Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 12:35:45 AM

Title: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 12:35:45 AM
Hello, I'm new here. My situation involves a well meaning family member (sister) who is a lawyer. To be brief, about three years ago I was treated and diagnosed with anxiety. My own family doctor dx me, plus another one, and a therapist. The psychiatrist has been treating me for it for three years and he knows me pretty well.

About a year ago my sister told me one day that she read something and believed the doctors and therapist had all missed that according to her I have bipolar.

I told her basically "hmm, well, I dunno...my doctors never said this,...." T which she kind of dismissed this fact with "we'll I'm your sister and doctors aren't always right and besides I read about it"

Ok, I figure I am open minded, if I have it, I should get treated for it. I told her graciously well, maybe ill mention it to my doc and see what he says

Fast forward, my doctor says he isn't sure where she gets this idea from but I do not have bipolar, I have general anxiety and I mention this to sister.
She sounds almost offended that I don't have faith in her knowing her bc she's my sister and "wants the best for me"

I tried to disengage by saying I really appreciate her concern but three medical professionals say I just have anxiety. She makes me feel as if I almost have to apologize for not taking her word for it but we let it go.

Every once in a while she would bring it up and I gently deflected her "medical advice" telling her I am being treated for anxiety. On one of these occasions she got angry and told me that my "denial" only proves that I have it. So then its a catch 22, with me either accepting her suggestions and advice for bipolar, or if I tell her sorry this is what the doctors say then I am in denial

Months went by and we didnt talk about it and I hoped it had passed,

But recently she handed me a gift bag over the holidays and told me it might be better if I opened it privately bc she didn't want me to feel embarrassed opening it in front of others. I was puzzled wondering why she would pick out a gift that would embarrass me.

I opened it later privately and it was a self help book for bipolar. 

I would like your thoughts on this. The other thing is she has not kept her medical opinion to herself. She talks to our mom telling her I have this. I know she's done this bc recently when I told my mom my doc was changing my anxiety medication, my mom said "if that's what you really have..."

I asked her what do you mean if that's what I have?  Se didn't admit my sister had talked to her but it was obvious. She said doctors don't know Everythng which is the same thing my sister earlier told me. My sister is smart she's a lawyer and my mom tends to think there is nothng she doesn't know. But she has no medical training.

I would like input on the following

** should I respond to this gift, and if so , how?  I thought maybe I could send a thank you card saying thank you but do you have the receipt to exchange it for a book on anxiety instead?

** I feel like to some extent her interjecting her opinions is hindering my treatment for anxiety. Is there any non confrontational way to request that she no longer practice medicine without a license bc its interfering with my own treatment

** should I speak to my mother about this and if so, how?

If even one doctor had said I have bipolar I wouldn't mind so much, although I do feel like its wrong for them to discuss my treatment apart from me in this way. 

I don't like to guess about people's motives but knowing her I would say she is playing the role again, although well intentioned, it feels like an insult. On another level it is really aggravating how my mother seems to think there is nothing she doesn't know.  Even to the point of knowing more than doctors. Because sometimes if I'm anxious she will say oh, that's the bipolar talking.
 
My doctor said its really important for me to have strong family support for my treatment, but since she told my mom its bipolar, neither one of them are supportive, (I go to anxiety support group and my mom said I'm wasting my time and this in turn causes me more anxiety bc I feel alone in dealing with this)

Any input appreciated, I want to have a good relationship with her but I just want them both leave the medical care to the doctors and support me in that.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 03, 2013, 12:48:00 AM
I think you'd be best off to thank your sister for the book, but reiterate that it's not at all helpful.  "I appreciate that you were thinking of me, sis, but I'm not bipolar.  I have an anxiety disorder."  If she tries to start in on the "But doctors aren't always right" thing, you can cut her off right there: "Sis, I've done research too.  I'm not bipolar.  That's a term that gets overdiagnosed a lot nowadays, and I don't have those symptoms.  I did my own research, I've talked to my doctors, and we've come up with a treatment regimen for my anxiety disorder.  It's really helping.  However, my doctor says it will be a big help to me if I have support from my family - which I can't get when you're going around behind my back telling mom and anyone else that you know better than I do about my own body.  I know your concern is out of love, and I appreciate that, but please help support me through the disorder I have, not a disorder I don't."

As for your mom, I think next time it comes up you can be honest with her too: "Mom, Sis has it stuck in her head that I'm bipolar.  I'm not - I did my own research and I talked to my doctors, and I don't have bipolar disorder.  I don't know why she won't just drop it already.  However, what I really could use help with is X, Y, and Z - my doctor said having family support would really help me."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: bloo on January 03, 2013, 12:51:08 AM
This seems like a relationship issue. Is your sister's...pushiness a new development?

Your sister is a lousy doctor, but a sounds like she's a good lawyer if she's convinced your mother and worsened your anxieties about the situation.

Throw the book out and dial back the time you spend with them.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: The TARDIS on January 03, 2013, 01:00:06 AM
Your sister sounds toxic to me. I suggest a cut direct for now and try to talk to your mother about how your sister is jumping to conclusions incorrectly. Lay everything out. If your mother still refuses to support you, look to a friend for support.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: WithoutIssue on January 03, 2013, 01:41:37 AM
Can I just say that this topic title, combined with the previous poster's name, has absolutely made my day  ;D

However that does not help you OP. I'm so sorry you are going through this; as someone whose DH has a specific depressive disorder I know that some family members really do seem to get a bee in their bonnets about diagnosis/treatments etc. There is so much info in the public domain that a little knowledge becomes a dangerous thing. We have adopted the beandip wherever possible, but have had to flatly state that we are following the plan set by my DH's doctors and the matter is not up for discussion. This may be the tack you need to take with your sister.

For your mother, are you able to sit down alone with her and talk with her, maybe your doctor can give you some good explanation in layman's terms to make it simple and clear to her that despite your sister's opinion your mental health is correctly identified and being managed and it is not something come to lightly?
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: MariaE on January 03, 2013, 01:55:53 AM
I think you'd be best off to thank your sister for the book, but reiterate that it's not at all helpful.  "I appreciate that you were thinking of me, sis, but I'm not bipolar.  I have an anxiety disorder."  If she tries to start in on the "But doctors aren't always right" thing, you can cut her off right there: "Sis, I've done research too.  I'm not bipolar.  That's a term that gets overdiagnosed a lot nowadays, and I don't have those symptoms.  I did my own research, I've talked to my doctors, and we've come up with a treatment regimen for my anxiety disorder.  It's really helping.  However, my doctor says it will be a big help to me if I have support from my family - which I can't get when you're going around behind my back telling mom and anyone else that you know better than I do about my own body.  I know your concern is out of love, and I appreciate that, but please help support me through the disorder I have, not a disorder I don't."

As for your mom, I think next time it comes up you can be honest with her too: "Mom, Sis has it stuck in her head that I'm bipolar.  I'm not - I did my own research and I talked to my doctors, and I don't have bipolar disorder.  I don't know why she won't just drop it already.  However, what I really could use help with is X, Y, and Z - my doctor said having family support would really help me."

Slartibartfast is wise. Listen to Slartibartfast.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: FenigDurak on January 03, 2013, 02:09:09 AM
I would be inclined to start giving incorrect legal and career advice to the lawyer sister. Then when she corrects you or even asks where you heard such misinformation, you can suggest it was from the same source as her medical information. Because we know that they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true.

This however never fails to come across as condescending and very unlikely ehell approved.


Seriously though, consider taking your mom with you on your next Doctor visit. He can properly educate her and answer questions so that the next time your sister pipes up about bipolar disorder, you two will have a united front.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 02:42:09 AM
Unfortunately as far as my mom goes, for some reason she has placed my sister into the golden child role, and seems to have a need to see her as almost infallible and so once sister says x, its almost impossible to get my mom to consider she isn't correct.
I suspect even the chief of psychiatry at the best medical center in the country couldn't dissuade her from believing what sis says must be right, bc my mom already is aware that two doctors a therapist said its anxiety and its been a standing diagnosis for several years. Mom was supportive of my treatment for anxiety until sis told her its bipolar. It would help alot to have family understanding and support.

Also what using a bean dip approach ?

Funny idea about me now giving her legal advice. Hmm, I can act as her advisor on her cases or tell my mom she has this case all wrong, and this is how she should be handling it...funny idea

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: iridaceae on January 03, 2013, 04:02:25 AM
You might try saying every time this brought up,  in a very serene manner "Sister is a lawyer not a doctor.  A law degree does not make her an accurate diagnoctitian. When she gets her MD she can get back to me on what she thinks I am."  This may be something that you will have to repeat ad nauseum to make Mom understand that lawyers are not doctors.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: cicero on January 03, 2013, 04:38:48 AM
hugs. (My son is battling depression and anxiety and has also been diagnosed with Asperger's and has also been diagnosed with other things, and we have also been given "unwanted and unasked for medical diagnoses advice over the years). it's a difficult road and I wish you all the best.

Your sister is correct. Doctors do make mistakes. (oh, wait - so do lawyers. isnt' that why they have malpractice insurance? ) but anyway, stop discussing this with her. The next time she says "but really sis, you have bipolar and here is why..." say to her "sis, i am not discussing my medical issues with you". if she continues "but that just proves that you are bipolar!" (which btw is such a stupid argument on her part), don't take the bite, don't respond - walk away, hang up, bean dip. you don't *have to* have this conversation with her.

IOW - don't try to prove that you are right and she is wrong; simply don't acknowledge her words as being worthy of response. because they're not.

talk to your doctor - and bring this up in your group - that you *don't* have family support and you need more support form this (or other) groups. and ask your mom if she would be willing to come to a group session with you - it's possible that if she sees other people who are like you, she might be able to come to terms with who you are. (it was helpful to me when i met with a support group that DS was going to - because i could relate to the others as "sweet people who are battling depression" which in turn helped me to relate to my son.)

as for the book - it's probably not e-hell sanctioned but i would return it to her and say "sis, ii think the store clerk misled you. see, you got me a book for bipolar, when actually all i have is anxiety disorder. they are not the same. "
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on January 03, 2013, 05:16:02 AM
"You are bipolar!"

"And you are stupid. But I'm getting better."

No, you can't say it out loud, but it isn't rude to think it.

What about "You are bipolar!"

"And you have Death Watch Beetle."

"What?"
 
"Oh, I thought we were assigning random conditions to each other." The sillier the condition, the better. Blue Screen of Death. Dutch Elm Disease. Kennel Cough.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: MamaMootz on January 03, 2013, 05:45:18 AM
Can you ask your sister (and your mom) if it's more important to them that they are RIGHT or that you get well?

I also recommend what is known around here as the Toots Special. Find one phrase that shuts them down and keep repeating it over and over again.

Sis: The docs are wrong, blah blah blah
You: I am not bipolar. I suffer from anxiety.
Sis: They don't know everything blah blah blah
You: I am not bipolar. I suffer from anxiety.
Sis: You should read the book I gave you it proves I'm right and you're wrong and neener neener neener
You: I am not bipolar. I suffer from anxiety.

And so on.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: AliciaLynette on January 03, 2013, 05:54:35 AM
"You are bipolar!"

"And you are stupid. But I'm getting better."

No, you can't say it out loud, but it isn't rude to think it.

What about "You are bipolar!"

"And you have Death Watch Beetle."

