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, September 19, 2010

Something You Need to Know...

If your child has been hospitalized several times in one year, and he or she can't seem to achieve stability for any length of time, you might need to consider a residential treatment center for a period of time where the docs can safely experiment to find a med combination that really works, and where your child receive intensive behavioral counseling as well. But do your research! Don't send them anywhere that isn't highly rated by other parents and known for their results. And no, you won't be harming your child irreparably by sending them away to get better, if it is a top-notch facility that is run like a center for sick kids and not like some boot camp. Meridell is tops on my list, but there are some other good ones all across the country. Check out the list to the right for RTCs.


mamaGoose said...

I have just recently stumbled across your blog. Been feeling alone for the past 2 years, our son is 11 now. I so appreciate when you share your frustrations and feelings about all the stress at home....I feel like a failure a lot of the time now days. My husband and I have 3 successful kids and one struggling (the 3 of 4)....I work full time graveyard so I am home in the daytime, but homeschooling is not for us...one of us would not make it through the day! Your patience and strength are inspiring! thanks for sharing!!

Megan said...

MamaGoose--I am glad you found my blog too. I look forward to getting to know you and your journey with your son!

marythemom said...

We have also found that if you can get them accepted, than an RTC really helped. The only other thing we found that helped was coccooning, which of course isn't always possible. Usually during the Summer, we basically protect the child from as much stress as we possibly can - almost no chores and activities, even keep siblings away, and if they lose it anyway then we do almost anything to back down and stop the rage right away with few if any consequences afterward (I have to read and reread Beyond Consequences sometimes).

The only downside is that it usually works great until the real world intervenes (like school starts), and then it's harder to qualify for services because the child presents well becauses they're so stable - kind of a Catch 22. Their inability to cope with what they perceive as incredible stress means they need lots of protective services to keep them from "losing it," but they don't look like they need those services because they've been without stress. Anyway, I know it's better for them to have these stress-reduced times because rages do cause lots of damage to their brains so the more we can avoid the better. Still, it's hard looking like "psycho mom," because if I succeed in forcing the world/school to put measures in place that make their world "friendly" enough (i.e. less stressful) then they are able to cope better and it appears they don't need all the protective measures. *sigh*

Hugs and prayers,
Mary in TX