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04/25/2012 09:35 AM

PTSD making it hard to cope with stepson's Bipolar

Posts: 3
New Member

I'm new to online support, but I'm at a loss as to how to cope with my current situation. Let me give you a brief synopsis of my PTSD.

My Jewish mother was a hippy and left my father when I was around two. She took me to Hawaii where we lived in a teepee on the beach. Then she and some of her friends heard about some "Guru" and tried to get into Canada. They were turned away at the border and we spent some time in Bellingham, WA right on the border. After that, we moved to San Diego where my grandparents lived, and she converted to Christianity. She met my step-father at Bible College and they married when I was 7. They wanted to be missionaries, so we spent a few years going back and forth between Missionary College in Texas and San Diego. We even spent some time in Mexico City.

They decided to become missionaries to Haiti, but their preferred sponsor organization turned them down. They went anyway. We spent four years in Haiti (from ages 12-15). We only left because my mother had been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

That first year back is pretty much a blank for me - I only remember bits and pieces. But then I finally started getting treatment and was at least functional. I refused all medications for many years because I was afraid of it. About 11 years ago, the panic attacks were too much for me and I gave in. It was the best thing I could have done for myself.

My mother died in 2007 and I thought that my symptoms would go away, but they did not. They have definitely lessened up, however. Unfortunately, my stepson was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a few months ago. I'm finding that all my old symptoms are returning (I think because of the stress I'm under) and since I can't "fight", I am fantasizing about "flight" - just running away from my loving husband and children.

Any coping advice / support welcome! Thank you!


04/25/2012 11:30 AM
Posts: 2152
VIP Member

You are absolutely right;stress can cause an episode with any number of systems. I wish I could wave a magic wand for everybody and all would be well. I am newly diagnosed with PTSD and don't really know much about it. It's one thing to fantasize and quite another to do what it is you are fantasizing about.

I didn't quite understand what it is specifically that has you triggered. Is it his behavior that you are having a problem about or is it just the fact that he has been diagnosed. You didn't mention whether your stepson was medicated and getting treated. A therapist would, I think, be a tremendous help for both of you.

Good Luck and I'll keep you in my prayers.

04/25/2012 12:02 PM
Posts: 235

PTSD Is hard on us but un till we can find what our triggers are it becomes complecated and stress us out even more This is a wonderfull place where we can help each other buy you expressing what you have been through and what I have been through we all can see each other and give a helping hand

04/25/2012 10:04 PM
Posts: 21492
VIP Member

I have a list of coping skills that I use to help when I am in a panic attack. As far as PTSD, there are different types of coping skills that you can use to alleviate symptoms. Here is a link to my list in my diary

Now going in another direction, I have learned that when I am balanced I cope better with the situations around me. Here is a list that I keep on my fridge

But, if you are looking for coping skills in how to raise a child that is diagnosed with bipolar then that's something that I don't know about.

One of the best things that you can do is figure out your triggers and avoid them to maintain your stability. Also, journal your thoughts and feelings, it does a lot of good.



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