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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Help. Our granddaughter (21 yrs old) has come to stay with

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Help. Our granddaughter (21 yrs old) has come to stay with us. She is Bi-polar and I don't know what else. We are in our seventies. She is not sleeping. She takes all the batteries out of everything (broke the hands off the clock), lays everything out around the room, took the ice cream, cottage cheese and lots of other things out of the fridge and lines them up across the cabinet. She mixes everything together with spices. Takes the lids off of everything in the kitchen. When I got up, she had spread all her stuff out all over the
floor. This is just a little part of what is going on. She has been in mental hospitals before.
I know she needs meds, but I don't know where to take her. Help
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

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


Is your granddaughter just visiting or is she living with you?


Is she willing to get help?


Does she have a family doctor in the area? If not, has she received any treatment there before?


Has she said anything about wanting to hurt herself or anyone else?


Thank you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She was living with a boyfriend, but has moved in with us. She promised a lot, but has gotten worse in the last few days. She doesn't have a family doctor. Last April, she was Moccisan Bend in Chattanooga for several days after a melt down in Florida where she was in for a few days. She needed to have blood work, before she could get more medicine (lithiam and something else) so she just didn't know where to go and didn't get
any medicine. It has been at least 7 months since then. She doesn't have insurance to cover mental health issues and we don't have money for her. She was working as a waitress, but lost job. She is very smart. I know she knows she needs help, but she acts very mean to us right now.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.


You have a few options. One, if you feel she can wait, she can get an appointment at the local community mental health center. They can see her even if she does not have insurance. They will set up a sliding fee scale so she can pay based on any income. If she has no income, she may not have to pay anything. They can also help her apply for assistance so she does have some type of insurance.


Community mental health centers offer individual therapy, group therapy and psychiatrist services. They may also have case managers who can help her find housing and assist her in keeping her appointments.


To find your local community mental health center, contact your city social services department or your local United Way. Both places will be able to help you locate services and assistance for your granddaughter.


If you feel she cannot wait, then take her to the local emergency room for an evaluation. They can see if she needs admitted. If she is not admitted, they will still be able to help her set up an appointment with a doctor who can see her for medications.


Living with someone who has a mental illness can take a toll on you. In order to cope, you may want to contact NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They have local and on line groups to help families cope with a family member with mental illness. They also have many resources that you can use to reduce your stress and find answers.


This site may help you as well:



I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The community health center is where she went before. The last time, we took her to the emegrgency room and she was so mean they took her to jail and then to the mental health place in Chattanooga. They really do not help her. I don't think the people at our mental health center are really qualified. They just take her word and let her go. Surely there is
some medication. She is a sweet bright person when she is not like this. Between the last time we tried to help(a year ago) and now, she ended up in hospital in Knoxville, because she cut her throat.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

The issue with her seeking help is that she does have choices about her treatment. The law says that no person can be forced into treatment unless they say they intend on hurting themselves or someone else. So if your granddaughter is not willing to stick with her treatment, the mental health professionals have to let her go.


If she doesn't want to go back to the places she has been before, she can try to find a medical doctor who will prescribe for her. Some doctors will prescribe if the patient is unwilling to seek treatment elsewhere. She would just see the doctor instead of going for therapy or to a psychiatrist.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We can't have her living here like she is. I don't know of any shelters in this county. We live way in the country in East Tennessee, a very depressed area. What can we do with her.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I would contact the United Way or if you have a local community mental health or social services department try them and ask what her living options are. They should have options for housing or be able to refer you to somewhere that does.


Or you can see if another relative is willing to take her in until another option can be found.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Our son was killed in an auto accident when she was 2 months old and her brother was 2 years old. Her mother is in Florida(a drug addict who is in jail off and on). Her brother is a
Marine in California. He can not help her and there is noone else. My husband is just getting over 4-bypass operation and I go tomorrow to have overnight heart checks put on. This is just too much for us.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I am sorry to hear about your son.


I understand that you feel overwhelmed. Even without all the extra stress in your life, just coping with someone with a mental illness can feel like too much. That is why I suggested NAMI so you can get some support and not feel alone in this. They offer many services, often for free. And if you are looking for something specific, they may have a resource that can help. Also, you may want to consider counseling for you and your husband. Even if it's just for a few sessions, it may help your stress level.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for talking to me. I agree I am overwhelmed.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You're welcome. I understand the stress you are under and it is not easy. Support is key to helping you get through this. The more people you can get involved to help you and your granddaughter, the better.



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