I'm a father of a bi-polar 17 year old and this is driving me crazy. Is there anybody out there that might have some ideas on how I can cope with this before I go completely nuts?
My teenage son (Bryan) is 17yrs old, was diagnosed with manic depression when he was 12. He's been going in and out of phases every season change.
We have been to all kinds of doctors and all kinds of meds have been perscribed but now he seems to be getting worse.
In June, 2002, his manic phase peeked.....to the point where he told his boss to f-off, (then he got fired) dropped out of school, beat the crap out of some kid at his previous school so bad that he had to be hosbitalized, and became very violent at home and destructive and threatened and assulted his parents. On top of all this he was also hooked on smoking pot, (normally you don't get addicted to it but since he was stoned all the time, he became dependant on it) not just once in a while but he was always high, even smoked it in his room. He even stole things from the house to sell to get money to support his habit. He stayed up all night most nights.
I've totally lost control of him to the point where I feel like a stranger in my own house and sometimes, I'm even afraid to come home from work.
The police were called and he ended up in the hosp. for the whole month of July 2002 so he could be monitored and detoxed.
Now that he's been at home, he's totally gone the other way.
He hasn't been out of the house since Nov. 2002, no social life at all. By the time he was 12 he had 23 sports trophies for soccer, baseball and football. He loved sports, and dreamed of going to a U.S. College (We're from Canada) on a football scholarship and at the rate he was going that goal seemed reachable. But what concerns me the most:
1) all he does is sleep til 1 or 1:30, loads up on junk food (won't eat his meals) in front of the TV all day. He has no interest in things that most teenagers do like cars, driving, going to concerts, finding a P/T job for a little extra money. It's very frustrating for me, he's home 24/7.
2) with his constant eating of junk all day, the weight gain is incredible, 100 lbs in 8 months. He thinks it's funny and doesn't care about his health.
3) Lost interest in everything NO AMBITION AT ALL. He used to have friends (tons of girl friends) comming to the door constantly or phoning but now he wants nothing to do with them.
4) He has become very very very annoying and loves to get on peoples nerves (he even has admitted that to doctors and says it gives him a rush) because it's his way of getting attention.
5) Very gross and rude behaviour IE: going around smelling everybodies feet or farts, things like that.
He acts like he's 9 and seems to be regressing and not maturing.
My wife and I have enroled him in two differant schools but in both cases all he does is skip all his classes. He seems to have developed Attention Deficite Disorder (ADD) and loses interest in everything.
We've tried to enrole him in a on-the-job construction job but he lost interest.
Everybody is trying to help him but he won't help himself.
Need some help. Any ideas?
Edit to Correct Position of Posting (Not Displaying Correctly)
Moderator Edit : 2/11/2004 6:54:40 PM GMT
Posted 1/5/2004 7:52 PM (GMT -6)
Not much advice, but I'm sorry things sound so tough. I know when I was 17 I would not want to have helped myself either. Of couse you know this but it sounds like he's having a major depression and so be careful not to blame him for all of his out of character behaviors. I know if people judged me by my behavior when I was either depressed or manic I would now be very embarassed. What about another hospitalization to ensure that he is medicated -- once he starts feeling better he is bound to realize that he doesn't want to feel that bad again. It's so hard to see outside of the depression when you are in the middle of one. It feels like you will never feel better, and don't care to anyway. Sorry, this all sounds so naive and stupid. I just feel for you and your son and I will be praying for both of you.
Posted 1/9/2004 5:48 PM (GMT -6)
Thanx Holymama and Sage for reading my post and taking an interest. Since I posted my original message, I have been taking some of your advice.
1) We don't get mad at him as often or yell at him. Now there seems to be better communication. We try to be more patient with him and listen more (even if what he's saying doesn't make any sence).
2) Although he was on meds before, they have been altered somewhat and this stopped the mood swings and weight gain.
He's starting to get his old interests back.
3) He sees a therapist on a regular basis and he can open up to her and I can tell that this is making him feel a whole lot better.
4) He's off the pot smoking and feels better for it. (he now finaly realizes that being stoned all the time while on meds and having a mental problem already, it will affect you differently and that's why he became violent and over aggressive).
5) Now he seems to like to be helped.
6) He doesn't seem to be as depressed as often.
7) He's enroled in a new school and he's pulling off great marks.
Now we just have to work on his motivation and social skills.
Thanx again for your advice.
Posted 1/29/2004 9:05 AM (GMT -6)
in my experience, having soemone really LISTEN is the best cure there is - it makes you feel like you ARE important. good luck with things - im glad your boy seems to be getting back on track.
who knows what tomorrow may bring
fight your way thru the darkness-
you will find,
your own song
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