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"docs were afraid to talk to him about his bi-polor problems" Any doctor who is that weak deserves to be reported to the medical board or whoever.
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Interesting and surprising! We never know when we are going to take positive steps. Good for you, GlendaLee.
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I had one day that I blew up on my father. he was going on and on about one of ouyr family members that he really liked. That family member sexually abused me from 6 to 17. It was more than I could take and I told Dad EVERYTHING that had happned as a child. Didnt get much out of him (certiankly not I am sorry or anything) but he does not talk much about that family member anymore.
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I am not able to talk to my mother about how mean she was to me growing up I know she would not amitt it or would try to make it all my fault but at least I knew how to be a good mother and my kids turned out well despite having a memtally ill father so many of his docs were afraid to talk to him about his bi-polor problems and were very accepting of him saying I am fine but my wife is crazy finally a NP got it and put him on meds but his main doc gave him every pain med available so he abused pain meds and drank loads of coffee and took caffine pills and was higher than a kite most of the time but I survived is spite of my childhood and marriage with Gods help.
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Oh how i wish that were true for my dad. But he still sees me as a little girl who doesnt know anything and gets anger in a split second if he thinks I am trying to tell him anythig. I am the one with bipolar and I so want sometimes to be the sick one, the one others take care of, even for a moment or a day. But seems like I am always caregiving. Thank God for my finacee who does try to do that for me.
Best book I have read on bipolar: loving someone with bipolar disoder by Julie Fast and john Preston.
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I looked at it as a blessing. When I went to a class on caregiving, the speaker said that they person you are taking care of, who has dementia, is not the parent that you remembered from before. Usually, this is a negative affect. If my father remembered how he felt about me through my life, then he would never allow me to take care of him. But, through dementia, he now looks at me as the sweetest lady on earth, he loves me, and won't let anyone else around him, if I'm not there. God works in mysterious ways. Now my memories of my father will be the loving, closeness that we have now, and not the bitter years of long ago. I finally got the father I've always wanted.
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Kudos to you Susan! ((((((((HUGS)))))))

"An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Jamison Redfield is probably one of the very best books I have ever read on the subject of Bipolar Affective Disorder. Many, many very, very famous people are bipolar especially actors and actresses. It is the extremes of emotion that allow them the creativity that they have and help them to display the range of emotions that they are able to articulate. Many famous artists were also bipolar ~Vincent Van Gogh was one of them. I would like to speak further about my experience with bipolar affective disorder but I am sure it will take us way off topic. I just wanted to mention this book by Kay Redfield Jamison. She is a clinical psychologist and one of the foremost experts on this potentially devastating disorder and is also bipolar herself. I highly recommend this book for all living with this disorder whether you have it yourself or are living with someone with it.
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Good for you, SusanT!!!
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I can identify with you bigtime, my mom was always even since I was a little kid 7years old, very inconsistant, I was always living in fear, walking on egg shells, etc,,,,,,,,,,,, for no real reason, IT was obvious that she had serious mental problems, How I deal with this now since the roles of parenthood have swapped so to speak, I show her all that she didnt show me whlieI was growing up! whatever I would never do to my own child I taught her never to do to me,she may or may not remember the aweful abuse I got growing up, but that is all water under the bridge now, I dont do any discussing of it with her, I do this with my therapist,,,,,,,I look at it like this, she is the very sick one now who needs love and compassion and consistency, and thats exactly what I try to give her, I never mention or ask why she did what she did way back then, as she has probably blocked all of it out anyhow,,,,,,,,,,,I just keep doing what I feel is the next right thing, and good things keep happening to us,,,,now she consideres mr her hero, I am always there for her, 2 sometimes 3 times day, and I keep my word, showing her that lying and keeping our words to each other are extremely important to ANYONES relationship!! She is starting to get it, and respects me now more than ever in my life!
hope this helps at least a lil
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There are DBT books now which are applied to many mental health issues beyond borderline and focused on bipolar disorder.
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People like Abe help me to remember I can deal with this disorder. Sometimes I think the medical profession so expects individuals with bipolar to be sick, that they dont focus on getting them well. My doctor would like me to quit working, but I dont suppose she wants to pay my bills.
I am almost two years on this job (tomorrow) and that is the best I have done since I was diagnosed.
I wish the would realize that I need to learn skills to cope with life, not just check out of it. I need to deal with my father and the more skills I learn the better. I went to DPT therapy and it helped but is was so dumbed down for those who are more ill than I that I found myself totally bored and just repeating the same things over and over.
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Yes, the latest film about Abe demonstrated very honestly how much he struggled with bi-polar II with frequent depressions one of which people in a small village took turns throughout the night for many days watching over Abe so that he did not become a danger to himself. Another time, he went to a friend's where he was cared for wonderfully. He reportedly forgave a young man of his crime when his mother explained the boy's mental illness to him. Abe also once gave his wife a book on marital happiness with certain parts of the title underlined clearly. He sometimes had to have her removed from political rallies for she was sometimes more harm than help.
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I don't know, I think kids raised in abuse don't know when to call it ENOPUGH. I am learnning to limit the abuse and not just take it. Standing up for me is my whole focus in cousneling right now. This man disrepoects me so much, some of it is mental illness I am sure, but a lot is just he is a sexist old man and doesnt think my input or contributions mean much since I am a girl. I can say something and he ignores it but let my fiancee say that same thing and dad will listen.
Codependacy is not the same as love.
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Mary Todd was suppose to be borderline, Abe himself, biploar.
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smdbrown,

