'm here if he wants to talk. I've suggested counseling. He says nothing is wrong with him and that I'm just making things up. He's starting to become hateful towards me. I've been to 2 different counselors to ask advice on what to do. They both told me to speak to him from the heart and be open and honest with my concerns. It hasn't worked. I've prayed for him over and over. I feel so lost and helpless at this point. I'm trying to be patient and hope that my husband will realize that something is wrong and feel the need to get back to his old self. I'm trying to keep a normal balance for our son, but I'm starting to feel drained. My husband had a very loud and ugly outburst toward me that involved screaming and jumping up and down (I didn't yell back or get emotional). He threatened to have me arrested for kidnapping when I closed the garage door and suggested he calm down before he drove. On a separate occasion, there was a mix up with his doctor's appointment...he showed up and they had moved across town without notifying him. He said he should go back and shoot everyone there. Except he didn't say "everyone", there were several expletives used instead. I told him he can't and shouldn't say things like that, especially this day and age. Not to mention it's just plain wrong to say things like that. When my husband was his old self, he was an amazing man and my best friend. He's capable of being a great dad. I've seen how much he loves our son. I don't know what to do. My best friend, the love of my life, and the father of my son is changing right in front of me and I'm completely helpless to stop it. I desperately need advice.

January, 19 2022 at 7:57 am

I'm sorry I have no advice to offer you. I just want you to know your not alone. 99% of the behaviors you mentioned I am also dealing with with my fiancé. He begged me to seek counseling for my depression, anxiety, and anger. I did and was referred to a psychiatrist. Turns out I have Bipolar type 1. I'm on medication for it. The things I have been responsible for have gotten better however he refuses to be seen by a psychiatrist to be diagnosed and receive treatment. He sees nothing wrong with his words and actions so he won't budge. Even though he has the potential to be a great man and father he will not get the help he needs.

May, 29 2018 at 3:25 pm

My adopted daughter is 19 and living many states away. She decide to live with her birth mom but being off her meds that went bad fast. Since she’s been gone she has had many run in with the police, was beaten and raped. I can’t get her to take meds or seek help. What can I do?

May, 30 2018 at 9:06 am

Hi Lorie,
It's very difficult to help someone when you're not there. You may wish to team up with someone who is there to try and get her help or visit her yourself, if you can. And, of course, if she's ever a danger to herself or others, 9-1-1 should be called.
You should also check out this book (not affiliated with me or HealthyPlace):…
However, you may need to accept there is nothing you can do. As an adult, she has the right not to take her medications. That's unfortunate but true.
- Natasha Tracy

May, 24 2018 at 1:07 pm

Its hell on earth never knowing who you will wake to each day or how long the moments of congruent thoughts will last . After Nine years i can honestly say i gave it the best i had and i sought so much to learn coping skills but there are none constant confusion and seclusion or an ocd intrusion there is no in between maybe i want too much . I know now what to avoid Thanks for the great column i will keep reading......... healing begins now It's my 50th birthday gift to me :)

May, 8 2018 at 7:34 pm

I am glad that I am not alone, however I can't even begin to tell you how much I sympathize with what your going thru. My mom has been that exact way my entire life, and she managed to latch on to my brother who is a carbon copy of her. I came to this site in search of the same answers. I hope sharing my story will at least help you feel not so down and alone.
No one talks about it and it's difficult to understand unless you are in the thick of it, but today was my breaking point.
Sooooo because none of you personally know me, I figure a little introduction might be necessary. I am a simple 30 yr old chick living and working in Los Angeles, just trying my damn hardest.
My family is small, it's just Dad, mom, and brother. My I am pretty close with my moms 2 sisters, however they don't really want to or know how to help, also her side of the family has a mental illness background. My Dad in his 70's and the youngest of 4, his other 3 siblings live in Japan and english isn't so go and the age gap has put a strain on our relationship.
As tears roll down my face, I don't even know where to begin. I am so overwhelmed and saddened by the insane amount of damage they have done to me, family, and friends it's hard to find a place to try to being explaining from. I have been dealing an dragged thru this saga with my mentally ill/unstable mother and brother for too long, and I need help. My Dad and I just don't know what to actually do. I've called several mental/behavior help lines as well as looked into adult protective service and elder abuse, but all seem to be unsure about what to do if they refuse the evaluation.
Both are and have been unemployed for over 6 years, saying they are making "changes" and still aren't. They have never been cooperative or understanding of the situation. There willingness to except they have a problem doesn't exist. They pay no bills, and expect to have money for them whenever they need something. My Dad has been struggling to pay there $4,500 rent, utilities, internet, phone bill, and still provides them what he can to buy food and other basics to survive, but they don't even budget that money (one example- they live in sherman oaks and drive to Whole Foods on the westside). Money is tight, insist on living in a 3 bedroom house in a nice part of los angeles between beverly glen and Sherman Oaks. They have been told to look for cheaper housing, and refuse to change there lifestyle based on the dire situation they are in.
Having said that, they have refused the most simple truths of life. They have isolated themselves from friends and family, only believing that they think the "truth" is.
They have used the internet in the following ways to harm or harass:
-Diagnosing themselves physically and mentally (they refuse to get real mental evaluations or medical treatment or take "chemicals" so the order vitamins or supplements to try and fix something they think they have. I guess no point in seeing a therapist if there gonna lie to them anyway.)
-placing blame on all of us and obviously not them
-refuse to get jobs (placing blame on us, thats why they can't)
-refuse to respect space (lies and says they were unable to reach me when they easily could have, looks up and calls spouses dad, calls DWP to get our address, shows up unannounced, waits to be let in by a delivery person, won't leave when asked)
-will say anything to get you to listen to the "truth" and "the rape stories" and what the "real" problem is.
-NUMEROUS threatening emails to my dad saying they will discredit him and his business if they don't get what they want. (A LOT been going on for 5 years) They have sent emails to his business associates saying they are being abused. (they aren't, unless you consider demanding money for everything and not getting enough is abuse)
-they have contacted several of my Dads friends and family to tell them that my Dad was rapped as a child, which is NOT true.
There actions have shown everyone that they are both paranoid, delusional, forgetful, bipolar, schizophrenic, and simply not mentally there. I don't know who these people are anymore.
I lost my job out of nowhere and moved back. It made sense financially for us (boyfriend, dog, and myself) and for them. We agreed on paying for a few things to help them out, but it spiraled into expectations and demands beyond any sane individual. ..that being said, she felt like we were constantly and purposefully ruining or damaging or braking any and everything. From my puppy leaving a hand size water puddle on the floor to pouring chemicals in her sink.
They are both themselves careless and forgetful, and when anything goes wrong they have to point the finger at someone, i.e. I made a mistake, but i made the mistake because of you or what you said. .
*Just to give 1 very mild example of what she does.
..after moving out and having NOT spoken in 6 months, I see an email from my mom thinking it's a holiday email mixed with an apology or something (she literally kicked us out after 2 months, and if i told you why you would be fucking out of your mind upset/confused)
Instead it reads:
I wanted to wait until after the holidays to say anything but around the 2nd week in December I noticed new damage has been done to our family dryer.
When facing the front of dryer, in addition to all the damage done to the bottom half, there is now a dent in the top of the left door & the door on the right is uneven, about 1/2 inch below the other door. You can still see the finger marks left in the dust at the top of the door from being yanked down. I know it was slightly uneven before but it is much more obvious now.
Additionally, there is a dent in the top of the silver table as well. I'm at the end of my rope. For almost 2 years now I have had 0 communication with my mom and brother for several obvious reasons. Now that they have my address I'm scared to leave my building or walk my dog around my neighborhood, I know my brother wouldn't physically harm me, but he's relentless and won't stop until I basically take there side. My apartment manager made him leave today. I am asking for any advice or guidance to try and help. I'm willing to try anything.

