solidadvice4teens answered Monday May 12 2008, 8:16 am: Is you mother having delusions partnered with irrational thinking? Does she know what reality is versus unreality? Does she have visions of things that aren't there? Is she hearing voices and responding to them? Does she have so much excess energy that she can't burn it off and cannot sit, think, sleep? Are her mood swings constant from happy to sad, to angry and back without warning?
If you answered no to all these questions she isn't bipolar. Just because she flips out a lot and has issues with her temper does not a bipolar person make. How do I know this? I have the disease and have heard voices, experienced delusions, mood swings, trances and didn't know what reality was.
You haven't given us any evident that she is bipolar at all here. I suggest you and your sister pick up a book on the subject so that you'll see there's a big difference on what you think bipolar is versus what it isn't.
Give us or me for that matter some examples that make you think she's bipolar and I'll be able to tell you how to proceed or whether or not anything you indicate has anything to do with classic symptoms of it. For now, you haven't shown us that she's depressed or bipolar. We need more evidence of it. [ solidadvice4teens's advice column | Ask solidadvice4teens A Question ]
Peeps answered Friday May 9 2008, 10:38 am: Many things can cause people to become depressed. Anger is also a natural human reaction/response so it isn't abnormal for her to be upset a lot if she is under a lot of stress or if she feels the situation is out of control.
It is very hard to diagnose someone with a mental issue if you have not been trained. I ask you kindly to stop labeling your mother as it is doubtful that you and your sister have enough training to actually diagnose someone properly. Many things may look like the symptoms of a disorder but the person may be completely find. Everyone gets depressed, everyone gets angry, every is stressed, and everyone will defend themselves when they feel they are being ganged up on or treated negatively. This does not make everyone bipolar.
If you are truly concerned that your mother may have some things she is not coping well with you may suggest she seek out a decent therapist. There is no reason why you should be telling her what is "wrong" with her because you simply do not know what is going on in her mind.
Sit down and calmly dicuss your concerns with your mother. Encourage her to seek therapy so that she can verbally express things to another adult she may be hiding from you two at home. Everyone needs an outlet in life and she may not have one so her emotions may simple be bottling up and exploding in inopportune times.
When discussing these things with your mother, be very calm and nonjudgmental. Relate to her and let her know that you understand that sometimes emotions can get the best of us and that we all need someone to turn to to express them. Make it clear that you are only looking out for her well-being and that you also understand that it's easier to talk with an older adult rather than children. Being aggressive and pressuring her to seek help is not going to be helpful.
If, after your long and calm discussion, your mother still chooses not to go then do not pressure her any more. It is only causing her more stress that she is unable to blow off, obviously. You may bring it up every so often that she needs a good friend to be able to confide in. That alone may encourage her to seek someone out that can help her sort her issues out.
It really sounds like the reason she flits out when you express the concern is because she is defending herself. Nobody likes to be told that they are not mentally fit. It is completely NORMAL for her to "flip out" when you tell her she is abnormal because she is aware that you have no idea how to properly categorize her as such.
Look at it this way, if a veterinarian kept telling you that you had a mental handicap and were a person with down-syndrome, you would get pretty upset with them--especially if they kept telling you that they KNEW what they were talking about and that you were the one that was incredibly messed up.
It is also true that many older people begin to feel depressed because of daily life. Friends and family drift off or pass away. Bills may pile up or moves may occur. The workplace can be extremely stressful. It isn't unheard of for people to become depressed because they cannot afford luxury items they enjoyed before (especially with the gas prices now).
In short, your mother sounds completely normal to me. She may just need a place to blow off some steam and get her thoughts heard.
Again, please do not label your mother with a disorder she may not have. At one point I was going to be a psychologist and it honestly is very, very difficult to properly diagnose someone.
So, in short, have a discussion or two with your mother about her seeking stress relief. Do not classify her as something if you haven't been properly trained to.
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