View Full Version : Can anyone help me help my son?

02-28-08, 12:14 PM
I have a 15 yr old son (16 in April) who was diagnosed with ADHD as a small child and recently "suggestive bipolar." He is presently on 108mg Concerta/am, 100 mg Lamictal 2/day, 300 mg Lithium 2/day, Ambien 10mg/bedtime and the doctor is suggesting we add 5 mg Abilify due to rollercoaster mood swings and physical outbursts. As his mom, i feel that i know him. I have spent so much time talking and listening to him. He doesnt claim to have any worries or problems until he has an outburst and is in trouble...then he blames everything he can think of for his behavior. We try as a family to work together to resolve the anger and mood issues but when he decides that he doesnt want to change, i feel helpless. Change is ultimately his decision. The privileges that he has lost (cell phone, game system, etc.) is the only thing he will consider in rectifying his angry behavior. He accepts no responsibility for his actions ~ it is always someone else's fault.
Regarding medications, one fact rings true: during a 6-mo period of dating a young lady, his behavior was superb! We only had to enforce discipline a couple of times over the entire 6-mo period and there were NO physical outbursts of hurting others or destroying property, so i know he can do it! He was not on the Abilify during this time. Now that they are no longer dating, because he chose to venture ~ not because she dumped him...he says he needs the medicine to behave in an acceptable manner. I am not asking him to be perfect ~ just quit yelling/screaming profanity at me and others, hitting doors, siblings, walls and othe property, trying to control the entire household, especially his 14 yr old sister and her relationship with any other male. When his psychiatrist is mentioned, he begins to calm down and says everything he thinks i want to hear. He begs not to go back to the hospital. I dont know what to do. I just want the pain and anger to stop. He has become so defiant! He tells me "no" and refuses to do as he is told and will lie to me if given the choice. He has raised his hand to me. His step-father, who he claims to adore, stepped in...thank goodness nothing happened. He has no respect for him because he wants to protect me. I want to help him. His biological father died at 37 and went out fighting the whole world ~ unfortunately i fear the same behavior is evident in my son. Any suggestions?

02-28-08, 01:19 PM
You know what the wonderful thing is about anger? Its the one emotion that I can completely own, its all mine. Nobody else can control that, I control my anger. It is the one thing about my messed up ADDHD mind that can call my own and control.

Nobody can make me angry, I choose to get angry. Nobody can make your son get angry, he chooses to become angry. Or he allowes other peoples behavior to get him angry. Physical outbursts are the biproduct of anger, and what is anger other than fear. Your right, your son can control that.

Did you know that somebody doesn't even have to be physically struck by another person to press charges of assault against them. All somebody has to do is feel physically threatened and that can be considered assault.

I say you press charges against your son for vandalism of your private property and for assault if he lifts his hand to you again. Let him know there will be consequences for his aactions.

02-28-08, 02:25 PM
You might try posting your original post on the bipolar section too. Justhope, a wonderful moderator here, as well as other wonderful things, has a son who is 16 and also bipolar, and I bet would have some wonderful words of wisdom for you.

02-28-08, 02:44 PM
I only understand the drs diagnosis of "suggestive bipolar" in a limited way. My son does not go into long periods of depression or euphoria. Without any of the medications is such a happy-go-lucky guy. If life made no demands, he could remain medicine-free. He is truly hyperactive and it results in an attention deficit. Also in this state, he has no organizational skills and school, responsibilities, etc. go by the wasteside. The Concerta helps get him to the place where he can keep his schoolwork and other responsibilities somewhat in check while affecting his personality the least of all other medications (and we have tried them all), but the when the medication drops off at the end of the day, his mood changes spiraling alongside in a negative direction. His psychiatrist continues to add medications as moods alter and behavior errupts. I want my son to have these medications if he needs them, but I am not convinced that is the case. In order to help him succeed in school, friendships, etc., i concede.

02-29-08, 02:20 AM
Hi Etchand

Happy you found your way over here.
I will be happy to help in any way I can.