April, 7 2018 at 12:58 pm

Im in the same sittation. My husband is bi-polar has depression and anxiety and he refuses to take medication. He is verbally abusive to me, curses at me and he is now taking medical marijuana. It has gotten progressively worst. He does not manage his money and i am suferring because of it. I have kept it in for a long time and my closest family and friends do not know the extent of what im going through. I don't know who much of it I can take. Its so hard I wish I had someone that I trust that could help me. I struggle with thoughts of calling it quits or hanging in there hoping it will get better. Im a christian and I believe in my wedding vows. However, I find it very hard to show my love to a person that treats me so bad because of his illness. Please pray for me. Im praying that God will give me the wisdom I need.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 30 2018 at 3:25 pm

Thanks for sharing Lorraine. You are not alone, it is not easy, sending you strength and courage, prayers your way. I went with my mother to a NAMI meeting, for those who have a loved one with issues. Hope this helps, Cathy

November, 18 2017 at 11:20 pm

Hi natasha. My wife had undergone bariatric surgery and wanted to loose weight so she started a keto diet that helped her loose more weight in less days.. till today she has lost around 75 kilos . The surgeon always rejected the idea of her keto diet as she needs enough food to be taken in regular intervals but she did not listen, now she has multiple deficiencies like vitamin D vitamin A protein albumin copper iron etc... she has now become totally unstable mentally and due to nutritional deficiencies she is getting very weak and has developed a muscle disease in her legs and has become less mobile physically. She would get physically violent for me to complete her duties at home and also threatened me with a knife. .. as of now she is not eating for the past 35 hours and refuses medical help... she hates my parents and has had a fight with her brother too who was trying to intervene and get her to go to a therapist. . Her brother and father live in a different country and so I literally have no help around. .. she has lost consciousness 3 times where I have called the hospital and managed to get her back to consciousness. . I can't see her die this way. .

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
November, 19 2017 at 7:38 am

Hi Gb,
I'm sorry to hear you are in that situation. Sometimes weight loss can be like a drug. That's when it becomes an eating disorder.
I am not an expert in eating disorders, but I have two suggestions for you:
Perhaps you might like to read the book "You Need Help"? It outlines ways of getting a loved one to get help. (I have no affiliation with this book and nor does HealthyPlace):…
You may also want to hold an intervention with her loved ones. Interventions are typically used for people with addictions, but there is no reason why they can't be used for a person with an eating disorder. You can read more about an eating disorder intervention here:…
I hope that helps.
- Natasha Tracy

Fred in Canada
November, 13 2017 at 4:16 am

Our family is struggling with a mother who is 66 years old and bipolar. She has struggled with this illness for the majority of my life but in the past few years has stopped visiting a doctor and has stopped taking her medication.
This has caused her to become extremely abusive and hostile (verbally) towards my father, her sister (and husband). She has also stopped taking care of herself physically with a complete disregard for her hygiene, not wearing corrective eyewear, and erosion of her teeth. The family home has become a hoarder’s paradise.
While my mother is not a serious physical threat to herself, she is causing a serious strain to those closest to her.
My father is 71 years old and handles his wife’s deteriorating health by suffering in silence. He refuses to leave her for more than an hour or two as he feels “things will only get worse if he leaves”. It has had a toll on him physically & mentally.
It has caused anxiety in my aunt, who lives next door with shutters permanently drawn and doors locked.
My brother does not feel comfortable having his son over for any period of time. I am not comfortable having my wife over.
The only people who can do no harm in her mind are her long dead parents, and her two children (myself and my brother).
Most of my visits involve me rotating between confronting my mother about her abusive & irrational behavior or trying to ignore her so I can hang out with my father.
It has come to the point where we as a family would be better off without her. Everyone hates her. I hate her.
What do we do?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
November, 13 2017 at 5:35 am

