COMMUNITY QUESTION: My family is using my bipolar disorder against me

AlyssaWinegardenAlyssaWinegarden New Life Outlook
A community member asks: 'I understand how a lot of you feel about family not being supportive or involved with your mental illness. I get so frustrated and angry because a lot of my mental illness stems from the verbal abuse, alienation and jealousy of my stepfather and abandonment of my alcoholic father. My mother's mental illness created the perfect environment for a mentally I'll child. I'm 35 and a single mother of 3 children and I had to move back home after a stint in rehab because of self medicating my bipolar and didn't know I had it. For years I sought professional help by a psychiatrist who insisted I had anxiety and depression and prescribed antidepressants which made me worse. It wasn't until I was in rehab 5yrs a go that I got the right diagnosis and proper medication, but by that time I lost everything and had to move back home. Now I'm dependent on the very people who made me sick. I'm trying to get SDI because I can't handle working because of my mood shifts and almost untreatable insomnia. The worst part is they use my bipolar against me by making it the reason for family conflict when in fact they are dysfunctional in almost every way possible. They project almost everything on to me when they need extreme professional help and counseling. It's unfair and makes me feel worse and desperate at times. I feel stuck and in a box like I'm suffocating and being buried alive with on way out because I can't be independent like I used to be. I'm trying really hard to not react to them and be thankful that they are letting us stay here but I resent the fact that I have to do all of the changing when they need to seek help just as much as I do. Anyone going through this too?'


  • Hello Alyssa,
    Unfortunately I am experiencing the same situation as you. I was very independent until the last 10 years. A psychiatrist also insisted I had Anxiety & Major Depression. I had a bad bout of depressing in summer 2015; prompting me to seek out therapy and medication from a psychiatrist. Little did I know then, but the antidepressants I was taking were creating a storm in me! Well, I went into a Manic episode, lasting almost a year. I spiraled into a downward tailspin that was horrible! I too lost just about everything; both financially and with my relationships! I almost lost me life to suicide...ugh! I hate that our families continue to assert & place blame on ourselves, the actual victim, taking no accountability at all. I read your story, and I wasn't surprized that it could be a mirror of mine. I'm so very sorry; you don't deserve this, and you never did.
    My Father was an emotionally absent alcoholic man, who also abandoned me. My Mom obviously suffered from "something" when I was growing up, but none of the adults ever helped her either. She's been going 9 years next month, and all that I can think of is how her birth family and my Father's betrayed her by not getting her the help she didn't even understand.
    I was correctly diagnosed and placed on mood stabilizing meds last month; I already notice more clarity. I'm not there yet, but it's sure better than it was even 2 month ago! My twin brother, whom I thought would always be there has basically disowned me, stating I'm "crazy"; as if it's somehow contagious! My 2 sisters say that they care, but every time I reach out for help or understanding, I'm met with "U have to do this on your own". Really? I am a Mom to 2 boys; I have never leaned on them the way that my Mom did to me as a child (part of the dysfunction).
    I'm still hanging in there, this seems like a nightmare and I'm still trying to wake up. Hang in there! And keep in touch. I'm wishing you all the best!

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