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My son-in-law has been diagnosed with bipolar and depressive disorder,

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My son-in-law has been diagnosed with bipolar and depressive disorder, is cutting and burning himself, ignoring his 3 small children, and they are being affected by this. The literature I've found completely leaves out the suffering and effects on spouses and children, focusing solely on how THEY can help the mentally ill person--a list of admonitions, which are not addressing their pain. Can you direct me to literature that helps the spouse cope and writings that address the damage this mental illness does to kids? Thank you so much.
Posted Fri, 24 Nov 2017 in Mental Health
Follow-up: My son-in-law has been diagnosed with bipolar and depressive disorder, 4 minutes later
What are the chances that a self-harmer will fully recover, and what's the range of time it usually takes for recovery?

Psychiatrists keep telling his wife that "cutters are not suicidal" yet this dear man did set out to buy a fire arm (then changed his mind) and months later, after a solid hour of sobbing, tried to drown himself in the shower but wife intervened. Bizarre I know. We are heartbroken. This is a man who was a wonderful loving husband and father who has become a stranger to his family and himself. He's resisting participating in the intensive outpatient program recommended by psychiatrist.
Follow-up: My son-in-law has been diagnosed with bipolar and depressive disorder, 5 minutes later
I want to know what she is supposed to do each time he cuts or burns himself. Pretend it isn't happening? The advice to ignore is ridiculously unrealistic. There are children watching for one thing. How does mommy ignore their questions and upset? My once happy grandchildren are now drawing macabre pictures. What are chances his behavior escalates and his self-harm extends to the family? He had a sudden fit of rage at his wife while driving, lurched the car to the side of the road and screamed irrational accusations at her. She remained silent. I am afraid for her safety.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hello, and thanks for your question.

The situation you describe is a psychiatric emergency. If you are afraid for anyone's safety, you need to call 911 immediately. This patient should be brought to the ER for an emergency psychiatric evaluation, including the possibility of involuntary admission to a psychiatric unit for treatment.

Dr. Sheppe
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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