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12/22/2010 03:10 PM

Bipolar Adult Children(page 2)

owutatangledweb
owutatangledwebPosts: 2771
Senior Member

Clearthinker, with all due respect (and you know I do), I have to disagree about having a separate forum. I think that the guidance and support that we have to offer to other parents with small children and teenagers and even adult children that do live at home is valuable. I also think that many of the parents of the smaller children, teenagers and others that live at home can even be more educated at times and have more experience in dealing with this and they too have valuable things to offer to even parents of bipolar adult children that do not live at home. Sometimes parents of the younger children have been dealing with it alot longer than even the parents of the adult children who were diagnosed later. That was a mouthful! Did it make sense? But my point is that everyone is at a different point in dealing with this disease and we all have something to offer. I agree that the relationship between a parent and a child is far different than in any other relationship where you can just turn your back and walk away; and that there does need to be THIS separate forum for us. However, I think we all have valuable guidance and support to offer one another. Roy did recently create another forum that is for Bipolar Parents who are raising Bipolar children. I didn't know if you're aware of that.

I DO AGREE that perhaps the posts should be more readily identified. I try to identify mine if you look at some of mine with things like "The I'm 18 thing", the "But I'm in college thing", "19 year old sundowner" etc. I do think that kind of thing helps. I have noticed though that even some of the new folks when they post for the first time will say something like "My 6 year old diagnosed bipolar". I think, as you say, they are so desperate at that time to find help, that they try to narrow it down themselves; and I think that this is a good thing! I agree with you that we should all try to do that.Smile

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12/22/2010 05:54 PM
clearthinker
clearthinker  
Posts: 1043
Senior Member

owutatangledweb, I did not know there was a group for BP parents raising BP children. I was glad to hear this. I agree that we all have something valuable to offer each other I just did not want the parents of young children looking for advice and guidance having to read my posts about a 28 year old untreated bipolar woman. As long as the posts are clear about the age of the child it would help the newly diagnosed BP child's parents to decide which posts to read. When I first got here and was frantic I wanted to read and get help and guidance from people that had the experience of a grown BP child living on their own. I know by the time you first get to this support group, most of us have been to counseling, tried talking to others and have searched all over for help and support. I think this has been the best support yet, just trying to make it easier for the new ones desperately seeking help and support.

12/23/2010 09:57 PM
owutatangledweb
owutatangledwebPosts: 2771
Senior Member

LOL. I think reading about a 28 year old untreated bipolar woman (and what it does to their parents) is ALOT of incentive for parents of young children to get the help they need while they are young, and get it NOW!!! But, I do understand what your intention is. It did take me a long time to sift through forums and threads when I first got here. I kept looking for people dealing with teens. For me, I'm glad I went through so many threads. I got so much information and insight that way. I'll keep trying to I.D. my threads by age too!

01/20/2011 10:21 AM
sadmom2
Posts: 1
New Member

I was very encouraged by the discovery of this support group. I am a psychotherapist, non-bipolar parent with an undiagnosed and unmedicated adult bipolar daughter. It runs in my family. I am sandwiched between a bipolar mother and my bipolar daughter. To make matters worse, my daughter was almost a perfect child until she reached 16. She was the most loving, sweet, endearing child imaginable. Because of my profession, I have a lot of knowledge and experience with bipolars, although that's not what I specialize in. This knowledge and experience has helped me understand better what my husband and I are going through having a bipolar child. However that hasn't been enough. I see my own therapist from time to time, but that's not enough. At this point I need people who have lived this and relate to this kind of situation.

Bipolars split their world into extremes, i.e. perfect and worthless. They have a very hard time with the gray in life. Presently, and this could change tomorrow, I am the worthless parent and my husband is the perfect parent in our daughter's eyes. Recently, I "hit the wall" with her behavior. In December my husband had a cardiac arrest. It's the most frightening thing I've ever experienced. I have learned over the years to be careful around my daughter. When she sees weakness in people, she takes that opportunity to attack. At the hospital I let my guard down. I was thrust out of denial and into the "too real" reality of having a bipolar child. I still am shocked at how cruel, abusive and heartless she can be. In my practice I work hard at helping my clients develop and practice compassion. My beliefs around the issue of compassion have been tested over and over when it comes to my daughters behavior, but it is the guiding principle I have come back to over and over. The fact that I have a child that lacks the ability to have true compassion for others has been a monstrous struggle for me. After these most recent incidences, I now find that I've lost all compassion for my daughter and I am shocked by the feelings and thoughts I'm having. I have begun to have feelings I never thought a healthy parent could have. I can't believe I am now feeling hate for my daughter and wishing I had never given birth to her. These feelings are incomprehensible. My hope is that over time I will be able to accept and deal with these feelings and will return to a place of compassion and love for my daughter. But I can't imagine ever letting myself be vulnerable around her again or trusting her in any way whatsoever. And I have made the decision to avoid her to the extent that is possible. Again, here's another feeling that I'm struggling with--feeling as if I have to have the highest level of self protection, as if I was in a war zone with enemy at my back door.


01/20/2011 11:18 AM
jbsmom
jbsmom  
Posts: 1291
Senior Member

Welcome sadmom2!

I think you will find the support you need here. We have BP kids of all ages here so I think you will be able to connect nicely with us.

I know it is very hard to to acknowledge the feelings you have. We all understand these feelings. I know some of us have felt or are feeling the same way you are.

This is an awesome place to "let it out" and vent. We make no judgements here. If we did, I'm sure the people on this forum would have had me put away already!

