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A 40-year-old member asked:

How could a mother get an adult child with bipolar that is out of control and not reasoning, help?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Milleranswered
Family Medicine 12 years experience
He must want help: It can be frustrating and disheartening to see a loved one suffering and yet be unwilling get help. However, the first step is for him to want to get better, to want help. With bipolar disorder, if he is predominantly manic, he may not see the need for help. If he is intent on harming himself, another person, or significant property, call 911 (a whole cascade of events will result, so plan ahead!).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 38 years experience
It's a tough problem. Bipolar patients often don't see the need for treatment, especially when manic. Some families use pressure/leverage to get the person to cooperate. But as Dr Kwok wrote, unfortunately often nothing can be done until the person becomes a risk to self or others, and then a psychiatric hold/evaluation can be imposed by law.
Dec 17, 2011
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 52 years experience
Very difficult: Adults need to come to their treatment voluntarily. Don't be co-dependent with an adult child with bipolar. Hold them accountable and don't give in to their pleas for financial assistance. They must be accountable for their actions. If they ask for help give it to them, but don't let them manipulate you. Bipolar patients are financial disasters. You also need to be aware of drug/alcohol use.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Carlos Barrios
Child Psychiatry 25 years experience
Report: You have the ability to report your concerns to their psychiatrist. Although by HIPPA rules of privacy, the psychiatrist cannot divulge details to you unless it is a life threatening emergency. Also the psychiatrist needs to take any urgent concerns seriously and then considers rapid management perhaps hospitalizing . Anyone noticing risk of harm to self or others should call 911. Take care.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Dec 22, 2017


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