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Changing symptoms in teen son...should I worry?

My son was diagnosed at age eight with bipolar disorder w/ psychotic features.  He is now seventeen and was recently diagnosed with schizoeffective disorder.  His birth mother also suffers from schizoeffective disorder.  In the last year I have noticed a disturbing difference in his actions.  He has been telling friends, family members, and teachers all sorts of "lies".  I don't know if it's right to call them lies though because I think to him they might be true...or at least he may believe they are true.  
Years ago he did this with his birth father.  He used to tell people all about how he and his birth father spent all this time together and had so much fun and had a great relationship.  None of which was even remotely true.  He hadn't seen him since he was about ten months old.  I just thought he was telling stuff because he wished it were true or something, but found out later that he actually believed it all.  He became extremely upset when I confronted him about it and could not accept that it was just not true.  
So, now he is telling stories about his girlfriend having a baby that died and he is heartbroken over it, (never happened) he and another friend of his are dating and planning a life together (not true at all) he plays for the high school football team and is the captain of the team (isn't even on the team)  He has liver cancer (nothing wrong with him at all)  I could go on and on and on about it all...and it is all going on right now.  This is not over a period of time that this is being told.  His first girlfriend recently died of a drug overdose (found out it yesterday it never happened).  
Is this part of bipolar disorder?  Do I need to be worried or is it just one of those things and maybe I just need to wait and talk to his doctor when he goes in again?  
5 Responses
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2196504 tn?1351392195
Hi, this could be part of his bipolar disorder or maybe even just being a teenager,
I have a 16 year old son with bipolar disorder who has lied not only about  small things but a couple of serious lies too. One he posted over facebook which wasn't easy to sort out either. I grew up with bipolar disorder aswell and  i know my imagination ran away with me sometimes ,reality could sometimes be too much to handle.  Though i have been told some teenagers just have a vived imaginations that run riot so can be nothing out of the ordinary either.
By all means speak to his Doctor, if there are changes in your son's behaviour his Doctor needs to know  His illness and  treatment should  be continuously reassessed  and changes in behaviour should always be investigated further.
As to how concerned to be? i was concerned for my son's sake really, i thought if  his friends realised he was lying to them he would lose friends.Your son's lies being found out you unfortunately have no control over but for the record my son hasn't lost any yet if that helps.
Speak to his Doctor on his next appointment or call them and let them know what's been happening and all of what he has been saying and let them give you their opinion , if only for the sake of reassurance.
Hope that is a little helpful.



Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks, that helps.  All I have read says that this sort of problem is NOT related to bipolar disorder, but I was pretty sure it could be.  I worry about everyone finding out everything that he is saying is not true...I mean, it's about to the point where everything he says outside of this house is a huge lie.  It's amazing the fantasy world he seems to be living in.  WOW!
Helpful - 0
2196504 tn?1351392195
I had identical concerns and the lie my son posted on facebook was posted while with friends who could out him. I'm sure if we compared notes they would be very imaginative and very colourful   I'm told that a lot of teenagers go through this but i spoke to my son's doctor anyway, the fantasy /lies were not small or limited to home but i'm reassured that rather than another sympton of his illness .he is just suffering from a huge imagination
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Avatar universal
I work at a childrens inpatient psychiatric hospital, so I see kids going through all sorts of things and I would say, if your son has the diagnosis of schizoaffective d/o he is more than likely going through an episode, which should definately not be taken lightly. It sounds like he is grandiose & delusional. Since, he had such a bad reaction in the past when you tried to tell him the truth about his father, I wouldn't put too much effort into talking him out of his delusions- I would leave that up to his psychiatrist & psychologist (hopefully he has both).
As far as wondering if these are simple teen lies that all teens go through, I would say no. True, teenagers are notorious for lying to make themselves look better or whatever, his seem excessive and bizarre, plus add his diagnosis and thats means for warning signs of an episode. I would say contact his dr immediately before it becomes an all out episode that could potentially become dangerous and/or really effect his social life. If he has never been aggressive in the past then thats great, but you must remember as a teenager his hormones and brain chemicals are at their all time high in changing around so he will probably require frequent medication alterations. Good luck and I hope you take this seriously.
Helpful - 0
3236191 tn?1451021479
If he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder then his diagnosis has been changed from bipolar disorder with psychotic features.  The only real difference between these two is in schizoaffective disorder the psychosis happens all the time regardless of mood and in BP with psychotic features it happens with mood episodes.

Anyway, he could be living in a fantasy world and truly believing all of this.  I've went through similar experiences and I have schizophrenia which is related to schizoaffective disorder.
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