I have a 21 year old son that was diagnosed with bi polar almost 2 years ago. The first episode he manic and then he became depressive and was cutting himself and felt suicidal. He was placed in a treatment facility for 3 days. Released with medication (abilify and trazadone) and Dr. appt. I wish I would have kept records of dates, but I think he did this for a month or 2. I'm not sure how long he took his meds or if he ever did, he told me he didn't like the way they made him feel and didnt want to take them. He had to drop out of school that semester and didn't go back the following semester. He got a part time job and lived at home. He had a 2nd episode. Again cutting himself on his wrist. I took him to emergency room, where they baker acted him and sent him to facility. He hated the facility, he couldn't wait to get out and he did not want to be compliant with his medication. We took his car away and told him unless he followed Dr.'s orders he wouldn't get car back. He went the summer without a car. We got him to a Dr. whom he seemed to like, he put him on lamictal. We allowed him to go to college in the fall without a car and with an agreement he will follow the Dr.'s orders. He never followed dr.s orders. He did complete the semester successfully. At this point my husband and I hoped that possibly the bi polar was a misdiagnosis, that possibly drug use and puberty and growing up was the cause of his problems. Spring semester he ended up flunking out. He is now home working 2 jobs successfully for the last 2 months. Recently, I was able to get him to see a new Dr., this one is the Dr.'s PA, but she is well respected in our area. She prescribed him Equetro. It's been a month now and 2 appointments and 1 therapist appointment and he just told me he never even started the medication. He just went to Dr. to make me happy. He said I am just wasting our money. He doesn't want to try any drugs or go to therapy. He says he can manage this on his own. I spoke with the Dr. or PA rather, she said she thinks he is very sick and needs care. I should even consider a marchment act to make him get help. But the last 2 times he was hospitalized it didn't help anyway. My husband is not in agreement of a marchment act or making him go to the Dr. He believes he is now an adult, he's 21 and he has to want to help himself. I on the other hand, cannot sleep, I am sick to my stomach with worry about him. I somewhat agree with him about the medicine, it's hard to know what works, are all the side effects worth it, sounds like even when bi polar patients are on it they still have episodes anyway. So, if he feels he can function without it, should I let him continue to try?
Unfortunately in this situation your husband is very right. He is an adult, and therefore can make his own decisions. BiPolar is not something that you can force someone to "manage". It takes willpower and determination and dedication from the patient. It's a hard disorder to treat, and unless your med compliant most likely will not be stable. Until he hits "rock bottom" and understands that he has to do this, in order to have any kind of life or future....there's not much you can do. And the more you push him, the harder he's going to push back and not do what he needs to. As hard as it is, you need to backoff and let him "learn" the hard way on this one.
Hello Mom. How frusterating and scary this must be. True you can not make him take his meds. There are alot of meds with bad side affects until your body adjustes to it. So many different combos to try and it seem like it takes forever to get it correct. I was "sick" for a very long time but thought I was OK. Everyone around me for years begged me to seek treatment and at the time I'd go to the dr. get pills and never take them. For the past few years I committed myself to treatment and am doing okay. I guess my advice is just see how he does. If he gets bad and keeps going to inpatient maybe he too will one day admit something is wrong and he needs help. I think for most people, your son and myself, putting a mental disorder label on ourselves is unthinkable but necessary. I wish you and your family the best.
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