We manage it by creating a united front. It’s weird to me that commenters are attempting to diagnose the mother, as either bipolar or not bipolar, based upon this one short, inherently biased letter. Depending on the illness’ severity, it may affect the level of care that your parent can provide. What goes on in my mom’s head when she’s not herself? We moved in together before we were married, so I’m a ‘harlot’ (seriously who uses that word anymore). & @Flake, everyone is entitled to their opinion but it takes a pretty emotionally unstable person to throw around those words for no reason. Setting AND maintaining boundaries with family and friends is a necessary part of becoming an adult. The bf def. In the first year of our relationship, FH called his father on a weekly basis, and they spoke for 2 or 3 hours. She has medical bills to pay, so I’m assuming she has some source of income to make the payments. From what I understand, all the things that the MIL says/does get to ears of the LW via her bf. My BF’s mom is one of those where if you don’t pick up her phone call, she will call the home phone, your office phone, then your cell again, and then call ME to see if I know where he is, and if I don’t pick up, then call his DAD (who is in CO), then call his cell 3x in a row. BURN THE BITCH! I mean, why are you waiting for her to tell you what the monthly payments should be? Also I think your last paragraph is brilliant, Skyblossom. Furthermore, I thought everything that the mom got super upset about was legitimate. Not “paying another red cent” until your boyfriend’s unmedicated mentally ill mother starts behaving rationally is a recipe for disaster. You never know. But I’m pretty sure its true. I work for a mental health agency. July 18, 2011, 11:58 pm. (I believe someone else up above stated her sister had it and the sister knew that what she was saying was lies etc when she had fits), 5. July 18, 2011, 9:58 am. He does, however, tend to give away all his money and worldly possessions to absolute strangers because they “look like nice people.” He’s not in control of his assets anymore, for obvious reasons. These online persona’s are the only free I have. Some people just lose their temper and yell. It hurts to stand up against your mother, especially when you know she isn’t quite “right”, and when she’s a bully besides. StephanieSays You guys borrowed the car and promised to send it back but now can’t. It is hard to know the full story here! As someone raised with a vocal and opinionated mother, I can see how that might not be the case. July 18, 2011, 10:52 am. How do we know she’s not lying to us? But there are several recognized factors, including: Scientists do know that bipolar disorder runs in families. Your bf needs to find a way to not tell his mom personal things about you guys, I’m sure you guys can think of something. You guys certainly got yourself into this mess in any of those 4 cases Sarah mentions, because they all start with “you guys borrowed the car.” Figure out a way to give it back or pay it off, and then stop taking anything from her. But not in a defensive way. Some things, like me and LW’s personal living things are between us, and for us to work out to what suits US. Sure, she yells at her son. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram. Look in the mirror, LW. I know this isn’t healthy, and as I said, I have worked on this – but it is a pattern that is very easy for a child to learn and very difficult for an adult child to unlearn. There is a form of bipolar disorder that features rapid cycling moods. I almost hate to say it, but I didn’t think his mother sounded quite as crazy as LW says. Again, it’s the son’s life and he can do what he wants, but most mothers worry about their very young adult children. July 18, 2011, 2:43 pm. You wouldn’t demand that a diabetic “just get over” their sugar problems or expect someone with Parkinson’s to use will power to stop their shaking – it is impossible. While I don’t necessarily disagree with Wendy’s advice I am going to try to give some perspective on this situation as someone in almost the exact same position as the LW. I think it boils down to respect and control of a flow of information. Would the two of you be better off giving her the car back and buying one yourselves? So, I’m not actually seeing “bipolar” in this letter. If you do feel like you’re stressed or having a hard time managing your feelings, talk to a medical professional or another person you trust. I hate when people ask all sorts of questions about my health problems, y’know? We didn’t talk for 3 months solid after I left, and then she went back on her medication. For some people with bipolar disorder, irritability is perceived as anger, and even rage. I was thinking of the many, many people who loudly exclaim “Oh, I have a migraine!” while making plans to hit the bar in an hour. Turning 21 doesn’t automatically mean that your parents should stop caring about your life and what you do with it. Of course, the timeliness of the cohabitation did not line up with what values we’ve instilled in him. I figured that was personal information and I didn’t really want to dig into it. Although those sound contrary when you put them next to each other, I think they are both legitimate concerns. So now my boyfriend’s trying to pay off a $2000 car (that is NOT worth $2000) and she alternately tells him to not worry about paying it off, and then a