I have a 15 year old son who has been struggling with bi-polar for the past 4 years. We've been through therapists because Bryan has built a wall around himself, is angry that he has this diagnosis, and battles with his fight to "handle" this illness himself. Obviously he cannot, but he refuses help or even conversations from me. I'm not sure how to handle the cycling that seems to magnify in spring and fall (right now) - he becomes oppositional with absolutely everything (showering, hygiene, eating, schoolwork, is drinking to self-medicate, and is verbally and physically abusive), threatens us, disappears all day, comes and goes as he pleases and I can't stop him. Taking 300mg of lithium once per day which has been increased to 3x per day this week. We need more direction and he needs to understand how to help himself.
The problem with kids who are bipolar is they have to be stable in order to process information and learn new techniques, so something like therapy is often ineffective with a child who is unstable. I would recommend you research what normal dosages of lithium are and have a very candid discussion with your psychiatrist about the need to stabilize him. Certainly once he is more stable on his medications, he may really change his behavior. The behavior that appears out of control is because Bipolar is a brain disorder, and until the chemicals in the brain are set right it truly is out of control.
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