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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Dealing with Bipolar Dsorder

Thu, Jul 23rd 2009

Dr., My son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a little over a year ago. He is 21 years old. He was placed in an institution for 14 days after an attempted suicide and was put on Depakote. His diagnosis was Bipolar Disorder with anger outbursts. Since the time of his diagnosis he has had intermittent employment, relationship issues, and loss of self esteem. He is depressed almost constantly. Due to his financial circumstances and lack of insurance he receives care from a state funded facility. However, shortly after beginning one on one therapy they moved him into group therapy. The results have not been good. This week he lost his relationship with his girlfriend of three years. The Depakote seems to be controlling the suicidal thoughts but he is out of control. He can not make a decision, he is obsessed with trying to bring her back into the relationship (she has placed a restraining order against him) and of course he is depressed and feels no self worth because he blames himself for the failure of the relationship. I realize that he needs intervention. I cannot get him to go to the local facility. My question is this.. How do I go about intervening and getting him the help that he needs? The last time I tried to get him help I had to wait until he harmed himself before they would intervene. What do I do?

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