Friday, October 07, 2005

Karen and I went to a NAMI meeting last night. After hearing some of the issues parents are having with schizophrenic kids, I walked away feeling pretty lucky.

But we walked away with a fundamental disagreement about Kyle's future. We learned about medicaid, SSI, and disability. Karen wants to immediately start the public assistance process for Kyle. I disagree, I feel once he's on the books he's SEVERELY limited his future. I want him to consider the armed forces. I think this is a possibility of something that can teach him enough discipline to allow him to live a mostly normal life in the future. I realize there's risks, a dishonorable discharge would affect his future in probably a worse way. But to put him on assistance where he doesn't have to work would seal his fate in the substance abuse world. He would, I'm fairly certain, slowly drink himself to death.

But this is probably moot, I'm fairly certain he'll decline to try the armed forces. He can't hold a job, never could. So that really only leaves the public assistance option.

We'll see how the next few days play out.

I hope you don't mind if I share my view on this. I think the Armed Forces would be devastating for him. It sounds as though he's definately bipolar & if he went into a deep depression there, he may not get the immediate mental assistance he needs.
I'm on SSA, much like SSI & while once he's diagnosed he wouldn't qualify for the military, there are programs with SSI. He'd qualify for assistance going to college, junior college or work training. SSI offers something that helps you try to work while still under their umbrella. Plus, the medication is covered & that can be hundreds of dollars a month.
He's very fortunate to have parents that love him as much as you two.
Kyle is very blessed to have such wonderful parents. What happened to him is horrible, I saw the picture and it looked pretty bad. But he is lucky, it could have been alot worse.

Below you were talking about bipolar and BPD. I just wanted to let you know that they both have similiar features and it's hard for even a psychiatrist to make a diagnosis. It is possible to have both so that's another slant for them to consider. Because there is no definite test it's very hard to diagnose these things.

Good luck and I hope things work out for your family.
Thanks for the notes and input. It's much appreciated.
I agree that the military is the wrong answer for Kyle.

I happen to be Bipolar I and on SS Disability. There is no shame for a bipolar sufferer or their family in seeking out help.

While receiving assistance, Kyle can go to school, learn a trade, and actually work in a special program for the Disabled called "Ticket-to-Work".

SS Disability provides money, medical coverage, and more, but you must be eligible. Contact Social Security right away; a decision can take up to 2 years.
I forgot to mention, and you probably already know this anyway, but substance abuse is a hallmark of bipolar disorder.

Any help Kyle gets from a doctor, psychiatrist or counselor MUST and WILL address this component of his illness.

I urge you not to assign symptoms of his illness as "weakness" or part of his true self. He can't control substance abuse any easier than he can his moods.
I appreciate the comments, trouble. My wife has already headed him down that path. And once she gets started on something like this, she's a pitbull. So far Kyle qualifies for every program she's pursued. By next semester we think he'll have his rent paid, other necessary assistance, and be going to a local community college. He won't have to work while he's going to school, he'll have a hard enough time with school alone. He's excited for the future, and so are all of us.
Jon-I am glad to see that you and your wife are there for your son. I just found your blog, but will continue to follow it and your son's progress
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I've checked back a few times. I hope you're all doing okay.
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