Search

Support Forum

SANE Support Forum

Serious Concern for a Friend

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
JRB
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:28 pm

Serious Concern for a Friend

Postby JRB » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:42 pm

Hello, I have serious concerns for a friend of mine and his partner and need some help and guidance as to what support and help I can offer to them. It is a fairly long story but please bear with me!
My husband and I are very good friends with "M" and have been for a while. M then got together with a member of his family (all legal) "F". After alot of support from us getting them through a difficult beginning with opposition from the family F moved in with M and daughter. All was well and F seemed to settle in well until F started displaying some "odd" behaviour. We would be in a friendly gathering and she would suddenly shout and scream and run out into the street screaming for help. M would follow and try and calm her but soon the police were involved and arrests were made. This occured to 2-3 times and F stopped drinking as a consequence.
All seemed calm until 2-3 months ago M's father died. With this F's behaviour started to deterioate again, things began to happen around their house such as "ashes" appearing on the bedroom floor, glasses smashing and loud noises but only when F was in the room. F started to pass malicious comments to M's sisters and seemed to "grieve" more then them. This all leads into the most recent behaviour which is that F has now started to collapse or "fit". Paramedics have been called but she was never taken to hospital in an ambulance. She has had several appointments and scans but all have come back clear. Parallel to this we find out information that in previous years F has spent "6 months" "paralysed" in her own bed but doctors never found a cause.
After a lot of research and thought I personally, along with other members of her family, have come to the conclusion that F is struggling with histrionic personality disorder ALL the symptoms are present. But what do we do now? M is struggling with his own grief and depression and is unresponsive to any talks we have had about this. I feel it is not a good idea to confront F. Do you think the doctors that are investigating her "fits" will have figured out that it may be a personality disorder? Will they have access to her previous records? Can they do anything if they do? Her mother is also unresponsive and appears to be fed up with the whole thing.
My concerns are becoming more and more extreme especially for M's daughter who lives with M and F part time. Seeing what lengths F may go to in previous years (spending 6 months lying still, have a fit making herself bang her head and smash a glass) for attention from those she loves. What will she do in detrement to the child? There are small behaviours that point towards jealousy already. It may not come to anything but it could.
I understand mental health is complex and difficult to control and it is best to offer support and help where possible but this is starting to have detremental effects on my own mental health which I battled with for years.
Please help!

MythEagle
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: Serious Concern for a Friend

Postby MythEagle » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:17 pm

Hi there,

Your story is very complex and I am sorry that you are experiencing this situation. Has anyone spoken to the medics involved in the case and suggested this? Medics can be very one track minded - holistic care is not always offered. Sometimes they need to be asked questions in order for them to reconsider the possibilities.

Short of the police arresting F when in one of the shouting fits and having a mental health assessment done I don't know what else to suggest. Perhaps someone else here will have some ideas.

Good luck. It sounds like an awful situation to be involved in from any angle.

Edan
You are braver than you think, and stronger than you know.

JRB
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:28 pm

Re: Serious Concern for a Friend

Postby JRB » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:41 pm

Thanks for your reply, you're right it is a very complex situation. At the risk of sounding very selfish it would usually be the case that I would walk away from this friendship as I am unable to ensure my own mental health remains intact. The main thing that is keeping me from walking away is the child. I am a teacher by profession and have been trained to recognise child protection risks. This situation is making me increasingly uncomfortable and I'm leaning towards the idea of contacting the authorities (there are other factors in the childs life which is making me come to this decision). My friend is my friend and of course I am concerned for him but he is able to make his own decisions about his life as he is a grown adult. I have spoken to M's sister and she as she is also very concerned about the child and she has recommended I talk to M directly and obviously with tact. I am hoping to meet up with him soon to discuss everything. I am going without my husband so that if M decides to hate me for "sticking my nose in" he will still have a friend that he can be supported by. I am still indecided whether or not this is a good move. What do you think?
Speaking to the medics sounds like a good idea however I don't know who she has been seeing.
Im not sure if I should be doing anything but my gut instinct is to and in the past my instinct has never steared me wrong....yet!

MythEagle
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: Serious Concern for a Friend

Postby MythEagle » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:56 pm

If you have concerns about the child then that may actually make your course of action more simple, although not an easier decision to make.

If you are teaching at the moment your organisation should be able to tell you how to report your concerns, if you are not then try googling child protection in your area or call your local NHS organisation and ask for the named nurse for safeguarding children who I am sure will be able to point you in the right direction. I would have thought that once safeguarding was invoked other agencies would become involved such as mental health.

It is not an easy decision to make because of your friend, but if a child's welfare is at stake then I personally think you should report it sooner rather than later. Just my 2p worth of course.
You are braver than you think, and stronger than you know.

User avatar
judithj
Posts: 22771
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:25 pm
Location: Have you ever thought what it's like, to be wanderers in the fourth dimension?

Re: Serious Concern for a Friend

Postby judithj » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:08 pm

i know it's not an easy decision to make, but the sooner the child protection issues are raised the sooner the child and her parents are likely to get help. early intervention is important to minimise distress caused all round. you don't have to tell your friends that you were the one to contact social services and you can ask social services to keep your name out of it as you are trying to help the family, hugs, Judith xxx


Return to “Family, Friends and Carers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests