About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 17, 19, 21, and 23, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running (finished her first marathon in October of 2014!), and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.

How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?

I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.
Never change, start or stop a medication without the approval of your child's physician!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The First Post

So I begin to share with others, wherever they are, about the daily struggles and joys of raising a bipolar daughter.  I decided to blog when I realized that all day long I had these long thoughts traveling around my brain, almost begging to be written down, maybe for my sake more than for my daughter's.  I hope you might find here encouragement if you are on the same journey, one never chosen, but given..  If you are simply interested in knowing what this life might be like, you are welcome here, because so many don't understand how difficult our lives are as we walk through life with these tormented ones.  There is much to be done in educating family members, teachers, coaches, and neighbors, and also to plead for  lawmakers to increase funding for research into this terrible genetic disorder that isolates a child from their peers and many normal childhood experiences.  Few rally around them like so many do for young cancer patients, or children with incurable genetic disorders.  Thus, the parents of these children often feel rejection and isolation alongside their child, who is often very misunderstood.  They are not bad kids, they are sick kids who need much help and compassion.  And their siblings suffer too, from the daily unpredictability  of their lives as their sick sibling rages or exudes an energy that mimicks that of consuming large amounts of Red Bull, or who sobs heartbreakingly over their lack of friends, or the stupid things they did while manic.  Like it or not, they are on this journey too, and I wish they weren't.  Somehow I hope in the grand scheme of things, they will learn compassion and gratefulness.