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Anyone out there with Bipolar disorder that can help me understand my brother?



New member
Oct 30, 2019
My older brother (37) has bipolar disorder and it’s been an extremely exhaustingly long road for our family and especially our mother. He’s done alright the last 4 or 5 years with no major manic episodes. This year he is very much in the midst of mania and he is absolutely tormenting our mother. He messages her constantly stirring up drama (threatening to take his ex back to court for custody which no one wants or thinks he can handle and threatening to keep the kids from us, as well threatening my mother to stop responding to him because things “could get a lot worse for her and she doesn’t want to be in the line of fire” I think he meant his poison text messages from the line of fire comment but the first I take as a threat toward her. He has been violent and threatening to her in the past (me as well but I’m not an aging older lady).

I guess my question is, he is about to go off. He’s spinning out, after months of trying not to engage and basically kissing his ass to keep him from tipping over the edge, he’s about to.

What can I do? Is it possible to reason with someone in a bipolar manic episode? He’s already sent my mother a message a few weeks ago, and I’m not kidding, saying he wanted to hurt himself or someone else, (his exact words), so is he looking for us to try to have him placed on a psych hold? Is that what is best for him right now? His prior manic episodes have led to arrests and jail time. Or should I just keep my distance, protect my mother as best I can and let the chips fall where they may?

Thank you to anyone who made it to the end of this post and I would deeply appreciate any feedback. I’m on the edge of calling him and flipping out over stressing our mother (she has a heart condition) but I’m also concerned that is kind of what he is looking for.

Thank you again.


Well-known member
Apr 9, 2010
Great you are trying to support yr brother,
I understand it must be difficult especially when he's in a manic state.
If he's telling you he wants to hurt himself and/or someone else either you can try and engage in conversation with him about what he means by this however, I would either get in touch with his gp encourage your brother to see someone,
Or else you have little choice to get in touch with psych services and if that's the crisis team then you can take some of that burden off your shoulders.
If these episodes have previously just escalated I encourage you to get assistance now as historically you don't want things to get that bad.
Best to get the professionals to take over.

Personally having bipolar myself when well I say if things get out of hand then let my psych team take control when unwell I become irrational and argue this point.
That's a reflection of my disorder thinking,

Hey well done for helping your brother, its about keeping himself and others safe

Also ultimately this is not being selfish you really need to look after yourself and your well being as well


Nov 23, 2019
Hi, I just wanted to check-in and see how things are going with you and your family and how you are coping. I agree with the post above about encouraging your brother to see his doctor ASAP or engaging other professionals for assistance. Particularly given the threat of harm.