Odd that this came up again... redemption

Continuing the discussion from Is redemption the greatest trait of a schizophrenic:

It’s odd that this one popped up again when I was scrolling. Last night I finally set eyes on my baby brother. He’s been in hospital since March and is due out soon. He’s been diagnosed with bipolar 1. It has been one wild year with him.

He’s just now starting this hard path. After seeing him last night, I’m a bit ashamed at how I’ve been acting. We both have to start over and work on regaining some redemption. Trying to face past damage is a very hard thing to do.

What an eye opener. After seeing him last night it was like looking at a different person in my brother’s skin.

My baby brother has always been the dare devil danger boy. Popping wheeles at 70 miles an hour on his motorcycle in school zones, jumping off the 520 inlet bride and free falling into the water. Adrenaline junkie, hard core party guy, hard drinking, non-stop big planner, reckless gambler, fanatic lifeguard trainer, ocean swimmer, all around loving the taste of danger. Rampant sexual appetite, been engaged more times then any of us can count, yes at 20. Always in minor trouble with the law.

Hard to hold a conversation with him that doesn’t soon turn into a huge plan to pull off a bank heist or do something “free and daring”

He can party for days since he hardly ever slept. Would Constantly pull our Kid sis out of class to go water ski or panhandle or jet skating. When the chipmunks were young… he was a rampant shop lifter. He would coach our sis to be the diversion while he picked the shelves clean.

He got amazing grades, super hyper friendly, so people didn’t think mental illness. He didn’t withdraw. He was the center of all chaos. Until he was dangerously angry and moody and then it was drink to pass out and wake up in the normal hyper state of thrill seeking.

It’s hard to believe, we’ve been looking at nearly 20 years of manic. Now that he’s down to earth, he’s in shock. I’m in shock. I can understand why the docs just went for injection. I have a feeling he’s going to have a hard time adjusting to life here on earth.

I can’t believe none of it registered as manic. It’s been going on so long, we thought it was just how he was.

Now I do feel sorry for the guy. I really hope he doesn’t end up depressed. He’s on meds. But I don’t think that would stop depression… would it? The poor guy really seems to be in a deep state of shock.


Hi J, having bipolar myself, and this is true for many other people living with bipolar, we need meds to control mania and depression. We shift from mania to depression, I suffer from both mania and depression, but some people with bipolar do not get noticeably depressed, they may get mostly mania, it depends. Because many bipolars cannot take true antidepressants (will fling them into mania or rapid cycle) we take meds that have antidepressant properties, for me its the mood stabilizer Lamictal. Is your brother on a mood stabilizer such as lithium, Depakote, Tegretol or another mood stabilizer? I know he is taking Risperdal Consta - injections, but he really ought to be on a mood stabilizer to help with the stabilization of moods and mania. Risperdal does help with mania, but no so much for depression - but it does have some antidepressant properties. Glad you are feeling differently about your brother, like schizophrenia, which I have also, bipolar is almost as debilitating, especially bipolar type 1


I’m sorry that your brother and family are having to go through this. The sense of shock your brother may be feeling is justified.

His life is going to change majorly from here on out. That means taking medications for life, controlling thoughts and behaviors associated with mania and depression, and apologizing for all his misdeeds while he was unmedicated.

You’ve been through some of those stages yourself. So I think you are in a unique position to help him. Maybe not directly “hands on,” but perhaps as a liaison between him and your family members. You can relate to them what he’s going through as a patient–not just a brother.

It might take quite some time for him to stabilize on meds. He will certainly need to take mood stabilizers such as lithium or Depakote to treat mania and depression.

I would say that at this point in his course, depression is going to be a problem. With the shock, the new lifestyle, getting out of hospital and assimilating back into the family and society.

Hopefully your parents can stay on top of his symptoms and medications, like they did with you, and ensure that his depression is adequately treated.

Things might seem bleak for him now, but he CAN get better. But he’ll need your support. Give what you can without sacrificing your own mental health.




Thank you guys for this…

Last night was the first time since his break that I’ve even seen him. We didn’t really talk meds. I got the info about the Risperdal injections from our parents who have been the only people he’s been wanting to see lately.

It was just by accident that he and I sat down and had a bit of a talk last night. I just dropped by the hospital to leave some socks and a card. He happened to be near the lobby desk. He asked me to stay for a few.

I couldn’t see the doc letting him walk out the door without some sort of mood stabilizer. Swedish is pretty good. I was there for a while.

He’s due out this Wednesday I found out. It’s going to be odd getting to know this new person. I’ve never held a full conversation with him in my entire life. He jumps up and says… “hey, lets drive to mexico right now.” Or “when’s the last time you shop lifted from a liquor store… do ya miss it? Let’s go”

It was really odd talking to him and hearing him complete a sentence. He hasn’t done that in a while. It just struck me hard that… I have not heard him complete a sentence in years. He starts a sentence and then jumps into action never finishing his thought.

Last time he and I tried to have a conversation, he got half way through with what he wanted to say and then remembered we were almost out of milk. So he went out for a gallon of milk and came back 10 hours later with a picnic bench and an angry chihuahua.

This is sort of where my bad dream comes in. I could see him hating this new life and trying to leave it. I’ll be asking for advice very soon.

Just out of curiosity: who will he be staying with when he gets out of the hospital?

I don’t think he should be left alone for the first few weeks post-inpatient. He’s very vulnerable right now.

