“I am trying to find some information on how severe Bipolar can really become. My mother has suffered from depression for what must be nearly all of her 54 years. Four years ago she snapped. She had a break down, was unresponsive and was hospitalized for 6 weeks. Nearly a year later she was on medication and regulated, doing well. Well, a few suicide attempts later, some medication adjustments and her leaving the work force, she is a shadow of her former self. For the past six months, though, I feel as if things are progressing downhill. She is seeing a psychiatrist regularly (one who does not prescribe therapy, something much of her young adult and adult life certainly warrants) and he does not seem to notice her downward spiral. She is currently taking lamictal, alprazolam, asenapine, and prozac. A little much if you ask me, but I live 3,000 miles away. She is married but her husband seems to think that everything is normal for someone suffering from Bipolar. She is forgetful, incoherent at times, delusional and falls/blacks out frequently. I’m not sure you can help, or really have any advice to give, but at this point I’m not convinced any of her behaviors are normal. I have tried convincing her husband to take her to a hospital for a couple weeks to regain control of her medication and symptoms, but I cannot seem to get through to him.
I read your article on the 5150 (I live in Cali)/Baker Act and am wondering, if I can’t get through to her husband, is this something I should arrange for…”
I have recently been reading about Bipolar disorder being progressive. I stumbled across that because I personally feel like I’m getting worse. I don’t think a person can be unchecked and wreak havoc in someone’s life with the damage being isolated to that moment or that situation. Especially with bipolar, knowing the cause of much of the damage is the buildup of things… build up of feelings, of situations, of fears, or of stressors, I don’t think it’s safe to say that she’s just dealing with her current state. But I am not a doctor, I am only a bipolar person/patient/girl whatever.
I don’t think it would be a terrible thing for her to go to a hospital, but only if the hospital isn’t terrible. Please bear in mind, bipolar disorder can be or become very severe. The rates of suicide are elevated, as are addiction and substance abuse, not having a stable or steady income, and a whole host of other things that are usually co-factors in a life where the person isn’t happy or secure.
I cannot speak for your mother’s situation, but I think that medical attention, or even a different perspective from a therapist, certainly would not hurt in the long run. I know watching someone deteriorate can be very scary and sad. I hope you are able to find the help you need for her.