One year ago this month, my (19 year old) son came home from college for the summer. He was very agitated, preoccupied, like jumping out of his skin. I had noticed the month before he came home that he was saying he hadn’t slept for days. I thought it was just finals, college life. I told him relax. jog, read a book for enjoyment. Nothing worked. Right before finals he called me at 3 am saying he could not relax. He just wanted to talk. We talked about an hour. But again, I thought, Finals, life changes, etc..It was NOT. Within days of coming home, I could see he had lost a significant amount of weight. He was not eating, he was not sleeping. and twice shopping with me, he had to go to the car because he said he felt his heart was going to explode. I realized he was having panic attacks. Finally that night, he told us something was wrong. He had been researching and he thought he had Bipolar disorder. He admitted to using marijuana to calm down and to eat, of course we were not happy with that until he told us that if he hadn’t used it, there were nights he would have jumped out of his apartment window. He said it was his last resource.
We got him connected to one of the best psychologists in the valley. He has come SUCH a long way in this year. There have been times he thought he could be with out his meds but he has been wrong. It takes a while to get him back in order. He knows that they have saved him. He also has learned in this last year that many other students had conditions that required medication too and they formed their own support group amongst each other. He no longer feels alone, he knows we will go to the ends of the earth for him and he knows he has to be responsible and stay faithful to his routine of taking his meds. We are very open at home talking about any and all issues that come up and staying positive. We have cried, laughed, wanted to run away and hide, felt like the world would was going to end, but we stay together and work through it. We are good. HE is good. Who knows how tomorrow or next week will be, but we know it is treatable, manageable and he will be fine and will live a productive life. Our son knows with out a doubt that we are beside him no matter what.