How bad can bi-polar get? Any experience here?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Iwantpeace, May 12, 2015.

  1. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    I've wondered for a long time if part of my sons problem is bi-polar. Mental illness runs in my exs family. His sister was bi-polar, manic, schizophrenic with visions of Grandure. I have told you Difficult Child abuses adderol and I think it can trigger mania if you're pre disposed To mental illness. One big thing is Dr had put him on several different anti depressants over the last couple of years and then he would stop taking them. I know I have no control over him because he's a grown man. What I'm wondering is I've read about the dillusion and anger that can come with this. After reading it sounds so much like him. The paranoia that everyone is against him. He does all these terrible things but acts and believes he is the injured party. He is ultra generous in certain situations, (not with me). To some he seems wonderful, kind and giving. He paid to have my friends car fixed a few months ago when she couldn't afford it. Then there is a DARK side to him. Since his ex left him he has made threats of things he would do to her and her family. He has made threats to me. In another post I wrote where he just recently drove a truck into my garage with such force that my garage door came off the wall and damaged my car inside the garage. The more time goes by without him seeing his small child I believe he will get worse. I know I'm all over the place but I guess I'm curious if anyone has experience with this? Dr told him he has personality disorder but I don't know. Then there are lies he tells about me. He was abused as a child. (Lie). He told my neighbor his name was on my house (bigger lie). I don't know how scared or worried I should be. It's terrible to love someone, worry about them, cry over them and think they could hurt you. Does he have any control at all? Every little sound at night scares me. I waver between anger and hurt and fear. The hurt I have for my grandchild is almost unbearable. I don't know what to do with all this?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    None of us can diagnose your son.

    You have a very bad mental health history, as you know.

    Personality disordered people, while not really well defined yet, are just remorseless and lie a lot and break the law and have diminished consciences, but they are perfectly sane and there is no medication for it and usually they do not care to change so therapy is a no-go. I am not a doctor and am taking a mom's gut guess that this is probably his biggest problem, made worse if he is using substances or being prescribed medications that make him angry. He sounds pretty dangerous to me. His ex should take precautions and so should you. Many of our adult kids can be dangerous...we need to be cautious. I hope he doesn't live with you. If so, consider changing this as he is not safe.

    This man SHOULD NOT SEE HIS CHILD IF HE WAS DANGEROUS ENOUGH TO DRIVE INTO YOUR GARAGE AND SMASH IT HARD!!!!!!! His son is better off not seeing him if he is not safe. I know that me...but if I were ex I'd take him to court for no contact without court supervision. And he'd never see the grandson if I had the grandson. He could kill him without meaning to. No violent person should be around a child. BE SAFE. GET HIM OUT OF YOUR HOUSE WITH A RESTRAINING ORDER.

    Adderrall is a seriously dangerous drug used for ADHD that my daughter and many of her friends would crush into pillcrushers and snort either alone or with other stuff, like cocaine. This can cause psychosis.

    We are your support system.

    Hugs and good luck!
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  3. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    I must add I'm so grateful I found this site. I wish you were all in my neighborhood so we could have coffee and visit!!
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do too :)
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You know there are many different diagnosis that can be made, sometimes they are spot on and sometimes they are just plain wrong.

    Even if your son is bi-polar is does not excuse his actions. Would it help explain some behaviors? Perhaps. There are plenty of people who are bi-polar, ADD, depressed, etc.... and they manage to keep their life together but it takes effort on their part, they have to be willing to accept the work it takes.

    So much of what your son has done sounds so much like my son. Sometimes it's the drugs and alcohol that fuel their bitterness and anger and sometimes it's just how they are. They have convinced themselves that nothing is their fault and everyone is against them. The power of our own minds is amazing, what we put in is what we live. My son chose to listen to what I call demonic music, I mean there was nothing "cheery" about it at all, to me it sounds like a bunch of demons screaming. When one chooses to put garbage in that is what they will produce.

    This is the same for us parents, as our thought process can become so warped by dealing with our Difficult Child. That is why it's so important for us to focus on ourselves and our well being, by doing those "little" things that matter. We have the power to change our thinking and how we process life.