"What?"
 
"Oh, I thought we were assigning random conditions to each other." The sillier the condition, the better. Blue Screen of Death. Dutch Elm Disease. Kennel Cough.

Actually, if one of my relatives was doing this to me, I'd have no hesitation in saying "And you're stupid." in response, because the fact that they don't believe and therefore can undermine a doctor's diagnosis and mandated treatment plan means that they are getting cut out of my life to some extent anyway!  So the fact that this response is rude is irrelevant at this point, they're already rude by not listening to and working with you!

Maybe ask your mum when exactly your sister passed her medical degree if she starts again?  When mum says 'She hasn't got a medical degree' then ask why she thinks that someone without a medical degree knows more than two doctors and a therapist?

Hope you can find some help and that your family can back off, or start supporting you properly!
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: MorgnsGrl on January 03, 2013, 06:08:12 AM
Not that it's any of her business, but I wonder what would happen if you asked her to make a list of symptoms/reasons why she thinks you are bipolar, and then you crossed out all the ones that don't apply to you. If she could see a written list that was mostly crossed out that might be enough to convince her. Not that you HAVE to convince her, because you are totally right in saying that she isn't qualified to diagnose you. But I do wonder WHY she thinks this. It's sort of a weird imaginary diagnosis to come up with.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Stormtreader on January 03, 2013, 06:16:28 AM
Say youre concerned she may have Munchausens By Proxy since she seems so invested in making people think you have a condition you dont. If shes taking one or two symptoms and FORCING them to fit, then you can too.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 03, 2013, 06:21:18 AM
You might try saying every time this brought up,  in a very serene manner "Sister is a lawyer not a doctor.  A law degree does not make her an accurate diagnoctitian. When she gets her MD she can get back to me on what she thinks I am."  This may be something that you will have to repeat ad nauseum to make Mom understand that lawyers are not doctors.

I like this. I also think I'd say something about how the courts don't like people practicing either law or medicine without a license.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Amava on January 03, 2013, 06:39:06 AM
Suggest that she should go see a doctor herself sometime, about this weird obsession she seems to have with bipolar.

I'm serious. The way she keeps harping on this, is just not healthy.

And I'm annoyed at your mom for going with it.  >:(
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: peaches on January 03, 2013, 06:43:53 AM
I suggest "I won't discuss this subject with you".

Then don't.
 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Amava on January 03, 2013, 06:46:37 AM
I have an idea.
Instead of a thank-you note for the book, write her a heartfelt letter laying this out to her one more time, the way you did to us. Try one more time to explain how important it is you have your family's support in dealing with the anxiety and getting better, and that you need her to stop sabotaging that. Maybe if it is in the written word, where she cannot interrupt you like when you're talking, it will finally sink in.

I'm not saying it's going to work, but in my opinion it's worth a shot.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: bopper on January 03, 2013, 07:21:02 AM
"Sis, I am returning this book to you for a number of reasons.   When you brought up the idea of bipolar, I wanted to make sure I had an open mind about it so I did in fact bring it up with my doctor.  He and three others who are treating me did not think that was my diagnoses.  I have been being treated for anxiety and my treatment is going well.  After starting on meds, I can now do X, Y, and Z where as before I was terrified to.   So I am returning this book because A) I don't need information on bipolar, and B) You need to back off of my medical concerns.  Bringing it up was appropriate, but continually harping on it after I have discussed it with my treatment team is not.  I don't want to hear you mention it again."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Just Lori on January 03, 2013, 08:29:56 AM
Give her a self-help book for diabetics? When she protests that she's not diabetic, tell her she's wrong and you know best?

Somehow I fear she still wouldn't get it.

Would you feel comfortable allowing the family members to visit the doctor with you?  Let the doctor counter every concern they might have with good, solid medical facts.  Poke holes in their "I'm not a doctor but I play one on the internet" argument.  Let the doctor reiterate that you need family support, not a family who questions your professional diagnosis.

Regardless, I would make sure your doctor knows what's going on.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: amylouky on January 03, 2013, 08:47:13 AM
"Thank you, but I will go on the advice of my actual doctors."

For whatever.. comments, suggestions, when handing the book back to her.. and yes, I do think you should give it back. That is not a present, it's unsolicited (actually, actively unwanted) medical advice.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Eden on January 03, 2013, 08:50:50 AM
I suggest "I won't discuss this subject with you".

Then don't.

This. And by "this subject" I mean any aspect of your healthcare, mental or physical. Your mom and your sister have boundary issues where this is concerned so you can't engage them on any aspect of that topic.

The next time they start in I'd say, "I appreciate your concerns for my health, but I will no longer discuss this with anyone other than my doctor." And any time they bring it up after that, "I told you I won't discuss this with you." And if they try to insist, "If you won't drop it, I'm going to have to leave/hang up." 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: TootsNYC on January 03, 2013, 08:51:08 AM


Would you feel comfortable allowing the family members to visit the doctor with you?  Let the doctor counter every concern they might have with good, solid medical facts.  Poke holes in their "I'm not a doctor but I play one on the internet" argument.  Let the doctor reiterate that you need family support, not a family who questions your professional diagnosis.

Regardless, I would make sure your doctor knows what's going on.

If I were in your shoes, I would ask my mom (but not my sister) to go to a visit with my doctor. And to ask my doctor to explain things to my mom.

INCLUDING having him explain that the constant barrage of contrary  medical advice, etc., is undermining your recovery.

And yes, I would give the book back to her.
That is not a present, it's unsolicited (actually, actively unwanted) medical advice.


Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: TurtleDove on January 03, 2013, 09:13:08 AM
OP, how old are you and do you live with either your mom or your sister?  Assuming you are an adult living on your own, I agree with the PPs who advised to not tell your mom or sister anything about your mental or physical health.  It isn't their business, and they don't seem focused on your health so much as their being "right" about it (as another PP pointed out).  Refuse to discuss it.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: strawbabies on January 03, 2013, 10:51:12 AM
...I agree with the PPs who advised to not tell your mom or sister anything about your mental or physical health.  It isn't their business, and they don't seem focused on your health so much as their being "right" about it (as another PP pointed out).  Refuse to discuss it.
POD!

OP, I'm sorry you're in this position.  I too struggle with GAD every now and then.  When I was younger, I also went through a nasty battle with depression, which my younger sister said was fake.  She was a freshman in college at the time, majoring in psychology.  I told her she should change her field of study because she could cause a patient to commit suicide with her attitude. 

She now has a master's degree in geology, and my father thinks she knows everything about everything just because she has a master's.  I'm back in school working on my bachelor's degree in business and working part time in a vet's office.  But in his mind, she still knows more about money, investing, and veterinary care than I do. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: HenrysMom on January 03, 2013, 11:25:13 AM
OP, I agree with Turtledove - they don't need to know your business.  Don't tell them ANYTHING further about your personal life.  Tell your sister to stop slandering you to your mother and others in your family.  She, being a lawyer, should understand that.

GAD and Bipolar Disorder are such radically different diagnoses, that I don't understand how she thinks 3 doctors could possibly be wrong.
 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Otterpop on January 03, 2013, 11:46:03 AM
I agree with Barensmom.  Go completely silent from now on about your condition with mom and sister.  They are worsening your condition and filling you with false ideas/anxiety.  This matter is between you and your doctors.  If they bring up your health, bean dip, distract, change the subject, talk about pleasant, innocuous non-triggering things.

If you would like to discuss with others, find friends you can trust or a support group.  Otherwise, your family will sabotage your improvement (OP is there a history of this?)
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: SPuck on January 03, 2013, 12:02:07 PM
I'd say stop the information train to your sister and your mother. They sound like they are hindering your functioning. As for a support system, yes it is important, but it doesn't need to be family.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Shopaholic on January 03, 2013, 12:03:28 PM
I would give her back the book.

Anytime she brings it up I would reply with "remind me where you got your medical degree."
Anytime Mom brings it up I would reply with "remind me where she got her medical degree."

And if that doesn't shut them up, I'd read her my doctor's list of credentials.

Sorry, I find this incredibly annoying and pushy. My dad has a PhD and he thinks that qualifies him for making medical diagnoses. He once called me when I was in the ER and he was vacationing in Alaska to suggest "maybe it's a tumor" (It wasn't). But it had the lovely effect of sending his daughter who was writhing in pain into hysterics.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Raceyrocket on January 03, 2013, 12:55:31 PM
What exactly does she expect you to do with her bipolar diagnosis? The doctor is the one to decide on which medication will suit you, so I would ask her what she wants you to do and leave an unreasonable answer up to her.

Speaking as someone who's boyfriend has been wrongly diagnosed as bipolar (ended up being TBI, after extensive testing)  after one 45 minute consultation with a real psychiatrist, and that medication made him so out of control it could have killed him or me, I would let her know that bipolar meds are NOT something to take lightly. Used on someone that does not have bipolar they can be deadly. So really, what does she want you to do with this?
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: miranova on January 03, 2013, 01:05:25 PM
There is no way that I would thank her for the book.  Even without the history, getting someone a self help book seems pretty condescending to me.  If you want help for "your bipolar", presumably you would get yourself a self help book and would not need someone else to suggest the idea.  Self help books are labelled as such for a reason, it's because generally the person reading it wants help with something that they actually agree is a problem.  It doesn't really work if they don't want the help!  I would never get someone a self help book for any holiday.

And because of the history, I would send it back with a note saying "this is not really a gift to me, it is simply more of you pushing me to believe that your medical diagnosis of me is more accurate than those of my 3 doctors.  The first time you brought this up, I was skeptical but in the interest of being completely thorough, I did my own research and discussed it with my doctors.  I am confident that I have been accurately diagnosed and no longer want to discuss this with you again.  You are not helping me, you are undermining me and treating me like a child.  Please do not ever bring this up again."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: MrTango on January 03, 2013, 01:16:23 PM
There is no way that I would thank her for the book.  Even without the history, getting someone a self help book seems pretty condescending to me.  If you want help for "your bipolar", presumably you would get yourself a self help book and would not need someone else to suggest the idea.  Self help books are labelled as such for a reason, it's because generally the person reading it wants help with something that they actually agree is a problem.  It doesn't really work if they don't want the help!  I would never get someone a self help book for any holiday.

And because of the history, I would send it back with a note saying "this is not really a gift to me, it is simply more of you pushing me to believe that your medical diagnosis of me is more accurate than those of my 3 doctors.  The first time you brought this up, I was skeptical but in the interest of being completely thorough, I did my own research and discussed it with my doctors.  I am confident that I have been accurately diagnosed and no longer want to discuss this with you again.  You are not helping me, you are undermining me and treating me like a child.  Please do not ever bring this up again."

The second part of the note is discussing it further.  If the OP chooses to return the book, I'd go with just the first part of the note and the last sentence saying not to bring it up again.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DaDancingPsych on January 03, 2013, 02:42:18 PM
In some respects, this is an issue of semantics. While I want my doctors to know the proper name of my diagnosis (well, actually I just want them to know the appropriate treatment), I donít care what others think I have. I donít see what is gained by convincing sister of the appropriate term. Itís obvious that sheís going to believe what she wants to believe. So, I wouldnít argue with her, I would focus on what you need from her... her support. If she wants to believe that you have purple flying elephants syndrome, so be it. Just insist that she is being supportive with your treatment.

