BP 15 yo daughter

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/3/2006 12:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I posted previously about my daughter and my decision to send her to live with her father overseas.
Since that decision I have not encountered the pysicaly agressive behavior. There is still a lot of verbal abuse but not the kind where she sits or follows me for several hours.
She seems more in control. She is better able to get her homework done and I am seeing more of the old her. She was with her father for almost 2 days (she saw him last month for dinner and a year ago for a weekend and 8 years before that for 2 days). He, of course saw none of this behavior.
So I wonder. Perhaps she is just a kid angry at me. Perhaps my parenting style (which I have to say is not much different that most of my friends - I DO believe in cosequences but I give fair warning and allow privledges to be earned back. Sorry to digress - point being, my kids don't live in a buttoned down, military dictatorship).
If she is truly BP, will she be able to control herself in certain situations? Or perhaps it would be more clear to say, if she really is BP would the indicators only manifest themselves with me?
Many of the triggers we have will not happen with her dad because he has the resources (wife, maids, driver) so that what she does or doesn't do doesn't impact him. He also doesn't believe in punishing kids (no kidding) If the triggers aren't there, is the disease?

How can she be so normal with him and such a terror to me. If she were truly BP, I am assuming her behavior wouldn't discriminate in the way it does.

Can anyone shed any light on this? If she were truly BP could the fact that she is so in awe of her dad, and so afraid of losing him again help her to gain control or mask her symptoms?

Sorry for the lame questions - I'm new to all this...

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 12/3/2006 4:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Forgive me for putting on my "therapist hat" here, I am studying to be one and sometimes I have an intuitive idea...

I read your other post. I am not about to say this kid has attachment disorder, but I think my feeling is that she has attachment issues. She is pushing you and pulling you at the same time and you don't know what she will do next. She might be verbal spewing abuse of the worst kind one minute and very very needy the next. I have had 3 other 15 y/o kids and I have one now. This is the worst time for kids, especially girls, this 14 to nearly 16 time frame. Usually, if you can keep from strangling them, things get a lot better quickly after 17, and improve before that.

Has anyone looked at her hormones? If it were me in your shoes, I'd try to get her birth control pills or patches. I have a friend whose daughter was acting in ways similar to yours. She finally looked at it hard and said ah! premenstrual dysphoric disorder. She got her birth control patches and Prozac (Prozac is sold under another name for PMS symptoms, same drug, two names). Within a few weeks, she was so much better my friend finally had a little peace. Her daughter was 14 hard onto 15 when they started this out. The kid is much better and continues to be so.

Her difficulties LOOK emotional, but that doesn't mean that they are. I can tell you that doctors don't always know the difference between emotional and physical. I spent years trying to take antidepressants at the insistance of my doctor. She was trying to treat low energy, depressed mood, difficult concentrating and what she termed "somatic complaints" or physical manifestations of depression. It turns out that while this looked like depression, it was actually full blown lupus, and the medications she tried were giving me serious complications. I treat my lupus, but I often have low energy and difficulty concentrating and the pain of lupus is absolutely not for sissies. Long story shorter, I suffered from lupus for years, untreated, until I developed heart and lung complications, and digestive tract difficulties with periodic and extreme weight loss. Not everything that looks like an emotional problem is an emotional problem, it could be physical. You know, none of us are very cooperative when we don't feel well and instead of help we get told we have mental problems. It is just not helpful at all.

Keep coming back and let us know what you do about all of this.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/3/2006 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your response. The pushing and pulling sounds very familiar.I'm sure she has huge issues due to not seeing her dad for 8 years - not to mention the mind games he plays.
She did have full blood work done recently - testing for mono among other things. Everything was normal but I am not sure if the things you mention require more than the standard testing. She is the type of kid who, if on birth control pills for one thing, will think she is safe to do anything. She has ALWAYS been difficult. She was different even as a baby so I'm not sure if hormones are to blame completely. I called her my child of extremes. Every stage a kid went through she was at the very far end, Dont even get me started about the terrible twos...
Stollen from another post: "bp is a physical disease caused by chemical imballances in the brain". I guess this somewhat answers my question...if she is truly BP, then she really CAN'T control her symptoms and they will EVENTUALLY appear...??
Might they appear in ways other than I am used to seeing? She rages at me, but she is afraid of driving her dad away so she won't do that at him. She is threatening to her little sister but I can't see her doing that to her step siblings. She desperately wants to be accepted by her step mom so, again I don't see my daughter verbally beating her up. And again, many of the triggers will be solved, for the time being, by money and resources.
I think I am trying to find a crystal ball here...

This is all so frustraing. If you knew the whole back story with her dad you'd understand the utter devastation I feel...

