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Mental breakdown

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  • #366666
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    I’m writing this cuz i don’t know who else to turn to. My mom just had a complete mental breakdown, and i’m terrified that she would end up hurting herself. She been on the edge for years and I’ve have been doing anything in my power to help her, but since I have a depression it’s not that easy for me. it all started with a minor desagreament with my sister(35) yesterday. She is brain damage and has been for 23 years due to illness. I was 7 at the time and it took us 7 years before she got the treatment she need, nearly died several times. The desagrement was completely inocent nut my sister has a way of making it a personal attack on her, and me calmly telling her over and over again that this has nothing to do with her. She started yelling and screaming in my face, pulling her hair and rolling around on the floor. Then proceaded to verbally turn her anger out on my parents. My mom has untreated trauma and seeing her children struggle like this is too much for her. All of this becuase I politly told her that the people she invited to my parents house shouldn’t stay too long, and that we should just have the cake somewhere else.

    I don’t know what to do. this was the last straw for my mom. She’s crying all day and refusing to talk. I know that she needs to go on furlough and get help. She been needing this for twenty years but refuses to except help. My dad dosen’t think it’s that bad, he’s never been able to realise how bad things were, and my mom and me were always the ones to do the heavy lifting.

    I’m absolutely terrified. How do you help someone who dosen’t think they need help?

     

    #366668
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    You politely suggested to your older sister, 35, that the people she invited to your parents’ house shouldn’t stay too long. In response she “started yelling and screaming.. pulling her hair and rolling around on the floor” before she verbally attacked your parents. You mentioned that she has been brain damaged for 23 years.

    Unless your sister starts yelling, screaming, pulling her hair and rolling around on the floor from time to time, randomly (not only when being told something she doesn’t like), then her behavior is an expression of her anger and is motivated by seeking control- to have her guests stay as long as she wants them to stay, and not be told what to do and what not to do, in her parents’ house.

    Following your sister’s behavior, your mother is “crying all day and refusing to talk”. Your father “doesn’t think it’s that bad.. my mom and me were always the ones to do the heavy lifting”.

    My advice at this point: stop doing the heavy lifting. Your father is not wrong in the sense that the behaviors you described on the part of your sister (above) and of your mother (“been on the edge for years.. been needing this for twenty years but refuses to accept help”) have been happening for decades and yet, everyone in the household is alive and functioning not better, but not worse than before.

    Notice your mother “refuses to accept help”- she doesn’t want your help, don’t chase her to accept your help.

    I  know the experience, my mother did not discipline herself either- she expressed her hurt and anger, and her misery otherwise in all kinds of overly dramatic ways, probably exaggerated, so to watch me being worried about her. It harmed me so much to be a witness of her undisciplined behaviors.

    Of course, not living in that troubled home is best for you, but I read your previous thread and I understand that you were forced to return from London to your native country.. too bad. I hope you post again.

    anita

     

    #366673
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    I don’t know you in real life, but I am concerned about you nonetheless. I re-read your previous thread from a month ago. You wrote back in August that you were “in a Deep Black hole”, living back at home, a home that is far from being a calm, safe place for you.

    You wrote: “I’ve been in a constant battel of trying to keep my head above water as well as  others, because if I don’t give my all, they tell me that I’m selfish“- now I am thinking that by “others” you were referring to your mother (“She been on the edge for years and I’ve have been doing anything in my power to help her”), and perhaps your sister.. and your father (?). And even though you have given them your all, they still claim that you are selfish ??

    You shared that you lived in London for a while, in London “For the first time in my life I started feeling like a normal person”, but back living with your abnormal home, you were “back to Square one”.

    “I’m absolutely terrified. How do you help someone who doesn’t think they need help?”- please help someone who does think she need help, and that is you. Don’t drown in your mother’s misery; get yourself out of the misery she has created for you (No matter how miserable she feels, she should contain her misery so to not burden and drown you in it, it is selfish of her to do otherwise!).

    Please feel free to post here anytime and I will reply to you every time you do. I hope you feel better very soon, and find a way to move out again, and this time, for good!

    anita

     

    #366703
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Sorry my post was a bit messy, my head was spinning. My mom is the rock in our family.She’s the one who is always there and keeps us going. Not just emotionally but financially. That’s why seeing her break down crying, was so terrifying. If she falls we all fall. Seeing us children struggle is so hard on her she can’t even talk about it. I’ve had a break down from stress 10 years ago and I know how hard it is. I think the best for me to do is to focus on helping out with the daily chores and give her Space. That is also very helpful for me as it gives me some structure.

    My sister on the other hand is the one who makes me feel selfish when I need a break to recharge my batteries. Saying things like if you think you have got it bad how do you think I feel. She takes it personally that I need a break from people (not just her) because it makes her feel like I hate her or that she is a burden to me/us. She wants me to take responsibility for her taking it personally. But that is simply not something that I can take responsibility for. It is a burden for me to try and keep myself going, trying to set bounderies (that she never respects) and then trying to make her understand that giving me space isn’t me hating her, but me trying to cope.

    as for my dad. He’s never been able to face problems, he thinks everything is fine. Maybe that is his way of coping with this (his mother had a personally disorder but he didn’t want to face it). He is now in charge of dealing with my sister, so to leave me and my mom out of it.

