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02/09/2012 12:33 PM

Frustrated with my son!

Posts: 30

Hi There,

I am feeling so frustrated today. Yesterday my son decided to go to school for the first time in almost 3 months. Of course I was thrilled at his decision and told him so. Well, since his day at school was boring and 'too many people' were telling him how happy they were to have him around again, he decided that he doesn't want to go back again. "Everyone is too annoying" GRRR! I tried to get him up and going this morning, but he started getting verbally abusive and threatening towards me, so I left it alone.

He also refused to go to his therapist appointment at 2pm this afternoon - BECAUSE HE WAS STILL IN BED! When he did get out of bed he was so mad at himself that he was in a foul mood and started terrorizing me. I have been attempting to avoid him ever since, but he keeps following me around the house. I would leave the house for a while but his little sister (12 yrs) is at home with the flu and I don't want to take her out; I also worry about leaving him alone when he's in this frame of mind, because he talks about ending his life.

Meanwhile, I get a phone call from a local newspaper; they want to do a feature on my son - he is a bit of a local and online celebrity (he has a podcast and a Youtube channel where he interviews musicians, artists, etc). So of course I say YES that she can come to the house tomorrow to do a story on him...but part of me wants to say no, because he refused to go to school, to his therapy appointment, and has been being so rude/mean to me.

He also has a school dance tonight, which he informed me that he's going to (not sure how he thinks he's going to get there). We originally said yes to the dance, assuming that he would be at school today, but since he didn't go to school I have said no to the dance. I wonder, though, if going to the dance would be a good thing, in that maybe seeing his friends would reduce his anxiety/refusal to go to school.

Ideas? Opinions? Suggestions?



02/09/2012 03:56 PM
Posts: 443

I don't know if this may apply to your son,but wanted to share what my BP son has told me.I always wonder why he wouldn't go out to eat with the family,avoided family functions,would not go into a grocery store or any retail store and never wanted to go to school.My son explained to me just recently that being around alot of people made him very anxious.He said his heart beats faster,his skin crawls and he feels everyone is watching him and or talking about him.Keep in mind my son isn't med compliant.It sounds like all the students coming up to your son was extremely overwhelming and he doesn't want to experience that again.I might suggest if you let your son go to the dance have someone keep a eye on him just to see if he engages in being social or seems to be comfortable about being there.If he doesn't appear to be bothered by the crowed you'll atleast have that knowledge.You'll also know if he stays at the dance.My son would get dropped off and then go somewhere else with a couple of friends.Another reason my son didn't want to go to school is because he had trouble staying focused.He got behind alot.I had him tested and because of the results the school made his work half of what the other kids did.This helped some,but ofcoarse he still wanted to stay home as much as I would let him.As far as the newspaper doing their story on your son I have mixed feelings. He has to be held accountable for his actions,but at the same time this internet stuff is something positive in his life.The one thing that I've learned with my son is whatever decision I make about things I have to stand by it.In the past I let him wear me down by keeping on and keeping on about something.He learned that if he did this I would give in and let him have his way.He now knows that no longer works.Stay strong.*HUGS*

02/09/2012 10:26 PM
owutatangledwebPosts: 2771
Senior Member

I tend to agree about the dance for the reasons you and JJSMOM stated. My daughter also had a lot of anxiety in social/public situations. She'd go to a function and want to leave within 30 minutes. She now recognizes it was anxiety, and of course, at times it was the hypomania. We are still trying to figure out of the anxiety triggered the hypomania or the hypomania triggered the anxiety. Hopefully, we won't ever have to try to figure that out again ***wishful thinking***

As to the publicity, I certainly can see both sides of what JJSMOM is saying. He needs to have consequences for missing school, but you have to foster his interests and self esteem. Is there some other definite punishment you can impose for the missing school issue? It may seem like an inconsistency to him that you let him do the other things but are giving him some other punishment, so you'd probably have to explain to him that you're letting him do the other two things because you feel they are good for him, but that you're imposing a punishment nonetheless because of his behavior.

Good luck. Post away and let us know what happens.

