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Old 03-19-2005, 08:19 PM   #1
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Please Help...at wits end

Hi to all...what a wonderful site this is. This is my first time and I am hoping I can get some suggestions.

My husband's son was diagnosed with bi-polar when he was 12...he is now 20. His dad and I married when he was 16. Up until January of this year he and I were very close. We have found out that he has been manipulating us for the past 5 years, we were under the impression that he is a good kid...never getting into trouble. We all felt sorry for him and knew he was working very hard to be "normal". He was not taking any meds...he said he could handle it, we took him weekly to see his therapist and we also had monthly meetings for updates. About every 2 months he would have a blow-up and scream and cry.We helped him through it always. His therapist asked us to speak at a NAMI meeting because he thought we could help others. I'm glad we didn't because the egg would have been on our faces. Two years ago we found out the hard way he was smoking pot and dabbling in other drugs...LSD...DMX cough syrup...and cocaine occasionally...he went psychotic for the first time...I mean really out there, he was like that for over a month, hearing voices(he still hears voices)...got better...we said no more drugs, but of course he still used except the LSD...he's had 2 more occasions since...along with cutting himself (one time needing 34 stitches) with the last psychosis being in Dec. 2004 which put him in the hospital for 2 weeks. Since then he has been on meds, we check his room, give him drug tests and he is so angry...very abusive with words and in your face tactics, rarely speaks to us, still continues to cut himself, refuses to see his therapist, will see his psychiatrist because we know he is afraid of going psychotic again but we are not sure if he is telling him everything because he doesn't want the meds to be increased. So my question to you is...Is this normal or is this manipulation and any suggestions for us. We are exhausted...this has been going on daily for 2 years now.

thanks and sorry for such long post.

 
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:44 PM   #2
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maniasterisk HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

ladylynn...

Yours was quite a posting, especially for a first-timer...

Welcome ~ greetings and salutations ~ and all the usual good stuff...

Down to business... You said (at the end) :

" Is this normal or is this manipulation and any suggestions for us. We are exhausted...this has been going on daily for 2 years now. "

~ Unfortunately, there is no "normal" in this disorder. Each and every individual goes through their own experiences. They come into it with genetic pre-dispositions - and backgound life experiences... As we experience, brain neurons extend new connections to each other (along with depleting old ones)... The neuro-transmitters that jump the gaps (electro-chemically) set the stage for many sets of anomalies...

Any individual, adjudged BiPolar or not, is effected by moods. And metabolism.

Thought patterns can trigger moods - which in turn reinforce brain wave patterns and neurotransmitter function ~ and so on and so forth...

So ~ there are NO pat answers.

It's mostly trial and error with the meds, and after a while ANY can lose effectiveness or cause nasty reactions... All reactions and effects ought to be logged and reported to the prescribing Psychiatrist or Physician...

It's been described as a roller coaster ride...


It is difficult to contend with - for the care giver(s) AND the disordered individual...

Your step-son needs desparately to stop the self-medication with narcotics. Is the "Pdoc" aware of that ???

Is the psychiatrist aware of the cutting behaviors ???

I could go on and on ~ but hopefully you'll get MORE and BETTER feedback from others, soon !!!

Best of luck with your own patience and helping your step-son !!!

~ M*

PS ~ I had a stepson who used to threaten self-injury to get his way. I understand what you mean about "is it manipulation"...

 
Old 03-20-2005, 08:46 PM   #3
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US5BAIRDS HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Dear Ladylynn,
I feel your pain, Oh God, how I feel it.
MANIPULATION! Our family has been living with our 17 year old son's manipulation for 2 years. It's so tough. We so desperately WANT to believe in our kids that sometimes it's soooo easy for them to pull the wool over our eyes. As soon as our boy realized he couldn't manipulate us anymore he doesn't want to live with us. He moves on and manipulates fresh people. He's so darn good at it that all the new fresh victims just think we're just terrible parents. They just can't understand what our problem is with our son. Poor things, by the time they finally realize they're being manipulated by him it's too late, he's already used and abused them. We try to warn these people and they won't listen until they are hurt by him. Our son also self medicates and flat out refuses to go on any drug therapy. He's been a constant runaway for the last year or so. We've tried everything humanly possible to try and save him from himself. We're now emotionally and financially exhausted and we're further behind than ever. We have made the decision to step back and let the natural consequences come about as they may. We can't stop them anyway. But, that doesn't mean it's any easier for us. We have constant worry, saddness and helpless feelings. I just don't know if that will ever go away.
I started the thread of 17 year old diagnosed BP. I've gotten some good responses. If you haven't done so already maybe you oughta go read that thread.
Good luck to you and feel free to post to me anytime.
Linda

 
Old 03-20-2005, 10:49 PM   #4
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Jennita HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladylynn
Hi to all...what a wonderful site this is. This is my first time and I am hoping I can get some suggestions.

