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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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my wife is bipolar and has become dangerously paranoid over

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my wife is bipolar and has become dangerously paranoid over the past few months. she has also started abusing alcohol which has been a major problem for herbin the past. we have two young daughters who she cant take care of. im worried about her snapping. she thinks the government is out to get her. how do i go about getting her temporarily committed so that she will start taking her meds again and get the help she needs.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If your wife is not willing to get help, it can be very frustrating. Getting someone to get treatment when they refuse is always difficult, especially when dealing with an adult that you have no control over. You want them to see the importance of taking care of themselves but for some reason, they refuse. It can be upsetting when you care about the person and they will not listen. You can see what they are going through, but they are not willing to address any of their own issues so they can recover.

To file a 302, which is an legal document ordering an involuntary commitment for inpatient mental health treatment, you can contact your local ER. They will provide instructions on how to file the 302 and either have you transport your wife to the ER for an evaluation, or they will send the police to escort her if she is not willing to go. The person seeing the behavior must be the one to file. No one else can. Your wife would be committed for a period of time, usually 72 hours then her case would be re evaluated by the doctors and courts. They can either keep her for a longer time or release her for follow up with a local treatment center.

Here are some other resources to help you with ideas on how to help your wife:

I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment-Xavier Amador.

I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im just so torn up over this. she will just deny the paranoia if confronted. should i document tjings beforehand? she unplugs all the appliances and wraps the girls in aluminum foil. she accuses me of being "in on it". im in way over my head.

It's ok if she denies the behavior. Doctors and therapists know to expect the person to deny what they do because they either can't tell what reality is, or they don't want treatment. What is important is what you tell the doctor/therapist. You want to focus on what she is doing that is dangerous to you, your children and/or to herself. Also, any behavior that tells you that she is unable to care for herself such as not eating, not sleeping, putting herself, you or the kids in danger, etc. There is nothing wrong with attempting to file the 302 even if there doesn't seem to be enough dangerous behavior. Sometimes the doctor will admit based on paranoia or the potential someone can be dangerous.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you.

You're welcome!

My best to you and your family,