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Casual Contributor

How to help my sister

Hi everyone

My family is desperate to get my adult sister the help that she needs. She is in her 40's and i think she may have BPD. How do we get her help when she refuses. The last 3 years things have been getting worse but the last 12 months have been so bad that her nieces and my Nanna are now afraid of her. She is so verbally aggressive and constantly agitated or cry-ranting. This behaviour used to be occasional but it is now contant. It's even effecting her job, they need to keep moving her to new areas because "everyone is an asshole and they all hate me for no reason". I think she will be fired soon (again). My mum has been trying so hard to support and has taken her to to our GP so many times, and then to the mental heath place several times, just when she seems to making progress, she says that her councillor is a bitch and they hate her - then she will stop taking any medication she has been given by the GP (antidepressants) and we start from scratch again.

I am a days drive away and feel so helpless. She is shutting everyone out now and won't leave the house except to go to work. It offer calls in sick.

How can we help her when the worse things are getting the more she is refusing help.

 

7 REPLIES 7
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Re: How to help my sister

Hi @Flealee Smiley Happy

Peregrinefalcon here - one of the forum moderators. Welcome to the forums! 

It sounds like you're experiencing a really difficult situation. We can feel so helpless at times when caring for someone with a mental illness. 

You are in good company here - I trust your peers will soon provide you with some support and advice (sometimes it can take a little bit of time!). 

 

Take care of yourself Smiley Happy 

 

Kind regards

Peregrinefalcon 

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Re: How to help my sister

hello @Flealee 

how are you today 

it is hard when they stop and start their meds 

@outlander@BPDSurvivor 

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Re: How to help my sister

Welcome @Flealee to these forums!

 

Im glad you have reached out. 

It seems like the main barrier you are facing is resistance. This makes it really difficult. Firstly, is she happy with how things are going for her? Does she herself want things to change? If she is not willing for changes, it may be like talking to a wall. She is an adult which means she is ultimately responsible for her actions.

 

Another thing is that there may be underlying issues which need to be seen to before therapy for BPD can be effective. For example, if she is clinically depressed, she may need assistance with this first. Has she seen a health professional concerning her MH who can thoroughly go through who needs?

 

It sounds like you are trying to change things in the environment to help your sister. When you consider it, the environment does not change because of us. Rather, we need to change because of the environment. For example, if it is cold we can't tell the cold to go away. Instead, we need to make changes, such as put a jumper on, so that way can survive in the environment. I know you mean well by moving to different areas to help your sister, but have you considered that perhaps your sister needs to make changes to adapt to her environment? I think this is the root. If you can help your sister understand that she needs to work towards making changes, there might be a difference?

 

I have had BPD for over 15 years. When I wasn't ready to make changes, the more people tried to help, the more I resisted. If I was asked to take medication, I refused (not because the medicine wouldn't help my depression) because I wanted to be the one in control. When everything seemed to fail around me, and I had had enough of myself, I myself sought help. This was the beginning of my recovery.

 

Recovery is within your sister. Ultimately, she makes the call.

 

@Flealee , things sure sound tough at the moment. It is hard to sit back and watch someone close to you suffer. But she needs to be ready to put in the hard work to see changes. An intrinsic motivation to launch into the deep and try new things will make all the difference.

 

Please continue to reach out if you have any other questions. 

I'm sorry if I could not help you.

 

All the best,

BPDSurvivor

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Re: How to help my sister

Hi Shaz51 I spent the day with my little family, it was a great way to get into a better mindset and even just joining this group has taken a bit of stress away. Thank you for checking in!

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Re: How to help my sister

Thank you so much for taking the time reply to me💜

She is not happy with how things are going for her.

She will change GP if they suggest that she needs more help than antidepressants.

She will only take certain antidepressants that "don't make her fat".

She will never admit to being in the wrong and won't apologise or acknowledge when she speaks so SO meanly to people whether it is at work, with her adult family or to our children (under 10).

My mum tells us to just let it go every time, because if you say something's she blow's up and it very scary.

Do you think we should start pulling her up for her behaviour (it will be several times per day)? I don't know if it will help her realise things aren't right or just push her further over the edge.

She has a suicide attempt 2 years ago, and everyone is afraid that if they pull her up, she will attempt it again.

Sorry this is so long, I just do t know what to do anymore 

Thank you again.

 

 

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Re: How to help my sister

Hi @Flealee ,

 

Do you have raised some very important points. Just because somebody has BPD, it doesn't give them the right to hurt others with a physically or verbally.

 

Speaking from a borderline's perspective, she may not like you very much for pulling her up on her unacceptable behaviour, but I do believe this is necessary. As much as we hate the sound of boundaries, we actually find comfort in them. This allows us to know what is expected, and the consequences if these expectations are not met. Having boundaries and guidelines reduces our anxiety. For example, if she uses inappropriate language, you would move the children away. This does not mean you hate her, but it is to protect the children; or, if she significantly self harms, there would be medical intervention.

I know these boundaries helped me. If you do decide to go down this path, make sure you open this topic when she is in a better frame of mind. Definitely not when shenis already heightened.

 

All the best,

BPDSurvivor

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Re: How to help my sister

Thank you for letting me see things from your perspective, I will speak with my family about taking baby steps to help her become aware that her negative behaviour won't be tolerated anymore. Hopefully it will get her one step closer to reaching out for the proper help that she needs on her own terms.  I can see the rough road ahead but we won't ever give up on her.

Thank you 😊 

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