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My father in law is a semi-functioning bipolar alcoholic turning 61 this year, he has been living independently for a few years after my mother in law separated from him due to verbal abuse, manipulation and money problems due to the alcoholism. The immediate family (my partner, his brother, mum and dad) have all been still on good terms for the most part having regular dinners etc.


While he has been living independently he has been in and out of short-term mental health clinics and is medicated for his bipolar (amongst other things) still drinking very heavily and smoking marijuana. He has manic periods where he attempts to make “big deals” (Delusions of grandeur) and when my partner and his brother attempt to talk to him, check he is taking his medication he becomes very verbally abusive and continues to write huge emails in essay format to various family members and heads of psychology clinics making big threats and continuing to verbally abuse and ridicule anyone who tries to get in his way/talk any sense.


All of this was manageable up until Just over a month ago. My father in law had a manic episode and forgotten to take his medication (due to passing out drunk) and was caught walking around the apartment block naked and after ambulance and police were called they found marijuana in his apartment. He was kicked out of the apartment complex but lucky did not get charged for anything, and moved into a temporary mental health clinic until we (my partner, his mum, his brother and I) could weigh up our options and find him another place to stay.


Since then, Coronavirus has happened and he has gotten kicked out of the mental health clinic for sneaking alcohol and drugs in and verbally abusing the head psychologist. He has been living with my partner and his mum and to make matters worse is currently obsessed with trying to sue the landlord of the apartment block he got evicted from (including contacting lawyers etc and getting the family involved). There were rules that he was meant to stick to to keep living at the family home and he broke them but is now back living there again as there was nowhere to go. He needs to applying for the mental health housing commission himself however just isn’t doing it. What do we do? He is still psychologically abusive and draining, can’t be left at home by himself. We don’t know whether to completely shut him out (have tried once and failed- he went to the hospital and self-discharged and slept on the street, constantly texting everyone and guilt tripping) or to try and get some sort of power of attorney to put him in a mental facility? Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.

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Geaton777...this is a tough, heartbreaking situation.
Often people will turn to drugs and or alcohol as a way to self medicate. This can cause a spiral that is hard to get out of.
What came first the chicken or the egg...what do you treat first the bipolar issue or the drug/alcohol? Or can both be treated together? But again only if he is willing to participate.
He was already in a facility for mental health and was kicked out for bringing in drugs and alcohol.

In a situation like this I often wonder if the gentleman is a Veteran if so the VA might be able to help. If so it might be another option to look into.

I do hope LilyAustralia keeps us posted.
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Grandma, my husband lead a men's group at the Salvation Army for recovering addicts for many years. I totally agree with what you are saying but the FIL also is bipolar and not taking his meds. There won't be much hope of recovery without getting his bipolar disorder under control first. And, with his paranoid delusions he may very well be a danger to others. Forcing him into a controlled environment solves at least one problem.
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As with any addict you can not MAKE them accept help and until there is a bottom to get up from there is no getting up.
It is difficult to watch someone self destruct.
I suggest that you and the rest of the family contact an Al Anon Family meeting and go from there. This is not something you can "fix" it is not up to you or any other family member to "fix" your FIL. He has to want to "fix" himself. What you need to do is be there for each other and know that there is a good possibility that you will be mourning together.
Sorry this is not much help nor more upbeat or inspiring.
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LilyAustralia, that situation drained me just reading about it. I'm so sorry for everyone, including your FIL. One of my sons as an older teen had a very rough period in his life and we could not have him in our home. At one point he was sleeping in his car in MN in the winter (-4ºF) and I cried all those nights, so I can only imagine what your family is going through. If you are in Australia, I'm not sure what their laws entail for getting guardianship, and not sure what the quality of the institutions are. The streets are dangerous and he'll never recover there. I think if he is a danger to himself and society, he does need to be forcibly detained, at least for a while. There aren't many institutions here for the mentally ill and they are not nice places. It is extremely difficult to have someone "committed" even with guardianship and that's why there are so many homeless people in the U.S. Hopefully it's easier in Australia, but that's the path I would take. May you have solutions, may your FIL achieve recovery and may you all have peace in your hearts as you help each other.
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