Again, welcome. We will look forward to getting to know you.


01/20/2011 12:15 PM
clearthinker
clearthinker  
Posts: 1043
Senior Member

Sadmom2,

My name should of been sadmom3 when I first got here. Jbsmom is right, you can come here to vent or let it all out. I have an adult bipolar daughter age 28. How old is your daughter? If you go back and read my posts from last April you will find wonderful advice that others on here gave me when I was besides myself. Just about everything you have written I have written except I was not as kind as you are with my word choices. At one time I thought my daughter was a narcissist but I don't feel she is anymore. I know how heavy it is to have to fight an enemy and that enemy is your own child. I understand how unfair it is and on top of that all the other life stresses that come with it.

I did not have any communication with my daughter for around 3 months. I did not answer her phone calls and avoided her to the best of my ability. She called from other people's phones but I did not answer. I blew her off because I could not live with the constant abuse, lies and belligerence. I was actually frightened for my life. The only thing that I did that helped her the most was ignoring her. She has no doubt in her mind that I will never go back to that abuse again and I have the strength to blow her off and it takes a ton of strength especially since I'm a bereaved mother also.

I hope your husband is doing well and has made a full recovery by now. I wish you much strength and peace as you decide which is the best road for you to go down.

I was told by many professionals to not ignore my daughter but I tired all avenues and nothing worked, I was forced to ignore her for self preservation. It was the right choice for us and my daughter is doing much better except for the lying.


01/20/2011 06:10 PM
Terrym
Posts: 77
Member

My daughter is 20 as well, and has a pattern of lying, especially about money. We are paying for her education and supplies for cosmetology school and yet I have caught her several times spending money on herself, rather than supplies, which we told her was strictly forbidden. Even after stern conversations and serious words, she still makes the same errors.

What she says is that she is not proud of what she has done (by spending the money incorrectly). Although she is seeing an pdoc as well as steady on the medication, what I see is severe impulse control problems with money.

My solution now is never to give her cash and use a paypal card. But it does grieve me seriously that her desire to do the right thing does not

prevent her from doing the wrong thing.

Is impulse control a part of the package, in your experience? I cannot afford to go the the pdoc as she is 500 dollars an hour, I kid you not.

My daughter has the luxury of going every month, but for half price since she is a long time patient.

Thanks for your insight.

Terry


01/20/2011 08:19 PM
Marlynn
Marlynn  
Posts: 213
Member

Sadmom2

I am also in the mental health field and a retired counselor and social worker. My 46 year old daughter and 18 year old grandson both live with me and my husband. They both have bipolar I. I just want to say that I have been there with my daughter especially. However, after many years have passed and she has been on the right meds for her- I find her to be one of the most compassionate and caring people I know. There has been a complete turn around for over eight years.

Luckily, we caught my grandson's bipolar early in the game. He was unbearable and frightening at first and I was the target. I do see much change with him now. It has been a year and his meds are still not entirely perfect. His psychiatrist says about one or two more small adjustments are indicated. His behavior, however, has radically changed. Under stress he will still verbally attack me. I have learned to recognize the stress and avoid conflict with him. Both my daughter and husband will remind him of his reaction to stress and the inappropriateness of verbally attacking anyone who is vulnerable. He has been able to recognize this and make apologies.

I know everyone is different. However, for both my daughter and grandson taking Abilify has made the biggest difference. This med is quite difficult to take for many individuals. Both my grandson and daughter raised the mgs. one by one. It took my grandson over a year to get to 12 mgs. daily. He does take 20 mgs of paxil along with the Abilify. I think we were fortunate in knowing this drug had worked for my daughter.

I know it is very difficult having two bipolar family members, but it can be done. We have been able after many struggles work as a family together.

I am really writing to give some hope about the compassion issue. I do believe that it can change with the right meds and I wish you the best. I guess the only other thing I wanted to say is that for me taking an antidepressant has really helped me. This was a difficult decision for me, but I am glad I made it as I feel I live with greater serenity and not react with as much anxiety when stressful situations do arise..


01/23/2011 07:49 PM
owutatangledweb
owutatangledwebPosts: 2771
Senior Member

Sadmom2 and TerryM, welcome to the group. You will both find support here. This forum has been a lifesaver for me. I have a 19 year old daughter who is diagnosed BP. I too, am sandwiched between a BP parent and BP child, with a few BP siblings thrown in just for good measure!!!

My daughter also was the "Perfect child" until she turned 16. That's when she was diagnosed. It's been medication trial and error ever since. Right now, our meds are working and we're just struggling a little bit with a sleep issue.

Terrym, impulse control is very much a part of BP disorder. It's what we have to try to get under control with the meds and then what the meds can't control, that's where therapy comes in. I can really relate to the whole spending fiascos. However, right now she's got it under control.

Sadmom2, I can really relate to the good parent/bad parent thing and the whole black and white thinking issue. Unfortunately, all of that is going to get worse unless she gets treatment. How old is your daughter? Have you tried to talk with her about what you think is going on with her? Unfortunately, if she doesn't want to get help or is in denial, then sometimes all you can do is draw boundaries and let them know that you will not be treated a certain way. Many of us here have felt the way you do; and many of us don't like the thoughts that we have had about our own children. Do not feel guilty about that or like there is something wrong with you. It's normal for what WE go through. No one here will judge you for how you feel. If anybody on the outside judges you for it, that's THEIR problem; they haven't walked in these shoes.


01/23/2011 07:50 PM
owutatangledweb
owutatangledwebPosts: 2771
Senior Member

Or these shoes either.....

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