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!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Uneasy Revelations

Last night I read Caroline's novel in secret and became alarmed. She had previously been reading portions of it to us almost daily and it seemed OK, though a little heavy on violent action, which we had talked about. What I found last night was way too much sensuality, like that of those stupid grocery store romance novels. When she asked to use the computer again, I said no, and she became very agitated and belligerent. In fact, she caused quite a scene, reminiscent of times when she was very out of control with mania, during the really bad times of the past. I didn't sleep well at all last night, and ended up sleeping in until 1 in the afternoon today.

After our big argument and her loss of the computer, probably for some time, she came downstairs and handed me two handwritten notes, the first beginning with "I wish 4 (sic) hope, I wish 4 Love, I wish 4 Sanctification, I wish 4 understanding. I need hope. I need Love. I need shelter from the storm. I need a Savior. Where iz (sic) my Savior? Where iz my place in life? What iz God's purpose 4 my life? Why am I here? Who am I? What am I? Lord, will you protect me? Plz Lord don't leave me! God don't leave me here! Don't leave me here broken, scattered, homeless, lifeless, left to die all alone and unguarded. Don't leave me Savior."

I was relieved to read these words, and obviously she was reaching out to me, to us, and to God to ask for help. I am still very concerned that she is more manic than we have thought. I am going to take her back to the psychiatrist and ask for a med increase. And the psychologist appointment this week without a doubt will be addressing this turn of events. It could be worse, much worse, when I read of what some other parents have discovered about their bp teens this week (crack cocaine use, carving tattoos into their skin, etc.) But still, spending hours in her room, typing this trash, however well written, isn't healthy at all.

She had calmed down considerably this morning and afternoon, but the evening seems to always be the time for red flags. So we shall see.


CC said...

We are also dealing with mania. My daughter had a new friend stay all night, and my daughter ended up having a melt down and yelling and cussing at me and her friend. That scared her friend and she immediately wanted to go home and wanted nothing to do with my daughter, understadably. She took her today's depakote dose and threw it in the garbage disposal and announced she wasn't going to take her meds anymore because she doesn't need them. We go to the psychiatrist tomorrow, which is a 2hour drive. I just hope she doesn't have a melt down on the road. I absolutely hate bp. It is so cruel and unfair to everyone involved. I am so envious of "normal" families who get to do "normal" things. We have airline tickets to go on vacation in less than a week, and at this point I don't know if she'll get to go, or will be hospitalized.

Hartley said...

You are very strong Megan, and Caroline is lucky to have you.

As you know, we have had the mania-crazy here lately, which seems to be under wraps with a little extra Depakote. Not sure that is a permanent solution, but for now, it is working. Sort of.

Gabe has 'run away' 4 or so times in the last two days. Never making it past the corner, but terrifying my other son. He has been screaming at me that he "doesn't deserve a family!" and that he "does't deserve love!" becuase he thinks he is such a bad kid. Although he is defnitely doing some BAD things, he isn't a bad kid -- and I am not sure how to get that through to him.

Gabe is a biter (one step from being a cutter, so that mention of bp kids 'tattooing' themselves hits home), and his arms just can't handle too much more.

My thoughts, as always, are with you and your family.


Rose Adoption Journey said...

WE have had some mania too this past week ON VACATION. Then he REALLY dipped on the way home(we drove)and went into a pretty deep depressive state crying constantly and doing the poor pitiful me routine. It was an exhausting vacation. He is deathly afraid of going to high school and now on top of BP moods, he is acting as if he has no brain. Very stupid so maybe that will get him sent to a facility and he wont have to go to HS...the sad part..he is really smart!

Megan said...

CC--Wow, the having a meltdown and losing a new friend is so familiar, and very painful. One thing we learned the hard way with Caroline is that if she makes a new friend, less is more, in terms of time spent early on. No sleepovers unless they are a proven friend over many months, and actually sleepovers have not gone well for her because sleep deprivation always leads to mania and bad judgement. I understand the envy of "normal" families. My closest friends don't really get it. I had to mourn the loss of having a normal family but I am still grieving at times, especially when I feel like my other kids suffer too. Did you go on the vacation? Flying with a manic kid can be really difficult. ONce I had to leave my husband and Caroline behind in an airport because she was having such a huge meltdown at the gate, that we couldn't risk a take down on the plane. They took another flight hours later when she was calmer. Always choose the bulkhead seats if you can, for more leg room and no one in front of you to be bothered. Hang in there!

Megan said...

Rose Adoption Journey-- I am sorry you have been dealing with mania too, and his fears of going to HS are sad and yet not unfounded. I have a LOT of fear about HS , to the point of not wanting her to go to public school at all. We have seen the challenges with our "normal" oldest girl, and we know Caroline couldn't handle the temptations like she has. We are going to try our hardest to do private school or to homeschool if necessary. BP kids tend to lean toward the fringes since the mainstream won't accept them usually. We have already convinced her that she needs to go to one of the local colleges and live at home for the first two years at least. I am worried she wouldn't manage her meds well on her own, and college is so stessful as it is. I just subtract about three or four years from the developmental age of a bp teen, so if they are 18, it is more like they are 14 or 15 and need that level of help in navigating life.