My 18 yr old son has been diagnosed w/ depression & mood disorder. A very broad diagnoses. He has a lot of symptoms of bipolar. One symptom however puzzles me & worries me. He steals. Is this "normal" w/ bipolar/mood disorder behavior.
Not neccesarily but manipulative behavior can be a part of some psychiatric disaabilities but there would be other concerns happening as well. It would be worthwhile to speak to his psychiatrist about what the potential cause of this was so it could be controlled so it doesnt impact on him and/or other people. Medication and talk theapy should be of help but if its a specific compulsion cogntive behavioral therapy might be as well. You could ask the psychiatrist about all this.
Some of a person's behaviors are affected by their mood disorder yet some of them are compulsive or impulsive behaviors. Like ILADVOCATE said talking to a psychiatrist or therapist can help him out with this. Behaviors are very managable compared to a mental illness. Don't get me wrong any behavior that those of us with bipolar or any other mental illness can be hard to get out of but here are some that I have not done in a while.... I used to pick at my head but not anymore. I used to cut a lot but I have not done that in a while. I am still working on my spending sprees but recently I have been able to save money and actually pay some bills which is a huge accomplishment for me. I have a history of stealing things but it is mostly stuff that I don't think people need or if they have too much of something but I have not done that in a very long time. I wish you and your son luck and with some therapy I am sure he will get past this.
Thank you both for your input. I will speak w/ his psychiatrist. He is not accepting of his illness at all & is very inconsistent w/ meds. He drinsks too much and makes foolish & harmful decisions. He also smokes marihuana daily. I assume this is self medicating. As a mother the helplessness I feel overwhelms me your posts ate very much appreciated.
This sounds all to familiar to me i once was doing all the exact same thing's as your son , for years in fact , because of his age he has a way better chance to try deter him self away from these addictive and harmful habbit's than i did without any serious damage because the longer he keep's on using these substance's the harder it will be to quit them , if it's only in moderation that's fine i guess but when it came to me moderation wasn't an option it was all or nothing . In saying that , he doe's have an illness and if he truly want's help and to get better he has to take thing's more serious and realize taking your med's and sticking to your treatment plan is very important , but just keep in mind if you do add Weed and Alcohol or any illicit drug's for that matter with a mood disorder there will be unpleasant thing's going on .
I wish you and your son all the best and hope you get things sorted out , i can understand it's not easy being a mother in this situation , i put my mum through some hardship unfortunately , but we have a good relationship these day's . take care and all the best .
I'm going through similar situation with my son (18 in 39 days...I'm counting down). No one could pinpoint what was wrong. Aspergers, Depression, ADD, dissociative disorder and finally bipolar. It can be easily misdiagnosed. He was diagnosed in February of this year & I was diagnosed a week later. Different Drs... We both had horrible reactions to SSRI's - basically causing the opposite effect.
He's smoked pot, spice, kava kava, my nutmeg (!) and now cigarettes. He lies, contradicts himself all the time, does stupid things that put him in danger without a care.
I agree that:
1) psychiatric care or therapy is vital
2) monitor his meds, make sure he's taking them, if he's on any.
I'm still reeling from all the meds my MD tried & trying to be patient with him. It's so heartbreaking and frustrating. Trying to help a sick kid who resists all the way.
Stealing could be a way to pay for drugs, especially if he's doing something more expensive than weed. But heck, a big weed habit is pretty expensive. Of course, it depends on how valuable the things are that he's stealing (if it's completely random items, I guess it could be more of a pathological urge than a means to an end). You should definitely ask his psychiatrist what to do about it and why they think it's happening.
It is very helpful to hear from people that are going through the same experiences that my son. & I are. It can feel very lonely when loved ones & people in your town that don't even know my son or understand his illness judge him & my parenting.
Yup! By default I'm a horrible mother, some people are ignorant unless they have a personal experience. Even some of my family members are quick to judge and lack education on this disorder. "Oh he's just a teenager".
It's ok. He has trouble w/ the law for fighting so right now he is being " detained". Fortunately , he started new meds this week & will have a chance to see how he feels w/ out weed & alcohol in the mix. I have loved ones that judge as well. It's tough. How are you & your son?
Today is a better day. He just started new meds also, today. We've barely bumped heads. How long is your son detained? At home or...? I hate to say this but sometimes being locked up can keep them & others safe. Maybe even a wake up call. My sons been hospitalized twice this year alone but not yet in legal trouble. He stole my car 3 times, before getting his license in February & since I was asleep couldn't report him, not sure if I would have, tough love? Since he does have an illness it's hard to know when I am helping or when I'm enabling.
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