I am a mother of three, but first of all a mother of a teen (14) with bipolar. I have always known something was wrong with my son even when he was a 9 month old baby. He was always fast. More than other baby's, and sometime his quickness to know things scared me, but they where always overlooked, and thought as a blessing he was so smart. At the age of 3 the symptoms started showing, and concern hit me. I later took my 4 yr old son to a doctor only to have him diagnosed a ADHD. Not knowing what was going on i started him on numerous meds. that did not work at all or only worked for a short period. At the age of 10 my son started stealing and breaking into houses and lieing. Later he was diagnosed with ADHD with the simptoms of bipolar. Well to make a long story short I am at this point now my son is 14 with a full diagnoses of bipolar. Over this past short time he has been in a institution 3 times. He is a cutter, but says he only does it because he is bored. He steals and lies, is constantly up and down. We have to live our lives on his mood swings. When he is cycling I am so terrified he will not stop this time and then crash into a deep depression as he has done in the past. I know there is something else wrong with him, but the doctor is not quit sure what. My husband is no help at all. He goes to the doc. appts., but at home he is not that much help with the problem at hand, and I think the most part is fear and not understanding the problem. I am pretty desperate now. The closer he gets to 18 the more I feal like I am being crushed or rushed to find a cure for him. I am trying to do so much I fear that I will soon break down, because of the constant fear of not doing enough. He is now taking litheum for the first time, and it is helping a little, but not enough. My main thing is getting him to take it and stay on something. He always wants to stop his meds., or he has severe tics with the meds. that work for him and has to stop. He is in constant denial of his illness, and does not see the need to talk to anyone. Please if there is anyone out there that has went through something simular or is going through this now I would appreciate any feedback or help. His GAF scores have been as low as 12 at times, and at times fear for the life of my son or my other children, and others that come in contact of my son when he has this massive high I can't even understand. The last episode he had he beat up a boy at school, and the other is when he at 150lbs held my husband 225lbs down on the ground while he fought him like a man. the one thing that puzzles me is if he has a hard time functioning as far as school work is concerned. I don't understand how in the world he can figure out in his head how to put electronics together and make things, and solve a puzzle that is not suppose to be solved with out the answers in front of him, but yet he can't function as a normal 14 yr old should.
Hello, it was 3 in the morning when i read your query and i typed for 2 hours then submitted my reply to you and it was lost , vamoosh ,blank, gone, i will do it again , im really sorry it was lost i wanted you to have this right away, ill do it again, bye bye kimber lee
Hi. My son is 22, and he sounds like yours in a lot of ways. He was also always "the way he is", and we've always known there was something different about him. At age 5, riding on the merry go round, he was too busy looking up at what made it work to smile at his dad for a picture. Or he would just disappear, and we'd find him in his room making Lego creations. They both sound like very analytical intelligent people. My son used to do quadratic equations in his head in the car on the way to Boy Scouts! Some times I think the hardest part for my son is that he is so smart, and he feels that somehow being bipolar makes him less of a person. It definitely holds him back.
My son was also a cutter. He said he liked to feel the blood. Thank God, somehow he stopped by himself.
During his teenage years he was treated by our GP for depression. He took quite a few different meds, always going back and forth to check on med changes, or to the therapist, or for blood tests. By the time he was 18, he'd had enough, and none of it helped. Luckily, he has never been one for alcohol or drugs. He stopped taking treatment (it was the wrong treatment anyway, who knew?) and tried to commit suicide at 20. It was a very serious overdose , one which put him in a coma for three weeks with a respirator and about 12 IV's at one point. He developed pneumonia in ICU, and has permanent lung damage from it. At that time they diagnosed him as bipolar and put him on Depakote and Paxil. It has worked well for 1 1/2 years, and the past month he has had a terrible time, almost admitted to the hospital three times. Although he takes his meds, he would seek no further treatment still, until this time.
We found a really comprehensive program at a local facility, and he had his first eval. this week. It was pretty scary to find out the other day that he hears voices, has for years. I never knew that, and for some reason it freaks me out. The poor kid. I really hope this program is what it seems to be. NH has very bad mental health care, it's pretty nonexistent. We were lucky he was accepted into this. Or is he really bad off, so he was accepted into this...So sad to see.
Have you seen your own doctor, to see if perhaps YOU need some relief? I had to go on antidepressants for a year after his siucide attempt. Ths stuff is HARD HARD for us moms, no one else knows how hard! Don't neglect your own needs, you have to be able to handle all this.
The other thing I would say is to get online and in the library and learn more about different mental health issues. NH has a program where the state library has free shipping of any book in their library to residents, if you can't get to them. You go online and order it, and they even include a return envelope, postage paid! The more you learn for yourself the better off you are. You may just stumble across information that will help you help your son, or some answers as to what his other issue(s) may be, if he has any. Sometimes moms see things professionals don't, that I do know.
Also, have you had him looked over by any other doctors? I found that the opinions vary, and other doctors may have other thoughts on what may help your son. I was told once that mental illness is so hard to correctly diagnose that sometimes the doctors first see what meds help, and then they know what disorder that med works for. Voila, there's a diagnosis! or something like that.
