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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Although I am glad that I don't live too far from my son, he

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Although I am glad that I don't live too far from my son, he does live about 45 minutes away and with this new diagnosis of bipolar 1 , I am concerned since he will be living alone. He will be trying to go back to work and I think he plans to be open about his disorder, so maybe they will help watch for signs of a manic episode. Although he is on medication it is a concern about him driving if he was to have another full blown episode. I just wondered if there are any suggestions for this type of situation. He plans to follow his treatment plan and take medications but this does worry me.

Hi. There are good reasons to be worried. Manic episodes do not themselves impair driving until after a few nights of no sleep. But that sometimes does occur. And your son has had a psychotic episode, and that produces new worries. So I understand your concerns and it is good that you are thinking about this.

The number one line of defense against this worry and other worries is for him to establish a support system of people he trusts in his social circle. Watching for signs is indeed what I'm referring to. But it has to be by friends who have trained themselves to know what to look for and who he trusts and will listen to. This is a key.

Having a psychotherapist in place might be very helpful in this: both in helping the friends know what signs to be looking for and to establish a chain of reporting. Meaning, who they would call and what the procedure would be. Your son would need to agree to this for any kind of monitoring to work. And that's why friends he trusts is what I've been referring to. Having this agreed to with a professional can make it easier for everyone to agree and to stick to the program. and then once every 3 months or so, they can meet again with the professional to review.

So the key here is getting him on board on this. Otherwise, it is very difficult to have any monitoring. This would be something for you to discuss with him as you won't be there to do the monitoring.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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