week later will yell at him over not giving her the money. The other person has choices. “Then his mother decided that he was buying the car”. It’s awful. Was the mom respecting LW when she called her a harlot? I did, I’m 30, and it’s only been within the last few years that I’ve gotten good at it. Seems like the LW thinks that being two-faced is the same as having bipolar disorder. See also: a song by Jimi Hendrix. Her disorder is the reason I moved out. Except, ya know, now that I think about it I think I DO want him to pay for it. Once you throw out an illness to explain someone’s behavior it can stick to them and start to define the way people interact with them. Also, keeping them locked up prevents them from being stolen by others who would sell them. I have been in a relationship for 6.5 years, cohabitating for 5.5 of those, with a guy whose father has serious, undiagnosed mental health issues. It’s almost like a battle to see who can be more influential on the boyfriend/son. It is literally a miracle. After first reading this, all I could think was “Wow this is a story that includes a lot of people talking about situations that are none of their business.”. He’s paying the rent for them to live together. Tell your boyfriend that he’s in charge of dealing with her on more personal matters and that you don’t want or need a re-cap of their conversations — especially the ones involving you. He has other mental health issues as well. That is why you can’t take all the letters at word. She had dad take her back to the doc, and she’s been doing pretty good ever since. Researchers aren’t sure what causes bipolar disorder. November 15, 2019, 8:46 pm. He should keep your life private and quit blabbing to you about all the crap his crazy mother says behind your back in a fit of mania. Maybe. You can agree or disagree with it, but that doesn’t make the mother mentally ill. AnitaBath You may reach the point where the two of you will need to move to a different community because physical distance can be a real barrier that works to set the limits that you need. I wasn’t trying to be dismissive, and I hope you didn’t take it that way. She talks to him and he talks to you because she talked to him about you and you talk to him to talk to her and THIS IS RIDICULOUS. caitie_didn't who apparently has some chronic condition and a painful spinal injury (oh boo hoo, cry me a river, I was in labor with the boy for 72 hours!) In a lot of ways, it really sucks. Thanks for keeping me in check Anita! I’m also secretly the Queen of England. IcedVentiRedEyeGuy - in Chitown bay-bay! Emotional highs are typically periods of pure elation and excitement that last at least seven days. I reread the letter and I’m seeing things from the mom’s perspective this time. Because so far, the mother only sounds frustrated about her son’s decisions (I’m not saying that either one of them is right), and nothing more. We’re getting way off base if that is the issue we’re harping on. *If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter. You can twist and turn this any way you want, but the fact is the problem is between the mother and her son, and the LW has no say in their relationship. I have family members who are bipolar and when they think they’re better or fine and go off their medications it becomes at times unbearable to deal with them. AnitaBath I could see how the boyfriend shouldn’t have told the LW about the whore comment, but everything else *I* would want to know if it directly involves me and I’m in a relationship with the guy, especially if it seems like they’re somewhat sharing finances and it affects their finances. True that, I struggle with OCD a lot of the time but I couldn’t give two shits about keeping things all lined up straight or in even numbers or anything like that so it can be difficult to explain. What help is available for children and families? Tell him you are NOT ok with him divulging personal information to his mother about you guys. But now that you’ve pointed it out you’re right. Hello, So my mother was diagnosed with bipolar back in the day, but it was never explained to me outside of being rlly happy and rlly sad. I hate to do it, it just seems…mean, but I don’t trust her, and my boyfriend’s admitted that she isn’t very…responsible about money. The car was a loaner, was only supposed to be for a couple months, but then his mom decided we wanted to keep the car, and told us she’d sell it to us for $2000. The BF shrugs it off as “she had a stroke, she can’t help it”, but older relatives say she was always that way and now she just uses the stroke years ago and the hormone imbalance that caused it as an excuse to get away with her behavior. Reading through the responses, it’s starting to look like I should have written in with “How do I help my boyfriend create good boundaries with his crazy mom?” instead of “How do I deal with his crazy mom?”