Need help with 16 year old daughter

Silka - posted on 06/09/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar when she was 13. The past several years have gotten progressively worse as she get's older. She has been on several different medications, and has seen a therapist and a psychiatirist for over a year now. Her ups and downs go in seasons, but I am at such a loss as to what to do with her right now I just need some advice. Sorry if this get's long and if it is very scattered.
In January my daughter basically gave up on school. She had been attending an alternative high school for over a year because she could not handle traditional high school (she both refused to wake up in the morning due to her insomnia, and refused to do homework). Her alternative school was wonderful, very patient with her, her school hours were from 1:30pm to 6:30pm, and they had a no homework policy, just small class sized and worked with the students to get their work done in class. I thought it was a God send. But sure enough, she got tired of it and started ditching. Then she just started to flat out refuse to go. At first I was driving her (45 minutes from our home) to this school and had to rearrange my work schedule to get her there each day, and picking her up at night which was also a major inconvenience since I have two other children waiting for dinner, but I was doing it for her and every day I would watch her go in to school, and walk out the front door after school when I picked her up. Then a week later I would get an email from her teacher saying they haven't seen her all week. I was so frusterated with her. She was also being disrespectful at home, she outwardly hates my husband, her step-dad. He has a very hard time with her and wishes she would just go to jail or move out.
Last month she got into a fight with him in the kitchen and he ended up slapping her because she was so out of control and trying to fight him, then she comes crying to me to call the cops on him for abuse, when she abuses us constantly! I had her go stay with her grandma for a few days. Grandma thought she would force her to go to school by escorting her to her classes. On the third day of that my daughter threatened to throw herself out of the car while it was going 65 on the highway because she did not want to go to school so much. Grandma called the cops, cops took my daughter to an inpatient behavioral health hospital where she stayed for two weeks. It seemed to help a little. They changed her meds from just Lithium to Lithium and Seroquel.
I tried in vain to make her return to school after she was released from the hospital, but again she just went right back to ditching so I gave up and insisted she get a job. In the mean time the principal of her school calls me to inform me they are reporting her to truancy court and there is a chance that they will arrest ME due to neglect! I was shocked! I have done everything in my power imaginable to help my daughter. I love her with all my heart but she is tearing apart my family.
Three weeks ago she went into my purse while I was sleeping and stole $100, then snuck out her bedroom window and just returned today. While she was gone I received a few text messages that she was ok, moved out of state with a boy, was happy and had no intentions of coming home (as soon as the day before yesterday). I had no choice but to call the police and report her as a runaway. Then out of the blue she calls me today saying she is 15 minutes away from my house, has no money to get home, had no other choice but to call me because she is stranded. When I picked her up she was not remorseful, just defensive. Said she was sorry, but not heartfelt. Said that she was in Utah, even though I can not see how she could have possibly been there and gotten back home so fast. She said she came back to visit friends, but they kicked her out. She did not take her pills with her when she left so she has now been off her meds for 3 weeks cold turkey. She actually told me that she was earning money pan-handling downtown! We are not wealthy, but she comes from a good home!
My husband is livid that she has come back. I am sitting here in the living room, she is in her room in the basement and he is upstairs in our bedroom because they refuse to see each other. I feel guilty because the past 3 weeks without her here has been peaceful and fun and relaxed for all of us because she was not here causing drama.
I truly deeply love her, but she is so darn unlovable right now. I am not sure if I should hurry and make her an appointment with her therapist and have her start taking her meds again. I just do not know what to do. My biggest fear is that she will never actually grow up and become an adult. I know that teen stuff is temporary, but she is going to have a permanent criminal record before she gets the chance to mature.
Is this typical Bipolar behavior? I mean, can anyone relate to any of this or is this just over the top? I am beside myself with her. I have a 12 year old son that is an honor student, a 2 year old daughter that is a total sweet pea, and I am pregnant with my last (my husbands second). I couldn't possibly have my hands more full. I have looked into boot camps and boarding schools but they are all way way too expensive unless she commits a crime and is court ordered to go there. Thanks for letting me vent to this group and if anyone can shed any tiny ray of hope I really need to hear something positive right now. Thanks!

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3 Comments

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Ali - posted on 08/19/2010

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well heres a young point of veiw for you lot. im only 19 i am a mum and suffer from bipolar it has gotten so much better in the last two years but when i was around the age of 16 it was bad. You have to remeber not only does your daughter have this dissorder she is trying to cope with the everyday life of being a teenage on top of that and at the time that can be difficult kids are cruel these days. She dosen't want you sending her away (as my mum did) i thought my mum didn't care anymore and at the time i hated her for it. No child wants to go to school and bipolar just makes it worse. Shes going to get out of controll at times thats what this dissorder is about. It will get better but shes so young you need to give her time and paitence try treating her as if she is a normal teenager i didn't want what i had but it's not a choice!

Carol - posted on 08/14/2010

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yes I went through alot of that myself with my daughter. When she became of age I left her drop out as long as she got her GED and she did. That helped with that part. However the stealing didn't change. And she had to deal with the consequences. They have also said that she is broadline personality disorder. I have just learned that many are more than bipolar. This explanes alot of the things that they do. The defience,compulsiveness,anger ect. When she moved out this ;last itme I told her that she couldn't come back to live. This is very hard to do but it must be done. She's 30 now and it's still very hard. She didn't move out until her late 20's for the last time. She has been in and out sence her teens. To tell you everything I would need to write a book. Maybe one day I can put all this on here and maybe my story will help some one else to get through some of yours. But the biggest thing is they must see that they can control their lives if they want to have a happy life by taking the meds and continue to see a therapist. They have to work at it everyday.It's an illness the same as any other. Speak out about it and don't be ashamed about it. :)

Della - posted on 06/11/2010

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Hello
I have a 13 year old daughter who is bipolar - she's on meds and has agreed to work with a new therapist. But, she's made my life a nightmare for a good while now. I also drive her to a school that is 45 min one way because it is a school more able to work with her social issues and dyslexia- school's out for the summer and I'm relieved to not have the drive but don't know if I can take the summer with her? It's a horrible thing to say but she's pushed me to the point of wanting her out of the house for a while so we can get a break - problem is where to find any respite? I also have a 9 year old granddaughter we are raising who has ptsd, adhd, sensory and auditory issues and bipolar - she has been hospitalized twice this spring but is slowly getting better - My 13 year old resents the 9 year old and makes her life miserable too - and goodness knows she doesn't need the stress either. Oh and I'm also bipolar and my husband works out of town during the week - HELP- I'm at the end of my rope ... How do you get a break? I can't take her anger outbursts, control issues, and general meaness- I know there is a layer of depression fueling some of it - but I'm down to yelling back, hiding out in my room, and just about to give up.... Thank you for listening and please any advice would be great...

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