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, February 17, 2010

It's Not All Bad--Really

I think I left many of you with the impression following some recent posts that life with a bipolar child is difficult beyond my ability to cope. Just like bipolar disorder itself, there are ups and downs to caring for any special needs child. And the fact that we have four kids does add quadruple the work for mom and dad, anyhow. We wanted a big family and we consider each one to be a special part of our family, precious to God and to us. We would never trade Caroline for anyone else. There are things about her that are so unique, so creative, so sweet that she brightens my day quite often. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders. She tells Bill and I very often how lucky she is to have us as parents, that she is so blessed to be in this family, and that she loves us soooooo much. She is more respectful to me than my youngest, that is for sure. Since coming back from the RTC, she has gained a LOT more self-control over her temper and in all areas of her life. She is a very diligent student who strives for As. She has such a tender heart towards God and is quick to confess the things that she feels were unkind to me or her dad. I have GREAT HOPE for her future, knowing that the key to her success is three-fold: staying on her meds, sticking with psychotherapy for probably the rest of her life to deal with the complexities of bipolar disorder, and to trust in God's purpose for her life. There will be big ups and downs, and probably more hospitalizations, but bipolar disorder doesn't DEFINE her, as we often tell her. It is part of who she is but not the whole. She is so much more than the kid with the mental illness. She is a beautiful work of God's hands.


Fighting for my Children said...

Well, said. I too only tend to blog about the bad stuff, I must write a positive blog soon.

Vampi said...

I think I understand where you're coming from. I say 'I think' because I'm in Caroline's shoes, but my husband is in yours. When we are caught up in the disease, it gets difficult for me to seperate myself from the disease, but my husband is quick to remind me that I am not bipolar... I HAVE bipolar. Being able to make that distinction helps me to see that even though some actions and thoughts are out of my control, the disease does not define who I am as a person. I've learned to be quick to apologize and that has helped me a lot. I think about your family often :)