Hi there! My 15 year old son is ADHD and possibly bipolar. We have recently started back with a psychologist we used to see because there has been an escalade in the amount of trouble he's been in, at home and at school. I surely don't have the answers but I would love for all of us to stick together for support. My fiance and he do not get along most of the time and it is a constant stress. I agree that finding a good therapist will be a tremendous help. And even though he is 17, yes, tell him that you love him everyday. From all that I've read, they need all the positive vibes they can get. Not that they don't try our nerves though! I think that is why we all need to support each other. Maybe we can share ideas or just have someone to vent to. Anyway, please know that I am thinking of you. :)
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257 3/17/12 10:05 P
Hi, I know it has been a few days since you posted but since I have been where you are (though my daughterbegan shoing signs of the illness at about 9 years and was not accurately diagnosed til age 20) and know your pain/frustration.
As others have said getting the right "combination" of medications is essential but can be time consuming and difficult. Please hang in there and feel free to message me. My daughter is now 25 so I have dealt with this illness ofr many years. I also have worked in the mental health/developmental disabilities field for about 24 years now.
Do make sure that he is told that you love him. I know at 17 he probably does not seem to want to hear it but it is so very important that he knows it when he is struggling. If saying it verbally seems to be too muvh for him notes, texts or private messages via facebook or something may be the way to go.
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4 3/12/12 7:37 P
First of all (((HUGS))) you are not alone.
My advice is:
1. Make sure you tell him frequently that you love him, if you do not already. Say "I love you" often. Leave notes in his lunch, etc.
2. Find a good therapist for you to help you in parenting him and making decisions. Beware there are lots of, um, well, inadequate therapists out there......... if you don't know of any, call a local church (try the ones with the biggest phone book ads first), ask to speak with a minister and ask for local therapist recommendations.
3. Schedule "mom and me time" and "dad and me time" frequently. At least once a month. Take him to do something fun, out to eat, whatever, ALONE where it is just you and him and no one else.
4. Do not gossip about him. The whole world does not need to know about this. THis includes neighbors, your coworker, your yoga partner etc.
5. Make sure he is getting plenty of exercise. Maybe he shoud try a new sport? Join the swim team? Just go swimming all the time. Go hiking. Whatever.
6. Remember that it is possible that this could be a misdiagnosis. Don't stop the meds or anything, but just keep in mind that thousands of children every year are misdiagnosed with this each year. He needs to stay on the meds though, but it is possible in a few years he could actually go off of them.
7. Don't be pessimistic. Try to be optimistic. There are many successful people (rich bank presidents, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, etc etc) who have bipolar disorder. Most people are not open about it because of discrimination.
I have a 15 y.o. daughter who doesn't have any major diagnoses right now and yet still has me pulling my hair out most of the time. My husband and I are counting the years until she graduates and moves out of the house.
Good luck with everything.
"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." e. e. cummings
Alis volat propriis *Latin: She flies with (or using) her own wings
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2,931 2/6/12 7:56 P
sorry to hear this..I work in the mental health field, and I know its a delicate balance for thosediagnosed as bipolar to get on just the right medications. Some of the things you describe are not too far off"typical teen"...Remember..mental health is a spectrum ..one which we all fall somewhere on.. He is probably confuses and scared..as you probably are too.. My 15 year old has been on ADHD meds since shes in 3rd grade..its always a "challenge " with her.. I feel your pain..we just want everything to be ok with our kids...
When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of this we can be sure...either God will provide something solid to stand on or...we will be taught to fly.
I definitely feel for you. I have an 8 yr old with ADHD and Asperger's who possibly has Bipolar Disorder (she hasn't be officially diagnosed but they are leaning that way...we're trying to hold off). And I actually have Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety, and Insomnia myself. I was misdiagnosed with Depression for years, though. I was not the easiest teenager. So the fact that you have found out already, you're ahead. Don't let the diagnosis be an excuse, but make sure you are still there for him and are understanding. It may be awhile before they find the right mix of medication to stabilize him. It took them awhile for me. I was diagnosed as an adult only a couple years ago.
It's hard being a kid, even a teenager, and knowing something is off but not really knowing what and feeling like no one really understands. I did stuff like that. I wasn't into drugs or anything like that as a teenager, but it was like I just couldn't think correctly. No amount of taking things away, making me stay home, etc worked.
Therapy helps both my daughter and I. We have an in-home therapist and office therapist. You have to be open to it, he has to be open to it, and everyone in the house has to be willing to work with him and you together.
You can add me or message me if you like if you wanna talk more about it, like about meds, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (3,827)
1/31/12 4:53 P
My son has Bipolar Disorder also but was diagnosed at 8 years of age. He is now 13. It took about 1 1/2 years before he was stabilized on medication but finding the right medication for him made an incredible difference. My best advice is to educate yourself as much as possible. If you haven't read these books I encourage you to do so; 1) The Bipolar Teen by David Miklowitz and Elizabeth George, 2) The Bipolar Child by Demitri Papolos. I also encourage you to find a counselor you find helpful - both for your son and yourself/your family. Our counselor has been an invaluable support over the years. Having Bipolar Disorder magnifies the challenges teens and young adults face. I have found it helpful to prioritize issues and concentrate on the most important. Making connections with others who face the same or similar issues is also a great help - if only to know someone else truly understands what you face. There are on-line groups also. You may wish to consult another psychiatrist regarding diagnosis and medication. We've had to switch a few times, have had some decent ones and one who was terrible. I now pay cash to stay with one that we've been with to avoid issues trying to find a good one on the insurance list. Most of all I urge you not to give up. I think your situation is complicated by your son's age - hopefully he is cooperative and receptive to treatment. Once you are confident of his diagnosis he will need to learn how to manage it himself (assuming he's stable enough). If he's not fairly stable it's hard to do much. Hang in there. I don't know if this might be of some help.
10/19/11 5:27 P
After reading the first paragraph my heart dropped and i completely sympathize with your situation as it is a tough one. However after reading the second paragraph, all the things you described sounded pretty typical of a lot of 17 year olds. I am a parent to a 5 year old so i cant quite relate to the same issues, but i imagine it is hard and i feel for you.
In my opinion, the things he is doing (or not doing) are probably more of a phase and a way for him to act out some of his feelings/emotions that he cant otherwise express. Being 17 is hard as is and he is just having to deal with that much more, so maybe cut him a little slack and take comfort in knowing he will hopefully grow out of it in the next couple years. All you can do is be there for him and make sure he is safe - outside of that he is 17 and probably still has some maturing to do. Has he ever talked to a counselor or therapist? Sometimes kids need someone to talk to and help them sort out their feelings and it's not always their parents who they want to open up to. Good luck and hang in there
Fitness Minutes: (205)
10/19/11 3:36 P
My son is 17, he has been medicated for ADHD since about 4th grade. He has recently been diagnosed bi-polar after almost jumping out a 2 story window after a fight with his brother. He is on medication, continued Foclain for ADHD, Depakote 1000mg (moved up to 1500 today) and now trazadone because he has not been sleeping. He is always in trouble at home, taking and using things that are not his and leaving the stuff out all over the place.(tools, electronics ect.) He drinks his dads soda and hides the cans even after pleas to please save them for his dads lunch. Now he is failing school senior year! I do not know what to do, meds are not working, consequences are not working, support is not working.
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THE WAY YOU THINK DETERMINES THE WAY YOU FEEL AND THE WAY YOU FEEL INFLUENCES THE WAY YOU ACT. -Rick Warren-
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