Q. I have a nearly 17 yr old daughter who has been disrupting my home for years but I also have a very sweet, innocent young son who is 2 1/2… We have been in family counseling for 2.5 or 3 yrs along with all kinds of individual counseling for me, her, stepdad… The counseling we are involved with now is being provided by her probation officer (she is physically violent and been arrested many times)… this is the most effective treatment I have seen over the course of time… They have had me looking into BiPolar as well as Antisocial; and I believe that this is the route to explore…. My question and my dilema now are (because of her age: Sr. in HS and will be 18) what can I do to ensure that she takes her meds if and when they are prescribed… and also, how far should I reach out to help her if it is going to hurt my son? I love my daughter dearly…and I am trying everything in my power to help her… but when my son starts calling me a **cking fast *ss **tch……. how can I fix THAT!? He’s not even 3!! We already have therapy in the home 5 days a week ranging from 1-3 hours (depending on the day)… I could go on for a while but all I really would like are some thoughts, feelings on the situation…. Thanks.

A. I am glad your family has access to family and individual counseling. I think that is great. As for ensuring that your daughter takes her medication-that can be very difficult. There is no legal way (that I know of) that you can force her to take her medication, unless the taking of her medication can in some way to be tied to the conditions of her probation. I am not sure even if this is possible but perhaps you can talk to the probation officer about this. Maybe another way to ensure she takes her medication is to stipulate that to live in your home, she has to take the medication. This stipulation makes more sense when you consider you have a young child in the home who you have to protect. In most cases, medication is needed to control symptoms of bipolar disorder. Antisocial personality disorder is less treatable by medication (and less treatable generally, even by therapy). If your daughter were to become physically aggressive or violent, you should call the police and have her removed from the home. If this behavior continues, you should consider insisting that she live somewhere else and until she is willing to accept help and take her medication. It’s a tough situation for a family but it is very unhealthy for your young son to be exposed to violence. You may not be able to save your daughter but you can still save your son. I hope this helps. Take care and write again if you have any more questions.