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Topic : 08/01 Extreme Highs and Lows

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Created on : Friday, March 03, 2006, 12:43:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 03/07/06) Dr. Phil explores the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. This illness takes its victims on an emotional rollercoaster ride -- from elation to extreme irritability, intense rage, or devastating depression. First, Cathy was diagnosed with Bipolar II, 10 years ago and claims she goes from zero to psycho in 15 seconds. Dr. Phil takes a look at the toll her disorder takes on her two boys, and brings the family together for a dramatic moment of emotional healing. Then, during various manic episodes, Fred has stolen a taxi, crashed into a Starbucks, and climbed to the top of a church. He hears voices and believes that movie stars like Denzel Washington and Robert De Niro are talking to him through their movies. Still, Fred thinks he’s ready to move out of his parents’ house and live on his own for good … but should his family let him? Talk about the show here.


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March 7, 2006, 4:00 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: drafter

I have Bipolar Disorder, and raised a daughter that has it, also. It's not easy for sure. But PLEASE don't "sensationalize" this mental illness! Most people in ANY phase of the mood swings, manic, hypomanic, depressive, etc, are NOT physically or mentally abusive!!  That isn't even listed in the DSM-IV criteria.. 

The mother up first is using it as a cop-out...she isn't even taking medication! Come on, that is the FIRST treatment, if she even wanted to get better, she would be taking her medication. Her attitude of taking absoliutly NO personal responsability also is a cop out, in my opinion. Just to shrug it off, and say "OH, it's the Bipolar" is just giving up. How about checking into a hospitol, getting stable on meds, then taking care of your boys?
The angry out-of-control outbursts of rage are not charicteristic of Bipolar, but ARE signs of Borderline Personality Disorder. Check it out, but please put the boy first!! 

Actually, the out-of-control outbursts of rage can be characteristic of bi-polar disease. But not everyone has them. They are called "manic rages" and many people have to deal with them. I grew up with a mother who was much, much worse than this woman. It was my psychiatrist who told me about the "manic rages".
March 7, 2006, 4:01 pm CST

bipolar or bad behavior?

I don't think the woman had bipolar. I have bipolar 1 and have sat in many support groups and done much study on it and this is not bipolar. Bipolar II has only hypomania and more depression. More likely this woman has just allowed her behavior to remain undisciplined feeling that she cannot control herself. Even bipolar 1's can learn to control themselves to some degree in their manias. And her meds dont work --another factor. She may have borderline personality disorder or post traumatic stress disorder due to some trauma in her past. This is more like to be the case than bipolar. disorder.
March 7, 2006, 4:03 pm CST

Extreme Highs & Lows

Quote From: maxxy96

My daughter is in treatment.  She is  taking medication. and in therapy.  The doctor said the medicine is doing all it can do and she needs to help herself.   


I have helped her quite alot...........taking her to doctor appointments,  keeping her son for weeks at a time when she is down.  Paying her bills because she can not keep a job,  buying clothes and food  for the both of them.  I guess  I want to hear and see some thank yous from her  instead of  

mean and hateful comments 

I agree with this Mom.  My son is 32 & fortunately able to live on his own.  Although he can not or will not try to hold a job.  He has been taking Lamictal for about 12 years with good results, he also takes a low dose of Zyprexa to help with his difficulty with abstract reasoning.  He is also diagnosed as Learining Disabled, not retarded, but he had a lot of trouble with language arts etc. when in school. 


He has decided years ago that I am his TARGET.  I often find myself being attacked verbally by him for things that I have no control over.  He receives SSI & SSDI I am his representative payee & have to pay his bills out of these checks.  I can not pay his bills when he runs them up too high, such as having the heat set at 80 & then getting a $200.- utility bill.  He gets a small amount each month & reasoning with him is out of the question.  He feels as though I should proivede every luxury that he wants & pay for it out of my pocket.  He has taken my debit card & upgraded his cable & internet srvice all unbeknowst to me untill I saw my bank statement. 