While family support may be important for your treatment, you cannot force someone to be supportive. You may want to focus your energy less towards correcting your sister and more towards finding individuals who want to be there for you and not argue with you.

Have you mentioned to your doctors about the issues with your sister and mother? They may find it necessary for your treatment to have a family session that may assist with the problem. Either way, the advice that they give will be the best for your treatment, which is more important than the etiquette advice that you may receive here.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 03:45:27 PM
Thanks for all the input, its given me some helpful things to consider.....apparently some of you have been the subjects of relatives running around playing doctor also. It takes some amount of strength to seek treatment for a mental health issue and when a family member does this is makes it even more difficult. I was told by both doctors and my therapist that family support is key (actually its key to physical things too...when my dad had a heart attack we all supported his care and my mom made low fat meals etc.  But, as has been discussed here, you can't get support for something you don't have

Here is kind of a brief summing up of how I kind of see this

***   I didn't mind her initially telling me she thought maybe I have this ..although I wouldn't overstep another persons medical treatment in this way, I chose to assume the best, that she was just trying to offer a suggestion. I responded graciously and told her ok, I would ask doc about it. I did so and he clarified I have anxiety. From that point, all she should have done is offer support for it. To continue to insist this is manipulative imo.  I stopped discussing it with her although we continued to talk about other things. However she found a way "around" my not discussing it, by handing me a book on it. Like I said, she is smart.

**  you can't support someone for something they don't have. If she was a diabetic, and I was always telling her what she really needs is to have her gallbladder removed, that would not be helpful and imo would be completely out of place, ..harmful not helpful

**  since the dynamics between sis and mom is like this, it makes it impossible pretty much for mom to consider sis may be incorrect. She seems to have a need to see sis as infallible basically. I thought about bringing mom along with me to doc appointment but I feel like this would be an exercise in frustration, mom would go to apointment with a closed mind firmly believing sis is right. I can see my mom telling the doc something like I realize your a doctor, however my daughter is very bright and she's done some research. We think you might have missed this and feel Susie needs to be in treatment for bipolar..or some variation on this

** I wouldn't mind if she felt this way and mentioned it once or twice to me. However she has interjected herself into my treatment by continuing to tell our mom I'm bipolar. Tis has been to some degree harmful to me and causes me more anxiety. When I told my mom my doc would change my anxiety med, she said "IF that's what you have.....doctors don't know everything".  It was obvious she got this from sis, bc this is exactly what sis told me earlier. My mom also told me my anxiety group is a waste of time.....its hard enough to seek treatment without feeling alone like that. It seems like others in my group have their family support, boyfriend spurt etc but I don't

I'm in limbo how to reply to this gift. I wonder if I should be straight and tell her thank you but she knows its not my diagnosis so the book is irrelevant and ask why she didnt simply get a workbook on anxiety if she wanted to help. It seems its more important for her to be right than to support.  If I gave a heart patient a book on epilepsy, how would that help?

Catch 22 though, she says if I say I don't need it, that's a classic sign of it...denial

Ill think more aout this and see any other replies....thank you guys

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: magician5 on January 03, 2013, 04:10:09 PM
Stop discussing this matter with anyone else at once!

This sort of thing is exactly why we have strong privacy rules for medical information. Keep it to yourself - it's already gonna be hard to re-establish your boundaries. Any shrink worth his/her salt can diagnose bipolar disorder in a heartbeat, and anyone who's not a trained medical professional (your chosen medical professional) should shut up.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 05:52:14 PM
Magician,  hi, I agree the only one to do any diagnsoing should be the persons doctor. When she first mentioned it last year I think it was pretty gracious for me to respond as I did, by telling her I would ask my doc about it...i think alot of people wouldnt have.been quite so gracious about it...i thought after my doctor confirmed its anxiety that would be the end of it.  My dr told me how important family support was, and so from time to time I would mention about my treatment...but si continued her interference.   I know medical privacys iportant however I was told to get family as support.  they wont give support for what I do have and instead want to suport me for somthin6 I dont have...what if my sister had diabetes and I told her I am here 2o be suportive of your epilepsy....i know I cant make them be suportive but its kind of a shame I think close family should be there if you have some type of health issue. At this point if they refuse to be there for me , all I want is for her to stop interjecting herself...if they refuse to offer help, I would at least like them to act  neutral rather than interfering
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Otterpop on January 03, 2013, 06:14:52 PM
Ladybugs, some families can't give support.  Some are  are actually contributing to, or are causing, the problem.  That's why it's important to stop talking to them and find a support group for anxiety sufferers.  Maybe your doctor can hook you up.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Julian on January 03, 2013, 06:17:16 PM
Ladybugs, for the purpose of your illness, your sister (and, by extension of her interference, your mother) are not providing support, they are actively worsening your situation by causing increased anxiety.  There is a saying here, 'safety trumps etiquette'.  In this case, your safety, ie mental wellbeing, is being threatened.  You are well within your rights to cut them out of your life until they accept your diagnosis and quit gas-lighting your treatment.

Is there any other family support available?  Do you have a husband, boyfriend, best friend that could provide that support?

If you're not willing to cut them out yet, then you need to establish some boundaries.  As soon as the 'bipolar' word gets mentioned, leave or hang up the phone.  If you want, tell them the subject is off the table, and if it brought up, you will end the conversation at once.  And follow through.  Once you've left the conversation, you may want to impose a time limit on contact - first time, a week, second time, two weeks, third time a month. 

Sis: "blah blah you're bipolar"
You: "No, I told you this isn't up for discussion.  Gotta go, cat's on fire." 

Mother: "sis says blah blah bipolar"
You:  "No, I told you this isn't up for discussion.  Got to leave, going bungee jumping."

If I were you, I would also tell your doctors/therapist exactly what your sister is doing, and how it is affecting your treatment regime.  They may have some ideas as to how to shut down your sister and mother.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 03, 2013, 07:05:27 PM
I have severe anxiety about the simplest of things.  (Right now, I feel like bawling, and I can't get myself to go to Wal-Mart regardless of knowing how much I need to get a money order, white vinegar, and dish soap.  I am too anxious to go to Wal-Mart but I am equally as anxious that without these things, I will not get the house clean before Eagle (DF) gets home, and he will be annoyed.  I can't win over the anxiety right now, so instead I feel like crying.)

Everyone else is right: stop talking about this with them.  I know you want their support, and I can tell you want it badly, but it isn't going to happen right now.  Maybe it will in the future, but right now it won't, and you're only making things worse for yourself by continuing to look for it where it isn't.  It's a hard truth to swallow, I know, but swallow it you must.  The first step is responding to this "gift".  So far you have received great advice on how to respond to the gift and how to shut down the sings both your sister and mother say.  I have one more suggestion.

Keep the book, read it, then tell your sister, "It was a very interesting read.  I found it intriguing to read about a life so totally different than mine.  I'm even more convinced now that my doctors are right.  Speaking of which, I will no longer be talking about that subject.  From now on, my medical treatment is between me and my doctors.  If you or mom bring up it again, I will leave, understood?  Great, thanks for understanding."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 07:40:19 PM
I just wanted to clarify something....months back, I did stop bringing up subject with sis....we continued to talk but I didn't bring up the subject with her and I had hoped she would no longer interject herself .  But, then she found a way 'around ' me not discussing it, by handing me a book. And since it was given as a kind of gift, it made it even more awkward, to know how to respond to a gift, that is really  a statement and attempt to impose her view on me. It would be kind of similar to let's say if she had dyslexia, and I insisted she had aspergers,  and then giving her a book on aspergers.

In a more general sense I think most the time its not the best thing to hand someone a self help book, even if it IS an issue, let's say like giving an overweight relative a book on weight watchers...unless they shared with you they realy want to get help for it.

I was trying to figure out how to highlight other posters quotes, in my reply, bc there were some really insightful things said here and I wanted to highlight some of them,.....

At least a couple people said how it seems her need to be right, is so important to her that she is hurting me as a result even if she doesn't realize it. I think she really feels she knows best, she is a lawyer and I have an AA degree.

I think its wrong for them to talk about me apart from me, even if it was some other issue. If they were talking about my eating habits and why I need to be a vegetarian behind my back, that would be wrong imo but because this involves something alot more serious its not just a matter of inappropriate, it crosses over into being harmful

I think someone above said I should mail her a self help book on diabetes...I am tempted to mail off a copy of 'diabetes for dummies', with a note about how I hope this can help with her 'issue' and see what she says  ;)

Then if she objects with a "Susie, why did you give me a book on diabetes, I don't have that" then I could say "oh sis, you are deeply in denial....this is classic for diabetics to not want to admit to it, because then they will have to change their eating habits...hehe

Tempted to, but probably won't....I would like to have her lay this issue to rest with a rest in peace sign over it...they were being supportive until sis got this bee in her bonnet about bipolar. She does not like to back down from something once she says it bc she doesn't like to be wrong. I would love for them to be there for me in even small ways, like others in my group have family support. But now that sis has said this, mom thinks its the gospel truth, and so it will be darn near impossible to regain the support .  That's sad, but I can live with that, ...like I said I just want her if she can't be a positive role, I just want her to stop actively interfering and lay it to rest

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 03, 2013, 07:45:10 PM
She only found a way to "circumvent" not talking to you about it if you let her "circumvent" it.  Give it back and say, "I stopped talking to you about this for a reason.  Please respect that."

Also, so what if she's a lawyer and you have an AA?  That doesn't make her right or her opinion more important than yours.  Being "smart" doesn't automatically make someone better than someone else.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: bonyk on January 03, 2013, 07:49:38 PM
Your sister is a bully, and is using her diagnosis to make herself feel superior.  Anything you engage her with is fuel for her fire.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Julian on January 03, 2013, 08:06:06 PM
Agreed, bonyk. 

There are two etiquette issues here.  Firstly, how to respond to an inappropriate gift.  Secondly, how to shut down the discussions.

The gift.  The advice usually given here is to accept graciously then do with it as you will.  Whilst it would be very tempting to send Sis the diabetes self-help book, it would be retaliatory rudeness, I think, and also probably perceived as antagonism by Dear Well Meaning Sister.  (Sorry about the sarcasm there!)  However, due to the nature of the book and the way she gave it to you, I think you would be within your rights to discreetly return it to her and say "I'm sorry, I think you must have meant this for someone else."  Keep it neutral, pleasant and polite - ie do not give her a negative reaction.

The discussion.  It sounds like, with Sis at least, that this has been partly successful - with the exception of the book.  It is her way of trying to bully you back into the conversation route.  Keep up with the 'not up for discussion' cut and paste. 

She only found a way to "circumvent" not talking to you about it if you let her "circumvent" it.  Give it back and say, "I stopped talking to you about this for a reason.  Please respect that."

Also, so what if she's a lawyer and you have an AA?  That doesn't make her right or her opinion more important than yours.  Being "smart" doesn't automatically make someone better than someone else.

And she's certainly not 'better' than your doctors and therapist, who are actually trained in their field.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: doodlemor on January 03, 2013, 08:16:50 PM
Your sister is a bully, and is using her diagnosis to make herself feel superior.  Anything you engage her with is fuel for her fire.

POD.

I don't know your age, or whether you live at home, or whether you have other family.  It seems to me, though, that your mother and sister are making you worse when they should be helping. 

