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, April 27, 2010

Growing out of the "Mixed-State?"

I do believe that our daughter has grown out of the "mixed-state" as it is called, when a bp child exhibits both depression and extreme agitation and energy at the same time. This is the most dangerous stage for these kids, because their energy level combined with their negative and angry thoughts combine to cause them to lash out physically against themselves and others. When an adult experiences depression, they usually become listless, lack energy to care for themselves or others, and withdraw. But a bp child can be quite depressed, even suicidal, and have a huge amount of energy creating havoc in their homes and schools if not treated quickly with the right meds.

As Caroline has moved into the teen years, we have seen less and less of these "mixed-states" and much more of the classic swing between mania and depression. This has been easier to deal with by far. I don't know if this would be true for every bp child as they move into the teen years, but I do think that many of them become more classic BP I or II. As awful as it is to have bipolar disorder, I will take the adult version over the child version any day. I hope that if your child is experiencing the rages that cause so much damage to your home, to their relationships, and to themselves, that you will hang in there and know that there is hope that these rages can lessen over time.


Camille said...

:) So glad to hear that Caroline is drifting away from that! We have experienced the mania and depression at the same time and you're right, it is very scary.

Hartley said...


Your post is so timely -- and I am literally crying because Gabriel is stuck in this 'mixed state' that I didn't even know what it was called until I read this.

He is not doing well, and we are working tirelessly with his doctors, changing schools and doing everything we can.

Thank you for sharing your journey, I have learned so much from you!


Megan said...

Hartley, I am so sorry that Gabriel is experiencing this state right now. It is scary and it makes a parent feel so helpless and hopeless. The biggest antidote to the mixed state for Caroline was the antipsychotics, and then the Amantadine has been her most recent big help with explosivity. Hang in there. The med trials can seem endless. Let us know how the new school goes. I don't know what to do for Caroline next year. Nothing is ever perfect.

Adrienne said...

Oh, I so hope this is where we're headed! I've never experienced anything as terrifying as Carter's mixed states.

Pickel said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is exactly what my son is going through right now and I had no idea. Hartley and I should talk more...we work together. :)