What Causes the Behavoir: Teenager Angst or Mental Illness?

When a teenager has a mental illness the fear, at least for me, is when they misbehave, is it just them being a teenager or is this a issue with their mental illness.  I sometimes feel trapped by her behavior and afraid that my punishment will push her down that black hole yet again.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to allow her to get away with the things that I would punish my other children for, but I worry, worry, worry.  What punishment will work and what is going to send her over the edge?  Or is she just using her mental illness to “work the system”?

I am fortunate that I have not had to deal with an major behavior issues with my kids yet.  Just normal not listening, avoiding chores or backtalk.  When I see a teen that has horrible behavior like sneaking out of the house, drug use, or just such disrespect that the teen has control, I struggle to understand how parents let them get away with all of what they do!  I watch Dr Phil and see “normal” families out of control and often wonder what they would be like if you throw bipolar II disorder in the mix.

Oh to be able to parent my children minus mental illness!  Is it as easy as I dream?

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