About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 16, 17 and 20, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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, March 11, 2010

Amantadine is What?

Amantadine is an old drug used for several things, one for Parkinson's and the other as an anti-viral. Some psych docs have been increasingly using Amantadine with bipolar kids and other kids with various mood disorders because it somehow allows the limbic part of the brain (emotions, passions, anger, elation) to communicate better with the thinking/reasoning part of the brain. That is a layman's explanation. Our daughter was put on it at Meridell Achievement Center last summer where she stayed for a few months. I know a number of other kids who are on it with good results for controlling outbursts, anger, defiance, etc. It has been a wonder drug for our Caroline.

5 comments:

Bobby said...

I've commented on a lot of these because I've been going through your blogs today and what I see is EXACTLY what I went thru and what my Mom had to deal with during my way to adulthood. I'm not a parent, but I had the same struggles as your daughter, if not worse and I made it out ok. When I come along someone like this I feel really compelled to help. If you ever feel like there is any advice I could give or if she is experiencing something related to her bipolar or her life that you may want some insight on, please feel free to email me rreay724@gmail.com. I'm afraid to have kids of my own one day because I'm so scared they will have to go thru what I went through. It's a very tough struggle, but with help everything will be ok. Like I said, feel free to email me if you ever need anything. I'm not a doctor, but I have a lot of advice to give from experience.

Megan said...

Hey, Bobby, thank you so much for all of your insightful comments. I had my bp daughter read some of them and she laughed because she can certainly see a lot of similarities. She did rock climbing intensely for a while, when she was about 11, and also gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, cross country, basketball, and loves to workout at the gym. She needs that large muscle stimulation for her brain to feel calm, just like you. She is one intense athlete! I am so grateful for this because so many bp kids are hugely overweight due to the medications. We have heard of Crossfit, her psychologist does it! Thank you for the hope you have shared here about how bp teens can have good outcomes!!

Hartley said...

Hi Megan (and Bobby),

It is great to see someone who has survived childhood bp, and it is reassuring for me and my own son.

The 'large motor' work is actually our sense of proprioception. Sensory issues were the first thing diagnosed with my son and continue to be our base for daily activity -- we have done gymnastics, tae kwando, as well as a dozen other sports, but his favorite is the straight forward pull up bar in our family room. By the time he was 7 he could do 5 pull ups! Just amazing!

Thank you for this forum Megan -- it has been great for me to read about your family too!

Hartley
www.hartleysboys.com

is said...

Too funny that I posted in the Forums page on CABF Amantadine? Huh? As my 8 yr old son just got that added in to to mix of Trileptal and Abilify. I came in with Treatment Guidelines, but had never heard of that one. I truly hope it helps, as he has been extremely edgy and irritable over the past month (more so than normal, but normal for him is, well, not normal, you know). I just started following your Blog, LOVE it. Love to see creative, thoughtful, faithful women - you are an inspiration! Your daughter kinda looks like the oldest daughter on Modern Family!
Heather

is said...

I am not sure how I got labeled as is, but OK.... love your blog - can I change my tag to Heather....