Can anyone relate to this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Paris, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Paris

    Paris New Member

    My son just turned 18, he is bipolar and currently on Zyprexa. He is also addicted to weed. I posted on here a week ago and got some great feedback.

    My difficult child will not get a job! He recently got an IEP, but I don't even know if he will follow through with that. He will most likely start the school and then quit like he always does.

    I no longer give him money, but he steals to support his habit.

    I told him I am taking his cell phone and car away until he gets a job.

    Why won't he just get a job??? He smokes pot and watches TV all day. It makes me want to cry, instead I scream and yell a lot.

    He never follows through with anything, school, work...

    It's always tomorrow, tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

    Why??????? What is this??? Are bipolar teens not capable of working?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Why does he quit school and not want to work? Does he not want to put forth the effort? Does he not want to lose his 'free time' to do as he pleases?

    You asked if BiPolar (BP) teens are incapable of working. If the bipolar is stabilized, he should be able to work. I'm not saying it's going to be as easy as it is for you and I, but nothing in his life is going to be and he's going to have to learn to adjust and cope with it. It's not fair, but it's just the way it is like anyone else who has a disability. My step-father is blind and not only does he work and make a very good salary, his favorite hobby is woodworking. Lately, he's been 'turning' and making things such as salad bowls, pepper mills, pens, etc. You'd never know by looking at what he makes that they were made by a blind man; they're absolutely beautiful. And, no, he wasn't born blind. He had to adapt. Like your son does.

    If he's not stable, I would have concerns over his ability to keep a job. If I remember correctly, he's not exactly compliant with psychiatrist and therapist...correct? As he is 18, there is nothing you can do about that legally. So, you have to ask yourself how much are you willing to put up with? Yes, he has a disability. However, as an adult he is the ONLY ONE who can help himself.

    As far as the drugs, I found this to be interesting and thought you might, too:

    I also thought this might offer you some insight:

    There is also a book called An Unquiet Mind by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. Dr. Jamison is (or was in the '90's - don't know if she is still there) a Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and suffers from bipolar disorder.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Good morning Paris~

    I don't have a bipolar teen - but I am married to a man (24 years) who was diagnosed BiPolar (BP) about 14 years ago.

    When he is stable, he is able to hold a job. It is difficult when he cycles through the depression. There are days when he is just not able to get out of bed and go to work. There are days when he is just not able to take a shower for that matter. He has a very understanding boss.

    With that said - I hear you saying that your son won't even make an attempt. I would have a problem with that. The pot smoking is certainly muddying the waters too.

    A mental health diagnosis does not give license to sit home and play video games. Nor does it allow to just live off of mom and dads good graces. Mental illness does not allow one to quit high school.

    I don't know about your sons diagnosis. But it does sound like he has an entitlement issue.

    He is 18. You may have to practice some tough love. It is an unfortunate reality that if he learns at 18 that a diagnosis entitles him to a free ride in life - he might be inclined to ride for free for a long time.

    If it were me - I WOULD GET SOME THERAPY and learn some techniques to cope. The book Heather suggested is a great one in terms of understanding the disease. I would further suggest a book titled Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend that will help YOU cope with his disease.

    Also, be sure to peruse the Parent Emeritus section of this forum. It is designed for parents who have adult kids with issues.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Your boy sits around all day not getting a job. He gets high and does nothing.

    This has almost nothing to do with the fact that he is bipolar, and everything to do with the fact that you let him stay in your home.

    He is 18. He wants to sit around and do nothing? Tell him he can do it somewhere else. When a kid is 18, living with mom is a something you earn. Tell him he has to pay rent or he is out.

    Post this question on the Parent Emetrius board, as Golden Guru suggested. It is time to learn the fine art of detaching, and the gals there will help you. It is not easy, but it is a necessary skill.

    Get on your warrior gear. You will need it for this fight.


    Big hugs.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Paris,

    You've already received some great advice from GG, BBK and Wyntersgrace. It does sound like your son feels entitled to a free ride, and believes that having an illness makes him exempt from responsibility.

    We have been dealing with this with my son for the last few years. My difficult child tries to use his disability as an excuse to get out of anything he doesn't want to do. And he's become very adept at using the language of therapy to manipulate people.

    The "party line" in our house is: your actions, your responsibility. I tell my difficult child that the world doesn't care about his diagnosis or his disability, and they won't let him use it as an excuse for bad behaviour, so neither will I because it's my job to turn him into a responsible adult. Yes, many things are much harder for him than they are for neurotypical people, but that's something he's going to have to deal with all his life.

    Does your son use drugs in your home? I agree with BBK. At 18, living with parents is a privilege, no longer a right. If he's not willing to work, pay you rent, take on some of the household responsibilities, and not break the law by smoking pot, then he hasn't earned the right to live in your home.

    Best of luck, and keep posting to let us know how things are going.

  6. Paris

    Paris New Member

    Great articles! And I just ordered the book on Amazon.

    Thanks : )