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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My daughters is 23. Weve had problems with her in the last

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My daughters is 23. We've had problems with her in the last several years with drugs. We found out she was shooting up so we got a mental hygiene warrant and she went into rehab/group therapy. During this process she was diagnosed as Bipolar. It took a couple of weeks but she moved home and seemed to blossom and do well with her rehab and seemed very serious about it. She first went 9am to noon five days a week. after about 6 weeks she went down to 3 days then in about 8 weeks she finished that part of the program. She now see's a therapist for an hour a week but missed her appointment this week. During this time she would call to check in with me throughout the day or evening to let me know where she was. She works about 30 hours a week at a small store. I have helped her with some things with her vehicle so she could go to therapy but don't give her any money at all. Now she is never home and never checks in anymore. She has been hanging out with someone she used to do drugs with. This person is also in rehab therapy. I keep hearing that the drug use is back with both of them. I'm pretty sure this is true but she denies it. Also she seems to move from person to person sexually...Not sure where to go from here. I'm losing her again I think. I have told her if she starts using and goes back to rehab we will deal with it together but if she uses and refuses more rehab she has to move out. I haven't caught her high yet just hearing the rumors. I would still provide any medical help that she would need like her medication for Bipolar but that is the only assistance I will provide. I have read up on Bipolar some but I am really still trying to understand it but really I'm at a loss as to how to deal with her on that. Maybe you could recommend a book or some similar resource? I have not been able to find any sort of support group in my area. Should I see a therapist to learn how to deal with my daughter? If so what kind, counselor, psychologist? I don't know. I need a starting point and can't seem to decide on where exactly to start. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is wonderful that you are there for your daughter. So many people with Bipolar struggle and family can make a big difference in how well they do. But while you are offering wonderful support, the toll it takes on your family can be enormous. Support is vital if families are going to be able to handle the stress.


People who suffer from Bipolar experience extreme highs and lows. It is quite common for someone to feel better on their medication and stop taking it. Or they reach a high and are unable to control their own behavior. Sexual promiscuity is a symptom of the extreme highs of Bipolar. Drug use may also help your daughter self medicate.


Learning more about Bipolar and getting support for yourself and the rest of your family are both great ways to help your daughter and yourselves at the same time. Here are several resources you can use to get started:


When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis


The Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness: Recognizing Symptoms and Getting Treatment by Bodie Morey and Kim T. Mueser


Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers by Rosalynn Carter and Susan Golant M.A.


The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope With Mental Illness by XXXXX XXXXX Karp


You can find the books on or your local library may have them for you.


You and your family can also see a therapist together or individually. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at You can see a Master's Level therapist or a PhD. Here is a break down of the degrees:


M.A.- degree in theory

MEd- degree in counseling

MSW- degree in social work

LSW- the same but with a license

PHD -doctorate in therapy


When you pick out a therapist, it is important you feel comfortable with who you choose. Ask for referrals and be sure the therapist has experience with helping families coping with mental illness.


Although the links I gave you provide support group websites, you can also contact your local United Way for more resources in your area.


Let me know if I can help any further,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do you think I'm being reasonable in telling her if she uses drugs again and doesn't go back to rehab she has to move out of my house?

Yes, I think you do need to set limits with her. As long as you talk to her about getting help and offer her choices, you are being very fair to her. She is an adult and will need to learn how to cope with her illness, especially since there may not always be someone there for her. So developing supports, having contacts and understanding the resources available to her now, with your support, is vital so she can know how to get help. If you just enabled her, she will learn that she can act out and not have to get help.



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