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Seeking Other Moms with Adult Children That Have Bipolar

I have a 22 year old son with Bipolar. He refuses to accept that and also refuses to take the medication prescribed. Any advice. It is truly exhausting and heart wrenching.

What can I do next?

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Hi T., I have Bipolar disorder and have a daughter who is 32 and has it also. She still refuses to take medication for it. It is so frustrating, but I can relate because it took me years before I would take my medicine. It is hard to admit to the disease, so many people do not understand it. I am still after my daughter to take the medicine, she has to listen someday. Good Luck!

I have bipolar I am 28 and have 4 kids . 2 of them are 3 year old twins I reuses to take the meds because it make very out of it. I just DON't like the feeling of taking them . I GREW OUT OF IT AND LREAN TO LIVE WITH IT AND DEAL WITH IT AND YOU WILL TO. MY MOM,DAD HUSBAND,FRIENDS HAVE THE MEDS AREN'T EVERYTHING. THE MANIC EPISODES WILL GET LESS AND LESS AS HE GET OLDER ! I AM DOING GREAT. MY KIDS ARE GREAT. J.

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Hi T. and all who read this,
There has been remarkable results with Bi-polar, Autism, ADD, ADHD and numerous other maladies by using mangosteen juice. And I don't mean just "any" mangosteen juice, as there are many copycats out there, which is like driving the most expensive car without an engine!!! For those of you who do not want to give their children drugs, this juice is more than worth the try. My son (now 13) was diagnosed with ADD when he was in 1st grade. Well he doesn't suffer from it as bad anymore...because he drinks this juice everyday for the last 2 years and he is drug free. The medications gave him stomach aches and headaches. I congratulate anyone that has "chosen" not to let their diagnosis define their life. BTW, my son also had asthma and has not used his inhalers for almost 2 years. I could go on and on about the benefits of using this juice, but you won't know for yourselves, unless you use it yourself. My whole family drinks it and all I can say is that we wouldn't be without it. Whenever I see something on mamasource about physical or mental maladies I try to get the message of mangosteen to you ladies, I can only lead you to the "water", but I can't make you drink!
If any of you would like more information then please visit this website.....www.freedomfrommeds.com. Listen to Ed's story, Joe's story, check out the company profile and the fact that they give 7% of their profits to children's charities. I am involved with this company because of the integrity of the founders and the fact that this "juice" works! My phone number and email is on that website for those of you that would like more information. All I can say is that it was the best decision I've ever made, to order this juice and continually drink it.

Take care & God Bless,

Rev. Rieley

There is a Dr. in College Station, TX - Dr. David Tharp, off of Southwest Parkway in the office complex across from Eastmark Apartments. He evaluated our nephew for us for bipolar - terrible chemical imbalance. He has a method of helping the brain to right itself by attaching electrodes to the head and measuring the electrical impulses in the brain. It creates a map the brain on the computer. This information can then be used to determine which part of the brain is not functioning properly with electrical impulses and then it can be retrained. They retrain it by allowing the person to watch a move, play a video game, listen to the radio - whatever they like to do that stimulates the brain. Then when the brain electrically fires out of the normal zone, it cuts off the TV/radio whatever. The brain will reprogram itself to fire within the normal range b/c it wants the stimulus. It is an amazing, non-drug, non-invasive treatment that works. Insurance does not pay for it so you might have to take a second job to pay for treatments. They can have 2 treatments/day and Dr. Tharp said that 10 treatments usually shows good results. Our nephew needed multiple times that as no part of his brain was electrically correct. However, his parents opted that they did not want to come to College Station for the treatments even though it was 100% covered by a donation. We may revisit this with them at a later date. Dr. Tharp said bipolar is the hardest and cannot always be cured but that it can be helped greatly with these treatments. We saw with our nephew that the medication they gave him made him a zombie have the time and explosive time bomb the other half. May the Lord bless you in this growth opportunity.

Hi T.,I to am Bi-polar,it is a nightmare,when you are manic you believe you have no boundarys.Drinking and drugs become the self medication of choice.There is not much you can do,other than getting him put into treatment.with the right meds you can live a very wonderful life.I go to the MHMR in New Braunfels and they take very good care of me.tell him life can be good.I wish you all the luck in the world.


