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, March 16, 2010

I Like Her Novel, Mostly

Caroline is writing a book. She can't stop writing this book. She is obsessed with it, and if she isn't doing homework, she is absorbed in the creation of this novel. It is an adventure/mystery story, with the lead characters being teens, of course. She is an amazingly descriptive writer, using complex ideas and sentences. The only problem is that I am having a hard time enjoying reading it because it starts with a teenage girl getting kidnapped by a group of guys (ok, there is one girl abductor) when she visits an abandoned shed. She gets tied up, knocked out, and is carried off to some other location, where she is pretty roughly handled during the first chapter. I guess being the mom of teenage girls, and knowing that kidnappings and murders of girls happen almost daily, I am probably overly sensitive to the topic. I didn't want to listen to Caroline reading it to me, and she was so excited about it. I just couldn't get into the idea at all. I wanted to encourage her writing gifts, but also wanted to steer her in a more positive direction, just for my own sake. Selfish, yes. But I do worry about the "dark side" of bipolar disorder with the fixation on the morbid. She did change the tone of the rest of the book, but I feel badly that she doesn't have the creative freedom that I would like her to have. I know that if she chooses to become a writer vocationally that I won't have the power to influence what she writes, but for now, if I can, I am. I am not sure this is right, but it is what I can handle. And maybe there is guidance needed in terms of what is healthy for her to be dwelling on and what is not.


domandkat said...

Well, you know what you have to do first to make a good garden. Compost. It stinks. It's decayed material. Sometimes it's even manure. BUT it's what God uses to make amazing gardens. Even in our lives - and our books. Even in murder mysteries the murder is usually at the start of the book. It's all about redeeming the bad. Isn't that what the Bible is all about? SO, I think you encouraging her to bring out the good is right! And I think leaving the difficult beginning makes the redemption that much better. You are her editor ;-)

Vampi said...

I wish I had someone to help guide my thinking when it started to get morbid. It's much better now, but only because I can tell myself 'no, this isn't the road I want to travel'. It does take a lot of personal practice, but it can be done :)

Stefan said...

There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy BĂ©rard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: http://www.uk.sascentre.com/uk_free.html.

Megan said...

Thanks Stephan, I need to pass this along also to Hartley (Hartley's Three Boys) who just published a sensory processing disorder book for kids. She would be very interested. Caroline has dyslexia, so I need to check this out as well!

Megan said...

Thanks, Vampi and Kathryn for the encouragement about Caroline's book and my "editing" of it. She just printed off the first 22 pages of it. Maybe she'll get published!

Megan said...

Thanks, Vampi and Kathryn for the encouragement about Caroline's book and my "editing" of it. She just printed off the first 22 pages of it. Maybe she'll get published!

Taz's Mama said...

hi. i've been reading your blog for a while. i just started one about raising my son with bipolar. you can check it out here if you want

Meg said...

Any chance she's trying to freak you out?

Hartley said...

I don't know a lof about the 'morbid' thinking, but my son does LOTS of death/war/star wars play. It isn't 'approved of', but it is hard to discourage it as little boys tend to play those things.

I think it is great that Caroline has found a way to express herself. Writing has always been healing for me. Maybe this isn't her being 'morbid' but a way for her to get those thoughts out of her head and onto the page? Just a thought.

I have heard of the listening therapy and have tried it with my son. It is a great resource. :)

Thanks Megan,

Megan said...

Meg, I think it is mania actually. See my post today.

Megan said...

Hartley, morbid thoughts definitely increase when she is manic, as well as sexual thoughts. I think this is what has been going on.

Corrie Howe said...

I know what you are saying, but unfortunately, there are a lot of books which have that theme running in them.

As for me, I love a good Young Adult or even children's fiction...most don't go to dark places.

It must be exciting for you to see her using her gifts.