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Well, i was able to get him an appt. today.. hes there now..its amazing how we can move mountains for our kids..Remember he is 20 yrs old..not a minor..i did call the doc and speak to him a little about my son and his behaviour..just gave him a quick background. i did telll him i would like to go with him today, but the doc disagread andtold me he'd rather see him alone for an hour today to gain some trust!

He also assured methat if HE feels like he needs to see me or my husband, he will let us know...this can go either way today, my son could hate him or love him.
ts, hes on seroquel and effexor..thats it. Christmas was ok, but its like we are always skating around him as to not set him off..you know what i mean?
i do think he needs additional meds..but im not a doctor as he tells me all the time...we shall see...thanks everybody!
Thanks, Tsohl....yes I had come across Gav's posts before and alot of what she writes about seems so familiar so I think that her perspective of things may very well help me out. I know with your son, you didn't have the butting of heads going on....or perhaps as many therapists have shared with us, the friction seems to be with the opposite sex parent. How is/was your son's relationship with his dad??? Was it more strained??

Anyway, it is so frustrating because as you well pointed out, Kait does not respond to punishments or ultimatums very well, as a matter of fact she has told us that punishing her or taking priveleges away only makes things worse. The therapist tells us that she has held hubby and I with emotional blackmail and it is time for that to stop and have her take responsibility for her actions. As difficult as it was to call the police, we did because we want her to know that there will be consequences to her actions and we are nom longer afraid to take them. We are doing our part as parents and it is time for her to do her part as a young adult. Hubby and I are tired of always doing our part and her not doing hers. We are seriously thinking about evicting her if this continues.

Kait is getting the grades, they are lower than we or she expected...her first trimester she got a 2.61...she needs a 2.75 in order to receive her academic scholarship. I think that her objective is to party and she clearly has chosen friends who like to do the same. Yesterday she tried to make herself look better (as she often does) by telling me that her Bipolar roommate has been arrested for drinking and that her other suitemate was and the roommate were the ones brought up before the college board of conduct for possession of alcohol....she wasn't charged or given any penalties because it wasn't her alcohol BUT she was with them. They are on probation and had to go through alcohol counseling and pay a fine whereas Kait didn't. On top of this, one of the girls Kait told me Thanksgiving time, is a recovering alcoholic and her Bipolar roommate has a history of having been in a rehab for addiction and abuse of Adderall. Kait is no longer rooming with the Bipolar girl but is with the recovering alcoholic. It's not a pretty picture is it????

Unlike Gav, Kait is not seeing that she isn't ready for college....she believes academically she deserves to be there and I don't disagree. She is bright, however, her personal life choices may affect her entire future and the way I see it we cannot force her to WANT to come back home and work and go to a community college...in fact I see that as making matters worse in the sense that Kait will further rebel....she will find trouble here and ways to drink if she wants to. The thing is, at this point she doesn't see that she has a problem....in fact she has said that as far as she is concerned that this is normal because if it weren't then why are there so many people at her college and at home doing the same exact thing and some worse off than her. She told the police officer that she didn't think that there was a problem when he picked up the picture of her passed out in a bathtub. He told her that he disagreed, that she did have a problem and if she didn't start taking care of it she would either be dead or in jail. How much more could be said....Kait told us that we had the problem of being to involved or concerned about her life. So what do we do with that???

I have to get on the phone with the college and see what our options may be.....I am going to share my concerns with them and see if she would be accepted back if she took a year or two off and did some of her electives here and resumed when she was better able to control her drinking. The downside thing is that this college has her taking many of her core requirements in the first two years....,they do things flip side in terms of earning a degree so many of Kait's credits are non-transferable....she has taken Food Safety and Food and Sanitation as well as Front Dest Operations all of which are part of her major. So there is alot to look into.....I know that her well being comes first, however, if Kait doesn't see that then chances are she will continue down this road and there is very little we can do to change it. When she went to live with my brother the same things happened....she went and found the people who liked to party and she was suspended for drinking....she remained an honor student, but she still found trouble and gravitated towards the kids who liked to party. Chances are that she will do the same if we were to keep her home.

Things are rather quiet around here....Kait was up until 2 or 3am as usual and when she has nothing to do that is when she gets nasty....we are in the calm before the storm because we told her that her use of the car is done and that seeing her friends is over for the time being as well until we figure this all out.

We are going to dinner to our neighbors and embaressingly had to tell them that we had to bring out two teenage girls. This has been the 4th invite and we just couldn't decline again.

I will keep you posted...Jules I am so sorry that this is coming between you and your hubby. My advice would be to really try to give your energies to trying to salvage your marriage....all this CAN destroy any happiness you or I may have but it is our job to make certain that it doesn't. Take time for your relationship with your husband....that is so important because when all is said and done it was the two of you that started as the foundation and the two of you that must make sure that it doesn't crumble. I know that sometimes it feels as if we are in this alone but our hubbys are hurting and feeling it just as much, only they are not so good at showing it. Eventually your son will get on his own two feet and he will be walking into the sunset....sad if you and your hubby are left behind not able to watch it together.

Just my two cents worth but I know how much this all can suck out of you.....we have to ride the waves and when we are in the peak take advantage of that moment and look up to the sky and see the beauty that is still there in our lives. That is key to getting through the next trough....and as far as I am concerned, I want my hubby with me riding the waves through the sea of life. I am sure that you do to.;)

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
Goody, I totally agree with your method of parenting. I believe that there is nothing more awful than handing your children everything they want materially when they want it, rewarding them for absolutely nothing. It does not build character, it teaches them nothing about life whatsoever. I think it actually does more damage than anything. Most of those children grow up into corrupt and unethical adults without any sense of community, work ethic, or anything to offer the world in my opinion. It's one thing to spoil with love (which was what I meant in my letter about Kait), and another to spoil for other reasons, like to just give your kids what they want so you don't have to deal with them, which is what a lot of parents do, unfortunately. I completely agree with the way you're raising your kids. If I didn't, I wouldn't say anything at all.

She very well could be dealing with some behavioral and'or psychiatric issues herself, such as depression or bipolar. Sometimes it doesn't creep up until you're an adult, and there appears to be some sort of genetic predisposition to develop these disorders from what I've read. And then sometimes, it just happens to others without any connection to the family at all. I believe that my mom may suffer from bipolar disorder, but remains undiagnosed. However, she's suffered from panic attacks and depression for as long as I can remember. She is also the only other artist in the family, like me. These sorts of things are VERY hush, hush in our family. Therefore, I don't know the full story of any mental problems in my family. But I think my uncle suffers from depression, I've heard that my great aunt used to be an alcoholic (and I was SHOCKED to hear that, as you never would have guessed), and we just found out recently that my great-grandmother also suffered from panic attacks. It's all on my mom's side, and I am like the spitting image of my mother, I am like her clone. We look alike, have the same personality, and we even work in the same profession, leaving behind the art and focusing on math in our careers. I even think my brother has had some issues in college, but has since moved past them.

Who knows, but it wouldn't be unheard of for both of your daughters to have some sort of mental issues. It is very common, and I hope the stigma will one day subside because it is really nothing to be ashamed of, and absolutely nothing to be ignored, as you know. Do you know if mental illness run on your or your husband's side of the family? Were either of your children premature - I've read that premature children are more prone to mental disturbances later on in life than full term babies because their brains may have not been fully developed, or they are at greater risk of injury, which may only show as emotional problems. I wonder if your daughter has some hormonal issues? I think that hormones greatly contributed to my behavioral problems after puberty. I still have severe PMS and I am like a different person. I have programmed myself not to react or make decisions during that time, because they are always bad, and would contribute to my level of depression if I acted upon my feelings during that time. It's so complicated, it could be any number of things.

It seems like she's very open with you, even when you're together. You sound so sweet and caring. Sometimes it's easier for kids to confront parents who they know will not abandon them. When a kid has a very tenuous relationship with their parents, like I did, they are too afraid to say anything that might fracture it since it is already so fragile. It's still like that between me and my family, and if they hurt my feelings, I never say a word. But when I was younger, I would just run away and not deal with them at all. I simply could not deal with the rejection. But it doesn't seem like Kait feels that way at all. It appears that she feels quite comfortable saying whatever she's feeling, no matter how mean, and knows that you will not abandon her. As much as it makes your life a living hell, I do think on deeper levels that is a good sign.

