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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Faking Bipolar

06/30/2008

Question:

I just took my mother to the hospital last weekend, for a suicide threat. She is a very manipulative person and does not genuniely care about anyone but herself. It has always been drugs and men. And when she said that she wanted to commit suicide, she had not slept in 5 days or so, and had been drunk for a straight week. Sorry about all the background, but it supports the question. But she would start acting crazy in front of the doctor and nurses, and then when it was just me she would pick fights and the when we were around her grandchildren she was fine. But she could just turn it off and on so quickly. I not only feel, like she had my whole childhood to screw-up, now she wants my adulthood. She wants my brothers and I, to discuss where she is going to live, because she doesn`t want to in her paid for home. She wants to leach off of us some more. I know I sound angry, and insensitive, but my mother living with me would be the definition of insanity. Any feedback is appreciated.

Answer:

Sorry to learn of your dilemma. I have never, ever seen anyone "fake" bipolar illness. The combination of drug or alcohol issues and bipolar disorder is very common. Successful treatment requires intervention with chemical dependency/abuse treatment and careful management of bipolar disorder.

If you believe that your mother is a threat to herself, I suggest that you take her to a mental health center (Netcare in Columbus, Ohio) or an ER and see about having her admitted. It is often surprising how different people can be with successful treatment.

Good luck.

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen F Pariser, MD Stephen F Pariser, MD
Faculty Emeritus
Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University