My husband's son was diagnosed with bi-polar when he was 12...he is now 20. His dad and I married when he was 16. Up until January of this year he and I were very close. We have found out that he has been manipulating us for the past 5 years, we were under the impression that he is a good kid...never getting into trouble. We all felt sorry for him and knew he was working very hard to be "normal". He was not taking any meds...he said he could handle it, we took him weekly to see his therapist and we also had monthly meetings for updates. About every 2 months he would have a blow-up and scream and cry.We helped him through it always. His therapist asked us to speak at a NAMI meeting because he thought we could help others. I'm glad we didn't because the egg would have been on our faces. Two years ago we found out the hard way he was smoking pot and dabbling in other drugs...LSD...DMX cough syrup...and cocaine occasionally...he went psychotic for the first time...I mean really out there, he was like that for over a month, hearing voices(he still hears voices)...got better...we said no more drugs, but of course he still used except the LSD...he's had 2 more occasions since...along with cutting himself (one time needing 34 stitches) with the last psychosis being in Dec. 2004 which put him in the hospital for 2 weeks. Since then he has been on meds, we check his room, give him drug tests and he is so angry...very abusive with words and in your face tactics, rarely speaks to us, still continues to cut himself, refuses to see his therapist, will see his psychiatrist because we know he is afraid of going psychotic again but we are not sure if he is telling him everything because he doesn't want the meds to be increased. So my question to you is...Is this normal or is this manipulation and any suggestions for us. We are exhausted...this has been going on daily for 2 years now.

thanks and sorry for such long post.
So very sorry. Drug use runs so rampant these days. They don't understand that drugs like cocaine and LSD can cause brain damage, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc. The cutting, aggression, etc. is classic of amphetamines and cocaine. He's angry because he's addicted to the highs, and you are keeping them from him. But good for you. I'm not sure if or how long recovery takes but I hope he will recover very soon. Some people have to recover by staying completely drug free, including prescriptions but that's an issue for you to decide whether or not that would work.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 06:12 AM   #5
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Please read my post in "what's wrong with my Mom" I addressed a lot of what you are talking about already in that thread.

I would not presume to know how another person feels, or what may be causing their behavior. I am not aware that cocaine use causes cutting behavior. I have certainly not seen evidence of that in my experiences. If someone has a psychiatric condition, and they use drugs, their behavior will likely be amplified by their use of recreational drugs. The idea that the drugs themself cause psychiatric problems is absurd.

My heart goes out to you, and I wish you the best in your journey.

heather

Last edited by polarized13; 03-21-2005 at 11:59 AM.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 09:16 AM   #6
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ladylynn HB User
Red face Re: Please Help...at wits end

I have spent so much time on this board today, reading and re-reading the posts. So much pain is out there, for us and these children. I appauld all the love that is spoken on this board, parents and step-parents who are willing to do all that it takes and then some to help.
I do agree that sometimes we have to step back...make our child take responsibility for their actions because this is the only way possible for them to quit blaming others and be pro-active towards their own recovery. My step-son and his father got into a heated argument this weekend because my husband went up to his room to ask how he was doing and was told to leave...quit bothering him...it was all his dad's and mom's fault he was like he was...they made him bi-polar...they made him by allowing it to act the way he does and now he(his dad) would just have to pay the price. He came down to talk to me about getting his dad to leave his room and when I told him I couldn't because I agreed with his dad..that his dad had a right to ask how he was doing...he became threatening to me...in my face, screaming and spitting. I walked away wanting to smash him...but this behavior is allowed because otherwise he might do something stupid...but I told his dad I want nothing to do with him...he scares me and I'm tired of the abuse. when he wakes us up in the night my husband is going to have to get up (I usually do because my husband needs his sleep for work) I'm not doing it anymore. I love my step-son dearly and I am willing to do whatever needs to be done...but not until he is willing...
I am thankful for all the posts...so many have been helpful. I know that we will get through this somehow. God says he will never give us more than we can handle.
Thank you all

 
Old 03-21-2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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Jennita HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Quote:
Originally Posted by polarized13
Please read my post in "what's wrong with my Mom" I addressed a lot of what you are talking about already in that thread. And the idea that cocaine is to be blamed for cutting behavior is absurd.

My heart goes out to you, and I wish you the best in your journey.

heather
OK, Then I guess a doctor from the Penn State college of medicine is absurd too since she included this in her report on self-injury/skin picking behaviors:


Association with Medication/Drugs
Use of cocaine, methylphenidate, phenelzine, amphetamine, and anticholinergic drugs may produce tactile sensations which lead to skin picking
38% co-morbidity of substance abuse and skin picking
Administration of amphetamines leads to self-injurious behavior in horses, rats, and dogs



Now, I didn't say amphetamines and cocaine use were the ONLY reasons for self injury, that would be absurd because in life there are always more than one way for something to come about. The paper went on to explain other reasons like elevated B-endorphin levels from constant exposure to pain from, for example, being abused as a child; also, the endorphins link as cutting releases them leading to stress relief, self anger, etc. There are lots of reasons.

