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Conflicted about bipolar diagnosis++

My DD likely has bipolar disorder, may have had it since middle school (now 19) and yet we can't really remember her being manic...although she has always been irritable, argumentative at home, had to have anger management for a brief time in middle school, very, very emotional, unable to make decisions on her own and looks to others for approval. Has had difficulty making friends, romantic relationships have ended dramatically (at first blames bf, then blames self-goes into a tailspin...once spoke of suicide)...

We have always felt as though she needed a little extra monitoring, which she didn't appreciate.

(My own mother had it. Eventually the disease was her complete undoing.)

She was just diagnosed a few months ago with anxiety and depression, and put on lexapro...and then, when Dr. increased her dose had a hypomanic episode where she was talking rapidly, giggling about nothing, staying up all night, going all day, hardly any sleep, no food, for 4 days or so. Got a job during the "episode" then couldn't follow through when it was over...cut her arms badly when she realized that she couldn't bring herself to go to work.

BUT...had just found out she might be bipolar...and that may have triggered her (lots of things seem to).

I am now feeling like I need to keep her close by and not let her out of my sight until we know for sure what's going on.

We just got a car from a family member for her (she was supposed to pay the gas and insurance in order to drive--meaning she needed to be working...it was for commuting to college and working, neither is happening), but now looks like no work...she does need to get herself to Dr. appts and therapy...but I wonder if I should take the keys and drive her there myself....I am worried.

I am conflicted that a diagnosis at this age might be a problem in that we will have a young adult at home who is unpredictable, a possible danger to herself, unable to work or go to school at this time, and yet able to drive, party, spend money, etc.

Does anyone have experience with having a child at home with a mental illness?
What has worked...what hasn't.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 8:22 AM on Jul. 20, 2013 in Health

Answers (6)
  • You mentioned Lexapro but no other medications since she was diagnosed bipolar. What medications is she on now? Often, it is necessary for her medical provider to experiment with a a few different drugs in order to find what works best for the patient
    Mrs_Prissy

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:27 AM on Jul. 20, 2013

  • She is still on the same med that was prescribed for anxiety/depression...her diagnosis is only half there. She saw a psychiatrist who did an initial evaluation and told her it is likely she has bipolar, but she must see another psych who does the 2nd eval and prescribed the meds (I thought this was odd).
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:36 AM on Jul. 20, 2013

  • She is 19. You can not make her do anything really. The only thing you can do is make her move out of your house. You can not make ggrow people do anything they do not want to do.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 10:47 AM on Jul. 20, 2013

  • Has anybody ever tried to discover the root of her problem? As a person who formally wore both those diagnoses, I can tell you that there is most likely a root cause. Once that is discovered and dealt with, there's a good possibility your daughter can have a drug-free life. I do!!
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:41 AM on Jul. 20, 2013

  • My stepson isn't quite of age yet, but we're looking at the very good possibility that he may live at home for quite a while. All you can do is set up some house rules for starters, and then see if she can get more stabilized and go back to work and school. I wouldn't be giving her money for parties and the like, though, or she'll have no motivation to get working.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 4:32 PM on Jul. 20, 2013

  • It's not the end of the world and she is 19 so you can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do.

    Find a new Psych doc(as you said the requirement that she see a second doc is insane, unless the first doctor was a Pscyhologist and not a Psychiatrist, the first can't prescribe meds the second can).

    The only time I have had a huge manic episode was when a medication triggered it, for me it was Wellbutrin. And I had been dx for years at that time and on many different meds.

    Look into Dialectical bahavioral therapy.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 7:12 PM on Jul. 20, 2013

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