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Abusive Treatment? Don't Tolerate It!

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Updated September 29, 2007

The Situation*
I am 45 years old and live alone. When my mother died a couple of years ago, she appointed my sister in the will to be my legal payee. My sister handles all of my finances.

My sister has now become extremely abusive towards me. She is always insulting me about things. She withholds my personal belongings such as my car and my computer as blackmail to force me to do things, such as housekeeping, her way. She currently has my computer. A number of my other personal possessions have disappeared from my home.

She does a terrible job of paying my bills. I have lost my cable television and internet service five times because of a lack of payment of the bills. I have lost my telephone service three times for the same reason. She has also refused to buy food for my dog.

How can my bipolar depression get any better when I am constantly under stress and pressure from my family? What can I do? I am at the end of my rope. I cannot tolerate any more of this abuse!

The Solution
I am so sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time with your appointed legal representative. Hang in there, friend! I believe you should be able to find help in this situation.

There are actually federal and state laws regarding dignity, equality, self-determination and expressed choices of individuals with disabilities. As a matter of fact, each of the states has an agency to handle advocacy issues. Advocacy is the work of organizations or individuals to protect the legal, civil, and human rights of people with disabilities such as bipolar disorder (manic depression). An advocate serves as an intercessor, speaking on someone else's behalf to ensure against discrimination and loss of rights.

You need an advocate. You can access a listing of the various state agencies from here: State Advocacy Agencies. From each of the individual state links, there is contact information. Find the state in which you reside and contact that agency.

You may have to be a little persistent to reach the appropriate person who can help you, but stick with it! Remember you are your first and best personal advocate so seek the help you need and deserve.

*Details in this situation were changed to protect the identity of the individual.

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