August 17, 2005



I have a sister that has been diagnosed with bipolar disease. We are at our wits end about what to do. I have tried to get her help, but she still refuses to take her medicine. She thinks I want power over her and can't see I'm trying to help her. I don't know where to turn. She has had her children taken away before about 4 yrs. ago and was doing really well, even the medication she was on seemed to be the best yet. She stopped taking her meds again and we have taken her children temporarily. We try to talk to her but she refuses to discuss things with us without being angry. The communication is not there. This has been going on for 25 years or more. My mother was the one who she depended on but we lost her about 3 yrs. ago. I'ts just me and my brother trying to help her. We have but her in hospitals to get her regulated on her meds but she will not continue doing what the Dr. tells her. We are not allowed to discuss anything with her Dr. this time because she will not sign authorization papers to be able to. What do you suggest we do at this point. Thank you.

Posted by: shanda at August 26, 2005 4:54 PM

I am very interested in getting involved in help for the mentally ill. I have been diagnosed and treated for 17 yrs. I can speak for those who can't. I feel I must help. I would like to do something to get the Parity law passed. It is so important to let peolpe know there are different degrees of mental illness and the ones who have been blessed need to step forward aand represent all levels.
Tell me what I can do to help. I beg you to reach out on how I can help from here aand then I can more on.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Kathleen Budway.

Posted by: kathleen budway at October 5, 2005 1:43 PM

My grandson who is 15 has been diagnosed as bipolar. He has been on meds for 4 weeks and "seemed" to be leveling but yesterday he had anxiety and couldn't settle down and we had to put him in the hospital. He says he will never forgive us. My question is will he forgive us?

Posted by: Patricia L. Brinkmeyer at September 30, 2006 6:38 AM

Hi Patricia. In response to your concerns: It may be a long road ahead for your grandson to come to terms with his diagnosis but hopefully when he does and he starts taking his medication he may come around. When you're sick it's easy to try to blame everyone else for your misfortunes and see the faults in those you love most. You could say it's a symptom of the disease. With the right medication and good loving support he may in the long run come to appreciate what you have done for him. I hope this has helped in anyway. Be strong. I know it can be tough but he really needs you right now. You're intentions are in the right place.

Posted by: Jen at October 15, 2006 5:33 PM

Hi Shanda. I was wondering why exactly does she keep stopping her medication? Is it because she finds the side-effects intolerable? I guess a good start would be trying very gently and in a non-confrontational, understanding way (maybe at a time where she's in a better more approachable mood) try to ask her why she has a problem of taking the meds and ask her what her needs are? Maybe that will open up some dialogue and gain some more understanding and insight - you might find that perhaps a different form of treatment could help encourage compliance? Maybe combine it with holistic medicine? I hope this helps.

Posted by: Jen at October 15, 2006 5:44 PM



Posted by: dolores diaz at February 12, 2007 4:33 PM

dear patty duke,
i suffer with bi-polar and skitofrena and have really enjoyed reading your autobiograpy. it has really helped me to pursue a job and keep plugging along in life. i would really enjoy if you would keep me informed of the lastest on bi-polar and your successes. thanks again.

Posted by: diane kowalisyn at May 13, 2007 5:20 PM

I've been diagnosed with Bipolar and severe depression. I've suffered with depression since I was bout 12 years old. But just recently diagnosed Bipolar. I have no support at all. I'm divorced, and live alone. My son who is 19 lives bout 30 minutes away trys to be supportive but can be judgemental. When I told him I was Bipolar, he laughed and said he had a teacher in high school who was also Bipolar and they all laughed at her. The "get over it" phrase kicks in and I could just scream. I need help! Everyday all day, I want to die. I actaully pray out loud every day for God to take me. I hate my life and I don't want to be a burden to anyone. My friends don't understand, it's months before I get the friendly phone call, "how ya doin?" That's just a kinda hello here, they really don't wanna know, if I tell them how I am, they suddenly have to hang up. I can't take much more. We have no support groups here, nothing in surrounding larger city. Any suggestions.

Posted by: Sandy Barras at August 12, 2007 9:55 AM

I just want to say thank you for beign you. You are simple amazing, I watched you on Operah with Chris. You reached so many as you demonstrated genuiness. I have been struggling with Bipolar for 14 year, no answers, although very rocky, I am thankful that I still can go to work. I wish my family and friends understood just a little of what I feel everyday, they don't and probably never will. I am blessed that people like you have come forward to share symptoms that many of us have been keeping in the dark for so long. Keep doing what you do because you are making differences all over the world. Respectfully, Val

Posted by: Val at October 4, 2007 3:03 PM


I have always admired you for your acting, as I grew up watching your show and various movies, but the ultimate admiration was watching you on Oprah (10/3/07).

I was just diagnosed w/ Bi-Polar, after being admitted into the hospital for depression and always having thoughts of suicide.
I cried throughout the segment when you were speaking w/ Chris.Through the tears you spoke to me, also. I could so relate!

I so wish I could meet you in person or receive an e-mail from you.

You are my Idol and Savior!

Posted by: Kathy at October 6, 2007 6:26 AM

Patty, I saw your appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show recently during which you reached out to a gentlmen suffering from Bi-polar disorder. Your warmth and experienced-based understanding were inspiring. I too, unfortunately, suffer from Bi-polar disorder. I was diagnosed about 4 years ago. Although, I suffered long before my diagnosis. I've been through dozens of medications in all combinations. I've also had ECT, several rounds, in fact. It appears that my Bi-polar depression is particularly difficult to get under control. That said, I think my doctor and I are making progress. Things do seem to be slowly be getting better.

If there is any way I can help you in your efforts to help those like us, please contact me. You have my email. Sincerely, Todd.

Posted by: Todd at October 7, 2007 2:08 PM

patty, i suffer from bi-polar depression and battered women syndrom. I thank you for helping me have hope and to want to live. Your stories are helping millions defeat this disease. thank you love a devoted fan.

Posted by: jennifer at August 22, 2008 7:53 PM

Patty, I am bi-polar and want to be more stable than I am right now.I feel like I am going to have an episode because I can feel the mood changes.Fast then they go away. My boyfriend is a saint as far as my mood swings. I was diagnosed when I was 28 and I am now a 47 year old mother of 3 and grandmother of 7. I have a good relationship with my children and boyfriend I love him very much and don't want to lose him! I lost my home I bought when I was 25 my car and my children. my x-husband were together for 27 mentally abusive years on and off.With my boyfriend we own a mobile home and everything in it.A year ago I moved 400 miles away from my home town with him. We have been together for 3 years. He has been working on the road for six weeks and i still know no one in Eau Claire WI. I go to school to be an accountant I need to meet people to do things with and talk to. I hope you can give me some suggestions. The Dr. keeps putting my dose of lithium up and down. I don't think its working anymore? Tina

Posted by: Tina Elmer at September 10, 2008 8:54 PM

Since the sixth grade I have noticed that I had symtmops of bi polar disorder, When I was in a very depressed state and was constantly swinging from mood to mood for no reason I decided to go to my pediatrycian and get checked. They then diagnosed me with bipolar and anxiety disorder. Being bipolar is hard because its like you are a prisoner of your own emotions. You will be mad at the world for no reason and you dont want to be but you just stay that way and then you will be sad and mad for a few days for no reason and then all the sudden you will be extremely happy for no reason. I didnt mind the happy part but it sucks feeling so angry and not understanding why,

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