Reasons why people refuse to acknowledge and get help for Bipolar Disorder
Many people find it incredibly difficult to acknowledge and accept that they are living with bipolar disorder….let alone be willing to get help. They have really good reasons.
Here are some perspectives people have shared with me as well as my own experience that I have overcome in order to get to be who I am.
I share this is so that people who want their loved one to admit they have diagnoses can understand where their loved one is coming from.
- “This way of thinking and being is normal for me. I have always been this way. Why should I need a doctor, medication and therapy to feel “normal”. This is what I know. Nothing is wrong with me.”
- “I’m not hurting anyone but myself. I don’t care what people think about me.”
- “This is who I am. I don’t want to change.”
- “I don’t want to be controlled by medication. I don’t want to be a robot……I am afraid that if I take medication, I will lose who I am.”
- “Struggling with the ups and downs is something that I know how to do well. I don’t know what I would do with myself.”
- “I am so scared of medication. I have heard stories of people not being able to feel and think. I have heard stories of people not able to be who they were. That really scares me.”
- “I can’t believe that the most wonderful, beautiful, life changing experience didn’t come from God and is considered as a disorder…I can’t believe that it means there is something wrong with my brain.”
- “I don’t want to be treated as though I am crazy.”
- ” I don’t want to find out that there is something wrong with me.”
- “Society has a problem for not valuing and putting to use your creativity, brilliance and energy. I have something to offer just the way I am.”
- “Moses saw a burning bush and said God was talking to him…AND he’s a prophet. Why is it that when I see God and we talk that I am crazy?”
- “I love mania.”
- “I don’t see it as a problem.”
- “What if no matter how hard I try, I can’t be “normal”?”
- “What if I can’t be fixed?”
- “I am broken.”
- “I don’t belong. No one will accept me.”
- “My life feels over.”
- “I don’t know who I am.”
- “No one will love me. I am not loveable.”
- “I am so scared of myself.”
No one can be forced to see that they are living with bipolar disorder. No one can be forced to take action and receive treatment.
Have compassion and empathy.
People usually do not seek out treatment unless it affects their functioning on the following levels:
- They feel out of control of their mind and body.
- There loved ones do not feel safe being around them.
- They are at risk for self-harm or a danger to others.
- They are not able to function in their work.
- They are not able to be the partner they want to be in their romantic relationship due to their behavior and emotion.
- They are having difficulty maintaining friendships due to their behavior.
Sometimes people are not able to see that this is taking place. They are so deep in the mania that they can’t see what is happening.
Therefore, it is important for loved one’s of a person who is allegedly experiencing bipolar disorder to share their concerns and help them develop their awareness.
Your reasoning is very sound. I have believe for years that my mother is bipolar. At her age it is a moot point now.
My step-daughter, who is 15, is exhibiting the signs of bi-polar disorder. My husband says she was diagnosed when she was younger but her mother took her off medication. Since moving in together, I have noticed her moods become worse. She will not get help though. Apparently her mother had her committed when she was younger and she resents any counseling. Her moods are affecting everyone in the house. A few weeks ago, she went on a screaming fit, not making sense and talking about a dozen things at once. Her dad finally got her calmed down and she realized she was wrong but I am waiting for the next one to happen. Yesterday I found a note in the trash can that she had written the day she threw her fit. In it she said she was going to end her life. She needs help right now but I have no clue on how to get her to go to counseling without physically forcing her. Does anyone have any solution to this problem?
@ Duke: Thank you, Duke, for your support.
@ Lisa: My experience with teens has taught me that you have to be very careful when you find something in the trash and bring it up with them. Teens often feel that it is an invasion of privacy. How you address it can make the difference between rejection and opening a door.
Something useful to say would be, “Yesterday, I accidentally threw something important away and when I went to get it out, I grabbed this. It turns out it wasn’t mine and I think it may be yours…is it okay if I show it to you and talk about it?”
On the other hand, it is very important to talk with her about what you found and ask her if she has a plan for suicide: how, what, when, where she wants to commit suicide and if she has the means to take her life.
If she has a plan for suicide, it is important that she be hospitalized even if it is against her will. Hospitalization will keep her from being able to take her life.
If she does not have a plan and a means of implementing it, it is important that she knows how much you care. It is helpful to share your concern for her and your desire to help her. It is important to let her know that you don’t want to do anything against her will, nonetheless it saddens you so much to see her suffering and you would like to help her in any way you can.
Some ideas of things to ask her:
“Will you give me permission to help you?”
“How would I know if I am helping you?”
“What are your concerns about therapy?”
“What have you experienced in therapy before?”
Have empathy for what she says.
no problem. anything I can do to help. I have fought depression for years. this whole issue of mental illness is fascinating. One of the problems I have with the “establishment” is that they bring people to office buildings ,take them into their office filled woth books and plaques. then they say tell me your inner most feelings.
A few more I’ve heard are:
“I don’t deserve help”
“Why waste someone else’s time?”
I guess I don’t really know where to begin. I have always noticed something differant about my wife,but until recently 5 years ago became fully aware. I have been threatened with divorce,(I love her very much, she is my girl.)The sexual relationship stops, I get accussed of doing things that I have no clue about. From time to time people follow her, do things to mess with her,she usually cannot hold a job for more than a year. If I work on her car she thinks that I do things to tear it up on purpose. I can go on and on for a very long time. I had a good friend of the family who happens to be a high ranking highway patrolman, talk to me about my wife and he thought that she ia bi-ploar, lots of people do. My wife will not listen to me, she doesn’t trust me at all. She thinks she is just fine. However, the person she is right now this very day is not the same girl that I had 3 months ago. This episode has been going on for about 2 months now. The last large manic episode happened about 1 and a half years ago. What can I do to get her seek treatment. I am about to give up and move on without her, and I don’t want to do that.We have been together for 17 years and I love her more than ever, but I can’t keep going through this evey 6 months to a year and a half. If you can help me or give me some advice I would appreciate it. Thank you . Frank
I’ve just broken up with my girlfriend of 2 and a half years. When we started dating, everything was fine and suddenly about 9 months ago she suddenly started to have conversations about her ex-husband and it continued for months on end. She mentioned to me one day that she was not feeling well and just wanted to be alone by herself. I am very busy travelling for my job during the week and when it comes to the weekend, I just spend my time with her over at her place. I finally had a concersation with her regarding my concerns about her ex and she advised me during our conversation that I do not have any compassion for the mentally ill. My response to her was that I do however, if it’s you that is suffering, I have compassion. But if it’s your ex, I do not want to consistently hear about him. We tried to have conversations on this and it finally got pretty nasty. I finally told her that lately, I have been frustrated about her talking about the ex and it’s getting to be a problem in our relationship. She’s been having mood swings every other week for the last 9 months and it’s getting to be a strain on our relationship. She even bring issues regarding my kids and always try to argue with me regarding the raising of my children. I have a teenager and the other child is in the U.S. Navy. She on the other hand is raising an 8 year old daughter and she’s always telling her daughter to call her father every morning like it’s a ritual. I believe that she is still having resentment and feelings towards her ex because she’s always stating to me that she hates him. However, I still believe that when a person says this, they are still having some love feelings towards the other person. I stated to her that she was not over her ex even though he since been remarried. I advised her to get help and I also mentioned to her that she’s bipolar and needs to get treated for her illness. So far she is in denial and will not get help. My question is, “Was I right for terminating this relationship?” Please give me an answer