This week we discovered how complicated this mood disorder symptom can be. Now that our son was off Seroquel and Depakote, we’re in a transition without proper meds and one of the many symptoms that returned was impulsivity. While at school, our son told the student next to him that she needed to give him money or else he was going to blow her house up. So as you can imagine, this student became frightened and the next day returned with money for my son. By the time the next day had arrived, he was actually surprised to see her hand him the money, but she insisted, so he took it. Well I don’t think I need to explain how complicated this got, but not only did we have to apologize to the parents, but we had to work with our school about the consequences.
When I asked my son why he did this, his response was “I don’t know why”. He wasn’t mad at the student, or eager for the money, he just acted on a bad impulse, without thinking about the consequence. As he said, “There’s a war inside my brain and the bad side killed the good side, then the bad side takes over and makes me do bad stuff.”
This was a very tough time for me. I realized that day that no matter how much I teach my son about kindness and loving others, there’s another force within him. And if he’s impulsive, no amount of parenting can prevent him from making bad decisions. This is tough to deal with now, but I’m terrified about his future. As he gets older, what impulses awaits? Will he have to face criminal charges someday? I feel sick even typing this thought out, but I know that I’m not alone. I know that most parents of mood disorder children have to face this fear and even worse, live it out. Personally, this has been a time of grabbing on to God and his promises. I feel that I’m doing everything I can to help my son, but I’m also aware that there are things just too big for me to handle, and I have to lean on God to get through it.