Like this MOm I have helped him a lot.  I probably enabled him to take advantage of me & I am now putting the brakes on.  I would like some THANKS MOM. also.  He is taking medicine but is not in therapy.  Anger management was suggested.....since I'm the only one he's angry with he doesn't see the need.  I love my so dearly & hope b y my taking a tough love stand he will be able to realize hpw his actions affect others now. 


I won't be around always.  I have Bipolar 2 & Emphysema & Diabetes.  I need to care for myself & my husban d also.  For me it's time I learn how to take care of myself & my needs. 

March 7, 2006, 4:04 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: darlingdot

The problem with mental illnesses that are undiagnosed is:  the person who's sick doesn't usually know they're sick.  All the people around them can see is that they are "bitchy" "moody" "explosive" etc.  If the self-awareness was that great, then the person wouldn't actually be mentally ill.... 


When the brain goes into mania, the brain isn't processing reality normally, as you would have it. 

It's like telling the diabetic to pay attention when they have low blood sugar - ain't gonna happen. 


At least the show opened up the discussion so people can talk about their understandable confusion and ignorance of the illness and what it's like.  It's a start. 

That was a really good post. Well said. Thanks!
March 7, 2006, 4:04 pm CST


Quote From: amalina52

Please know that although I respect that you run a hotline about this and have to deal with this disorder yourself, you are not exactly right about the facts. My son got hypomanic and broadsided a woman after fleeing this state and buying a brand new car. He is 25 and this happened 11 months ago when he was 24. He has hated being on drugs and saw his aunt go through her whole life on drugs for the same thing. He has been in the hospital several times. His dad and I spent at least $80,000.00 to $100,000.00 last year on a criminal defense attorney, a private hospital, and PI going to visit him in jail since we are in another state and can't afford to see him as often as we would like to. The whole story is too ugly and too painful to discuss here but needless to say, Drl Phil's subjects or guests today didn't hold a candle to what we have been dealing with here. I havae two sons who are bipolar and am myself very stressed because it costs so much to send them to the doctors and their meds that I can't afford to see one myself.
i agree that it does cost too much to treat this affliction. i was diagnosed when i was about 14. i have now been off my meds fore over four years. i have not been able to find anyont to help me get my meds. i am now to the point that i can not deal with anyone but my wife and son, and even then not for very long. honestly, it feels like there is noone to turn to. very few people seem to understand what it is like and those that do are going through it themselves. not to mention the FACT that more often than not, this illness is misdiagnost and treated with meds that only make the problems worse. i came to this web site because Dr Phil said that he had info that would be helpful. i have seen nothing but the words from others. i was expecting info on where one could turn.
March 7, 2006, 4:05 pm CST

I didn't see it that way

Quote From: larry3313

         I was trying to think of the words to explain my feeling about the show and I just wanted to say I could not have said it better myself . I am not asking for an appology or anything stupid but it should have been a show were the public has a chance to see all sides of the disorder not the most severe as we live with this disorder and don't need anyone to make it seem that all people with Bipolar Disorder are violent and out of control .
As the title says, I didn't see the show that way.   I don't think it made all bipolars seem violent and out of control.  It made Cathy seem that way but not everyone.   If others saw it that way, well a little education goes a long way, if people so choose.   There are some who will only see what they want no matter what.  Take heart, most people I know feel as I do.
March 7, 2006, 4:06 pm CST

At least Bipolar Was addressed!

Quote From: larry3313

         I was trying to think of the words to explain my feeling about the show and I just wanted to say I could not have said it better myself . I am not asking for an appology or anything stupid but it should have been a show were the public has a chance to see all sides of the disorder not the most severe as we live with this disorder and don't need anyone to make it seem that all people with Bipolar Disorder are violent and out of control .
I am surprised at how critical people can be.  As we all know, Bipolar manifests itself differently in different people.  The biggest key in this show was that BOTH people stopped taking their MEDS!  My son is 11 years old and has been diagnosed with Juvenille onset since age7,  I have no doubt that the diagnosis is correct.   I do agree that Dr. Phil would be wise to address this disorder in much greater detail, and include all aspects of the illness.  If more people understood it, it would not be so hard for us all!  Good luck to you.
March 7, 2006, 4:07 pm CST

Keep Hoping

Quote From: hunt2000

Is it too much for a mother to hope that her children can go to college?  Even with them struggling through bipolar?  I am happy when my BP kids are loving, and scared to death when they are cycling.  My oldest was hospitalized after telling me he was going to kill me and my unborn child, what a chilling memory I have of that time in our lives and he doesn't even remember all of the details......... 


