bipolar disorder, Dr. Paul Markovitz  Q. I believe my Mother-in-law has bipolar.. she has been diagnosed with manic depressant years ago but she got hooked on the drugs the doctors gave her and had to go to rehab to get off them...and now she takes nothing for it... Her husband left years ago and her son has tried to take care of her since but she will not help herself. She will not work and she has stolen many times from her ex-husband, her son and most of his friends. She has very ups and downs and she says she can't work because it scares her. I don't know what to do because she is becoming a big problem in our marriage because she uses her son and he keeps doing for her. Could you give me some advice on what to do with my husband and her.

  A. I would get her to see a good psychiatrist experienced at treating bipolars. He will likely put her on medications to address her illness. The psychiatrist will also go over what family members can and should do for your mother-in-law. While I have no doubt her son lovers her, supporting a failed system of support will not help her, him or your marriage.