As far as not paying for college unless she maintains a certain grade point average, I totally agree with your decision making. It never seems fair, but I was raised in the same type of environment, and so was my mom, and so was her mom and dad. My grandparents were very rich, lived in a huge mansion with limos and airplanes, and my mom's first car had a hole in the floor of it. LOL My mom still tells that story. But I can also say that all the children raised that way went on to be very, very responsible adults, if not responsible parents. My mom works for NASA, both my uncles speak several languages and have several advanced degrees, and my aunt heads the speech and audiology department at a prestigious hospital. Their parents never gave them a dime until they were accomplished adults. They, of course, hated it, we all did, but I am grateful for it now. It builds character and decision making skills, it teaches you not to take life for granted, and you and your husband are doing a wonderful job instilling that in your kids, as much as they hate you for it now.

As much trouble as Kait is giving you, she seems like a bright and independent girl who is not afraid of standing up for herself, and that is good considering her lifestyle at the moment. If she is surrounding herself with friends who she feels powerful over, she is their leader, they respect her, and she will be able to stand up to them when she needs to, to stand up for herself. I was wondering if you've ever seen that show on A&E called "Intervention." It is very disturbing. It's about drug addicts and how their families intervene to get them help, to offer ultimatums. It is very graphic and upsetting, but it is a real eye opener on how drugs and alcohol, or addictions in general, can ruin a person's life. It's pretty disgusting. I've always told myself that when my daughter's old enough, I want her to watch it with me. It's enough to scare anybody straight.

I don't know if your daughter is at a point where she would watch such as show without feeling intruded upon. She would probably end up laughing it off. But it is one way, if you can get her to watch it, to get through to her. Maybe if she laughs it off in front of you, she might watch the show on her own one day. If you want something to sink in about addictions and how it could ruin someone's life, this would be the show to watch. It's enough to make you sick! And scared!
Dear dear, Jules,

I can hear the pain in your voice, but I see on the other thread that your son is finally recognizing that he doesn't want to feel this way. None of them do. It's hard for us as parents to be as empathetic as we'd like when they are so out of control, but we have to keep remembering who our children are at their core and work to restore that for them.

Zac is currently on 200 mg. of Lamictal, 15 mg. of Abilify, 100 mg. of Seroquel for sleep and Seroquel as needed for anxiety. He is not currently on an anti-depressant because his main problems seem to be irritability and manic issues, not depression right now. He was on Celexa for a short time, but it seemed to make things worse. I know your son said he doesn't want to try Lamictal, but he should keep an open mind. Zac tried Lithium and Trileptal and neither were as good as the Lamictal. For Zac to say he feels like the meds are finally working is a godsend to me! I think the hardest thing for them is to take the meds and not feel better. Then they think nothing wil ever work, so why bother?

We've gone through some awful times here, Jules, so I know how wearing it can be. We've had the police here twice and once, in a fit of anger, my son took a mosaic garden stone he made for my husband when he was younger and started bashing it into the side of my husband's car. He has also been incredibly verbally abusive to me, saying things that are hard to forget.

BUT, I know it's not him, it's the disorder unregulated. His natural personality, while intense, is joyful, compassionate, and caring and that is the person I want him to be. Keep your hopes up, Jules. Eventually you'll get to a better place and, in the meantime, just keep reassuring your son that you will not give up on him and together you WILL find the right answers for him.

How is your husband holding up? On one of the threads, I responded to the stress you two were having, but I don't remember which thread it was and not sure if you ever saw it. This is so hard on everyone!

Goody, I am so sorry I haven't been more help with Kait. Because Zac is younger, I don't have any experience with someone her age and I'm baffled as to what to tell you. It sounds, like always, that you are being a wonderful mother and that she knows that, in her heart of hearts. I hope that Erin has the same good success with the increased dose of Lamictal that Zac is having.

Today Zac is at a tournament with the high school and he sounds good! It is so exciting to hear his voice and know that he is handling the stress, but participating and feeling like a teenager again. I pray it continues.

Pippin - I know you posted a few times, but we seem to have lost you again! Please write when you can.

Tsohl, as always, I am grateful for your wisdom and your insight.

Gav, welcome to this thread! You've been such a ray of light!

Hang in there everybody! Love to all!

Hope
Hi All,

Jules - in answer to your question - Yes, I look at Zac many times and ask myself the same thing you do. This is so much harder than I anticipated it would be.

Today I need all of your perspectives becasue I am truly beginning to feel there is no hope and I can't live like that. The person Zac is when he is out of control is so foreign to me that I grasp on to any glimmer of his old self that I can find. I know it impacts my parenting because I don't want to say or do anything that might ruffle him and cause his outbursts.

Last night my husband decided to bring up some issues. As I said in yesterday's post, we have been living in Neverneverland where there is absolutely no pressure. We are concerned that Zac is up all night, sleeping all day, and although on home instruction, shows no interest is school. One of the issues we've had with Zac is that when he is up at night, he is on the computer talking to other night-owl friends, and we have said very clearly that is not acceptable, especially during the week. For awhile we were able to have him give us his laptop at 12 AM, but he has slipped. When my husband brought up that, now that the holidays are over and he should back in a school routine so the computer has to been handed over at 12 AM, Zac went ballistic! He would not even discuss it!

What ensued was lots of verbal abuse and Zac ended up kicking a hole in my living room wall. My husband has had it! He is ready to call a Tough Love place and have Zac taken away in the middle of the night. I am worn out. I feel like I have spent so much time and energy trying to help Zac get his life, any life, back and he is not really working with us.

Am I wrong to think he should have some semblance of a school day? Should we just give in, forget this year, and let him do whatever he wants, with absolutely no stress, as long as he stays out of trouble? But, that's a problem, too, because he gets in trouble when he's bored. He confessed last night that the night his heart was racing, he had relapsed. Why? Because he was bored. Here I was telling everyone that I really didn't think it was drug-related and it was!

One of my other concerns is that he appears to be giving up. He says he doesn't care anymore about anything, that this has gone on too long, that he doesn't care what happens to him anymore. I told him that I fear he is going to die young and he says he probably will.

Is it meds at this point or just behavioral or what? We have an appointment today with a therapist who is experienced at dual diagnosis and runs a local rehab group. I am hoping to get some insight from him.

Once again, things are a mess. Zac and my husband are in an awful place, my husband wants to send him away, Zac doesn't care if he lives or dies, and I am feeliing hopeless. I HATE THIS!

Any thoughts?

Love,

Hope

PS Goody, in my own misery, I didn't want to lose sight of how happy I am for you and Erin. She sounds like she is doing well and you both deserve it! Congrats on the vocal selection!
((((((HUGS))))))) from NY all the way to NJ!!!!:angel:

Hope, we have all been in your shoes at one point where we didn't hold out much hope for things getting better. The decisions that lay before you will be difficult ones but the first thing that comes to mind when I am reading about Zacs giving up is that he has lost hope in getting better because he doesn't have the right meds in place. And so long as he doesn't then things will not get better.

Now what I am about to say may scare you but I feel I need to because another thing that concerns me is Zacs use of drugs. Erin has been there too and the night that I got the call from her volleyball team friends that she was high, that night she said and acted much like Zac. She said that she didn't care about anything, that all that she wanted to be was be numb and to forget about everything. That she didn't think that she was going to live very long anyway....the things she was saying were quite disturbing. She was angry and upset and then told us that she wanted to kill herself. That was when we ended up back at the hospital. I think that when our kids use the drugs while we are trying to find the right ones it only makes things worse. Are you sure that Zac isn't using anything?? You say that he is up at 2am, could he be drinking or getting into something else in the household?? I only bring this up because of what I saw in Erin after she had smoked weed and what you describe sounds very similar to the behavior Erin demonstrated after smoking weed. I think that this may be something you may wish to look further into.

