Jump to content

Recommended Posts


My family has been going through a difficult time adjusting to the fact that my brother has bipolar disorder. He has spent countless days in the hospital and in shelters. He has nothing and is seemingly content with his existence yet we feel remorse and a desire to help him. It's tearing my family apart and we are all continuing to try to work together to help him but he doesn't want to help himself.


I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about this disease or has had similar experiences with it. I've been doing research and can see that it is possible to get back on the right track but he just doesn't seem to want to better himself. He is often homeless and is shipped from place to place. He has a drinking problem and can't keep a job.


What can I do as his sister? What can my parents do to help him? I have two other brothers who have contributed and tried to help him through this time but it seems like all of our advice and help falls on deaf ears.


Any words of encouragement or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Link to comment

My heart goes out to you. As much as you and your family want to help, the problem is that help can't really come from you.


Help from siblings can be viewed as rivalry, help from parents as shameful--no matter how loving your intentions. Treatment isn't something you can talk a person into. Even if he pacifies you by agreeing to something you offer, your expectations should be limited to the length of time he's willing to stay where you send him. He won't respond to guilt or obligation or anything that isn't his own idea--especially if he's at all paranoid.


Point is not to say that all efforts are useless, only to inform your understanding of how they may be misunderstood and also to ease any burdens you carry about what you 'should' be able to accomplish with him. I know that doesn't make any of it easier to bear, but at the very least you and your family members can know that you're not deficient in some way just because he is unresponsive.


You can help indirectly by supporting any local community groups that offer services, and such orgs will likely be able to refer you to resources and avenues for help in managing your relationship with him. They can give you input as to things that are safe and beneficial to give your brother; for instance, if you ask him what he needs from you, and he says 'money', an alternative might be to pay for a safe room for the week or give him food instead. Problem is, when not given what he wants, he's not likely to take such help kindly.


I hope you'll write more if it helps, and I hope you find better info than I can offer.


In your corner.

Link to comment

If he is happy with it then just let him live his own life as hard as it is. I was diagnosed BP II and had to pull myself out of quite a hole and so I am confident in saying it is an endless battle and if he isn't going to fight, then the situation will just remain what it is.


I would try to not treat him as an ill person but instead try to relate to him as a normal person who is just going about his life.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...