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!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Anxiety Creeping Back In

The anxiety that I struggled with constantly before Caroline went to the RTC has come back. I find myself tense and snappy. She is better, but will always be bipolar, and there are things about bipolar kids that are so draining. Like the constant struggle with boredom. I know from email by other MOBPKS (moms of bipolar kids) that their kids also lack self-direction and are always complaining about being bored. They crave structure and a "plan" and if they don't feel they have enough, they feel very anxious and lost, which can lead to meltdowns. Last night she had her first real "meltdown" over this very issue.

She had gone the entire day without a "mission" and it drove her crazy. I had a busy day yesterday and was also seriously sleep deprived (I am definitely not sleeping as well as I did all summer) and so had no energy to go anywhere and do anything. I resorted to an old way of deflecting the situation by distracting her from her downward spiral with "let's go out to eat" which was not in the budget. I did it out of desperation because I felt paralyzed myself. I realized today I need to have a plan of action written down and posted somewhere so if my brain is foggy I can remember what I can do to help her that doesn't involve taking her out of the house and spending money, which really put a drag on our finances. At least this time I took the other ones with us so that they wouldn't feel like they were being left behind because of Caroline all over again. Today I planned a trip to the beach and Caroline was quite happy to spend hours boogey-boarding in the surf.

As for a daily plan, we are buying her a white board so that she can write down her daily schedule in her room every night and not be bugging me constantly about "what's next." My younger two entertain themselves far better than she does. School starts in less than a week! Yay!

1 comment:

Accidental Expert said...

Oh my, this sounds so familiar. My boy just came home from the hospital and the tension level in the house just went up 10 notches, even with him acting much better. I guess you wait for the other shoe to drop.

I too suffer with paralysis. If I don't plan out my day, I'm lost. And when I'm tired, that's when everything seems to fall apart here. It sure is a lot of pressure.

Take care and enjoy your days at the beach (I'm jealous)!