I hope that a caring family member can take him in and provide symptom monitoring. Just in case he starts to self-harm or have suicidal ideations.




The huge old silver airstream in my parent’s back yard has been gutted and redesigned. It’s more posh then a new condo now.

So he’s staying in our parents back yard. Close enough that they can keep on eye on him. But with the airstream 20 steps away, he can still have some privacy. Mom and Dad are back on duty it seems.


What? Oh no!

Just please keep him away from Whidbey island…the bridge there is even freaky to drive on…

I know they diagnosed bipolar, but I hope the dare devil thing is just a phase. I did a few crazy things in my teens and early 20s I would in no way do now.

Like doing this into the Yosemiti river from about that height, and riding a 30’ high waterfall just body surfing…when i was 14. I almost got killed in that river up by the falls when i slipped and fell in but the teacher saved me…

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Sad thing is… he infected my sis with the dare devil bug. She not as bad as he is, but still on that thin edge. It doesn’t take much to convince her that jumping off the bridge too would be fun.

You know when parents say, “Well if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?!”

You don’t say that to my sis, because she probably would, in a heart beat.

How high is the 520 bridge? Deception pass is 180 feet. I know I’ve jumped maybe 40 feet and that hits hard.
In a city area it’s not even the height that is so much the problem as it is the junk that could be floating just under the surface of the water.
I know in Alaska we would get these huge logs that had floated away from logging camps or fell off barges, and one time I was in my boat and thought there was a whale, but it was a huge log floating suspended about 3’ under the surface… You would not want to jump into choppy water and hit something like that…

We usually tried to tow those logs out to the shore if we could, but that one was too huge :frowning: We just prayed a large fast boat didn’t hit it…

The span over the inlet is about 45 feet. The rest of the bridge is floating.

That’s pretty high and I know that has to give a good solid slap when you hit the water. You have to hit it just right or it can hurt. So it’s still a risk even if it wasn’t where it is…

Any ideas on how to help him out during this? Support, time, care… I get that part.

But if anything else a little more specific comes to mind… would welcome all ideas.

Some things that I would recommend would be taking him on relaxing outings, to facilitate reintegration and lift his spirits. You or your family could take him to the beach one day. Go out for a quiet lunch another day. Buy him some positive music to listen to or books to read.

These are all goals set to help him feel strong, positive, supported, and a member of the family and society. This is crucial for someone who’s been hospitalized for months.

Plus, these activities keep his mind stimulated in a positive manner and get his mind off of his symptoms, loneliness, and med side effects; which are a major factor in relapse. This will help him to see that he can have an illness, take meds, and still lead a normal life.

For him right now, positive activities and communication are key to help establish a healthy new routine and way of life, as he’s learning to cope with a new illness.



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Having been very suicidal myself I would recommend letting him know how much he means to you all, through letters, cards, spoken word, little gifts (nothing big my mum used to by me the smallest of things that I’ve still kept they meant the world as I felt like I was nothing) photographs etc, just the little things as you lose that sense of worth, it’s little life lines that get you through. Knowing that after I had ruined everything people still held on I was amazed, shocked but mostly it gave me a speckle of hope.

I also recommend taking him on relaxing outings, not letting him isolate himself etc.

I may come up with more ideas, I’ll come and let you know.

Good luck, and go steady,

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Sorry about the mishap, accidentally pressed send before completing! Edited now!

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I do that all the time too. :wink:

The one thing I’m trying to get over is the big elephant in the room… the chipmunk reunion. After the way this last year has been, my sis has been hoping he’d make the first move on the bridge.

He says after all the horrid stuff he’s done to her, (sadly, it has been very ugly) he’s really afraid to face her and hoping that she’ll make the first move on the bridge.

She’s afraid of him a bit, but willing to try. He’s afraid of her now, and I have no idea what he’ll do. It’s hard to believe how close those two used to be.

I’m sorry to hear that, I know my mum was very frightened of me after some of the things I said and did, I was very horrified and ashamed of what I did but I had to live with my mum, so we made it that way. I did her a poem as a sorry element.

I don’t want to repeat it but maybe they could start off with something less threatening so (I don’t want to sound like I’m repeating myself) if your sis wants him to make the first move maybe you could all act together and encourage him to write a letter to her (even if it’s something as simple as “I’m genuinly sorry, I want to get to know you again” I’m sure that may be the start) I don’t want you to be the full mediator here as that’s a lot of responsibility, do you think you could talk to your parents and see what they suggest as well? As he’ll be living with them, maybe they could help you with this as well?

I’m sure time will do it’s healing, slowly but gradually, I know with my mum all she had to see was that I wouldn’t do the same again, maybe that’s all your sis needs to see?


I’m guessing that first meeting will consist of a lot of tears, maybe… Too many years of bonding even if it was motivated by mania :smile: They will be close again and I’m thinking you will be close with him this time too.

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I was thinking of trying to get my sis over to the hospital today and let that first meeting take place at the hospital. If it goes badly, there is a doc for him talk to, if it goes well, it’s one more thing he doesn’t have to face about getting out.

Plus it’s the exact opposite of how my dream plays out so this might negate the dream.

I know I shouldn’t force my sis to make the first move, considering what’s she been through with this brother. But I sort of want to force her. I sort of want to throw in my parent card. I don’t play it often, but it usually goes Ok when I do.