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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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My adult bipolar daughter is very angry at her family, has

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My adult bipolar daughter is very angry at her family, has fought with her daughter and caused her to leave home and stopped speaking to her parents. We do not6 even know if she is still taking her depakote. What can we do?


I am sorry to hear of the situation. I'm assuming that you possess a great deal of knowledge and experience with Bipolar Illness so I will just briefly mention that her behavior could well be due to agitation and irritability associated with impending elevated mood. Is there any way that you are able to confirm whether she continues to take her medication? Often other family members are involved in the management of a person's BPD (taking responsibility for monitoring warning signs and notifying supervising clinicians if medication use had ceased - sorry if I'm telling you things you already know), is there anybody else who might know if her medication compliance has dropped? A partner perhaps? Often an action plan is establish that outlines what action is to be taken in these situations, does she by chance have one in place?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She is getting a divorce, and lives alone. Her daughter was home from college, but has left the home. Really there is noone I know of who could monitor her medications. She is now saying she is not bipolar so I am very concerned.

From your description I think you are right to be concerned. Lack of insight is common to manic episodes and we often see people deciding that they do not have the illness when they become elevated. Do you by chance know who her prescribing clinician is?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I called him yesterday but there was no answer, so I think he may be on vacation.

Ok. Contacting him was the right thing to do. All doctors make arrangements for their patient group to be covered by a colleague when they are away and so his practice should have a phone number for whoever is to take responsibility for his patients in cases of emergency. Continue to try to contact him and if you get nowhere (maybe give it another 24 hours) contact the local mental health emergency services and let them know of your concerns. The potential development of a manic episode is considered a medical emergency and most areas will have services that can assist in this situation. If you aren't sure about how to contact the local services that you can contact the United Way here for assistance with finding mental health services in the local area.

You really are doing the right thing in trying to get this situation looked in to and would encourage you to keep trying. If your daughter has managed this illness for a long time then I have no doubt you have had similar experiences to this before. Stay positive and try to remember that when the episode settles the anger and hostility usually quickly fades as well. She's lucky to have a caring and supportive mother looking after her best interests, many don't.

I hope this has been of some help. If you have further questions or would like me t clarify any part of my answer please don't hesitate to let me know. Best of luck!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will continue to try to reach her Dr. I wrote down the tel # to call if I need more help for her. Thank you very much.
You are more than welcome. Good luck!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you know how long an episode like this can last without taking risperdal? Can she get over it on her own?
The length really does vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors but the median length of a Bipolar mood episode (either manic or depressed) is around 13 weeks (for BPD 1). Manic or even hypomanic episodes usually subside on their own if not treated but in the case of mania a person usually ends up in hospital due to the impact of the symptoms. It really is important that she be treated if she is elevated in any way as quick improves prognosis significantly.
Dr John B and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** been very helpful!! Goodbye.
I just wanted to check in and see if you were able to get your daughter assessed. If I can be of further assistance or if you ever have questions in the future please don't hesitate to contact me.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I was finally able to speak with her psychiatrist, and she had just seen him that day. He said that she is displaying some manic and paranoid behavior, but that some of that is peculiar to her, and he thinks she is OK for now.

I will try to keep in touch with him, as there is nothing I can do for her right now. She did call us the other day for the first time in many days, and she sounded more calm, although not yet herself. Thank you again for all your help!!

You're welcome. As I mentioned don't hesitate to contact me if you need help in the future.

Good luck!