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.