how to handle the bipoolar son

I am a father of 28 yr old son, diagnosed with bipolar disorder about one year back,suffering from last 5-6 years, diagnosed differently at many stages of illness. at present enroled to study post graduation in a city in INDIA ,staying alone in a rented flat. I am the worst sufferer because he thinks I am responsible for his problems. He dreams very high involving lot of investments and on denying his demands, he sends SMS such that I become depressed like anything and I think my life has no meaning. I don't enjoy my work. all the time my mind is busy thinking about him. I am in urgent need of suggestions how to cope with it. I am losing my patience.

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Dear Soki, i am so sorry you are going through this with your son. The child always attacts the parent who does not attack back.It is the safest thing for him to do, but when my daughter attacks me it feels like she is slowly killing me. Remember that is the illness talking and your son doesn't even realize it. It hurts and it hurts and it hurts. Sometimes I want God to take me home. I cry and I pray for her I remind myself that she knows that I wont leave her and no matter what i love her but sometimes i feel like movingaway so she wont lash out so much. Try reading about his illness so you dont take him so seriously. Lashing out is his mental illness not his heart. I will pray for you both.God loves you so much and he understands how hard it is to watch his child suffer. If you were here I would hug you.I care and i am thinking of you.Monsae

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Hi Soki,

Thank you for pointing out that you and your son are in India so that we know some of the acronyms and other terms you use may not be the same as in U.S. Can you tell me do you and your son both receive mental health treatment for your stress? Also is it believed in your culture, as it is here, that a 28 year old person is an emancipated person who is responsible for their own decisions and their consequences? (I am not being unsympathetic. I have an adult bipolar sibling and struggle with this today.)

Wrk

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thanks for your reply and I felt good that I am not the only person going through this. my son attacks me and hurts me but somewhere I feel that I am the only source of support emotionally, he tries to share his problems with me. yesterday only I received SMS that " I am ashamed that I am financially dependent on a person like you". felt very bad and I am in no mood to talk to him anymore . suggest me what should I do.

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Thanks for your reply. I am not receiving any mental health treatment for myself but my son was in contact with a psychiatrist in past but don't know the present situation and he has not told me about the treatment he received which I came to know from other sources. he is dependent completely on me . in india we are never free from each other.

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Dear Soki, Did you do something for yourself today? May I suggest, read inspirational and self help books,this always helps me.When my 26 years old daughter starts saying horrible things to me i have to leave her alone for awhile. This is when i have to redirect my thoughts and feelings. I know that I am a good mother that is why it is so hard to understand why she is so hateful at times. I KEEP PRAYING FOR GOD TO HEAL HER. Stay strong and I will pray for you both...Monsae

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Hi Soki

Thank you for the reply. I am curious what the acronym SMS stands for. Also I would not presume to give advice given that I am not very familiar with your culture. I guess I would suggest that you seek counseling for yourself that is culturally appropriate..

W.

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SMS stands for messages sent through mobile phones.

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yes I am a dentist and in a private practice.

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Dear Soki,

You are certainly not alone. In my case, I am the one with the mental illness and did not treat my mother or my husband kindly over the years while unwell. I have more than just Bipolar and therefore have trust issues and suspicions too. It is usually the ones most loved by the person affected by mental illness that suffer most. It is a very isolating disease, I have lost friends and family members' support over the years. Things are all good between my mother, my husband and I because Of how they made me realise what I was doing.

Life will never be easy with your son but you have proven to be his major support and he knows it that is why he keeps in contact with you. What is important for you is not to worry about him all the time, there have to be limits and you have to remind him often about them. It is very common during manic episodes to plan many things, make large loans, have grand plans for businesses; but more important to keep in mind is that the crash down into depression follows the high eventually and businesses will go under, money will be lost, studies will remain incomplete. It is also important that your son realises the importance of being correctly medicated and taking his meds regularly.

You sound like a wonderful father and your son is lucky to have you but if you are not staying strong for both of you, who will be there for you? It is important to talk to a professional about your situation, a general practitioner (doctor), who knows the family history is best and you can get support for yourself too.

All the best

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thanks Bogo28 for your reply. I am really relieved. I am feeling that I am reading my sons mind through you. please keep posting so that I can understand my son better.

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Dear Soki

I am glad to be of help. Just hope that it can be of help to your son somehow too.

Does he not find it difficult living on his own? If he needs medical assistance there is no one right there? If he's not regularly taking his prescribed medication he can cycle into an episode at amy time. Manic episodes can be dangerous for some people as they feel invincible and can do something reckless. I am surprised that he is managing postgraduate studies because I'm medicated and struggle to consistently keep up and deliver work. Money means nothing to a person during a manic episode. On the whole money does not really matter to me but I do realise that once it's spent, it's gone forever. During mania I don't think. A person becomes totally irrational and impulsive. I don't know what more I can share that would be of assistence. Maybe if you told more of his behaviour, I could get a better picture.

Now, we'll talk about you. Being his support person, you need to know how to cope and deal with the stress of the situation. Sometimes the family doctor will prescribe something for you to assist during particularly difficult times. He/she will have to assess you, your health and the situation.

All the best.

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Dear Bogo28

As you have pointed out I am really worried how he is managing alone with so much to do, managing home, food and postgraduate studies. I don't know about medication. At present he is angry with me and made me responsible for his suffering. I am not concerned about the money spent but I am worried about the misuse of it.

I am aged 54, diabetic with hypertension. All time I only think about him. I know that this is causing damage to my social behaviour but I don't like talking and mixing with people and getting irritated very easily. Most of the time I am thinking of going out of town on any pretext or other. I am taking sleeping pills for last couple of days to lessen my thought process.

I don't know how long I can manage all this.

Soki

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Hi Soki, I find that antianxiety meds help me with relaxing(not worrying) I hope you have a good day. Reading also helps.

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Hi Soki,

I think you are on the right track with trying some sleeping meds, but I agree with Monsae that anxiety meds may be worth considering. As a medical professional, you must have some perspective on the medical aspects of this.

Wrk

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Hi Monsae, yes the medicine helps me in sleeping well and is anxiolytic so that emotionally I am better.

soki

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Hi Wrk, the medicine I take is Alprax 0.25 mg which acts more as a tranquiliser.

Soki

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Soki,

I too have a son with mixed bipolar and many other disorders. They are our children no matter what is the mental disorder. All we can do is keep up with the treatment process and do the best we can. It's not curable,life will not change. The better you move on and accept that's who he is, then let go and live your life. Love is not enough in this case. Guilt is not because you caused thes disorder. Fear will be a part of life. You need the Hope and faith that you will feel free to live your life.
Perhaps consider seeing some type of counselor med for sleep and anti depressant, can help release the 1000 #'s we with mentally ill children tend to carry around. Learning to cope & deal with the stress and learn to grieve tru this process Is all part of healing. It's not easy. Perhaps he can learn to live in a group home with others he can identify with and constant professional monitoring. If India has these options available its worth a try. Meds and psy treatment and structure regularly are all a 24/7 job. You have can let your heart always have that special,place formur son,let the tears go, it is what it is.

((Hugs ))
Chotti

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Hi Chotti,

Thanks for your comforting advice. Yes they are our children and we are trying our best to help them but I pray to GOD to give us the strength to cope with the situation. Yes there is a special place for my son in my heart and it will be there always and that is why it hurts more when we see there suffering. They are more afraid of themselves from inside, that's what I understood while talking to my son a few days back, but they show from outside that they are very strong.

Soki

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