Frankly, I think that you would be best off if you had very little contact with these disrespectful people.  If you are presently living with either of them I think that you need to discuss the goal of economic independence with your doctors.  I am outraged and affronted for you, OP. 

I think that you should say nothing about the book to your sister, and refuse to discuss the matter with anyone except your doctors. 

    "I will only discuss this with my doctors." 

Get off the phone, leave the premises, whatever you have to do.  You are under no obligation to explain yourself to these two people, even if you do share some DNA.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: katycoo on January 03, 2013, 08:24:40 PM
Honestly, if you do't want to cut them off, I'd just give up and agree with them.  And continue doing whatever you're doing under your actual doctor's guidance.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Nuala on January 03, 2013, 08:28:46 PM
Your sister is a bully, and is using her diagnosis to make herself feel superior.  Anything you engage her with is fuel for her fire.

I agree with this. Apparently being the golden child is not enough, so she needs to find a new way to assert her dominance over you.

It's rather sad, really.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: JenJay on January 03, 2013, 08:48:38 PM
 >:(

Exchange the book for one on Narcissistic Personality Dissorder, put it in the gift bag and give it back to her. When she protests that she doesn't have NPD tell her she's in denial.

As for your mom I'd try one more time. I'd wait until you had a quiet moment alone with her, look her in the eyes and say "Mom, I need you to hear me. I understand that it's hard for you to imagine that Sis is wrong, but she is. I have three physicians looking after me and they have all reached the same diagnosis, independently of each other. I don't know why Sis is convinced I'm bipolar but she's mistaken. It's very important that I have your support while I'm going through treatment. I cannot stress this enough. Having you question my diagnosis and treatment exacerbates my symptoms. Please trust and support me." If she argues I'd say "I'm very hurt that you would rather side with sis than support me. The subject is no longer up for discussion."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Autumn Rose on January 03, 2013, 09:29:10 PM

No wonder you have anxiety!   Good grief!
I have not read any of the other responses...but here are my 2 cents.

Your sister is the golden child.   Her thoughts must be correct, because, well, she has always been smarter/cuter/better.

You have two choices.   
     a)  Ignore them.
     b)  Try to get them to see your/your therapist point of view.  (which is useless...but you could TRY)


If you choose B - tell your sister and mom that you would like them to meet your therapist.
This would give your therapist a good look at your family dynamic.    And the opportunity for the therapist to tell them that arm-chair psychiatry is NOT helpful.

((hugs))

Regardless of what ANYONE says...you know yourself...take care of yourself the best way you can...
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Take2 on January 03, 2013, 09:30:07 PM
I am sorry. My mother does this, her diagnosis of choice is clinical depression. One of her therapists once said something to the effect that it would be almost impossible to grow up with my mother as a parent and not develop clinical depression. My mother has taken this as proof and an official diagnosis of me, by a man I have never met.

My own therapist helped me to come up with a workable response. It was "Look, you can believe what you choose about my mental health. But this subject is now closed. You have made your concerns quite clear, I have heard them and addressed them as seems best to me. Any mention of my mental/psychological state going forward will end the conversation. I will hang up the phone/leave your home or any public place/escort you immediately to my front door. I know you don't like this, you don't have to like it. This is the way it will be."

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 09:54:12 PM
Feeling sorely tempted to

*** let her know that I would like to advise her on her current pro bono case, because I have a groundbreaking idea that will help her win the case....   8)

When she asks how I can do that bc I'm not a lawyer, I will just pat her hand and say, but I'm smart and I'm your sister

Or when she tells me about her latest court case I could say in a concerned tone "oh....I was worried you might go that route....this is how you need to present these cases....well first, ...." 
When she objects to my expert legal advice, I could drop the subject but follow up later by mailing her a book on her bday in March, titled How to revise your legal strategies

I can dream, right?

 then I could let mom know I have been doing some reading on sisters area of law, and that I am concerned she has been taking the wrong legal approach, but not to worry bc I know how to help her revise her courtroom approach?

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: sevenday on January 03, 2013, 10:27:32 PM
Hmm. It's tricky, really... I've experienced the family "know it all" too in case of "I know better than you even though you live in your body" kind of thing.  I was diagnosed with depression and took medication for some time, in conjunction with therapy, to help straighten things out.  I was told repeatedly "you don't have depression, you're just attention seeking."  I promptly dropped all discussion of my medical history.  When other person attempted to bring it up, I told them calmly, "That's between my doctor and me.  I'm not going to discuss private information with you."  And then physically turned away.  (This worked in my case because I am deaf, and turning away severed all attempts at communicating with me.) 

I will say that there are times when you WANT people to question diagnoses and medications if they think they are not working for you or working inadequately.  I remember a case of a friend's father who was being treated for Disease Y when it ended up that he needed to be treated for something else, something that another friend recognized through their own experiences.  The family friend sat down with the father and explained what they thought was happening, and politely urged the father to at least bring it up in discussion with his doctor to double check that they didn't miss something when they were diagnosing.  The side effects of Medication A were not pleasant, and changing to Medication B helped his condition and improved his life.  BUT it's all in how you execute it.  A polite discussion of concern ONCE is all that's really permissible.  Beyond that it gets aggravating and becomes nosy and so forth, as the OP knows.

In the case of the book, quietly dispose of it.  Do not mention the book to your sister.  If she brings it up, and she likely will, you might say, "Oh, I glanced at it, but it's really not something that will be helpful to me as I do not have bipolar disorder.  I gave it to someone who might find it useful."   If she starts in on her usual lecture of 'CRUD MONKEYS! you have bipolar stop denying it!' Tell her point blank, "My doctors and I have agreed that I do NOT fit the criteria for bipolar, no matter what you believe.  You are doing more harm than good by continuing to harp on this subject.  I feel hurt that you feel that your need to be right is more important than your love for me.   I am asking you to love and respect me enough to let this drop and stop discussing this from here forward."  She'll probably continue whining to your mother, who will complain to you, at which point you can tell your mother pretty much the same thing. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: BabylonSister on January 03, 2013, 10:48:59 PM
In the case of the book, quietly dispose of it.  Do not mention the book to your sister.  If she brings it up, and she likely will, you might say, "Oh, I glanced at it, but it's really not something that will be helpful to me as I do not have bipolar disorder.  I gave it to someone who might find it useful."   If she starts in on her usual lecture of 'CRUD MONKEYS! you have bipolar stop denying it!' Tell her point blank, "My doctors and I have agreed that I do NOT fit the criteria for bipolar, no matter what you believe.  You are doing more harm than good by continuing to harp on this subject.  I feel hurt that you feel that your need to be right is more important than your love for me.   I am asking you to love and respect me enough to let this drop and stop discussing this from here forward."  She'll probably continue whining to your mother, who will complain to you, at which point you can tell your mother pretty much the same thing.


Absolutely. I would be even shorter than that and play the broken record of "I only discuss my health with my doctor. Please stop," and tell your mom and your sister that you will hang up/leave the room/find some way to end the conversation right there. And if they won't shut up, do just that. They must know that every attempt at discussing the matter will mean the end of the conversation.  That's sad, but that's how you deal with unreasonable people.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 03, 2013, 11:29:07 PM
Seven day,  I did actually do this, even though this diagnosis came about from three seperate medical professionals, just to be a bit gracious I did tell my sister I would double check with my doc about it, to make sure....he looked puzzled and said he didn't know where she was getting that, and reassured for the record I just have anxiety.
I guess in your case it sounds like the person had some personal experience with y syndrome health condition but in my sisters case, she hasn't had personal experience with it, its just sometng she came up with.  After I double checked with doc I let her know he said not to worry  that's not what it was. And she continued to persist on about it

I don't know it might be hard for her to know how to back track on this maybe she feels like since she stated it so firmly, she doesn't want to now look like she was incorrect....I could be wrong but it ight be hard for her to admit she may have been wrong

She sometimes tends to do this with other issues but those are usually harmless, albeit out of place. Fr example she told me her friend was wrong for trying homeschooling bc the kid according to her needed public school. She had gone to public school and it worked good, why would anyone want to homeschool kind of thing. I didn't know this friend of hers well and don't know if she gave advice to that friend on why she shouldn't homeschool or kept it to herself.
When our cousin had a baby she wondered why she didnt try to breast feed, and that everyone should try it etc but I don't think she actually told cousin this

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: scotcat60 on January 04, 2013, 05:30:29 AM
Thanks for the book. It makes a great door stop/prop for my rickety garden table/ seomething useful to stand on when reaching up to a shelf....
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: SeptGurl on January 04, 2013, 07:33:26 AM
I am sorry. My mother does this, her diagnosis of choice is clinical depression. One of her therapists once said something to the effect that it would be almost impossible to grow up with my mother as a parent and not develop clinical depression. My mother has taken this as proof and an official diagnosis of me, by a man I have never met.

My own therapist helped me to come up with a workable response. It was "Look, you can believe what you choose about my mental health. But this subject is now closed. You have made your concerns quite clear, I have heard them and addressed them as seems best to me. Any mention of my mental/psychological state going forward will end the conversation. I will hang up the phone/leave your home or any public place/escort you immediately to my front door. I know you don't like this, you don't have to like it. This is the way it will be."

POD this. OP, your family members don't have to like or agree with your diagnosis, and you don't have to continue explain it to them. My suggestion is to speak with your treatment team about how to address this with your family members. Take2's phrasing above could be a starting place.

In addition, I would point out that your sister is not licensed to practice medicine or therapy, which means she is operating outside the boundaries of her professional licensure. This could be perceived as a violation of her professional ethics.

(Edited to fix spelling error.)
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Blondie on January 04, 2013, 07:47:21 AM
Could this possibly be a case of family dynamics at work? Your sister has always been the smart one, the golden child, and you have always gone along with it, because up until now it wasn't really important to you. Well, now it is important (what's more important than your health?!?) and your sister and mother are upset and pushing back because this is not how the script reads to them. From past experience it should be:

Golden Child: You aren't anxious, you are bipolar!
You: Oh my, you are right! I am cured!

By not doing this, it throws them all off and they dig in their heels and insist that you MUST be bipolar! If you want to look at it from a somewhat twisted view, they are doing it because they are concerned about you and want you to be cured. You are just being stubborn and fighting it. In reality, we all know there is no cure, and it is hard work and you need support. But it is hard to see that in a family member, to know that there really isn't an end all, be all cure.

Now that is all a long way to get to- I don't think there is any amount of convincing them that will say otherwise. Just as there is no magic cure for you, there is no magic phrase for them. Were I you, I think I would sit each of them down alone and ask to not be interupted until you have said your peice. I would lay out for them that you are looking for

a. Support
b. To not be questioned about your medical health

If they are not able to do this, tell them that you will be cooling the relationship for as long as is necessary. Given the JADEing you have done on the board and that I suspect they are still expecting to badger you into believing it is true, I would calmly, rationally, explain to them the consequences of what they are doing to you. And then find some healthy space for yourself and ignore all chatter until they can act like adults and decide whether being a family or being right is more important to them.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: caz on January 04, 2013, 08:18:46 AM
Thanks for all the input, its given me some helpful things to consider.....apparently some of you have been the subjects of relatives running around playing doctor also. It takes some amount of strength to seek treatment for a mental health issue and when a family member does this is makes it even more difficult. I was told by both doctors and my therapist that family support is key (actually its key to physical things too...when my dad had a heart attack we all supported his care and my mom made low fat meals etc.  But, as has been discussed here, you can't get support for something you don't have

Here is kind of a brief summing up of how I kind of see this

***   I didn't mind her initially telling me she thought maybe I have this ..although I wouldn't overstep another persons medical treatment in this way, I chose to assume the best, that she was just trying to offer a suggestion. I responded graciously and told her ok, I would ask doc about it. I did so and he clarified I have anxiety. From that point, all she should have done is offer support for it. To continue to insist this is manipulative imo.  I stopped discussing it with her although we continued to talk about other things. However she found a way "around" my not discussing it, by handing me a book on it. Like I said, she is smart.

