Son diagnosed with Bipolar and Depression with history of abuse. How do I help??

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by scaredparent5304, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. scaredparent5304

    scaredparent5304 New Member

    I have a 21 year old son that was sexually abused from the ages of 7-14. My husband and I found out about this when my son was 17. At that time we prosecuted the creep that did this and of course it was a close friend of the family! The molester got 2 years in prison and is out now. My son has been thru the ringer with emotions ever since this all became public. He goes from severe depression to extreme rage at any moments time. I have had him in with counselors, therapists and doctors. Nothing seems to help because he will not allow it to work. He has been on so many anti depressants I cant even tell you. All would not work and would cause problems. Counseling is not going good. I cannot afford to take him to a psychologist (no insurance) which is where he really needs to go. We sued the creep that did this to him but all we have is a judgement for him to pay my son and apparently he doesnt have any money anymore or anything to sell off. My son has had a alcohol and marijuana problem for a few years now. He went to jail for partying too much in college. That really seemed to help him for a while, but now back to the old ways again. He is currently in college full time and working full time which I thought would really keep him to busy to party but he is finding time to do that.
    I guess the next step for me would be to kick him out of the house and make him grow up, but how do I know that is the right thing to do with what he has been thru with his past? His father and I both have ALOT of guilt about the abuse and with my son being unstable I just dont know how to go about kicking him out. Any suggestions? Its so much easier said than done. Its a sad situation that I am making worse with my guilt. Someone PLEASE HELP!! I just found out he was smoking marijuana again and its killing me!
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our board. I am so sorry that this happened to your son and to your family. It's awful that horrible person did this to your son and caused such tragic consequences. Has your son tried going to the counseling office at his college? He really does need a therapist that can help him sort this all out. I don't think you can treat this the way we do with our difficult child's because of the extenuating circumstances. If you kick him out of the house it will just be another blow to his already fragile self. He will feel as though you were rejecting him because of what happened to him.

    Were you offered any help through victims' rights in the courts?

    I wish I had a better answer for you.

  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    When I was in college I saw a free psychologist when I was going through a rough time. It might be worth checking. I'm really sorry you are all going through this.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi. I'm sure people who understand this area of parenting better than I will be along, but I wanted to welcome you.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just found out about an option for health care for my difficult child who is 27 and bipolar and struggles with depression. Thanks to the affordable care act, people who are turned down by traditional health insurance companies can apply for health insurance through the government. My daughter's premiums would be $220 a month and I think your son's would be lower since he is younger. We are in the process of applying for health insurance for her just to get a denial letter so we can apply for the government insurance.

    Here is a link to the program:

    Once you get him on an insurance plan, you will have more options for treatment. We plan to pay the premiums ourselves since our difficult child can't afford it. After 2014, you can get him covered by the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

    by the way, welcome to our little corner of the CD board.

  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. I am so sorry you are going through this. I agree that you and your son are in a different place then many of us on this board, your son has had an experience which really impacts trust so I think continuing to try to help him, at this point, is your best option.

    You might try contacting your local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) they have support groups for parents and lots of helpful information. You might run into someone who can advocate for you and your son. There is so much shame attached to the victims of sexual abuse, it's so sad because your son was a child and he suffers the long lasting impact of someone else's choices. This becoming public is another violation which brings more shame. I can understand your sons anger and depression. Sexual abuse is a very personal and intense violation to not only one's body but one's entire being.

    There are groups here in CA. which are for the survivors of sexual abuse...............therapists often offer sliding scale and some are experienced in sexual abuse therapy, you might research that and then call the expert and see if they would negotiate with you for the fee. Most people don't try to negotiate price, but I have found folks in the helping professions are often willing to do that if you ask, but of course, you have to ask, they generally don't make the offer. I am presently in a therapy run codependency group and one of the members has a grown son who is bi-polar and sometimes abuses drugs. She faces similar questions and it is complex when our kids are mentally unstable too. The support of the other parents going through similar issues is very, very helpful. You might consider getting yourself into some kind of a parent group to help you deal with all of the feelings you and your husband are having. You're in a tough spot and groups offer others who understand on a deep level and you would be surprised how much that helps. And, it also offers options and information too.

    This is all complicated and I can understand your guilt, but you didn't do anything wrong. If you can find your own counselor to help you and your husband handle the guilt and your own feelings, as you heal from that, you will be better equipped to help your son. Healing from sexual abuse is challenging but it is doable...... one can learn to live a healthy life, it takes a lot of internal work and commitment. Sexual abuse/incest is way more common, statistically, then people are aware of. Since your son is abusing substances he might also benefit from a 12 step group. In the 12 step community, the percentages of folks who are abusing drugs and alcohol who have been sexually abused is staggering, often the root of the substance abuse is incest/sexual abuse. Which is why it is absolutely necessary to address the sexual abuse underlying the substance abuse before any real healing can occur.

    Your son is in college full time and working full time so he is functioning. It might be prudent to figure out boundaries you and your husband need and to sit down and discuss those boundaries with your son. I believe if you find support for you and your husband to help you deal with the guilt and also to find options for your son, you will be in a much better place to make healthy choices for all of you. Sometimes we just need someone outside to help us make sense of all of it and come up with ways to walk through it, to offer options, support, information, kindness, understanding, empathy, compassion and solutions. I am truly sorry you find yourself here..........sending very gentle hugs your way............and warm wishes that you find your way through this so the three of you can find peace...........