    #366705
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    You are welcome. You wrote in our original post that your mother has “been on the edge for years”, so I didn’t think that she was “the rock in our family.. the one who is always there and keeps us going”.

    “I think the best for me to do is to focus on helping out with the daily chores and give (your mother) Space”- reads reasonable to me.

    “(Your father)  is now in charge of dealing with my sister, so to leave me and my mom out of it”- excellent choice there. I hope he manages your sister well.

    * I was wondering, what kind of brain damage does your sister suffer from?

    anita

    #366749
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Sorry “been on edge for years” wasn’t the right words. She locks it up, hides it and keeps on going, anytime we need help she’s there. But we can see how hard she is trying to cope with the situation. We never received any help with my sister because no one believed us. They thought she was just a teenager who wanted atention.

    My sister became ill when she was 11 (i was 7) she had a virus and other fatal desease I think is called encephalitis. Inflammation that is one of the most painful things to endure. She was screaming from pain sometimes up to 20 hours a day. The inflammation is causing damage on the brain and the longer time goes by without treatment, the more damage is caused. It took us 7 years of fighting before she got the treatment she needed. Treatment she only got because she has scoliosis (the most painful back surgery there is) that is antibiotics. By then the damage was done. Then in 2015 she passed out (due to pain which happens often) and receive a concussion. Another damage to the brain, which took 2 years of treatment before she could leave the house.

    This is some of the things that happened. She dosen’t look brain damaged, and she’s increbible smart, but that all comes down to where the inflammation was located.

    #366755
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    About your sister, 35, you shared that she “doesn’t look brain damaged, and she’s incredibly smart”. She became ill when she was 11, and at one point, “She was screaming from pain sometimes up to 20 hours a day”. For seven years (11-18), she did not receive the medical help she needed because “no one believed us. They thought she was just a teenager who wanted attention”. At 18 she had a back surgery because she suffered from scoliosis (a condition in which a person’s spine has a sideway curve) and received antibiotics for it. It was then that it was determined that she also suffered from Encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. Five years ago, at 30, she suffered a concussion when falling after she passed out, one of the many times she passed out because of pain. That concussion damaged her brain further and she stayed in the house for two years, following that concussion.

    About your father, you shared that (while your sister was screaming from pain up to 20 hours a day, while she often passed out and had a painful back surgery, and even though “she nearly died several times”), he didn’t think it was that bad: “My dad doesn’t think it’s that bad, he’s never been able to realise how bad things were… he thinks everything is fine”.

    About your mother, you shared that she has been “the rock in our family.. the one who is always there and keeps us going. Not just emotionally but financially… anytime we need help, she’s there”, that she suffered from “untreated trauma”, that she needed help for 20 years, but refuses to get it, and two days ago, she had “a complete mental breakdown” consisting of “crying all day and refusing to talk”. You were “terrified that she would end up hurting herself”.

    About you, 30, you shared that you “have struggled with severe anxiety, depression and stress starting at the age of 7, which is the time your sister became sick with Encephalitis (not diagnosed at the time). In addition to your sister’s illness, you also “experienced bullying, physical and mental abuse, emotional blackmail and gaslighting”. And yet, in spite of all this, you “worked so hard for years and years” and were able to live abroad, in London, having the best job you’ve ever had, amazing colleagues, friends, your own place and some romance.

    According to american brain society. org/ brain disorders/ encephalitis, “Up to 60% of all cases of encephalitis go undiagnosed… cases go unreported because symptoms are mild or non-existent.

    My thoughts today, your family’s story of misfortune is almost unbelievable, and I am so sorry that this has been your story so far. All this misfortune- your sister being born with scoliosis that later required surgery, suffering from encephalitis as well, which went untreated for years, and which caused brain damage, aggravated by a concussion; your father not being helpful financially or emotionally; your mother having suffered a previous, untreated trauma before the beginning of her older daughter’s health problems, and you suffering not only from your family’s misfortunes but also from “bullying, physical and mental abuse, emotional blackmail, and gaslighting”- I wish this was not your story, and I am sorry that it has been, so far.

    Was the bullying, the physical and mental abuse, the emotional blackmail and gaslighting, did you suffer these things in the context of your family, and/ or in other contexts, such as in school, in the neighborhood, in romantic relationships…?

    anita

    #366774
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Reading it  back like this, really makes an impact. My grandmother had a personally disorder and were taken it out on my family more than my dad’s siblings and there children. Which was hard giving the fact of our situation (she thought my sisters desease was a lie) choosing favorite grandchildren (we weren’t good enough) and we the were the only ones cut from the will. The emotional blackmail came from her.