Hope...when I was in your shoes and found myself feeling extremely helpless my husband and I had to make the most didfficult decision and that was to have Erin hospitalized in a long term facility where she would be observed more closely and be in a structured environment. It was the hardest thing and yet the best thing that we could have done for her at the time.

I think that at the very least, Zac needs to be in a therapeutic setting where he will be closely monitored and be in a structured environment where he will have to meet up to basic responsibilities whether they be taking care of his own physical and emotional needs as well as be in an academic setting where he will have responsibilities there as well. It won't be forever but something that he just may need at this time. If you could get him into a day program that's great but I wouldn't even rule out a program in which he is admitted for a period of time. You will still be very much involved and it will be a sacrifice which will be a stepping stone to his getting better. If Zac is up at 2am and cannot be monitored and things are not getting better or be managed in the home it is time to go onto the next plan even if it is something we never thought we could do. Having Erin in the psychiatric hospital for 10 weeks was not easy. But all three of us to this day say that is what finally got her on the road to recovery. As much as she fought it and begged us to take her home we had an agreement that we would only take her home when the doctors, us and her all felt she was ready to come home. And we stuck it out.

In answer to your questions....even when in crisis somebody who is Bipolar cannot just be expected to not function and llive up to responsibilities. Sure some accommodations should be put in place but still the best thing that can be done is to have him/her do what they can do in terms of everyday respinsibilities. That is why a therapeutic setting may be good for Zac....he will be required to do certain things and if he doesn't he will not earn enough points to do others that he wants to do. If Zac has the time to spend on the computer he certainly has time to do some schoolwork. He just wants things to be his way which is big when our kids are unstable and will go to almost any means of getting it even if it means kicking in the wall.

He is unstable, Hope, and until the proper meds are in place he will continue to be this way. You and your husband must come to some compromise for the sake of Zac's overall success. This all takes it's toll on the strongest of marriages....ou mustn't allow this to come between you and your husband...you are on the same team and want Zac to get better. Now you need to figure out together how you are going to go about doing that.

We are here for you Hope....it will get better even though right now you feel that it won't. There are many of us here that have been where you are and can tell you that because things are better. So don't give up hope.....hope is what you need to get through these tough moments and Zac needs to hear from you his parents that you do have hope that he will get better. And if you ever need a replenishment of hope you know where to come....right???;)

(((((HUGS)))))) because to day you need them ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
Oh Hope, im so sorry you are going thru this because i know how it feels. last week we took the car keys away from my son and he broke the window in my living room..he was so self-absorbed trying to get what he wanted,he didnt care what he was breaking. About the drugs, i have seen my son look like hes on drugs when hes in a bad way..done a drug test and its been negative. sometimes they look and act so wild,it truley looks like a drug addict.Do you drug test him? I do believe he needs some kind of academic setting..just have no solutions..my son is in his 3rd year of college. Probably not going back this coming semester. I cant help but wonder if half this stuff is made worse before they are so spoiled..im sure that crossed your mind too.

it is so difficult,my son is on abilify,lithobid and klonopin for anxiety...he said the klonopins definitly help..i see him getting worse when he is bored too. my husband just prays, i am consumed with this,and i know i shoudnt be..i need time to adjust to the whole situation.
Hi Goody~ I think you will be able to tell how much partying Kait is doing by her grades. You have that first marking period to go by, so you can kind of assess now what the competition is like, and you know that she is capable of getting similar kinds of grades that she got in high school, right? It is a good sign that she is going to the library, and that one of her suitemates feels the need to do so too. The fact that she is studying to retake the exam is a good sign, showing that she is taking it seriously, rather than just blowing it off. She may have taken to heart more than you know the conversations you and your husband had with her over vacation...and she may sense that you are serious about all of it. If I were you I wouldn't ask about whether she's drinking or partying...I wouldn't mention it. She knows how you feel about it and she'll just rebel if she feels like she's being treated like a baby. I would just talk about her studies and somewhat about her other activities...trying to just show an interest in the main reasons why she's at college and minimizing your interest in the social elements. I think with Kait you are better off, at least for this semester, to let her "be" and hope for the best. If she is drinking every night to the point of passing out, her school work will reflect that. I sincerely doubt that is happening.

Regarding my son, you don't quite have it right....but it's not that important. I had no idea he was self-medicating in high school and I thought he had outgrown the concerns I had when he was in about 8-10th grade. But regardless, his behavior was never out-of-the-norm. He was always respectful, and never behaved in any way that would call attention to himself. His sister was shocked when we told her about the hospitalization. She too had absolutely no idea what was going on with him....so while he was bi-polar and self-medicating, he still functioned at a level that was higher than most. I think what I might have said was that we had absolutely no idea that he had a gun, and that happened right before he signed himself into the psych. hospital...but, as I said, it really isn't important.

I am so sorry to hear about your brother. His situation really sounds dire and that he is in need of a miracle. We will pray for that. Hugs, to you. Tsohl
Dear All,

Goody and Jules - I'm so happy to hear that things are on an upswing in your homes. We all know that it is a day to day process, but we gain hope from the good days. Congrats!

Cristina, welcome to this thread! I've read your postings and it sounds like, although you have been through alot, you are in a good place with your daugther and have some great support from your docs. That is wonderful!

Tsohl, as always, you have such great insight. In aswer to your long-ago question, the Child Study team I am working with consists of the school psychologist, social worker, and guidance counselor. The social worker, who I loved when I first met her, is now my least favorite and it is she who is always bringing up the other bipolar children. I am going to check into that Family to Family group. Thanks for the recommendation!

This has been a tough week in our home for alot of reasons and I find myself so worn out. One of the things I think I find the hardest is that I can still see my son under all of the challenges and I feel like others, my husband included at times, can only see the acting out behavior. For example, one of the reasons I get so frustrated when I hear about the other bipolar teenagers who are "better" is because I know what my son is dealing with: not only the bipolar diagnosis, but PTSD, and now ADHD. I see the substance abuse history, but I also see the severe self-injury and the other destructive behaviors and I see a person in pain who has used self-medication as a means to cope. There are no magic answers and this is a process. The meds are helping, but it's not going to be an overnight success story and I feel like there is always an undercurrent of judgement of where he "should be".

But, just when things seem overwhelming, I am reminded why I continue to fight for this child. Goody speaks of angels and I believe mine are watching out for me. On the day of the meeting with the school, I felt like I had hit the wall. I really felt like I could not deal with one more discussion, one more problem, one more crisis. I was completely desolate. But, late that night, after a dfficult week, I was begging Zac to try to get some sleep. I told him things always seem worse when you are sleep-deprived and after a good night's sleep, he would be able to think straight again. He looked at me and said, "Mom, sometimes I really don't know if I'll ever be able to think straight again." I could see the pain in his eyes and it broke my heart. As hard as this is on me, what must it be like for him? I often talk about Zac's life when he was young and how easy things were for him. I remember his third grade teacher telling my husband and me that whatever we were doing, we should bottle it, because Zac was such an exceptional child in so many ways. I loved that life, being his Mom, hearing from so many people how unusual and gifted and compassionate he was. But what I forget is that HE was that child and he got all of the same accolades, got all of the positive reinforcement that comes along with the great reputatation, developed his sense of self from that. He was always confident and had wonderful self-esteem. Who is he now to himself? If I feel judged by others, how does he feel? It really is breaking my heart when I think about it, but it gives me new resolve to help him find his way.

The other thing that happened was that I was reminded, again, how much he is stll grieving. Lately, I've noticed a pink and silver crystal necklace around the house, wherever he is. I finally asked him about it and he told me it was my mother's. Although I don't remember her wearing it much, he said it remnded him of her because it was beautiful and sparkled whenever he looked at it. He said he carries it with him everywhere, even when he leaves the house.

And so, my heart is both heavy and hopeful. I know there is alot ahead of us, but I have promised him again that we will find the answers, that I will never give up on him and I will never allow him to give up on himself, that I vigorously reject the concept that he will die young (something he often says) and that I will do everything humanly possible for him so that he can have a long and happy life, and that we are a team. We have even come up with a physcial sign of this pact!