Dear T.,

My son was diagnosed as bi-polar in the 5th grade. He is now 17 and is an A-B honor roll kid. At the worst he was hospitalized for violence and suicidal thoughts. When he was in the 5th grade I couldn't deal with his violence and attitude, so he went to live with his father for a year. That was the turning point for him. He was able to see what life as an adult without proper medicine looked like. His father self-medicates with caffeine and alcohol.

My son chose to not let the diagnosis define who he is. It will always be a part of him, but it doesn't have to control him. It is a choice. Recovery is a choice. You can put all the options out there - but like all illness, the patient choses how the illness will affect him.

NAMI has support groups in all big cities and can direct you to one in your area. You can chat with me privately at

My prayers are with your family,

Have you tired calling NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness? They are dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by mental illness including bipolar disorder. The NAMI can offer support and education for families. The local NAMI number is ###-###-#### or you can visit www.nami-sat.org. I hope this will help,good luck. I will be praying for your son.

As I'm sure you know, Bipolar is not something that people "grow out of". In most cases the episodes get worse with age. There is a great book, "The Unique Mind". It is written by a Ph.D whom also is Bipolar. It would be a great book to pass on to your son, no explanation needed - the book will tell the story for you. I passed it along to my adult brother who refused to accept his diagnoses and was tearing our family apart. He later admitted, he could not believe how much he related to the author, her turmoil,her experiences and struggles.
Good Luck, it is a tough long road and I wish you patience through the journey.

T., Don't despair so much that you lose yourself. Kathy that wrote about NAMI sounds like a good resource. I am a 67 yo mom and grandmother with a 43 yo daughter, 44 yo step-daughter, 26 & 24 yo step-grandsons, 23 yo step-granddaughter and a 15 yo grandson who are ALL bipolar. My daughter and grandson take their meds and she is a very productive member of society and he is in high school and doing better than we ever expected. They've both been hospitalized numerous times but do well in spite of the obstacales presented by the illness. My step-daughter and her 3 kids, however, are a different story. She takes all her medicine at once and overdoses on anything she can find. She manufactures illnesses for the docs to treat and lives on pain pills. She started on drugs (illegal) before she was diagnosed and now lives on welfare. Her kids: the oldest refuses to admit he's bipolar and dropped out of H.S. then got his GED and did a year of Jr. College, dropped out and works part-time as a convenience store clerk and was/is heavily into illegal drugs. His younger brother joined the Army but got kicked out for illegal drugs, is working part-time at Starbucks and refuses to take meds for bipolar. The younger sister lies and steals and has had 6 jobs in the last 2 years and takes as many pain meds as she can get both legally and illegally.
She was fired for stealing from 2 of her 6 jobs.
You may want to let your son know what's in store for him unless he takes his meds and works with the docs to get the right ones for him - it's trial and error and takes time.
My daughter is still paying off bills that she ran up during her manic phases before she was diagnosed. This bad stuff is nearly all preventable. You can't MAKE your son take his meds or be responsible for him - that said, you also need to curb the natural instinct to help by bailing him out of trouble. That was hardest for me. " Mom, can I borrow $50 until next payday." Of course I'd do it and not get paid back so I was enabling her to let her illness run her. I finally got brave enough to stop and risked losing her love and she finally got help. It was not pretty nor easy but now I'm so thankful. That all took place about 8 years ago and it changed everything in our relationship and in her and her son's life. I can't stop my husband from being an enabler for his grandkids but that's another story. Good luck and I hope your son finds a way to accept his illness and get help. I hope you find support and some peace, too.

I live with Bipolar in my house. He is of legal age so it is hard. However, there is an organization for support called NAMI. They provide support through lectures and groups. This for people with mental disorders and their families. It is an awesome group, very supportive for all. He may not go but it also cam help you. Your right it is extremely exhausting, exspensive, and heartwrenching. You need support too!! My prayers are with you.

do a google search of "gary levering, bipolar illness, houston, texas" and you will find something. gary is a friend of mine who has dealt with painful mental illness, and he has been very open about it and has formed all kinds of support groups. he is a kind, high-achieving father of a friend i grew up with (he is 60 something??) anyway, he is out there to educate people involved in any way with the illness. i urge you to look him up!

