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, June 8, 2010

"It's Summertime, and the Living Ain't Easy"

A schedule is what I need. Anna was right about that. I am not a naturally schedule-driven person. I was years ago, but I have devolved. Which isn't great having four kids. Caroline is bored already, as expected without school to occupy her, camps don't start until the end of June, and yesterday was a prime example of me getting caught with my pants down. I have to be two steps ahead of her all the time or I get run over. She woke up super late, and I was completely foggy all day yesterday too. The weekend had been a zinger, with one event after another, and I was wiped out. She decided that she just HAD to go to the mall, by herself, and see a movie. Not so much. I wasn't going to let her roam the mall at 14 by herself. And I was suspicious of her motives, since this 21 year old guy at the pool has an interest in her. I checked her text messages, and sure enough there were texts between him and her, but not about meeting to see a movie, just about a teen pool party. But I was alarmed and told her that she may NOT text him, talk on the phone, etc, and if I caught her texting him, that would be the end of texting. She protested greatly that she did NOT like him, they were just friends, what did we have against him, etc. Well, for one thing he is 21, and he definitely likes her, we can tell. He has PDD and so is on the level of about a 14 year old intellectually, but he drives, and is lonely. She is lonely for friends, so this is bad news. I want my own pool in my own backyard. Really.

So back to the mall. She became so fixated on seeing "Marmaduke" and I was so sick of her pestering that I said fine, I would let her go to the movie if I walked her in there and bought her ticket and if her 10 year old sister went along. She was okay with that, and it turned out that her desire was completely innocent, not ulterior motives, so in the end all was good. But I am alerted now, and this is why she has so few freedoms. A bipolar kid needs to be held very close to avoid all kinds of dangers, as we have learned.

But a schedule for Caroline definitely would help with laying out every day for her, so there are no surprises for me or her, no last minute "I have to go see that movie now or I will die," kind of stuff. Let's see, there is the gym, chores, walking the dogs, supervised pool time, the beach, museums, how about art lessons?

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