I've gone on long enough. I hope all of you are well and that good things continue to happen in your home!

Love,

Hope
HI Everybody!:wave:
Can you believe it? I'm back a second time in one weekend! I'm trying to take care of myself a little more than I had been. Doing this has helped but I've found I still need my support group here. I'm am so sorry if I worried anyone but it really is nice to know there are people who care. I get so consumed with making sure people are caring for Erika that ....you know the rest.
We are happy with Erika's placement although it's only been 3 days of school so far and she is stressing big time over having to go tomorrow if they don't call of for snow. I know this placement I was able to get for her is a good thing but she really is worrying me. She has been saying everyone there hates her and talks about her. She says even the people in the halls are talking about her. In this classroom she is not allowed to stand in the hallways. I have a friend who is a teacher in the next room and he stops in to visit her and kid around with her. He's an ED teacher so he's familiar with the attitudes and moods of these kinds of kids. She has exhausted us this weekend with nonstop negative talk, irritability, and fairly ***arre talk. I say fairly because she has definitely said more ***arre things but it's all within the out-of-touch realm. To be honest I am getting so scared. I was hoping this stuff wasn't going to come back and that we were on the road to recovery but it seems we're not. I am so scared I won't be able to get her to the point she can live independently by the time she's of age. It's like the clock is ticking and we keep losing ground the longer it takes to get her stabilized. While she is capable of 9th grade work she doesn't seem to be handling the learning part well. She can't concentrate at all and does not seem to be able to retain anything. I hope somebody has some words of experience in this area. Again, I have worked with the children of others but I know how hard I am working on things and how little most of them did and am starting to panic a little. I mean, I really do work so hard. I don't say that to toot or impress but I guess I feel if I work harder than others(not you ladies but most of the parents I have had to deal with) and have the knowledge and resources I have there should be a direct positive relationship with Erika's progress. I feel like the only thing I been able to do that is different is keep her here with me. We're maintaining enough for that and that's it. I know-baby steps. I keep trying to remember that and I do always remember the goods things that have happened. I just need some perspective I guess.
By the way-Erika just "flew" through the kitchen family-room area and announced she has decided to become a lesbian-is that okay with me. Without missing a beat I said (as I typed here) "well sure, that's your preference." In my mind I'm thinking "that's the least of my worries at the moment". I did ask her why and she said because they (guys) all lie and think they can just boss women around. Of course I told her not all are like that-her step-father, her grandfather, her uncle, etc. etc.
On a lighter note-some of you might be familiar with my house in that from the front it looks very traditional (2-story brick with typical black shutters and accents, etc. and when you walk in the door it looks traditional. The back, however, is all open with the kitchen, the familyroom with cathedral ceiling and sunroom. The back is where we live and I sometimes say we should have just left the formal livingroom and diningroom off and saved that money but anyhoo, I digress. The part we live in is all about the water and the beach. Bamboo, stone fireplace, windows, windows, windows, and the sounds of water. I have recently made my breakfast bar into somewhat of an island bar. We occaisonally have martini's (not the dry ones) so I thought why not make it even more like a getaway. I am probably not making much sense but this has been my diversion lately. We picked up a natural colored wicker curtain from IKEA yesterday and hung it between the kitchen table and one of the chairs in the sunroom as a sort of sheer room divider that adds a little more of an island oasis. I love it! I did some other decorating things but I won't bore you girls with any more of this.
Once again, thank God for this great group of people.
Oh, I don't know if I mentioned this but part of Erika's IEP is filling in her mood chart during the school day. I also keep a chart from my perspective. Found them online.
Goody! I actually felt like I was there with you after reading your post about trying to steal a little time away for you and your hubby. All the things Erin called you about are things my husband and I have heard before. We do leave Erika along for 2-3 hours at a time with the alarm on. She's afraid to go out by herself so that isn't much of a worry but keeping others out is the reason for the alarm.
I'd better close. Goody take care of that diverticulitis. My exfather-in-law has that and I know he had to watch his diet. I had no idea you had to have part of your colon removed. God bless you. You really have been through a lot.
Nite All! Pippin:) :angel:
And you know what, Hope? Your son it seems to me, is in a tougher situation than mine was. Mine was depressed the first two years of high school and was self-medicating, totally unbeknownst (is that a word:confused: ) to us, or his sister. He was also cutting which we also didn't know. Then his junior and senior year he must have been manic. I just thought he was making up for his first two years. He had a new group of friends who were all very high achievers, at the very top of their class in a private prep school, and I thought it was their influence that was causing him to work so hard, stay up so late, etc. He was your typical over-achiever in high school --played AAA hockey which involved travel all over the the Eastern half of the country and parts of Ontario, was editor of the school newspaper, on the Federal Reserve Challenge cup, and some other stuff. His hard work paid off. He got into a top college where he continued to do well, continued to self-medicate until junior year when he decided to go into the campus health psych. dept. and be evaluated. That's when he started lithium, and continued to self-medicate. We still knew nothing about any of this. We were so proud that he was doing so well, so proud of all his accomplishments, etc. When he was with us I guess he was able to cover well enough that we never noticed anything out of the ordinary. He was able to handle all of this until after graduation. The change from always having been in school his whole life and having the ability to make his own schedule and pretty much control his own life to working full time was just too much to handle. He started using lots of other drugs besides pot and pretty much made himself psychotic for a short period of time...and then sought help and you know the rest.

It was a huge shock to go from believing we had a son who had always excelled at everything he attempted, who had graduated from a prestigious college with academic honors and had a great first job and who's future was unlimited and bright to BAM -- blowing up in our faces, seemingly without warning. When we wrote out that last tuition check senior year, we thought we were finished supporting him....:blob_fire

I think the difference might be that our son suffered mainly from depression. I don't believe he had much of the mania -- at least not the mania that manifests itself in anger, agitation and irritability. We never had the emotional outburts that grew into huge arguments; we never had any property damage. His mania was more like talking fast, ideas spilling out almost faster than he could talk, wonderful, imaginative ideas for new inventions, staying up all night, etc. We had no idea how deep the depression was either. We just thought he was your typical moody teen!!

I think your son's condition is causing him far more agony. My son's stressors were fairly common. Your son has had to deal with the loss of loved ones, plus whatever else was going on in his head. But the good news is that you caught his drug use early before it had a chance to do much damage, and he's young enough that his personality isn't fully formed. With therapy he will learn better how to handle his hurts and stresses and with medication, he will be restored so that he can go on to achieve his full potential.

I guess I felt compelled to write all this because of your comment about your husband. I think it is really tough for men to understand the whole concept of bipolar disorder. And it doesn't help that it is called a mood disorder. Men automatically assume that if it is a mood, you can just work harder or try harder and the mood can be changed. No one has to feel a particular way. If you suck it up, you can overcome it...don't you think that's how most men feel?:confused: But now with all the great photos from brain imagining, we can show what the effects on the brain look like and can actually see the physical changes.

So that's all from my end. I think I'll have a chance to talk to my son. He's coming out in a little while. I'll let you know what he has to say later this evening.

Take care, Hope.
Hang in there.
Tsohl
Hi All,

Well, Hopeville and Julesworld seem to be the same place. Jules, I know exactly how you feel and I wish I could come and have a cup of coffee with you and commiserate.

Zac, too, was doing really well. So well, in fact, that I really felt THIS time we had turned the corner. It wasn't just the better behavior, but re-engaging with his life, thinking about the future, worrying about taking AP exams, talking about college, starting his music lessons again, reaching out to friends and teachers. It was heaven and the most encouraged I have been for months and months.

For me, too, it was wonderful to operate like a regular person again, rather than moving from crisis to crisis. It has been so hard to concentrate on work and I actually had a few weeks of being able to work everyday without constant calls to therapists, to school, to teachers, to pdocs, to educational consultants - the list goes on and on.

