Family Member Needs Help
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Q:  Family Member Needs Help

Hello,  My family and I need help with my sister. She is bipolar and has been off of her medication for over a year now, to try to get pregnant.  That did not work out for her and her husband and now she is in an acute manic state.  We are  trying to get her to take her medication, but refuses.  We have tried to take her to the er in hopesthe doctor could help in some way, but pretty much they say she is not bad enough yet.  What can we do?   Please help.


 Unfortunately you are in a very difficult situation with your sister.  There are very strict rules about hospitalizing someone against their will or forcing medications on them unless they pose a significant threat to themselves or someone else. Though your sister is acutely manic, her symptoms were evidently deemed not severe enough to have either one of these events occur.  I would recommend finding a psychiatrist that you could see as a family, and hopefully she can listen to the psychiatristís recommendations.  The emergency room can be sometimes be too confrontational or threatening to a patient, but an office setting with a positive interaction can be very helpful.  Otherwise,  though it seems terrible, there arenít many other options left but to wait for her to either worsen (at which point she can be hospitalized) or improve enough that she can see the need for medications.

 Dr Plyler

February, 2011


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