BPD has a very strong Narcissistic streak in it. The way one book about borderline mother's describes the for basic types of borderline mothers is the queen BPD has replaced God Almighty and the Witch BPD is as mean as hell. BTW, Mary Todd Lincoln was known as the hell cat of the white house and as a mother she was the queen who either ruled her children or like a witch she ruined them and that she did to her son, may God have mercy on his soul.
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I am not so kind all of the time. My mother pushes my buttons and when she does I have the proverbial knee-jerk reaction and push back. I refuse to take it. We have words, we raise our voices, I cry, and we apologize to each other which is something new. My mother has actually started apologizing to me for saying things that hurt. She does do that emotional manipulation thing which I hate and have always hated, but the most important thing (as I have said before) is that I discovered that I no longer need her approval. Because of God's help, I can say that I do love my mother and I know (now) that she loves me. She seems to enjoy being the way she is so I do not really expect her change.

I agree with what you said about making a decision to be our best and to do our best NOT to be the things our parents were and do the things they did. I determined not to be like the worst parts of my mother when I was very young. I thought she had some good qualities and I wanted only those ~I had enough of bad stuff of my own. But I made sure that my children knew beyond a shadow of any doubt that they were/are loved. I never abused, neglected, or mistreated them. I disciplined them but did not just wantonly abuse them. I showed them respect and in turn they respect me.

It has been quite a journey.

Stacey
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You can only do your best and care for people you love however you can, for as long as you are able, but not at the price of your health and sanity. You are doing the best for them and care that they are safe and will be looked after. I applaud you for this. Trust me, many people in this world, even those without your history and burdens would not care at all and would just walk away.

I am sorry for what you had to go through as a child and am glad you grew up and choose to be a kind, loving, giving person, and not another bully in this world already filled with bullies.
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Well... I am sure my mother suffers from more than one personality disorder. I am reasonably certain there is NPD ~as there is no one in this world more important than herself~ and perhaps Borderline Personality Disorder. She has Dementia, and I also believe she suffers from some OCD and some paranoia which is not related to the dementia. I have a friend who says that the reason she acts the way she does is because of the dementia. I always say "No". It is just more of the same. The dementia is giving her memory problems. She lives in a world of one and always has. If I point out something she has said or done that hurts me or causes me to get really angry she always turns it around on me, never taking responsibility for what she said. It was the same the very first time she beat me up and gave me a black eye when I was ten. I had to apologize to her for her giving me a black eye. It was my fault because I tried to defend myself against her. I was just supposed to take it while she beat me up and not do a thing to protect or defend myself. I would say that not much has changed. I have become much stronger and like AmmaCatherine, I spend a tremendous amount of time on my knees. I pray. Praying has helped me tremendously. There is no way I could do what I do without it.

I also have a younger brother (age 49) who is diagnosed paranoid/schizophrenic who is given to occasional paranoid episodes and psychotic episodes/breaks. The paranoid episodes are fearful and can escalate into a psychotic break. A psychotic episode can come on without the paranoid episode and can escalate into something really, really dangerous. The stress of dealing with all of this is horrendous.

I have breast cancer which I think (and I stress the word THINK) is in remission. I am under a doctor's care right now trying to figure out what if anything is going on. I am reasonably certain SOMETHING is going on, plus my oldest daughter (23) has an abnormal pap smear which for which she will be undergoing further testing next week. Add to this a nineteen year old daughter who is all of that ~19 and thinks she has arrived as a full-fledged adult.