I'll save you my story (unless you indicate you want it), but I know your pain, your frustration and sorrow. My advice is for you to contact NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and sign up for their free Family to Family course for you and your son if he will attend. If not, you go on your own and get educated, encouraged and empowered.

I cannot emphasize enough for you to get education and support. Pray and have faith. If you are a believer, know that Romans 8:28 - God works for the good...

Draw your boundaries with your son. You said, "refuses to take medication" and "I don't know how to help him anymore." You cannot help someone who doesn't want the help and insists on doing it his way. Don't enable him and don't be his doormat. The best help is to be consistent, firm and one he can count on to help him manage finances, paperwork, MHMR, doctors, etc. when he is willing to use those services. That DOES NOT mean you bail him out of trouble.

Your heart will still be wrenched but you will not be as exhausted if you're not trying to bail him out of the messes he creates because he CHOOSES not to take medication, get counseling and take the steps necessary to manage his illness. Just like you can't save an alcoholic and keep him/her from drinking or people like me (from eating too much junk food)you can't force him into making right choices.

A friend's 28 year old son has bipolar and refuses medication. He's mostly manic and aggressive. he's punched holes in her walls, broken the glass in her hutch and is in and out of legal trouble. I have little compassion and patience for her because her actions are teaching him that it is OK to trash her home when he's angry. It frustrates me to listen to her talk about her son. You will wear out the support of your family and friends if you help your son stay in self-destructive behavior. I think it would be like me complaining that I can't understand why I'm not losing weight and how miserably fat I am as I spoon a carton of ice cream in my mouth. (I am fat and miserable about it but don't compalin because it is my own fault!)

It's tough parenting - I know. Allow him to suffer consequences and then be there for him when he is ready to listen and allow you to help him get and stay on the right track. It is unfortunate he has bipolar, it is not your fault he has the illness (even if you passed the gene to him). He needs the security of knowing when he is out of control you are stable and in control. Recall the toddler who needs the security in knowing a parent is consistent.

Learn all you can about bipolar. Read up on the latest medications. When your son is willing or he gets into legal trouble and a judge orders him to take medication, know about the drugs being prescribed. Question the doctor. Go to the manufacturer's website and read. Another post warned you about stimulants and medications that worsen the illness. You must advocate for your son even with a doctor because they often will prescribe a drug the manufacturer states is NOT for patients with bipolar.

May God bless you and comfort you. Parenting is the toughest job ever!

My sister is 22 and is bipolar. She's the same way - won't accept that she's bipolar and won't take medication. My mother has had to hospitalize her several times when her manic episodes have caused her to be dillusional and a danger to herself.
Lately my mother has tried a different tactic (my sister lives with my mother) - instead of trying to force my sister to recognize that she has a problem and should be medicated, she's accepting my sisters wishes to avoid medication. Together they've looked into more natural ways to cope with my sister's illness. It seems to make both of them happier and gives my sister some amount of control, I think. My mother has joined a support group for families dealing with bipolar as well. She's let my sister know that this group is out there and she's welcome to go, but hasn't forced her into it.
Bipolar is tough to deal with, no matter where you are in the equation - family or the one who has it. My only advice is to try to allow your son to have as much control over his life as you can. Accept that he doesn't want to be medicated and try together to find alternatives. And of course, joining a support group either online, or in your area might help you get through the tough times.
Good luck.

I have bipolar I am 28 and have 4 kids . 2 of them are 3 year old twins I reuses to take the meds because it make very out of it. I just DON't like the feeling of taking them . I GREW OUT OF IT AND LREAN TO LIVE WITH IT AND DEAL WITH IT AND YOU WILL TO. MY MOM,DAD HUSBAND,FRIENDS HAVE THE MEDS AREN'T EVERYTHING. THE MANIC EPISODES WILL GET LESS AND LESS AS HE GET OLDER ! I AM DOING GREAT. MY KIDS ARE GREAT. J.

