Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?

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wish_in_one_hand

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Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:56:22 AM »
Have you seen the movie, Beautiful Mind?

When Dr. John Nash realized that his hallucinations never aged, he was able to spot them. After that, he want on to have a successful professional life.

I feel morally obligation to help my NC ILs with this kind of information: demonstrating the flat inconsistencies and falsehoods that they believe, which are the reasons they hate, reject and abuse us, which is why we went NC last April, which is why our son has effectively lost a set of grandparents. And these are the close ones, living barely 20 miles away.

Bolster me, OOTF: remind me why it isn't my job.

John Nash discovered for himself that the hallucinations in his life had a tell. These people must heal themselves, just like that. Prove that to me.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 01:48:08 PM »
Simply because they would never believe you. They have their own reality that they’ve created in your heads and nothing you say can penetrate that. In their eyes, it’s not their behavior that is wrong, it is how you take their behavior. It doesn’t matter how many people they have problems with, it doesn’t matter if you explain it to them until you are blue in the face. They can twist words, change facts, rewrite history, whatever they need to do to make the world fit their version of reality. My mom has been diagnosed Borderline and still has made excuses and wouldn’t even begin to entertain the idea. Her attitude is “Poor me, everyone hates me” instead of “Most people don’t like me, maybe I should try being nicer.” I realized that if my mom were even capable of the kind of self reflection that it would take to see all the damage that she is done then it would literally destroy her. If she really knew what kind of person she was, she would hate herself.

You can’t make someone see something that they don’t want to see. They just have to figure it out for themselves, unfortunately.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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moglow

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 02:01:41 PM »
In order to heal, or recover, one must accept that there is a problem - something that each of us can fix if we want to.  We can each of us change pretty much anything about ourselves, but we can never change another person.  No matter who they are, how close they are, how much we care, the onus still remains on us as individuals. 

You can tell them until you turn purple, and if they choose, they will keep sticking their heads in the sand and insist that you are the problem.  That your spouse is the problem.  That the world, the house, the car, their finances are the problem.  They can still refuse to accept what is right in front of them, as John Nash did for many years.  For too many people in the world, even though the "known" is so deeply uncomfortable and clearly dysfunctional, they cling to what they know.

What you CAN do is step back and refuse to accept responsibility for them, their thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Malini

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 02:21:08 PM »
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

I understand the moral dilemma, but often take the example of a violent schizophrenic - would I put myself and my family in harms way because it would be morally correct? Isn't my first allegiance to keeping my own family safe?

PDs have no capacity for self reflection, heck, if my two kids chose to go NC with me, the first thing I would do is examine my own behaviours and figure out how to set things right.

Your wife is their child and she wants nothing to do with them. I would feel really invalidated if my husband kept trying to help my parents.

 They haven't asked for your help, they don't want your help as there is nothing wrong with them. They would like your complete compliance and blind obedience though. And the day they ask for help (the day after hell has frozen over) you can suggest therapy. It's not your job to fix this and it doesn't make you a bad person. In fact you are helping them by giving them the responsibility to manage their relationships.
"How do you do it?" said night
"How do you wake and shine?"
"I keep it simple." said light
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Muggins

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 02:26:19 PM »
Also, if we're talking about narcissism, everything they do is aimed at protecting their ego, not changing it. And, a close family member is too enmeshed to be the one they'll listen to. They'd be more likely to listen to someone they look up to, but nah, probably not.

Someone with a scientific mind would be more open to looking at the facts and data.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 02:28:06 PM by Muggins »

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wish_in_one_hand

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 03:57:10 PM »
Hey, everyone. Those words were all spot on what I needed. Thanks to each and everyone of you, for those may be the best set of well-worded replies I've seen on here.

My wife does feel invalidated by my constant desire to fix. Of course she does, and we talk about it. We stay close together on this, and respect that we both got mistreated here, and both have a journey. But we acknowledge that I am impeding her ability to move forward.

The MIL -- probably borderline, definitely ill -- is seeing a psychiatrist for the first time in twelve years, which is good. But they are also recruiting FMs in the family, asking people to spy on us, they managed to put the blame on us even in a brief, typed request to work it out, and they continue to believe, even after asking to "work it out", that we are capable of outrageous things, like hurting our son.

I'm glad MIL has seen someone to get some help. But while she remains deluded about us, I know I cannot make her happy.

Thanks again.

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wish_in_one_hand

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 04:01:33 PM »
if my two kids chose to go NC with me, the first thing I would do is examine my own behaviours and figure out how to set things right.

I would feel really invalidated if my husband kept trying to help my parents.

These are money lines. Two counselors I've spoken with point out the first point: what kind of person doesn't just do whatever it takes? Doesn't at least feign regret? And yes, my trouble moving on is an impediment to my wife. Thank you, in particular, for stating these lines with art and concision.