Sunday we had a wonderful day here. Played some games, had dinner as a family, the whole bit. On Monday he said he wanted to go to the library to do work and that he would be there for a few hours. Right away a red flag went up and my husband and I sensed that something was amiss. My husband dropped him off and circled the library a few times. Zac called me and told me to "tell Dad to stop treating me like a baby" and that he saw my husband circling the library. Sure enough, when he no longer saw my husband, he got into a car with friends and drove off. My husband saw him and started to follow the car. He eventually lost him and came home. Zac called, furious, and didn't want to come home because he was sure my husband would be angry. I assured him that my husband was annoyed, but would not scream at him, and he should come home. Phone calls back and forth and by the time Zac came home, he was gone 4 hours. So, in his warped way of thinking, he decided to go on the offensive and started screaming at my husband. That did not go well and Zac stormed out of the house, then started kicking the front door, threw a garbage can at my husband's car, etc. When he came back in, my husband tried to restrain him, which made it even worse! Another hole in my living room wall from things being thrown around and everyone miserable!

The next day I tried to explain to Zac that my husband was trying to protect him - that Zac has put himself in unsafe situations before and that my husband did not know (1) who was in the car and (2) why Zac chose to lie to us about the library. Zac does not want to listen to reason. He'd rather make this about how awful my husband is.

Needless to say, the tension in the house is palpable. Zac has calmed down quicker than usual, but both he and my husband are keeping their distance from each other. Zac and I talked about this with the atdoc and he is going to have a session with my husband to give him some suggestions. He says this behavior is common - to deflect the attention for the bad behavior by making it about someone else - and he has some input he can give my husband. I'm happy about that because we are just repeating the same cycles here and, each time, the hurt and pain goes deeper.

In the meantime, the good news (if there is any!) is that Zac tested negative in his latest drug tests and things are going well with the IEP. I am just so amazed at how quickly he can turn and how abusive and aggressive he can get. It really is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and because Zac presents an easy, affable personality to the rest of the world, it would be hard for anyone to believe that he could turn so violent. In his version of the story, he is an innocent and my husband just went crazy! Zac talked to the atdoc first and then I went in and, not surprisingly, he had not mentioned his abusive language and behavior, the property damage, etc. The atdoc handled it very well and told Zac that he, too, would have reacted badly if someone was throwing things at his car or destroying his home. It was good for Zac to hear that, I think.

And so, my friends, Hopeville is a little less hopeful than earlier in the week, but not as hopeless as Monday night.

Jules, please know that I am there for you. It is so disheartening when our sons seemed to be doing so well and then, BOOM!-here we go again!

Goody, although I'm sorry to hear that Erin has been giving you a hard time, I am thrilled about the news about your brother!

Tsohl, it's always good to hear from you!

Denise, welcome back to the board! You stopped posting right around the time I joined, but I saw some of your prior posts so I feel like I know you a little! I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, but glad to hear that Brittany is doing well. How did your find the RTC and are you happy with it?

That's the update, ladies. Never a dull moment!

Love,

Hope
Hehehehehehehehe....yup we all get a little mixed up with the names and such around here but still know that the thoughts and support is still the same. I am sorry, Jules, to hear about the backsliding that your son has gone through. I agree with Tsohl that this may be somewhat of a good thing in the sense that your son will see that using drugs is only going to hurt his progress in terms of his gaining the stabilization that he needs in order to do well in life. I hope that he comes home soon....if possible try to tell him how glad you are that he is safe and that although he slipped up the most important thing to do is get himself back on track with his taking care of his finding stability and doing well with his studies. The restis up to him.

Denise ~ Sounds as if Brittany is doing well under the circumstances and that the facility you picked out is working out well for you and your family. Remember that this is a temporary thing and that one day you will all look back on it and be happy that you made the decision to go through with it. One thing that I have heard is so important in the entire process is involving the family so that the transition back home goes well....that Brittany living and adjusting to a residential program will need active participation so that you will be able to incorporate the same principals within the home once she is returned home again. I would guess that she will be there from anywhere from 9 months to a year am I correct??? Anyway, please know that we are always here for you and look forward to following Brittany's progress.

Hope ~ Wow....there's been alot of action in your corner of the world!!! I really felt for you when you were seeing improvement in Zac's attitude towards the family and his studies. But I couldn't help but feel your disappointment in his lying about going to the library and then his being upset about the lack of trust and then his going off in a car with other boys. What do you deep down inside think that he was going to do?? My first instinct was drugs because why would he have to lie?? Did he have the drug testing after that night or was it before??? I am glad that Denise is helping you figure out a way to work with the expenses in case you have to go residential as well. I know that is not what you really want but sometimes it is necessary for our kids to get the help elsewhere when they cannot get it within the home. And I really like the way the adoc handled things and how he is going to include your husband in the next session.

Well it has been quite busy around here with all of our kids. Erin is still at play practice....opening night is only two days away. Kait told us she will be ther for opening night as well and the second night will be the night Erin's friend's attend and I will be going again on the final show with my Aunt so Erin will have an audience for each performance and we can't wait to see her doing what she loves to do. Tomorrow I am taking her out to get her nails done and to find some gloves that she needs to go with one of her costumes. I can't wait.....I love seeing her do what she loves to do!!!

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
Hi All-

Well, it seems to be a busy weekend for all!

Goody, I am so thrilled that Erin had a great experience! How wonderful to have our children enjoy life and their own talents. And kudos to her for the high grade point average! It is a testament to her inner strength and something she should be extremely proud of! I know that Tsohl has suggested Interlochen a few times and it is definitely the creme de la creme of programs. However, if it's too far from home, you might want to consider Eastern Music Camp. It is held on Colgate University's campus and you can sign up for one week, two week, three week or four week sessions. Zac went there for a few summers and loved it! He feels now like he has outgrown it and he has other interests he'd like to pursue, but it is a well-run program, very structured (although no uniforms) and draws kids from all over the world. There will be many teenagers Erin's age and older, as well as younger, so don't get thrown off by the word "camp" in the name. It is a music program and she can sign up for many different vocal courses, as well as Music Theory, etc. Zac did both instrumental and vocal and he did a great job in the chorus singing the part of an old, black man in a Gospel song!!!

Jules, I'm glad to hear that your son is home. I agree with you about the consequences. Tough to enforce, but so necessary for our children. I don't picture you as a loud Italian, either. I'm glad he spoke to his Guidance Counselor and is not keeping everything inside. I agree with you that he needs more than the Lithium. Zac is on a cocktail and I think it still needs tweaking, but it is much better than anything else he has been on.

Tsohl, nice to see you again! It's interesting how many of our children are drawn to the same interests. Zac loves musical theatre, but he is a talented fine artist, too. He probably would have a lot in common with your daughter! I, too, picture you the same way that Goody and Jules do. Are we right?

We had a good weekend. Zac participates in competitions for Forensics and has won several awards on a regional, state, and national basis for Dramatic Interpretation. Yesterday he competed for the first time in Poetry and came in 4th out of over 70 kids. He was pleased. There is a National Competition at Harvard next weekend and he wants to go, but the only way he can is if we go, too. It is a 4 day event. The problem we are having about making our final decision is that my husband had been holding the Harvard attendance out as a carrot for good behavior for the past month. As we all know, Zac has not been able to have consistent good behavior and so my husband thinks we should not go because it sends the wrong message. I'm more conflicted becasue I think it will be a good opportunity for Zac and I understand that, while there need to be consequences for bad behavior, I don't know that this one is appropriate. I think we need to find more immediate consequences to the behavior because I don't think Zac can think so far in the future (one month ahead). My husband said I should go myself, but I think that also sends a bad message to Zac and he already has so many issues with my husband. Any thoughts?

Well, ladies, the weather is finally supposed to break here and get warmer. I hope all of you have a great day!

Love,

Hope
Hello friends,

Hope ~ I gather you are back from Cambridge....I'm so glad you were able to go and that Zac was able to compete. The more experiences he has such as that, the more "normal" he will realize his life can be. How is he doing with his schooling situation. I'm not quite sure how it is structured at this point, but I hope it is going ok and that he is starting to feel better.

