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Record my bipolar son?

  • Thread starter Mom in minnesota
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M

Mom in minnesota

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He has finally come out of his mania. Hopefully it stays a way for a while. Without putting him in depression. He still doesn’t think he is bipolar nor does he have any understanding of how he was acting when he was in mania. We recorded him one evening while he was manic. We have not let anyone hear this. Not our son or his drs. No one!! Should we keep this or delete this?
Our son still refuses any medication or help because he feels nothing is wrong. We are wondering if this could help or hurt our son more if we shared it with him. We worry about him trusting us or thinking we are recoding him in the future and he will not want to be around us. We do not want to hurt our relationship w our son in any way. But at the same time we wonder if it would help him realize he has been manic w grandiosity and non stop energy and ideas and delusional, etc etc etc.
What are your thoughts? Thanx
 
Z

Zoe1

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I don't think that is a good idea, that would freak me out
if my family did that

there are better avenues of support
like for instance if you went to counselling yourselves
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Bipolar is an illness that in the throws of mania makes you lose insight into your own actions. He denies because he doesn't know, so I think he DOES need to hear it. I would first of all bring it up and say something like 'if we managed to grab a recording of things you were saying would you be open to listening to that so you know what you were doing?' If he says yes then great. It will freak him out a bit because it would anyone, but it's like being told what you did when madly drunk - you need to know to try and prevent it from happening again. If he refuses to listen (and I'd be surprised if he took this route as curiosity should surely get the better of him) then you'd have to respect not playing it. But either way I'd keep it for a time when maybe he would be open to it.

Hopefully if he does hear it you can then be able to explain that these are things he's been doing that he didn't know he was doing because of the illness, it's typical of it and that he doesn't have anything to fear he just needs to accept it and agree to take medication to try and prevent it from happening. Hopefully it spooks him just enough to take action.
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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I appreciate both your sides of it. I agree with both too. But I’m afraid if he doesn’t get help soon then something really bad could happen. He blacked out again 2 nights ago from drinking to cope w this. Luckily it was at a friends house. I just don’t know what to do. The recording is pretty intense and would definitely freak him out but also wake him up to what is going on. But I don’t want him to not trust us. He knows we are always there for him. But if he lost our trust, it would be bad and he would feel lonely. Thanx
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Just ask him and if he agrees play a small part, stop it then ask if he wants to hear more. That way he's always in control of how much he gets to listen to. I hope he goes along with it, you're right, he'll have to learn the hard way otherwise and that can be a very hard way if he's not careful.
Do you know if he's drinking large amount, or drinking and taking drugs, or if it's drink and something else? I know when I had blood pressure problems it made me black out when I drank, any problems in that area?
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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Ok. Thanx. It’s usually Tito’s. And quite a bit. Sometimes fireball. Drugs would be marijuana regularly too. Both everyday.
 
B

BlueWater

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Save it and play it for him. Wishbone offered good detail. Family members record alcoholics, abusers and schizophrenics so what you did is nothing new or ill-advised. Your son can't see when he's sick. He needs to know.
 
K

keith74

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It could go either way. I had saved a voicemail my wife left me when she was very acutely manic. Long after she had stabilized, we were having a discussion about some of her behavior during that episode. I mentioned that she left me a voicemail where she said some things and she thought I was exaggerating. I told her I saved the voicemail and she wanted to hear it.

I played it back for her and it was really an eye opener for her. She couldn't believe she could get that way and say things like that. She honestly did not remember. I mean she remembers leaving an "angry sounding" voicemail but not what she said. It really gave her motivation to do her best to avoid future episodes as much as possible.

The only issue with doing something like that is that it can be emotional for the person. My wife is older and accepting of her illness. Your son is young and struggling with accepting his illness so it can be potentially triggering for him. You will need to proceed with caution... perhaps doing it during a session with a professional (ideally a psychiatrist or therapist familiar with bipolar). However, if he is still in denial about his condition and refuses proper treatment then this course of action may be necessary.
 
K

keith74

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Ok. Thanx. It’s usually Tito’s. And quite a bit. Sometimes fireball. Drugs would be marijuana regularly too. Both everyday.

