Could my son be bipolar?

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/15/2008 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I have 25 year old son that has expereinced severe mood swings since the 6th grade. I have had him to every psych and never could get a direct answer. He is now 25 lives 4 hours away. He never seems to get what I would call manic. unless his agressive angry outbursts woiuld be considered manic,, immediatley after he erupts like a volcanoe his behavior changes to suicidal thoughts because he feels no good for anyone and extremely overwhelmed. He has zero health insurance and has no way to pay for help. I am so afraid he is going to hurt himself or someone else. He will often smoke marijuana to relax and stop or slow down his racing thoughts. He was diagnosed at a really young age 5 years old with ADHD, put on ritilan and it worked until he hit puberty and nothing seem to work. He knows at times there is something wrong but then he becomes so irrational that you cannot talk to him,, Although if he has to be around someone he can also temporarily control what is tearing him apart on the inside,, just to past a moment. he is in the military and does not want to be discharged because of this. What kid of help is available for someone like this. My fear is giving me all kinds of anxiety and I am all prayed out.
A scared mother

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/15/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for joining HealingWell and the bipolar board.

It's unfortunately impossible to guess if your son is bipolar. The mood swings are a clue and his anger can be a kind of mania, but it's impossible to know whether he's bipolar without a doctor's evaluation. He really would have to see another psychiatrist for a thorough evaluation. It would surely be another story now that he's an adult. Bipolar is really difficult to diagnose in adults, but especially so in children, although it's been getting a lot more common.

I know nothing about how the military works, but I did have a student once who was not allowed into the military because of his problems with depression. So I don't know that discharge is immediate but it might be a possibility. I'm sorry I don't even know who he could talk to in the military to find out. How much longer is your son's enlistment? Was he planning on re-enlisting? Maybe it's not such a good idea because of his mental needs.

Is he out on leave? I think it might be a good idea for him to see a therapist or a counselor for a few sessions when he has the chance, a professional who can offer advice.

While you're at it, you could probably use a visit to a therapist or at least to a doctor to help calm down your anxiety. Worrying yourself to this level isn't good for you and it isn't doing him any good either.

All the best,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

living with BPD
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 12/17/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I completely agree with Serafena in that no one can really diagnose your son as bipolar. I do know this however: As a teenager, no one would diagnose me as bipolar either, though looking back, that seems to have been the central issue. I know that it is very hard to diagnose children, but ten to twenty years ago it was unheard of. My son is 9, and they seem to have realized the occurence of bipolar disorder in children now. He has been diagnosed, and experienced some of what you explained your son experienced at a young age. Also, I have been told by my son's doctor that children with bpd were quite often diagnosed with ADHD back in the day, because the symptoms fit that as well. Also, I have been told by my doctor that bpd can really set in during puberty, which is when mine became a problem.

I also know nothing of the military or it's outlook on these things, but I think the most imptortant thing is to have your son see someone - whether it be a doctor or counselor - but he needs someone to talk to. If he is bipolar, it can be dangerous. I also really agree that you might want to see someone yourself, as it tends to be just as hard on the family.

I don't know if this helps, but I truly feel for you and empathize. It is hell watching my 9 year old have to deal with this in his childhood, and though I can't imagine doing it when he was an adult, I do know how it hurts to see your child suffer.

Wishing you the best,

living with bpd

Diagnosed Bipolar I 2008
Diagnosed everything else imaginable for 12 years
Diagnosed IBS 2000
Son diagnosed Bipolar 2008
Diagnosed Bipolar I in 2008
Diagnosed IBS in 2000
Son Diagnosed Bipolar in 2008

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 12/18/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear SPED, I could pass on the contact info. of my psychiatrist to you, if you'd like. He lives in another country, he is discreet and no one needs to know that your son consulted him (it will protect his career in the military).
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