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    17 Year old son with Bipolar II
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    twhite19 posted:
    I'll try to make this as short as possible. I'm truly looking for answers from those who suffer with this terrible disease and parents who have adolescents with bipolar II. I have a 17 year old son who was diagnosed with Bipolar II a few months ago while he was in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. His father passed away suddenly when he was 13 and that's when I noticed a personality change and withdrawal from family and friends. I took him to counseling but he would not participate and eventually stopped going. He is exceptionally bright; however, he started giving me problems with going to school in the 8th grade. He stated that he had a tremendous amount of anxiety going to school so I tried a couple of online schools. He would not finish his work. He would stay up all night and sleep all day. I had to work so it was difficult for me to "make him do anything". Fast forward, he is now 17 years old. He did obtain his GED in December of 2015, so I'm thankful for that. He got really bad into drugs and alcohol, started stealing from my husband (step father) and I so to keep the sanity of the family I sent him to my moms until I could figure out what to do. While he was there he got more depressed and stayed high or drunk for about a week. He stole from her and when he couldn't find anything to get high on he took 14 Benadryl. My mom called me and I ended up taking him to a hospital that turned into a 45 day stay at a rehab. It is there that he was diagnosed with Bipolar II and put on Lithium and Seroquel to help him sleep at night. He was put on medicine and when he came home he was a completely different person. It was a wonderful change. This change lasted about 30 days. He told me that the only reason he smoked pot was because that was the only thing that helped with his anxiety and that it made him feel "normal". I told him that I could not okay him smoking pot as it is illegal here in Texas so I took him to his psych doc to get him some meds to help. The psych doc will not put him on any benzos because he's an addict. The meds he's given him do not work. He got a job for about two weeks but lost it because he stole $100 from them. He also stole some of my husband's tools and sold them. He sleeps all day and stays up all night. He does socialize in the evenings with friends I'm sure getting high. I've spoken to him and let him know that stealing is unacceptable and that he's put me in between a rock and a hard place between him and my husband. He will be 18 at the end of August and my husband wants him gone. I completely understand that; however, I cannot see my self being able to do that. During my conversation with my son yesterday he told me that he didn't know if he could function like normal people because he felt impulsive and said that during the day when the sun is out his anxiety is real high and that it goes way down at night or if it's raining and cloudy outside. He says that he's been applying for jobs on line. I know this disease is crippling. I don't judge him and I feel like I'm a pretty good listener. I guess my question would be is it really that bad for him or is he conning me knowing that I love him more than anything and will not put him out on the streets? I told him that he has to get a job even if it's just part time. Well, I definitely didn't make this short and sweet. I'm sorry if I rambled I'm just at a fork in the road. I'm afraid I will have to chose between my marriage and my son. Actually I'm afraid I will lose my marriage because I will never give up on my son. Please help!
     
    avatar
    editor_morgan responded:
    Hi twhite19. Thank you for your honesty in this post. I know that this entire situation has been incredibly hard for you.

    A bond between a mother and a son is forever, and I know that you are feeling his pain. I think that its important for you to know that you are not alone. Here is a link to an article featuring a family, specifically a mother and a son, that is coping with the disorder:

    http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/features/balancing-act-a-mother-and-her-sons-cope-with-bipolar-disorder

    Here are some other links with useful information about bipolar disorder:

    http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/features/8-myths-about-bipolar-disorder?page=4

    http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

    http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/ss/slideshow-bipolar-disorder-overview
     
    avatar
    editor_morgan replied to editor_morgan's response:
    I also found this link: http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/helping-loved-one-with-bipolar?page=2

    This are some tips on how to care for a loved one with bipolar disorder.
     
    avatar
    twhite19 replied to editor_morgan's response:
    Thank you for the articles. They were very informative. Do you have anything on what parents should do when their adolescent is abusing drugs and alcohol and refuses any type of therapy. Supposedly he is still taking his lithium; however, he lies quite a bit and so he is probably just telling me that to appease me. I do give it to him, but I'm not always at home to actually see him take it. I put his dosage in his medicine cabinet each morning and night.
     
    avatar
    editor_morgan replied to twhite19's response:
    Hi again,

    Here is a link to some information on drug dependence for the friends and family of someone dealing with drug addiction. One of the tips they give is to no longer make excuses for them. You can't let your son's addiction succumb you --you have to also nurture and seek treatment for yourself as the mother of someone who is suffering from an addiction. Perhaps, you can suggest that he comes with you to therapy. You can ask him to help YOU with your healing process by having joint therapy sessions.

    Not only will a mental health professional be able to help you to resolve and make peace with certain things in your life in relation to your son's addiction, but he/she may also be able to provide guidance on how to approach this very sensitive issue of helping your son to become open to treatment. I've seen certain families host an intervention and it was extremely effective. However, that's something that you should speak to a mental health professional about to see if that is the right option for you and your family. (Click here to read more about interventions: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/intervention/art-20047451)

    I know that you love your son, but you can't always be around to monitor him. When drug addiction hits a family, trust is one of the first things to be compromised. But I have faith that you and your son will make it through this.

    Lastly, please feel free to check out our Substance Abuse Community , where many families are going through the same thing you are. It could be beneficial to you to chat with other mothers who are experiencing the same struggles. Always remember --you are not alone.


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