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Old 10-28-2007, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Daughter is mentally ill

My daughter (who is in her early 20's) is mentally ill - she is extremely delusional and drinking very heavily. There have been numerous life threatening episodes in the last few years, in which I am called in to deal with police, emergency rooms, etc..

She has gotten so much sicker lately.

There is something new now - she has now begun to attack me! The pain and betrayal and hurt is almost too much to bear. I have been the only person who has stuck with her the last few years. Every week, I have made sure she had food and necessities when she was on welfare.

And she is now accusing me of stealing from her. She actually called the police to complain about me! I know she is doing this because she is so sick, but how much can a mother take?

Now in addition to greif and sadness and worry, I can add fear to my burden. I am now afraid that she might become vindicitve against me as she gets sicker. And she keeps getting sicker because she is in total denial that she needs help.

And no matter how hard I try, I cannot get any help for her. Every time she has come into contact with the hospital here, they have turned her away.

Sorry for the sad rant - I am in a very depressed state of mind.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Brighthope;

You're in a depressed state of mind, with good cause. You're under much stress.
What are you doing t help yourself during this stressful period?
Have you gone to alanon meetings? Have you posted in teh friends and family of alcoholics forum above? You will find much helpful support there and wisdom.

As for your daughter, you cannot get her help unless she is an immediate danger to herself or others. Your best bet is to focus on yourself. Stop enabling her by giving her the food and necessities she needs. As long as you do that, she doesn't have to deal with any of the consequences of her actions. And you are bearing the burden of them. I know it's difficult; my son is an addict and I've turned him away many times. But, it's for their benefit. They are adults and are making choices. Allow her the dignity of living with them.

In the meantime, get yourself the support you deserve. An alanon meeting would do you wonders. And the book, Codependent No More, by Melony Beatie.

I wish you luck on your journey.

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Old 10-28-2007, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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BrightHope, hello an welcome to the forum. My first thoughts are that she is bipolar I, but i'm not positive and would need to know more for that. However, the delusions, rage, paranoia, heavy drinking...and even the denial are all very common in a person who is manic. If she continues to get worse her delusions could get worse to the point where she could become completely psychotic. I know a guy i went to high school with who's dad is a long-time preacher and this friend got so manic that he truely believed and acted like he was satan and then a few minutes later he'd think he was a famous cowboy with guns strapped around his waist. And then a few minutes later he'd just be back to basically himself only still manic (talking very fast and quickly changing from one thought to another...often not making much sense).

My suggestion would be to try to get her to see a psychiatrist who could diagnose her and start her on meds. Although it seems she will be resistant to all that, BUT eventually she will come down from the mania and at that point she will most likely go into a depression and then will want help. Then...if she's already been diagnosed by a pdoc then perhaps she will be more willing to take responsibility for the illness and start on meds....possibly.

With her being 20, there's not a whole lot you can force her to do tho. Unless of course she is attacking you again....at that point you can and should call the police. I can't even imagine how hard that would be for a mother to do, but it might end up being the best thing you could do to help her. I don't know what state you live in, or what country, but some states allow for two people to EOD a person if they are a danger to themselves or others. (EOD means = Emergency Order of Detention).

Other than trying to see if she will go to a psychiatrist visit with you....i'd suggest calling your local NAMI office (which can be found by going to www.nami.org and looking at the contacts for your state) and asking them if they know anything more you can do. You know she is sick and you know she is unable to properly think or care for herself right now....so maybe they will have some suggestions.

Lastly....i know you love and care for her, but don't put yourself in a situation where she can hurt you. if you meet with her....take someone with you AND/or only meet her in public places with lots of other people. If you get hurt then who will help watch over her?

Oh.....and please try not to take her current actions personally. Her calling the cops on you, accusing you of things like she's doing and the violence toward you are all the result of her illnesses right now. She is sick, very sick. This is NOT her, but unfortunately she can't really see that right now. Try to remember who she is at heart when she's not ill and keep telling yourself that this is the illness, not your daughter.

With proper treatement she can return to the person she was before. And IF she is bipolar I then it is pretty easy to keep the major manic episodes like this at bay with mood stabalizers....if she'll take them and stay on them (often those with bipolar I have a hard time sticking to the mood stabalizers....partially because the manias feel so energizing and fun and exciting and ....well mood stabalizers basically bring them down and then they feel flat and a bit lifeless (in comparison to those extreme highs).