02/10/2012 06:17 AM
Posts: 998
Senior Member

My mother in law had bipolar with sever anxiety and would not talk to a stranger and could not be in a room with just her and another person. I remember praying that this disorder was not passed to my children but it was. My 30 year old bipolar daughter has anxiety so bad that her TMJ is out of control. A couple of months ago she had to have botox shots in her chewing muscles because the pain was severe. Insurance does not pay for this and it cost $1,500.00. My daughter needed the entire dosage, and I have not heard her complain about the pain for a few weeks now but she said it did not take out all the pain. My daughter does not have social anxiety, and I think a lot of that is because she had good youth leaders at Church that made the kids get up and practice public speaking, also she was in drama and she lectured at Church at a very young age. I'm saying this for all parents that are reading this post with very young children and you suspect they have anxiety with bipolar, to get them started young so they can over come the social anxiety part of the illness. Last Christmas we were out of the country and attended Mass, the Priest did not have a lecture so my daughter volunteered, she got up there and read perfectly, she did not skip a beat. I was so proud of her knowing how severe her anxiety disorder is and for her to be able to get up there and read in public when many of us that do not have this disorder can not do it.

02/10/2012 08:54 AM
Posts: 213

My BP grandson does some of the same behaviors. However, since we threatened an intervention for pot smoking he is really invested in school. He tells us he has severe social anxiety- Yet it seems he has many many friends who seek out his company. He also can stand up in front of large groups of people and give speeches. The same thing is going on with my grandson and the internet. He administers several sites focused on technology-gets invited to go all over the country. He is nervous abut ever going as the people that invite him-for instance Google- have no idea how young he is.

Here is what I think. I encourage him about the productive stuff he does. I do not use these as consequences. Consequences for us are more around -no using the car if we know you are smoking pot-no interaction from us at all-you need to stay in your room -if you want to live here and are in a disrespectful-name calling mood and irritable.

This has worked best for us. I really do think some of the unique gifts may carry them to good places and compensate for the disability of BP.

Post edited by: Marlynn, at: 02/10/2012 08:56 AM

02/10/2012 11:14 AM
Posts: 30

As I read all your responses, it strikes me that I have never thought of my son as having social anxiety, yet all of you have drawn that conclusion from my post. I wonder now if this is something that I have been missing. He does say that as soon as he gets into the school building, that he gets tightness in his chest, nausea and headaches. I guess that does sound like anxiety. He also complains all the time that people are annoying to him - he complains about this so often that I have stopped paying much attention when he says it (probably because I'm annoyed with him saying it so much!) in retrospect, I wonder if his definition of 'annoying' is an expression of anxiety? I will have to explore that with him.

I guess I never thought of him as having social anxiety because he is so outgoing and well spoken...he performs on stage without a problem, he calls up musician's publicists, etc, to request interviews with people, and can chat on air with anyone and everyone....having said that, he also tells me that when he is with his peers he feels awkward and that he does not fit in...

We are allowing him to do the interview for the newspaper. I agree that we need to foster the positive in his life, as he does not see much of it these days. He is isolating himself more and more, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage him in even the lightest conversation. Of course I worry that we are allowing him to have his perfect life - 13 years old, not going to school, spending his time sleeping or scoring interviews with people...but even if we take the computer out of the equation, he still doesn't go to school. He just sleeps and watches tv.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for Tues, Feb 14, because we finally see a psychiatrist. I don't know anything about this pdoc, and we didn't have a choice, so I can only keep my fingers crossed that it's a productive appointment (we get an ONE TIME 2 hr appt with the pdoc, then our family GP will be responsible for maintaining medication. Wish us luck!

02/10/2012 04:12 PM
Posts: 213

Hi- I don't want to overstep, bookmom, but with my grandson I was warned by a therapist we were seeing (my husband, daughter and I) that the psychiatrist had to see the symptoms to diagnosis or at least that the child had to not oppose how we described the symptoms.