And how are you doing? I spent quite a few hours with our son a couple nights ago. My husband was on a short trip and son came out to do laundry and we went out for dinner. He was in a great mood and fun to be with.;)
You know, the sad thing is that when he acts this way, the way I think of as "the way he used to be," I now get a little nervous wondering if he is heading into a manic phase. You just can't win!

Jules ~ Hello to you. Hope you and yours are ok, too.

Take care, all.
Tsohl
[QUOTE=hopealways1104;2815127]Dear Eyes,

What a wonderful message to receive today and what a gift you have given me! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your sharing your son's story and so much of your own as well. I was just telling my husband about you today and how long you have been stable on medication and it gives us tremendous hope.

I still see my son as the person he has always been and I am not willing to give up on the hopes and dreams he has for the future. He will have to adapt and learn to manage his BP, but he can still have an extraordinary life and it is what we are working towards.

I thank you for reminding me that is possible. When he was younger, I told him that his life was like a Greek myth - that the gods had given him every gift - he was personable, talented, funny, handsome, compassionate, and academically gifted in all subjects, but that it would be up to him to decide whether he was able to harness those gifts and use them or if he would let them slip through his fingers. I did not realize at the time how prophetic that conversation would be because, like the Greek tragedies, he has been given the quintessential challenge. Once again, ultimately the decision is his. We will give him all of the support and encouragement we can, but he will have to decide how he will manage with BP.

You and your son are a testament to the life he can have and I thank you for sharing your son's story. And I thank your son for bringing his message to his congregation. The more that people understand about bipolar, the less stigma is attached to it.

Always,

Hope[/QUOTE]

Hope # Tsohl :

Thank you both for the kind words about my Son.

I think that we as parents have a "right" and a "need" to watch our son's actions for any sighs and symptoms of mood changes. However, this reminds me of what my son said to me just a little while ago. He said "Dad,
I know when you "look" at me with "that look"; you have a question in your mind as to my moods". I said "Yes.I still worry,sometimes". He smiled and said,
"Just turn the boat around,I worried about you,too".

And than the "Pastor" in him came out,and he said, "perhaps,we both really don't need to worry so much the way we do;we have Lithium on our side:and that Big Pdoc in the sky watching over us :) "

So I got the hint,he was just trying to tell me...I'm in charge of my life now. (But..I knew he could always count on me,if he needed to) ;)

Carry on Ladies,

Eyes
Hey Jules :wave: ,

You ought to be here. We were supposed to get 1" snow last night before the REAL storm begins this evening, when we're supposed to get 12-16" with 40 MPH winds...and guess what? The inch turned into 10 at our house!! It was almost up to my husband's knees when he was out shoveling off the deck and a path out into the yard for our dogs!! But this time I don't have to drive cross country in it, so I don't mind. I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup and bought some new magazines and plan on hibernating today and tomorrow.

Jules, I think your son is very likely bipolar. It is likely that it didn't start until fairly recently, perhaps made worse by the drug use. I know quite a bit about pot, alcohol, and some of the hallucinatory drugs, but not much about the pills kids today seem to favor. Your son probably seeks out those kids because he feels comfortable using drugs with them. In a way it doesn't really matter if he's addicted or not. It is still interfering with his life, his schooling, his relationships, etc. Chances are if he continues to hang with these friends, things will get worse before they get better. Does he remember how bad he was before starting on the lithium? You might go back and reread your posts if you have forgotten...which I don't think you have. Things like that have a tendency to remain in the memory.

Does your son have any interest in relocating to Florida? (Sounds good to me at the moment!)

If he has any arrests I doubt he could get into the police academy, and I would assume they do routine drug testing in that profession. Maybe you can use that as a "carrot" to get him to keep taking his meds, and perhaps try something in addition. I hope the new pdoc suggests another mood stabilizer in addition to lithium. Our son tried a variety of things, but wasn't able to totally give up drugs and find stability until he was put on 3 mood stabilizers and taken off everything else. He is on lithium, tegretol and lamictal. They each work a bit differently, so when used altogether, one fills in for what another is maybe lacking. You don't need an antidepressant, anti-anxiety, sleep aid, etc...because it just isn't necessary when your brain is functioning as it was meant to....hope that makes sense. :eek:

Also the drugs cause changes in the neurons and the longer he uses, the more difficult it will become to control the bipolarity. Some cases become almost impossible to control with drugs and then you really have problems.

I 'm sure you have your thoughts in order so you can describe all this previous behavior to the pdoc tomorrow. Please let us all know how it turns out. We were all worried about you when you didn't p ost much last week, and we all are hoping you will have good results with this man tomorrow!!

HUGS to you,
Tsohl
Jules ~ I'm sorry you are going through all of this....I know what you mean about a fresh start but I am not so sure that will work, not unless your son truly sees it for himself that he has a problem. Like I said, I don't quite know what is going on with my older daughter, my brother took her in for a fresh start and she wanted to stay on claiming that she could get into an elite college in his state and eventually when what I refer to as "the honeymoon" period was over, she started doing the same things and finding the same type of friends. I heard that demographics really doesn't make too much of a difference where Bipolar is concerned, in fact often the case is that when things get bad somebody who is Bipolar will run away thinking that things will change elsewhere but it is only moving the problem somewhere else. I brought my older daughter to be evaluated just before she started college but she pulled the same thing with the pdoc....she made us out to be the problem and the pdoc basically told us that from what he saw there was no evidence of Bipolarity, depression, mania that he could treat and as much as this upset us he was right. We never really have seen depression or suicidal behavior in our older daughter....if anything she may have the beginning symptoms of Bipolar and I feel that with all that we have done to educate her about Bipolar, when and if the time comes that she finds herself in somewhat of the same situation she will know to seek out help for herself. Right now, from what my husband and I see, Kait is partying it up and caught up in that scene and we are hoping that it will be a phase of life that she will grow out of. Of course we have no real way of knowing that or even of being able to control it. She knows what our expectations are regarding our funding her college and so far she is living up to those expectations. Where she is, who she is with, and what she is doing is pretty much out of our control right now....thing is, if it is a problem it will eventually catch up with her and she will have to seek out help. As a mother I often feel powerless and as if I have failed her but at 18 there really isn't much I can do for her. It is really up to her....I continue to advise her and share my concerns about her actions and choices but outside of that I am finding that there isn't much more I can do.

I think Tsohl can tell us more about this....I mean if her son denied he had a problem and refused the help available and didn't hit rock bottom at the time that he did and realize for himself that he needed help I think things may have turned out differently for him. I see just on this forum from all that young adults share that it wasn't until THEY saw for themselves that there was a problem and wanted help for it that they actually got the help and treatment that they needed. I know that in Erin's case I am so grateful that we were diagnosed when we were which gives us the time to educate her and stabilize her so that he adult years will be easier. If I were in your shoes I know I would be feeling so helpless and less powerful in the sense of getting my child to accept the help that they need or acknowledge that there is a problem. Do you think that your son accepts that he is Bipolar?? Does he see for himself that there is a problem or is he in complete denial??? Actually, come to think of it, for the longest time Erin denied there was a problem when she was hypomanic and our big break finally came when it all caught up with her and she had her second suicide attempt. I have often read that with somebody who is Bipolar a doctor will not be able to diagnose them unless they are demonstrating manic behavior or depressed behavior warranting immediate intervention. So that doesn't really leave us much window of opportunity does it??? I think in my case it was there as well as in Tsohl's.....yours has yet to come. I think that in the future what you may have to do as difficult as it may be if your son takes himself off his meds is that the next time he is a manic state that you get him to the hospital to be evaluated and if he refuses you call the police who will have to bring him in to a psychiatric center to be evaluated and treated. Once your son has the opportunity to see how bad things can get and how they get better with medication, that will be the time that he finally realizes that he is Bipolar and needs the meds. Unfortunately for us moms, that all takes time and as moms we want our kids better today!!

I am with you Jules....I constantly pray that my older daughter stays safe and that this is just a phase. Perhaps it is, but with Erin being diagnosed there still are concerns. It is not a good way for us mom's to live wondering if there is more that we can do but I am learning that often it isn't until we let go and allow them the opportunity to fall a few times on their own that we finally get that opportunity that we need for them to finally see for themselves that there is a problem and that they need to accept the help that we have been offering them all along.