Hi Fred,
I'm sorry you're in that situation. I used to have a very sick father who refused help too.
In my opinion, I would suggest an intervention. I know that interventions are typically for people with addictions, but it could work in this case, too. See how to run one here (not affiliated with HealthyPlace):…\
Also, you may be able to contact elderly protective services and they may be able to help you further.
At that point, all of you need to declare clear boundaries. In the end, as an adult, if she wants to destroy herself, that is her right. I know that's hard to hear, but it's what I had to accept too.
I hope that helps.
- Natasha Tracy

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Fred in Canada
November, 13 2017 at 7:28 am

Thank you. I did not know an intervention was possible for mental health issues affecting the family.
Have you had any experience of it working in other situations?

Kirk Weaver
August, 28 2017 at 10:53 pm

My girlfriend is bipolar and doctors have always had a team hard time finding a vein to draw blood. Because of this, they put her on lithium without doing blood work.
Years later she started having kidney problems. That's when they discovered that she had been prescribed a dose like 10 times the amount she should've been prescribed which has put he on the verge of needing dialysis.
They practically destroyed her kidneys. She still has to desk with the BD but her body can't handle the treatment meds. This is s real problem. Any suggestions?

August, 16 2017 at 8:20 pm

I hv same prblm actually my mom is now 65 yrs old nd suffering mentally disturbed from 8-9 months we provide medicine but it can't help us because after taking medicine she going to sleep and when she awake again she's talking nd walking unnessary without take a rest what I do , pls suggest me the meal which is help to recover her hyper depression nd stopped over thinks

July, 30 2017 at 8:15 pm

Hi, miss Natasha. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder around 6 months ago. I have a reversed problem. I feel great while I take my meds, but, my family thinks that I'm weak by taking them and it's all just my "lack of self discipline" that cause all of my mood swings. Mind you, they were all there when the doctor diagnosed me. I don't know what to tell them. I feel frustrated since they get mad if my random outbursts happen but they don't allow me to take my meds either. I talked to my psychiatrist about this and he already talked to my family about it and they acted as if I'm lying to them. I'm sorry for ranting but I just feel too frustrated

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sheyla Barajas
September, 16 2017 at 11:59 pm

Im so sorry your family thinks that keep up The good work

Ssettenda Ahmed
July, 21 2017 at 8:49 am

My young bro has a mental problem but has refused to take the medicine in order,he says theys a pill that is strong on him and makes him to sleep alot'so am planning to put this pill in his tea so that the meducation will be taken in full order at the end.pliz help me and advise me on my plan dear.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
July, 24 2017 at 6:05 am

Hi Ssettenda,
I can't tell you what to do, but I think it would be better to convince your brother of the need for medication rather than trying to give it to him without his knowledge. I would recommend trying to educate him about his illness and the importance of treatment and hope that knowledge convinces him to take his own treatment.
- Natasha Tracy

July, 15 2017 at 9:55 am

My mother is an absolute nut! Normally your mother your supposed to love and care about, we're at the point we're we hope she would just die cuz it's making my father want to die and even hopes for it, and the same for me! She's abusive, EVERYTHING is hers!!! She'll go from calm to being a demon in .2 seconds!!! Sorry but if I'm upset and someone bothers me I'm still upset I.don't act like there's nothing wrong! I myself have mental issues, ADHD, depression, also struggled with drugs in my earlier yrs mostly cuz of her! I would see all these other families with a normal mom and I envied that! My mom Nvr gave me the love and attention like a regular mom with two kids would! My little brother was and still is the! Him and I.could do the EXACT thing wrong and I'd get the heat for it whilst he got "go to your room!" Enough with the past, I'm not a dr. But if I was to diagnose her, after reading and even going you medical school, she has OCD, (which we can deal with) fairly certain she has ADD/ADHD(which would explain why I have it! And manic bi-polar!!! And I also believe she's a sociopath, cuz it seems like she literally gets off on other ppls pain!-she'll start fights with us just to make herself feel better! And also I'll even go as far as saying spilt personality disorder! When she goes in public she "puts on a mask! ALL of my friends ive had over the yrs saw this and I became the butt of a lot of jokes, "over a, pair of boots" was something that happened that my mom went on a, war path about 15 yrs ago and it's still brought up as a joke! (Because I didn't wanna wear the new boots I got for Christmas my mom took them and got outta the bath just to throw out my boots! I look back and laugh at it but things like this have been going on for yrs now! And I'm scared that my dad is gonna have enough and suicide, he can't take it no more! And she knows I can't leave here cuz I have a felony record from about 10 yrs ago that needs to be expunged but I don't have the right amount of time in and she knows this and uses this to her advantage! My father, myself and even my little brother the "goldenchild" all know all to well she needs help and WILL NOT go to a dr cuz she feels "there's nothing wrong with me!!" "I don't need a dr!!!" Well, YES you do, NO-ONE I know that is like this!!! I'm trying to see if there's a law in New Jersey that whether or not a person needs help, that they'll take them whether they wanna go or not!!! It's prying this family apart and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my father cuz of her! He's already said to me, that if something happens to me and he goes to the hospital he doesn't want her there!!! And my bday is April 13th, on the 12th I tried to commit suicide, cuz after a day of my mother telling me I'm worthless, I'm a, waste of space, telling me to get outta her house! Etc! I'm other things that I'm sure u can think of, ive been taking my medicine and in feeling and doing much better, but if this keeps up who knows what can happen! PLZ HELP ME!!! Idk what to do, can we make her go to a,hospital?! Any help will be great!-thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
July, 17 2017 at 6:48 am