. Bipolar Disorder and Anger: Why It Happens and How to Cope, How to Help and Support Someone with Bipolar Disorder. #1-3 to me is your boyfriend and you causing unnecessary complication with a woman who has a history of reacting badly to such things. Then his mother decided that he was buying the car, and told us that she would refuse to take it back. I’ve seen this happen in families before. It is in absence of that, I hoped you were joking in your comment prior. This went on for a few months until his father finally said something about me that was so offensive that FH finally cut him off. I guess you’re right. July 19, 2011, 2:08 am. I know I need to stop letting the stuff she says get to me. Welcome! I was once somebody! Your boyfriend needs to grow a backbone and set some boundaries with his mother. Yes. Remember, you will have to deal with her for a loooong time if you marry him & I know of marriages which have ended in divorce because of the mother-in-law. Lastly, you need to stop letting the mom’s rants get on YOUR nerves like this. Not everyone has calm even tempered parents. Someone in that family needs to take control of her, force her to take her meds & supervise her. As disruptive as this woman is, you have to know that she is suffering just as much as those around her. Here’s what you…, Bipolar 1 disorder and bipolar 2 disorder cause your feelings to hit unusual highs and lows. Your parent will likely benefit from a life-long combination of psychotherapy and medication. Do you even actually read what people write? I cant remember a time ive seen her manic before, or at least never as … Peers lead these groups. We can’t encourage him to get help without taking on the burden of caring for him, since he is already trying to break us up so he can have FH all to himself. I figured this was personal info, between me/him, but apparently his mom wanted to know how we were doing, financially, and he told her how we divvy things up. AnitaBath Being replaced by a younger woman who will care for them, both as a motherly caregiver and a sexual lover is a stab in the heart to her. All rights reserved. This is not unusual and there is no way to force an adult to take meds, which she doesn’t want to take. Temperance Family-focused therapy (FFT) is useful for both the parent and the family members in coping with the illness and its effects. Of course, as his mother, I worry that my son is making some grave mistakes financially with a young woman who is taking him for a ride. I think that is a good plan. I have found this is the only way both my friend and I have been able to maintain a relatively stress-free relationship with our respective parents. Certainly he doesn’t have to go into all the nasty details but they should be dealing with this together. Keep copies of the cancelled checks also so you can show you were making timely payments. This can have damaging effects on your ability to cope with issues inside the home, at school, and at work. He’s also a raging dick, which makes me totally unsympathetic to his situation. Okay, but the mother isn’t writing in, the girlfriend is. No, YOU’RE wrong. I know its my mom’s way of controlling how much she needs me and needs me to want her, but all the same I’ve learned to gracefully not accept any more gifts. July 21, 2011, 5:03 pm. The person who is bipolar can not control their emotions in the same way that someone who isn’t bipolar can. Um, to get this lady off my back I’d drive to Hawaii. You two are grownups and it’s time he set some boundaries to protect your privacy. Specifically, the diagnosis is Type II Bipolar Disorder with Borderline Personality Disorder. Hello, So my mother was diagnosed with bipolar back in the day, but it was never explained to me outside of being rlly happy and rlly sad. My main point is however, none of this behavior suggests mental illness, and it is very rude on the LW’s part to assume that. LW, if you are reading this, can you help clear up this issue pls? Not all depression is sadness. Generally, I find that the feelings themselves might be there, but not to the degree/severity that she expresses/believes she feels them at the time…along the same lines as MiMi’s sister. In clinical terms, “bipolar” is no longer used, the term “manic depressive” is used because its a more accurate description of the disorder. It was awful to not know what was going on with her. Even being the identical twin of someone who has bipolar disorder doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get it. Pitting yourself against a disorder will not serve you well. SpaceySteph If you or your parent are in crisis, at risk for self-harm or hurting someone else, or are considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. I see you conveniently left out the parts where she screamed at her son in a parking lot for an hour, called his girlfriend a whore, repeatedly yelled at him over stuff that was his business, and then changes her mind repeatedly on a bunch of matters? I do want my son to be able to tell me everything, but it is really hard not to be ‘meddlesome’ and to try to offer some guidance in a situation neither of us has dealt with before. If you were the “people pleaser” or the “good child” then you come to view yourself as the barometer of the bipolar parent, and it becomes – to you – your “responsibility” to keep them happy and to take away the rage. I just sit around all day in my panties, drinking Pibb and eating leftover pizza. Stay out of it & expressly tell him you don’t want to hear any ill things she’s spoken about you. Maybe it’s not bipolar disorder bc it’s true, I’ve noticed a lot of people throw “bipolar disorder” around a lot, when in fact it isn’t. The whole car situation is honestly stressing me out a lot because I don’t like unresolved issues. SpaceySteph I told my ex after two weeks and he was ok with it. He’ll ask bizarre and rude questions on a constant basis. 