How do I help someone who is manic-depressive?

by skeeter1 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • skeeter1

    Someone close to me is a JW, and manic -depressive (or so I think).

    For several decades, this person has way overspent. To the point of not having $50 at the end of the week. He makes decent money (about $1,000 a week), lives at home (no real living expenses), and no dependents. But he has managed to run up alot of bills on nothing. As he's gotten deeper into being a JW, he's gotten more worse off. To the point of wanting to devour other people's money. Now that he can't spend his money (he's a at the limit), he's wanting to spend other people's money. He buys things for our house, and then says, "Oh, it's not a gift, you owe me $100 for it." I've told him to not do that any more, but he just went out and spent more money for me to "reimburse him." Then, he tells me that "You needed it." (Trust me, it's not something that I "Needed." So, I am at the point of cutting him off. But, is this going to solve anything?

    How do you tell someone they have a mental illness? Anyone deal with a manic-depresive? Could it be something else? I am not a psychologist.


  • EdenOne

    Does he have close relatives thatmay be contacted?

    This person needs to see a psychiatrist ASAP. Best advice I can give. I have someone very close to me who is bipolar. It took a few years before this person could be persuaded to seek professional help, though.


  • mrsjones5

    Cutting him off or setting a boundary is a good thing for him and you. I'm not sure you can do much more other than suggest professional help.

  • Fernando

    Good Psychologists (and genuinely progressive Psychiatrists) can make a real difference, if and when the person sees a need for change.

    The same with some ("recovery oriented" and "strengths based") community mental health initiatives.

    Religion is a poison he can do without.

    The "unabridged gospel" has done wonders for my mental health.

    'It is possible to undergo a profound crisis involving non-ordinary experiences and to perceive it as pathological or psychiatric when in fact it may be more accurately and beneficially defined as a spiritual emergency.' - Stanislav Grof

  • ballistic

    "Oh, it's not a gift, you owe me $100 for it."

    Well I hope you haven't got into a habit of paying these "debts", for obviously reasons:

    a. You don't owe the money

    b. You would be encouraging the behaviour

    Or c. worst case scenario, he's not ill - but ripping you off.

  • jgnat

    OF COURSE you are not going to subsidize this behavior. I take it you are a neighbour or an acquaintance? Untreated bipolars cycle through to ever more extreme behavior until the brain burns out (all the serotonin is used up).

    1. If he ever complains of not feeling well, encourage him to see his doctor.
    2. Inform his relatives how he may be committed (check the laws in your state).
    3. You can wait until the behavior becomes extreme enough that he becomes a danger to himself or others, and then you call the police.

    These days commitment rarely lasts longer than thirty days and in those thirty days the treatment and recovery can be remarkable.

  • LouBelle

    You don't have to accept the gift. Perhaps sit him down and honestly have a heart to heart with him and tell him he needs to rope in his spending habit and to get councilling if he is battling or if he doesn't want councilling to get his financial affairs in order and not to burdon you.

  • skeeter1

    I am a relative, a close one at that. The person he lives with is not able to talk with him. Dementia. That leaves me.

    He buys, and puts it IN MY HOUSE. Anything else he buys, I'll put in my truck and drive it straight to the Salvation ARmy ( that should tick him off) if he doens't return it. I'm going to have to change the locks on my house.

    This suspected b-polar/manic-depressive person is a JW. So, i thought it was that JW thinking of "spend good as Jehovah will wipe out your debts at Armegheddon thinking". This was how it was in the 70s when I was in. So, I posted a topic about Family Budgeting. But, many of you responded that good JWs are miserly. So, then I looked at other reasons for this crazy spending. Come up with bi-polar.

    When I try to talk to him, he slips into his dream world of collectibles and hobbies, then he dismisses me, and if I push hard, he yells.


  • LisaRose

    Change the locks. You could try talking to him, but it is most likly futile. The nature of the illness makes it it highly unlikly he will listen to anything you have to say. I have seen several people go through these cycles, when they are on the manic cycle they feel invincible, they will listen to no one. If you catch them on the down cycle they might be miserable enough to accept help, it must be professional help, you are not in a position to help. Do not pay or anything they buy for you, that will only encourage them to buy more things

  • skeeter1

    Thank you so much for everyone's thoughts and suggestions. You are a B-I-G help!


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