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.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Why You Need Good Boundaries
If you are a mom or dad to a bipolar child, one of the most important lessons for you (as I learned the hard way) is to set good boundaries with other needy people. Because you will likely grow tremendously as a lay "psychologist" due to all the efforts you put in to understand your child and this disorder, you may become a magnet for other people who recognize both your knowledge and compassion. Well, don't let yourself be taken away from your own "mess" so to speak in order to care for other people who are just as "messy" who truly can be cared for by others who don't have the amount of stress in your lives that they do. Your stress level is probably like those of the parents of autistic children who are on par with war vets (not joking, look it up!) This doesn't mean that you don't extend friendship or show kindness, but watch out for the creeping codependency that can start to sap all of your energy (what little you have) away from your primary job, which is caring for your own husband, child, and the rest of the kids. Caring for yourself is highly important (I am bad at this) and will take the form of whatever you decide: a pedicure, coffee with a friend, a great book, a weekend away at a hotel where you can just veg and do nothing. I am only offering this after almost landing in a psych ward myself by allowing someone else outside of our family way too much access to myself when my own child was in so much pain. I still shudder to think of where I was at back then. I did eventually learn to set boundaries and stick to them, and my "friend" was not any worse for it. She grew too.
Posted by Megan at 7:11 PM