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!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Overreaction Disorder

That's what I have, after years of parenting a bipolar kid.  Now that she is gone at the residential treatment center, I am seeing how much I overreact to everything.  Sort of a PTSD response.  When Caroline is here, everyone walks on eggshells.  We never know what might irritate her next, sending her into paroxysms of emotional turmoil.  So she is not here, but I find myself reacting much too strongly to every annoyance, every misbehavior, with over-the-top responses.  At least I can see it, really see it now.  And I hate it.  I think I had nightmares all night last night after having a bad evening with our youngest, who is severely ADHD, and highly gifted, and does everything in her power to avoid homework.  I lost it at her yesterday, got down on her level, and asked her (loudly) why she does this every night, does she enjoy the results, does she see how this ruins our evenings!?  But she overreacts to every irritation, and so does Jane and Elizabeth, and I see it in my husband as well.  I don't want to blame Caroline completely--we are all responsible for how we respond to the problems of life--but we are all so tightly wound up from years of Caroline's unpredictability, we just spin out emotionally without warning.  

I was getting my nails done the other day, and the manicurist kept telling me to relax my fingers because I was holding them so stiffly and  he was having trouble getting the job done.  I realized that I was also holding my breath, feeling that fight or flight tension that I have lived with for so long.  I hold my breath a lot, unconsciously.  Sometimes, to get out of this head to toe stiffness, I will start singing some musical number, full out, usually from Les Miserables or West Side Story, because you have to breathe and use your diaphram to have good control.  After a few minutes of this, I feel so much better.  I haven't found a better deep breathing technique that works for me.  So I'll sing on! 

1 comment:

domandkat said...

OK, I'm thinking a weekly body massage...