Question further evaluation

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by maril, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    I suppose one needs to be free and clear of substance use before further evaluation and testing to rule out bipolar disorder can be considered? Our son needs to be evaluated further since he has had periodic extreme behaviors (I have already posted about all of this previously). Stopping his Vyvanse and sertraline awhile back seemed to help (checked with psychiatrist first). The only prescription medication he is on presently (just started a few days ago) is trazodone for sleep issues and it seems to be helping him. I read the information that came along with it and am watching him carefully (side effects, etc.). He claims to be and it appears to me that he is not presently using.

    Today was a good day for us and I enjoyed some time spent with him earlier this evening.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Let's just put it this way: My daughter was NOT clean when she was diagnosed and she definitely got the bipolar diagnosis. and was ACTING bipolar. But now that she's clean it's obvious that,w hile she may have a mild mood disorder, it isn't bipolar. She hated the prescritpion medications for bipolar--she got ovarian cysts from one--and refused to take them. Just as well since she was drinking and doing illegal drugs every day--so what good would they do? I do think that, to get a fair diagnosis., a person needs to be clean. JMO. Good luck--trust me, been there!
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    MWM: I am glad your daughter was able to get through the difficult times and the disorder was ruled out. Your input is very helpful.

    I approach this carefully because I don't want to assume anything with my son, especially since drug use has been involved. Over a long period of time, I have mentioned bipolar disorder (of which we have a family hx) to two psychiatrists and other mental health professionals but no one seems to indicate seeking further evaluation.

    Also, it has been mentioned to me that the substance abuse and whatever might be in his system might interfere with prescription medications (for example, he previously had been taking a stimulant for ADHD).

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If he has bipolar, trazodone might NOT be a good medication choice for sleep. it is a tricyclic antidepressant and can make bipolar worse.

    Do you have him drug tested randomly? I think after several clean drug tests, getting him tested would be a good idea. Giving prescription medications to someone who is using usually isn't a good idea.

    Does the psychiatrist know you are wondering about BiPolar (BP)?
  5. maril

    maril New Member

    Susiestar: Thank you for your response.

    I have been concerned and watchful after reading the information included with my son's prescription for trazodone; there's info related to bipolar disorder (as you mentioned) as well as info about the possibility of depressive thoughts, etc., in teens. His psychiatrist prescribed this new medication. In the past, I had made her aware that I stopped his Vyvanse and sertraline due to (possibly) aggravating his condition and have also questioned the possibility of bipolar disorder with her more than once.

    I think the drug testing is a good idea. In speaking with a rep in our county from D&A services unit, steps to obtaining drug testing were covered. We do not have access to previous periodic testing done on difficult child while he was involved in the outpatient partial program for D&A because our state's laws prohibit parents from finding out the results of drug testing; my son would have to consent to that. So, as you mentioned, drug testing would be something we could pursue on our own.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can buy drug tests in the drug store. Our Walgreens carries them. I believe you send the sample away and then get results.

    If your son needs to consent, make consenting a condition for living in your home. This is a MEDICAL test and any/all medical conditions and treatment could be affected by this. So tell your son that he must either consent or ...

    And find something major like no car, no computer, no video games, no nothing until the consents are signed.

    While my state does not limit my access to my son's records until he is 18, he has KNOWN that refusing access to his father and I would result in immediate awful consequences and removal of everything in his life he enjoyed. (his words).

    Good Luck.
  7. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Absolutely positively they need to be drug free, or any assessment is just guesswork.

    With my son, his behavior changed so radically, and I was looking up symptoms, which is how I stumbled here to this website so many years ago. His symptoms were Conduct Disorder.

    What we didn't know at the time, is that he had gone from the pot use to crack cocaine, and in those 6 weeks he was smoking it, had become this person I no longer recognized as my son.

    Once he got into rehab and the drugs left his system, they were able to get at the anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which are still the diagnosis's he has today, and is being treated for them.

    Drugs and alcohol completely change people.

    Sending hugs,
  8. maril

    maril New Member

    Thank you to both susiestar and Ephchap! I am grateful for the information and support.

    Up until last night, it appeared difficult child had not been using, he also claimed to not be, and I did see some difference in his overall behavior (since the beginning of the month). Unfortunately, last night, when he was staying with a friend, he left the friend's house, ended up at a house where there was an ADULT present with teens drinking and smoking pot, the police were called and "busted" the whole group. Now difficult child has citations and there is a huge fine involved.