Prayers and best wishes,
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ditto what HistoryTeach said....the less help you give her with food and things, the quicker she will seek help on her own. And only when a person wants to help themselves will they really be serious about it.

And ditto to the Alanon meetings and the book....they changed my life.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You're in a depressed state of mind, with good cause. You're under much stress.
What are you doing t help yourself during this stressful period?
Have you gone to alanon meetings?

As for your daughter, you cannot get her help unless she is an immediate danger to herself or others. Your best bet is to focus on yourself. Stop enabling her by giving her the food and necessities she needs. As long as you do that, she doesn't have to deal with any of the consequences of her actions. .... They are adults and are making choices. Allow her the dignity of living with them.
Yes, I've been going to Alanon for two years and it has been a great help in dealing with her alcoholism...but I feel very alone when it comes to the mental illness.

I understand that drinking is a choice - I understand the 3 "c's" of Alanon - but mentall illness is not a choice my daughter is making. She is ill, her mind is not working properly - she is so paranoid and delusional and psychotic she is refusing treatment. She believes people are trying to kill her and she believes that everything she says is being broadcast on the radio.

I would not walk past a person who was lying on the side of the road with a broken leg, I would try to help them. My daughter's mind is broken, and because she is mentally ill she does not believe she needs treatment. And the administrator at the local hospital has told me that the only way she will get any treatment is on a voluntary basis. This means that she will not get the medical treatment she needs simply because she happens to be mentally ill and paranoid and delusional. (I am not in the United States, and I am researching Involuntary Commitment laws in my country).

I understand it might give me more peace and serenity to just give up and stop giving her food but it breaks my heart to do that for two reasons -
1. she is sick and vulnerable and
2. I know for a fact she will prostitue herself for food if necessary - she has done it before for booze.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I hear you, Bright hope....
and I honestly understand.
My son is a heroin addict who is also bipolar.
So, I do understand what your saying when you say that you wouldn't walk past someone with a broken leg; and that she is not getting help because her mind is broken and she doesn't think she needs help. I honestly do...

And we still can't do anything, in the USA, unless they are a danger to themselves or to others. Now, it's the definition of "a danger to themselves" that is key here in the US, I've discovered. In Mass, it's a much different definition than in RI, where I live! And I've been trying to get my state legislators to change things here for years! And to get the doctors in RI to treat both problems together, as is necessary for effective treatment, like they do in Mass. It's like beating my head against a stone wall. To add insult to injury, RI won't let my son go to the next state, (Literally five minutes away from home), to get treatment that works! Yes, the judge in RI actually took him OUT of a rehab in Mass -- simply because it wasn't RI! :nono:

The politics of drug addiction are sickening!

So, please know that I hear you, and understand your pain.
I hope you find an answer in whatever country you are in. If you share that information with us, there may be others who know something that can help you. SR has members from all over the world!
Please let us know how it goes.

I'm glad you are taking care of yourself. Please be sure to continue to do so... :>)

Shalom!
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The politics of drug addiction are sickening!
I am just beginning to learn that, now that I have decided to try to demand some medical help for my daughter. I had my first meeting with a mental health administrator yesterday and all he could do was talk legalities, while my daughter suffers and gets sicker and sicker.

I am almost 50 years old - I feel exhausted and traumatized from dealing with all the life threatening episodes for the last two years- hospitalizations and criminal episodes around my daughter's alcoholism.

I don't know if I have it in me to fight a system that utterly refuses to use the involuntary committment laws we have here.

But at the same time, I still have to try.

Thank you for your words of wisdom. It helps to talk to someone who deals with the pain of having an addicted and mentally ill adult child.

She is my only child - she is all I have in the world. (yes, this is a bit of self pity... )
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There is nothing I can add but know someone is going to say a prayer for u and your daughter.:praying
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi, and I too am sorry you're going through all this. This scenario sounds very familiar to me too. When I was in highschool, my best friend became schizophrenic and was hearing messages through the radio and began attacking her mom. Since we're not psychiatrists, we certainly can't diagnose her, but if she is schizophrenic, that too can be very successfully treated with medication. A diagnosis will probably bring you much relief.

I'm sort of in disagreement with some of the others though about not giving her food anymore. Twenty is still very young and it doesn't sound like she's in her right mind to have any clue about what is best for herself, let alone be able to work to pay for her own necessities. If she is truly psychotic, she is cut off from reality as you and I know it and really needs to be in a hospital.

