I think my younger sister has Bipolar Disorder?
April Asked: I think my younger sister has Bipolar Disorder?
I have a younger sister who is 22 years old and i love her very much but i am quite concerned about her.She is a lovely girl but she isn't well at the moment and i think she needs medical treatment. I am not a qualified doctor but i think she has Bipolar Disorder.Our mum suffered from this illness for a long time and ended up committing suicide several years ago.For the last 6 months i have noticed that my sister has been having dramatic mood swings.She has been very up and down during these months.There are periods when she seems high and elated.She is extremely happy and confident and feels like she can rule the world.She seems so full of energy and is the life and soul of any party.She excels at her job it's as if she runs rings around everone else getting things done. But she ends up taking on far too many projects.She exists on very little sleep.She talks so fast about things that don't make sense that you'd think her head was going to explode.Delusions of grandeur like wanting to move to jamaica because she will make millions selling fruit on a stall."LETS GO TO TAHITI AND GET A TATTOO" was another one of her crazy ideas.She's impulsive,takes risks and behaves out-of-character like having unprotected sex with guys she just meets and spending money like there is no tommorow(she is in alot of debt already) and abusing alcohol.My sister is half-cut by early afternoon.When you challenge her about her behaviour she becomes irritable and angry with you accusing me of being against her and calling me every nasty name under the sun(she threw a plate at me once).I am just a very worried sister.
Then my sister crashes into deep depression.She cries constantly and has suicidal thoughts. She can't cope with the simplest of tasks such as cleaning the house, eating and washing herself.She just stays in bed for what seems like forever and doesn't see or speak to anyone.She really despairs and feels so hopeless and worthless.She just isolates herself.The other day i told her that i am very concerned about her health and that she should see a doctor and that i would go with her for support.She got really denfensive and said that she's perfectly fine, she doesn't need a doctor and she is just a normal young woman and i have to stop overreracting and interfering.This is not true.I care about her alot.What she is doing isn't normal and my sister doesn't want to admit it.I hope she doesn't have Bipolar Disorder like our mother as it ruined her lifebut i can't get it out of my mind.Do you think my sister has Bipolar Disorder?How can i convince her to seek medical help?Thank you
I am not a doctor, but the fact that your mother had bipolar disorder, and she is showing so many symptoms, it seems likely. She needs to get treatment, I would try talking to a counselor about doing some sort of intervention.
The problem is that you can't really know if your sister has bipolar disorder or not until she gets to see a psychiatrist.There is a possibility she could just be grieving in a poor manner over your mom's passing, but I think you are right, she does have a lot of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.I posted the list below for you to read, its from the National Institute of Mental Health, a good organization.
If she does have bipolar disorder, there isn't much you can do if she doesn't want treatment.If she gets suicidal or behaves psychotically, you can call 9-1-1 and get her admitted on a 72 hour hold and they will evaluate her.But if she is just drinking and spending money and having unsafe sex, well, they will have a hard time saying she isn't behaving like a typical 22 year old.
You can get yourself to a support group, most good ones allow family members, and you can learn more about bipolar disorder and how people are successfully living with it.Maybe if you like the group, your sister will go with you to it.The one thing that is difficult with bipolar disorder is finding the right medicine for YOU, it took them like 20 tries to get the right combo for me, but now I am living a decent, happy life; have a kid, going to school, and hopefully after school will be rejoining the work force.Bipolar disorder can be overcome with doctor's supervision, medicine and attention to how you live your life, so don't give up hope on her.A lot of times people have to hit bottom before they seek help though.
The support group I go to here in norCal is http://www.bipolarinsights.com, they don't have other branches, but perhaps you can find a similar one in your area.Best of luck and don't give up on her, some day she will need your love and support when she decides to get help, assuming she does have bipolar disorder.