Bipolar Disorder and False and Displaced Memories?
My son was diagnosed at age 12 with ADHD and, at 15, with Bipolar Disorder. He is currently on medication.
First, a little background. I divorced his father, also Bipolar and very abusive, when my son was 7. I remarried two years later. Ever since the divorce, my ex has constantly belittled me and my new husband to our three children, constantly asking them if my husband was abusing them, telling them they didn't have to listen to their step-father or like him at all.
Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services kept showing up at our home nearly every other week because of my ex's reports. They were asking questions and talking to my three kids. Every time, they left and said they found no evidence of any abuse and apologized for bothering us.
Since my ex remarried 4 years ago, he has little to no contact with his children, who are now 23,20 and 18. He called for his summer visitation and Christmas breaks, but my son, especially, has felt that he's second-best to his father's new family. He begs for any small bit of attention from his father.
Flash forward to now: last night my son, now 18, claimed that my husband punched him and threw him across the room when he was 10, and he just never told me. This memory does not make any sense to me. If this were true, he would have told the numerous officers and CPS workers he had contact with. He would have told his father who would not have let it go. The troubling thing is, this something that his father HAS done. My question is, is it possible or probable that, in wanting to be loyal to and feel close to his father, that he could have transferred this horrible memory over to associate it with his stepfather?
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.