Anxiety and Depression Support
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Is this typical behavior and what can I do to stop it?

My father has been diagnosed with depression and often has aggressive episodes when he stops taking his prescribed medications. During these episodes, he berates and harasses our family and blames us for his needing to take pills to stabilize his mood. I feel as if on top of his depression, he may be bipolar. He is also a Marine veteran. He claims that getting my mother to work is incredibly difficult, that we (his children) are lazy and unmotivated, all while my mother works full weeks and us children take care of most all household chores including dinners, and he works three days a week and uses the rest of his time off to play video games in an "escape from his life". Oftentimes, such as recently, he takes away all of our outside connection - he changed all the passwords in the house, leaving me with no way of working on my homework at school and my mother no way to contact anyone outside of the house as our cell phones are turned off as well. I am 18, meaning I can legally leave at any time, but I have siblings and refuse to leave them behind with him during these episodes. Is there any way for us to get him the help he refuses to seek and is this common behavior or an act of something else? I admit I'm not intelligent in this field, but I would appreciate any help that anyone else can provide.

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Hi Moonpops,

Welcome to the forum! Can I just say that I think you are incredibly brave and show a wonderful sense of compassion by reaching out. There are so so many people on here that are aware that our diverse conditions are a toll on our loved ones and that we wish nothing more than for them to understand and support us in our struggles. By reaching out, just to understand your dad's situation and how you can make things better for you, him and your siblings, it gives us hope that there are family members that are willing to fight for us. So thank you for that. As for your situation, it sounds very difficult. Your dad seems to do what a lot of us do, unfortunately, we take medications and think we are OK and then stop...and then everything goes downhill. The difficulty is that we don't always see the signs. We can be in denial and convinced it is not our depression that is playing up, but everything else around us. It sounds like your dad is projecting his agitation onto you and the rest of the household. It can be very difficult for him to judge if he is overreacting or just normally reacting to things he perceives as genuinely out of order. Now that's just a potential explanation and not an excuse for you to have to accept this behaviour from him. What does your mum think of all of this? Are you able to talk to her about this? You need support too and if you had your mum or another family member to talk to, things may seem a little bit more manageable? You say you go to school, so I wonder if there is space there for you to do your homework before heading home? Perhaps it is best for now to try to keep out of his way as much as you can to keep things from heating up as aggression seems to be an issue. I know it may sound a bit silly and maybe you have no chance of having that kind of freedom, but you need your space too. I know you are officially an adult, but you can't fix your dad's issues. it is not your responsibility or fault. Your mum is his partner and she should really step up if she can. I wish I had better answers but I know one thing...it will turn out OK in the end. even if times are hard now, time will pass and you will all be OK and on your own journeys soon. For me, my relationship with my parents improved so much once I moved out and was independent. i love them, but I could never live with them, we are very different people. Maybe it will be the same for you and your siblings. Stay strong and reach out to us whenever you want, we will always try to support you. You are certainly not alone. Big Hugs X

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You could try to introduce him to intherooms.com Its an onl;ine place where people get together and deal with issues like alcoholism or mental health issues. At the very least you could get on there and maybe get some help in talking about whats going on. Others might have good ideas for you. Im so sorry that your going through this. I wish all the best for you and your family

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