**  you can't support someone for something they don't have. If she was a diabetic, and I was always telling her what she really needs is to have her gallbladder removed, that would not be helpful and imo would be completely out of place, ..harmful not helpful

**  since the dynamics between sis and mom is like this, it makes it impossible pretty much for mom to consider sis may be incorrect. She seems to have a need to see sis as infallible basically. I thought about bringing mom along with me to doc appointment but I feel like this would be an exercise in frustration, mom would go to apointment with a closed mind firmly believing sis is right. I can see my mom telling the doc something like I realize your a doctor, however my daughter is very bright and she's done some research. We think you might have missed this and feel Susie needs to be in treatment for bipolar..or some variation on this

** I wouldn't mind if she felt this way and mentioned it once or twice to me. However she has interjected herself into my treatment by continuing to tell our mom I'm bipolar. Tis has been to some degree harmful to me and causes me more anxiety. When I told my mom my doc would change my anxiety med, she said "IF that's what you have.....doctors don't know everything".  It was obvious she got this from sis, bc this is exactly what sis told me earlier. My mom also told me my anxiety group is a waste of time.....its hard enough to seek treatment without feeling alone like that. It seems like others in my group have their family support, boyfriend spurt etc but I don't

I'm in limbo how to reply to this gift. I wonder if I should be straight and tell her thank you but she knows its not my diagnosis so the book is irrelevant and ask why she didnt simply get a workbook on anxiety if she wanted to help. It seems its more important for her to be right than to support.  If I gave a heart patient a book on epilepsy, how would that help?

Catch 22 though, she says if I say I don't need it, that's a classic sign of it...denial

Ill think more aout this and see any other replies....thank you guys

Would you consider inviting them to come along anyway?  The therapist will see EXACTLY what you're dealing with and might be able to give you better advice on how to deal with them.  And, if they decline, you offered!  It's an hour maybe out of therapy, that you have to pay for, but it might be worth it?  And if your mom is like my mom, a lawyer trumps a doctor that she hasn't met, but a doctor always trumps a daughter (in this case, it might suck, but work in your favour?)
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: weeblewobble on January 04, 2013, 08:23:36 AM
Give her a self-help book for diabetics? When she protests that she's not diabetic, tell her she's wrong and you know best?

Somehow I fear she still wouldn't get it.

Seriously, what does she want you to do?  Ignore your doctor's diagnosis, buy street meds to treat bipolar and wear some sort of badge that says, "My sister was right?"

This sounds way less about being concerned for you and more about wanting to control and embarrass you.  A self-help book for a diagnosis you don't have?  For Christmas?  Really?

And shame on your mom for going along with it.  I don't know if it would help for Mom or some other family member to go to the doctor for the "Ladybugs doesn't have bipolar" chat.  Because Sis would just repeat her 'Doctors make mistakes' mantra.  Arguing won't work because she's using the "but... but... but..." tactic, where she will return to the "but I know I'm right no matter what you say" position.

I would just ignore her.  Try to distance yourself from her and unsupportive mom, find new friends and supports, build Team You from the ground up.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: magician5 on January 04, 2013, 09:11:28 AM
You have said that your doctor wants you to get support from your family. I'm sure your doctor will understand, when to mention this issue, that you gave it a good try and that the support won't be possible. Have to try something else.

It would have been good, but it's just not going to happen.

That helps "shut the door" on paying any attention at all to what your family says.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Eden on January 04, 2013, 09:24:56 AM
Ladybugs, you seem unwilling to take the recommendation that seems most common amongst PPs that you stop engaging your mom and sister. I suppose that's your choice, but it is the most clear-cut way to begin extracting them from your medical treatment. I think you mistake involvement for support. Your family does not need to know the ins and outs of our diagnoses or treatments in order to provide emotional support. "I'm having a really difficult time right now. I could really use some extra TLC. How about a movie night and girl time?" provides them the opportunity to lend their support in a healthy and appropriate way. "I'm having a really difficult time right now. Dr. changed my prescription to XYZ drug, which is supposed to be really good for my anxiety." provides them the opportunity to comment on both your diagnosis and the treatment, which is not healthy.

Finally with regards to her "finding a way around" you no longer talking to her about your treatment, she didn't. She's trying. But she didn't find a way around it at all so long as you don't take the bait and re-engage in the conversation. Either don't respond at all or give the book back. Backhanded "gifts" do not require any response, and certainly not a positive one such as thank you.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 04, 2013, 10:51:02 AM
To clarify what I had said earlier, I dont engage with my sister over this,and had stopped discussing it with her months ago. Then she got around this in a sense by giving me a book on it. One of the reasons for my post was asking how to respond to a gift that is more of a statement " I know we stopped discussing this bc your doctor said its not bipolar,but frankly I know best so here is a book to help you " .  I only posted this a day ago and I think I actually said the advice has been very helpful, ...i never said I was unwilling to take the advice, actually the opposite is what I said.  As for family support, its considered part of treatment bc its that important..but like I said if theyre unwilling to simply do that, then at least I would like them to stop being harmful .   Blondie you have good insight about me following the script.  Weeble wobble you have a very good point. What does sis expect me to do with her diagnosis,since that is not what my doctors believe. I suppose I could let sis know your right, I have seen the light..but my doctor refuses to prescribe meds for bipolar for me. Maybe you can either get me some or talk my doctor into it?   ... 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 04, 2013, 10:53:22 AM
You have said that your doctor wants you to get support from your family. I'm sure your doctor will understand, when to mention this issue, that you gave it a good try and that the support won't be possible. Have to try something else.

It would have been good, but it's just not going to happen.

That helps "shut the door" on paying any attention at all to what your family says.

I agree.  Talk to your doctor/therapist, explain all the problems you are having with your sister and mother and ask if there is a support group or other option you could use instead.  And then use Take 2's wording with your mom and sis.  Because family support that is not supportive is useless.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Just Lori on January 04, 2013, 11:18:21 AM
As much as I'd like to offer you a snippy response to the book gift, there really is none.  Your sister has shown through her actions that she discounts the trained professionals you have chosen.  There's really no point in engaging her.  If you asked her to come up with 10 reasons why she thinks you are bipolar, and you shot down each one of them with sound medical logic, she would still end the conversation with "Well, I still think you're wrong."

Quietly dispose of the book.  Give it to the library book sale or take it to your next doctor's appointment and ask him or her if there's any point in keeping it.  If sister ever asks what became of it, tell her it doesn't apply to your diagnosis so you didn't bother to keep it.  Then change the subject.

I apologize if you've already answered this, but are you open to bringing your sister and mother to an appointment, so they can share their concerns and hopefully have them addressed by actual medical professionals?
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 04, 2013, 02:38:33 PM
OP, I sent you a PM.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Itza on January 04, 2013, 03:02:16 PM
How heavy is the book?

Can it be used as a clue by four?  >:D
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Eden on January 04, 2013, 03:50:13 PM
To clarify what I had said earlier, I dont engage with my sister over this,and had stopped discussing it with her months ago. Then she got around this in a sense by giving me a book on it. One of the reasons for my post was asking how to respond to a gift that is more of a statement " I know we stopped discussing this bc your doctor said its not bipolar,but frankly I know best so here is a book to help you " .  I only posted this a day ago and I think I actually said the advice has been very helpful, ...i never said I was unwilling to take the advice, actually the opposite is what I said.  As for family support, its considered part of treatment bc its that important..but like I said if theyre unwilling to simply do that, then at least I would like them to stop being harmful .

I apologize. I wasn't clear. I meant as it pertains to your mom. Sorry for the confusion.

And perhaps I'm confused about what you and your doctor consider support. I would consider it simply emotional and not actual discussion of the illness and treatment. And that's why I suggested they can be supportive without actually being involved. But that may not have been what your doctor meant.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: EMuir on January 04, 2013, 04:17:55 PM
I would just send the book back to her. That will get the point across.  Then continue to refuse to discuss.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Queen of Clubs on January 04, 2013, 04:42:31 PM
I would just send the book back to her. That will get the point across.  Then continue to refuse to discuss.

That's what I'd do too.

OP, I'm sorry you can't count on your mom and sister for support.  I'd be livid in your situation. :(
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Take2 on January 04, 2013, 05:09:42 PM
Oh, I should have included the response I got from my mother to my ultimatum, since it wasn't what I expected at all and you might find the same. She pouted a little, as I expected. And then she COMPLIED with my rules. She needs a reminder about every 2 years, and she grumbles each time. But I went from daily mental health lectures to very occasional PA mental health asides, so I think that is pretty huge.

But this sort of meddling is not truly curable. Just today, my mother told me that my 6yo DD is clearly clinically depressed, and that I need to make sure she gets the help she needs when she is older. For now, I have found that simply pretending she didn't say that and continuing the conversation is sufficient. But we may need new rules shortly.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 04, 2013, 05:20:12 PM
Eden,

Hi, thanks for clarifying, that's fine....

As far as what my doctor means by support, he is just referring to overall being there so that I have a supportive base I can sometimes talk to a bit, for example, being able to call mom up and say I had a pretty tough week, I felt so anxious I wasn't able to go to the store and have been staying home alot. Then, mom would be a listening ear and offer some version of "I'm sorry about that..is there something that's making you more anxious, or you just aren't sure why?  How about coming by for coffee later if you want to talk more"

Its helpful to have support for any health condition, but probably is especially true for mental health conditions. The way it was explained to me is that strong support is a part if the treatment itself and can even to some degree influence how well someone does. A person who becomes isolated because they feel like they have to basically hide who they are, has aot less chance of recovery than a person who has an encouraging supportive family

 not that I want to talk about it alot anywas, but if im  having a particularly difficult time, then I'd like to know I can talk to a close family member about it. Now I feel like I have to carry the load myself and hide a important part of my life, what I'm going through

I'm gonna try to find some support elsewhere but not sure where, I guess I feel like in general family is who we should be able to e ourselves with and be accepted unconditionally....friends are wonderful and have great value but generally I would prefer to have support for something like this coming from close family

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: RingTailedLemur on January 04, 2013, 05:23:27 PM
You can talk to us if you want to.  I am happy to chat by PM, or even off the site, if you wish.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 04, 2013, 05:55:33 PM
Thanks Lemur

I haven't for sure made up my mind on how to respond to the gift....I think I will probably tell her "thanks, I asked my therapist and she said even though its mainly written for bipolar, there are some useful tidbits I can apply to my own condition, like meditation is good for anyone..I was glad that even though its for bipolar some parts if it can still be applied to anxiety...

