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Wed Mar 8, 2017, 05:33 AM

My son has now been diagnosed bipolar disorder

Last edited Sat Mar 11, 2017, 03:27 PM - Edit history (2)

His grandfather (my father) also had Bipolar I. My son had his first manic episode yesterday and was hospitalized involuntarily by the police. He was started on Geodon by the attending physician, and was transferred to the county public psych unit.

I'm pretty knowledgeable about bipolar disorder but I can always learn more. Any advice for the father of a bipolar son ? I have chronic depression, so I understand mental illness from that perspective, and of course my dad had bipolar.

Thanks in advance, Steve

UPDATE as of 3-9-2017: He's doing ok in the inpatient unit, but still manic and hearing voices. I saw him last night. He's on Depakote and Haldol (yes I know all about tardive dyskinesia eventually). Hopefully within a week or so he can be stabilized. Wish him luck. I will certainly want him to be hospitalized until he is truly stable.

update as of 3-11-2017: Son still hospitalized, slowly getting better.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply My son has now been diagnosed bipolar disorder (Original post)
steve2470 Mar 2017 OP
TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #1
steve2470 Mar 2017 #4
TexasProgresive Mar 2017 #5
TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #6
elleng Mar 2017 #11
TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #12
no_hypocrisy Mar 2017 #2
steve2470 Mar 2017 #3
Throck Mar 2017 #7
steve2470 Mar 2017 #9
gwheezie Mar 2017 #8
steve2470 Mar 2017 #10
proud patriot Mar 2017 #13
steve2470 Mar 2017 #14
steve2470 Mar 2017 #15

Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 05:45 AM

1. I have bipolar disorder myself.

Last edited Wed Mar 8, 2017, 03:44 PM - Edit history (1)

One thing that I have to be weary of is my interactions with my brother. He also seems to deal with issues of depression. At times he lays out so many of his issues on the table that he in turn gets me depressed; meanwhile, I am the opposite and keep everything bottled up inside of me because I realize that nobody really wants to be around someone who is depressed. When I get tired of hearing my brother moan about his problems I try to isolate myself from him because I do realize that he triggers depression and anxiety in me, but when I do that he turns around and berates me with verbal abuse.

I would suggest that you need to be wary of the things that you discuss with your son because they may trigger issues inside him. If you don't have anything positive to say to him, then it might be time to back away and give him some breathing room. I know it is sometimes difficult to recognize our own toxic behavior, but if that is an issue between the two of you then it becomes important to learn to avoid those episodes.

Good luck to both of you.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 07:14 AM

4. thank you! nt

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 07:32 AM

5. I want to thank you for this:

I would suggest that you need to be wary of the things that you discuss with your son because they may trigger issues inside him. If yoy don't have anything positive to say to him, then it might be time to back away and give him some breathing room. I know it is sometimes difficult to recognize our own toxic behavior, but if that is an issue between the two of you then it becomes important to learn to avoid those episodes.


We have 4 sons one who may be bipolar. It's possible that he has been diagnosed and is receiving treatment. That is just a guess as he lives a long way off. When we are together he seems more stable which may be because of medication, but I have been following your advice before you gave it. I have always enjoyed repartee but he takes it all so personal. With me it was a defense. Anyway If he is snarky to me I just smile and take it like a good Dad. This has made things much better.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 08:25 AM

6. You're welcome.

I think that a lot of people do not recognize the personal boundaries of others which can trigger the manic episodes.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 02:47 PM

11. :hug: Towelie

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Response to elleng (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 03:47 PM

12. Thank you.

It's been about five years since I realized an actual hug so being appreciated in the cyber-world has become my fallback.

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 07:06 AM

2. You might want to start with Patty Duke's "Brilliant Madness"

In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: the talented, Oscar-winning actress who won our hearts on The Patty Duke Show was suffering from a serious-but-treatable-mental illness called manic depression. For nearly twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age thirty-five, she careened between periods of extreme euphoria and debilitating depression, prone to delusions and panic attacks, temper tantrums, spending sprees, and suicide attempts. Now in A Brilliant Madness Patty Duke joins with medical reporter Gloria Hochman to shed light on this powerful, paradoxical, and destructive illness. From what it's like to live with manic-depressive disorder to the latest findings on its most effective treatments, this compassionate and eloquent book provides profound insight into the challenge of mental illness. And though Patty's story, which ends in a newfound happiness with her cherished family, it offers hope for all those who suffer from mood disorders and for the family, friends, and physicians who love and care for them.

https://www.amazon.com/Brilliant-Madness-Living-Depressive-Illness/dp/0553560727

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 07:14 AM

3. good idea, thank you! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 09:11 AM

7. Make sure he takes prescribed medication.

Person xxx I know runs into problems when they miss meds. Cold medicine and other over the counter items sometimes mix with conflicting results. Weight gain or loss will also have effect on prescription and treatment. Sometimes weight gain will be a side effect of prescriptions. Try to keep son and yourself physically active, it helps the persons I know.

God bless brother, it's a difficult path you're on.

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Response to Throck (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 11:50 AM

9. thank you so much, God bless you nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 10:04 AM

8. When he's stable

And as an outpatient get him a thorough work up including neuropsych testing. I've been a psych nurse for decades, I've met your son 1000's of times. When people come to an acute psych unit in crisis, we make the best diagnosis we can & start meds asap. We rarely do a thorough work up & don't have time to fine tune meds. Finding a competent outpatient provider will be essential. The work is done when the person is discharged from the hospital.
My brother is bipolar. Initially he did not believe it, it took several hospitalizations to get him stabilized some of that was due to his non-compliance & other times it was due to the nature of the illness & fine tuning his meds. My brother is 64 years old, he was initially diagnosed as schizophrenic in his early 20's. Once we got an accurate diagnosis & effective treatment, his life got much better. He has been married, raised children, still working & looking forward to retirement. He's had long stretches of stability & knows when his meds aren't working early enough he's been able to avoid crisis. It took a while to get there.
As far as what you can do, take care of yourself so you have the energy to be his advocate & support.

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Response to gwheezie (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 11:51 AM

10. thanks for your valuable input! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 09:40 PM

13. My son had early onset Bi polar

he was 5150'd from school in second grade .. it was a 7 day stay

Just know you are not alone .. and it's not easy .

Take Care

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Response to proud patriot (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 11, 2017, 10:13 PM

14. thank you, and best wishes to you and your son! nt

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Response to steve2470 (Original post)

Mon Mar 13, 2017, 03:24 PM

15. My son gets out of the hospital tonight

The psychiatrist feels he is stable enough. His mom and I are a bit nervous. We'll monitor him extremely closely. Thanks for your support!

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