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Old 03-20-2008, 06:57 AM   #1
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Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

Ok so long story. My brother has 2 teen boys from a previous marraige. The youngest is 16, we will call him S. He has been in and out of trouble for the last few years. He cuts stuff up, spray painted a rivals garage and has cut holes in his bedroom wall with knives..among many other things.
So my brother wanted to move closer to his work, he was commuting an hour and a half. He and his wife have 2 sons, 4 and 1 year old. When they moved to the new place S did not like his new school, he said people wanted to fight him and he doesn't want to fight. After a few months, he cut up a couch in the living room and my brother had enough. He allowed S to go back to his old town and live with his best friends family. It was going ok then my brother got a call that S had taken the fathers cross bow and shot an arrows through a family heirloom wordrobe door. They were sending him back.

So my mom was there the other day when S was there, she talked to him and he said he doesn't know what is wrong with him. He said that as far back as he can remember he was always fascinated with guns and knives and wanted to do stuff with them to stuff, not to people. He said he knows that something is wrong with him but he doesn't know what. But that he doesn't want to be around people. They make him feel weird, except for his little brothers who he adores.

So I emailed my brother last night to ask if they had taken him to see a doctor. I got this as an email:
Took him to our DR who said he thinks S is
Bi-Polar.
Giving him some meds. Still thinking about what the
next step is. His attitude is awful. I want to help
him, but it may get to a point where he'll have to
leave. He's running out of options.

I am heartbroken. I mean I am not in the situation to know how bad it is, but to just give up on your kid when he is obviously ill and needs help. I just dont get it.

A few other facts that may add to the whole situation:
1. S was diagnosed ith ADHD and has been on meds for a few years, helped a bit with school.
2. My brothers wife hates S and they havee had a long standing rivalry.
3. S's mom did drugs while pregnant.

So I am hoping that someone can point me in the direction of some place for them to get help, information...anything.
Thank you so much, Danni

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Old 03-20-2008, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

Oh Danni. This sounds eerily similar to Shawn's nephew, the one I told you about. Except that T used to hurt people and animals when he was younger, and I'm 100% sure there was no drug or alcohol use, just cigarettes. It is such a hard thing to deal with.

I wish I had some advice or information to give. Right now, we try to see what is positive about T, instead of always dwelling on what is negative. I know that is so much easier said then done. I see a couple things positive in this situation: S doesn't have an urge to hurt people, and things can be replaced. Your brother WANTS to help S, and just needs support to do that.

What bothers me is that you say your SIL hates S. Is she unwilling to see that he needs help? She is allowed to have her feelings about people, no matter what they are, but she needs to see that her attitude towards S is not going to make things better. She doesn't have to like him. But he IS her stepson, and therefore a part of her family. IMO, she needs to try and be part of the solution.

I feel for your brother. That is such a hard situation. For me, I always feel good having a diagnosis, like you can move forward from there. I hope you get some answers for him. Please keep me updated. for your brother and his family. I don't envy his position.

I don't know if that makes sense or if it's just rambling but Cody is peeing on stuff so i gotta go clean it up.

Aaaaaaand he got my couch.

Last edited by mama2cody; 03-20-2008 at 07:10 AM. Reason: fixed spelling
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

Sounds like a really rough situation right now, for everybody!
My entire teenage life was spent with a stepmom whom I did NOT get along with-- she antagonized me as much as I did her. It makes it really hard when an "adult" acts like a child to someone who's making the transition from child to adult, IMO.

My only thought is that maybe he could find some sort of volunteer work that he was interested in? I know that people make him uncomfortable, but if you could find a good match... With his interest in weapons it makes is kinda tough/weird, because you don't want to promote any more violence, but if there was some way to find a Healthy outlet for those feelings... also, sounds like being at a new school is really rough on him, he probably comes across to people who don't know him not as uncomfortable or shy, but weird and confrontational. That could push him farther into himself.
Just sort of thinking out loud, here-- the teenage years were rough for me and I had a really close friend who struggled (and still struggles) with bi-polar disorder.
I just think that if his interests could be aroused, if he could volunteer at an animal shelter, or to help disabled kids... I don't know. It would give him something to do besides be down on himself and his life all the time...

Good luck, I really feel for your family and know that this, too, will pass...
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

I was a bipolar teenager--does that count? If there's a problem with the mom then that will definitely antagonize everything and make it worse. For me, meds helped a little (but I always stopped taking them because my combo didn't help enough, but I know they really help a lot of people) but making friends who weren't into anything scary really helped--sort of a bright spot to look forward to so everything wasn't gloom & doom & crazy until I finished with that whole teenager hormonal thing that makes everything harder.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

I was a bi-polar teenager. It's really hard. I hated myself, and because of that I did alot of terrible things. And yes, if the step mom hates him it will make everything worse. My grandmother made my life from the time I was small a living hell, and trust me when I say it only made everything I was going through as a teen so much worse. The things to keep in mind is that they can't just treat one aspect of the bi-polar. Alot of psychiatrists want to treat just the depression, or they prescribe something for both but the child stops medicating when they get manic and feel good, so they crash again. It becomes a really viscious cycle. Also it is possible that if he is still on the ADHD meds they are making matters worse for him. He needs to be in an enviroment with people he can trust and people who actually want to help him. If his stepmom is being childish or cruel to him (or even just treating him differently) he will know and it will make matters so much worse than they need to be. I wish I had some better advice for you. The best thing to do is for his dad to talk to him. If he can find out what he is interested in and help him focus on that, and do those things with him, it could be a real help.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:55 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone with a bi-polar teen or have experience with one?

My baby brother is bi polar. He hears voices, “see’s” people, “thinks” people think/feel/believe things/hate him, hurts himself and others, is extremely destructive, has even killed a pet fish, and is inappropriately sexual (flashes), the whole 9 yards. He’s only 6yo. He was adopted and we know his birth mother used drugs and alcohol while pg. He’s also been diagnosed with ADHD. Poor kid takes a whole hand full of meds at least 2xs daily.

What I know is…..Manic episodes Kill brain cells. The worse the episode the more it kills. The RIGHT meds help a TON!! But they must constantly be monitored and changed as he grows/matures. Counseling once to twice weekly helps a TON. Almost anything emotional or environmental can ‘set him off’. So day light savings time wreaks havoc on our lives, so does a bad day at school or a bad grade on a paper.
We also found out that because it was caught so early (my mom ROCKS!) and he’s getting proper care for it there is a chance that when he’s in his 20’s he’ll lead a totally normal med free life!! We are really excited about that!! Because of course with how extreme he is there is also a chance that if un-medicated he could become a mass murder as a teenager. But we are NOT going to let that happen!!!!

The thing is when his meds are just right he’s totally normal and such a cool kid!!! It was amazing to see him go from having so many problems being depressed, gloomy and almost without personality to getting diagnosed, getting help and meds to turning into a happy, clever, outgoing, loving kid with a great personality. The difference in him was night and day!! Yeah as he grows/gets older the meds need adjusting/changed and we can TELL when that is needed!! Right now he’s very manic. Mom is in the process of starting to wean him off Abilify while weaning him onto something new. It’s a little scary cause we can only hope the Drs know him well enough that the new med will be right for him. But it’s also a really great thing because he has an attention tremor that we believe is being exaggerated by the Abilify (thank you new studies!!). It’s a very frustrating disability for him!! He can’t snap and button clothes or tie his shoes.

Sorry this is so long! My point is your nephew needs to get diagnosed. Then he needs proper counseling and meds. He’ll be so much happier and more able to cope with life without being destructive and abusive to himself and others.
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