Any thoughts on above response? I think probably it is the case there will be some general ideas useful to any mental health condition, such as making sure to take meds, using meditation etc.  I will probably say something like this, bc I feel it would give her the least ammunition. If I argue or explain why the book doesn't apply, she will tell mom how emotional I am and even argued over a gift type of thing. I think acknowledging the book, but circumventing what her message is by saying I can use certain parts of it for the anxiety would be hard for her to argue with. But then again she still might say but you need to follow the whole book to help the bipolar....

Anyways ...
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 04, 2013, 06:01:22 PM
I also thought of a general response for if and when they make snide comments on needing bipolar help


I could say in the most sincere way "I know your probably right about this now..I have seen the light...but the problem is my doctor refuses to treat me for it...he insists I just have anxiety. I asked my therapist too and she won't treat me for it either. I don't know what to do bc it looks like even if I have it, I can't find a doctor willing to treat me for it.....ill have to muddle through somehow and maybe someday ill find a doctor who knows as much as you do sis  :)

Ok, I wouldn't be quite that sarcastic...but I could just mention that even if I do have it, I can't fnd a doctor willing to treat me for it, so ill have to muddle thru
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: SPuck on January 04, 2013, 06:11:01 PM
I haven't for sure made up my mind on how to respond to the gift....I think I will probably tell her "thanks, I asked my therapist and she said even though its mainly written for bipolar, there are some useful tidbits I can apply to my own condition, like meditation is good for anyone..I was glad that even though its for bipolar some parts if it can still be applied to anxiety...

I wouldn't say thanks at all for this present unless there is a No in front of it. She sounds like the type if you give her an inch she'll take a mile, and use this an excuse to start talking about it again to you. As for the family support aspect for your mental health recovery, it is also okay to say to your doctors that family support won't be possible and if they could suggest alternatives such as  support group, a website, or a 24 hour hotline.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 04, 2013, 06:17:09 PM
Quote
I think I will probably tell her "thanks, I asked my therapist and she said even though its mainly written for bipolar, there are some useful tidbits I can apply to my own condition, like meditation is good for anyone..I was glad that even though its for bipolar some parts if it can still be applied to anxiety...

Why would you validate what she did in this way?  All you're doing is showing her that you have no boundaries at all and she's free to do or say whatever she likes without your doing anything about it.  You don't have to be rude to her, but absolutely do not destroy any kind of possible boundary you could put up for yourself.

It sounds like you might benefit from some training in how to be assertive.  Notice that I said assertive and not aggressive - those are completely different things.  Talk to your therapist about this; you seem to be having some difficulty in that area.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 04, 2013, 06:19:24 PM
Quote
I could just mention that even if I do have it, I can't fnd a doctor willing to treat me for it, so ill have to muddle thru

I just noticed this follow up post.  Please do not do this.  I'm very concerned that you have even considered this as a possibility.

Edited to change my "kinda concerned" to a "very concerned" - the more I think about it, the more I'm scared that you'd actually do something like this.  You need to find the doctor that YOU think is treating you in the best way for your health.  You are, I presume, an adult.  That means that you, alone, get to decide who works with you in your healthcare issues.  You do not want to open this up to their trying to find a doctor that agrees with them regardless of what's best for you.  Can I ask how old you are?  Are you out of the house, or are you still living there with them?  That might be a key point as to how to deal with them - what someone who's living there does may be tweaked somewhat for someone who isn't.
 
 
 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: judecat on January 04, 2013, 06:21:29 PM


I could say in the most sincere way "I know your probably right about this now..I have seen the light...but the problem is my doctor refuses to treat me for it...he insists I just have anxiety. I asked my therapist too and she won't treat me for it either. I don't know what to do bc it looks like even if I have it, I can't find a doctor willing to treat me for it.....ill have to muddle through somehow and maybe someday ill find a doctor who knows as much as you do sis  :)

Ok, I wouldn't be quite that sarcastic...but I could just mention that even if I do have it, I can't fnd a doctor willing to treat me for it, so ill have to muddle thru

I don't think this is a good idea,  because that will just lead to your sister,  or mother to decide to "help" you find a doctor who will treat you for bi-polar. There are people who seem to "shop" for a doctor who will treat them for what they think they have instead of what they actually have.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: HenrysMom on January 04, 2013, 08:59:12 PM
Do not give your sister any validation or ammunition by saying you even read the book or found any part of it helpful.  Do not mention it to her or your mother EVER, unless it is to say, "It didn't pertain and was of no use to me, so I got rid of it."  Stop sharing any information with them - if they ask, you're fine, you're okay, you're doing good, then stop.  Respond to any question about your condition or its treatment with "I'm fine."

You need to discuss this situation with your therapist for ways in dealing with your know-it-all sister and mother.  This should be part of your treatment.  I'd be willing to bet a buck that a lot of your anxiety disorder is a cumulative effect of dealing with those two over the years.  If you're able to learn how to ignore or shut them down, it can only help you.

As for support, there are groups that your doctors/therapist can put you in touch with.  There are also crisis phone lines for extreme situations or, in some places, "call a friend" lines.  I have utilized them all when I've been in a downswing.  Sometimes talking to a unknown friendly stranger on the phone is better - if they don't know who you are, they can't throw it in your face later like a family member can.

Is your sister communicating misinformation about your condition to others beside your mother?  If so, I think that could constitute "slander."  I think if you say that word to your sister, it may have the desired effect.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Starchasm on January 04, 2013, 09:02:30 PM
Honestly, I'm with the person who suggested saying (if asked) "Why yes, I thought the book was fascinating!  I never realized how totally different anxiety and bipolar disorders were!  I'm more convinced than ever that I am not bipolar, nothing in that book was familiar at all."

Honestly, what does your sister expect you to do with her "diagnosis".  You got a second AND THIRD opinion and they all agree!  Sure, doctors sometimes make mistakes, but it's very rare that three will make the same mistake in tandem. 

(I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that she doesn't practice personal injury, workers' comp or any other type of medical-related law because three medical professionals agreeing on something is pretty darn rare.  And I say this as an attorney that handles a lot of medical cases  :P )
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: mbbored on January 04, 2013, 10:41:16 PM
OP, you've mentioned that your doctor encouraged you to get family support. Perhaps you should start to think of people who are like family, or family by choice as opposed to family by birth. The important part is to get support, and if your birth family isn't offering that, then you need to look else where.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: zyrs on January 05, 2013, 11:31:25 AM
I didn't read this thread until it hit 6 pages, because I assumed it was about how to politely handle finding your child playing doctor with a neighbor child.

OP, the best way to handle the gift of the book would be to write a thank you note.

"Thank you for the gift of 'book title'.  It was interesting."

As far as your family's present lack of support - I don't think there is any magic phrase or statement that is going to fix the situation with your mom or your sister.  Good advice has been given by many posters on no longer discussing your treatment with either of them.  If the subject comes up the best solution is to bean-dip.

You asked earlier what bean-dipping is.  Bean-dipping is politely changing the subject in order to protect the other person from continuing to be rude. 

for example:

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You:  "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Here, would you like some bean dip?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Hows about that local sports team?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  Kittens are cute, aren't they?"

Your sister: "When will you admit to me that I am right about your having bi-polar disorder?"
You: "I am happy with the medical professionals I am seeing.  So, what did you think of last night's TV special?"
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 12:50:34 PM
Take2,

Oh dear, I feel for ya on that one...now she is diagnosing your daughter?  It sounds like you handle it really well...when you try to divert her does she get angry as in "did you hear what I said"  or does she basically back off?

I hope she doesn't start now telling to your daughter " grandma thinks you have depression", hopefully she at least won't say it directly to her.



Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 01:05:41 PM
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 05, 2013, 01:17:40 PM
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar


As others have suggested, won't she just use that as justification that she's right and you're wrong?
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: cicero on January 05, 2013, 01:18:31 PM
Zyrs,

That alot of bean dip, and I like bean dip...I guess I tried some of that last year with her, I didn't know it was called bean dipping but I tried some of it I guess when she would start in on how she knows it and wants to steer me to the light basically, I tried to step out of the conversation with some variation of "I have a really good doctor,..he's treating me for anxiety...did you see that new movie?"   But she didnt take the bean dip offered.  :-\.  She would ask me why did you change the subject?  Several times she said how I'm doing that bc I "can't bear to hear the truth, and denial is a classic symptom

She seems to be somewhat immune to beandip

Do people generally "take" the beandip?   In my case, she points it out "your changing the subject, I know its bc its u comfortable for you to hear this,but I'm telling you bc I care.....Susie, Susie, denial is a classic symptom. Your only proving it more that you have it by being defensive about it

I tried to disengage with her and for months she didnt bring it up again, she might have been preoccupied with other things, or not sure, but in any case months went by and no word was said of it....I was starting to think it was bc she finally relented, whether or not she agreed. But then the issue was like I said brought up again when she handed me this book.

I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar
ladybug you got a lot of really good advice but you seem stuck on trying to hold on to this relationship with yoru sister and mother.

bean dip isn't about the other person "taking it". it's about *you* setting a boundary and *you* not crossing it. she can talk all she wants about your problems - but you do't have to be part of that "dialogue". (or lecture). so what you do with bean dip is keep "offering it":
sister: ladybug i read this thing on the internet and i did this test for you and you have bi polar.
ladybug: I don't want to discuss this. did you see the christmas episode of TBBT? that jingle bells had me cracking up
sister: but you have to listen to me---
ladybug: I don't want to discuss this. so they had sheldon, howard and that guy from the comic book store ---
sister: you know, the first sign of bi polar is---
ladybug: Oh is that the time? i have to go. bye now

as for the book - i wouldn't do that. your sister was very mean to give you that. it's not as you said upthread, as if someone gave an overweight person a diet book. it's as if someone had cancer and was on chemotherapy and losing a lot of weight and someone gave them a self help book on anorexia.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: SPuck on January 05, 2013, 01:23:23 PM
I think I will send her a card saying its an interesting book, I was able to find a few tidbits such as relaxation that could be useful even for those without bipolar

Ladybugs, there is nothing in etiquette that says you have to say thank you to every gift given, especially when there is an agenda behind it. Your not thankful for it, so you don't have the say you are. There is a difference between being cordial and being run over by ::) well meaning :P relatives. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 01:51:06 PM
Dotty and judecat

Very good point, I'm not gonna do that, bc I think they will run with that and offer to find some doctor somewhere who will treat me for bipolar.  I hadn't thought of that, I was thinking if I said my doctor refuses to treat me for it, they'd back off but I think They would go doctor shopping

I think the only way for me to deal with it is to sadly not look to them for support, kind of a lonely thing to have a medical condition you can't talk to your own family about but bc of the golden child dynamic involved, nothing will help my mom to even consider sis is incorrect.  She will take her opinion as more weighty than that of any doctor. One thing a while back she said about my doctor was he doesnt know everything (my thought is who does know "everything" but he does know medicine) really grated on my nerves but I bit my tongue and stepped out of the phone call bc I knew any attempt I made to call her on it would be a pure exercise in head banging frustration
For the first couple yrs my mom was supportive but that changed last year when sis got this idea and like I said she didn't just offer it as a possibility, she preaches it as gospel truth and anyone who doesn't see the light such as me or my doctor,she explains away. In my case I don't see the light bc I'm in denial,aha, one of the symptoms. In my doctors case, she explains this by a blanket well doctors don't know everything, and he must not be a good doctor.
I am trying to resign myself to the idea of not realy beng able to have their understanding as I continue to manage this illness. 
I thought of the idea of mailing them my official diagnosis from the two docs and therapist..
Maybe I should just skip that though, why should I have to justify or prove to them anything. The whole dynamic of this is the golden child thing. If anyone's experienced that a parent elevates one child to godlike status and becomes an expert on basically anything even if its unrelated to their field

I'm gonna talk to my therapist about possible ways I can feel some support in this but I know it isn't the same as family
 I guess somehow I have to start letting go of the idea in my mind ofmgetting support from them
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: zyrs on January 05, 2013, 02:11:47 PM
Ladybugs;

You totally have the right to set boundaries with your sister as to what is and isn't an appropriate topic for her to discuss with you.  That is what bean-dipping is for.  It is you politely setting a boundary that you are not going to discuss a subject.  If the person continues to try and force the subject the next step is to politely remove yourself from the situation.

