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Dear Cynthia... > Sister in Need
Sister in Need
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1 post
Jul 11, 2009
5:02 PM
My sister for the last five years has gone through at least a dozen rehabs and countless therapists and psychologists yet is worse than every. She is killing my parents and putting her husband and two boys (one is 13 and now getting into trouble) through physical and mental abuse. She has been arrested several times for domestic abuse and drunk in public. She has attempted suicide several times. She is on her last chance trip to Mexico where my mom lives. My mom has taken her to several therapists (she refuses to go when she doesn't "like" what they are saying) and has turned my mom's, and of course all the other family members, lives upside down. Before she went to Mexico she tried to commit suicide for the third time and the hospital did diagnose her with bipolar disorder and a chemical imbalance yet that's as far as it went. Out-patient care has NOT worked. She is disconnected, doesn't remember form one minute to the next and is very defensive. The last person she saw who spent some time with her - as much as she will do before storming out, has just informed my mom that she should be institutionalized. I have searched for S.F. Bay Area psychiatric hospitals but there doesn't seem to be that many. Can you please advise us on what to do. She is flying home Monday as my mom can no longer take the abuse and we don't know what to do. Thank you for you time.
222 posts
Jul 14, 2009
12:24 AM
This must be horrifying and enormously frustrating for you and your family! It sounds like she needs extended in-patient, dual diagnosis treatment. Both her chemical dependence and her bi-polar disorder must be treated simultaneously and medically. She must be held humanely, but firmly with walls, medication, and abundant, expert staff until her brain chemistry can be balanced. She may not be capable of reason until then. She must be in unspeakable pain, well beyond what most people ever experience, but no amount of will can save her--she has to get help. Individual outpatient psychotherapy is not an appropriate option for her at this point.

There are many dual diagnosis rehab places. One I've heard wonderful things about--more than any other--is The Meadows in Arizona. TheMeadows.org. I don't know what her financial situation is, but of course most of these places are very expensive, but also often covered by insurance.

Your job is to be a very firm, clear, absolutely consistent and loving limit-setter, as you would be for a teenager, or even a two-yr old. Anyone in the family who has any regular relationship with her should get support from Al-Anon, or CoDA (Co-dependence Anonymous). If she refuses to go to rehab, you may want to consider an interventionist. The Meadows may have a referral for that. A local rehab place may too.

This is so complicated, and I've tried to give you general information, without knowing many details of your sister's condition. Let me know if you have other questions. And please let us know what happens. I feel for all of you--this is really, really tough!

Warm Regards,

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Email: CynthiaLubow@yahoo.com 

 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

 For 30 years, compassionately helping people build self-confidence and feel happier.

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