Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Drug Induced Psychosis or Bi-polar- Coping with 19 year olds diagnosis

My 19 year old son was diagnosed last month. He had been using pot for 9 months and we did not know. He admitted to 3 acid trips after a friend of his tipped us off. Initially, he was diagnosed with bi polar because of a manic episode that had started two days prior to an acid trip. He was hospitalized involuntarily for 5 days, and went for one week as an outpatient. He is on Olanzapine now and home. He does not want to be here. He is taking his medication. Now he has a bipolar nos diagnosis. He has not accepted any of the diagnoses. He is working, having dropped out due to his lack of interest, and I fear, ability. We adopted him at 3 months and do not have an updated medical history. I had such high hopes for him. During the time I was most proud, it seems his drug use began. He admitted starting to smoke when he was 16. We didn’t know about that either. He did have ample education about the dangers of smoking and drugs,but I did not know about the possibility of drug induced psychosis. The smoking started, he explains, because he was feeling depressed. He blames us for the depression. He is still not back to the son I knew. He accumulated over 1000 of credit card debt. He wants to move out again but cannot afford that on a minimum wage job. I don’t even know if he’s capable. He starts therapy next week and I’m hoping he’ll stick with it. I’d appreciate any helpful hints or insight.

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Be kind to yourself at this time and live each day as it comes. The future is unknown and recovery is real for many, many people with these diagnoses, but does not happen overnight. As many people have told me, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Best to you and your family.


Thanks! He seems to be doing OK at work. I trust him very little now to stay off drugs. I do not think he has taken any, and he says he has not, since he was hospitalized. He came home late last night, so who knows what he was doing. I am wondering if anyone else who has a child with the same diagnosis has had success in getting them into drug treatment or if that should be an emphasis.

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@SheriG Do you know what type of pot he was doing? When my son saw a psychiatrist he told the doctor that he had smoked pot (the doctor told me that and rattled off a bunch of names like Spice, K2, blah blah blah) I don’t even remember what he said exactly. I said what are those? He said just other ways to do pot. I thought he meant like doing a bong hit. But no - these are actually other drugs people refer to as pot but are synthetic pot. These can produce side effects that mimic sz. I know they say marijuana can increase the risk of getting sz. But if the doc is saying that Spice is pot, when it truly isn’t, I wonder how many cases of sz they are claiming are from regular pot. I’m just learning that there is also wax pot - which has an extremely high thc.


At first we assumed it was synthetic. He says it wasn’t. In reality, he has no idea what it was cut with, if anything. He had started selling, and says he trusted his supplier. We found some strange cigarettes in his room in the student apartment. But these said hemp on the label,and looked store bought. Complicating matters is the LSD hit he took after the night, already two says into a manic episode, he came home for supper and seemed off the rails.