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 15, 2010

Mania, Again

The balancing act never ends. We have to watch her like a hawk when she starts to talk non-stop, tell tall tales, responds belligerently, and gets this very intensely "wild" look in her eyes. Another med adjustment is probably in order, though the doctor wants us to just up the Calm PRT. I want to trust his judgement, but sometimes I am hesitant about the herbal supplements. We know our kid so well, and if mania gets out of control, disaster follows. We will see how she is today when she wakes up.


asplashofsunshine said...

My daughter is 8 and we are VERY new to this whole thing. She begins meds on June 22. The doc gave us three choices, lithium, abilify, or trileptal. All of them scare me... just medicating my daughter so young scares me even though I know she needs it. I keep dropping my your blog and a couple others hoping to get some insight. Thanks for being so honest and open. There are many of us out there that need people like you to be so honest and forthcoming.

Megan said...

Our dd started with Trileptal alone at age 7 and it did the job until we had to go up and up until she was sleeping through class every day. Then we switched to Depakote which is not a great drug, and then to Lithium which was far better. Abilify we had to add in later. I know the drugs are scary, but sometimes they just need them and we pray for no long lasting ill effects.

Mama Bear said...

Hey aspashofsunshine-I agree with Megan, sometimes our kids just need the drugs. Our son (9 yrs) was just switched to Trileptal about 2 months ago and it has changed all our lives for the better. The drug trials to get there were hard, so don't expect to have the meds work the first time, but put your fear aside and give medication a try, it could be a huge blessing!

By the way, I understand your fears, we have all gone through them, and they don't disappear, but they can be pushed aside when your child improves with medication.

asplashofsunshine said...

My hubby used to take depakote because he has a seizure condition. It tore up his pancreas and has other long lasting effects too. We won't use that. I think we will go with Trileptal since I've heard the best things about that thus far. Another appt today, so maybe we can sort more things out with the meds. Thank you for your input. I deeply appreciate it! I hope you don't mind if I stop by for more questions here and there.

Hartley said...

Hi Megan,

It is exhausting constantly adjusting meds, isn't it? I am overdue for a blood draw for Gabe (last week of school chaos has him acting manic/mixed and me feeling NUTS) -- but I am sure there is another adjustment in our future...Hang in there, Caroline is lucky to have such an educated and aware mom!

Oh -- and I love the new look to your blog. Very nice!


CC said...

Megan, sorry to hear you're having to deal with mania. That's so emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. (At least it is for me anyway when my daughter gets like that.) Her doctor just increased her Abilify 2weeks ago. Hopefully this dose will last for a while.
To asplashofsunshine, my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed last year and so far she's just had Depakote and Abilify (along with Adderoll for ADHD). But it's been a constant tweeking or increasing of the meds. I think the meds have saved my daughter's life. You're not alone in being hesitant about meds... but it sure beats the alternative.

licoriceroot said...

Oh boy do we know what it's like to watch for that *look* in our little girl's eyes, the on the go behavior, risk taking, little to no sleep....Once, the school nurse said to me, "She looks very very happy and energetic today." I remember looking at her eyes and just shaking my head - that's not happy, that's mania. She is on Lithium and doing well, now.