17 year old son BPII

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/4/2007 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this forum, but am in real need of support and information.  My 17 (almost 18) year old son is BPII.  He has been on 150 mg of Zoloft for about 2 months and has just in the last few days been placed on Tegratol.  He is suppose to take 200mg in the am and 200mg in the pm, but because of it's sleep inducing side effects, he has was told that he could start taking it all in the pm.
I know this drugs takes several weeks to kick in.  I was wandering if any one else out there has teenagers that are BP who could give me some support.  My son (Sam) has severe depression with suicidal thoughts.  He also has anger issues, rather than extreme happy mania. 
He is seeing a therapist and pdoc.  Until he started taking the Tegratol he was awake most of the night, but the Tegratol does make him sleep.  He will keep moving around to stay awake, but will usually go to sleep about 1am now.  That is better than 4 - 5am, which is what he was doing. 
My son's story is a long one.  I am sure most of you have long stories too!  He is my only child and is adopted.  I think there is some BP in his bilogical family history. 
His depression and anger at this time is very high, so I am hoping and praying that this medicine will work well for him and kick in soon!! 
I need to hear from someone that can offer some hope!
confused  BP Sucks!
I edited on line in your post due to Forum Rule #1
1. No discussion of any illegal activity or threats of violence. self-injury, or threatened or intended physical harm.  Discussions of suicide or self-harm that are deemed negative and therefore potentially injurious to others are also not permitted.           

Post Edited By Moderator (olivia of course) : 10/4/2007 4:58:41 PM (GMT-6)

olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/4/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   

I wanted to welcome you to the HW family and to the Bipolar Forum. I hope you find the support you are looking for here.

How long ago has your son been diagnosed, wow 17, that's about the time I started getting my BP symptoms too. But I did not diagnosed till about 2 1/2 yeas ago.
I hope the meds work soon, getting the right one can be such a pain.  Best Wishes!

There are a few people out there who have children that are teens or just a little older than that, that dohave BP kids. They should be a lot of help and support for you.

While there are a lot of BP II people on the forum, not too many teens sign up and stick around. I wanted to let you know know that your son is allowed to post here, with your permission of course.

Again please welcome! :-)

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Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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loving frustrated wife
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/4/2007 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
bpsucks, welcome. I am one of the mom's Olivia mentioned. My son is 14, and was dx at 8 due to suicidal verbiage that was alarming to us and started us on this road. He IS regulated on meds and is a wonderful and terrific kid. His does not manifest with huge highs or lows, his is a moderate BPII. I always say he is more the implode style of guy vs. the explode version. We have worked long and hard on manual self regulation, understanding feelings, being responsible about medication, etc. He sees a pdoc, therapist, has worked for many years in social skill groups, etc. We have trained him that like a diabetic, he needs to be a critical component in his wellness. That for now, mom and dad may lead the show, he is in training for the day that HE will have to lead his team and we will move into a more support position. He amazes me EVERY DAY and I couldn't be more proud. He is also ADHD. His meds are Trileptal, Zoloft, Strattera, Tenex. They are taken morning and night.

It does take time to get a handle on things, and with kids you want to work VERY closely with your pdoc and move slow and methodical with meds so you can get just the right blends and doses for HIS body. We went one drug at a time step by step until he would level, then rebalance, and then if there were more issues to address, kept building until we had the right cocktail for him. At the beginning he saw the pdoc weekly and bi/weekly (max. a month) between appointments.  Today, he still goes for VERY regular appointments (usually 1-3 month intervals). But, we have total access to the dr. between appointments for ANY REASON or QUESTION.  It took about 10 months initially to get completely balanced. It was HARD. Because as one issue was addressed, it was like an onion so when you stripped another layer of the picture back, the next symptom would suddenly be stronger because it had fewer filters containing it. Does that make sense to you?

You need to educate yourself fully about this condition and recognize that your son NEEDS you to be strong enough to create the boundries around him right now that will create a healthy structure for him to learn to manage this condition vs. the condition running the show. He needs to commit to mastering and recognizing his moods, stages, and techniques that work to override what it may feel like inside to STILL do the right things, in the right levels, in spite of how it may feel inside to him. It is NOT an easy process, but is can be done. This is a lifelong thing for him. How committed he is and how much he puts into it will determine in many ways how successful and happy his life will turn out. I do believe that, and it is what I am instilling in my son.

Do you know why he is so angry? Does he? Is it that he is mad that he has this? What is the trigger? It really helps my son to think of this as no different than being diabetic...instead of needing insulin, he need these meds. In his eyes now, that is the only difference. It will be a pleasure when the rest of the world of course can catch up on that perception! But that is another subject all together. Given that he is 17, and is taking the drugs, is he clear there can be NO drinking or recreational drugs "experimenting" to mix in...IT IS CRITICAL he gets this. Otherwise he will never have a HOPE of staying level and in control of this condition. It is treatable, but all parties involved must be vigilant.

I hope this helps you to know that your son has a bright future if he puts in the work on being the master of all this, and not the servant to it. THAT choice is his (although with him still young, you have the benefit of still being somewhat in control here...my suggestion...BE IN CONTROL HERE AS LONG AS YOU CAN TO GIVE HIM A HEAD START AT MASTERING IT.) Also, support groups and coming here to HW are great helps. In our house we take a very open and straight up honest approach about talking about stuff and analyzing what is working and not. We don't hide from it with our son.

Lastly, you said he is taking the meds at night and not going to sleep until 1am. What time is he taking them? We had to move ours up and now my son takes them between 8 & 9, so he can fall asleep by 10. Figure out how many hours it takes them to kick in for him and then move them up to accommodate going to sleep by a reasonable hour. Good luck to you and your family. BREATHE...it takes time, but there is a bright future here with a lot of hard work and PATIENCE! LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 10/4/2007 8:30:57 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/4/2007 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome to the forum. I hope we can offer you some support and the hope you need.

Certainly you have a "room" full of people with bp, spouses of bp sufferers, and a few parents here. We mostly manage and live full lives. There's plenty of hope to be had. We struggle, but we do okay. Most of us lead pretty "normal" lives.

You're right. Most of us do have those long stories you mentioned. But a young man with a committed, affectionate, stable mother is already doing lots better than many others in his position might be. You're his anchor. This disorder is SO much easier to manage when you know you have someone on your side, looking out for you. It will take a couple of weeks for everything to begin to fall into place, but you should begin to see some of the edge come off soon. In the mean time, are there ways for him to release some of that negative energy without hurting anyone? Does he play sports? Video games? Etc?
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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/5/2007 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the information. It helps.

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