I have been diagnosed with Bipolar II or Rapid Cycling Bipolar since 2006.
ADD in 1994.
I have 3 son's who have ADD, one with Bipolar II. He is 16 now, and currently incarserated.

I will say this, statement, however helpful the intent was by the poster, is not always true in the case of Bipolars.

Nobody can make me angry, I choose to get angry. Nobody can make your son get angry, he chooses to become angry. Or he allowes other peoples behavior to get him angry. Physical outbursts are the biproduct of anger, and what is anger other than fear. Your right, your son can control that.
Wish it was that easy, but not the case when you have a mood disorder. If it were possible to say no one can make you depressed, you choose to be, then I and a millinon others people would be happy to will it away. Part of the symptoms are also anger, aggitation, anxiety and other fun things, again, I will say, these are normal things we all feel in this world, for some who are NOT Bipolar, that response might be true, but for us, it is not always the case. That is why medication for Bipolar's are a must. It helps make our moods level therefore our responses to things are not explosive in nature. We can not choose by will, to stop it, or we all would have done so by now. Believe me. It simply is not the case who have a chemical imbalance that effects the moods. But thanks for the encouragement. For those of us that have tried everything possible in our own lives and the lives of our often out of control children, this can be a comment viewed as flippant, and frustrating and patronizing.. But thanks for trying to be encouraging.

So I guess the first thing to ask is why would you think that Bipolar would have to be "long" periods of depression or mania? That is for the diagnoses of Bipolar I's , not the Bipolar II's . I have periods of depression that can start in the morning and switch to hypomania by the end of the day? I can have depression for 2 days, be normal for 3 and then hit mania again for 4 ...ergo the diagnoses of the spectrum called Rapid cycling Bipolar, aka Bipolar II.
Bipolar II

That might be where you want to start researching. Edcation about your childs disorder will be one of the only ways to remain sane. At least that was the case for me. Keenan is my oldest son, I love him wiht all my heart, but he has been the most difficult child in my life since age 4.

Here is the thread just below yours is mine Loss of a child. It is the saga of what I have faced since his diagnoses last March. If you like you can glance through it and see if any of it sounds familiar.

Here are a few others to add to the saga if you would like to read them.

What you want to do is also start charting his moods I have provided the link below. It's useful to you and your doctor.
Mood Charts

Never be afraid to ask questions, stand up to your doctor, and ask for help and support. As you probably already know you are going to need it.
But remember you will need to be open minded about everything. You might not like the answers you are given or some of the things your doctor and some of the members here are going to tell you. But if he is truly Bipolar, you save the quality of his life by becoming educated and willing to let go of what you think is always right, or let go of the fear or apprehension of medicating him. If he is truly Bipolar, you by doing the above things you might actually save his life literally. I know, my son has attempted suicide several times and been hospitalized for his extreme suicidal ideations. Every threat should be taken seriously.

I am happy to provide any links you might need for further education on the bipolar. Your job now is to become educated, to become an advocate. Know that there are people who understand and are here to help. And understand sometimes that help comes in the form of us being kinda of tough and straight forward. It is not an easy battle and often gets worse before it gets better.
All I can say is I never would have made it without my family, a strong support system including ADDF, and my determination to become educated.

Let me know what I can help you find? If I am not here there are some other members who are very knowledgable , and happy to help as well.

Take care and let us know how you are doing.

Hope :)

Matt S.
02-29-08, 07:51 AM
I wanted to elaborate on the anger part of things, I get into a mixed state and the world goes 'black' on top of being just plain paranoid, which can lead violence, I tend to accuse a lot of people of things and convince myself that I am not even mentally ill. It changes your perspective and I know that people don't know or understand exactly why I get that way but I do anyhow.

Out of that state,I get really angry both when my PTSD is triggered and when I am really impatient and the world just seems to be really slow (ADHD most likely I am the H type). So I also like to differentiate that because there is being triggered and there's it coming out of nowhere.