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Old 09-23-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
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Adult son refuses to take meds

Our son was diagnosed with bipolar. He sees a very expensive psychiatrist every 2 weeks, he sees his prescription doctor every month. He can be harmful to himself. He agreed to see he doctors after a serious meltdown. I ask him to let me know when he's out of pills, he did the first month, now we're into the 2nd month and he had not asked me, so I checked his bathroom and sure enough the original 30 pills are still there. I can't take the meltdowns anymore, we have given him countless repeat chances and each time he messes it up. I am at the end of my rope!! Is it wrong to feel this way? I feel like I'm hanging him out to dry.

 
Old 09-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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Re: Adult son refuses to take meds

It is certainly not wrong to feel frustrated and betrayed, but this is common behavior in mental illness patients. Everyone else sees their sickness but them sometimes, or the meds give them side effects so they stop them without discussing other options. If he lives with you, I would make his medication taking "monitored". He keeps the pill box where you can check it every day. It's ok to remind him or set an alarm to remind him. If he refuses to do this, you can refuse to support him, especially if you are paying for the Dr bills. This is hard to do and sometimes requires "tough love" to put your foot down, or you will both end up sick. If you can somehow control his medicine intake, he will be better off and so will you.

 
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: Adult son refuses to take meds

I would suggest that you talk to him about what he thinks is going on. You could begin by saying "I am not judging you and I just want to hear more about what you are going through". You can make your own decisions on your own time - but I think that you seem very caring about your son and you seem like you do really want to help. I understand that you are scared about what he might do, and you don't want to hang him out to dry. Ask him if he gets along with his psychiatrists and if he feels comfortable with them. Say that you noticed he may not be taking his medication and say that you really want to understand why he does not take them - is it side effects, denial, or what? Make sure that he realizes that you are there for him, and that most of all you want him to feel better and be safe. I don't know how much insight he has into his condition. Perhaps you could ask him if he wants any feedback from you, or if it would help him if you mentioned certain things if you notice them before a major breakdown occurs. I think that the key is that you become a team member if he will let you help. Try not to let him see how his problems emotionally affect you or other people in your family, as it will increase the amount of distress he feels about what he is going through.

It is alright if you create rules - such as he has to take his medication if he is to live with you, etc. but make sure he is able to negotiate his medication and deal with any side effects with his doctors, etc. You both need to be able to communicate clearly with each other about what you would like. There are certain things that he can control and things he maybe can't and it is up to him to communicate that to you especially if you are helping him so much, you deserve to be informed. Ask him what you should be able to expect of him? It sounds like he does want to get better - but at this point it sounds like he really does not know how he is ever going to get better or stay better. I am sorry you are all going through this and I hope things get easier for you soon.

Last edited by zip452; 10-12-2012 at 09:15 AM. Reason: wording

 
Old 10-10-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: Adult son refuses to take meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybud View Post
It is certainly not wrong to feel frustrated and betrayed, but this is common behavior in mental illness patients. Everyone else sees their sickness but them sometimes, or the meds give them side effects so they stop them without discussing other options. If he lives with you, I would make his medication taking "monitored". He keeps the pill box where you can check it every day. It's ok to remind him or set an alarm to remind him. If he refuses to do this, you can refuse to support him, especially if you are paying for the Dr bills. This is hard to do and sometimes requires "tough love" to put your foot down, or you will both end up sick. If you can somehow control his medicine intake, he will be better off and so will you.

 
Old 10-10-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Adult son refuses to take meds

Thank you, this is helpful. We're working together now.

 
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