My 20-year-old son, is an undiagnosed bipolar.
This is a bit hard to deal with as I myself am diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder, and understand thoroughly what he’s going through.
The question I am often asked is “have you addressed this with him?” The answer is “Yes!”
I’ve spoken to him in the past until I’m blue in the face. It’s difficult to watch him go from severe depression to manic highs.
Recently, during a manic episode he got a credit card, almost bought a car, and almost lost his home. He did end a year-long relationship due to his mania. I think it was amicable as he was so high on life, she couldn’t keep up much less compete with his change in lifestyle.
I hate to see my son suffer. But, I’ve been unclear as to what I can do. After all, he is grown and my words hold little clout anymore.
As a teenager, my son went through an abnormal level of depression. I wasn’t sure if it was just being a teen with developmental changes or something worse. He would stay in his room for days at a time, carve on things, listen to dark music, hardly eat, wouldn’t associate with our family, he disassociated with friends, although the only thing he was consistent at was his school work.
He also hit manic moments where he was dating more than one girl at a time. His speech was expressly fast, he would spend money as soon as he would get it and borrow from friends what he couldn’t pay back, his school work would suffer, he would become paranoid, agitated, irritable, he became an insomniac, etc.
I’m sure there are many parents going through a similar situation with a child young or grown.
I’ve recently decided to use my advice to help him. I’ve researched available medical insurance for him, and a medical clinic willing to assist him in properly diagnosing what ales him.
I figured there were a few things I could control vs. waiting it out. Help and support is what I could offer, and that is what I did.
In a recent conversation with him, he agreed with me he believes something isn’t quite right with him. I shared my information on medical insurance and the information for a local clinic.
I was grateful he was so receptive to my “mothering,” along with all the information I fed him. Now only time will tell.
There are things we can and can’t do in addressing such an issue. We must understand the control is ultimately in the hands of the one we care about. But our support (not nagging) is our balance.
I opened the floor to any question he may have regarding the matter. I thought allowing him to feel comfortable to ask me anything might help him open up more freely.
To my surprise, my son had a million and one questions for me, I was only so happy to answer. As with our community on twitter, Facebook, and WordPress, I’m just as committed to helping all I can with support, and answers (if I don’t know, I’ll certainly research it), but especially my son.
The key to it all is not being afraid of what we do not understand. Taking part in support is also learning, learning all you can. Especially empathy, it is crucial to support.
I’m proud of my son for taking the first step in admittance that something isn’t right. Now, to get the proper help.
I implore you, if you have a child, friend, family member, etc. to help be a support to that someone in need. An early diagnosis can alleviate years of unnecessary hardship.
I was undiagnosed for over 20 years. If only someone had pointed out the obvious to me, my family and I may have been spared some hardships.
I will keep you apprised to any developments in my son mental health.
Please share your story. Or if you have comments, please sound off below.