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I need help with a Bipolar Teen
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LillyCat2554 posted:
Help - I am having difficulty disciplining my bipolar teen. She is 14 years old and currently in a mixed manic cycle. Her impulsive behavior is jeopardizing her safety and I am unsure how to handle this situation. We have been working very closely with her psychiatrist to adjust medications, as we have yet to find the right combination. She also sees a counselor weekly, which seems to be going well. At this point, she does not feel rules are made for her and that she does not have to abide by them. I cannot keep her locked in her room - although sometimes I would like to. She frequently leaves the house "to go walking" and does not come back for hours. Luckily, we live in a very small town so she has been unable to venture far. However, just recently, she has found someone with a vehicle and has traveled outside our town. I am afraid for her safety. She refuses to tell me where she goes or who she is with. I stay up late, take off from work, track her phone, etc. to try to find out where she is or find the people she is hanging out with. I have even called the police department multiple times, but that has yet to help. She has been hospitalized in an acute care psychiatric facility 3 times and once in long term treatment facility in the past 18 months. As any parent of a bipolar child knows, traditional discipline measures do not help. I am in need of any advice someone may have that can help. I cannot allow her to just do as she pleases but I also cannot get her to abide by the rules.
......ready for any suggestions to keep her safe.
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sydamangrif responded:
Hi LillyCat2554,
I can totally relate. I too have a 14 year old bipolar child who also has epilepsy, adhd, and cannot read social cues , meaning she gets bullied and rejected which adds to her low self-esteem. She was diagnosed at age 7, and has been in/out of pediatric psych ward over 13 times. Right now, We are in the er because she was planning on hanging herself and even wrote a suicide note. She goes to a therapeutic day school, so she gets plenty of therapy, along with having an individual therapist and a psychiatrist. She is on 4 different medications, but there is no pill to teach someone who cannot read social cues. It is tragic. I have 2 other kids and had to have her move to her dad's because I could not keep her safe and watch her 24/7. She also began self-injuring last year. It is a nightmare. She needs to be in a long-term facility because she is so unstable and impulsive and her moods cycle rapidly. But that cost 140k a year and unless your child is psychotic, delusional, or hallucinating, the state won't give you the grant. It is tragic the way they treat mentally ill children in this country. I don't have 140k. Her hormones are also all over the place. Here is my suggestion to you...first take care of you, find a support group online . I bet you don't have one close by . Also, when she is totally out of control, you need to call 911. My daughter would pick fights with her 2 siblings to the point they hated her, because she was going through a manic rage. You don't say if she does that. If you cannot handle her and say, you tell her to get off the phone or computer because it is bedtime, which happened to me, I took away the phone and mouse and she fought with me to get them back. I called and she had to be taken to the hospital. If you cannot keep her safe, or she is a danger to herself or others, then that is their job. Tell them she is bipolar .ALso, I am sure there are curfews in your town for teens. If she breaks it, call the police. Many kids get into drugs/alcohol to self medicate..if you suspect she has, drug test her. They have a 15 times higher rate of suicide than the regular population. Take it seriously. I have already lost 2 extended family members to this ....My prayers are with you. Also, keep all medication, even non prescription and knives locked up.


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