    It would be good if your son was willing to be evaluated as only a clinical psychologist / psychiatrist will be able to determine if in fact your son has a disorder. Again, even if he does, it's no excuse for his behavior.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep posting. You are doing great.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  6. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    She does have an injunction. He will have to have supervised visit if he hasn't already blown that. I did get him out of my house. One thing I've learned is a restraining order does not always work. It only works on someone who
    So true about it not being an excuse. I also believe in demonic activity. I agree we have the power to change our thoughts but it is an on going battle with me.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You are simply a work in progress my dear

  8. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Dear Iwantpeace,
    I have a bipolar son who is 29. He has had quite a history and if you read some of my back posts (he is DC1) it might give you some insight into what we have experienced. He is now in back in prison awaiting trial on a parole violation. It is hellish, but we do see the sweet young man we know and love when his medications are balanced. Unfortunately is happens infrequently. Keep posting and let me know if you have any questions. Take good care of yourself...start now!
  9. Nature

    Nature Active Member


    My heart goes out to you. I do agree you need to find some joy in your life to offset the pain you are going through. To feel fear in your own home aka supposedly your sanctuary must be overwhelming. Is there any chance you are able to move so that you will gain some sense of peace? Thank you for sharing your story and I'm here to listen.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Are you sure these are bi-polar traits? To me, there would seem to be some element of schizophrenia - which is scarier than bi-polar, in my experience. The loss of contact with reality is hard to imagine - and hard to deal with. People with schizophrenia are more frequently non-compliant with medications than bi-polar (so I am told by the specialist). There's also something called schizoaffective.

    None of this is easy. Dealing with some of these mental illnesses is very difficult, and the rest of the world makes it more difficult by attitudes, actions and words.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I second this. If he is actively using drugs it will cloud any diagnostic picture.

    Even after stopping drugs, symptoms often remain that are an artifact of the drug use. Sometimes they are long-term and even permanent other times, not.

    There is no way that we on this board, professional or not, can responsibly advise you about a diagnosis.

    Many of us are in the same soup as you: Is it drugs? Is it a personality disorder? Is it an active Axis I diagnosis, such as a mood disorder, psychosis, anxiety, etc.? Is it a developmental disorder? Neurological? Or a mixed picture?

    All of us have adult children. We struggle to deal with situations over which we have limited control; and how to respond to our pain and fear.

    I struggle too to figure it all out, diagnostically. I think this is because I am struggling to hope...and think a diagnostic picture might either shore up my hope, or take it away. This is a fantasy.

    More urgent I think for me are the questions: How to handle my grief and fear and need to go on in life? What does a relatively healthy relationship with my son look like, given our current circumstances, and how can I put that into practice?

    You are making strides in the latter, setting parameters for contact or no.

    How are you handling your grief and fear? What about support and therapy for you?

    Keep posting, as will I and we can do this together.
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    When our daughter fell, a part of it was that she had been prescribed an antidepressant which should not be given to those prone to mania. I have a PTSD block over the name of that medication. Was it Celebrex? In any event, research indicates that a certain percentage of those taking whatever the medication was will crash into mania.

    Then as the child's grandmother, you need to protect the child from his father until the father is well again. If the child is safely away, you could send money or clothes or cards or anything at all to the child through the mail, so he will know he has a grandmother out there in the world who loves and wishes him well.

    That doesn't seem like an important thing. But knowing there is someone out there in the world who loves us, just for who we are, can make a difference for the child, all of his life.

    I do.

    Our daughter has four children.

    Our son has two.

    I think it will help you to make your home very safe. An alarm system? The truth is that we don't know what the kids are capable of, when drug use is involved. Your son sounds like a kind, generous man. You raised him well. I don't know why these things happened to your family or to my family, either. But I do know that if we can look at our situations head on, then we stand a better chance of making sense of things.

    Safety for the innocent child is a priority. Safety, physical safety, for yourself is a priority.

    The other questions can be addressed, over time.

    You have time.