Hi Steve,
I'm so sorry you're in that situation. I can't say I know what that's like, but I can say it must be very upsetting.
I don't know about the laws, personally, but you can look up the information about treatment without consent for your state here:
I also suggest you get your hands on a copy of the book "I'm Not Sick, I Don't Need Help"… (not affiliated with me or HealthyPlace).
I'm sorry I can't give you more specific recommendations, but I hope those resources help.
- Natasha Tracy

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dayle Lemmon
November, 6 2017 at 5:27 pm

Nov 7, 2017 Hello, Almost sounds identical to my elderly mother who was (just) first diagnosed with bi polar 2 with psychosis...She's been in the hospital 2 weeks now...she doesn't recognize there is anything wrong because of never being treated for this disease it makes her disease much worse. Don't know if she will ever be back. :)
She is still saying nothing is wrong with her and hears what she wants to hear from people...says its me but friends, family and doctors all know. The way we got her to the hospital was just leaving her alone as much as possible until she did something stupid.. It happened once she was in hospital over night and 2 weeks later she did another something that ended her there again, this time they kept here for 72 hours and then 2 more weeks and now 30 more days. She is very sick :(
She's mean and then nice and mean and then nice.. Thinks she's forgetting. She lies about everything and always has now that I look back and she's even had a fake affair with a millionaire man for a year. Just lies and excuses and we all knew but now we have been to her house and looked around...we were right and she will not admit anything or she doesn't think she is lying...either way I cry for her everyday.
Her bank account is closed because she bounced so many checks buying things and she has been lying about everything.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dayle Lemmon
November, 6 2017 at 5:30 pm

Also I don't have POA and she won't grant it even if she allows it, she thinks I wanna keep her there.. :(
BTW she 75 years old and brilliant throughout her life.

July, 3 2017 at 10:04 am

I have a mentally ill adult son that refuses treatment and I feel uncomfortable with him living with me. Am I a bad mother because I have gotten to the point to put him out of my home? He doesn't like to bath, he chain smokes, he's very disrespectful, he walks all night, in and out of the front door. I've been dealing with this behavior for 8 years now. I don't want to see anything happen to him but at the same time I'm very uncomfortable in my own home. It's like I'm walking on eggshells whenever I try to talk to him. Would I be a bad mother to put him out on the street?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 11 2017 at 12:38 am

I'm in the same boat as you except I did put my son out. Like your son he paces constantly, day & night or at times he'll lay in bed for days doing absolutely nothing. He is very volatile toward me, so for my own sanity I had to kick him out. I feel like a terrible mom, but what are you supposed to do? If they refuse treatment? So sorry you're going through this cause I know exactly how hard it is. Will be praying for y'all.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jade tipu
September, 3 2017 at 12:06 am

Yes very bad what if that was u you shouldnt hav kids u made them your resonseability

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 20 2017 at 3:37 pm

U should not shame them! You do not know what their life is like. I think u did the best u could do for ur child.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dayle Lemmon
November, 6 2017 at 5:33 pm

You have to do what you can to help him on the outside, if he can work maybe he will understand that working will pay for an apartment although you will probably have to pitch in...It would be worth it.
Where does he get the money for smokes?
Otherwise say good-bye and tell him when he gets on his meds you two can have lunch or something. Hard yes, Tough Love!

April, 27 2017 at 4:07 am

My brother and I are struggling with a mother who is bipolar, 80 years old, and it expresses in the form of extreme abuse and hostility to us, her close family, while being effusive and 'saintly' to those outside (as if attempting to keep up appearances). Our father is infirm and depends on her for care. She will leave for days at a time, no food in the house. If we provide groceries she goes into a rage upon return, saying we are interfering. We can't take it anymore.

April, 15 2017 at 8:11 pm

My daughter behave very agressive after her baby was born. She was having mental problems before ,but nothing like that! She is abusive and agressive toward me. It's got so bad that I can't visit my grandson anymore. Additional y to all it looks like her boyfriend also have mental issues. He is also abusive verbally toward me. My daughter doesn't want any help. She is telling that she is ok. But I am crazy. I cut all connections with them. I can't see my grandchild. I don't know what to do !!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 18 2017 at 9:48 am

I have the same problem. I have a sibling with bipolar disorder. He is very aggresive toward me and very nasty. Constantly puts me down then he asks for you to do things for him and if you say no he will make your life miserable. Im sorry your unable to see your grandchild but maybe just maybe for now its for the best. You have to take care of yourself. I cant stand the way my brother talks to my mother. She has always been good to him but we are all getting older and he refuses any kind of help or treatment.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 25 2017 at 11:45 pm

I am also in a very similar situation. I have an older brother who is mentally ill and refuses to get help. He is verbally abusive, especially to our mother, makes threats, and destroys the house. We tried to get him help, but he was sent back home, and it made things worse. At this point, safety is a number one priority. You can't control others' decisions, but you can make decisions of your own. It's awful that that people experience these situations, but it is a relief to know that there are others that understand.