Thanks for listing the websites!  They have all made it to my favorites list husband is in the military and moving takes it's toll on my and my boys.  I feel like I am re-educating every doctor that we see at the base hospitals just so that we can get referred off base to someone knowledgeable. 


I would love for my kids to be able to have the scan that they talked about today.  Since my oldest is diagnosed with Bipolar, ADHD and ODD - what a tough mix to comprehend at his young age of 16.  And we have just started down the road of bipolar with my youngest son.  He is only in his second year of his diagnosis and on his second medication, he had night terrors with his bipolar and thankfully his meds have helped that as well. 


Thanks again for the info. 

Although your children have more challenges than most, you can hope for productive lives for them.  BiPolar is a treatable illness.  Like all people we experience joy and pain in our lives, Successes and Failures. We have to enjoy the good times, moments, milestones just like everyone else.  Dr. Phil's show concentrated on the extremes and the negative.  Shame on Dr. Phil
March 7, 2006, 4:09 pm CST

03/07 Extreme Highs and Lows

Quote From: missmouse

I was thrilled to see this topic on the show, and knowing Dr. Phil,  he won't sensastionalize the disorder.   I have been living with this my whole life, my older brother was Bi Polar and ultimately ended his life at the young age of 28.  When my son was diagnosed, by a very trained, highly specialized pyschiatrist almost 2 years ago, I had to become my son's best advocate and learn eveyrthing and more about this disorder in younger children.  I wish Dr. Phil would also show younger people living with bipolar and the effects on the entire family.   

With my son, everyday is a rollercoaster. He has called 911 on his oldest brother for changing the TV station, he has told me I was going to burn in hell, threatened to harm himself and others.  During his Manic periods, the stress level in our home increase aobut 100%.  Our medical expesese are through the roof (and that's just was our HMO won't pay)  

 He was admitted to a children's behavioral center last summer (one of the youngest they've seen), but still every day is a challange. He has a very hard time in school.  He sees a psychiatrist, two psychologists and is on meds.  Without the  meds, life in our home is an utter nightmare.   

My son, has co curring disorders, along with Bi Polar he is also ADHD, which makes for even more challages.  I would not wish this problem on anyone and hope that with educating the public and educators (our school still doesn't "GET IT", they still, after 7 months think he is only ADHD with some "behaviour" problems" even though I've printed out documents from the BiPolar Kids web page for the school!).  It's so unfair not only the person who has to live with this disorder but to their families who  have to deal with ignorance about it on a daily basis.  I had the unfortunate experience last spring of having a mother (whom I thought was a good friend ) report me to CPS about my son, she told the case worker it was munchusin sydrome by proxy and I was pursposely  making my son ill.....what a load of crap.  She has to this day, not apologized for what she did, for the hell she put not just my son, but my other two children, my husband and I through.  The case worker saw all my documentation and the records I keep on all my son's doctor appointments, his meds, and all that, and dismissed the case, but the fall out was horrendous. 

I am hoping with Dr. Phil's show some of the stimga wiill be removed from this disorder.   

Thanks for "listening"  

And keep up the good work Dr. Phil!  I was in the audience on Feb. 23 and loved it!   


