Posted by: elma haasbroek | 2009-09-09

post traumatic stress or bipoler disorder

could my 16 year old son suffer from post traumatic stress or maybe bipolar disorder?We suffered a traumatic armed robbery 2 years ago and since then my son developed this " hate feeling"  towards school.I think it is mainly because some teachers uses the same abusive language sometimes and the robbers also spoke to us in this awfull language.He gets very depressed if you do not speak nicely and with the result that he does not do any homework with that teacher.Going to school is a struggle every day.Please help,at home i do not have any problems with him.Could the robbery have changed his attitude?

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Only a proper assessment by a psychiatrist could establish a sound diagnosis. The two conditions are quite different, so the distinction shouldn't be difficult. Trauma in a robbery ( presmably not occurring at school ) is unlikely to transfer to a hatred of school as such. But there is, in the example you quote, a possibility that experiences like being abused could cause flashbacks of the original trauma if this is PTSD. But abusive l;anguage from teachers should not be tolerated, and reported to the headmaster and school governors. And he needs to be helped to understand that homework is for HIS benefit, not the teacher's, and indeed by doing his homework well, he gives the nasty teacher more work.

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