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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

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08/15/2008

Question:

my son is 16 yrs old and I would like for him to get his g.e.d.,but he wants to go back to his old school and they know him there. They also know that he is looking at 3to 5yrs behind bars.I just want whats best for him please help

Answer:

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear your son is "looking at 3 to 5 years behind bars." As I don't know the specifics of his life, the first question that comes to mind as a psychologist is whether he has received a comprehensive and detailed psychological assessment leading to an accurate diagnosis (es) from a trained mental health professional? If not, then I'd suggest calling your local university, community mental health center, or National Association of Mentally Ill chapter to ask for names, locations and phone numbers of mental health professionals who have expertise assessing and treating adolescent psychiatric problems.

If you feel he has received an accurate assessment and diagnosis (es), my next question would be is he getting effective treatment (medications, therapy and special education services) for this diagnosis (es)? If not, once again, I'd suggest calling your local university, community mental health center or National Association of Mentally Ill chapter to ask for names, locations and phone numbers of mental health professionals who have expertise assessing and treating this diagnosis (es) in adolescents.

Another question I'd ask is whether his legal issues are related, in some manner, to his psychiatric condition(s) and if this can be taken into account during his upcoming trial. Would a court order for treatment be more beneficial than a jail sentence?

I hope this answer is helpful.

Best wishes.

Related Resources:

Mental Health Services Locator (SAMHSA)
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology

For more information:

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

Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University