How Do I Cope w/ Family
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Q:  How Do I Cope w/Family

i am very confused, my husbands family says that they understand my illness, yet they treat me like a lepper. My husband finds a way to ignore me whenever i bring up the subject of talking about the way i am feeling, and they all say that i should start taking lithium. I have heard lots of pros and cons adout this drug. I have two children, a 5yr old and a 1 yr old. Will this drug affect my parenting abilities, and am i concidered an unfit parent because of my illness? And one more thing how the heck do I get these people off my back ? His mother thinks that she is the top resourse on meds. for this problem and that she knows every thing there is to know about it because her sister has a mental disease. how do i get her to leave me alone?

Dear Diana -- 
How about you get your own doctor and rely on what she/he says?  Then you can tell your family that they can talk to your doctor if they want (they can leave voicemail but if you don't sign a release, the doctor won't call them back: it's nice, a one-way channel you can control, as long as everybody follows the rules) instead of being on your back. 

If you don't find yourself agreeing with what the first person you find tells you, you could seek a second opinion.  If you hear the same thing from both, that's a pretty good sign that this course of action is a good one.  Here's a resource to hunt up your own doc' (probably better start by looking for a psychiatrist in case lithium ought  to be in the picture, although otherwise a therapist might be sufficient, at least as a place to start). 

Dr. Phelps


Published February, 2002


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