Family Member with Mental Health Issues
I'd like to know if anyone has experience, advice, or suggestions of a local group to help me in dealing with a family member that has mental health issues. A little background - at 36 years old my sister was diagnosed as having bipolar affective disorder (approximately 7 years ago). Within the last few years, her highs/lows have gotten much more severe than what I had previously seen. Since her initial disclosure that she was diagnosed with bipolar affective, she has never mentioned it again and is very elusive if she is on medication or receiving treatment (therapy or other). She has pivoted the conversation of mental health to being affected by PTSD (traumatic experience at 18 yrs old) instead of being affected by bipolar. She is located on the East Coast and it is difficult to know what is true/real or not. Her cycles are becoming more intrusive on my own mental/emotional health. I want to better serve her (in my responses to her) and also myself.
In this months "cycle," she calls sobbing at all hours begging for help and/or for me to call the police for her. Her main claims are that she is being stalked by a woman and she is in fear for her life. She says that the police are not serving her and they are out to get her. She says that all the police reports that she files "disappear" -- being stalked and the police not helping is a regular theme. She also rants and raves about a lot of other things ("did you know my IQ is off the charts! Yesterday I laid in the street so someone would run me over! I have a soulmate but he's weak! I have a fever! I fell down the stairs!") She has moments of coherence where it seems she's living in "my" reality but then quickly slips back into "her" reality.
I'd like to know if you have any advice (how do you respond to a family member in a crisis while maintaining your own boundaries for your health). Do you have any therapists you'd recommend? Are there other resources you suggest? I'm looking into NAMI/mental health support groups but also want to hear if others have successfully worked through similar issues.