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Should I have my 17 year old evaluated for possible inpatient at a psychiatric hospital??

My son just turned 17 last month and has a history of mental issues/ behavior issues... From depression to bipolar being ruled out to ODD etc.... He has been placed on anti depressants and mood stabilizers in the past that hardly had any effect at all. He recently served 9 months in a juvenile detention center for buying synthetic marijuana and while there was seen by a psychiatrist that seemed to really know my son after about 2 weeks!!!! He told me that the medication was not really doing much and that most of my sons problems were him choosing to make the right choices....that being said the past week or so he has become obsessed with becoming a millionaire and famous singer.... And has told my mother today that he sold his soul to the devil, something else he has become fascinated with, that lots of famous rappers have done the same, I have read this on line about some rappers but I am extremely concerned about the way my son is thinking, I am wondering if I should have him evaluated at a hospital for mental illness or not ??? Please give me some advice, I feel as though I have exhausted every avenue of trying to help my son and now I have to worry about this๐Ÿ˜”

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:36 PM on Jan. 11, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (6)
  • Is he currently under Psychiatric care? Call his Psychiatrist. If not then yes get him evaluated. GL :(

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 7:38 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • It sounds like he does have some bipolarity in him though, since his millionaire remarks are symptoms of the manic phase (highs). Which medications has he tried if you don't mind my asking? Sometimes, it's a matter of finding the right one that works for him. Lithium is supposed to be very effective. He may have a combination of conditions which is causing problems in his diagnosis. I'd bring this possibility up with his therapist. I wouldn't have him committed yet. I also agree that medication alone won't stabilize him. He needs psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) along with the medication to work. Some issues may be situational problems he needs advice on, such as interpersonal issues or identity issues at school. I'd recommend that you also get him in a program where he can have a mentor, such as a collegebound or big brother program so he can get advice from someone he'll more likely identify with.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 7:47 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Mental Disease has been ruled out and a shrink said the kid makes bad decisions.
    Kids do that. Their brains aren't fully formed until around 25 or so. Why do you think a boy's car insurance is higher than a girl's?

    Are you sure he isn't just saying things to get a rise out of you? Because it seems to be working.


    Answer by feralxat at 7:49 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • He is at the age where his hormones are raging, he maybe is still trying to find out who he is and wants he wants to do with life. He needs positive influences to overpower any bad ones he may come across. He needs an incentive and mentor that could challenge him to make better choices. Does he have a father figure in his life? Some volunteer programs are great places to find those mentors. Instead of treating him like the problem, start reaching out to him like he has the solutions. Ask him to help you on some issues, like creating a better meal budget or how to fix something around the house. Give him a reputation to live up to. "Son, you're such a good problem-solver, could you help me fix the broken XYZ or do you have any ideas on how to better arrange this room. You're so talented with these types of things, etc." Does he have hobbies? Enroll him in some creative arts programs to fill his time, help him find his talents.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 7:56 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • And just to add a story of hope... I know a guy whose life was heading in a similar direction as your son's. He had no direction in life and just needed a wake-up call. He was caught for breaking and entering while high/drunk in his teens. He was lucky to have had a very good judge that gave him a good wake-up call and challenged him to be better. Since then, he's found that he has ADD, needed to be on medication for that and because his ADD is now under control, he's been so much more productive. He graduated from college with high honors and completed his Ph.D. He has said that he was also lucky to have enrolled into a psychology course that gave him insight into his own behavior. I believe he was on Wellbutrin or Adderall medication. Things can turn around for your son, just don't give up on him. There are social, psychological and biological factors in behavior, that even he may not realize is affecting him.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:06 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Well, the "sold his soul to the devil" thing could just be an attempt to get to you. Kids, especially teens, love to say things to shock parents/grandparents and get a rise, see them freak out over it. And you've had a shrink talk to him and tell you that he just makes bad decisions. Now, of course, second opinions are always an option and often a good idea, so you should certainly get one if you are concerned. But I don't think I'd jump straight to inpatient in a hospital. I'd start with a second opinion from another shrink. If the two seem to be opposite ends of the spectrum (Shrink #1: he just makes bad choices, Shrink #2: he has this, this, and this and the only way to help him is to dope him up/admit him/put him in straightjacket), then get a third opinion.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:48 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

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