<p>I have 4 children and my oldest is 16 years old. Raising a teenager, especially in today's society has been a challenge In many ways. I had my oldest at a very young age, but it seems like this new generation has changed dramatically from when I was 16 years old. There are so many different distractions that are in a teenagers life, especially a teenage boy.... sigh</p>
<p>My latest dilemma with my son is school and his goals. My son has a lot of wonderful goals that most kids his age don't have. He wants to attend college and get involved in journalism or music/movie production. As I sit and listen to his future plans and ever-changing ideas I can't help but to be a little scared. </p>
<p>You see my son is battling an issue that so many other people in this country deal with everyday. He is bipolar. The doctor diagnosed him a year ago, although I've known there was an issue 3 years ago. I was diagnosed with the same thing when I was younger so I understand and know all too well what the symptoms are and what it's like battling this disease. </p>
<p>He was given medication to help him deal with his changing emotions on a daily basis, but the only problem is he refuses to take the medication. He thinks that by agreeing to take the medication he is admitting to the world that he is crazy. I've sat and talked to him on many different occasions and explained what being bipolar meant, some things to look out for, how to deal with it, and most importantly I told him that taking medication didn't mean in any way that he was crazy.</p>
<p>No matter how many talks we've had or how much I've comforted him, it doesn't seem to matter. His mind is made up and he refuses to take any medicine whatsoever. He is 16, so I can't force him to swallow pills everyday. I thought about putting them in his food, but I couldn't do that. So I decided to walk with him thru his choice to deal with his diagnosis on his own. I knew right away that he would face many challenges and so would I, but he's my son and I was ready for whatever life brought our way. </p>
<p>It's been an up and down battle since he was diagnosed. He's had a couple of episodes in the past year where he was either angry for no apparent reason, or sad, upset and crying with no real solid reason why and no way to make it stop. When these episodes occurred he would come to me first. He usually argued with me or tried to pick a fight with me and I knew that was his way of crying out for help without actually saying it. At times he has a difficult time expressing his emotions or organizing his feelings in such a way that he is able to explain what he's going thru. So as a mother it's been my job to know when he's having these episodes, understand what triggers them, and not just help, but teach him ways to cope with these mixed feelings. </p>
<p>I can tell you it's been really difficult for me at times. I have to constantly practice patience,calmness, and separating my own emotions from the situation. 3 things that can be extremely hard for someone whose battling being bipolar themselves. I can tell you that being him had helped me open my eyes to some of my own ways that needed change. </p>
<p>He's a freshman in high school this year (he was kept back twice for academic issues that i now believe were in a lot of ways connected to what he's going thru now). His excitement toward being in high school is there, his desire to graduate is there, and even his like and respect for his teachers is there, but his motivatioon towards daily attendance and his patience for certain subjects he has issues in...isn't there at all.
He struggles in certain subjects and when he can't understand what they are teaching or catch on to the assignments his frustration sets in and its almost like a part of him gives up. I quickly go from mother, mentor, and teacher to comforter, motivator and cheerleader. I have to keep reminding how important his education is and how it's the foundation of his future. It takes a second of heart to heart conversation but eventually he is able to calm down and approach the assignment/lesson with a more focused attitude.
Each day brings something new and I would be lying if I told that his decision to not take medication has been the best or at times easiet thing to deal with. Nevertheless it's his decision and I believe with Gods help, dedication, and a lot of hard work my son can overcome this illness and be a successful adult. you