My brother had a paranoid episode on July 4 that was so horrendous that I decided then and there that I am putting my mother in a nursing facility as soon as a bed comes available and returning to my husband, family, and home in VA because I just cannot handle this any more. I was already moving in that direction, but that episode was a real nightmare and pushed me to try and speed it up as much as possible. Now on top of everything that I deal with, I have to deal with guilt about putting my mother in a nursing home and leaving Boston and returning to VA, and leaving my brother whom I know I cannot at all care for.

And so I pray. There is no way I could at all deal with what I deal with without the strength, mercy, and grace of God.

Stacey
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I agree with IsabelCares there. One really just needs to choose to be a better person. Look at your past and choose not to pass forward the pain and abuses of your past. Be the better person don't continue the cycle of meanness.
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CallaLilly, your sharing suggests that you are stronger than you think, and trying to do what's right for your mother in spite of everything you have experienced in your family life.

Allow your inner ethical light and compass to guide you. The light is within you and it is far greater than anything your Mom might do in her older years. Your journey in caring for your Mom is uniquely yours. Share wherever you may feel comfortable. Choose your words to your Mom with care and speak to her in gentle tones as you seek greater serenity and peace. There's a lot of wisdom in your sharing, CallaLilly. Your strenght reminds me of a CallaLilly I planted many years ago in my garden. Come what may each year, the CallaLilly pushes through the earth and blooms once more.

Sometimes we falter, but like the CL plant, we rise again, as beautiful and determined as ever - even when we may be overlooked.
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crowemagnum has that one dead on. My father who died when I was 14 in 1986 was a really unpleasant mean bitter nasty piece of work. I am sure he had his own issues, but he choose to dump them on me for the first 12 years of my life and I am both glad my parents divorced and that he died so long ago. Both very painful incidents at the time but a blessing in disguise truly for me. He thought of himself as perfect and said it often enough to reinforce the thought. I looked up personality disorders in a book I have on them and he was clearly a sadistic personality type, narcissistic and bullying, granted intelligent and gifted but miserably cruel. I CAN'T imagine him being alive now. He would not have aged well. Of all things he despised weakness, vulnerability and needing others assistance. He died of AIDS, in the end he got those in spades, all at once, plus wracking physical pain. Not fun, still glad he is gone. My mothers issues? A need to be perfect, unwillingness to admit mistakes, emotional manipulation and the fact I am not her favorite child (not a legitimate disorder). People who have wonderful childhoods and come from happy families seem like aliens to me, it's sad.
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Unnecessary stress?.....boy o, too late. He upset my mother today. He was hungry she got him some cottage cheese and fruit and some deli turkey and crackers he scarfed it down fast, then said he wasn't hungry anymore. Well I imagine not! Then said older people are not as hungry and he "shouldn't have eaten it" She got so upset she left the room. I am not the only one worn out of his presence. The coot-age is getting think around here, just wondering when it ends.
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N1K2R3 , Your views on mental illness are the standard ones according to the DSMIV which is going to have an updated publication not to long from now! PDs as far as the mental health world understands them are caught while often other mental illnesses which are organic are genetically passed down or physically take place somehow. For example, if one or more parents' have a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder then the likelyhood of their children getting it is extremely high. BTW, want to guess who has the highest rate of bi-polar in America? The Omish have the highest rate of bi-polar of any subgroup because they are all so closely related to each other in their tight religious culture. Another good reason for not marrying people too closely related to you although it is legal in some states to marry first cousins which is not the case in W.Va.

I repeatedly have said to daughters and sons of such parents is that you didn't cause it, you can't fix it and you can't control it. Plus, I've encouraged therapy because as the literature points our and experience confirms without it you can catch PD fleas. These PDs are caught through various psycho/social dynamics which are really complicated and BPD is rooted mainly in total invalidation and often raised by one or more parents with NPD. Look at the book the Drama of the Gifted Child. The title needs correcting to the Trauma of the gifted child. Plus a gifted, highly sensitive child in an invalidating NPD environment and one will either come out with someone who has BPD or an extremely gifted therapist or both.

All you can do is get and keep yourself on a healthy path. If they chose to do so fine and if not fine and sometimes it includes geographical distance which includes no contact or extremely limited contact.

I've had to cut my MIL completely out of my and my boys life for several years and in a whole lot of ways she's cut out of our life after being so intrusively damaging. My wife, bless her heart, finally stopped hiding behind my ass and set some limiting boundaries with her mom herself for both herself and the boys. Her therapist was so glad she stopped hiding behind my britches. :)

From what I'm reading so much of here is that many caregivers are dealing with parents who have very likely an undiagnosed personality disorder given all the hell they've been through in childhood, teenage years, etc.

