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!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big Sister Fight

Today has been a crazy day for our family: soccer game at 10, lacrosse game at 3, ballet rehearsal at 1, SAT prep class at 1. I think everyone woke up stressed out, and my oldest Elizabeth was stressed out by the SAT class she doesn't want to take ("all my friends are at the beach, this is so unfair!") and because I told her she HAD to clean up her room until it was spotless. Caroline was stressed anticipating her first lacrosse game of the season, and she is still acting hypomanic, and Jane gets stressed when the house and particularly the kitchen get messy, which happens on Saturday morning between pancakes, frantic searches for uniforms, leotards, etc. Mae seemed to be in her own happy ballet dream world so she wasn't a problem. I am stressed because I forget to take my Lexapro yesterday and today, apparently. I always know that I forgot to take my antidepressant when I start screaming at the kids, really screaming, no self-control at all. Then I think "uh-oh, I forgot something!" The first signs of depression for me are uncontrollable anger, and severe anxiety. Awful feelings, and not great for parenting, or loving one's husband.

Well, while Bill and I were at Jane's first soccer game, Elizabeth, the oldest, and Caroline got into a huge fight (should have insisted that Caroline come with us to the game) over who owned a particular item of clothing. I had made the mistake of labeling it with a permanent marker as Elizabeths when it was something that Caroline had bought with her own money. My bad, again. I get a call from Caroline who was VERY upset. I should have been home during the game, or one of them needed to not be home with the other. They just can't be left together, which I want to optimistically believe they can handle. Not so much.

The worst part of this fight was that Elizabeth lit into Caroline using the word "bipolar" which Caroline is HIGHLY sensitive about when used against her. She went crazy. I had to put her in the car to calm her down. Both of them had been really ugly and immature with each other, but Elizabeth cannot throw "bipolar" at her to be ugly. It is too hurtful and produces the most pained reaction in Caroline that we see. She must understand that.

Caroline really wants to be friends with Elizabeth, but Elizabeth, sadly, rejects her attempt again and again. We are very sad and concerned about this. We want our girls to be friends as adults and to be there for each other, like I am with my three sisters. Painful for us to watch.

But God is a redeemer of the ugly, the broken, and the hopeless.

"For I know my Redeemer lives!" Handel.

I believe God can redeem the most messed up parts of our lives and bring beauty from ashes. I have seen Him work in ways that still surprise my unbelieving heart.


Mama Bear said...

I can really relate to your recent post. We are having to teach our 7 year old to not talk about his brother's brain being messed up in front of strangers, our "moody son" really gets upset when he hears this.

I also can relate how in the end you turn to God, it is funny how it takes such challenges in life to make you realize who really is in control.


Camille said...

Megan, I, too, am on Lexapro and couldn't get along without it. And turning to God is the ONLY way I can survive. Bipolar is bigger than all of us, and God is in control even when we aren't. I'd hate to imagine where I'd be without Him. For some reason God has given us a mountain, we don't understand why, but we have to know that it is all in His plan.