Hi! I'm new to Special Needs parenting, although not new to Mothering. Both my sons have psychiatric disorders. Apologies in advance for the novel that follows:
DS2, age 12, is Mood Disorder NOS on paper, although his treatment plan is for Bipolar. He went through a big episode of self-harm, suicidal gestures, hospitalization, etc. last February, largely in response to some other medication he was taking (ADHD meds), which exacerbated a previously undiagnosed mood disorder. Now he's on Abilify and Carbatrol, which is great for the mood stuff, but we've had to let the ADHD go unmedicated, since stimulants are what drove him over the edge last year, so now he's having all sorts of academic problems. At this point, I don't care if he learns anything or not, as long as he's stable. I had quite a time convincing his school to take me seriously on that, but they finally quit putting him in advanced classes against my will.
I'm more concerned about DS1, age 18, at this point. He's just recently "crashed and burned" during his 1st semester of college and had to move back home. He's always been a bit different, awkward, etc., but he changed SO MUCH during his 1st semester away from home, in very disturbing ways, that we had him evaluated by a psychologist. His diagnosis is a Severe Schizotypal Personality Disorder, with depression and self-destructive tendencies. My biggest immediate worry with him is the degree to which he's emotionally withdrawn from friends and family to whom he was previously very close - he's become very isolated and absorbed by his inner world. Long term, I'm concerned with functionality - completing some sort of education, finding a career path that he can manage with his personality disorder, etc.
Oh, and on the immediate horizon: we haven't told him the results of his psych eval. He has an appointment on 1/8 for the psych to go over the results with him. That's a worrisome prospect - I'm not sure how he'll react. His "affect" is very flat, so it's almost impossible to tell how he's feeling about something. Part of me thinks that getting this sort of diagnosis would be shattering for an 18 year old, but on the other hand, he knows he's not like everyone else - maybe it will be a relief to him to find out why. However, it will mean the death of his "dream" - the Air Force - which will be very painful.
I am hoping to connect with other moms who have older children with mood and/or personality disorders.