Dearest Dr. Turndorf,I hope that you are doing well and that you are in good health. Thank you kindly for all the help that you provide to those who are in need. It is deeply appreciated.Please help me. I need to ask you questions that I desperately need answers for. My name is Lara, I hope that you remember me. . . My father was very abusive verbally, psychologically and physically with my mother and my brother and sisters. He traumatized us and I fear that the damage is permanent and will destroy my whole family.I managed to leave the house and find help for myself. I take anti-depressants and without them I don’t think I would still be alive.But my brother and twin sister turned to drugs instead of getting help to heal their pain. My brother recently had psychosis with delusions. He is on medication, Risperdal, and is struggling to stay away from drugs and alcohol. I am proud of him for all his efforts. But he is so very depressed, it breaks my heart.The person that I am so worried about is my twin sister. . . She is addicted to painkilers, smokes pot, starves herself, drink excessively and sleeps with almost any man out there. She doesn’t admit that she has a problem and she refuses to see a doctor to help her. She left my parents’ house a few months ago to go live with her abusive boyfriend, but she had to go back to live with my parents because the police arrested her boyfriend, put him in jail for a day and put conditions that she doesn’t see him or communicate with him.Many members of my family noticed her strange behavior lately. She is very paranoid and delusional and agitated. I haven’t seen her for a while because I can’t bear to see how frail she has become, how thin her hair is, how her heart palpitates really fast, how pale her face looks and how strange she is acting.She is my twin sister and the pain is unbearable. I have the sad feeling that she might have psychosis, induced by all the drugs she’s taking. I feel so helpless. . . I fear that her heart will fail her, or that she will commit suicide, or that she might kill my father (she often tells people that she wants to kill him).I know that here in Canada, the police cannot take you by force to a psychiatric hospital. I informed myself. It is absolute nonsense to leave someone like her on the loose. She is a danger to herself and to others. I don’t know what to do anymore. . .I talked to her many times and cried my eyes out, telling her that I can’t see her killing herself like that. But she doesn’t seem to hear what I’m saying. She denies that she has any addiction.My mother and father are very angry with her, and talk to her in an accusing tone of voice. They tried and don’t have the energy to deal with her anymore. They keep her at home because they’re afraid of what people will say, and they don’t want her to prostitute herself or do anything bad like that.I wish it could all end. If, God forbid, she dies, I would be devastated. . . the family would be completely torn apart. I also have a 13 year-old sister who would probably be traumatized if anything like that would happen.I recently found out that my little sister secretly smokes cigarettes, and skips classes, and has kissed many boys. May I admit something to you, Dr. Turndorf? Sometimes I wish that my father and twin sister and brother could go up to Heaven, so that their pain and my pain would end. . . that my constant worrying about them would end. Isn’t that a monstrous thing to say. . . ?I know. . . God forgive me, but I just want this sad, sad situation to end. I don’t know what to say, do or think anymore. . . Sometimes I think about taking my little 13 year-old sister with me and moving far away and stop having contact with them. . .What must I do to help my twin sister? Please, please, please write back. I need your guidance and your help, Dr. Turndorf.Thank you. . .
I am so sorry to hear about the ongoing problems that you are having with your family. The aftershocks of your father ‘s abusive behavior just keep on coming!First of all it is absolutely normal to feel everything that you feel. It’s even normal to wish that your dad would drop dead! Remember, feelings are a far cry from actions, and as long as you don’t act on your wishes to kill anyone, you are above reproach.As for your poor sister. I called the Canadian Mental Health Association and became informed on the laws governing non-voluntary commitment in your country. The laws in Canada are very different from the U. S.In Canada, you, as a family member, can get your sister committed if she is a danger to herself or others. There are two ways for you to do this. The first is through your family doctor who can sign what’s called a ‘Form One’ for committing her.He or she may not be willing to do this without seeing your sister. If this is the case, and your sister refuses to see the doctor, which I imagine she will, then you can go by yourself to a Justice of the Peace. Tell the Justice of the Peace that your sister is a danger to herself (say what you told me about her behavior) and to others (say that she has spoken of killing your father) and ask that she be committed for her own safety and for the safety of others.The Justice of the Piece also has the legal authority to sign a ‘Form One, ‘ which would commit your sister to a psychiatric facility. A psychiatric facility rather than a drug rehab facility is best for her because a psychiatric facility will be able to treat both the drug addiction and the possible mental illness (called a concurrent disorder). After seven days, she will be re-evaluated, and if her psychiatrist believes that she is still a danger, she will be ‘reformed, ‘ meaning that the ‘Form One’ will be extended.By the way, the Canadian Mental Health Association representative that I spoke with said that the Canadian police are empowered by law to commit a person, but I was told that they often shy away from doing so. In any case, you have the two other avenues that I mentioned.I know that you don’t want to abandon your mom or your siblings, but I also know that contact with your parents and your family is toxic to you; so make sure that you take care of yourself. If having contact with all of them is too distressing for you, then consider the possibility of minimizing or eliminating contact with them.Good luck with your sister and let me know what happens. As for your other sister and your wish to rescue her from your crazy parents’ house, you need to do a lot of talking with your sister and soul searching. This is a very serious decision and one that you need to make after very careful consideration.Let me know what happens and take care.