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/4/2006 4:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashya-
I'm glad to hear that the situation with your daughter has improved slightly.  As for her symptoms of bipolar disorder dissappearing and reappearing quickly, it's possible with rapid cycling BP but I think your situation doesn't quite fit that criteria.  From my experience with people I know with this condition, they typically change through an entire cycle of rage, despair and repentence, and rapid uplift again until anger.  If your daughter fit this criteria, I would expect her to feel terrible and depressed after hurting you and then doing it again.
From your postings, it seems like her "symptoms" are being primarily based off of violatility.  These "symptoms" coincide well with mania in BP disorder or just before sliding completely into depression.  However, I would expect her behavior to follow more of a circular pattern unless she's BP II.   Either way,  while I've heard of long term periods of mania, they are pretty rare because most people eventually become psychotic.  Psychotic behavior is quite noticeable and will probably require hospitalization or antipsychotic medication.
If Bipolar, your daughter will probably not have complete control over her condition.  Heck, most older people who know what's happening still have a tough time completely dealing with these things.  My point is, I wouldn't expect things in your situation to change much by giving in to your daughter's wishes if she's Bipolar. 
The problem is, even getting what you want when maniacal doesn't really seem to change the "symptoms".  Different things in your life influence BP disorder, but the condition really changes your perception of reality.  If your depressed, having something good happen is not going to make you bounce back.  If maniacal, having your family's empathy or support won't cause real short term improvement either.
If things are getting better after making this decision, then I would be reluctant to attribute her actions to BP disorder.  Your daughter does seem to have "control" over her actions at this point.  This is reiterated by the fact that she is doing better because you granted her wish.  Maybe things stem from something completely different or from other tribulations of adolescence.  Its something to considering anyway as I wouldn't expect her to be in control or to make an effectively calculated change like this if exhibiting BP symptoms.
Good Luck and I hope her improvement continues,

Amazon Rose
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 12/4/2006 1:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashya
Reading your post made shivers run down my spine. Your situation is identical to mine about 7 years ago. My son became very difficult to deal with when he was about 17. Over the next 18 months was a night mare, which culminated in the decision being made for him to go to his father overseas when he was 18. He was aggressive and moody and irrational. We all put it down to drug use and felt that getting away from the influences he was under would be a positive step. 
Fast forward to 2006. He is now 25 years old, estranged from his father and he has had some feelings of ambivalence to me for sending him away (as he sees it). I have had to apologise to him, and he has said he forgives me. Now, I would like hime to come home as I realise that he actually has a health issue and that his previous drug use was an attempt to treat distressing symptoms he was experiencing. However, he now refuses to come back, saying that he did not want to go there in the first place but as he was sent there, he now considers it his home.
I remember when he was about 18 my son told me he thought he might have schizophrenia and I asked him if he heard voices or anything and he said he didn't. So I assured him he did not have it. Bipolar was not something either he or I considered at that time. (That was before his dad was diagnosed with bipolar).
My feelings about sending him away (with the benefit of hindsight)? I regret it. I think I let him down terribly. But I also remember the desperation I felt at having a child who was increasingly aggressive, difficult to manage, intrusive, rude and bullying to his siblings, out of control at home and at school. I was worried he would end up dead or in prison with the life he was leading. At the time, I had no understanding that his was a health problem.
Ashya,  it is such a hard situation for a mother to be in. As parents we can only do what we think is right at the time. It is so tough as a single parent when you are confronted with such difficult behaviour and you have other children to consider. Especially when the other parent lives in another country.
You and your daughter are in my prayers.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/4/2006 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm jumping in here and offering my 2ยข. I have a brother who is bipolar and his twin is a 'normal'. My parents treated them the same when it came to discipline and rules and they both learned about consequences and restraint. My bi brother now admits that he used his diagnosis to act out as a teen and as an excuse to be as wild as he wished.

Normal teens can drive you up a wall so it may be that she is being a regular kid. My pediatrician told me to wait 20 minutes after any crisis with my teen daughters, and usually they would be in a totally different mood. He was right about that. Do you have any friends who have teens your daughter's age? Can you talk to her friends' moms? They may be experiencing the same things you are with their girls. Wouldn't hurt to just chat with them and keep your ideas about bipolar to yourself...
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/6/2006 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the feedback.
The diagnosis from the doctor was BP. Although, I know that they have been known to be wrong. 15 - 30 mintues every 4 - 6 weeks is not a lot to base a diagnosis on...although it was a consistent diagnosis for 14 months and the Ambiify worked wonders. But it could be that the Ambilify wouod have worked with typical teen angst I suppose.
The end result is the wheels are in motion. She is going to live with her dad who does not believe in ANY boundries for himself or his children. He thinks they should figure out consequences for themselves (but that doesn't involve limits or consequences set by him). His son gives his mother the finger and swears at her. Same to his grandmother (my ex's mother). He has no morales (several children he doesn't support, several wives at a time, shaddy business deals, etc). Rather than teaching manners and respect he buys his pre teen children an endless supply Parada and Coach and Louis Vuitton. She soaks in the UNBELIEVEABLE lies he has told about me and disregards the obvious bad treatment he mets out...But no, I'm not bitter :-)
My smart beautiful reckless and irresponsible daughter (with or without BP) will be living a completely hedonistic lifestyle with no boundries, no support and no moral compass. If she is lucky, she will end up like Paris Hilton (not a complement, merely the girls loves herself to much to self destruct). My greatest fear is I will get a phone call announcing she really did suffer the consequences of her own actions.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 12/6/2006 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to say that even if your daughter has bipolar it is possible for it to go into remission.  However, that does not mean that it is not still there.  I had undiagnosed bipolar disorder as a teenager.  I had long periods of time where I functioned just fine, and then the symptoms came back again.  I went for periods of a year to a year and a half were there were no symptoms.  However, the symptoms did come back.  Let me tell you I had some really hard crashes that were difficult to come back from.  Just be aware that even if things seem fine for a period it does not mean that she does not have bipolar disorder.
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