I live in Missouri, and this summer I had my sister committed to the state mental hospital. It was extremely easy. I just signed an affadavit saying she had threatened suicide. If she is attacking you, I can't imagine she wouldn't be considered a danger to others. I think it's ridiculous that this varies between states. Our medical system is so messed up in this country!

I know it is soooo hard when you live with someone who is mentally ill and they say things that are hurtful. I attended Al Anon for a few years because I am in a relationship with a recovering alcoholic. When he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I felt almost betrayed by Al Anon because I felt like it couldn't help me with the mental illness part. Now I see there isn't much difference between the alcoholism and the mental illness in terms of Al Anon principles and the steps. I am powerless over his illness. For some reason, that was SOOO much harder to come to terms with than being powerless over alcohol. But, finally I was able to do it.

I would also suggest (although I know that this is easier said than done) that you try not to take the abuse from your daughter personally. It's the disease talking, not her. This is something else I have been trying to do, although it is hard, because my heart breaks everytime my boyfriend becomes irritable and mean. Luckily, nowadays, this only happens when he forgets to take his meds, and I can say to him "you're manic...you need to go in the other room or for a walk" and he can calm himself down a bit.

I wish you the best of luck. I think things will get better for you once she gets a diagnosis and the proper medication. I will say a prayer for you.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I understand your sorrow, it's heartbreaking I know. 2 of my children are bipolar, my son is bipolar, self medicates, alcoholic and addict. I have been through many episodes of his behaviour, he's been commited several times, and had terrorised his family, smashed my home stolen from me and lies all the time. He is a danger and the police and doctors are aware of this and now if he comes to my home I have to call the medics and the police and he will be put in hospital or prison depending on what he's done. His suicide attempts have been to numerous to mention the last time it was a miracle he survived. I am still detaching with love and hope he will eventually take his meds as he is prescribed. He has a daughter whom he neglects when he has access, I have had to go and see a lawyer for supervised visits and I am waiting for this to come through. I have to go to a tribunal also for my rights of visits of my grandaughter, they are not automatic in my country, if someone opposes it. My daughter is bipolar and X fragile and blamed me for all her problems and the last I heard of her was from a friend who she had cut off for no reason, he said she is in South Africa so I don't know if she is alive or not, I pray that she has found peace. My youngest son has X fragile also he is 25 with the mental age of a 3 year old. I have fragile x and am bipolar too, I take my meds but before I was a drunk and an addict too. My middle son is so called "normal" but has drinking problems himself now.
Take it easy on yourself don't carry her load it makes things worse, I have found that out to my state of mind and I now try to stand back and be objective. There are happy endings I hope your's is one of them. As the others have said if your daughter's mentally ill she can be helped, if she's willing to take it. Love and positive thoughts are being sent to you. hugs indigo
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Now I see there isn't much difference between the alcoholism and the mental illness in terms of Al Anon principles and the steps. I am powerless over his illness. For some reason, that was SOOO much harder to come to terms with than being powerless over alcohol. But, finally I was able to do it.
This is something I have been struggling with - I use what I have learned in Alanon to help me keep my serenity around my daughter's drinking, but it is very hard when it comes to her mental illness.

Sometimes when people are sick, they need help and care and medical attention.

If I was suffering from Alzheimers and wandering around disoriented on the street, I would hope and pray that a friend or family member would take care of me, and not coldly turn their back. What is the difference between that and the fact that my daughter is pychotic and paranoid? Is it wrong for me to try to fight for her right to obtain medical care, even though she insists she is perfectly OK?

It's weird, whenever I "meddle" lately in trying to get help for my daughter, I usually get a bad feeling - my gut intuition is telling me not to meddle, but my head and heart cannot help it.

I really appreciate all the feedback - it helps so much to chat with people who have experience in these matters - it helps me to think clearly and look at all the options.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I know this thread is quite old but I wanted to see if there is any type of improvement at all?

I wish you all a very happy and wonderful holiday season!
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hello KLL, welcome to SR. I hope you'll continue to visit our site for info and support. This is a great place for recovery.

The last time brighthope posted was Jan. 08 but it's possible that some of our other members might respond.

Happy Holidays to you as well!
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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sounds like schizophrenia to me. That goes way beyond manic episodes
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