My older sister is 27 and was diagnosed as bipolar about 12 years ago. Unfortunately, her life is a mess because she also refuses to take medication. She lives with my dad, rent free, doesn't have a car, and blames all her problems on everyone else. Are you still married to his father? I think what would have helped my sister's situation the most is if my parents presented a unified front to her. They bickered, and still do, about how to treat her; my dad lets her do whatever she wants and my mom wanted to put her foot down.
Talk to a counselor by yourself if he won't go...it really helps.

I feel your pain. I have a 24 year old son that may be bipolar. We have been through so much the last 6 years. He will graduate from college this year and is now on his own. I have to tell you the worst thing you can do is enable them. It may be time for him to get out and be on his own. In the end, my son was addicted to marajuana and abusing his adderall for ADHD. The only difference is he wanted to get help but is still very stubborn. They have to live their own lives and stumble before they get it. I'm sorry you have to go through this but their is nothing you can do. Only he can help himself. PS. Are you sure there are no drugs involve? That can camoflauge a mental disorder.

I can relate as well. Although I am not a mom of a child that is bi polar, my dad did suffer fomr bi polar and my sister was diagnosed with borderline personality. My sister was a lot like your son, she refused to admit she had a problem never would get on meds and would not go to counseling. As a teen she ended up running away (after we had her committed for observation and then she ran away from a halfway house.) It was unbelievably stressful for my dad! We are very fortunate that she was lucky but also had some good sense to take care of herself. Eventually she came home. She still had issues, but grew out of a lot of it. She is now a well adjusted working mom. She is a great mom, and a very kind and loving adult. She is still a bit neurotic and emotional but nothing like the extreme ups and downs from borderline personality.

If he still lives at home you may have to use some tough love on him. Lay down the ground rules and stick to them! If he doesn't like it he can get a job and get his own place. heartwrenching as it is, you have to let him make his own decisions and mistakes.

Although if he is prone to violent behavior you may have to consider more extreme options like intervetions or committment to a treatment center.

ON a positive note my dad has been off of meds for bi polar for several years and is doing great. For many years though it was hell! I was an adult living at home with him because he was on disability and I can really relate to your situation.

Hang in there, it won't last forever!

I can't fully appreciate what you are going through as I only suffer from depression. So I don't understand the ramifications of a manic episode. All I can do is share my opinion on what the general population views as "mental" problems. I think that is so bogess and has led to shameful stigmas for people suffering from "mental" problems. These problems are still very physical. I mean physically, the brain is not making essential chemicals in the proper amounts to function correctly. To me it's no different than the pancreas not making insulin to counteract blood glucose in a person with diabetes. If your son became diabetic, would he refuse to take insulin to keep himself healthy and allow himeself to go blind and lose limbs? Or would he appreciate it if you were diagnosed with cancer but refused treatment because you didn't want to lose your hair? I am sorry if those questions seem harsh or rude, but you might try posing them to your son to help him see the situation differently, that there is PHYSICALLY something wrong. Try to help him take away the "mental" stigma, and he may be more receptive to treatment.

Hi T., I have Bipolar disorder and have a daughter who is 32 and has it also. She still refuses to take medication for it. It is so frustrating, but I can relate because it took me years before I would take my medicine. It is hard to admit to the disease, so many people do not understand it. I am still after my daughter to take the medicine, she has to listen someday. Good Luck!

My ex-husband is bipolar and if only he would have gotting help I might still have a husband and the kids a dad. He ending up killing someone because of his delusions and parinoia, he didn't even know the kid he killed. I would suggest that you have him committed, any way you can. I know that they can only hold them for a short time but maybe it would be long enough to get him started on medication and be able to stick to it. It is difficult to have a person committed these days but there are ways, ask you doctor, or a physc. hospital how to get this done. People with bipolar must take their meds or they really cannot function. God Bless and good luck, you will need it. Also wanted to let you know that he doesn't even trust his parents opion, or their intentions, which is probably the way of most bipolars.

