bipolar 14 yr old son

I am the mother of an almost 14-year-old son who has just been diagnosed with bipolar. We are seeing a counselor who has a doctorate in psychiatry, and pharmacology. He has asked us to try medication for our son. But...our son REFUSES to take it. I am desperate to help him! We have tried everything, I don't know what to do. I don't want to hospitalize him, and my husband says he won't do that. I need advice on how to get him to try the med. I am truly scared for his future if he won't get help. His friend in 3rd grade had a mother who committed suicide and was bipolar. I know that is on his mind. Any suggestions?

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Jul 29, 2018
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Medication refusal
by: Kristen

Unfortunately, we know that medications are the most effective ways to help with bipolar. Is he open to trying other treatments? Will he participate in other aspects of treatment plans such as working on regulating his schedule? I wonder why your son won't take his medication?

I think I would start by exploring all the reasons he is opposed to it. Perhaps empathizing and validating his concerns.


It may be because he is afraid of taking medications, mistrustful of the doctor, or confused about his illness. Sometimes learning about what is at the root of medication refusal can make all of the difference in helping to change his mind. I would spend time really getting to understand the source of his hesitation.


Sincerely, Kristen McClure

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