2. I’m on my phone- it looks like I’m replying to the right comment but stranger things have happened when I browse DW on the old iPhone. if you look down in the comments, you’ll see the LW has clarified the questions about the mothers diagnoses. I strongly disagree with her refusal to get treatment for her bipolar disorder — I think it’s disrespectful and borderline emotionally abusive to her family members who have to put up with her screaming at them. The mother/son bond is a big one to a mom (I have four boys, I know this one all too well). He’s fairly traumatized by her and I don’t think she’s been capable of being his mother in quite some time. It’s just…frustrating, I guess. I wasn’t aware of this resource and will definitely check it out. So, how do I go about making sure that he listens to me? It’s your boyfriend’s decision to move in with you, but it sounds contrary to his mother’s values and I think she’s allowed to be upset by that. But I couldn’t keep letting her control everything. I only want to know the good stuff. nicole The one big ‘thing’ we have is his mom. I managed to deal with my own crazy mom by, once I was old enough, moving the hell out of the house and refusing to talk to her until she went back on her medication and stopped being awful to everyone. I don’t appreciate the attitude like this girl is writing in about her prom…she’s 21 and living with her boyfriend. The fact that she disowned one son because he disobeyed her is telling. The LW seems very young and immature, in fact, I’d suggest that she move out and live on her own if she dislikes her situation so much. 6. Anger and self-control issues, yes, but bipolar disorder, no. I wonder if the mother has had negative experiences taking medication in the past? I have a friend whose mother is bipolar, and I have an addict for a father, so I do understand how challenging it can be to deal with a parent who is often not rational. His siblings have all but completely cut their father off due to his glaring mental issues, but he feels extremely guilty about it, because his father “goes crazy” if he doesn’t have “support”. Have you ever dealth with someone who is bipolar? Ok so….here’s my thing: you knew borrowing the car that in a few months it would have to go back, right? Wouldn’t she be entitled to more bitching if the rudeness of the mother was not due to a mental illness? July 18, 2011, 11:47 am. Perferrably in person “Mom you know I love you and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me in the past.. but I’m trying to grow up and I need to make my own mistakes and correct my own errors. I doubt the LW is calling her bipolar (and talking about medication) without some sort of rational basis (ie. If you do plan on going “all the way” with your future with this man. Yes, if he has an outstanding debt with her, I completely get why she’s pist. I’ve gotten pretty okay at dealing with unpleasant things people say about me (if I couldn’t have handled that, I wouldn’t have written in to Wendy. Instead of thinking of all the “bad things” you’ve heard that she’s stated – just smile and act excessively nice (not sarcastic) and actually try to have normal conversations with her when you do see her in person (but be sure to steer the convos in safe directions “What a lovely garden you’ve got going.. You can also work with your parent or doctor to develop a plan for when your parent has an episode. So where does the LW being a whore factor into all of this? So, viewing this from an outward perspective, I’m trying to imagine a few scenarios: 1.) But because his mom had bipolar. Critical thinking does not equal assuming. He doesn’t see this. Now his mother refuses to talk about it at all…except when she yells at him over the phone about it. We’re still only getting the LW’s POV. I agree that they should find a better way of dealing with the situation, and my guess is this is the first time the BF moved out of his house. Then after, when her son calls to talk without needing anything, she will begin to understand that she can depend on her son loving her and maybe will realize how pointless it is to try to manipulate him. General. You should tell all that to your boyfriend. She doesn’t like being replaced by a younger model. Yeah, I agree that the mother’s reactions are a bit extreme, but then again, I don’t have a barely adult son moving in with a girl and start to pay for all of her (fine, their) expenses. She lives over 600 miles away. The moods go in cycles. Everything is HER way. She’s become estranged from her family for quite some time (by her own accord) and refuses to see or meet with her children on a regular basis. From the way LW worded that, it sounds like bf’s Mom has been diagnosed and prescribed meds, but has refused to take them. Your boyfriend needs to come to grips with the fact that there are things best left unsaid to his mother and best left unrelayed to you. While bipolar disorder may present challenges, it doesn’t define your partner. Yozi very rarely seems to read what people write. Tell him to politely get off the phone whenever she starts yelling at him. Maybe she doesn’t pay rent, but she probably pays light, water, cable, groceries, etc…I think accusing her of free-loading is way off-base. I think there’s a proper way to do things, & regardless of whether or not the mom likes the gf and/or has reasons to, calling her a slut is only going to ruin her relationship with her son. All in all, I think that LW comes across as being too meddlesome