Drinking in excess is bad enough but the real risk is the weed. Especially the ones with high concentration of THC. There is enough data out there that it can trigger mania+psychosis in people with bipolar. It can also fuel a manic episode, make it last longer. Everyone is different of course so the impact is variable but the risk appears high enough that it is best to stay away. If he has to choose between booze or weed, booze is the better option.
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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Ok thanx. We would rather both be gone but …. I was thinking alcohol was worse of the two. So thanx for your insight.
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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It could go either way. I had saved a voicemail my wife left me when she was very acutely manic. Long after she had stabilized, we were having a discussion about some of her behavior during that episode. I mentioned that she left me a voicemail where she said some things and she thought I was exaggerating. I told her I saved the voicemail and she wanted to hear it.

I played it back for her and it was really an eye opener for her. She couldn't believe she could get that way and say things like that. She honestly did not remember. I mean she remembers leaving an "angry sounding" voicemail but not what she said. It really gave her motivation to do her best to avoid future episodes as much as possible.

The only issue with doing something like that is that it can be emotional for the person. My wife is older and accepting of her illness. Your son is young and struggling with accepting his illness so it can be potentially triggering for him. You will need to proceed with caution... perhaps doing it during a session with a professional (ideally a psychiatrist or therapist familiar with bipolar). However, if he is still in denial about his condition and refuses proper treatment then this course of action may be necessary.
Thanks for sharing ! We really appreciate it. We arent sure what to do.
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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Messages
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Minnesota
It could go either way. I had saved a voicemail my wife left me when she was very acutely manic. Long after she had stabilized, we were having a discussion about some of her behavior during that episode. I mentioned that she left me a voicemail where she said some things and she thought I was exaggerating. I told her I saved the voicemail and she wanted to hear it.

I played it back for her and it was really an eye opener for her. She couldn't believe she could get that way and say things like that. She honestly did not remember. I mean she remembers leaving an "angry sounding" voicemail but not what she said. It really gave her motivation to do her best to avoid future episodes as much as possible.

The only issue with doing something like that is that it can be emotional for the person. My wife is older and accepting of her illness. Your son is young and struggling with accepting his illness so it can be potentially triggering for him. You will need to proceed with caution... perhaps doing it during a session with a professional (ideally a psychiatrist or therapist familiar with bipolar). However, if he is still in denial about his condition and refuses proper treatment then this course of action may be necessary.
I worry about sharing it in front of any one else.
 
M

Mom in minnesota

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Save it and play it for him. Wishbone offered good detail. Family members record alcoholics, abusers and schizophrenics so what you did is nothing new or ill-advised. Your son can't see when he's sick. He needs to know.
Thanx
 
A

allaboutmysonshine

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He has finally come out of his mania. Hopefully it stays a way for a while. Without putting him in depression. He still doesn’t think he is bipolar nor does he have any understanding of how he was acting when he was in mania. We recorded him one evening while he was manic. We have not let anyone hear this. Not our son or his drs. No one!! Should we keep this or delete this?
Our son still refuses any medication or help because he feels nothing is wrong. We are wondering if this could help or hurt our son more if we shared it with him. We worry about him trusting us or thinking we are recoding him in the future and he will not want to be around us. We do not want to hurt our relationship w our son in any way. But at the same time we wonder if it would help him realize he has been manic w grandiosity and non stop energy and ideas and delusional, etc etc etc.
What are your thoughts? Thanx

I am in the same situation as you are and created a post about my son also being in denial. I have several recordings and we plan to show him once he is out of psychosis.

I understand that it may be embarrassing and it may create trust issues in the future. In my opinion, that should be a catalyst for change.

I love my son but his disorder and repeated denial have put us through hell. And what is he going to do when I am gone? He is 28 years old and back home because he can't take care of himself very well.

I really feel your pain.
 
G

Ginger Kitten

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I absolutely would NOT play that recording to him and I would destroy it. If he has only just come out of mania, he may have some tendency to psychosis, including paranoia. Being filmed secretly like that would freak out someone with perfect mental health, let alone someone with a mental illness. It's also a breach of trust. Instead, I would contact his mental health team and psychiatrist and ask for their advice.
Filming a person when they are ill and cannot consent to it is a crime in the UK because it violates their privacy. I don't know about the US, and I know laws vary from State to State, but it wouldn't surprise me if what is true here would also be true in the US. I'm sorry to sound harsh, but I feel very strongly about this. Please don't play him the recording, at the very least, it will hurt his feelings, and it might do far worse than that. As someone else has said, there are other avenues to explore instead. Best wishes, Ginger.
 

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