March, 7 2017 at 1:38 pm

First of all I would like to say I have been trying to tackle mental illness for almost 10 years. If you or your loved one can get through it ie. battling disputes/ suicide prevention/ the court of law/ emotional toll, then you've really earned it. In a lot of situations giving up is not the answer. The clinics, hospitals, courts, police, doctors and nurses are here for a reason. If you don't feel well now get help and act on it. Call a crisis line, go to the hospital and be proactive. If there is something happening don't let it persist. Always remind yourself and others that safeties first.

February, 18 2017 at 9:50 pm

I have been married 2 a man for 18years almost.Diagnosed with bipolar mixed episodes with psychosis just a few months after we married.I believe his meds he has faithfully took since being dianosed r no longer workin.He has done pretty well on them.He has been hospitalized about 6 times over the years since being diagnosed.when he is rapid cycling in mania episode as i feel he is in now he verbally abuses me,punches holes in walls,throws things and recently threw a bag of items that left a knot on my forehead,he says he did not mean to.Stress sets his episodes off.He is been stresses since we haved lived with my mom because of finances.We recently have been almost soley her caretakers which added more stress 2 us,because it was expected we do it all by my siblings because we lived with her.He finally went into a rage threatens&runs after my son driving off from him.He raised my son and in his normal state of mind is a very good step dad and dad 2 our 16yr.old daughter we have together.He went after my son who told him,'Don't call my mom the b word!'The b word has been coming from my husbands mouth alot lately.The last couple of years the verbal abuse is out of control.He calls me lazy,sorry,i caused all our finacial promblems,i am the reason we have bankruptcies,i am the reasons he could not see his sons he has from 2 past short marriages.The 2 ex's wives made both our lives hell while these 2 boys were growing up,which added more stress thru the years of this bipolar journey of mixed episodes of ups and downs.He has not had a easy life growing up....he comes from an home where his father was physically and emotionally abusive 2 his mom.His parents divorced when he was in his early teens. He also had 2 marriages himself end where he was cheated on.He will leave our hope for awhile when he reaches a full blown episode of up/down cycling.He goes stays with family member.last time he came back in just a few days.He has left 7 days ago now and staying with his aunt.he want communicate with me at all.He has promised our daughter everday he will come get her and do something with her.he makes excuses 2 her why he can't.Meanwhile he is telling her how i controlled him,how terrible wife mom.I must have blocked him from calling because he could not get thru and other lies and he believes them.He is paranoid thinks i am badmouthing him,messing with his personal bank acct.He is saying bad things to his mom others who know he is bipolar but because he knows how to control his rage and irrational behavoir he tells them its stress from my family and me and he is fine,he is on his meds, he is not in a episode and convinces them,authorities and doctors.Most people other than my mom and his mom have not seen his episodes r irrational behavoir r thinking.we both r christians we met at the church i grew up in.He becomes extremely religious wanting to preach to people more than anyone should,then he cusses me.My husband in his normal state of mind is a good loving godly person,laid back,takes alot to trigger him to behave badly.He allowed people to run him over for most of his life.He is a good loving husband,step dad&dad.He is very protective of his chidren and me.He has a small landscaping /maintance business he does by himself.He loves anything to do with landscaping.He is someone idk right now in his mania mostly and depressive episode.He is lying and accusing,overdrafted his acct by writing bad checks,driving alot,staying up all night and day,crying,just a lot of mixed episoding.He does not believe there is anything is wrong with him leaving his wife and daughter who he is very close to and she is a daddys girl.He will call her want text r call me.He hates me and turns on me everytime he has had a episode.He will not go to crises until he comes down to extremely lows.once he comes down gets to hospital he will cry,apologize,love me,touch me.He will b very sorry for all he done and said to me.He had some symptoms i did not see r i would have got him to talk to dr b4 his full blown mania.Can his meds stop working? I know the good man this is why i pray 4 him and stay with him.Does anyone have a loved one r spouse like this that is a very good person,christian man,step dad,dad,honest,watches what he spends,very real not fake until he is stressed 2 the max and starts bipolaring turns into the opposite of his good man, leaves abruptly,when asked its because of me,hates me,slanders me, lies about me,blames me 4 it all even his bipolar until he comes down r ends up in crises?Then he returns to the man i love.Any experiences like mine and help welcomed.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 18 2017 at 9:54 am

Just because he had a rough child hood is no reason to become abusive toward you. He knows exactly what he is doing regardless of the bipolar disorder. My brother does the same thing. Jekly and heyde oh im so sorry than starts it all over again the next episode. The only thing you can do is leave him. And get a restraining order and stick to it.

February, 14 2017 at 10:04 am

Hi, I need help with advice, please. My friend has Maniac Bi-Polar, she`s married and has a one year old son. the husband speaks very limitted English and most of the finances go into her account. She`s in hospital receiving treatment, she is in denial, she will not admit she has a problem.
What can he do? How can he be legally able to take the child for some months abroad to the parents or to have the housing benefit trasferred to his accout, does anybody have any knowledge of the process?

December, 13 2016 at 12:50 pm

To Mental Health Policy Org:
You're right, mania can feel good to some. To others, however, it can become a paranoid nightmare (particular if the person is bipolar with psychotic features). I've just witnessed the latter, and the person is lucky to be alive and not in jail.
Regarding your mantra: “Listen, Empathize, Agree, and partner," this may apply to some, but beware of using this when someone is delusional. No reason to agree with someone whose comments defy reality. The best advice I've heard is to ignore, but don't argue with delusions stated.

