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, May 20, 2010

Summer Camp Advice

One thing that we have learned after years of different summer camps for Caroline is that bipolar kids usually cannot handle camps that involve large numbers of kids in one place, out in the heat all day. Look for camps that have small number per counselor, in a small environment, with plenty of indoor time. Lithium makes kids need a LOT more water (it is a salt, remember) and bipolar kids have a hard time regulating their temperature anyway for some reason (see The Bipolar Child by Dr. Papolos.) Tell them that your child is bipolar, obviously, and give them some tips on how to handle outbursts and meltdowns. Sports camps are ok if they LOVE the sport they are playing, but again, WATER and more water. We have had bad experiences with chaotic camps.

2 comments:

Adrienne said...

Hey, I gave you a blog award! It's on today's post.

I hope Carter can manage sleep away camp someday, but I kind of doubt it. The anxiety is too, too big for him.

Megan said...

Thank you! You are sweet. Yes, the sleep away camp would be very overstimulating. Caroline did it once and I think it was too much.