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, June 18, 2009

Cause for Concern

We think Caroline has become destabilized somehow, either by the decrease in her Seroquel or in her sleep meds.  She says she is waking up several times a night which is never a good sign, and we thought she had been sounding hypomanic in the last few conversations with her.  They did introduce fish oil with our permission, but it might be activating mania like we suspected in previous trials.  We thought they were introducing Trileptal, another mood stabilizer, as they reduced the Seroquel, but we haven't heard that they have. I need to call her psychiatrist out there to find out what' going on.  She said last night she was not doing as well as she had been and was having mood swings.  Hopefully they will get this straightened out soon.  We thought her positive attitude towards everything was great but a little too good to be true.  Just very unusual for her to be that "up" for that long.  She keeps telling us rather grandiose stories of her athletic feats there which we know can't be real.  Like treading water for 45 minutes straight, or swimming 100 laps in the pool, or that she has lost twenty pounds.  The later may be closer to the truth, but kind of extreme.  Maybe fifteen.  Either way I need to send her new clothes so they don't fall off of her.

I saw an article today which documented a study done through MRIs of bipolar teen brains versus normal teen brains, both structurally and functionally.  They found abnormalities in both the structure and function of the amygdala in bipolar brains.  While showing them faces with different emotions depicted, the amygdalas of the bipolar teens showed too much activity, while being structurally smaller than the amygdalas of normal brains.  I am so glad for these studies that show that bipolar kids have actually physical abnormalities of their brains not just chemical differences.  One day maybe all of this will lead to a cure!

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