December, 11 2016 at 2:36 am

This blog has possibly saved my marriage. My husband is definitely undiagnosed BP that is afraid of the side effects of medication. He has been in a depressed state for a couple months and we recently came very close to divorce. We have been married for 31 years so it is not something I take lightly. When I read through the original post and the comments, it was like a weight lifted. Knowing that others have experienced the same things makes me realize we can make it through this. Thank you all very much.

November, 27 2016 at 1:06 am

My second oldest son (age 36) is diagnosed as 'schizoid affective disorder' but all of his symptoms seem very similar to 'bipolar.' He was first prescribed with seroquel, and zanex, or abilify and zanex. He doesn't like to take his meds, then behaves erradically, and hostile. The whole family is upset, want nothing to do with him, avoid me, as well, and are having their own emotional, financial, addiction issues. It feels like my whole family is disintegrating right before my eyes. Depression has always been a problem for myself and apparently at least two of my five grown children. My daughter (age 31) prefers to stay in her bed most of the day, only works sporadically, drinks as much as possible, avoids all others and basically lives like a hermit. I am seeing my family self destruct and still want to 'decorate' for the holidays. Perhaps i am the worst of all, as is how i feel the majority of the time. These were five little babies at one time whom i loved and adored more than anything, but have now turned into five emotionally unavailable adults i am beginning to (at least) emotionally distance myself from. It feels completely necessary as i am at my wits end. Why would i continually attempt to make a home for a family who doesn't seem to care if i'm there except for watching me work? I feel depleted, drained, used, angry, exhausted and alone, except for the hostile inhabitants i thought were my loving children. Rages, bad temperment, alcohol, not working, not helping with household duties. not paying their own way, hostile, self absorbed, entitled, immature adults. Three out of five, the other two distant and unavailable. They have some good qualities but i do not feel strong enough to help this family heal. Could it be we are a family of narcissists? Their father is truly completely narcissistic and very vocal, even though we've been divorced for fifteen years after a long terrible marriage. This is almost funny if it wasn't so sad.

November, 23 2016 at 11:18 am

My sister is suffering (and I with her) due to an adult BP son who is in the midddle of both a divorce and a marked deterioration of his mental abilities. As is typical, he is drinking, smoking, raging and violating a restraining order against appearing at the house of his soon-to-be exwife and four children. As he ages (he is now 55 yrs of age) it is expected that things will be worse, especially in as he is non-complaint with his meds. He will soon spend down his meager savings and will probably lose his apartment although the rent is being paid by his parents. In as we are powerless in managing his behavior we are facing the prospect of having our family member either homeless and on the streets or encarcerated. And we are facing feeling guilt for the remainder of our lives. We cannot control him but we are not sure what to feel, do or think. Anyone who has experience with this end of the BP saga ( adult BP family member with senior parents) please feel free to weigh in.

November, 20 2016 at 11:04 pm

I have written some long posts here and on other websites. This one will be short. My recently ex girlfriend is bipolar. Despite my gentle reminding her to restart her meds almost every day she sluffed me off.
She went into a full blown mania. I have endured being shouted a over bizzarre topics ("Saying I love you" too many times and ruining everyone's night? What a reason for a rant). I have had a pig mask with the eyes x'ed out left on my doorstep. Threats of violence, cutting off my genitals and knocking out my teeth. Threatening to break into my house and break all of my things. Accusing me of cheating after she broke up with me, said it was over with no chance of working it out because I went camping with an ex girlfriend. Posters with my picture and phone number and a littany of derogatory acccusations about what a horrible person I am. Hours long text bombing when she should have been working. A minor disagreement over whether to go camping before summer ended, the night ended up with her wandering downtown, high on crystal meth, and having lost her ID and purse, and in jail.
And all this from a girl, who when stable, we only had 3 fights during 10 months and a relationship that was second to none. I got her a job, gave her a cheap place to live, took care of her. When her drinking was excessive I carried her to bed at times 4-6 nights a week to ensure she made it to work and didn't wake up on the kitchen floor passed out.
I will spare any more details. The conclusion I came to was that until she is ready to take her illness seriously, limit her alcohol intake, and especially avoid stimulant drugs (which she especially seems to be attracted to), she is not going to be ready for a relationship with everyone.
I was faced with a decision: Wait until she comes back to normal, hope she makes amends and tries to make it work (keyword: hope), and then hope she is compliant with her meds (keyword: hope) and avoids substances that trigger her condition. Otherwise wait for the next cycle again.
I chose to get off the roller coaster and got a different girlfriend. I really still do care about and love this girl; I went from shopping for engagement rings to single in 6 hours. But I deserve to be happy too. It's her illness, not mine, so it's her responsibility to take care of herself and her mind.
It still saddens me to lose that bright, funny girl who I could talk to forever and be constantly laughing that I had for the first 10 months. The final 3... absolute hell.
I think finalizing her breakup and moving on with someone else is the best therapy she can get. Take control of the illness or watch your life fall apart until you do.
She was the perfect partner. Until Mr. Hyde took over. My advice: If they aren't taking their treatment seriously and you arent in a good relationship. Walk. It's hard but you have to think of yourself.

November, 8 2016 at 3:10 pm

My daughter is married to a bipolar man. He is the life of the party, no one sees anything wrong with him. but at home he does things that are unacceptable. there are 3 children involved. My daughter thought she was crazy until she read the symptoms of bipolar. He doesn't see it in himself and won't get treatment. Should she divorce him? She can't take it anymore and has no job skills.

