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!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Pain of Friendlessness

Nothing is more painful than to watch your precious bipolar teen daughter go so many years without a single close friend. Any friend for that matter. She is able now to make and keep friends, we believe, but she has no opportunity, between the predominance of boys in her grade at school, and the only other few girls there are cool at best, and at worst just plain mean. Similarly, the youth group at our church is predominantly made up of boys with the few other teen girls uninterested in Caroline because they have known her since she was very young and are wary of Caroline's past strange behaviors when she was unbalanced. Our neighborhood has no girls of her age in it, and so she struggles on weekends with what to do with herself. She is sick of having only adult "friends" who love and care for her, but who aren't peers. She is a very lonely girl. Today was another day of mourning the lack of anyone she could call up and hang out with, and we as her parents are at a loss as to how to fix this sad situation. Club lacrosse will start soon and so that may be a venue for making friends, but her last club soccer experience was a disaster socially, so we are not so sure this will be better. Oh, that God would bring one friend into her life that she could trust and not see disappear after a month!

10 comments:

Meg said...

This breaks my heart. Maybe she should bag the group sports and take an art class outside of school or something? Somewhere where the kids are more understanding of differences and are more independent thinkers.

Amy said...

This breaks my heart. I so wished we lived closer. I know Kenzie would be Caroline's friend. Kenzie does not have many friends and only one close friend who is 11 so I understand your hurt heart. Keep praying. And I will pray specifically for a friend for her.

Fighting for my Children said...

Maybe you should start a group for teens with mental illness in your area, referal from a Dr. needed to eliminate those who would just make fun.

Megan said...

That is a good idea. I need to ask our therapist. Thanks for the suggestion.

carla said...

Would she like an e-friend? My daughter is 12 and loves to IM and definitely needs work on social stuff (Asperger's).

I know how painful it all is. My daughter has one friend, whom she's known since she was 12 mos old. That is the ONLY reason, I believe, since they have grown up together and the friend is used to her (as well as extremely tolerant.)

Carla

Megan said...

Thank you Carla. That might be nice. My email is meganbstack@yahoo.com.

Corrie Howe said...

I can't imagine what it is like for you or for your daughter. I will pray that the Lord send her a friend who loves Caroline as herself (the way Jonathan loved David).

E squared said...

This breaks my heart as well. I feel for all of you. I think the support group for teens with mental illness is a fantastic idea. Wonder if your doc's office would allow you to post some fliers to get things rolling?

Bobby said...

I went thru this too. I always had a very hard time holding friends. There was a period for 2 years or so where I literally had no friends. I had a cell phone with no one in it to call but my parents. I would recommend something almost like an individual sport like rock climbing or going to the gym. Rock climbing gyms have people of all ages and they are all very friendly people and I'm almost positive she could make some friends there. Plus it's really good exercise and clears your mind when you're having trouble. This is something she'll outgrow too. I have more friends than I can count now and some get mad because it's hard to keep in touch with anyone. I would definitely recommend a sport like rock climbing. It's not team or group based, but it puts you around a lot of people. There must be a certain personality that is found in climbers because I climbed for years and met so many people who I just instantly clicked with. I don't know many people who don't like to climb things. I would look around for an indoor rock climbing place and possibly suggest it :)She will have lots of friends one day. This is another thing that will pass with time.

Bobby said...

I don't know why I didn't add this in too but I follow a program called Crossfit. It's a pretty high intensity and effective workout community and they run it for adults and kids. It's very beneficial. I do it at my own gym, but they have thousands of crossfit gyms around the US. The only problem is it is a little pricey. About $130 a month for a membership, but that is for unlimited sessions. You can buy less. It's an individual workout, sometimes they do teams, but it is the friendliest exercise environment I have ever entered. There is a crossfit gym near me and sometimes I'll drop in to see how I hold up against the members, and they are just the friendliest people you'll ever meet. I've made a couple friends there as well. Maybe another option for her and though it is pretty intense, believe me it helps mood stabilization almost better than any med I've ever been on. Might be worth a shot.