Last edited by Jennita; 03-21-2005 at 10:46 AM.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

To Jennita:

I see that you went back and changed your original message. I did the same. I am not interested in breaking the posting rules and getting in an argument about this issue.

People that read about things in books, and presume to know more than people who have had actual life experiences, are foolish. In my opinion.

You can find research to back up any theory out there, practically.

Please read my change in the post that I originally responded to you. Also, did you read my post in "whats wrong with my mom"? I think I qualify as someone with real experience in this matter.


To Ladylynn:

I had a very rough time when I was a teenager. To be honest, I put my parents through hell. I used and abused everything I could get my hands on. The reason I was so messed up was a combination of my experiences, and my chemical imbalance.

My parents sent me to a psychiatrist every week, and I refused to say one word. I didn't know why I acted like that. I would not assume to know what another person (especially one going through hormonal changes) is feeling, or why they are behaving in a certain way.


Your main question was: Is this normal? Normal is not a part of your vocabulary when you are mentally ill. Threre are no rules, just ways of coping with your situation.

You cannot force someone to get help with either psychiatric or drug problems until they are ready.

To focus your whole life around a child in crisis, who is not ready to deal with their issues, is pointless. You may be ready for your step-son to be fixed. It isn't ever that simple for someone with a psychiatric disorder. Especially not a teenager.

I am not a tough love proponent. I think you should provide a safe, loving enviornment for your child to come to when they are ready. Be supportive and understanding and learn as much as you can about thieir ilness. Sometimes we have to reach rock bottom before we can get better. It's not easy to watch, but I don't think you have a choice.

good luck,

heather

Last edited by polarized13; 03-21-2005 at 01:31 PM.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 11:58 AM   #9
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alexgranny HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Ladylynn,
You have my deepest sympathy. I have been through similar experiences with my three children two of whom are bipolar. I should also note that I too am bipolar as is their father.
My children got involved in substance abuse also I think in an attempt to self-medicate. At the time they were not interested in taking their prescribed meds and were very resentful blaming us for passing this "curse" on to them. I do know that we had to deal with both the substance abuse and the psychiatric condition simutaneously. I learned that as long as a person is self-medicating all bets are off as far as regular meds.
I know you both are probably so tired at this point. Please try to find a support group to help you set some boundaries so that you can have your lives back. Sometimes the loving thing to do is to send them out there on their own. Believe me, this is a hard thing to do but it was the only thing that worked for me.
My kids are grown now and content in their lives. I honestly don't think they remember half of what went on during their teenage years. We have been fortunate enough to have formed adult relationships with them. By that I mean we treat each other with love and respect. If a boundary is broached we now know enough to step back and let them work it out.
Good luck and please take care of yourself and your marriage.

 
Old 03-21-2005, 09:18 PM   #10
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ladylynn HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Jennita...I thank you for your insight...my husband and I have looked, bought, and devoured the internet looking for anything that would help us help him. I do believe all things must be looked at and then decided upon if they will help each individual. We are always searching and praying for a answer that works for us.

Heather, I did read your post...and you are a very kind and caring person...I have read your upbeat answers you give to everyone and your never ending positiveness towards life. Thank you for caring and giving of yourself.

Alexgranny, Sounds like you have been through the war and come out along with your children as survivors...I know you gave me hope that one day soon my stepson will be pro-active in discovering what will work for him and become a winner...because I believe we need to win in life in order to move forward.

Right now, we are going through so much...but I hope soon...gosh I need soon...2 years of daily I hate my life, 3 psychotic episodes, and continued drug abuse...something needs to wake him up so he realizes we are there for him just like we always have been and he will want to work towards the goal of him being the best he can be...accepting the pitfalls but knowing he will become stronger with each one he tackles.

Lynn

 
Old 03-21-2005, 09:25 PM   #11
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maniasterisk HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Lynn ~

This is just an acknowledgement posting...

I'm very glad to see the feedback you've received...

This stuff is WAY over my head emotionally ~ and I haven't had a constructive thing to add - so I've just read it and gone on (sometimes called lurking)...

This is some serious stuff !!!

When you folks get to where you want to take a humor break or something, please ring me up !!!

Until then, BE NICE !!!

~ M* ~

 
Old 03-21-2005, 09:32 PM   #12
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Jennita HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Quote:
Originally Posted by polarized13
To Jennita:

I see that you went back and changed your original message. I did the same. I am not interested in breaking the posting rules and getting in an argument about this issue.

