New (sorta) to the board and need help


New Member
Hi everyone. I used to post (rarely though) here several years ago. I still read on a regular basis. My oldest difficult child has been hospitalized quite a few times and in 2004 went to a long term Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he stayed for 14 months. He's done well since he's been home. He homeschools through a private school that is self-paced. He's very close to graduating, and will probably graduate at least 1 semester early if he keeps it up. His goal is to join the Army, but I seriously doubt they will take him. He doesn't have plan B in place because, since he knows it all, he's sure they will take him.

He started weaning off of his medications in October of last year, and has been off completely for about a month. In my opinion, he still needs them, but he refuses to take them as that will prohibit him from joining the Army. He was taking Adderall, Zoloft, Seroquel and Lithium. When he really really angry, he will cut. This has only happened 2 or 3 times since he's been home from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). There's no reasoning with him when he's mad. He knows everything and anything that is wrong or happens to him, is everyone else's fault.

He is working about 15 hours a week washing dishes at a local restaurant. He's doing a great job there and making decent money. He got his license in December and is in debt to the bank of mom and dad. He's actually making regular payments to us and is paying for his car insurance and gas.

Today, he had his first accident. No one was hurt thank God, but he's been hell to live with. He was at a stop light waiting to turn right and says that a lady on her phone in a huge SUV behind him (his words) kept creeping up on him. It made him mad so he went ahead and turned right. Oh yeah, he forgot to look and see if any cars were coming before he turned. Of course there was and the guy hit his car in the driver's rear side. This pushed him into the concrete barriers (lots of road construction) and banged up the front driver's side. It didn't do a whole lot of damage to the other guy's car luckily. Of course, it's the lady's fault for making him turn right, and the guy's fault for hitting him. In his eyes, none of this was his fault, except it WAS his fault. I told him that if the lady was inching up on him, to let her hit him. Then it would be her fault. Now our insurance rates are going to skyrocket. I just hope he's making enough at work to pay the increased costs. There is not reasoning with him over this. He's just ranting and raving about how he couldn't possibly drive his car because it has dents on it and a broken tail light. Nothing about taking responsibility.

This incident has really brought light to just how much he needs a mood stabilizer. How do I get him to take it when he refuses?? My husband is at the point where he is counting down the days until difficult child is 18. I don't see my son being able to support himself at that age. I wonder how much I could pay the Army to take him?? LOL

Any help anyone can give is desperately needed!

Sara PA

New Member
You really can't tell if he needs the medications until he's been off them for months. His brain is still getting use to not have those medications he was taking. My son said it was six months until he felt "normal" again after taking an antidepressant; then he said it again six months later. There seems to be the same problem when stopping antipsychotics.

Stella Johnson

Active Member
Well, you could withold priviledges until he takes them. No car, tv, etc. I know others have done it. Some it worked with, some not.

It does sound like he probably needs them especially with his past issues. I doubt the army will take him either.

He does sound like he has made progress since you were last here, so that is good news. :bravo:



Active Member
Maybe you could talk to someone from the army and get them to explain to him that the army isn't going to take him either way. Or, that he should be looking into a plan b because he needs the medications. Maybe coming from someone else it would sink in. Just throwing out ideas. Good luck


Active Member
I would have him talking to the army and see if they WILL take him. If they will, accelerate the process, because he's not going to give you any peace until he's had a go at it.

But if the army won't take him, I'd point out to him (when he's calm, not when he's raging) that you can't afford the higher premiums and YOU won't take him UNmedicated. Unless he's prepared to not only pay the extra insurance but also the excess. Because this WILL happen again. It's the impulsivity.

Another possibility - there should be advanced driver ed courses (the army will have these as well) that will put him in various scenarios and help him prepare for things like ladies on mobile phones in SUVs. We can even get computer software down here that works like a simulator. It tests the driver's knowledge of the road rules as well as putting them in real life scenarios that they may have to cope with. The player has to be the crash investigator and sort out who's at fault and why. Our program was put together by our major insurer. They must have got the idea from somewhere. Maybe a deal with him - complete the computer course and we'll let you behind the wheel of our car. otherwise, get your own car.



Well-Known Member
I doubt he'd make it in the Army, even if he can fake his way in or if he's off medications. I agree that you won't see the "real person" for several months. The drugs are still upsetting his system. It can take a long time for the body chemistry to go back to normal. If he is still behaving like he is, there is no way he'll last in the Army, but he's too old for you to force him to take medications. I'm afraid that, at his age, the decision will have to be his. Hopefully, he'll make a good choice.


Well-Known Member
If he is this close to graduating, then take him to the recruiter and let them deal with his delusions about a career in the army. I will not say yes or no about them taking him because I had a recruiter for the army tell me they would take my bipolar son even after I point blank told them he was bipolar and told them I knew he was unfit for duty per Marine Corps regs. This guy told me that they could probably work around it...hmmm.

About the car and the driving stuff. Is there anyway you could remove driving privileges? Can he take a bus or have you drive him? Mine didnt drive until they were grown. I never covered them on my insurance.


New Member
Thanks everyone.

The car is off limits now. I will be driving him to and from work. He is obviously not happy about the car...."it my car!". Well, I informed that since it wasn't paid for, AND I was listed on the title, it was MY car and until he paid it off, it was going to stay MY car.

As for the Army, he's already talked to a recruiter. He told him to come back and see him when he's 17 (3/12). He would have to be off of his medications but he didn't tell him for how long. I would love it if he could join as it's all he's talked about since he was small. My brother was in the Air Force for 15 years and has talked to him about what it's like. He tells me that he knows how he has to act in the military and he wouldn't have a problem with it. I said, even with a drill instructor screaming in your face? I think we'll go see the recruiter again this week and I'll be there with him. We'll see what he's told then.

He's in a much better mood today. Joking around, etc. I swear once he moves out, I'll have to be seen for PTSD. :rofl: