Do you have a family member diagnosed with a mental illness?

I thought I’d write up a list of instructions for family members should they find out their black sheep, or not-so-black sheep, has been captured by the psychs and labeled with some dreadful disease such as “bipolar,” “schiz,” and the like.

1. Your family member is now a bonafide sicko.  She’s not real anymore. She’s a monster.

2. You cannot trust her anymore. She’s a liar and delusional and violent, just like the doctors said. Don’t believe her when she says the doctors are wrong. She’ll kill all of us if she could.

3. Rely on the police, they’re here to help.

4. The doctors will do their best, but really, there’s not much hope the old kid will ever be back.

5. Push her away and set strict limits. Tough love, or no love at all is the best policy.

6. Limit communication with your mentally ill family member.  If you must communicate, keep all conversation brief. Boundaries are so, so important. Tell her you love her every now and then so she’ll never know the difference.

7. Everything shitty that is done to her from hereon in, tell her it’s “treatment” even though what they do to her makes you cringe.

8. If she’s in lockup and tells you of horrors in the place, just assume she must be delusional and paranoid. Don’t believe her even if she begs and begs to come home. Never defy the doctors and never question.

9. Cut her off completely if necessary. Do it slyly, without fanfare.  No real disownership paperwork so you won’t incriminate yourself.

10. So, now, she’s dead. Your hands are clean, bro, clean. You can breathe a sigh of relief. No more obligations. You only get richer. The mess is over. Make sure to let others know just how sorry you are. You are indeed a sorry asshole.

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Wow, that was fun to write. See ya later, alligators.

Feedback and comments welcome!