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broken

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 01:32:50 AM »
John Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  I'm no expert, but I've read the differences between some disorders include having people aware that they are suffering and/or battling that disorder.  I know bipolar people who KNOW they are bipolar.  Likewise, I KNOW I battle depression, but sometimes I just can't shake it. 

On the other hand, narcissists refuse to believe there is anything wrong with them, they believe everyone else is the problem and they are PERFECT. 

Therein lies the problem!  We can't help the because there is no cure.

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TakingFlight

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 04:58:24 AM »
I think for me, I relate a lot to the analogy of the flight safety instructions, which advise, in the event of an emergency, to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help others. Likewise, dealing with PD's, it's important to look after our own welfare first off, so that we are healthy and able to get on with our lives.

I still deal every day with the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional and disordered family, and when I went NC with my PD parents, it was to protect myself and give myself space and time to heal. It was a matter of survival, my mental health was suffering immensely and it's still a struggle.

Another example I think of often is if you see someone struggling in the water, of course you'll want to help them. But what if you're not a strong swimmer? what if you get out there and try to help them, but in their panic, they are fighting your attempts to help, and causing you to be in danger of drowning? Also if there were professional lifeguards on duty, then they are going to be better equipped to help that person. I realise that having a PD is a mental illness, however I have my own mental health issues, and also PDs have the same options for professional help (lifeguards) like counselling, psychologists etc...that I do.

It's not easy for anyone to admit that they need help. It certainly hasn't been easy for me. However I think my PD parents, and likely other PDs, think that somehow they are "above" needing professional help, even when they clearly do. I've had to swallow my pride and ask for help many times, but for PDs that is often unthinkable. They are convinced that the NC is "my problem" and that I am solely responsible for explaining it to them, or helping them deal with it, even though they are fully aware that I've struggled severely with my mental health, it's still all about them and how they feel. Well, they are free to think that, however I am not picking up that rope again. They are grown adults, and they are responsible for their own lives. I am responsible for my life.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 05:01:35 AM by TakingFlight »

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DustyMemories

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 05:33:10 AM »
Thank you to the OP for posting this topic and to everyone for all the insightful replies. I needed to read this today.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2017, 06:55:34 AM »
Popping in to add this insightful tidbit:
http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do-1/2015/12/3/amateur-diagnosis

We are not professionals. If they want professional help they can seek professional help. Some do:
http://outofthefog.website/treatment/

If you are NC then this was likely after all other options were exhausted and likely years of trying to set down simple adult boundaries. They chose to set themselves into an adversarial position and fight normal adult individuation of their offspring. You likely have spoken to them for very very long time and more than once I'm sure. At some point reason dictates we allow them their choices just as we have our human right to choices. If their choice is to take an adversarial position then unfortunately we need to protect ourselves and our family of choice.

I finally made peace with myself by deciding it would be morally arrogant of me to continue to try to tell them how to behave as adults. I decided it was better to respect that this is their choice and who they choose to be as adults. I decided it was respectful to back off and let them be who they wish to be especially if that is what I was asking of them, to let me please just be me. By changing my view to a more humble and modest viewpoint I changed how I felt about my choices.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 07:06:07 AM by Spring Butterfly »
One cannot set boundaries and at the same time worry of others feelings. Knowing personal values and speaking truth makes boundaries easier for me.

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wish_in_one_hand

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 03:40:05 PM »
Flight safety instructions advise, in the event of an emergency, to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help others.

If you see someone struggling in the water, of course you'll want to help them. But what if you're not a strong swimmer? What if you get out there and try to help them, but in their panic, they are fighting your attempts to help, and causing you to be in danger of drowning?

These are great, especially for folks who are battling their own issues. Thanks for sharing.

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Shockwave

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 10:57:35 PM »
"Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?"

You can't help those who don't want to be helped. 
"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight."
-- James Gordon, The Dark Knight

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JG65

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 09:09:18 AM »
People who have a mental illness must take some responsibility in their own recovery.  People with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have to take their meds.  People with substance abuse disorders have to work to stay sober.  And, in my own personal journey with PTSD, I had to explore treatment options and adhere to them. 

If a person is unwilling to take responsibility in their recovery, I think your responsibility ends there and sometimes, when you do try to help, you are enabling, which rewards bad choices. 

Alos, you have an obligation to yourself to protect yourself from abuse, and in my opinion, that should be your first obligation.
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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daughter

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Re: Don't we have to help folks who are mentally ill?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 10:11:43 AM »
I think personality disorders are a different category than "mental illness", that these are negative personality traits rather than treatable illnesses.  Many health-care mental health professionals believe that personality disorders are difficult to "cure" per se, and certainly not possible to moderate without 100% self-motivation-commitment of affected person with personality disorder(s) to intentionally "reform" their said negative personality traits.

For those of us with pd-disordered parents, particularly if we're the designated SG, or the "parentified" peace-maker, sometimes the only "help" we can provide is to outright remove ourselves from "firing-line", whether via LC/MC or VLC or NC, so as to not further enable our parent.