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!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wrote Too Soon

I don't even want to write this because I was so angry and discouraged by Caroline's actions yesterday after she got to lacrosse practice.  First, let me say that I was concerned she was a little manic yesterday when she got suddenly hyper-focused on getting a hamster.  Her last hamster died because when she was in an extended manic phase she forgot all about it and let it die of starvation.  Well, she seemed a little too intent on this new mission, but it's always hard to tell if a new mission is just being bipolar or if it is the first sign of a period of mania.  

So she goes to lacrosse with my husband, seeming to be fine and up after we cajoled her enough.  When she got there, my husband noticed that she seemed very confused by the coaches' instructions and kept doing the wrong things.  There is a whole crush of girls there, not just her team, because I guess they are training several teams at once, then dividing up into teams on game days.  This isn't the best situation for Caroline, because she is very ADHD too and gets extremely distracted in noisy, crowded scenes (she can't take stimulants because she goes immediately manic).  

Well, she kept messing up, then got winded after a run, which completely undid her because she has never been out of shape before.  She is used to running fast with everyone trailing behind, but this time the extra weight she is carrying (15 pounds since Jan. 3rd) and having not run all winter caused her to collapse after the run.  She thought she was having an asthma attack, but my husband said he could tell she was just winded.  Then she insisted he take her home, but he insisted she stay and at least watch the team if she couldn't run (her ankle was also an issue since she had twisted it the day before).  She threw a fit, and went to the car where a bigger scene ensued.  She called me crying and shouting hysterically.  I was so shocked to hear she was doing this, and then so angry I told her that daddy was the one to make the decision and I hung up.  

She then proceeded to hit my husband's nice car with her lacrosse stick, putting several big dents in the hood.  I am really bummed about this since Bill has never had a car so nice before.   It is only a Honda Accord, but he has always driven the crappy car.  We need to come up with a good consequence for this.

He finally was able to calm her down enough to go home.  Now I don't know if she is going to want to go back because of the embarrassing tantrum she threw in front of everybody.  She is truly her own worst enemy.  Her first game is on Saturday.  I hate bipolar disorder.  

Today we have her weekly counseling appointment and I hope we can process this whole event.  She wants friends but pushes them away through these sort of incidences all of the time.  The psychiatrist wants us to up her mood stabilizer Lamictal and go down on the anti-depressant because of the spring mania thing.  We are doing that, and hopefully she will be less explosive and mission obsessed.  She has an interview and testing today at the private school we want to try her in, but I am really afraid she won't be place into the sixth grade, but held back again due to all of the school she has missed.  She is afraid of this too, but we just have to move ahead.  It would be really hard to have her in the same grade as Jane, because the comparisons would be at times so discouraging.  Jane does most everything right in school, academically and behaviourly.  We could not have them in the same school at all. 

We'll see how today goes.  

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