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07/09/2010 06:59 AM

My uncle took his own life.

Philbilly
Philbilly  
Posts: 23
Member

I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

I have Bipolar disorder and have been diagnosed for about 6 years. I take medication and have had a lot of counseling. I tell you this because throughout my life it has been difficult to manage. Also so far I have only told my close friends but yesterday something happened and my disease suddenly scared me to death and I need to talk about it.

My uncle Joe was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder about 4 years ago and has also been on medication and has been seeing a counselor. Like me he has been having some serious money trouble. Like me this has caused him some marital problems and like me can not always afford medication.

Uncle Joe was found by my Aunt Ro yesterday hanging in his garage.

Last night my immediate family all gathered to help each other through the initial pain and a lot of hurtful words were thrown around like Uncle Joe wa weak and selfish. I am not making a case for suicide but I do understand where he was at emotionally. Anyway I felt really alone because I wanted to tell them about the pain that he was going through but they just wanted to talk about how it affected them.

Then last night I had nightmares about Uncle Joe and kept waking up thinking about myself and realizing how real and how dangerous mental illness can be.

So I guess I did it too. I made I about me. I am having a hard time talking about what happened with anybody because I don't want people to worry about me because of what Uncle Joe did.

Maybe because of what Uncle Joe did my family might actually believe that Bipolar is a treatable disease. Maybe they will actually read the material that my wife gave them. Maybe they will actually believe that occasionally I get sick and that Church and a beer wont make me feel better.

There I go again making it about me.

I don't know what to say to anyone about this.

We are telling our kids that Uncle Joe was sick and he died and that is all they need to know. They barely knew him and we will be on a camping trip next week so they will not be at the funeral. Vic and I will drive in from the campground to the funeral but the kids will stay there with Vic's parents.

Thank you for listening!

Phil

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07/09/2010 08:23 AM
Moonbaby
Moonbaby  
Posts: 577
Member

Hi P, My mother was diagnosed bipolar and was on medication when she took her life by hanging a year ago. I don't talk about it with people other than my very closest friends. I do know the pain she was living with; not only physically but the living hell of mental illness. I miss her tremendously but because I understand the place she was in, I take comfort that she finally found peace and she has finally quit hurting. It has impressed upon me how serious the illness can be and that even on meds one must be on the lookout for "downs" wherein we start contemplating suicide. I am glad you have an understanding wife. Many hugs and stay strong,

07/09/2010 08:25 AM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16594
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I am so sorry for your loss, this is terrible. He was hurting a lot, just like you know how it feels. It is a scary, scary thing. This is why medications are so important for us to control our bipolar. Your family doesn't understand, that's why they called him weak and selfish. I hope that they take the information your wife gave them and read it to better understand this illness. Mental illness can be very dangerous. That is good that you are telling the kids what you are right now. I will pray for you and your family to get through this. My heart goes out to you. Take care of yourself please. Stay strong. Hugs

07/09/2010 11:20 AM
llb
llb  
Posts: 217
Member

Philbilly and Moonbaby, I am so sorry for the tragic loss you both have suffered or suffering. I know how dangerous and scary this disease is. 12 years ago I overdosed twice. I can't forgive myself. When I start getting in trouble I tell my 2 friends, sister, and my husband. I know they don't understand. People commit suicide because they want the pain to stop. That is what I believe. I don't think they want to hurt their families. I pray for both of you. God Bless and be kind to yourself. LLB

07/09/2010 02:07 PM
Moonbaby
Moonbaby  
Posts: 577
Member

Thank you, llb. I believe like you--that it is not a selfish act; it's an act in total desperation to finally have the mental pain stop. When I get in a place that is overwhelming I picture my kids and knowing how it feels to be left gives me strength to hang on til I get better again. Thank you again for your empathy. Suicide also has a stigma associated with it--it's all hush

07/09/2010 02:53 PM
llb
llb  
Posts: 217
Member

To think I almost destroyed my son haunts me daily.

07/09/2010 03:24 PM
RickEJ
RickEJ  
Posts: 7386
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I'll share my experience since its been put on the floor for discussion. My father who was never diagnosed suffered from severe depression or BPII. I know this from my own experience and can see a lot of him in me.

Anyway he just gave up and sunk into a deep depression and died from cirrhosis of the liver when I was 18. Although I was very angry with him I understood his pain. Not to be cold but it was probably for the best because he would never have sought treatment. I didn't get over it until I was in my 30s. I'll always love him even though I didn't know him. He did the best he could and unfortunately he was too sick to do any better than he did.

Like you I kind of make it about me and how it affected me, I really didn't give a rats @$$ how it affected anyone else.

When everyone else abandon him after the divorce, I stayed and did my best to support him. He was mean to me but I was there. I only see him cry once and it was at this time, and it was the only time in my life he ever said I love you kids. I know he meant it from the heart.

This is the first time I told this story to any group and I guess its just time.

Sorry your family feels the way they do.

There are many in my family that just choose to ignore the fact I have BPII. I ignore them and let them live in their denial. Sorry I'm hogging your thread. I had no idea this was going to come out when I started writing. ((((HUGS))))


07/09/2010 05:59 PM
SCarlson

So sorry for your loss! Like moon baby I think of my kiddos and family when I get that low, but I understand why those who do kill themselves. I think it is a great loss of a life that can be lived. Again my heart goes out to you!

Stacey


07/10/2010 04:53 AM
ikhwan
ikhwan  
Posts: 191
Member

we hear you brother. Our hearts goes out to you and your family.

07/10/2010 01:57 PM
beautifulmind
beautifulmind  
Posts: 765
Member

Phil, Moonbaby, and Rick,

I am sorry about the loss of your Uncle Joe Phil. I am sorry about your mother Moonbaby. I am also very sorry about your father Rick. I too tend to believe that when people commit suicide they do it to stop their pain and they aren't thinking about the repercussions it will have on their loved ones. I also believe that death is a continuation of life and that it is hardest on those left behind regardless of how we die. I also believe that we will see our loved ones again one day. I don't wish to offend anyone; that is just my belief. Know that I am sending lots of love, compassion, and warm embraces for each of you!! What is most important is remembering all of the love and joyous memories you had with them. Try not to concentrate on the negative memories. Honor their memory by focusing on what they did that brought you the most joy.

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