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giacca43

A Month

3 posts in this topic

My dad battled bipolar disorder his whole life. The worst of it happened many years ago and after his recovery he was stable for 17 years. Stable, but did not want to acknowledge what had happened. I would go to bipolar family support groups and he would pretend that all of those years while he was manic depressive didn't exist. I tried to convince to go to therapy, he joined some informal support group not meant for people with mental illness.

Unbeknownst to me he stopped seeing his psychiatrist and started getting his psychiatric medication from his internist who knew nothing about treating a man with bipolar disorder. This doctor ended up prescribing two other medications that interacted with his lithium and he started developing a serious lithium toxicity and his kidneys started to shut down. My dad called this doctor for help, thinking he was destabilizing mentally and this piece of **** turned him away. 

He kept telling me he was fine and to leave him alone, but enough was enough and I showed up at his apartment. He was covered in bruises and his own feces and so relieved that I was there to help. We got him to the hospital and when they took his blood levels he had to have emergency dialysis. After he was medically cleared they put him in the psychiatric ward just to monitor him and make sure his lithium levels were back to normal and he was safe. He did not handle it well. He could not bare to be back in a psychiatric unit, even for a few days. Even though they were very kind and took good care of him.

Eventually we found him a therapist and psychiatrist and he decided he no longer wanted to be on lithium. He said it caused him too much anxiety to be on the medication, even though it had kept him stable for all of that time before this. So he switched...his mood went really high and then dropped really low. Then he put a shotgun in his mouth and blew his head off.

I'm doing my best to hang in there and make the "right" choices in dealing with my grief. I just feel like I'm drowning and I don't want to go on. I feel as if I failed him and I should have been there to save him. I miss him so much everyday.

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I'm so very sorry to read your story.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  It is very hard for anyone to understand what it's like having a mentally ill parent.  My father was schizophrenic and bi polar.  

There is nothing you could have done to save him.  Even if you were there, it might of not happened on that day but on another.  I don't know how you're going to get through it but I really hope you will get professional help.  As time goes on grief unfolds into many layers of different and often torturous emotions.  Your story is not typical loss.  Suicide as well as mental illness is very very hard.  I'm very sorry you are going through this.  Please seek help.

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Dear giacca43,

I'm so sorry my friend. I know this is an extremely difficult time. From everything you have written, I know how much you loved your dad and wanted him to be well. You did not fail him. You tried and tried again.

Please know you are not alone. We are all here. Thinking of you. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

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