    The psysical and mental abuse started in school when I was 12 to 15 years old. A group of boys were violent (one girl became hearing impaired in one ear) and two of the teachers bullied me. Called me stupid in front of the class, when my anxiety was at a high. They knew about my situation. I had a year on a different school where the girls all choose me to bully, the boys had some episodes of violens. One of them had their wrist slashed right in front of me. I had the first depression at this time, which I dealt with on my own.Then I had two years in a good school, and they gave me space to deal with my anxiety and I was top of my class.

    I than had a two year apprentenship with a boss who tics of every box of being a psychopat. I pushed myself so hard that I had a break down from stress, causing damage on my memory. This was the day before my final exam. I received the second highest grade, my boss was furious.

    7 years then past with me dealing with stress and anxiety and trying to find work. Only had temp jobs nothing permanent. Then my sister had her concusion i that was a year and a half of peptalking and supporting her for hours every single day, whilst trying to deal with my own stuff.

    But one of the hardest things is that I’ve never had a boyfriend. Something always happened, they moved away, got fired from work, droped out of school, ending things before they even started. Also never had a group of friends. I’ve been somewhat of a paria, being friendly with everyone but never had a group of my own. I only have two friends left, but they have a lot to deal with in their own life right now. Same goes for my collegues in London, I don’t hear from people anymore they are also in a stressful situation.

    #366783
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    I am sorry, Katrine, that this has been your life experience. None of the painful experiences you shared about was your fault, none was your doing. You were a victim of cruelty by grandmother, by the school bullies, the two teachers,  and that boss. And you were a victim of circumstances: your sister being sick, your father not being supportive enough, your mother being overly burdened with responsibilities.

    It is amazing that in these circumstances you were top of your class, and later, you got the second highest grade, and that you did so well in London.

    I don’t expect you to tell me the name of your native country, for the sake of anonymity, so I am not asking for the name. What I am trying to understand is all that bullying and cruelty that you experienced in your country- it is often when a country suffers from poor economy/ poverty, war and/ or civil unrest for many years, that so many people are aggressive to each other. Is this the case?

    anita

    #366800
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    No. This is a country that’s quite wealthy. That’s why many told us to be grateful, because it is a lot worse in so many countries. We are known for having a great healthcare system, so people always asume that they would get the help they need. But the system is falling apart, and people only realise it when they try it on their own body. I think that is a contributing factor as to why so many people here suffer in silence. It is also the reason why I didn’t talk out loud about my problems until I was in my early twenties. Because if I have it bad what about them.

    #366827
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    I don’t understand. If you live in a wealthy country, with a “great healthcare system”, how is the following possible, regarding your sister: “She was screaming from pain sometimes up to 20 hours a day”-

    – how can it be that she didn’t have access to pain medication, at the least?

    anita

     

    #366843
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Medical malpractise. We never got a diagnosis. We suspected encephalisis and so did they, but because she had a virus as well they started suspecting something else. They suspected brain cancer and when we found out that that wasn’t the case, my parents were devastated. No diagnosis no treatment. Just more medicin that made her feel even worse, but they just kept giving her a higher dosage. Which nearly killed her a couple of times. It’s a long list of things of things going terrible wrong. On the other and we had a lot of luck. She survived only because one doctor realised that she had scoliosis. She had it really bad and everyone of our friends and family were alble to notice it. We didn’t realise it before someone told us.

    Also our goverment kept making cuts in the healthcare system, increasing the stress of the doctors and nurses. I think we were just unlucky.

    #366845
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    You wrote that your sister “survived only because one doctor realised that she had scoliosis. She had it really bad and everyone of our friends and family were able to notice it. We didn’t realise it before someone told us”-

    You wrote here that your family “were able to notice” your sister’s scoliosis, and that your family “didn’t realise ” that your sister suffered from scoliosis- this is a contradiction, either they noticed or they didn’t notice.

    Scoliosis is “a condition characterized by sideways curvature of the spine or back bone”. If your sister had scoliosis, and she had it “really bad”, it is not possible that doctor after doctor did not notice a really bad scoliosis.

    anita

     

    #366853
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    But it is. Her leaning to one side and having one leg shorter than the other was noticable to outside family and the doctors . But than isn’t bad enough for a person to receive the operation. It was the way her spin was twisted (not visible to the human eye only by x-ray) and that she needed 4 disc removed  that they performed the surgery. Same goes for myself, I too have scoliosis and I have seen myself in the mirror many times but never noticed anything until my fysiotherapist told me where to look.

    #366859
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katrine Nielsen:

    From what I understand you and your sister suffer from scoliosis. Your scoliosis is milder than hers. Her scoliosis caused her to lean to one side and to have one leg shorter than the other, and that was noticeable to doctors as well as to family. Because of her scoliosis, she had a back surgery and 4 discs were removed from her spinal column.

    Your sister, having been diagnosed with scoliosis, was never diagnosed with encephalitis, and therefore was never treated for it. You suspect that she suffered from encephalitis following a viral infection when she was 11, and that her untreated encephalitis caused her brain damage. You suspect that it was medical malpractice responsible for your sister to not being diagnosed with encephalitis.

    You believe that your sister is brain damaged but no doctor has verified that, if I understand correctly.

    Did I understand correctly?

    anita

     

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