I've gotta go, write back and tell us more, maybe someone here has heard what you'll say before... Cindy
I have thought about seeking help for myself, but I was raised to take care of my children first. Even I have realized that I am going crazy in my own skin. But there is something always something saying to me (so to speak) to get my son well first then take care of myself later. So I just deal and go on with what I need to do with him. Even my co-workers have told me that I am about to hit rock bottom. I just feal like if I stop at this point in my son's life we may end up at step one again.
The only thing I can think about is "how can I make my son's life as easy as the other kids his age". It is always nice to hear from someone who has actually walked in my shoes. I hope to get more advice.
Hi Welcome to the boards. Reading your post I immediately understood how desperate you are to get your son the help that he needs. DO NOT GIVE UP!! Alot of our kids end up in jail and boot camps where things could go from bad to even worse. Your son is not stabilized or on the right meds.....once he is you will be able to see, as he will, that he needs the meds to feel better. Right now he and you are living as close to hell as you possibly can. And it will be that way until he is on the right meds and stabilized.
I have a 15 year old daughter whose life was thrown into a tailspin much like your son's a little over a year ago. WE had no idea what was going on at the time and things got far worse before they got better.
But they are better and I am here to tell you that they WILL get better. May I ask if the doctors treated your son with antidepressants alone before diagnosing him or putting him on the Lithium??? If so, that may be the reason why you see such a drastic change in his behavior since antidepressants alone will increase mania and also siidcidal thoughts/atttempts which is exactly what happened to our daughter.
My daughter, thank God, never actually exhibited violent behavior but she got quite angry to the point of pulling a knife out and threatening to kill herself. She ran away the same night she was arrested for shoplifting. She also was a cutter and lied and stole money from us. All of these behaviors were so bixarre and unlike her......we had no idea what was going on. After two suicide attempts, 3 hospitalizations within 3 months, treatmnet with antidepressants and seeing a therapist and psychiatrist for over 4 months things only got worse. There finally came a 3rd suicide attempt and finally we found the help that we needed through the judicial system,
Because she had broken her probationary contract, through a court order, we FINALLY got the help that we needed when the judge ordered a full psychiatric evaluation at a Children's Psychiatric center. She was there for 10 weeks (her entire summer), such a difficult thing for her and our entire family, however, without it we would not have found the help that our daughter so needed. To this day she agrees that the 10 weeks she had spent there got to the root of the problem, whereas the prior 3 hospitalizations and psychiatrist/therapist sessions didn't help at all. We attribute this to finding the right meds and diagnosis. We then learned that previously the doctors were treating her for Major Depressive Disorder and by placing her on antidepressants her condition only worstened. The anger, irritability, agitation and mania made living with her day in and day out almost impossible. There was no reasoning, no logic, no problem...everything was our fault. Until one day she broke down and asked for help. I remember that day so vividly and I promised her and myself that I would stop at nothing to find her the help that she needed. And that we did....it was difficult to agree to the judge's decision to hospitalize her but it was either that or go by the psychiatrist's recommendation of a RTC (Residential Treatment Center). Our daughter belonged home with us but not before she was properly diagnosed and stabilized.
We found that when they put her on an atypical antipsychotic we saw remarkable improvement. She is on Risperdal 1.5mgs daily. This decreased her anger, furstration, and irritability considerably. Most of all she could be reasooned with. She finally was able to see that she needed help and accepted it. She was remorseful for her behavior and we finally saw that our daughter was coming back to us. They tried adding a mood stabilizer, Trileptal, to help with the depression.....she developed a rash and now we are on Lamictal which we are slowly increasing. Things are finally looking so much better.....looking back on things, how we ever survived is unbelievable. All I can describe it as is living with the Tazmanian devil that ripped through our household destroying everything in it's path. Things now are so much better....our daughter takes her meds knowing that she needs them. She has put on some weight and has made a point of watching her sugars and caloric intake knowing that the meds are making things better for her. WE are hoping that we get that final balance when the Lamictal starts to kick in since it is known to help with the depressive side of Bipolar. When I asked my daughter recently if she ever questions the diagnosis or having to be on the meds she tells me that she KNOWS that she has Bipolar and that the meds do make her feel better. I believe her because for a 15 year old girl to accept the weight gain for being better, it must make her feel significantly better.
You are not alone.....do not give up in finding the help for your son. Push ahead with all that you have to find the right meds. I highly recommend suggesting that the doctor add Seroquel or Risperdal since these tow meds act quickly in reducing the anger, frustration, impulsivity, and irritability. IT is then that your son will accept the help that he needs and comply with taking his meds. Right now he won't because he is not responding to any or giving them a chance. Your son cannot make the right decisions for himself right now....that is your job. I know it is not an easy one but you WILL find the strength to get him there. And you will be so glad that you did once you do. I look back on the past 6 months of our lives and all that we have endured to get our daughter to where she is now. WE have come so far and things ar so much better. IT is so hard to believe, looking back on it all how we survived it all but we DID!! And you will too.
WE are not quite there yet but things look so much more hopeful for us. You are not alone and there are many here who will walk you through every step of the way, all you need to do is ask.
((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody
Last edited by goody2shuz; 10-17-2006 at 05:01 AM.