What can we do to help her without professional interference?

My sons girlfriend is diagnosed manic depressive she is on medication which seems to knock her out as she sleeps for long periods and can not be woken and has memory loss the next day this does not seem to be helping at all her family seem to have given up with her saying she is doing this for attention she has lost interest in her work and spends most days shut in there bedroom sleeping or on the computer her doctor seems to be no help only strengthening her medication my son is very worried she may do harm to herself our question is what can we do to help her without professional interference are there any guidelines to follow is getting her out more herbal remedies not sleeping all day we just don’t know should we just let the medication do its job HELP

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I am so sorry your family and son’s GF are going through this. If I had to make a guess (and I say guess because I am in no way a professional) I’d say her meds aren’t doing their job. Hearing about her sleeping and forgetting and not caring about work, etc sound exactly like me when I was/am at my worst. To say I can be lethargic is a LARGE understatement.  There are a few herbal supplements she can try, Omega 3’s (ie fish oils or  flax seed oil) are amongst the best. She could also try light therapy. GE Reveal lights are WONDERFUL. 20 minutes a day under them can really help with some people. But in the end, I think that she is in need of dire professional help. If you believe she is or can be a harm to herself, she probably should be hospitalized. It’s a hard choice to make to hospitalize someone you love, but I truly wish someone would have known enough to send me to one sooner.

Best of luck and if you or your son OR his girlfriend have ANY other questions please do not hesitate to ask!

One thought on “What can we do to help her without professional interference?

  1. I also think that she needs some professional help to intervene with the medication. It might be time to look into switching doctors also if her doctor is not receptive when talking to them about being so lethargic. I am not a doctor either, but I am Bipolar II and have very severe depressive episodes and the medication I am given (antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and stimulants) do not make me more drowsy or feel more like sleeping. Something to consider would also be how honest is your son’s girlfriend being with her doctor. If he is asking her how the medication is working, and she says ok (either because she doesn’t know how its supposed to work, or because she is tired of medication changes(believe me, i was sooo tired of feeling like a guinnea pig) or any other reasons), if she says they are working ok, then the doctor doesn’t have any way to think differently. You might casually mention that it super important to tell the doctor ALL of the symptoms and side effects she is experiencing. Just posing it a simple reminder and stressing the word “all” won’t sound like you don’t trust what she is telling her doctor, but that you care that her doctor knows all of the effects.

    I know that when I am in my dark moments and all I want to do is sleep and I seem to have no energy, it is so very hard for anyone outside myself to pull me out of it. Its always easier to fall in. My husband will let me stay in my dark moments for about a day or two, but then he gradually gets me out and about by first starting with watching movies and/or tv or something on the DVR that we both enjoy. That sort consumes me a little bit and then he will ask me to get him something to drink or eat, which forces me out of bed, and so on. It sounds ridiculous and like he’s dealing with a 5-year old that he’s trying to trick, but thats how he has learned to deal with my inner workings without driving himself up the wall. Your son could try things like that. Small tasks are much more appealing than large ones. Watching a movie in the bedroom or living room are much easier than going out to a movie. If you propose tasks that are too large or daunting, it just makes staying in bed sound much more enjoyable. For me, once I am engaged in the small tasks, then I slowly get some energy back and the more I start moving around, the more I want to do. Its like in the movie with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus, “What About Bob?” BABY STEPS.

    One final thing I wanted to add to what Marybeth said above about the Omega 3’s and fish oil; my doctor has cautioned me about taking herbal supplements and things like that because sometimes some of the ingredients in them absorb essential things that the medications we are taking provide, which then make them ineffective. Since not everyone with Bipolar, or manic depression, are prescribed the same medications, before starting herbal supplements, I would definitely have your son’s girlfriend check with her doctor. Who knows, your son’s girlfriend could be taking something right now that might be interfereing with her medication which is causing her to feel this way.

    There are lots of factors to consider, and lots of things you guys can do outside of the doctors care, but in my opinion (and this is just my opinion) a doctors care is usually always needed and friends and family can be utilized in conjunction with the doctors care. I think its great that you all are taking such an interest in her health, care, safety, and general well-being. A lot of people I know “flew the coop” when they found out I was Bipolar because they didn’t know what to do or how to deal, so anytime I see someone asking a question on how to help a friend or loved one, I feel good too, knowing that this other person is going to have support, which is what everyone needs in hard times like these!

    ~C~

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