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.
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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.
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.
Posted by Megan at 8:39 AM