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My Mother’s Been Diagnosed with Bipolar But I’m Worried It’s a Wrong Diagnosis!

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Hi there, my mother was diagnosed with Bipolar about four years ago after years of misdiagnoses. She has been on Risperidone for about 4 years now and has usually been okay. But in the last year she’s had two episodes, not full-blown but bad enough to cause us all stress (her family). I have two questions today: Does this mean the medication is no longer working? And secondly, her symptoms are listed anywhere as being Bipolar symptoms so I’m wondering whether you can shed some light. She often speaks French when she’s having an episode. A language she never speaks nor does she speak it correctly, it’s almost as if she’s making up words. She then puts on a French accent when speaking English and cannot pronounce her R’s anymore. She also acts unlike herself by singing constantly or mumbling under her breath as she’s walking around the house. It’s been like this for a week now and she’s taking one Risperidone a day…is any of this characteristic of Bipolar Disorder? She obviously has the paranoia and the delusions that someone is looking at her or whatever. I’m 27 years old and she’ll act like I’m her 5 year old daughter if we walk outside or in the streets, as if I might get kidnapped. Please help! I am deeply saddened and stress just caring for her. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you.

My Mother’s Been Diagnosed with Bipolar But I’m Worried It’s a Wrong Diagnosis!

Answered by on -

A.

Her active symptoms might indicate that her medication is no longer effective. It could also mean that she has stopped taking her medication.

It’s common for individuals with psychotic disorders to stop taking their medication. In fact, it’s one of the most common barriers to effectively treating psychotic symptoms, which is why some mental health professionals advocate injections over pills. Injections, unlike pills, can’t be spit out, “cheeked” or otherwise discarded.

Your second question relates to her language problems. Her words might sound like French but may not be French. Language abnormalities are common among people with schizophrenia and sometimes bipolar disorder, during manic phases. Common speech abnormalities include poverty of speech, pressure of speech, speech derailment, loose associations and incoherence.

Psychosis rarely gets better on its own, but it can be managed with antipsychotic medication. Contact her prescribing physician and report her symptoms. Her doctor can intervene with medication, which could prevent a full-blown psychotic episode. If you fear for her safety, then take her to the hospital. They can provide immediate help and keep her safe. I hope I’ve answered your questions. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

My Mother’s Been Diagnosed with Bipolar But I’m Worried It’s a Wrong Diagnosis!

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). My Mother’s Been Diagnosed with Bipolar But I’m Worried It’s a Wrong Diagnosis!. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/02/my-mothers-been-diagnosed-with-bipolar-but-im-worried-its-a-wrong-diagnosis/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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