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15 year old Bipolar runaway

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  • 15 year old Bipolar runaway

    My 15 yar old bipolar son ran away last night. He was smart enough to pack his backpacking backpack with a sleeping bag and tent but he is now without food and his medication

    I called the police immediately and they have been looking for him but they are not very helpful. This is the 3rd time he has done this and they don't care. I asked if I could have him arrested and kept in Juvie for at least a week (kinda show him what it is like) and they said that they could arrest him but that Juvie will probably call us immediately to pick him up.

    Some background is that he is SMI and was diagnosed at 2. His dad and I are very, very involved and loving parents. We have provided him the best care money can buy in different types of therapy, the best specialists in Arizona, supportive homes, advocated for his special needs at school and have brought wonderful things into his life such as mountain biking, horse back riding, guitar, backpacking, etc. He is just really onery and very disrespectful/angry. I keep asking him why he is angry when there is so much goodness in his life! He has no answer.

    I just don't understand why his dad and I can't get any type of support??? We need some interventions before it is too late. Residential treatment facilities are too expensive and I want him at home with me anyway.

    Any thoughts on how to get more resources to better help our family?

    Thank you!


  • #2
    Re: 15 year old Bipolar runaway

    Thanks so much for contacting us here at the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like you and your son's father have done alot for your son and are very worried for his safety. We're sorry to hear that your family is going through such tough times. As you said, the police have not been very helpful. Unfortunately this is something we hear alot. Police do not always take priority in runaway situations.

    It sounds like your son has alot going on right now. Have you and his father sat him down and asked him what it is that he wants? He's got alot of options thanks to the both of you and that's really great for you to be able to give him, but it sounds like he may be looking for something else.

    Have you spoken to his doctors about what has been going on? It's possible they may have some other resources for you to try as well as the local hospital. As far as the resources that we can provide you right now, you have the option of calling the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to report him as a runaway there and start a file if you have not already done so. Their number is 1-800-843-5678. It may also be helpul for the two of you to call Team Hope. They are a support line for parents in runaway or crisis with youth situations where you are able to talk to other parents. Alot of parents find this helpful so it's something you can look into if you so choose. Their number is 1-866-305-4673.

    We hope that you can find some help and other resources with the mental care you are already involved in and it's possible you may be able to get some information from the Parenting Teens Resource Network at They have some contact information on the website if it looks like you want to continue with their help.

    We hope this helps, but to further assist you please give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We would be happy to talk more with you about how you are feeling and what options you may have.
    Take care and good luck,
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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