Mommy to a bipolar 6 year old, Victoria 


Hi i wass wondering if you could e-mail me the web page. And if you are comfortable te name of the doctor your son goes to. He could possibly refer me to 1 near me. My wife and i have a boy who is almost 4. We have raised the concerns about our son to his doctor .But she will not listen. And seems to think we are being oeverly concerned. My wife is bipolar and ADHD. so our concerns are very real. We really could use your help. Thank You 


                          Rick and Katie 

March 7, 2006, 4:09 pm CST

you wanted to know

Quote From: vishant

hey all i am new to the board, but I have been watching the show for awhile. But I thought I would post something on this subject, considering its the one thing I know.  

well It started when I was in grade 9 I suppose, before then I was a fairly normal teenager at a peek age of 14. My family was a "normal" family big house white picket fence sort of thing. That winter we all took a trip down to florda, wich was fine, but about a month after we returned things started happening to me that I really did not understand. I was a die hard cheerleader, I lived and breathed it, but i found myself pulling away from all that I enjoyed so emensly. (details are still foggy to me, the memories of times are blacked out) but after that horrable month of march it was a spiral downward. Finally after my mother had started seeing cuts on my arms she had taken me to my family doctor where I was issued my first of many kinds of drugs. at that time I did not believe that anything was wrong with me and did not want to take any drugs, figuring it was "societys cure for everything". slowly I pulled away from everything I loved and my friends and just dwelled in my basement hunched over a computer for days on end, either sleeping from up to 24 hours at a time or not sleeping or eating at all.My mother talked to my doctor and got me a counsolor, I didnt want to go and eventually got that through my parents head. Then I was sent to a phychiatrist(which I owe much thanks)After a few visits to her I was hospitalized for a complete phsyc evaluation. Much I dont remember around this time but I know I was diagnosed bipolar, and pschyso effective(spelling?)after this moment much of my and my familys life changed. My mother started to see alot of my father in me. So in turn he was diagnosed with bipolar. After this my grandmother had spoken up. She has been living with this sectret for almost 30 years and to this day she still will not get any help(makes it hard on us). She had also told us that 6 of her 11 brothers and sister have depression of some sort and that her father also did. She then told my family about my uncle(my dads brother) he had died many years ago when my father was just 15. In a car crash that was believed to be suicide. after my Father started to fall more and more much of my life blends together, I remember feeling the ache of no feeling, I had no happiness, no laughter only anger dwelled in my bones. I had dropped out of school, out of my beloved cheerleading, spent my days writting poetry, drawing(wich was weird considering i havent been able to draw a stick figure before hand) or sleeping. I spent much time in and out of hospitals, for overdoses(attempts), med stabelizing, and some times i was sure was just for fun. I had lost much of the teenage childhood that I would want to live to the hole i dug and couldnt get out of. Finally after running away from home my family and I had decided It was time we tried something drastic, my mother knew it had to be now before i went out of my good cycle and went into manic after seeing my psychiatrist we had decided to try ECT(electro shock treatment) it was a hard decition but something had to be done, there is only so much love and support my family can give without runing out. My mother has to be the strongest person I know for holding me and my father close and never giving up faith no matter what bad things happened. But after my treatment it kinda gave me a quick fix something I could hold on to or work towards. I knew what it was like to feel good again. After that it was a slow but sure climb into the real world.I am now 20 years old, I live on my own with my girlfriuend. I am holding down a full time job as a cook, and restaurant manager. I am slowly working on my high school.. But most of all I am happy, I can laugh, and I can live without the weight of sadness. I still have my bouts but not as long and no more rapid cycling.  

One thing that does bother me still is that depression/bipolar is a very strong gene in my family and I am worried that when I start my own family that I will be more supseptable to post pardom depression, and that my children will be very likely to get it to. 

In answer to your wanting to know if you could possibly pass it on you can. My husband had a sister (she died last year at age 54) who had it and suffered many years from her late teens. She died in her sleep from an obstructed throat and nothing to do with this. Anyway, I have two sons in their twenty's with Bipolar 1 with schizoaffective disorder. One is in jail for the last 11 months for not taking meds and getting in a car while manic and killing a woman when he broadsided her car. I have another son who experiences very little due to his meds and sleeping all of the time. He is 28. Ask me anything you want to know.
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