''Today we are as a family still trying to cope with the high and lows of his illness, it is fair to say for as much it affects and challenges his life on a day to day basis, it does the same for us and as his mother, it is equally frustrating''.

When my son was 19 years old, I started to notice changes both in his mental and physical appearance, he had mood swings that varied in intensity and he had lost a large amount of weight, it was at a time of major upheaval within the family, not only had we lost a close family member, but also when my son had been out on a night out with his friends, he was seriously assaulted which resulted in a stay in hospital and a metal plate was put into his jaw and so had to learn to eat again, this resulted in him becoming withdrawn, suffering anxiety and panic attacks and would at various times become very agitated.

Over a period of time these various mood changes and attacks became more and more frequent and I found it harder to help him control and for me to manage, until one day my worst nightmare came true when he ran out into the street knocking on people's doors, shouting and talking but not making any sense, fortunately a neighbour helped to calm him down while I got an ambulance and with a police escort he was taken to hospital for a very much needed help or so I thought.

''for me my Mother's instinct was telling me the situation was not going to be resolved until there was some kind of detailed diagnosis, in October 2016 he became ill again only this time so much more severe and this time if I and others had not been close by, could have turned out so much different in outcome, this time he was sectioned and detained for 28 days and eventually he was diagnosed with bipolar type 1''.

Three hours later we were on our way home, with the words that it was a drink or drug induced paranoia....now there was no doubt at his age that was something he had indulged in along with other young men of his age and had probably used as a 'coping mechanism' but my gut instinct, that mothers 'radar' was telling me that  they were not right in their diagnosis and sure enough within twelve hours with the help of the community crisis team he had been admitted to a specialist ward after suffering a psychotic episode, eventually after being discharged, over the next two and a half years, with the support of the specialist support group Esteem, who help young people who have had experience of a major mental health breakdown, enabled us to both cope with the reality and high's and low's of this life changing illness.

Except that wasn't the end of it, there still was not from his and my own point of view anything that was given as an explanation or reason for his illness, nothing he or I could name and so try and manage, for me my Mother's instinct was telling me the situation was not going to be resolved until there was some kind of detailed diagnosis, in October 2016 he became ill again only this time so much more severe and this time if I and others had not been close by, could have turned out so much different in outcome, this time he was sectioned and detained for 28 days and eventually he was diagnosed with bipolar type 1.

Today we are as a family still trying to cope with the high and lows of his illness, it is fair to say for as much it affects and challenges his life on a day to day basis, it does the same for us as a family and as his mother it is equally frustrating and distressing to see what was once a young boy so full of energy and with an exciting future ahead of him trying to deal with his illness with braveness and fortitude, one day at a time, hopefully the team will get the right medication for him and he will at least for all of us see that he starts to get the beginning of his life back on track.

Finally, as a Mother, it has been difficult to understand and a learning curve for me to cope and educate myself about the erratic behavior and impulsive decisions that somebody suffering from his disability has to go through, hopefully by talking about his illness will start a conversation with others going through a similar experience. 

Pauline.

Every Mother has a Brother.

 

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The BIA free suicideTALK sessions

Date:30 Dec 2018

Location: Glasgow

Time: To be confirmed...

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