The day I was walking with then four-year old Caroline, who was already active to the extreme. She would throw herself around the living room, or off of the jungle gym, and loved to wrestle her daddy. Looking up at me with those big brown doe-eyes, she asked me with great seriousness how I thought God might use her gift of tackling some day. Tackling? As in sacking people? I laughed and said I didn't know, maybe she would be a policewoman, or an FBI agent, or something like that.
Not much has changed. She still craves physical activity to the extreme, which is probably due to her Sensory Disorder combined with the bp energy. Thankfully, she has turned into an athlete instead of a gangster! Hopefully she will continue sacking people in games and not in real life situations. I was looking at a list of famous people with bipolar disorder, and so many of them are the composers, artists, actors, singers, and yes even some athletes, whom we would call the greatest achievers in their specialties. There are some real advantages to being a deep feeler. What would we do without Beethoven's symphonies or Van Gogh's art, or Rosemary Clooney's "White Christmas?" I have great hope that Caroline's name will be among top achievers some day, in her own time.
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.