I will say that people with elderly parents who have a diagnosed or undiagnosed PD aren't going to go to something like DBT, therapy, etc. for one thing they have been that way their entire life; they are set in their ways; and unlike we baby boomers they don't as a group believe in going to therapists even less that they have a mental problem because of its stigma in society and ancient views of it within many religious groups.
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J, I think that is part of the problem with dad and I amd Mike and dad. I am diagnoses bipolar with anxiety, and dealing with my own illness and working is a lot for me. In fact my DR. really doesnt like it when I workl more than part-time. On tope of that dealing with dads ocd is very difficult.
Also Mike has an anxiety disorder and is just begining to learn abou it, so he has a very hard time with Dad. I am more well than I have been in a long time but it is a lot of work and doesnt leave much energy for unneccessary stress.
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Speaking as someone diagnosed with mental illness, Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, anxiety...I can say different disorders don't mix either and when I come across people either more severely effected than I am or with disorders that scare me, I am polite but keep my distance. It is much harder when it is family, (or yourself) but you are right. If you can avoid the person or limit your interaction it really does help. The world may be "crazy" but it is not all mentally ill and lots of people would just assume not be involved with those who are. That isn't really wrong. Would you want to be in a room with someone who had some icky, oozing disease if you didn't have to be. You can't "catch" crazy, but it can frustrate and limit your own life options severely as well as be quite uncomfortable to negotiate with in general.
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I agree, personailty disorders can not be "fixed'. You can learn coping skills to deal with certian pd but that is it.
However, I do think they can improve with DPT therapy and medication. The problem is with most of the elderly in our lives, they are not going to agree to therapy or medication or even be able to participate in it.
My hardest part with dad right now, is as he ages , the OCD seems to be getting worse.
For instance, there are napkins and paper towles all over the hosue all the time as he 1 never throws them away (I DO) and two he seems to have some obsession with them. Its disgusting.
Yesterday my partner and I threw away a terrible disgusting box that dad had been suing to recycle pop cans. There are lots of empty boxes in the garage that he could have replaced that box with. Instead he went out to the garbage and got his box back. How unsanitary is that. And I wonder why we have a problem with ants.
I am ready to be done with this and would be i f my fiancee was not jhere to support and encourage me. Dad drove him crazy this morning though, as he took Mikes' clothes our of the drying (not completly dry) and laid them on the kitchen table. At least its better then the last time when he just threw them in the garage in a pile in the corner.
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We've been through this before, Crowe, so here goes my take on Mental Illness ( Upper-case, mine).
All mental illness are NOT personality disorders. The conditions that rank as P.D. are extremely serious, as you know, and require special skillls to treat. Some P.D.'s can never be "cured", just dealt with.
If you know, or are living with someone who has been diagnosed with a P.D. , it is best that you do not try to solve their problems, or even take them on. Hopefully the peolple described on this site are not in that category, but if they are, then they should be dealt with accordingly with a mental health professional. It is also recommended that these patients live outside a family setting, especially where there are children..
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Calla, I don't know whether you are caring for your mother in your home or arranging for her care in her own home. My advice for you in either case is that in order to keep yourself balanced enough to continue doing the job of looking out for your mother's care, you need to set limits to preserve your own physical/mental health. I respect you for caring for your mother in spite of your feelings of resentment., left over from childhood and so forth. You know what your limits are....If you care for yourself by honoring your limits, and only doing so much for your mother, you will be able to keep this set-up going and help your mother as she ages.
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AmmaCatherine

I sure hope that your 5 year old is not having to grow up around your mom because she doesn't sound like a healthy person to be around.
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Dear CalleLilly, God Bless you in caring for your mother. I too am caring for mom, I'm a middle child and also not her favorite. Thank God my dads alive too and as I'm caring for him too, he's mentally healthy. And he helps defend me where my mother will accuse me of stealing or going through her personal things, when I've never even thought to do such things.
So I try to reason with her and assure her I would never do anything to hurt her or trespass in her things. Now, how I mentally get over this heart breaking attacks from her ..... is to pray and give it up to God. I know you may think that's baloney, but it works. As I have been ready to pack my things and never see her again forever, I would only hurt my father and she still wouldn't understand. But GOD has pulled me through, pulled me UP, and now when she attacks, I'm cool, It's cool, and I forgive her, give it up to God to deal with and totally let it go.
I have a five year old that I adopted from birth, and believe me my hearts ripped out when she attacks anything about my baby. And again immediate prayer and surrender and forgiveness heals the wound and allows me to once again show her my love through Christ.
God Bless you and I'll hold you in my prayers.
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