You say that your son says and does things knowing it will upset you....perhaps it is time for you to not react to that and allow these things to upset him so that he comes to the realization that this is not about what he does to YOU but what he is doing to HIMSELF. Perhaps that is key to his getting the help that he needs.

Hang in there, Jules. Remember, you are a great mom and your son is going to see that for himself once he gets through all of this. And he will....because he has you as a wonderful mom.

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
[QUOTE=EYESTWO22;2819159]However I have some thoughts on pdocs and tharapists in general. They ought to have a control by some third party so that they remain open to other points of view.
Even the pope has a confessor. I would think that it would help tharapists to have a "mother" confessor.

Women are particularly gifited for playing such a part.They often have excellent intuition and a trenchant critical insight,and can see what their family members have up their sleeves. They see aspects that their own family members do not see. And family members not only includes their children,but also their husbands. Perhaps,that is why no woman has ever been convinced that her husband is a superman.;)[/QUOTE] While I couldn't agree with you more, Eyes, I have seen firsthand how pdocs virtually gauge the functionality of the patient and sadly enough there have been times that the pdoc has listened to my 15 year old over what I have to say. I think that this is so because in reality if they see a patient who is in denial and not seeking out treatment or help for themselves then they see it as a BIG waste of time, money and effort on everyone's part. If we don't have a compliant patient then no matter what a doctor perscribes or a parent wants bottom line the results come when the patient, no matter what their age, realizes that they have a problem and want to make their lives better. I think that I have been lucky in the sense that Erin has seen how the meds help her and when she misses a dose how she reverts back to behaviors that have an affect on her as well as those around her. There have been times that she forgot her meds and made a big deal about not having them and having to go back to get them. This shows me that she realizes that the meds are important to her maintaining her stability and that she has taken ownership in terms of taking care of her overall well being. I think that one's acknowledgement that there is a problem and genuinely wanting to seek help out for themselves is KEY to things getting better. I think across the board the pdoc and parents see that having an unwilling participant is just a waste of everybody's time sad as it may be. I KNOW that if Erin wasn't at the point of hitting rock bottom and realizing that her life was spinning out of control with nothing she could do to stop it that she wouldn't be where she is today. Granted that I stayed on top of things but if she continued to deny there being a problem we wouldn't be where we are today. I wonder if this was true for you and your son as well....I mean you said it took many episodes until you found stability.....what was different about the last episode??? I have a feeling it was your final realization that you couldn't help yourself anymore and knew that there was a problem that you wanted help for. Am I right???;) And what about your son??? When did he finally get better???



[QUOTE=Eyes]Oh...a final thought. Life is all about choices and like I've always said 10% is about what happens to us and 90% is how you react to it.

Carry on

Eyes[/QUOTE] Yes.....this is so true and I think that this is where I need a little work on in terms of interacting with Erin. I am finding that depending on my reactions to her will determine the final outcome and this is a very good thought, Eyes!!! Thanks for sharing....you are always so insightful!!!

((((((HUGS))))))) ~ Goody
Well, Jules, it seems as if it was a long day but all in all a very eventful and positive one.;) We all know how we have to see the positive even if it is difficult to do so.

Okay....the positive is that your son wants help!!!:blob_fire That's a BIG positive compared to how he was feeling yesterday....right??? I am impressed with how honest he was...remember yesterday him saying that he was going to go in there all happy....well look at what he did!!! He was crying and showing the pdoc that he was everything but happy, in fact, he was showing how depressed he was feeling. Not a bad thing at all, my friend.:D

I think that the meeting went well and far better than we all expected. I do like how the pdoc is checking things out with other doctors...to me that shows that he doesn't just jump into things without being certain of what he should do to best help your son out. AND, he really can't get to know your entire situation in just one day. I think that he wants to see how things go with your son and the prozac. I like the idea that he wants your son to call him. Jules....I think that it is time that you do take a BIG step back. Your son is 20 years old and he is going to have to step up to the plate and take care of himself. You will be glad that you did and I LOVE the idea that the pdoc wants to be the parent for a while....I think that is PERFECT!!!:D This gives you and hubby a break.

Jules, I am going to take a risk and tell you something as a friend....I am going to give you some homework....okay??? I want you and hubby to go out together once a week and take some time out from all of this. When you go out make it a rule that for the entire time you do not talk about your son and the problems that are going on. Instead talk about how good a thing it is to take care of your marriage and one another. Can you do that??? I guarantee that when your son sees you getting on with your lives he will be inclined to do the very same. If there is a problem that comes up with your son instruct him to call his pdoc.....do not do anything about his mental health...let him know that it is his responsibility and that he has a pdoc for that and that you are MOM.;)

I am getting a good feeling about this.....I think that your son will get better because he will finally have control of getting better. He KNOWS that he doesn't want his life to be this way and just needs somebody to steer him in the right direction. There is too much of a control issue when it comes from you or your husband....but this pdoc may be just the one who will do that for your son. I think that you have to trust him to do what needs to be done for your son. When you interact with your son do so without talking about anything that is going on with his health. Find other things to focus on that will allow you to build a foundation of comfort so that your son knows he has a soft place to fall if need be. Let the pdoc be the "bad guy" for a while.:)

As far as the meds go, I would trust the pdoc since nothing else seems to be working. I think that perhaps the pdoc just said he wanted to check with other doctors so that he could meet with your son a little bit more to gauge what he should perscribe. That is my gut feeling from what you have shared with us.

Well....it's time to take a BIG breath and rest for a while underneath a shady tree here with your friends. You have been running around the path for so long now and it is time for you to take a rest. We will sit with you for a while and just relish in the moment knowing that we can only take one day at a time and as EYES has taught us, hold on to faith & hope which will help us all find the stability for our kids.

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
Goody,
I dont know if im the one that should be giving advice, cause im kinda feeling like not a great mom lately. But, you are doing the right thing, the couple of pdocs i have seen told us that they definitly need to suffer consequences for their actions. That is why we will not give my son the car back..look at this, hes not going to school because he wont take buses and trains. but who is he really hurting? HIMSELF...My husband and i are dying a little inside that he is not going to finish out this year.. but, giving him back the use of the car and not knowing if he will pop a pill occasionally and drive, just wont work anymore. It is so hard, but she has to know you mean it. as far as hearing about friends with all their money, im so sick of that story from my 18 yr.old. my daughter is in the process of hearing back from her college applications. she was accepted into some small private colleges all within a 2 hr drive with some scholarship money. she got into a couple of state schools . she is miserable because she now wants to go to a school in nyc that is at least 40grand a year..and we simply cannot afford that. so, now she hates us and told us her best friend is going there and how can we do that to her. her best friend ihas a different life than we do. no siblings, both parents work fulltime and they can afford it..we cant. it never ends!!
Hi All,

Jules, I am so sorry that your son had a seizure, but I think that it's a wonderful sign that he wants to go to the treatment facility. Would you be willing to tell us which one? I am constantly on the search for sources so I don't have to do everything in crisis mode. I am hopeful that Zac won't need a treatment center, but you never know.

Goody, I think the e-mail you and your husband sent Kait was wonderful, but my sense is that it will not be well-accepted. Kait is in her own mission and that it to make this all about you and not about her. Have you ever considered going to counseling with her - just you, your husband and Kait- to discuss specific issues? The reason I ask that is that my sisters, mother, and I went to counselling for a short period of time and it was very effective. Although we are close, each of us had issues (not my mother - just "the girls") that we held onto for a long time and the cumulative effect was becoming too much to handle. Each of my sisters had children getting married and there was alot of stress and tenison. The counselor was very good and told us that each of us had our own lenses of how we saw things and that we held on to past hurts and called them up again whenever we were upset with the other. She said we needed to get everything out once and for all and then to have the equivalent of a bonfire in our minds. That once we discussed it there, got to air our greivances and hear the other's response, we had to permanently put it away. While it didn't solve things overnight, it gave us better perspective about the other's view and definitely helped over time. We each had the chance to be "heard" without recrimination or defensiveness and that helped tremendously. It seems to me that something like that might be helpful for Kait. It sounds like she has lots of underlying issues and that she is using those to excuse her bad behavior. It's just a thought, but she is getting old enough to realize that she has to be accountable, but my feeling is that she won't as long as she thinks that somehow she is the one being mistreated. She might even resent all of the attention paid to Erin. Who knows?

