I have a very good friend whose wife is living with manic depression. He explained to me that there are many times when she threatens to leave and talks about committing suicide. She even discusses how she will kill herself. My friend feels that, in these instances, he must do everything he can to keep his wife from leaving. If he doesn't, he is terrified that it will be the last time he sees her alive. My question, therefore, is how much responsibility is one supposed to take for the decisions made by another with a mental illness? I understand that being bipolar is a very serious condition, but I feel that my friend's wife has trapped her husband in a codependent position with her threats. Maybe I'm wrong, and he is doing the right thing. I just can't imagine living day to day with the burden of being accountable for another adult's every action. Please give me some advice as to how I can be of help to my friend. Thank you!
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Dombeck intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Dombeck to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Dombeck, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Dombeck and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.