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!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lithium Prevents Suicides

Unlike most other psychiatric drugs, lithium has a proven track record of preventing suicide. A recent article in our local paper highlighted this fact, reporting that a local retired Navy chief petty officer committed suicide after his doctor took him off of lithium. The article states that the doctor is being sued by the sailor's family because he knew that lithium saves lives and he went against common practice. I decided to look up lithium and it's suicide-preventing qualities and found a great article citing several research studies that confirm that lithium reduces the risk of suicide sevenfold. This article entitled "The Antisuicidal Effects of Lithium" can be found at www.mhsanctuary.com/bipolar, published by McLean Hospital, and doctors Baldessarini, Tondo, Hennen and Floris.

Our daughter has been on lithium since she was 10. As soon as we switched from Depakote to lithium, we noticed a big difference. She could finally be mostly "here." The blood draws every three months or so are worth it. She is so used to them that she doesn't mind at all now. So don't rule out lithium for your bipolar child--sometimes it really is the BEST drug. Lamictal is a close second in my book, followed by Amantadine.


Amy said...

Lithium made Kenzie more "crazy" for the lack of a better word. As soon as we got to the therapeutic dosage she went from having one rage to two or three a day. Lamitcal didn't do anything at all and neither did dapoke. Only amantadine has made a difference. Because of this is why I question if she truly has bipolar or not-same with her psychiatrist. But I am glad it does help Caroline and others. And I am glad we tried it or we would not know how it effected her. It is so important to keep trying things until the right "cocktail" works for your kiddo-everybody is so different.

Megan said...

The fact that none of those bipolar meds made a difference with McKenzie does make me wonder if she isn't bipolar at all. Definitely a mood disorder and anxiety, but you really should have seen a difference with lithium especially. I am so glad about the Amantadine working for her though. Our third oldest daughter has anxiety and OCD issues pretty badly, maybe the result of living with Caroline. She is in counseling now.

CC said...

I appreciate your commenting on what works for your daughter. My daughter (adhd & bp)finally has the right cocktail... celexa, trileptal, abilify, and adderoll. At least for right now. But it's nice to know some other choices. Seroquel, depakote, respirdone, and vyvanse did NOT work for her. Her first and only hospitalization came when she was on seroquel. Her "old" psychiatrist was convinced that seroquel must be the answer and wouldn't try anything else, just different doses. I think he must have been getting kickbacks from the drug company to be that adamant and stubborn, especially when she continued to get worse.

Megan said...

CC--you are so right that each child has their own unique "cocktail" that each of us has to find. I am so glad that your daughter seems to be on the right meds for her body chemistry. When you find that, that is have the battle! Even most of it!