In terms of the Seroquel, Tsohl is right. It can be used "as needed", but I wouldn't take her off of it until you talk to the pdoc. Increasing the Lamictal should help, as well as adding another mood stabilizer. Has Erin ever been on Abilify? Lamictal and Abilify are a popular combination and seem to be working well for Zac. He takes Seroquel as needed.

Tsohl, I love the fact that you are going to the NAMI convention. Good for you! I can't wait to hear all about it!

We had our meeting with the school and they are going to try to add 2 more classes for Zac. He will then have 4 classes in the school! He's anxious to try and see how he does. It's a little nerve-wracking, but I'm glad he wants to go. I'll keep you posted.

We met with a new therapist last night (someone who had been highly recommended) and she is the first one who told Zac that she is there for him and will be there for him on his journey! It was music to my ears! He liked her and I'm hoping we may have finally found the right one!

I also called his psychiatrist and his guidance counselor and told them that if any parent was struggling with a bipolar child, they could call me. We have been to hell and back with Zac a few times and if something good could come from this, then I'd love to help another parent save some of the time and heartbreak we have had to endure.

So, my friends, that's it for now. Hope all of you are well and, Jules, keep us posted about your son. We are all pulling for him and for you!

Love,

Hope
[QUOTE=tsohl;2839307]Goody, I just read your post on Paige's thread and I am so sorry you had such a horrible scene with Erin. From what you described it sounds like she isn't as stable as you had hoped. The mother-daughter relationship is so complex to begin with, and then you have this BP thing on top of the usual issues. She probably does believe that everything she said is true...at least for tonight. You musn't let it get you down. You've come too far to back off now. One day Erin will thank you for all you've done for her. Right now you are a great big obstacle. You prevent her from acting on her worst impulses, and right now she hates you for that.[/QUOTE] Tsohl...thanks so much for your words of comfort. I couldn't sleep and can't stop crying.....I guess all that I have endured between both girls over the past 4 or 5 years has finally hit me. It is so painful to watch my friends with their daughters and the close relationships they have and to feel so jipped of that. I cannot even begin to tell you how I have been treated....I really just wanted to crawl into a hole for a while but I know I would only feel worse if I did that. The scary thing, Tsohl is reading some of these posts here and so many 20, 30, 40 and 50 year olds having a difficult time with this disorder (oh no I can hear Eyes with his hope & faith:angel: )...I think you know what I am getting at.;) This whole thing is so scary and for the first time today I wondered when the pain of it would go away. It's as if Erin wants me to hurt as much as she does and the thing is I do but twice as much. I have lost her to this disorder and then have to go through the painful words she throws my way. In my town she has told such horrific things to her guidance counselor, her voice teacher, her friend's parents, her friends and God knows who else about me. And I don't deserve it. Thank you, Tsohl....your words reach out to me like a great BIG hug. You have been there from the start and I know that we will finish this journey together I am just a little tired is all, and need to catch my breath.

[QUOTE=tsohl;2839307]What was your husband doing while all this was "conversation" was going on? Did Erin know you were crying?[/QUOTE] Hubby was right there with the black & white shirt on.;) He intervened when he could but it was turbulent and he tried to maintain order....but there is no order when hypomania sets in.:dizzy:

Erin must have heard me sobbing....I let it all out Tsohl....the pain was too much to bear and I literally felt as if she had stabbed me a million times. I never sobbed like that before. I just felt like I was to hell and back and not ready to go there again is all. And it's difficult to help somebody when all they do is knock you down. I guess feeling as if both my daughters hate me is just about the worst feeling in the world. And the thing is, Tsohl, I don't know if they will ever feel any differently....at least that is how it feels tonight.

[QUOTE=tsohl;2839307]To me, nothing hurts more than when you feel dissed by your own children. I really feel for you right now, Goody. Sort of makes you want to let her do it her way, doesn't it? And then let her suffer the consequences...[/QUOTE] Tsohl....I am still contemplating that very seriously. But I know that you will talk me out of it if I don't do so myself!! I am throwing myself a pity party for a while and you are all invited. I may be sleeping in tomorrow so don't worry....I just need to lick my wounds a little bit. Erin has a Winter Concert tomorrow night. I really don't feel like going and think it might be good for her to not see me at some of her events. I only missed one in her entire life and think it is time for her to see how I have been there. Besides, I can use a break.

[QUOTE=tsohl;2839307]Sending lots of hugs your way....:angel: :angel: :angel: [/QUOTE] Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tsohl,.....you are truly an angel.

Love ~ Goody:angel: :wave:
My dear friends Jules and Goody,

I'm sorry you are both going through such hard times. Goody, I see that you have posted on a few different threads, but I'm going to respond to you here, if that's OK.

First, though, let me respond to Jules. Jules, I know how hard this is and I'm sorry it's so painful. It sounds like the facility is a good one and it's not surprising that your son is unhappy right now. It's not only the drugs that are doing it to him, but the enormity of his life right now. He did a wonderful thing for himself by admitting his life had become unmanageable, but admitting it and then doing the work to get it back on track are two different things. I'm sure he's reacting to the fact that he willingly went to the hospital and is now having second thoughts. Give him a little time and let the people there do their work. In the meantime, come here often and share with us. We are all here for you!

Goody, my friend, I am so sorry that both Kait and Erin are making you crazy! I think the idea of pulling back from Erin is a good one and something you need to do for your own sanity. When Zac has been angry with us, he has said incredibly awful things and more than once, he has told my husband he wishes he would die or that I would leave him! However, that's always a sign of Zac out-of-control and the meds have helped tremendously. I think it's time for a medication adjustment for Erin. It sounds like she needs another mood stabilizer besides the Lamictal. When Zac was feeling anxious, he was happy to take the Seroquel, but he finds it sometimes makes him groggy and he does not really want to take it when he's feeling better. Has she ever tried Abilify? That was the drug of choice at the psych hospital Zac was in and it has worked well with the Lamictal.

I have lost track a little of the ADHD diagnosis for Erin, but I will say that the Concerta has made a tremendous difference for Zac. What I have read about ADHD is that it is difficult to diagnose in high-performing children, but often presents itself in Middle School or High School where the workload is more demanding. Often the bright kids can compensate with the work, but it's more of a struggle and the irritability and frustration runs high. I would say that the Concerta has been a fabulous med for Zac. Just something to think about.

As always, you are all in my heart. Tsohl, when does your son take the GREs?

Be well, my friends, and take one day at a time. It's all we can do.

Hugs,

Hope
Hi Jules ~ I think that is good...at the very least I don't think it is bad. They are keeping him busy every moment of the day and if it is anything like the place where my son was, it is a little bit difficult to make calls.

I know you and your husband have no idea what to expect...how he'll be when he gets home, what you need to do to prepare for that, etc. I would assume they'll give you information on that...but you'll need some kind of ongoing support in place to continue on with the work he's doing now in FL. I'm guessing that it is helpful for him to be around addicts and others with problems similar to his. I've told you this before, so sorry for repeating myself, but the most help my son received was from the AA meetings he attended after he got back from his rehab in FL. There were a number of kids in the group who were bipolar, and all the group was under 30 except for a handful in their 40s. It was a young group that he could relate to. At first he thought it was a bunch of hogwash, but then he jumped in with both feet and did the 30 meetings in 30 days. Then he did that again. Now he doesn't go at all, but at the time, it was just what he needed. :cool:

It may be that the dosage of zoloft you're on isn't enough now that you are under such stress. But I think it might be helpful to have some tdoc that you could talk to about all this...they'd probably have something different to add from us moms and friends on the board.

Is your daughter looking at schools out of state, big or small?
all for now,
:wave: Tsohl





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