People that read about things in books, and presume to know more than people who have had actual life experiences, are foolish. In my opinion.

You can find research to back up any theory out there, practically.

Please read my change in the post that I originally responded to you. Also, did you read my post in "whats wrong with my mom"? I think I qualify as someone with real experience in this matter.


To Ladylynn:

I had a very rough time when I was a teenager. To be honest, I put my parents through hell. I used and abused everything I could get my hands on. The reason I was so messed up was a combination of my experiences, and my chemical imbalance.

My parents sent me to a psychiatrist every week, and I refused to say one word. I didn't know why I acted like that. I would not assume to know what another person (especially one going through hormonal changes) is feeling, or why they are behaving in a certain way.


Your main question was: Is this normal? Normal is not a part of your vocabulary when you are mentally ill. Threre are no rules, just ways of coping with your situation.

You cannot force someone to get help with either psychiatric or drug problems until they are ready.

To focus your whole life around a child in crisis, who is not ready to deal with their issues, is pointless. You may be ready for your step-son to be fixed. It isn't ever that simple for someone with a psychiatric disorder. Especially not a teenager.

I am not a tough love proponent. I think you should provide a safe, loving enviornment for your child to come to when they are ready. Be supportive and understanding and learn as much as you can about thieir ilness. Sometimes we have to reach rock bottom before we can get better. It's not easy to watch, but I don't think you have a choice.

good luck,

heather
Um, the fact that drugs can cause many mental disorders is not only well documented but well know by users of them. In fact, even drugs you wouldn't imagine off-hand, like an anti-malaria drug they did a big story on a few years ago that was causing psychosis and insanity. Drugs are not to be taken lightly in their role of imbalancing brain chemistry.

There are countless real-life stories of people who were damaged mentally by various drugs, some illegal; some "addiction by prescription" people too. I don't only read research but personal stories through a support group or two. The possibility of a drug causing destructive behaviors is very real indeed.

I certainly didn't mean to argue any points about the connection of moods and destructive behavior to chemicals that effect the brain because there is no arguement as everyone knows it to be truth and not at all absurd. I merely brought up the obvious and well-known connection.

But I didn't mean to imply there were no other reasons on earth besides drugs for certain behaviors, of course not!

Last edited by Jennita; 03-21-2005 at 09:37 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 03-22-2005, 06:39 AM   #13
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Of course drugs like amphetamines, and cociane are terrible for anyone, most especially people with mental or emotional issues to begin with. I'm not trying to defend recreational drug use.

I just don't want someone reading a post, and taking one thing out of context, and before you know it there is more of a misconception out there about mental illness than there already was.

I'ts bad enough that we have such a stigma attached to our illness, it can only be worse if people mistakenly think that everyone who suffers from such an illness must have 'contracted' it from using cocaine or meth-amphetamines. That is just not the case, I dont care who said so.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 10:07 AM   #14
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Jennita HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Quote:
Originally Posted by polarized13
Of course drugs like amphetamines, and cociane are terrible for anyone, most especially people with mental or emotional issues to begin with. I'm not trying to defend recreational drug use.

I just don't want someone reading a post, and taking one thing out of context, and before you know it there is more of a misconception out there about mental illness than there already was.

I'ts bad enough that we have such a stigma attached to our illness, it can only be worse if people mistakenly think that everyone who suffers from such an illness must have 'contracted' it from using cocaine or meth-amphetamines. That is just not the case, I dont care who said so.
I never said that. But the original poster was saying the boy was into drugs like cocaine and his behaviors have escalated. I simply mentioned how cocaine can cause this. Cocaine isn't the only possibility. Sometimes it can be legal, prescribed medication, for example....

Some people become manic on antidepressants and with no history of bi-polar, end up being diagnosed and treated for it; I know people who simply stopped the AD and never experienced mania again.

Kids on prescription amphetamines for ADD can have mood changes simular to bi-polar and get that diagnosis later....my nephew had such mood/behavior changes but when he discontinued his Adderall, the problems in his behaviors and moods left.

So chemicals, whether it be cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes or a simple innocent pharmaceuticals can have profound effects on behaviors. And certainly the original poster is doing the right thing by making sure the boy doesn't go back to using cocaine even if it is making him angry they are being so strict, that's all I was saying.

 
Old 03-22-2005, 10:20 AM   #15
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polarized13 HB User
Re: Please Help...at wits end

Well Jennita,

Certainly, YOU must be right. I would not expect you to ever see anything any differently.

However when someone posts something like that which is only an opinion, and states it as if it were fact, and then goes back later and changes what they orinally posted in order to seem right, there is really no point in arguing now is there?

You have a lovely day, Ok?

 
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