    That was a key piece in my ability to take a step back and gain perspective on what was happening to all of us. Another key piece for me was to realize that neither of my children had been raised to do what they were doing.

    They were in trouble, too.

    This is not who they wanted to be, either.

    When I realized that, I could back off, a little bit. I did not have to fix it for them, because I could get it, could understand, that I did not know how to help either them or myself. So taking time was the right thing to do.

    Just a little time.

    Then, I could come at the situation from a changed perspective. With that changed perspective, I could see what had helped either them or me, and what hadn't. I describe it as having made a cold-eyed decision to survive.

    That was my first step toward recovering myself, I think.

    I wasn't leaping into it with them; I stopped believing I knew how to change this for them.

    I gave that back to them.

    And it happened that, when I did that, they took the reins of their own lives back. It was not a miraculous healing or an immediate change. It took time for them to learn to believe in themselves.

    It took time for me to accept that it was a correct thing, for them to no longer believe in me. But the truth is that, like the kids themselves, I didn't know what to do anymore, either.

    I began saying, even to myself, that they were strong enough, that they were bright enough, to make it through this thing that had happened to all of us. (And maybe, looking back on it now, what I believed about my children was the most crucial belief system to change.)

    The words I said to them were: I'm sorry this is happening. You can do this. I don't know. NO MONEY. NO YOU CANNOT MOVE HOME. You can do this. I want to see you become the man your father and I raised you to be. Everything was very different with our daughter. She felt worse than we did about what was happening to her. But she could be every bit as manipulative as our son. The things I could say were the same, to both kids. Really, there is nothing else to say.

    They have to be strong enough. And the only way to develop a strength you can trust is to do it, yourself.

    So, that is what I hung on to. When I had to say no, when I turned away from them, that is what I hung on to. That they could do this.

    It was a very hard thing.

    But I loved them enough to do it, and I learned to love myself enough to survive not being what I believed with all my heart was a good mom.

    And we are getting through it.

    My children have done that, too. The only thing I can figure out about that is that they need others to believe they would be better people if they had been raised well. That is so hard, for the parent to hear. It is hard for us to know others believe we were not decent people to our children in our homes, once the doors were closed. (My mother said this to me, once. Both kids were in such terrible trouble, D H and I were barely sustaining our marriage, and my mother said: "I remember when your kids were little. We would come for dinner and you would all stand at the door, waving goodbye when we left. And your father and I would say, "What a perfect family ~ and that just goes to show that you never know what life is really like, once the doors close."

    And I believed her, of course.

    But I so desperately didn't know where or how everything had gone so wrong.

    So, that was not helpful. What it taught me was this: Unless someone can give you specifics don't listen to what they say.

    There are those in our lives who will use our vulnerabilities to hurt us.

    Decide to survive it. If they can tell you something specific, then that is a thing to consider. Global condemnation? That tells you only who they are. It gives you nothing you can use to help your family heal and so, can be safely disregarded.

    We have enough on our plates trying to figure out how to survive what is happening, to us and to our families.

    "Does he have any control at all?"

    For your sake, believe he does not. Not right now. Take immediate steps to make yourself safe. If that means moving to an apartment complex, if that means asking the police to check on your house and on you nightly ~ whatever that means, then please take those steps.

    Is your grandchild physically safe?

    It is really awful that these things are happening to you, and to your son and grandchild. I have been where you are, and I am so sorry that is where you are, too. But you are here with us, now.

    You are not alone with the hurt of it anymore, with the crazy confusion of it.

    I am so glad you found us.

    I am just a mom too, but I believe drug use ~ maybe even prescription medications ~ somehow affects our ability to feel empathy.

    I agree.

    For all of your sakes, but for your son's own sake, too. When he is better (if he gets better) knowing he hurt or maimed someone he loves while he was ill will be something impossible for him to forgive himself for.


    A diagnosis can help us understand what is happening to someone we love. We can understand better how to protect ourselves, and even our person through a diagnosis. But if your son is prone to bipolar episodes he is the one who needs to respond correctly to his challenge.

    We cannot do that for them. Trying to help, trying to do the right thing, turns into the ugliness of enabling.