This can be ending the phone conversation by saying; "Oh look at the time!  Got to go!" and hanging up the phone; ending the visit by saying; " Oh, look at the time!  I must be going, I have errands to run." then getting your things and leaving, or ending their visit by saying; "Oh look at the time, I have to go, I have errands to run." then getting their things and showing them the door.

In my case, I practiced these techniques with my therapist until I could do them. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 05, 2013, 02:13:13 PM

<snip>

as for the book - i wouldn't do that. your sister was very mean to give you that. it's not as you said upthread, as if someone gave an overweight person a diet book. it's as if someone had cancer and was on chemotherapy and losing a lot of weight and someone gave them a self help book on anorexia.

And  probably add bulimia because of the vomiting.


OP, my Dad is like your sister. Once he gets an idea, that's it forever. We used to get into discussions when I was in my late teens/ early 20's about things I researched, and everything I said was not right. I used to think that if  I got an M.A. and Ph.D in something, and went onto practice for 20 years, I would still be wrong if it differed from my father's opinion. Eventually I gave up expressing my opinion, and just kept my opinions to myself, and found other people for support.






Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 02:26:14 PM
To above poster ,they do soumd similar..once they get an idea about somthing it lives forever. I wish I could lay the whole bp thing to rest, hire a minister to give a eulogy and wish it eternal.peace...bp, rest in peace lol complete with grievers like my mom in mourning over having to put bp to its final rest...candles, a eulogy etc.         
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: MorgnsGrl on January 05, 2013, 02:54:03 PM
I'm sorry I haven't had time to read all the replies, but I'm wondering if you've discussed this with your doctor? Maybe he/she would have some advice for you. You can't be the only person dealing with a family who thinks they're capable of diagnosing illnesses...
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 05, 2013, 03:03:19 PM
To above poster ,they do soumd similar..once they get an idea about somthing it lives forever. I wish I could lay the whole bp thing to rest, hire a minister to give a eulogy and wish it eternal.peace...bp, rest in peace lol complete with grievers like my mom in mourning over having to put bp to its final rest...candles, a eulogy etc.         

OP, I love what you wrote. I'll bring a big spray of memorial flowers tied together with a ribbon emblazoned with "R.I.P. b.p."

I had a weird mental scenario just run through my mind just now:
a law enforcement officer using the b.p. book as a target for practice at the machine gun range.  >:D
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 03:38:34 PM
By the way, in the example of beandip above, you need to notice something else. Look at the initial phrase before the dip. It's the exact same. No deviation - you state that you are happy with the doctor you have and then beandip. You don't vary that first phrase. It doesn't matter if the person "accepts" the dip. You're not asking them to. You're stating a fact and then giving them the opportunity to follow you into a new conversation. Period. Whether or not they accept the dip, they will, eventually, tire of the monotony of your phrase and their not getting anywhere with their comments.

Do not thank her for the book and tell her it was interesting. Reread this thread. You've been told repeatedly why you should not do this.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 03:54:24 PM
Doty
I will try the beandip thing, just keep repeating I'm happy with my medical care, or I have an excellent doctor, or one I like is "I let my doctors handle all of that"

The book thing im still thinking about, alot of posters suggested something along the lines of "what a fascinating book, it helped me understand how it is for bipolar people," or a simple "it was an interesting book" and then others suggested just not acknowledging it
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 04:09:59 PM
Why do you need to understand what it's like for bipolar people right now? And why does she need to be the one who teaches you? If you thank her like that, you're showing that she still has the upper hand over you and that you don't have any boundaries for yourself. While you're free to do that, I think learning how to stand on your own and not have her control you would be a healthier thing for you to strive for.

If you want to learn about bipolar conditions, it should be out of your own curiosity and with your own investigation.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 05, 2013, 04:21:41 PM
Why do you need to understand what it's like for bipolar people right now? And why does she need to be the one who teaches you? If you thank her like that, you're showing that she still has the upper hand over you and that you don't have any boundaries for yourself. While you're free to do that, I think learning how to stand on your own and not have her control you would be a healthier thing for you to strive for.

If you want to learn about bipolar conditions, it should be out of your own curiosity and with your own investigation.

That wasn't the gist of what I was trying to say about actually reading it.  The gist was that it was interesting to learn about something that is so completely different than what OP was experiencing, making it a clear point as a thank you for the gift, and a segue into never bringing up it again.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 05, 2013, 04:24:21 PM
I don't think a "thank you" is needed for an insulting, boundary-trampling gift. I'd just mail it to her. When she brings it up in person, I'd use one of the various bean-dipping techniques here.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 04:33:04 PM
MM, and the OP may want to read the book to learn something new. But that needs to be her decision because she wants to know what bipolar is - not because the sister forced a book on her.

However, if she does read it, she shouldn't credit the sister for giving it to her. It was a rude "gift" (I really don't even consider it a gift). Doing so only shows that the sister was right and still has an upper hand in the topic.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 05, 2013, 04:35:10 PM
I don't think a "thank you" is needed for an insulting, boundary-trampling gift. I'd just mail it to her. When she brings it up in person, I'd use one of the various bean-dipping techniques here.

Yet the OP kept asking how to respond to it and every time she posted what she was thinking about doing it, it was saying something to her sister about the gift.  I gave the advice I did based on that because it seems to me the OP is stuck on wanting to say something about the gift.


DottyG, I disagree that it shows the sister was right.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 04:41:22 PM
My thought in reading the story was that she's trying to learn how to stand up for herself and learn some boundaries. She can pacify the sister if she wants, but it's not going to help her reach those goals. If she is insistent on thanking someone for a rude gesture, she can. But it's not going to solve her real problem here.

Similar to the many examples she's given of other such gifts (weight loss book for someone who's overweight but didn't ask for the book and other examples), thanking someone for walking on you just perpetuates the idea that you're a doormat able to be walked upon.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 05, 2013, 04:46:06 PM
My thought in reading the story was that she's trying to learn how to stand up for herself and learn some boundaries. She can pacify the sister if she wants, but it's not going to help her reach those goals. If she is insistent on thanking someone for a rude gesture, she can. But it's not going to solve her real problem here.

Similar to the many examples she's given of other such gifts (weight loss book for someone who's overweight but didn't ask for the book and other examples), thanking someone for walking on you just perpetuates the idea that you're a doormat able to be walked upon.

WORD!
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 05, 2013, 04:50:41 PM
My thought in reading the story was that she's trying to learn how to stand up for herself and learn some boundaries. She can pacify the sister if she wants, but it's not going to help her reach those goals. If she is insistent on thanking someone for a rude gesture, she can. But it's not going to solve her real problem here.

Similar to the many examples she's given of other such gifts (weight loss book for someone who's overweight but didn't ask for the book and other examples), thanking someone for walking on you just perpetuates the idea that you're a doormat able to be walked upon.

That's not pacifying the sister, to me.  That's acting like the gift didn't bother you so that she runs out of steam in trying to get a rise out of you.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 04:55:51 PM
Note that I'm not, at all, saying to be rude and call the sister names, by the way. I'm saying to just not say anything. If the sister asks about the book, the OP can then go into what we've talked about above - "The book didn't apply to me. I'm happy with my doctor. Did you see that Bowl game yesterday?! What a wipeout!"

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 05, 2013, 05:01:51 PM
Note that I'm not, at all, saying to be rude and call the sister names, by the way. I'm saying to just not say anything. If the sister asks about the book, the OP can then go into what we've talked about above - "The book didn't apply to me. I'm happy with my doctor. Did you see that Bowl game yesterday?! What a wipeout!"

I don't know where from the first part of your post came as I don't see that I implied that you were doing anything of the sort.  If it was just a thought you had as you started to post, OK, cool, but if not, could you explain why you included it please?  It's confusing me...


I think not saying anything does show it bothers her and that pretending like it didn't bother her is the better option.  Obviously, we disagree with each other, but that's OK, too.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 05:06:23 PM
I'm speaking to the general population - not in response, specifically, to anything you said.

It was something that was an addition to my previous thought. I merely made it into a new post rather that editing my other one, since it could get lost in the flow there.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 05:09:35 PM
And I think you and I agree on the end result of showing the sister it doesn't bother her. We just have a different road to getting there.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Iris on January 05, 2013, 07:54:13 PM
I'm coming late to this thread because I thought it was a less serious situation than it seems it is.

My angle: One of my DDs was diagnosed with a mental illness. I discovered as a result of this that everybody in the whole world thinks they know how to treat mental illness, and that they all have an infallible 'quick fix'. I also learnt that it is one of those things that people want to Just Go Away and so they will get antsy and decide that the doctors are 'no good' if the patient has not made a full recovery in a few weeks/months. Fortunately for my DD, this was all filtered through me. As it was, standing guard/gatekeeper for her in this particular aspect of things meant that *I* was almost driven to distraction. Note that this was all from people who love me, and her, devotedly.

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

In the end, I flat out said to the people that I needed support from "I know you think you are helping, but you are not. DD is in the care of experienced medical professionals. Mental illness is complicated and takes a long time to recover from/control. You need to either back the h-e-double l off or just don't discuss it with me anymore. This doesn't help." There was a slight extinction burst where I would occasionally have to repeat "This doesn't help. Stop now." before people either listened and started being PROPERLY supportive or simply went away.

For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE don't thank your sister for the book. She needs to grow up and get over her insecurities. This is about YOU, not her, and she can either deal with it or get out of Dodge. At the moment she is being really, really selfish and she doesn't deserve your consideration.

Please feel free to PM me anytime.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: mmswm on January 05, 2013, 08:16:03 PM
To above poster ,they do soumd similar..once they get an idea about somthing it lives forever. I wish I could lay the whole bp thing to rest, hire a minister to give a eulogy and wish it eternal.peace...bp, rest in peace lol complete with grievers like my mom in mourning over having to put bp to its final rest...candles, a eulogy etc.         

A good friend of mine once suggested to me, when I was having a very difficult time with something, that I should throw myself a "pity party".  A pity party is a real party with just myself or one good friend.  I brew myself a pot of my favorite coffee, dig out a pint of my favorite ice cream and then sit on the couch, eating the ice cream straight from the container, drinking my coffee and feel sorry for myself.  The trick here, is to realize that just like a real party, a pity party has a definite start and end time. Once my 45 minutes or hour (depending on how bad things are) is up, the party is over, and I can't feel sorry for myself anymore.  It's been a very therapeutic method for me; far better than anything else I've tried.  I shared my "pity party" method with my therapist (I've been fighting major depression and mild anxiety for most of my life), and he thought it was great.  Maybe you can throw yourself a pity party to mourn the loss of the support you aren't getting from your birth family.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 05, 2013, 08:38:52 PM
mmswm, what a cool idea! I could do Worry Parties - that's my thing I deal with.

