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, November 10, 2009

Interesting New ADHD Med

Our psychiatrist just prescribed a very new ADHD drug called Intuniv for our youngest daughter. This drug is derived from Tenex, often used in bipolar kids as a calming drug (originally a blood pressure med). Intuniv is designed to address the type of ADHD our daughter has, which is the lack of focusing ability accompanied by extreme irritability, explosiveness, and meltdowns. Some have called this the "ring of fire" ADHD because of the circular pattern that lights up on brain scans of people diagnosed with this subtype. The doc said that the medicine would take about three to four weeks to really work, as we increase the dose by 1 mg each week, up to 4mg. We sure hope this med works for her, because at present the Methlyn helps her to focus, but doesn't address the irritability and explosions we deal with all of the time with her. She acts so much like Caroline that we have wondered many times if she is bipolar, but she doesn't meet the long checklist, and her explosiveness is never violent. We shall see. Peace is a valuable commodity here, and we rarely have it. Behaviorally therapy is the second part of the answer but a good med is so helpful!


Corrie Howe said...

I haven't heard of this one. So far Vyvanse is wonderful!!!! It started working the first day.

Accidental Expert said...

I haven't heard of this either. We've been having an increasingly hard time with our daughter. She has many of the same symptoms. I may have to talk to the DR about it.

Through Thick and Thin said...

thanks for sharing this, i am going to ask about it at our next appointment.

McKenzie said...

Megan, thanks for replying to me. I have already read Meridell's website thoroughly. I plan on calling tomorrow. However, I wish I had time to read all of your entries, but this one peeked my interest about the ADHD med. McKenzie-that's my 13 year old-she is not as extreme as your Caroline but their are a lot of similarities. However, she does fit what you just said about your youngest in this entry. We have had a terrible time finding a good psychiatrist here. How did you find such a good one? I am going to research this med. and ask my doctor about it. Thank you.
P.S. By the way, your blog will only let me use McKenzie's google account to reply. I cannot figure out any other way. I also do not have a blog, but I will continue to check yours for replies and info. Thank you!

Megan said...

As far as finding a great psychiatrist, we found out about the first good one through our psychologist, who had names of ones they recommended. Then that psychiatrist left private practice, and we had to find another one. I don't remember how I found Dr. Charles Parker, but he is brilliant, and willing to try things other psychiatrists won't, including herbal stuff as well as the regular meds. I have heard some real horror stories from other moms about psychiatrists who don't get it. I think you might want to go to the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation website www.cabf.org and see the list of doctors they have. They have wonderful resources in terms of the latest research findings, support groups,etc. I belong to one of the online support groups and the info I have received from other moms with more experience has been invaluable. I find out about new meds through the online group faster than other means sometimes.