MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
09/12/2013 10:10 PM

Refusing treatment for bipolar disorder

Posts: 6
New Member

Hello friends. My 25 y/o son is in what I and others believe to be a bipolar manic phase. He has been delusional at times, paranoid, and seems to be full of rage and vindictiveness. Friends are starting to desert him because of his out of control behavior and angry rantings on facebook. He is being evicted from his apartment at the end of this month. His housemates are terrified of him and they have moved out. His apartment is in shambles. He will go weeks without bathing.

I have begged him to get treatment, or at least see his therapist. He refuses all of it, saying "this disorder suits me" as he feels he is so much more creative and a better musician and artist while manic. I have called the crisis line too many times to count. Each time they hear me out and finally dismiss me by effectively saying, "He's an adult. He is in charge, not you." They are sympathetic, but can't or won't help in any meaningful way. Today he sent an email to someone stating that he intended to (edited as per Terms and Conditions) I called the police. They went to his apartment and he managed to convince them (again) that he was perfectly fine. Somehow he is able to hoodwink the authorities.

I love my son.I know he is mentally ill. However, I am getting more and more angry at him. Sometimes I wonder if he gets some kind of perverse enjoyment out of watching me and others who love him react. He talks about how everyone is mean to him and kicking him when he's down. He fully admits he is mentally ill. But he will not seek treatment. It's almost as if he enjoys the drama and the attention he is getting by saying (posting on facebook) and doing outrageous things. He drinks alcohol and smokes a lot of pot, which can't be helping.

I know he is ill, but how can I help him if he won't help himself?

Post edited by: Dit, at: 09/13/2013 08:30 AM

Post edited by: Dit, at: 09/13/2013 08:43 AM


09/13/2013 08:58 AM
Posts: 14066
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi piperpilot and welcome this is a very supportive group, I am glad you found us and posted.

Your story is not unusual you are not alone, many people who suffer mental illness are in denial and often stop taking their meds and get son probably does not even know or realize how sick he really is.

I am so sorry you are watching him get worse. The problem is he is 25 and adult and you as his parent, who sounds to me is very supportive and trying so hard to get him the urgent help he definately needs at this very moment (hospitalization is most likely required at this stage) I admire you for being by his side.

When I first took ill (psychosis) I was 18 years old, before hospitalization I did not know I was ill I thought everyone else was I had similar symptoms that your son has, I abused drugs and alcohol but I stopped using about two months before hospitalization. This is too bad that he is using he is most likely self-medicating like I did without knowing the detrimental effects this has on us. My family had trouble getting me admitted they had to lie to me in order to get me in their car and go to the hospital. They too watched me progress in this terrible illness...I was no longer the child they raised I was so seriously ill. Once hopitalized I got out the first weekend spent it at my parents home and refused to go back to the hospital, thank God my sister was able to convince me, I freaked out on during this first weekend home it was mere hell on my family.

I was so fortunate to have family support me, this is half the battle when you have loved ones around, your son just may have to hit a bottom, we hope soon and that it won't be dangerous to himself or others, when the police went to his house its too bad son fooled them, please have hope I will keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers.

I after going thru such a tramatic experience have been fairly stable never got psychotic again I have been alway proactive with this illness, After this was over it took approximately three years to feel somewhat stable, I worked for 12 years, had 2 children I want to let you know that bipolar can be treatable mine has for the most part.

Try hard to look after yourself, and "let go" detach with love if you can if you believe in a higher power keep in contact with Him, I am so happy to hear you are working hard at getting your son the help he needs.

Keep posting if you wish we are here for you, you can also contact me or any group leader by private message (pm) should you have any questions or concerns.

Here is a link to another support group you may also want to join:

Post edited by: Dit, at: 09/13/2013 09:00 AM

09/13/2013 09:34 AM
twodaysPosts: 559

I doubt his mind is organized enough to put together a sequence like, "I like reactions, therefore I will act out, and then enjoy the reaction." My experience of mania is that it's extremely confusing and energetic, and I can't relate to anybody else and don't like having them around when they want me to change something I am completely incapable of changing. I've found it to be unpleasant, though it may actually be making him a better artist.

The hospital must lock him up for observation if he is a threat to himself or others. I would meet the police at his house and discuss his roomates leaving, try to get the police to go inside, discuss the texts and facebook. The longer the conversation, the more likely he will be unable to maintain an appearance of normalcy. Faking it like that takes a TON of energy. Once the police get a strange feeling, then you might get help. The problem is that the police want to work on crime, not mental illness. Mental illness wierds them out, and they don't get the training they need to deal with it. Still, it's worth a try. Just stay calm and don't cry.

09/13/2013 10:42 AM
Posts: 6
New Member

Thanks for your comments and support. I am feeling totally overwhelmed. I keep getting texts, emails, and facebook messages from people who expect me to "do something" because they are so concerned about him. Yesterday my mom and I went out for a quick lunch just to get out of the house and to temporarily stop obsessing about him. Then in the middle of the lunch I received the frantic call about how he was threatening to hurt himself. A housemate called the police and by the time they got there he was, as the police put it, "quite calm." Then I called the police after I got the frantic call, and I begged them to go back and check on him. They did, and again, my son managed to act like nothing was wrong. They had him call me and when I answered the phone, he said, "What's up?" Like everything was cool. I kind of lost it, and said something to the effect, "What is going on? Why are you sending threatening emails and posting threatening messages on facebook?" He said, "You are upsetting me. I'm going to hang up now. You need to calm down." So somehow he was able to convince the police that I am the "out of control" one. I am only human. It is just so hard to see all of his bizarre behavior and then to have him instantly "flip the switch" when it suits his purposes.

I have been going to Al-Anon and that group has helped tremendously. But I still feel so alone in this.

I feel I need to somehow detach and get on with my life. But I live in fear of that dreaded phone call no parent ever wants to get.

09/13/2013 07:19 PM
IWontDancePosts: 113

Well, bipolar disorder is a disease. Usually you only see the disadvantage of mania when you crash and feel really low, or you finally start a mood stabilizer. It's hard to get people help when they are adults and don't want it.

Some people say marijuana is a good mood stabilizer. I'm not speaking from experience though, only from Jay Carter says in his video about people self-medicating. He says there's only one mood when smoking pot "heyyyyyyyyyy man". Mellow and hungry, pretty much the definition of a stable mood, for those symptoms are the antithesis of mania Smile

09/13/2013 07:33 PM
IWontDancePosts: 113

To follow that up, mania is like taking a handful of amphetamines. Your son thinks mania is better than stability, because he doesn't know stability. Jay carter would say his light his out, his pre-frontal cortex is inactive and to quote Jay "he has no hindsight, foresight of insight". The best thing I do to my dad when I need him to understand something, is repeat it over and over again for weeks. Literally weeks. Eventually he helps me with the said thing(he is sick too and untreated)

Don't give up on asking to go see a doctor. Maybe take him to go to see his primary care physician, one comfortable dealing with bipolar disorder.(They should be able to tell you about this beforehand, they are out there)

Sorry for the double-posts, I'm feeling a little sick today myself.

Post edited by: IWontDance, at: 09/13/2013 07:42 PM

09/14/2013 01:32 AM
Posts: 6
New Member

I just watched "Bipolar Light" by Dr. Jay Carter. Thank you so much!

Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved