MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dragonfly on August 24, 2017, 07:27:45 pm

Title: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: Dragonfly on August 24, 2017, 07:27:45 pm
As some of you know I suffer from bipolar II. I have had this illness since about 12 years old (onset of puberty). I am now 66 years old.

I hoped that this mental illness would not manifest itself in one of my children. I have 3. Two daughters with my son in the middle.

I have suspected that my son is most like me. He is separated from his wife. She wanted the separation. She was cheating on him. Now he is in a relationship with another woman who has a daughter. My son has two kids. His ex is a two faced b*t**h who only cares about herself. Even puts herself before the kids most times. Narcisstic.

My son has always had his ups and downs. It is becoming more evident as he is going through some very traumatic situations. His girlfriend has not had a very easy childhood. She has been single with her daughter for a very long time. My son has had a very hard time showing his feelings to her. My son runs to me and talks to me when things are not going well in his relationship. I have told him he has to talk to his girlfriend and not me. My son is really starting to open up to her.

My son is finally saying that he is very much like me. Starting to recognize that he probably has a mental illness like me. He says as much as he does not want to admit it. I wished so much that none of my kids would have this. I hope that my two grandchildren don't have it.

This is probably getting off the subject. I spoke to my sister on the phone today. Her, myself and my other siblings (we were six kids in the family) realized that my Mother had mental problems. My sister said that my Mother was wierd. That hurts. I shouldn't take it personally. She does not understand mental illness nor does she try.

Probably some of you on this forum who suffer from a mental illness also have children or relatives or friends with a mental illness. I worry about my son so much. (Worry about my other kids and grandchildren too). How do you handle this?

Title: Re: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: paulm on August 27, 2017, 10:13:39 pm
Hello Dragonfly. "How do you handle this?" I won't lie to you and tell you that it is easy. However hopefully you will come to realize that all you can do is provide support, love and understanding.

  As you may know I have a son with bipolar.  He has been hospitalized numerous times, got in trouble with the police when his delusions caused him to believe that his neighbour was a drug dealer(he would call the police and report supposed drug transactions), I've had to drive the 300km to his place numerous times when he was suicidal , I've had to drive and pick him up in the middle of the night when he was thrown out by his g/f and had no place to go and the most difficult of all was talking to him by phone and trying to keep him from jumping off of a 9th floor parking garage ledge, all the while praying that A) he wouldn't hang up and B) his cell phone wouldn't run out of battery until his bother could get there. (with all due respect to the police if they had been called they would have shown up with lights and sirens and that would have pushed him over the edge). 

 How did I handle his illness. With love and concern. Just like you are with your son. I never shut the door on him, no matter how bad my moods were and I still to this day always check my emails and answering machine as the last thing I do before I go to bed.

 To be honest it did nearly finish me off during that bad 7 yr+ stretch but I knew I had to be there for him so I held it together(barely). Today he is a proud father of 1.5 kids and works steadily.

 If it's any help I know very few people who have went through as rough of time with their illness as you and I and my son (and most other people on this forum) . A lot of people with bipolar or another mental illness may find it quite treatable. I have a relative with bipolar who lived and worked successfully as long as he didn't take a high stress job. Many people I know only have bad ups and downs and sideways when they are subject to external stress.  A friend of mine was hospitalized many times with bipolar until his wife divorced him and after a few yrs when the shock wore off he hasn't had a serious episode since.(He had a lousy marriage)

 Early and proper treatment is the generally accepted key these days. The problem being who decides what's early and who decides what's proper.  For example (and I'm only guessing here) some of your son's up's and downs may be caused more by anxiety than by bipolar. Taking a good CBT course might help him a lot at this stage as I'm sure that he has many anxieties. I'm certainly not saying that anxieties will cause bipolar, but if a person has bipolar lying dormant just below the surface, anxieties can certainly trigger an episode.  However he should talk to a good doctor and not just take my word for it.

 I worry about my grandson and future granddaughter developing a mental illness, however unlike me, those kids will know all about mental illness long before I ever learned that mental illness has deep roots in my ancestors. Because it was kept hidden from me it took a lot longer for my problems to be properly diagnosed. It also affected my son because he was in his teens and already having problems himself before I found out what was wrong with me. Had he (and I) been treated earlier our lives might have been different. Also if we had of understanding relatives it also would have made a big difference.

 In regards to educating relatives. I also was one of six kids, I long ago gave up trying to educate the other five. (or my father) You just can't educate someone who doesn't want to be educated. Take Care. paul m

Title: Re: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: Dragonfly on August 30, 2017, 10:40:55 am
Hi Paul, I always worry about using the right words to reply. I am so glad that your son is living a more stable and happy life. You have helped him a great deal. You are a good father.

Yes, my son has had some huge stresses in his life of late. His separation from his wife. Being a labor foreman with 12 supervisors above him and a crew that were a challenge. Eventually after wanting to quit his job he finally told his supervisor he didn't want the job of foreman anymore but wanted to be a regular laborer. That reliefed a lot of stress. Being in a new relationship with a woman who has a daughter creates stress. Getting to know each other and his kids and her daughter getting along.

Who am I to judge if my son has a mental illness. His ups and downs may be due to his situations and having a hard time handling them.

Thanks for yout thoughts and insight into to the how to deal with my son. As you pointed out love and concern and being there when he needs me.

So far I like my son's girlfriend. She truly cares about him. When things aren't going well in the relationship instead of him taking flight she confronts him and gets him to talk about concerns in their relationship instead of him shutting down. I often call my son a man of few words. Although he always will talk to me. You have to wait until he comes to you.  You can't rush him.


Title: Re: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: momfellinglost on September 16, 2017, 12:24:43 pm
 I understand your fears. As a mom, daughter and sibling of someone who has mental illness I can relate. Have lived with treated and untreated mental illness that runs through my family we do tend to watch for the signs. I hope that you can have the difficult talk with your son about talking to a doctor. My son is Bi-polar 2 and know how important his meds are. He doesn't like the way he is with out them. It was a fight for a diganois but he is stable has two kids and is not perfect but he is a great adult. Life isn't always fair but doctors can be a life line. Try not to worry to much we can advise give info but not force.
Title: Re: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: Dragonfly on September 17, 2017, 11:45:42 am
Thanks momfellinglost,
I am so glad that your son is doing so well and accepts his illness.
  I think my son realizes that he may have a mental illness. He has said as much. I have talked to him about it. My son says he will get help if the need arises. I am very close to my son so I think I would be able to see the signs if he had this illness.

My son's ex did not and did not try to understand my son's ups and downs and didn't really care about him. The girlfriend that he has now really cares about him. When he shuts down his feelings she will not let it go and makes him talk about them. I hope the relationship works out. She seems to be good for him.

Title: Re: It is hard to see that your son has a mental illness
Post by: momfellinglost on October 02, 2017, 11:44:51 am
   I too hope he reaches out for help. Sometimes age changes views and I know my son as he ages sees things much differently. He is much more open to reaching out. Seeing how it is good to get a view of someone who has as they say no dog in the fight. When he was younger he thought he could fix problems himself. Having a partner who is supportive is important. I wish him well and try not to worry too much about the things you can't control. As I age I have adopted this view. I can tell him what I think but as an adult I can't make him accept my view as it should be. I sometimes have to resist saying I told you so as well. I in my heart know this isnt' helpful to him.