and too all-about-me in her boyfriend’s family’s relationships. At the time (and audience) deem certain parts inconvenient and leave them out. Like, your boyfriend has seen the doctor’s note? I just…I think I wish I could get him to stand up for himself to her, maybe. http://www.dbsalliance.org is one resource on mood disorders you can check out. He needs to draw a line somewhere, mental illness or not. I missed her like crazy, and I worried about her all the time, because she has displayed “suicidal tendencies’ and I worried that what I did might have driven her towards it again. These rages of hers are really bad. She would be pissed she is stuck making his car payments and not following family values. Having said that I agree that the LW needs to grow up and she and her bf need to set boundaries. we were supposed to get married in October this year it was a whirlwind,one minute we were lovers then she decided she wanted to get engaged and then the next week she wanted to get … Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I hope that you find your ideal cocktail. If she’d stop changing her mind every other week, I’d be more than happy to pay it off. while on the phone. Was diagnosed Bipolar with OCD tendencies at 16 (now 27) and I’m still a terrible slob sometimes. It may suck to hear all the crap she has to say about you, but it’s better that you let him vent to you so that you two continue to bond from the experience as opposed to having an invisible elephant in the room. This is confusing to me. I’m the “high” rather than the “low”). Tell him you will not tolerate him telling his parents your personal business anymore. Then again, most normal people don’t have a screaming match in a parking lot with their son and call their girlfriend a harlot when they’re moving in together. The worry that her behavior will drive a wedge between you two is a legitimate one if you force him to not talk about the fights, because eventually it will. What possible good can this do? It might just be me, but I know that after an argument I’m upset, and I guess I would tend to exaggerate what was said. My boyfriend of 4 years (did the LDR, we’re in our early twenties, living together for a year) has a mother with bipolar who also refuses to medicate. This doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically develop the disorder if one of your parents has it, though. Those adult children should take it for what it’s worth–a parent who loves them and wishes them the best, but a parent who is no longer running their lives. Also, the bipolar parent is now on medication and the rage is…gone. “Dear LW, How dare you attempt to diagnose your boyfriends mother, shame on you. I think it’s fair for her to have some words with her son about it, but also, I think she is doing the right thing by keeping her problems to her son and ALWAYS BEING POLITE, RESPECTFUL, AND NICE to LW. You say you don’t have a problem with that, so good. I’m not sure it’s much of a battle so much. It was this huge stupid ordeal that left me without any relief for almost two months. While your or I might be upset but we would get over it and it wouldn’t put us in a rage. July 19, 2011, 1:39 pm. Which was stupid, I think. Then stop paying her, don’t take loans from her, don’t deal financially with her. But he may need help doing that. There are a number of support options available to help family members better understand how to help their loved one, as well as how to take care of themselves. I agree with you, but she did say she was supposed to be taking meds, so maybe she is clinically diagnosed. When I point out that his father IS the parent, after all, he backtracks and says that it’s not the way his family works. Hannah Blum Dating during your twenties is an experience in itself, but when you live with a severely stigmatized condition like bipolar disorder, dating can really be a challenge. My best friend is bipolar. People with this disorder are alternatively manic (the yelling and screaming and general mayhem) as well as depressed. Right now, all you can do is be supportive of your boyfriend and let him talk things out with you. July 18, 2011, 1:31 pm, UMM… where in her letter does it say she doesn’t pay for anything other than her medical bills?? sometimes I end up in the emergency room to get a shot of narcotic pain medication because they haven’t found any preventative Rx that works yet). I watch him try to position himself in reference to his mother differently than in the past, but it is difficult. She’d go off the meds…and turn into this hate-filled crazy dragon (a dragon that sometimes just sat around the house all day, sobbing, because she was depressed). Also, if you grew up in a house with a parent who was bipolar, you know how hard it can be to set boundaries. They offer an online toolkit that has tips for understanding mental illness, communication, and problem-solving skills regarding this issue. I also wish he would stop complaining about not having money to pay for the car we bought for him/them, and then go and spend that money elsewhere. He hates women, particularly women who are taking places in professional schooling and jobs from men. She would say these little comments about me to my boyfriend loud enough so I could hear them. In order to complete number 1, I would seek assistance elsewhere for someone else outside of the two parties (his mom vs Him/LW) who has no previous history elsewhere.