15 Year Old Son Just Diagnosed Bi Polar II

by Cheryl Conrad
(Virginia Beach, VA)

My son is 15 and a Sophmore in High School. He is in a very rigourously academic program, International Bacclaureatte program. He has struggled with organization and mood and depression for about 5 years now before we finally got a therapist to order testing and finally got a diagnosis. He just started meds 4 days ago after a major physically violent altercation at home. He was out of school for the entire week last week because of this behavior and our attempt to let him calm down and regroup while we were getting his diagnosis. His dad is Bi Polar type I but amazingly is totally calm in dealing with our son. His dad's is under control with medication and has been for years now, thankfully.

Our son has zero self esteem, is bullied in school (afraid he may one day snap on these kids) and we are meeting with the school today to put a temporary 504 in place until we get the written diagnosis and can implement an IEP. I need to know how best to help him and where we start. No matter what we do or say, we "don't understand where he is at and how bad it is" but he won't tell us everything. He has zero executive function skills, has been diagnosed with adjustment disorder of emotion and conduct and has traits of Aspergers but is not full blown.

I need to know what we can start doing for him to help him through this until we get his meds regulated and how to help him with his self esteem. He needs to be held accountable for his actions, yet as his mother my "mommy instincts" have always told me for whatever reason he has been unable to do so and I have stepped in numerous times to "bail him out" and don't want to turn my back on him but also know I am not doing him any favors constantly doing this.

He sees a therapist for himself, we attend family counseling, and he sees a med doctor. I am not one to wait for answers to help my son, so I need to know where to find the resources and how best to move forward with him. Not sure this matters, but his verbal IQ is 98th percentile and his non verbal IQ is 34th percentile indicating a learning disorder, but they are going to test him again in 4 weeks to see if the major depression skewed these results any.



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