Nancy S

My older brother was diagnosed with bipolar late in life when we finally insisted he see a psychiatrist. He was in denial and refused help. My parents did not get him the help he needed at a younger age because of the stigma and their generational denial. They felt he would be okay. They would say he just needed a woman to straighten him out.

He moved to another country and pushed everyone away who tried to help him. He liked the manic side but eventually went into a deep depression and became “paralyzed”. He died of a pulmonary embolism from ( my hypothesis) his reclusive, stagnant lifestyle and lack of feeding himself often and correctly. His own suicide.

My dad suffered a few bouts of depression over my growing years and never sought counseling. His GP put him on a pill and he took that for 15 years with no follow-up, just renewed prescriptions. Since my brother died 5 1/2 years ago at age 57, my dad has not come out of a depression with severe anxiety. He’s now 89 and cannot enjoy a minute of his life. He’s been in 3 psych units since then and tried weekly counseling for 5 years and every medication on the market. He feels he faked his way through life.

His generation didn’t talk about how they felt. Now he looks back on his life as one of negativity, stupidity and remorse. We had a great family. Lots of love and admiration. What happened? People didn’t talk about what they were feeling or ask for help. They hid it because they felt they would be shamed. It’s a horrible disease and needs to be spoken about more.

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