Thanks for sharing that. :)

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Take2 on January 05, 2013, 08:55:58 PM
OP, the thing I had to realize for my method to work is that it doesn't matter how my mother responds. She can scream and cry, she can argue, she can dance a jig, she can bake me a cake. And if her response is within the parameters I have set, I continue to interact with her. If her response is outside those parameters, I can hang up or walk away or escort her to the door. I don't owe her an engaging response to her rude and hurtful behavior.

Also, it is not surprising that my mother diagnoses my young children with depression. She has also diagnosed her own grandmother, posthumously, with bipolar. She has diagnosed friends of mine with depression, just based on a story I told her and without meeting them in person. She once got in serious trouble for diagnosing one of the doctors at the hospital she worked at as a recovering alcoholic.

However, I think it is important to note that this is not maliciousness on my mother's part, and may not be on your sister's part, either. It is rude and presumptuous to diagnose a family member and nag them about it, particularly when you lack the credentials to diagnose anyone. It is not less rude when done out of misguided concern rather than malice or an attempt to be unkind, but I think it needs to be addressed differently. The sorts of responses that would show a showboating relative that it wasn't working such that they would drop it won't work if the relative genuinely believes her rude behavior is crucial to the well-being of a loved one.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 10:06:43 PM
Takr2,
Wow, that is aLOT of playing doctor.....you, your daughter, your grandma in the afterlife, (at least she was spared this ) your friends and a doctor at a hospital
Does she have other recommendations for others, such as telling them what kind of food to eat, what they need to do for exercise, home remedies, education, etc or does she specialize in medical diagnosis?

Can you briefly remind me of what the interaction was with you, was it her diagnosing you with depression?   

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 05, 2013, 10:08:35 PM
Iris,

I'm really glad you posted here....your post helps me more than you may know,
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: cicero on January 06, 2013, 01:47:28 AM


A good friend of mine once suggested to me, when I was having a very difficult time with
something, that I should throw myself a "pity party".  A pity party is a real party with just myself or one good friend.  I brew myself a pot of my favorite coffee, dig out a pint of my favorite ice cream and then sit on the couch, eating the ice cream straight from the container, drinking my coffee and feel sorry for myself.  The trick here, is to realize that just like a real party, a pity party has a definite start and end time. Once my 45 minutes or hour (depending on how bad things are) is up, the party is over, and I can't feel sorry for myself anymore.  It's been a very therapeutic method for me; far better than anything else I've tried.  I shared my "pity party" method with my therapist (I've been fighting major depression and mild anxiety for most of my life), and he thought it was great.  Maybe you can throw yourself a pity party to mourn the loss of the support you aren't getting from your birth family.

I am *so* stealing this idea!
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: vinyl on January 06, 2013, 04:11:11 AM

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

I think this is a really good point.
My perception may be really skewed because of both my personal experience but I also would be extremely concerned that;
a) your sister is suggesting that you have a mental illness that over a lifetime can be exceedingly debilitating, very difficult to treat and has a much higher mortality rate and negative health impacts that an anxiety disorder; and
b) that neither your mother nor your sister are aware that denial is a symptom of the human condition - it is not a symptom on which any mood disorder would be diagnosed.
Also, I don't know if this will reassure you, but symptoms can overlap across mental illnesses which contributes to the complexity of diagnosis and which is also why people study for years to accurately diagnose.
You clearly have some pretty good medical/theraputic support (and your anxiety support group if you choose to attend) and you seem to be working really hard to manage your anxiety. I know you probably feel really sad/bad that the people you need support from are not capable of providing you with it, but think that you can probably find other people who will fill that role and won't constantly undermine you.
Good luck, I hope that your mum and sister come to their senses. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: laceandbits on January 06, 2013, 09:10:08 AM
Throw the book in the bin, tell her you read it and say thank you soooo much for buying it for me as it has comfirmed that I definitely don't have bi-polar.  I share a very few superficial symptoms of the depressive stage but none at of of the manic.  I am soooooo grateful to you.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: HenrysMom on January 06, 2013, 09:50:10 AM
Throw the book in the bin, tell her you read it and say thank you soooo much for buying it for me as it has comfirmed that I definitely don't have bi-polar.  I share a very few superficial symptoms of the depressive stage but none at of of the manic.  I am soooooo grateful to you.

I know this is meant to be sarcastic, but I think any mention that OP even read the book or did anything other than toss it would be validation for her sister.  At this point, I think radio silence is the appropriate response.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Kiara on January 06, 2013, 10:13:25 AM

I am honestly feeling genuinely horrified to think that you might be going through even a half of the pressure that I was exposed to on her behalf, without having someone to advocate for you. Please, don't give your sister, or your mother, even a millimetre of ground. Don't say thank you or anything positive about the gift. This is all happening because they want your problem to 'go away' so that THEY can feel better. The doctors aren't fixing you fast enough for *them*.

I think this is a really good point.
My perception may be really skewed because of both my personal experience but I also would be extremely concerned that;
a) your sister is suggesting that you have a mental illness that over a lifetime can be exceedingly debilitating, very difficult to treat and has a much higher mortality rate and negative health impacts that an anxiety disorder; and
b) that neither your mother nor your sister are aware that denial is a symptom of the human condition - it is not a symptom on which any mood disorder would be diagnosed.
Also, I don't know if this will reassure you, but symptoms can overlap across mental illnesses which contributes to the complexity of diagnosis and which is also why people study for years to accurately diagnose.

This.  I've been struggling to figure out how to reply to this thread.  Full disclosure:  I'm on the bipolar spectrum.  I'm one of the lucky ones in that I've been successfully treated/managed for over ten years with it.  Psych illnesses are tricky things.  I've been diagnosed wrong, and I've had fits and starts with treatment, but what was going on was for my doctor and I to decide.  My family only got involved when I was so out of it I couldn't make my own decisions.  Symptoms fit multiple categories, what can be diagnosed changes....there's a reason my first psych always said psych diagnosis was more of an art than a science.

However, all this DOESN'T mean your mom and sister get to tell you what you have.  Another example: my best friend is officially diagnosed with anxiety.  I personally think she has some other issues too, just from knowing her so long and my own knowledge of psych stuff.  However, I would never DREAM of telling her that her doctors were wrong.  What purpose does that serve, you know?  My job is to be supportive.  If I saw her getting worse, I might say something gently, like "Maybe you should look for something else going on?"  But she's not worse, and I don't get the sense from your posts that you are either, OP.  (I'll also admit to wondering what in God's name your sister sees to make her think you're bipolar.  That and anxiety are pretty far apart.  Yeesh.)

Family can be supportive.  I think in a perfect world, they should be.  But they're not always.  Mine were supportive.  My father's weren't.  And when they're not, you need to accept that they can't be what you need, and get that support somewhere else.  And all you can, and should say to your family is "My doctor and I have this covered."  Repeat it, and refuse to discuss it further.  It's none of their business.

I wish you all the best.  My PM box is open if you need or want it.  :)
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: wolfie on January 06, 2013, 06:15:05 PM
Personally I think you should cut down on your contact with your mother and sister. They are not helping you and it seems like they are making your condition worse. I really don't like telling people to completely cut off other people but in this case I would give it serious consideration. It seems like you really want their support - but you are not going to get it. They don't want to give it to you and there is nothing you can say or do that can change that. I would suggest talking to your doctor about where else you can find support and leaving the room/hanging up/go home whenever they bring up the bi-polar thing and tell them you refuse to discuss it.

Do you know why your sister insists you are bi-polar? Is it possible to refute those points? I don't know most of the symptoms so if one of them (that you supposedly have) is that you see purple elephants can you tell her you have never seen one? Or will she not believe you? I do think that you shouldn't discuss it with her, but if you think pointing out why she is wrong might help then it is worth a shot. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: mmswm on January 06, 2013, 06:19:55 PM
Dotty and Cicero, feel free to steal!  I think it's a wonderful technique to deal with the "downs" of life.  You give yourself permission to say "you know what?  This sucks.  And it's okay that I feel rotten for a little bit, but I have to move on."  Validating the stinkiness of a given situation really helps in dealing with it. 
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: rashea on January 07, 2013, 11:02:10 AM
OP, I'm sorry you're going through this. Add me to the list of people you should feel free to PM if you need to talk.

I think your best option is to give the book back and tell your sister very clearly (write it out and practice in the shower if possible) that the discussion is closed.

And if someone doesn't take the bean dip and asks why you changed the subject I think you can say, "I changed the subject as a polite way of letting you know that I consider this topic to be out of bounds for us."
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: DottyG on January 07, 2013, 11:12:07 AM
Quote
I think your best option is to give the book back and tell your sister very clearly (write it out and practice in the shower if possible) that the discussion is closed.

And if someone doesn't take the bean dip and asks why you changed the subject I think you can say, "I changed the subject as a polite way of letting you know that I consider this topic to be out of bounds for us."

Perfect.

Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 07, 2013, 09:51:29 PM
Rashea ,  thank you  :)
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Ladybugs on January 07, 2013, 09:57:15 PM
Some off beat but tempting responses I fantasize about:  buying her a doctor costume,the kind they sell at halloween ....sending her a self help book on some random disorder with a note tgat I will read mine when she reads hers.... >:D   
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: wyliefool on January 11, 2013, 02:37:34 PM
With these relatives, no wonder you have anxiety!  >:( I'll bet you $10 that if you quit talking to them for a while you'll feel a lot better. Once you're no longer being found lacking next to the 'golden child,' you just might find yourself able to relax and enjoy your own accomplishments.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: LeveeWoman on January 11, 2013, 07:30:02 PM
With these relatives, no wonder you have anxiety!  >:( I'll bet you $10 that if you quit talking to them for a while you'll feel a lot better. Once you're no longer being found lacking next to the 'golden child,' you just might find yourself able to relax and enjoy your own accomplishments.

AMEN!
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: joraemi on January 12, 2013, 09:11:12 AM
Evil Jo would like you to send her the Three Shades of Grey trilogy with the explanation that she obviously needs something else to focus her attnention on.  >:D
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 12, 2013, 09:30:44 AM
Evil Jo would like you to send her the Three Shades of Grey trilogy with the explanation that she obviously needs something else to focus her attnention on.  >:D

*snort*  Oh, I like this one.  Not that I'd really do it.

And I completely agree with wyliefool.
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: joraemi on January 12, 2013, 12:08:27 PM
Evil Jo would like you to send her the Three Shades of Grey trilogy with the explanation that she obviously needs something else to focus her attnention on.  >:D

*snort*  Oh, I like this one.  Not that I'd really do it.

And I completely agree with wyliefool.

Evil Jo had a secondary thought of sending her a book on OCD, because she is clearly having issues with obsessing about topics which don't concern her. >:D
Title: Re: Playing doctor? How to respond..
Post by: Minmom3 on January 12, 2013, 01:11:58 PM
Evil Jo has a fine mind there.....  I like that one!

I think the idea of OP limited time spent with the unsupportive family is an excellent idea.  Very self protective.