How Families Can Work Together

Nov. 04, 2019
By Izzy Gonçalves

Over 15 years, my spouse and I struggled with her severe bipolar I disorder. We went through weeks-long psychiatric hospitalizations, disrupted relationships and stalled personal and professional goals. Eventually, I took grudging ownership of her treatment. We resented each other, and we didn’t work together.

I now know that the most effective treatment requires the person with the mental illness, their doctors and their supporters to work together. Frankly, through much of my spouse’s illness, I thought I knew better, and her doctor at the time reinforced it. Her doctor and I communicated directly and largely controlled her treatment. She became less secure in her treatment as her doctor and I became a team.

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