My daughter is 28 with bipolar disorder. My heart goes out to you but it is important that you try to get your son to at least make an effort to stay on his medication. This made the difference with my daughter. She was either off the wall or so depressed she experienced crying jags that started for no apparent reason and lasted an hour. It nearly drove me crazy. She saw her psychiatrist every week for a while after I convinced her it was the only way she could enjoy some stabilization. You have to continue talking with them and convince them this is no different than having a chronic disease like diabetes. It can be controlled with medication. Jenny finally discovered the truth in that and thank God so far she is sticking with her medicine. It doesn't take away all the symptoms but it controls the intensity. She was so manic for years before we even knew about bipolar that she ended up having to file for bankruptcy. I'm still not sure how she was able to finish her BA degree. She could only get this done however online classes. Once she was on her medicine for a while and could think clearly again she could compare her feelings pre and post medication. We found a therapist she is working with now who is giving her the tools to control her life, recognize bipolar symptoms and handle them. Compared to a year ago I can finally find some peace altho I still worry all the time. However, it is getting better. Jenny is on Effexor and Lamictal and we have finally reached a pretty good balance. Medication is the only answer (the right meds) and therapy helps as well.

I am sorry for you and your son. My adult sister has bipolar and she is now 47yrs. old. All I can tell you about is our experience. The medication flattens their personality and they do not like the feeling. The mania episodes feel good- they are super creative, energetic, multitasking. That is also when the bad part of the mania happens- overspending, partying, days of insomnia, and impossible to talk or reason with. The down part is also unbearable as they get depressed, can't function, cry, self medicate. My sister feels better when she is in her manic part. She feels she needs no medication and we can not reason with her. Thankfully she holds a job that she does very well and she has a creative outlet in jewelry making. SHe has also filed bankruptcy 2 times, been married 3 times and is currently divorced and living with my mom. All she can do is work and come home and sleep on most weeks. We are thankful that she has work. We do not expect her to act like a normal personlality. She is either over the top or under the rug. She had 2 children and she was a good mother except she relied on her spouse at the time to do all of the cleaning, cooking, scheduling . She has been in rehab, she lost her son at 19yrs old in a car accident and if it weren't for my mom she would not make it. I don't know what kind of meds your son has been given but a mood stabilizer like adderal can help. I would definetly try other meds as my sister has been through many meds over the years to find the right mix that she is willing to take. She could not take lithium which is the gold standard for bipolar as she said she had no feelings at all. Try to get your son re evaluated for a new med regimin and get him to focus on a career path if he is not currently on one. Good Luck!

Pray, mama! Pray. I have a cousin who was diagnosed as bipolar for years, and her episodes were also intolerable. She and her mother were at each others throats emotionally, and I feel for you, and you are in my prayers. My recommendation is to have others who care about him talk to him when he is not manic. Anyone who he may have respect for. My cousin is also about 22, and she wil have nothing to do with what her mother tells her, she rebels against it, I think she has to in her own mind, to be self-suficient, i don't know. But if I talk to her, when she is not in the middle of something intensely emotional, she can see where I am coming from and is willing to listen, and she usually does pretty well for a while after that. Good luck, I know it i heart wrenching. God Bless you

I have a 20 year old daughter, whose bipolar developed into schizophrenia--I was unaware that could even happen! She was hospitalized in a manic state (hallucinations, voices, paranoid, refusing meds) The hospital therapist recommended that we place her in a womens group home. This was 1 1/2 years ago, and has worked out to her benefit as well as our relief. They make sure she takes her meds (check to make sure she doesn't "cheek" it), there is an alarm system on the house so they know if she tries to escape, she is safe, in a day program which is helping her get her GED, and now I am just Mom (not the woman who daily reminds her that she is ill by giving her meds) We have her come home every other weekend and we all enjoy those visits. As her doctor says, "Savor life." She has THE BEST psychiatrist-- people come to him from all over the world! You may want to give him a try-- Dr. Marshall Lucas. He is associated with Cypress Creek Psych Hospital which is near The Woodlands.

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