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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My wife and I have tried everything for the last 5 years to

Customer Question

My wife and I have tried everything for the last 5 years to help our now 28 year old son with his bipolar disorder but he refuses to take his medications or get help from psychiatric doctors or go to support groups. He has become impossible to handle lately and there is very little help out there because of his lack of insurance. He has been in psychiatric hospitals 4 times in the last 5 years and we have tried to convince him that he has a mental disorder that needs medication and constant treatment but he thinks he has all the answers and knows more than the doctors. His behavior is erratic which includes enraged temper tantrums with cursing and screaming, he has paranoia, schizophrenia and is sometimes psychotic.
He can no longer stay in our house because of his terrible behavior and temper. He says that if we throw him out, he will commit suicide but if he stays I may hurt him or he will hurt me or my wife. So what do we do, we have tried everything but it seems like he enjoys being manic and having a feeling of superiority even though he has no money, a part time job and lives with his parents. He has a college degree in marketing and human recourses, he was even on the deans list 2 years in a row, but he has never used done anything with his education.
So, since he is not a tenant and is not paying board, do I have the right to have him removed from the premises? If so, what will happen when the police do come to remove him? Is there a possibility that he could be evaluated for his disorder and could the state step in to have him institutionalized and forced to get the help he needs?
We don’t want to do this, he could stay with us for ever if he would just listen to the people who are trying to help him, but he keeps insisting on self destruction.
Any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.

I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your son. Bipolar disorder can be a very difficult condition. It is quite common for those with this disorder to refuse treatment or to go on and off medication. You may find the following link helpful in understanding this condition more:

Remember that the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder is not a license to be emotionally and verbally abusive to you and your wife. You do not have to tolerate this kind of treatment. You have the right to have your son removed from your home. If your son makes any threats to harm himself or anyone else then you could call the authorities and have him committed to a psychiatric hospital for at least 72 hours for evaluation and treatment. However, if he does not pose a threat of imminent danger then he could only be hospitalized if he is in agreement. If you ask him to leave and he threatens suicide then this would count as imminent danger. If he is not making threats of harm then he may need to go to a local shelter if he has nowhere to live. As difficult as this may be as a parent, allowing him to live with you while he is refusing treatment and behaving in this way is not helping him.

Please let me know if I can clarify further.

Lori Gephart and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am very happy to read your response, you seem like you fully understand our situation. My son is now staying at a hotel and we plan to help him with an apartment if he is willing to accept our help. I actually lost my temper on Wednesday so bad that I think that he is now afraid to cross me anymore. I have never lost it like that before, I can hardly speak after two days because my voice is still hoarse from screaming at him. I didn't strike him but I honestly wanted to.

Hopefully this time he will wake up and understand that it is his disorder that is causing this and stop trying to blame it on everything and everybody else for his problems. Hopefully he will now recognize that he needsto take his medications with professional theropy and bipolar support groups to get him to control his illness. He is all alone now and maybe he will now see what it has done to our lives. But after all this time, I have my doubts if he will ever be able to become normal. All we can do now is pray and hope for the best.

It makes me feel better that somone sees what we have had to deal with and understand how helpless we feel but we have do get him out of the house. My wife and I have an appointment with a theropist on Tuesday to help us to deal with the emotional stress we are going through.

Your comments have helped us to deal with the guilt we are having to make our decision to do what we have to do...thank you.