Here is what we did-We spent hours writing down tangible symptoms-sleeping patterns, school patterns, notes on anxiety when and how often along with rage attacks (specific days over the last two months). I also noted his mother has BP !. If there is anyone in the family with this diagnosis it makes it more likely that your son has BP due to the genetic factor.

I also suggest doing a search on line regarding the pdoc to give you an idea where he is coming from. I paid extra for a background check. In our case my husband and I went in with the letter we composed with symptoms. I read it then gave it to the pdoc ending "We love him and need your help) The pdoc then spent about 40 minutes with my grandson and called the four of us in after this. the pdoc said my grandson believes we were oversensitive to him and over protective coming out of our experience with his mother. The pdoc asked me to respond to this. I again repeated the symptoms I was very specific about days attended at school, etc. The pdoc asked my grandson to respond to this. My grandson became angry yelling and starting to rage and talking in absolutes with some grandiose ideas thrown in. He then asked the pdoc if the pdoc believed he was bipolar. After a long silence the pdoc said "yes". He gave my grandson two weeks to go without meds and disprove this by controlling anxiety and being able to attend school. It, of course failed,. My grandson then agreed to the meds. This was three years ago, so I was dealing with a sixteen year old. You have more leverage I think with a 13 year year old. I would prepare your documentation-just a suggestion. Two psychologists before the psychiatrist found us to be the problem (my grandson was very very convincing about this) so we were really up against it and living with very very frightening rages and my grandson's plans to run away and become homeless.

Another suggestion is to look up the DMS (or those given through NAMI) diagnosis requirements on line and write down specific examples that meet the diagnosis with out overstepping and proving to the psychiatrist he has BP.

Sorry for such specific info, but I felt it better to share just in case it helps. Luckily at the time we went I was really prepared with info.

Best wishes!

Post edited by: Marlynn, at: 02/10/2012 04:14 PM

02/10/2012 05:38 PM
Posts: 30

Thank you for the suggestions, Marlynn. You are certainly not overstepping - I posted, after all, to vent AND to get feedback and advice, so thank you.

I have been keeping a mood log and have completed the BP Questionnaire on the JBPD website. In addition, my son's psychologist has written a letter to the pdoc, giving his observations and concerns. Also, my son is very good at verbalizing his behaviors and feelings (when he's not raging or manic, anyway), and he very much wants to get to the bottom of this illness. I hope that this will help present our situation as completely as is possible in a 2 hour appointment.

I know there is always danger in putting all your hopes in one thing, but right now this pdoc appt is the ONLY hope we have for help, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

02/13/2012 06:59 AM
Posts: 5
New Member


I too have a son with bipolar disorder.

He is 17yrs. now but we have been dealing with the rage for 5 years. He is starting to refuse to go to school because he can't stand the teachers or sitting in a chair for 7 hours. We would like to send him to a boarding school so that the rest of our family can find some peace. He had been on meds. before but now he refuses to go to the doctor. He is mad at everyone except his weird friends and his controlling girlfriend. I'd like to buy him a suitcase, pack his clothes and drive him far away and leave him.Sad

Post edited by: fedup4, at: 02/13/2012 07:11 AM

02/13/2012 10:53 AM
Posts: 30

Wow, that sounds devastating, fedup4. I am fearful that we will be saying the same thing in 4-5 years, but yet am hopeful that we will get him the help he needs before it reaches that point that we can't have him living with us anymore. The one thing I know is that it just doesn't make any sense to me that my 13 year old son is at home every day because he refuses to go to school. Every once in a while I find myself getting used to it, until I say it out loud to someone else, and then I think "What the hell is going on in my house that I am LETTING my 13 year old NOT go to school?"...and then I remember that when I was trying to force him to go that it wasn't working anyway...we just ended up with major fights, holes in walls, bruises and hurt feelings (not to mention traumatizing his little sister), and he wouldn't go to school ANYWAY.

I worry that we are letting it go so far (with him 'getting away with' not going to school, not helping around the house, not doing anything) that we may never be able to reel him back in and get him to live as a part of this family, and as a 13 year old should live, with school and friends and all.

Am I hoping for too much?


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