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Bipolar Brother Talking about Suicide

My brother has been diagnosed bipolar and has threatened suicide for over a year now and even attempted it once, hes been brought to the hospital multiple times when hes depressed and it doesn't seem to help because they let him go after a few days. He doesnt take his prescribed medication at all because he doesnt like the way it makes him feel as if he's a shell of himself when on it from his description, i tried telling him that if he just gave it a week or two he would get used to it and that his brain chemistry would adjust, im not a doctor and dont claim to know anything about it but i just assume you'd get used to it. He also does have a drug and alcohol addiction and doesn't seem to understand this just makes his whole situation worse. Everyone in the family tells him how much they love him and he doesnt care to hear it. We need help what do you suggest we do?


SF Scarecrow
Staff member
SF Supporter
Hi there and welcone to SF :)
I have Bipolar and understand from personal experience the importance of taking medication. I wouldn't like to think how I'd be without it. The mood swings are terrible.
I'm not sure how long he has been on the medication for any one time but it does take a while to work properly. And mixing alcohol and drugs with it is going to effect the medication also.
It's ridiculous that they release him so soon after an attempt.

Is there any chance that he could get into some sort of rehab program? I'm only throwing the idea out there so in that time he can get himself clean and then start to take some medication to help with his bipolar. Of course he has to be willing to do this and want to change.
As his family you are stuck in a very tough spot because it's out of your control. Unfortunately he has to want it. I guess all you can do is be there for him. It's hard to stand by and watch though. I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this. You sound like an amazing sibling. How old is he? Good luck and take care of yourself too :)


Well-Known Member
We need help what do you suggest we do?
Firstly I'd commend you for being such a good brother to him. Changing someone else if they don't want to change is at least difficult if not impossible though, so you may have to accept that your brother will have to decide for himself how or if he tries to get treatment.

He doesnt take his prescribed medication at all because he doesnt like the way it makes him feel
In principle, there might be some other medication or dosage level that he would find more tolerable that would also help to control symptoms.

I recommend acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine fairly relentlessly, particularly when conventional western medicine can't do much. Your brother might find treatments effective and also much more tolerable.

Acupuncture has been endorsed by the World Health Organization for treating a variety of conditions, including depression. I'm not sure what the WHO says about bipolar, but I know that traditional Chinese medicine has treatments for it.

There's a little more information in my signature links that you might want to check out.

I hope that something helps!


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry this is happening to you. You sound like a great sibling and like you are doing all you can to be there. If he has substance abuse problems I would recommend a program, even if it's an outpatient one. This way it doesn't feel like forced rehab and he can meet people who will help him. I went through a program like this when suicidal and depressed and it was something that helped me get through it because people who abuse drugs and alcohol are most likely depressed as well. He can find some friends there and more support. Please take care of yourself and being there for you brother. I hope it works out soon.


SF Number 1 Fan
Staff member
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
Hi there, your brother is very lucky to have you and his family care so much. Maybe he has issues actually taking his meds as prescribed/compliant as opposed to them making him feel weird. Do ye live together? If so maybe helping him take them for X aount of time would help. I do not have bipolar and don't claim to know much about it but if he is actively suicidal. Now is the time to act. Tell his doctor/psych/therapist, you can't take the chance that he's not being serious about it esp as he has attempted before. Get help now before its too late.

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