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Old Yesterday, 12:17 PM #1
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Default What to do when family members with different types of Bipolar Disorder clash

My brother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (NOS) and I have been diagnosed as having Bipolar2. We are dealing with a family crisis that involves our mother and her recent cancer diagnosis. My brother is experiencing a manic mood, thinks he is an expert on cancer and has taken control of decision-making for our mother's care. This has caused a lot of confusion with the family members. I am experiencing a hypomanic mood in which I feel that my personal experience as a cancer patient (recovered) provides insights and knowledge that he lacks. I'm trying to figure out how I can deal with him when we have a disagreement so that it doesn't stress out our mother and our two sisters.

Has anyone else been in this type of situation?
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Old Yesterday, 02:48 PM #2
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Default Re: What to do when family members with different types of Bipolar Disorder clash

Hi Patient 2. I'm sorry your mother has to battle cancer. I can certainly understand how stressful that must be for all in your family. That's great that you have survived that horrible disease. Your recovery can certainly provide great hope to your mom.

I know that such a horrible stress as illness in the family can cause mania. My mother's death exacerbated mine. My father's recent illness has triggered a bit for me, as well.

I feel for your brother, but imagine that adds extra stress for all of you. You say you have two sisters. Is it possible that you and your sisters can get together and have a bit of an intervention, of sorts, with your brother? You all should have a say in helping your mom. If you all know he's manic, it would surely be good to enlighten him about that fact, if he's lacking insight. Does he tend to take over things even when not manic? Personalities play a big part in family rifts, despite bipolar disorder.

My sister has bipolar type 2 and I have bipolar type 1. My youngest nephew had Bipolar NOS. It's highly likely that my father has bipolar disorder, too.

I'm almost 7 years younger than my sister. We had some very minor clashes growing up, but I sort of think they were run of the mill sibling clashes. I do know that her bipolar anger was often more physical, while mine was more verbal. She could definitely get to the point of lifting a chair in the air and slamming it down onto my brother's head. He didn't/doesn't have bipolar disorder, but was an "enfant terrible".

I'm not sure that bipolar type really matters so much. We all can get triggered. We all have different tipping points. We all have different base personalities and temperaments. Certainly manic overdrive amplifies these things.
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