September, 24 2016 at 3:26 pm

My husband and I recently got married in July of this year. I married him knowing he had a dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder with severe depression and addiction. When we first met things were very rocky. He wound up getting a DUI one night because of one of his episodes. I told him that if I was going to stay, I wasn't going to hang around with his friends anymore because they manipulated him so much. When we stopped seeing them he went to jail shortly after for the DUI in Jan 2015. The three months he served changed him in so many ways. We was finally on the correct medication, he realized what life meant to him because for the first time ever he was consistently sober, and he loved me more than ever.
We got engaged July of 2015 and ever since things have been pretty good. We started seeing a psychologist that specialized in addiction and marriage counseling and we're able to communicate so much better. He had another episode in Jan of this year but got himself together the very next day and we were able to pick the situation apart in therapy and move on. The past 6 months have been nothing but pure bliss.
We were planning for the wedding and starting a family a family soon after, hopefully. We married in July of this year and found out we were expecting just in mid august. We were both over the moon excited and couldn't believe that everything we had worked for was coming true. Two weeks later I noticed things were off with him. He was lying me about talking to his ex (they have a son together, my step son) and when I confronted him about it he made it seem like it my fault and kept telling me he didn't do anything wrong. Again, we talked about it in therapy and finally after a few days he admitted what he did and we moved on. The next week, he was acting very odd and we had an open conversation about getting him back to the doctor because he noticed he was very depressed and then he'd be fine a few minutes later. The next day he was off and I asked how he was feeling and totally lashed out on me, calling and me names and telling me to terminate the pregnancy. The following week I found out that he had been cheating on me with his ex, who I've seen every week for the past year because of my step son. He lied to me about everything when I asked him so I decided to confront her and told me everything that had happened. He told her multiple times that we had separated and that I was moving out of our apartment, he even told her that I was getting the baby aborted. He would still come to me and have sex the whole time as well.
It is very disturbing because after I found out, he moved in with her and his step son for a whole week while her parents were away. I got a call from him last night saying that he tried to drink himself to death the other day and that he got transferred to a psychiatric clinic from the hospital. Everytime he calls he is distraught and crying and asking me to promise that I won't leave and that he still wants to be married to me. I tried to get him to go to the hospital immediately last week when I found out but he wouldn't go. Also, the only thing night he had his ex pick him up to get a hotel room with her was the same day we saw out baby for the first time and he was elated.
I know that his actions are all classic bipolar/addiction driven but it's so hard to see past that when he's cheated. I would have to see her for the rest of my life still if we ever got back together and I don't know if I could trust them after this.
Any advice or know anyone that's been in a similar situation?

September, 18 2016 at 4:01 am

It seems it doesn't matter what I say anymore because my daughter reads everything as negative. She has started to take alcohol from her family in secrecy and then becomes combatant when faced with the facts. I see this as a beginning of more serious dysfunction. She is also delusional and sees conspiracy's all around her. My brother is bipolar and he has run out of people to alienate and the same thing is happening to my daughter. The hardest part is the validation she wants when she has clearly done something wrong. Even if I stay silent and don't confront her she in the end decides everyone is against her. After all whats the big deal if she took a little bit of alcohol to self medicate? My brother has taught me that the smallest of behaviors will become more severe over time because they get bolder and bolder and take advantage of anyone who is trying to support them. I think that most of the time she knows she's done something wrong but instead of saying sorry she reverts it and is convinced that the person is and has always been against her. If I don't contact her then I don't care and she feels alone. It doesn't matter what I do I can't win. I sometimes wonder what she could be capable of and I have started to take precautions and not have anything available that she may feel she need to take. Regardless she usually comes back but there is usually a two hour rant that I need to sit through before she has dispelled her demons and then we start all over again. There is only my one other daughter in our small family the rest are far away and she does the best she can but she needs to protect her family also. I am weary....but stubborn.....I will do what I can but I can no longer give her financial support so her desire to see me is lessening because she is compelled to ask me and really doesn't want to. But what do you do when your hungry. She says her sister and I are her biggest triggers. We are the only ones who don't understand her needs but the truth is, because we know her so well she senses our lack of conviction that she is better and handling things. She will likely come back but I dread the day when she might not. I have decided to try and find a support group near by.

July, 24 2016 at 6:08 am

Dear sir,
My name is Mohit age 28 yrs working in pvt bank in India. I live in noida India. My elder brother sachin age 32 showed first visible symptoms of psychosis in Apr 2015. He became violent and starting sermonising like a godmen. Acting as if he can see and speak with God. It was compounded by making facial expressions using tongue and shouting in aggressive manner.
After much effort he was controlled by 5 indls and admitted to hospital. Where doctor diagnosed him with psychosis. Fwg drugs were administered to him
Diva od
Sizodin for 9 months. We stopped his medication after we saw a marked change in his behaviour towards normalcy. 3 months passed without any medication incident free.
Unfortunately on 22july16 he relapsed . He became more violent this time and hit all family members incl our mother and grand father. He was overpowered after 3 hours and admitted to hospital again on 22 July 16. Doctor is of the view that this relapse has occurred due to stopping medication. Presently he is being treated at neo hospital in noida India. Doctors have administered fwg drugs.:
Clopixol acuphase 50
Clopixol depot 200 mg
Will start previously prescribed medicines again this time for 1 year complete.
It is pertinent to mention that my brother sachin is of very intimate and shy nature. He mostly keeps to himself and rarely confides in anyone. He does not have any close friends or is not even socially active.
Our father expired after elongated illness on 29 jul 2003. He evidently took that tragic event to his heart asks did not express open bereavement. He starting Working very early immediately after completing secondary school and quit job abruptly in 2012 after our sister got married without giving any explanation or reasons for the same.
He does not concede to getting married or socialise.
He do not admit that he is sick and need medicine. All medicine administered are mixed with his food. If he becomes slightly conscious He will not eat or drink anything.
We are extremely worried about his medical condition. Pl Go through his case and give a frank opinion about his chances of full recovery and way ahead
My entire family shall be obliged
A dutiful son and loving brother

