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Thursday, October 30, 2008 weezie, Community Member, asks

Q: 13 year old with bipolar

I appreciate the people that responded to me the last time I ask a question, but I am still having problems, My 13 year old was diagnosed with bipolar in september and since then was hospitalized for 4 days. They put him on seroquel, and lamictal. Since that time I have had nothing but more trouble. He is failing school, won't listen at all, and smoking. When he was admitted to the hospital they found pot in his system. I was trying not to be so strict with him, but that backfired in my face. As I am typing this, he was suppose to be home at 8. It is now 9 and he won't answer his phone. I have contacted his psychiatrist, but she doesn't feel he is bad enough to be admitted again. I feel differently and am sick with fear.  I am giving him 30 more minutes than calling the police. Does anyone have any advice.      

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Answers (1)
Wiinter, Community Member
11/ 2/08 3:08am

As both a young adult who remembers being his age and a child care employee working with an at-risk population, I sympathize with your reasonable concerns but also think that unless you believe that he is currently a danger to himself and not simply being a stubborn teenager, standard disciplinary actions in response to his acting out may be more appropriate than an intervention. If his doctors think that he's not in immediate danger, that should be comforting, but you are, of course, the mother, and if you have a strong feeling that something about this behavior is wrong, then perhaps your instincts are correct. Unfortunately, hospitalization is a traumatic experience, expecially for early teens. They receive the control that makes them feel safe while they're there, and sometimes seem to have improved behavior for a short time, but the kids I work with usually return to baseline. Hospitalization is a last resort for our kids, as I'm sure it is for yours. It's good that you're thinking this through carefully. Good luck.

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By weezie, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/19/12, First Published: 10/30/08