    Helping isn't helping.

    And that is a hard lesson to learn.


    Blaming is a dead giveaway. If we refuse to take responsibility to the degree we are able, we cannot change our situations.

    Our son did not do this, but our daughter did. When we brought her to the first facility, they told us the music appealed to her because she was upset.

    Which led directly to what might be wrong at home.


    They told us the music was a symptom, and not to take it away.


    That was something like twenty eight years ago.

    Things have changed, I think.

    Again. Unless someone can tell you, specifically, why and how their observations are valid, disregard their opinions.

    Even professionals can be very wrong.

    I need to begin doing this again, for myself.

    Very important, to do these good things for ourselves.

    On the fridge it goes. Naming my situation helps me stand up.

    Very nicely phrased, Copa.

    This will help me.

  13. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

  14. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    I appreciate everyone's words of experience and wisdom. As I read so many stories here Im really a little shocked and saddened how many of us there are. This is an incredible group of caring people!
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    @Iwantpeace , we are all in this together.

    While our basic issue is the same (adult children who are out of control) the reasons vary. One of things I love about this site is we are all at different stages of our healing and we each have something to offer and to learn from. I have learned from those who have been on this site longer than I have and I learn from those who are new.

    I'm glad you are here with us, learning and healing.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son has gossiped about me. He has told others of my worst moments.

    Forget what happened to get me to that place. The provocations, the debasement. The fear.

    My son has little cared what others may do, for their own ends, with the tasty bits of my degradation. Neighbors felt justified in telling me I should have done better, been better as a mother, and telling each other...exactly how I failed.

    In our case, I am the target of my son's anger and pain related to his birth parents, now dead. And what can I do? I am the parent who remains....

    Looking outside himself for someone to blame, to hold responsible, for more and more things...became a habit for my son, until few competencies were left...his expectations of himself, fewer and fewer....

    Seeking to externalize this find someone to blame, hold responsible, I stepped forward.

    It's me. Me. It's my fault, I knew it. And my anger and loss of control...showed me to be the guilty one. My fault. Yes. That role, I knew.

    I had raised a son who lacked it seemed, the personal resources to function and grow as an adult. My fault, yes. My responsibility, yes. My failure, yes.

    Desparate, I was to stop this. How do I save him, and myself?

    The realization. I cannot.

    I read, I type, I post. I decide, I choose to live. Nothing more. For now.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Well isn't that special. Shame on your neighbors!! It's none of their business. They do not know what goes on in your home and I can guarantee they themselves are not perfect parents because no such animal exists.
    Every parent makes mistakes, we all have done and said things we wish we could get a "do over" on.
    If you're like me, I'm sure you did the best you could and you know what, that's enough.

    Copa, I think you are being way to hard on yourself. Again, there is no such thing as a perfect parent, we all have made mistakes. You are much to articulate for me to believe that you did not equip your child with values and morals. I know I taught my son, but as with my son and all other Difficult Child it's how they choose to implement them in their lives, or not. I know my son has the skills to make better choices and live a responsible life but he chooses not to. Nothing I can do to change that.

    • Winner Winner x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  18. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    You could have written that for me, those are my exact feelings today.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Iwantpeace,

    Just checking in to see how you are doing today. Hope as the days move on you are gaining strength and clarity.
  20. Iwantpeace

    Iwantpeace Member

    Hi Tanya,
    So nice of you to check on me. Well as you know it is like a roller coaster. At the moment I'm okay but I've had Difficult Child blocked from my phone. I guess there is some bliss to ignorance. The one time I unblocked him and answered I got an earful about how everything is my fault etc.. There are some things happening that I'm concerned about. I don't know what will happen to him as for as the court system. Maybe it will be a good thing that he has to answer to someone for his actions. I have made no decisions on moving because I decided I should not make a big decision like that until Im in a more stable frame of mind. I still go back and forth because if he has a Borderline (BPD) like he says the Dr told him he has, I don't know if I will ever be safe in my home. I need a crystal ball!

    I am deffinatley gaining strength and clarity each day thanks to this haven.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015