April, 29 2016 at 2:47 pm

I was told by mental health worker that I can't help my adult child unless she wants help. Family told me not to take her in and take care of her because I can't. I work full time and have health issues. My mind is made up that if she calls for me then I was told to take her to the hospital and afterwards she will have outpatient counseling. She told me if she needs me she will let me know. She checks in with me twice a month but the people she talks to know something is wrong with her. She has spent two weeks in the hospital and now won't take her meds. My heart is broken. Her husband has filed for a divorce and has changed the locks. She lives with different friends.

April, 23 2016 at 1:24 pm

I recently stayed in a psychiatric hospital for over a month. Within the first few hours, I was assaulted. I didn't do what I was told, which was to leave the bathroom of the ER. What none of the 3 staff that were talking to me told me was that they would force me out if I didn't leave, which makes a lot more sense than grabbing me by surprise. I was slammed to the ground, I bled from my forehead. I was yelled at, restrained in an uncomfortable position, shot with some "tranquilizer," and within earshot, the main offender said to another nurse that saw what happened, that I was assaulting them. I simply struggled and was pushing away from a staff member who grabbed me!!! I stayed a few feet away from the ER, in a psych ward for over a month.
To make matters worse, the psychiatrist wrote an incomplete prescription for me to look at, at first, before the court order, a nurse lied about it, telling me it was an abbreviation, and the patient advocate that was supposed to be my advocate against the doctor's opinion in front of the court, praised the doctor, which is close to being the antithesis of his job description!!
Callous, thoughtless and reckless behavior from psychotherapists, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, etc. for close to 2 decades before this most recent hospital stay and finally by a specific social worker who was trying to be stern in telling me I "needed to comply" when referring to the prescription by that doctor in that hospital after I told her I was assaulted there, have finally made me incapable of taking any mental health professional seriously, except as a direct threat to my health, safety and well being.
I simply can't seek or accept "treatment." Getting "treatment" by a psychiatrist used to be somewhat of a choice for me. Now, it isn't. I don't care about the consequences of this, regardless of how severe they might be, because I viscerally feel there is an intention by "mental health professionals" and their colleagues and supporters to hurt me.

March, 9 2016 at 8:56 am

I'm am lost ? My mom also has BP. I can't, I don't have the heart to put her in a mental hospital. She stoped taking her meds. She says it's killing her, her kidneys are failing? She is really religious, extremely, when she stops her meds. She has been sent from God and must help with his plan. I am ( well, not me personally) the devil, and the evil forces, I choose to be clung to. [This is because I live with my boyfriend, out of wed-lock.] I don't know what to do any more. . . . My sisters have taken the easy road out , threw there hands up , fed up, and gave up. This also is killing my mom , why her kids don't call, visit, or care for her. It is very hard, to be the worst person , according to my my mom, being reminded, every conversation, of all my faults, and disappointments, and how , only if ; I move back home, leave my boyfriend, become a servant of God, dress the way she says, go only to the places she said, and follow her every command, will she be happy with me? Otherwise we are fighting , and she can't believe she made such a hope-less human.
I feel a little better, just being able to vent. . . .
Anyone know of any hospitals which care a little bit more than other ones? In California??

September, 9 2015 at 4:36 pm

My mom was diagnosed with bipolar shortly after my parents were married. She had her first episode as a college student, but apparently they didn't have a label for it back then. It makes me sad that my dad didn't even know he was marrying someone with bipolar. My mom is diagnosed as bipolar with psychosis as well. For many years she might have an episode for just a few short weeks, and be find for years and years. But back in 2009 she had breast cancer and I'm not sure the validity of this statement, but I honestly believe the chemo did something to her brain. She has not been the same since then. When she gets sick it will last months, and is so much more severe than before cancer. Just a few months ago she (in her right mind) stopped taking her meds. It was noticeable pretty quick. She didn't interact in conversation, called me in the middle of the night to make sure I was okay. When my sister and I started worrying my dad discovered that she'd stopped taking her meds. It felt like betrayal. I can understand a little more when she is sick, but why?? Doesn't she want to be well? Why would she choose to stop and be sick? It hurt us all so much. My dads health is being affected by this. He doesn't know what to do. Just two weeks ago he found out she's stopped taking her meds again. He asked my sister and I to come home for Labor Day to try and convince her to start taking them. She claims that God has healed her from bipolar. And that she's not going to take my dads medicine. She will only take her medicine, which apparently is her thyroid medicine. She blames everything on my dad. she lashed out at us, took her wedding ring off and told my dad she doesn't love him. And that she doesn't want him in this area of her life. She does not claim bipolar. She won't go to the hospital. She won't take her meds. It hurts so much watching this, knowing if she was thinking clearly she wouldn't make these decisions. After we tried to talk to her they went to the doctor the next day and she signed some papers so that the doctors can't discuss my moms health with my dad. That was deliberate and took some thought. My dads blood pressure is really high. He's stuck by her for so many years and it really hurts watching him get attacked by her when he's stuck by her for so long. I'm not sure how much longer he's going to be able to do that though, emotionally or physically. Especially if she won't agree to take her meds. It's just terrible. I feel like my family is falling apart.

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