Son was very angry when we brought him home yesterday. He said some nasty things to and about both his dad and me. It was almost more than I could stand. At one point I told him that if he felt that unwelcome and cared so little for us and what we have done for him he’d best get with his social worker to find him a job and somewhere to live.
This is a hard thing on any family, but somehow it feels a bit more cruel since Son is a man not a child, and yet when he has these episodes it is like caring for a three year old. You have to stay up if he’s up because you don’t know what he’ll do. I no longer have that sort of mental or physical stamina.
I am now able to see these flair ups coming. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to stop their progress. Son has not been too good about hearing me, but when he starts getting manic it’s like he’s completely deaf. He can’t sit still and paces. If I ask him to sit he goes off and paces outside. He starts projects all over the house, but never goes back to finish. Makes it impossible for anyone else to function in the house because you can’t get away from him. Like a three year old tugging at your leg, screaming “mama! mama! mama!” like some kind of mantra.
I watch as each day is a little worse than the previous. He becomes depressed and manic, which then turns into anger and destruction; throwing things, pulling things out of his closet and dresser and tossing them about. Again, you still cannot talk to him in this state. All I can do is sit back and wait for him to get into a full blown psychosis and take him to the hospital. They won’t admit him if I bring him in before he hits this level. He’s got to be completely out of his head before they admit him. Son has visited the ER 15 times since August 2014. Twelve of those visits he was hospitalized.
The only thing Son gets out of it is a dose of a mixture of Xanax, Benedryl and something else which calms him down. Son really doesn’t get much from his stay. Almost no counseling, a 5 minute interview with a psychiatrist, a meal and a bed. And the only thing his dad and I get out of his 72 hour stays, is a little peace and quiet, and a chance to catch up on lost sleep. So really they are a waste of everyone’s time and money. Now, if I could have a syringe full of that Xanax mixture, maybe I could calm him down before he ends up in the hospital.
I’m learning as I go and trying to find the best resources and be an advocate, but it appears I learn very slowly anymore. Maybe if I push the idea on the mental health community, that we all suffer when a loved one is afflicted with a debilitating disease, and the entire family needs to be involved in the therapy.
They need to agree on new criteria for 72 hour holds. Once drugs and alcohol are ruled out as possible reasons for odd behavior, someone should speak not just to the patient, but their family. During Son’s BPD flair he will give misinformation that the hospital cannot verify. I don’t know what sort of information he is providing to his doctors. He will talk about a hallucination as if it were real, and if no one is there to tell the docs it was a hallucination, how can they properly treat him?
For me the toughest thing about his condition is it’s nearly impossible to control without the full cooperation of his doctors. I told him today that if he wants us to help him, we must know what his doctors do. He said he would bring me in to talk with his therapist. So we’ll do that Friday. I’m going to ask if I can have an after hours number to reach her office when Son starts going off. Ideally, I’d like to work toward stopping these episodes from progressing to hallucination.
For all of you suffering with BPD or suffering because you love someone with BPD, I wish the blessings of the universe on you. And remember there are really only two options in life: Give Up or Keep Going.