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!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Intuniv Trial

Since so many have asked, I think the Intuniv is still a great drug for our youngest, Mae. She is much calmer and gets her homework done more quickly, and wakes up in a much better mood. I can tell when it wears off in the late evening, though, because she becomes very grumpy. But she is also really tired from school and ballet so sometimes it is hard to know. I do know that my oldest was just awful on a stimulant when she was younger, very irritable, never smiled, not the same kid. I wouldn't say that Intuniv has affected Mae like that. I think she is moody partly because she has a lot of learned bad behaviors from years of dealing with a bipolar sibling! She wants to be the diva, but she has no excuse. We did baby her too much while Caroline raged through her elementary years. Life was crazier then. Now it is better and we are trying to "un-diva" Mae so we can all have some peace.


ann said...

The word peace would be great in my life. I would like for my son who is almost 9 to have peace and be able to suceed in school. This has not occured yet,and I do not know if it is in the near future.
I have to familiar to the process of moving him from school to school when they become too frustrated to try and help him.
It is wierd how you get used to being prepared with his information in a file and can move to the next school suprisingly fast.
He is in the process of diaganosis. They are now calling his anger, compulsitivity, and transition problems a mood disorder, but are not sure what!
I am in the process of changeing pedatricians due to the fact of a quick diagnosis and finding out the pill she prescribed is not even the right type of medication to help him.
My son is gifted and does 5th grade work in 3rd. The behaviorial, mood swings, etc. are beginning to hold him back, I hope "peace" is closer than I think.

coffeemom said...

Altho, I will also comment that our ins is not paying a dime for this med yet and it's crazy expensive. not good.

coffeemom said...

We have also started Intuniv w my daughter...for about our second month. Same reason for using it. At first I've been very happy w/ it...but this past week or so has been filled w/ aggression and not at all stable...so I'm not sure. But then again, it's always hard to pin down the cause of the imbalance and it could well be school probs. Anyhow, Glad to find this blog!!! Nice to "meet" you and read your positive attitude w/ some tough stuff. Inspiring. T hank you.

Amy said...

I read your response to my post yesterday and I agree with you that medication is necessary for some children. I also agree with you that we need therapy as well. I think but I don't know for sure that this therapist believes medication is necessary for some children too. I do plan on asking the next time I am there. But it would be great if it is at a minimal. We have really truly only tried the medication piece of it with Kenzie. We did try the "talk" therapy and that did no good at all. This is different she actually will teach us tools to deal with Kenzie and kids like her-she calls them intense. Great word! That they are! So far what I have read I really like and it is helping. It is not preventing mood swings or rages but it is defusing them more quickly and also helping keep her in a better mood and making good choices more of the time so far. It has only been 12 hours so we will see. The premise is that traditional parenting does not work on these kids because they are so intense. They seek attention and lots of energy. They learn that they get more energy from us when they make wrong choices, etc.even though they want to be different they still crave that energy and attention. We give it to them even if it is negative when they do wrong. So this approach teaches you how to not give the negative behavior any energy or attention but still giving consequences. It also teaches you how to give lots of energy when they are doing good even the smallest thing. We need to celebrate them when they are not arguing or throwing tantrums, rages,etc. In other words make a big deal of them when things are going right! I am telling you all of this because it might help with Mae, your youngest, disregarding the part about medication. It is called the Nurtured Heart Approach. The idea is to change them from the inner, work with the heart. Totally in line with what Christ wants for us. I agree that this will not totally work without the right medication for Kenzie. But I do see how it can help. It was amazing last night when I tried it. She was wonderful all evening. I know she craves to be celebrated on the good she does do. Anyhow, just thought you might like the info. Take care and thanks for being involved with my family. You are a blessing!

domandkat said...

From one mom with a diva (who swears she's a tomboy) to another:

Good luck with that.

Luv you!

revisedfully said...

I'm so happy Intuniv has worked out for Mae!

Meds are so individual when it comes to individuals. I think all brains must be like snowflakes-different.


Camille said...

Can Intuniv replace Adderoll? My daughter also takes depakote and Ability. She absolutely must have something for her hyperactiveness.

Megan said...

Intuniv should be able to replace Aderall in my opinion, since it is an ADHD med, but not every med works for every kid, as you know. Intuniv is particularly for the kids whose ADHD manifests itself with a great deal of explosiveness, irritability, etc. Because Intuniv is not a stimulant, it would seem like the perfect ADHD med for a kid with a possible bipolar disorder tendency. You should definitely ask your psychiatrist about it!