Navigating life with a teenager….who happens to have bipolar disorder

Did you ever have one of those days when absolute exhaustion makes you want to slap the first person that tells you to get some rest? …….or at least switch lives with them for a day so they can see why you are so tired to begin with.

That happened to me this morning. The worst part for me is that the person in question is someone who truly wants the best for me and probably wishes that I was able to actually get some rest.  She didn’t deserve my irritation towards her. Even though I didn’t verbalize it, I felt it, and that frustrated me. It’s times like this that I can imagine a little bit of what my son goes through every day. Lashing out for no other reason than the fact he is tired of being sad or upset or even over energized.

We have had an overwhelming week around here. We celebrated my son’s 14th birthday with a family dinner on Friday, followed by our weekly karaoke night with friends. Saturday we had planned a fun gathering that included a paint war. Five of my son’s friends were here and although there was a little teenage drama, we did pretty well by the end of the day. I always worry about my son in these situations, but he had been having a great few weeks, so I tried to relax a bit and spend some time with a friend of mine that came for the party.

Sunday everything imploded. My son had a horrible manic meltdown. By the time it was over, it was time for bed, but he refused to go.  I was able to get him to take his meds and lay down in his game room. He was still awake at midnight, when I was finally successful in getting him to go to his bedroom. Usually, once he takes his meds, he is out within an hour, the fact that he remained awake for almost 5 hours beyond that means that he was really wired.

The severity of the manic episode on Sunday meant he would not function in school on Monday. He stayed home and slept for most of the morning. I, unfortunately, had to work and was not able to sleep. He also fought going to school yesterday and curled himself up into a ball under his bed, refusing to come out.

The highlight was an attendance hearing that I had to go to yesterday. I was given a lovely contract stating that if my son misses more school, I could be fined or go to jail. The people I met with didn’t even know about my son’s diagnosis until I told them. They didn’t even bother to look at his file before meeting with me. I brought a note from his doctor, every email between me and his teachers attempting to gain work for the days he was out and information to educate them on bipolar disorder in adolescents. They took it all, shoved it in a file and proceeded to rush me out of the office before a fire drill. I wanted to scream.

I came home and was able to nap for about an hour. I think I really need to nap for a week……in a hammock……on a beach……on a deserted island. That would be nice.


Comments on: "Non-Productive Rant due to Exhaustion" (7)

  1. allencountyautism said:

    Yes I have those day everyday is seems. I have two boys 8 and 12 with autism. Doctor told me to take a vacation, I laughed and said are you out of your mind. Your suppose to be helping my stress?


    • I want to say ‘Nice to know I’m not alone’….but it’s not really nice to know that other people are struggling, too. I’ll send happy, relaxing thoughts your way. Thanks for reading. 🙂


  2. I don’t know very much about mental illnesses or bipolar disorder, but it sounds like you are going through some very rough times. I hope the issue with the school is resolved and that things pick up for you very soon!


  3. just wondering if you see a therapist yourself? It certainly has helped me deal with my own son’s situation.


    • Ilene, We actually see a therapist that is big on whole family counseling. He will separate our visits so he works on kid stuff and adult stuff. It has helped me in the way I handle certain things. I am also using this blog as a way to help work through some of it.


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