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I feel like such a failure. Is this my fault? *kind of disturbing *update 1/7/2010

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:48 PM
  • 124 Replies

I'm new to the group, but I really need some kind of advice. I need something. To begin, let me give a little bit of background here.

My son was diagnosed as bipolar at the age of six. His condition has gotten progressively worse as time passed. He advanced from simple unpredictable highs and lows to being destructive to assaulting and attacking others. He's done this so many times, I can't even allow him to leave the house. I have to be vigilant around the clock because my son is manic usually during the night; he paces and leaves the house in the middle of the night. I've lost jobs, places to live and missed school because of his behavior.

About four years ago, my son became a cutter. He did this regularly and I tried to get him help, but it was two years before he stopped cutting. He went from cutting to eating and chewing glass; he required several surgeries and I ended up getting rid of all my glass kitchenware and any glass in my house. He went from eating glass to comsuming my cleaning products. No matter where I kept them, he'd find and consume them. After a week long hospital stay, I got rid of all my cleaning products and had a housekeeping service come in weekly to clean since they bring their own supplies. He went from consuming my cleaning products to sitting under running cars breathing in the exhuast fumes. I sent him to the hospital, where he stayed for a week, then he came back home. He went back to the hospital 36 hours later when he tried to stab another child in the neighborhood.  He progressed to slitting his throat, leading me to dispose of all my knives.  After months of this behavior, my daughter went into her brother's room one morning and found he'd hung himself.

We were able to get him to a hospital, but he was kept for two days and returned home. After a week at home, he hung himself again. My son would hang himself four more times and assault two officers before he finally got treatment.

How do I cope with this? What do I do with him? I don't want my son to die, but he is as determined to die as I am to keep him alive. Do I quit my job and school and stay home with him? Do I put him in residential treatment in a state hospital? What about my daughter's safety? Can anyone give me any kind of advice? What did I do wrong here? I'm reaching out, but I feel like I'm in a boat in the middle of the ocean with no oars and no one hears me begging to be rescued.

Update 1/7/2010: I had my son put into a residential treatment facility two days ago. It's been hard having to adjust: for him, having to be away from home in a place where he is watched constantly and for me, not having him home with me. I know this is for the best.

The doctors and clinicians I met with told me the length of my son's stay isn't fixed; it depends on his response to treatment. They will not discharge him until he is reasonably stable and able to live at home and around others. So far, he's cheeked his meds, so they give him liquid and injectables, he trashed his room, threw his lunch and dinner across the dining hall, assaulted another resident in his ward and tried to leave twice. So I know it will be quite some time before we see any progress. I will keep the group updated and thank you all for your advice, thoughts and prayers. Thank you for reaching out and giving me a "shoulder" to lean on.

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:48 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Im sorry you're going through all this momma =[

My suggestion is to have him committed long term. They can watch him and keep him from hurting himslef. and hopefully can get him on the right meds.

PM me if you ever need a friend (hugs) 

and yet, with a face like that, can one truly ever be mad???  I love my little boy!!!

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Oh my gosh ! I dont have any advice but good luck to you and your family.  I hope things work out for you!

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Oh honey, I don't have the first ounce of advice for you or even what to say...but I'm very sorry you and your family are going through this.

I would probably have him institutionalized, he is obviously not stable enough to survive on his own and it's IMPOSSIBLE for you to watch him every second of every day. You are living in a prison in your own home. You have done everything in your power to control the situation and now it might be time to put this in someone else's hands. You will still very much be his mother and you will not be giving up on your son, but you will be giving him a shot at life instead of trying to commit suicide. Your daughter does not need to see this - I can not imagine how detrimental this is to her. You have family to protect Mommy. Follow your heart.


I'm a SAHM to 4 children, Mommy to Irish Twins, married to my best friend, breastfeeding, circumsizing, anti CIO, spanking when needed, kids don't get away with much, NIP and don't care what you see b/c my child has a right to eat, keep a clean house, non husband bashing, LOVE to laugh, smart ass kind of Mommy. Nice to meet you.

"Natural feeding is the duty of every
mother and the birthright of every child"

"While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby." ~Amy Spangler

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:55 PM

First of all, please don't feel that you have done anything wrong.  Mental illness is just illness.  You would not blame yourself if your son had cancer or a heart condition, you should not blame yourself for this either. 

Personally, if this were my child, I would consider having him comitted, long term.  It sounds like he needs intensive therapy that just can't be provided on an outpatient basis, and he needs protection from himself as well.  I'm surprised that no one has talked to you about this, as many times as he has needed medical attention. 

I have an uncle who lived in a psychiatric hospital for most of my life.  I have never actually met him.  He was moved into a halfway house a few years ago and from what I hear does ok for himself now, with a little help.  My point is that there ARE places designed to help people whos problems are too severe for them to stay at home. 

I wish you luck, you seem like a very strong mama!

Missi....loving wife to Jason, mommy to Ricky (1-12-05), and soon to be mommy to Logan Douglas (due Feb 2010).  I'm a cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding till baby wants to quit, homeschooling, non-circumcising, anti-cry it out, part time working, animal loving, trashy romance novel reading, farm raised hillbilly.  I have had Meningitis and Swine Flu and lived to tell about it.  Any questions?

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I am so sorry that your going through this. I feel that you are doing all you can do to save him. I do suggest Long Term Stays At a clinic. That way your daughter is safe aswell. You can still go to school and work. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! BEST OF LUCK.



by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:56 PM

I dont have any advice for you, all i have is support. Im sorry you're going through this, i cant imagine. I will keep you and your family in my prayers hugs

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:58 PM

With his type of behavior, I would definitely look at a treatment facility for him.  I think he needs full time care from trained professionals.    Don't feel guilty or blame yourself.  it's not your fault that he needs help.  You can only do so much.  He needs much more professional help.

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:59 PM

This is absolutely not your fault.

Your son needs professional help. You must get him into some kind of inpatient hospital on a longterm basis. He needs constant observation and people who can treat him. I know you're doing the best you can, but he needs something you're just not equipped to provide.


by Barb on Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Medications don't help? I have a bipolar friend who says meds made her feel human again.


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by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:01 PM

sweety i am so sorry you've been through all this. i was a nanny to a child withe these same problems and a few more, she spent most of her day in a safe room in the house, a feather mattress on the floor only soft things allowed, plexiglass on the windows and , when she would rage we had to lock the door from the outside to keep her from hurting us. it was heart breaking.

it sounds like for the safety of your child you need to, i'm in tears as i type this, but you know what he needs, sweety i don't think you can help him, not on ur own.

just don't give up on him! le him no that you love him.

the state hospital will get him the help he needs, and they will have help in watching him, so it's not just you.

my heart is breaking for you......... i am so sorry you're going through this.

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