UK Newbie - Help please seeing docters tomorrow- they say nothing wrong with Nephew

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/6/2006 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi can anyone help my family - my 19 year old nephew displays all the signs of bipolar and we have been trying to get him help for the last year. He was eventually admitted to a psychiatric hospital 3 weeks ago as trying to commit sucide by falling under a train.This is only one of many sucide attempts but was taken seriously this time.
However I was away on holiday while all this was hapening and am due to see the psychiatrist tomorrow - his grandmother and mother have been the last two times - but they are so frustrated because the docter says  Carl has issues!!!! nothing wrong with him. They will be discharging him later this week.
We have given a full background which reads classic bi polar - and Carl has been following a 3-6 week cycle when he is really manic. We have numerous people from police officers,staff in local youth centre whom have all witnessed and expressed concern for Carls mental health.
I sent in a letter telling the docter how Carl thinks he is superhuman, he says he has special powers but cant tell anyone or they disappear, he is invincible etc. Carl lost his last job (only had 3 jobs since leaving school lasting the most 4 weeks)as the manager said he had mental health problems.Carl has violent outbursts when manic which have gone from distroying furniture to physically abusing his grandmother. I could go on and on with his symptons.
My question is what would you ask the docters tomorrow, should we request a second opinion.
From what I can gather Carl is still on a high and everything is fantastic, he is making his usual plans for the future, but this is his pattern when ever he is anyway new. We know that given a few more weeks they would see his pattern change.
Advice needed please

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 9/6/2006 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Debz,

Welcome to HW!

One big problem with diagnosis can be that the patient skews the truth and can make it seem like everything's alright or other people's fault. A good psychiatrist will know this and delve a bit deeper. What you could do with asking is whether or not this psychiatrist believes that *all* your son has is issues, or whether he believes that he has bipolar and issues that need dealing with as well. It's quite possible that he sees both. If he doesn't see both then *yes* you should definitely get a second opinion. It's just possible that this *is* the only problem (though from what you say this seems unlikely), but you need to be very sure. If it is "just" issues then the good thing is that this should be easier to handle and fix (bp can only ever be managed), but he'll still need therapy.

Psychiatric hospitals very often don't keep people with bipolar in long-term -- whether it's for insurance ireasons (the skeptical view) or because once a bp person has had intensive treatment for a few days and is on a drug regimen they are no longer considered a danger to themselves or to others (the usual criteria for admittal) even if they have yet to come down completely from the mania or depression. They certainly won't keep him in long enough for them to see the pattern -- but regular (at least weekly) visits to a psychiatrist will make him or her aware of this and able to treat your nephew accordingly.

Let us know how you go hun.

Rosie x

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...


Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 9/6/2006 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Debz,

Thank you for sharing your concern for your nephew’s mental wellbeing. I hate it when the young ones get into a difficult emotional place. I’ve seen so many of them in the mental wards, when I’ve been in for recovery. My heart goes out to him.

You might ask the doctor, tomorrow, how Carl’s blood test turned out? That would seem one place to start with a question, as hospitals generally check for substances that might account for the difficulties or problems that he’s been experiencing – even some of the erratic mood swings. And for people, like myself, that are predisposed to bipolar episodes it doesn’t take too much to get pulled off balance.

Also, I might encourage him to come and chat at HW when he is able.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/7/2006 3:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Thankyou for your replies.

Rosie I am going to ask the docters interpretation/defininitition of 'issues' - eg mental health or personal issues, also ask why they think my nephew does not have bipolar and  have they ruled this out completly. Surely to make any diagnosis about 85% is a patients history which in Carls case ticks every box regards bipolar. Please dont get me wrong, we dont wish there to be any major health issues but it has taken so long and many trips to casualty and local GPs to get Carl seen professionally. The only hope is that Carl is 'In the System' and should we have concerns we can refer back.

To the second reply - Carl was a heavy cannabis user two years ago and has been tested on the ward for substances which came back negative. I doubt Carl will chat here as the family relationship has broken down, Carl blames everyone else for the position he is in and has physically assaulted his Grandmother numerous times and threatened myself and my famliy as well as his mother and sister. I will see how today goes and perhaps in time he will be able to come here himself.

Thanks again



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 9/7/2006 11:51 PM (GMT -7)   
my heart goes out to you.  but you have to remember that every 19 yr old has issues.  few people don't.  but not every 19 yr old attempts suicide several times.  he needs help TODAY.  at this point is a diagnosis really more important than saving this young man's life? 
there are two possibilities with someone with a histoy of multiple suicide attempts.  either one day he will be successful or else he with get competent intervention.  i have lucky so far.  i pray that he is.
he is precious and must be able to find that preciousness within himself.  and you are an angel for caring and interviening.
best of luck.  may god smiile upon you and carl.
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