My 15 year old son was recently diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder after years of being told it was behavioral and i needed parenting classes. He has been on Lamictal for 2 weeks now. He is a rapid cycler and cycles 2-3 times a day. i never know which mood i am walking in to when I speak to him. He has never been hospitalized.
In the process of all this my two older boys have joined the military and my husband and I seperated due to my sons behavior. My son seems to think he rules the house and doesn't hesitate to tell me what he will and will not do. It has been so bad at times that I had to have him arrested and will be going to court this coming Wednesday to have a CHINS (child in need of supervision) order placed. This will make him a ward of the court yet allow him to stay in the home on probation.
I love my son but can't take the verbal and emotional abuse he tends to put me through. He talks to me like I am yesterdays garbage in front of his friends then I notice they tend to disregard me and walk on me as well till i get fed up and send them home; which starts world war three in my home. I feel like I am going crazy.
I find myself being angry at my husband for leaving and not because he bailed (we are in counsling trying to work on our marriage) but because I can't do the same. I dred coming home after work to my son. I find my moods tend to feed off his moods then his moods feed off mine in turn. The psychologist and psychiatrist doesn't beleive I am bipolar just cycling my moods with his. All I know is I don't know how much more I can take.
Any suggestions on how I can cope without totally loosing my mind?
Hi, Concerned I know pretty much what you are going through and sometimes feel as if I am in this alone myself since it is I who is most involved with the day to day interactions despite my husband being very much involved as much as he is emotionally able to be. Even with him here I often feel as if he is getting "off easy" but I have come to the realization that men are just not emotionally programmed as we are OR able to intuitively see things as we are capable of seeing as mothers. I have found that standing as a united front is most valuable when dealing with the day to day issues and having a behavioral plan drawn up with clear expectations, priveleges and consequences will cut through alot of the emotional problems as if seems to be doing for us. I think it is good that the judicial system is involved....as much as you would like to spare your son the consequences that they have set while he is on probation you must be a team player in their efforts of helping your son. In our case it was what finally got out daughter the help that she needed.
I know how emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting this all can be but what your son needs the most is somebody who is strong enough to get through this and the only way that you can do that is to make sure that you get the sleep, exercise and proper nutrition you need and also take care of your emotional needs as well. That may mean that you and hubby take time to focus on your marriage....that should come first, for it is the foundation upon what your family is built and you need to be solid and united in order to help you son out the most.
I KNOW firsthand how this can affect a marriage and thank God learned how important it is to take care of my relationship with my spouse as well. Often this entire thing is exhausting and we forget about how important that is. Perhaps when you are with the counselor you can talk about how you need to nourish one another and your needs and offer one another respite by sharing the load that your son's Bipolar creates within the family. And ways of taking a break from it by going out together to recharge your relationship with one another so that you are not too consumed by the responsibilities to your son. AT the same time, be sure not to blame one another and create a strong defined front that shows your son that you are supportive of one another in order to best help him.
I hope that some of what I share helps....there are alot of us here that know how difficult this time can be. But it is a time that you MUST learn to take care of yourself as well.....for by doing so you are actually helping your son too.
Thank you so much for your input. My husband and i have decided to have a date night at least once a week and he is going to get more involved in our son's counsling as well. We are going to take turns leaving work early and taking him to his sessions. For now we will remain living in seperate homes but will contimue to work things out.
My son's counslor has given us a book to read called survivinh bipolar. I have found a class pt on by a NAMI group; it is taught by parents of bipolar children. It should start in the spring. My son's counslor is looking for a support group in my area for me.
I am trying to stand strong. Again thank you so much for your response. It helps to know I am not standing alone.
Concerned ~ That is such great news about you and hubby having a date night I think that things should improve from there. There is another thread here that you may wish to read through that describes how much of a toll this places upon relationships.....it is called "Parents w/Bipolar Kids in Crisis", take a peek and perhaps it will help you out as well.
I am also glad that you have found a support group taught by other mother's of Bipolar kids.....is that for other parents or for Bipolar kids?? And it will be great if you find other parents who are going through the same thing. I haven't found anything like that but I have found tons of support here and we have a therapist that works with our entire family that comes into our home & will be with us for the next few months. She came as a follwup service after our daughter, who is also 15, was hospitalized for the 4th time in 4 months this one lasting the entire summer. So I do KNOW what it is like to be walking in your two shoes!!
Our daughter is also on Lamictal and is slowly increasing up....she is also on Risperdal which helped out quite a bit and rather quickly with the irritability, anger, impulsivity and agitation/furstration. Now we are trying to get her depressive side under control as well as her moods from cycling throughout the day.
Well I am glad that I helped....if there are any concerns you may have please feel free to ask....there are alot of great people here.
(((HUGS))) ~ Goody
Last edited by goody2shuz; 10-21-2006 at 02:01 PM.
So sorry to hear about what you're going through, but am glad that you and your hubby and working together and that he's helping take the weight a bit.
I noticed you said the psych didn't think you were bi-polar - I just wondered if you thought you were or if you agreed with the doc?
This may sound silly but I find take a lot of vitamin supplements and they really help me deal with stress. Stress depletes the body of vitamins, which in turn makes us anxious, irritable, unable to sleep, tearful etc etc. I take a really good multi-vitamin, omega 3 and 6, a B'Vitamin complex (for PMT, taken all through the cycle) and an additional supplement of magnesium, which helps me sleep. Obviously none of this would make your son's behaviour acceptable (which it isn't) but it might help you to feel a bit better in yourself. I also wonder if your son is taking any supplements? The omega oils and a good multi-vit are especially beneficial to people with BP. There also may be food intolerances - sorry if you already know this, but if not, it might be worth getting him screened. A lot of people are intolerant to wheat and dairy, and these things can make a big difference to a person's moods. There's a good book called Optimum Nutrition for the Mind (by Patrick Holford) - I don't know how open your boy would be to trying some changes in his diet, but there are sometimes ways of helping moods through food.
Sorry if you have all of this info already. You sound like an amazing mum - your son is very lucky to have you and, although he doesn't realise it at the minute, he will one day. I hope things get better for you soon.
Lots of love, and I hope all goes well with your hubby.
I don't know if i agree with the doc or not. I have noticed that I tend to cycle my moods with my sons moods. I don't take any supplements at this time but will certainly look into this. i did not have any of the information you ofered so thank you very much.
Hi! I just wanted to offer you a child's perspective. I have had depression since I was 14 and treated my mom like crap. I am now married and tend to do the same thing to my husband. While I can't speak for your son, I can tell you about me and maybe give you a little hope. When I acted out against my mom it had nothing to do with her. Honestly no matter what she did or didn't do nothing would have been right. It was a problem with me. For me it wasn't anything anyone did or didn't do, but a huge frustration with myself, not understanding what was going on with me, and feeling totally out of control. You sound like a great mom - going to counseling with him, researching stuff, and seeking help from this site. Hang in there, take time for yourself. Try to endure this, you might be the only stability he has right now!