Question about Florida Baker Act and Bipolar - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 11-19-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This was originally titled "I'm pretty sure my sister is bipolar and headed for a crash..." Since then I've pieced together some more information and have some questions. The background story is below and my questions are at the end.



Background: She is on anti-depressants for depression and anxiety. The docs have thought she was bipolar before. Our mom was bipolar and killed herself last year. My sister is married w/2 kids, she is a SAHM. Currently, my brother and his wife and son are staying at my sister's house till he goes into the army. My sisters dh works all day. Today at 1pm my sister called me and I could tell she was drunk. She at first denied it then later said that Tiffany (our sister in law) agreed to watch the kids today and it was her day 'off". She sounded hyper, drunk, rambling, from topic to topic, a little out of touch with reality.

Our mom was an alcoholic as well as bipolar and used drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. I am very familiar with this pattern. I can tell from the sound of their voices if they have had even one drink. Last January, my sister was hospitalized for attempted suicide. She took a bottle of pills with a bunch of alcohol. It was the anniversary of our mother's suicide. Sister's dh drinks alot too btw, maybe an alcoholic, but functioning and doesn't drink hard liquor.

Anyways, I warned my sister on the phone to stop drinking and tell her doc she suspects she is bipolar. I also said for her to give me their name and I'll call them and tell them what I think. I believe that she is cycling again (like last year) and headed for another crash (like her attempted suicide). BTW, she also attempted suicide when she was a teenager.

She usually doesn't drink alcohol because she gets really bad hangovers. I believe she is self-medicating with alcohol because (for one, my brother and wife are there and they are supposedly drinking all the time) and because I believe she is cycling. Just yesterday I talked to her on the phone and she was not drinking, sober and very depressed/somber sounding. Just this past weekend, she called me on my anniversary (10 year!) not to wish me happy anniversary but to bit@h me out (she was drunk), canceled Thanksgiving plans and called me names.

I see what is happening. I warned her that if she gets hospitalized again she could lose custody of her kids. I said this in the hopes of scaring her into stopping. But maybe it's true? What can happen to her kids? Her dh won't put up with her crazy $hit much longer. I don't see him sticking around to help her thru her mental illness.

I really don't know what to do with her. BTW, I live 4 hours away from them.
Sorry this is rambling with typos but I'm feeling really nervous right now. I am sooooooo tired of dealing with this. I babysat my mom for my entire adult life and I don't want to do the same for my sister too. I have a life of my own I'd like to live. I have my own daughter to take care of now.


New information: she has been going out all night, staying out all night, with someone who she claims is named "Heather" and lives near her. I now believe her to be in a manic crisis 100% now. My sister is normally very shy and couldn't even meet any other moms to connect with before but she finds an enabling friend in a couple of weeks? Nobody knows where she is going or with whom. She has no access to car so that's comforting at least. Unless this Heather has one. Her dh has not been coming home because this has apparently been going on for a while and he hasn't told anyone. He said it started when her doc have her some new meds about 2 months ago. She is on Klonopin for anxiety and some antidepressant that I can't remember. If she is an undiagnosed bipolar the antidpressannts could have pushed her to manic right?

We have to find out who her doctor is and at least leave a message for them telling him/her what is going on. I know they won't talk to us about her condition though.

I believe she is going to require hospitalization but won't go willingly. I know in Florida the Baker Act says something about she has to be a threat to herself of others, which isn't, technically, right now. Our brother and wife have been taking care of her kids. I don't want her kids to get taken by CPS. I want to get my sister some help, What can I do?

I found a Behavioral Health Center in her area with a 24 hour crisis hotline and and gave the # to my brother to call in case anything happened last night. I haven't talked to them yet but I'm guessing she never came home. What about her insurance? She has health insurance but can she just go anywhere? I am gonna give her dh a piece of my mind when I get off of here and tell him he needs to stop running from it and deal with it unless he wants his kids taken. They are dysfunctional and are used to craziness but what he doesn't understand is that,I believe, she is an undiagnosed bipolar and without the proper meds, he has never actually seen the normal her.

Sorry so long, if ur still reading you're amazing! Gotta run.

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#2 of 4 Old 11-20-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Oh wow
So sorry that you are dealing with this. I wish I could give you some answers. I found this link from the depression and Bipolar support Alliance.

Quote:
How should I talk to a person in crisis?

Stay calm.

Talk slowly and use reassuring tones.

Realize you may have trouble communicating with your loved one.

Ask simple questions.

Repeat them if necessary, using the same words each time.

Don’t take your loved one’s actions or hurtful words personally.

Say, “I’m here. I care. I want to help. How can I help you?”

Don’t say, “Snap out of it,” “Get over it,” or “Stop acting crazy.”

Don’t handle the crisis alone. Call family, friends, neighbors, people from your place of worship or people from a local support group to help you.

Don’t threaten to call 911 unless you intend to. When you call 911, police and/or an ambulance are likely to come to your house. This may make your loved one more upset, so use 911 only when you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Maybe that website can be of some help. So sorry for the loss of your mom and for the difficulties you face now with your sister .
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#3 of 4 Old 11-20-2008, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the help!

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#4 of 4 Old 11-20-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tumblingstar View Post

New information: she has been going out all night, staying out all night, with someone who she claims is named "Heather" and lives near her. I now believe her to be in a manic crisis 100% now. My sister is normally very shy and couldn't even meet any other moms to connect with before but she finds an enabling friend in a couple of weeks? Nobody knows where she is going or with whom. She has no access to car so that's comforting at least. Unless this Heather has one. Her dh has not been coming home because this has apparently been going on for a while and he hasn't told anyone. He said it started when her doc have her some new meds about 2 months ago. She is on Klonopin for anxiety and some antidepressant that I can't remember. If she is an undiagnosed bipolar the antidpressannts could have pushed her to manic right?

We have to find out who her doctor is and at least leave a message for them telling him/her what is going on. I know they won't talk to us about her condition though.

I believe she is going to require hospitalization but won't go willingly. I know in Florida the Baker Act says something about she has to be a threat to herself of others, which isn't, technically, right now. Our brother and wife have been taking care of her kids. I don't want her kids to get taken by CPS. I want to get my sister some help, What can I do?

I found a Behavioral Health Center in her area with a 24 hour crisis hotline and and gave the # to my brother to call in case anything happened last night. I haven't talked to them yet but I'm guessing she never came home. What about her insurance? She has health insurance but can she just go anywhere? I am gonna give her dh a piece of my mind when I get off of here and tell him he needs to stop running from it and deal with it unless he wants his kids taken. They are dysfunctional and are used to craziness but what he doesn't understand is that,I believe, she is an undiagnosed bipolar and without the proper meds, he has never actually seen the normal her.

Sorry so long, if ur still reading you're amazing! Gotta run.
I do think that's possible, yes. You live in FL? I didn't even think to mention the Baker Act.
Ok I am going to PM you.
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