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!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Adult ADHD or Just Stress?

I swear I have adult ADHD, from my lack of organizational ability, my forgetfulness, my brain fog, my lack of attention to detail and my difficulty at finishing any task I start.  I have been told by psychologists and psychiatrists that yes I do have adult ADHD, and no I don't, I am just really stressed out, which can have the same effect.  Whatever it is, I have tried taking stimulants but they make me too jumpy and irritable, or my heart races.   I can't stand the fact that once I used to have a place for everything mostly, and now I can't find anything, the laundry is everywhere, paper piles everywhere, I forget doctor appointments a lot even if they are on my ICal and my Blackberry.  Nothing in my house feels or looks organized.  I used to be known for how organized I was when I was in college and in my twenties.  What happened?  And I do stupid things like forget to write down debit charges!!  I have sticky notes plastered everywhere in the kitchen to remind me of different things because if I don't see it in bold letters, I don't see it at all.  I take fish oil, but it doesn't solve the problem.  Maybe it is the antidepressants I have had to take for 10 years.  Or the sleep meds.  I know they can interfere with cognition over time.  But so can depression.  Then you add in middle age and I am toast!

9 comments:

Donna said...

I know what you mean. Then we throw in having to stay one step ahead of our children... Makes me tied just thinking about it.

Terri said...

Hello Fellow Blogger,

I am new to your site. It is very interesting. I keep coming back to read past and present entries.

My daughter is 12 years old and is BP, OCPD, and ODD. Oh yeah a pre-teen too. We have gone through pretty much the same thing. I even pulled her out of school last year when it was really bad. Well that is a little background on us... now I have questions for you if you don't mind.

1. Does your daughter have weight gain problems? (too much and too quick)
2. Why so many meds? We only use Abilify. Don't get me wrong she should take more, I just don't like the medicines so young. The ADHD medicines made her weigh only 68 pounds and we put her on the ones for BP and she weighs 125 now in two years.
3. Do you think Cognitive Theraphy works? We've been doing it for 6 months. I only see an improvement of 10%. Is there anything else we can try?
4. Does you daughter lash out at you more that others? And does she yell?
5. Do you have any advice on the day to day battles?

Also, I wanted to let you know it is just stress. Sometimes I feel a little bit like I have a mental disorder. But then it goes away.
Stress can do strange thing to our bodies and mind.

Anna said...

I get that way under stress and duress. You might like fly lady. Just google her up. Fly stands for finally loving yourself. She helps you get organized through daily emails and a humerous website that is free. She has a christian perspective.

Mel ~ said...

Oh my dear, You just made me laugh so hard with this post because I can sooooo relate. I was diagnosed with ADD (@ age 35) and taking the medication has been like a miracle for me; that is, when I can remember to take it! Before that, and when I forget to take it now, the state of my home and the state of my mind is just as ridiculously confounding as you spoke of here.
Although, with age, I have learned to lighten up on myself and not strive for so much control and perfection (my compensatory strategies) which made me a nervous wreck, hence the anxiety meds I began nearly 9yrs. ago as well.

Btw, I hope you might take a look at my post from this eve and share your wisdom. I need all the help I can get and I REALY value your opinion. BTW, I am impressed with how organized and structured your blog is, so much so that I figured you had all this med. management and special needs services down like a pro. I do have to say, I'm relieved that you are more like me than I thought :).

Photography by Alexandra Delatorre said...

Wow..are you sure you're not writing about me here. Because I think you are. LOL I am so thrilled I am not the only one. I know exactly what it is your talking about. I'm here with you. Hang in there. Know there are more of us like that. It's okay. Really ..... Have a wonderful week. Many blessings to you. : )

domandkat said...

Sweet Megan - you DO have 4 kids remember! And now that you are at that 40 something age, you could add in hormonal shifts as well!

Love you!

K@

Megan said...

Terri-- Thanks for popping in. I am glad that you find my site helpful. Let me try to answer your questions.

1. Yes, the Depakote she took several years ago made her put on 15 pounds in three months. It turned out to be a bad drug for her, and we switched her to Lithium and she lost all of the weight fast. Seroquel made her gain 20 pounds in a few months also, but the addition of the Amantadine helped her to lose almost all of it. She is very athletic and works out every day so that helps a lot.

2. We certainly didn't start out with all of these meds. We started with just Trileptal, but over the last seven years we have had to add more drugs to achieve stability. Most bp kids need a cocktail eventually in order to have long term stability, unfortunately.

3. Yes, I think therapy is very important, a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy. Your child's therapist, if he or she is a good one, will be his/her life line when things get really rough, and yours too. Change is slow, so don't expect quick results. And as they grow, their struggles will change and so the therapy will adapt as well. Don't shuck it, just make sure the therapist is the right fit!

4. Yes, Caroline certainly does lash out at us her parents, especially if her meds aren't right, and sometimes even if they are. She can rage, cuss and scream if she is really off, and do damage to walls, doors, appliances, etc.

5. As far as the day to day battles go, they can tear you down if you allow yourself to be sucked into them too much. Avoid power struggles, and lower your voice whenever they raise theirs. Also, sometimes a car ride can calm them down, or a trip to a coffee shop to vent. I will take her away from her sisters and the house if she is bad off because sometimes things can escalate if the environment doesn't change. If this doesn't work, and she is really out of control, hurting other people or threatening to harm herself, drive her to the nearest ER or psych hospital for an evaluation. Don't second guess yourself if you are having weeks of crisis after crisis. Sometimes you have to remove them for their sake and for yours, as awful as it sounds.

Best wishes to you! Take care of yourself in healthy ways and know your limits or you will end of crazy too!

Megan said...

Terri-- Thanks for popping in. I am glad that you find my site helpful. Let me try to answer your questions.

1. Yes, the Depakote she took several years ago made her put on 15 pounds in three months. It turned out to be a bad drug for her, and we switched her to Lithium and she lost all of the weight fast. Seroquel made her gain 20 pounds in a few months also, but the addition of the Amantadine helped her to lose almost all of it. She is very athletic and works out every day so that helps a lot.

2. We certainly didn't start out with all of these meds. We started with just Trileptal, but over the last seven years we have had to add more drugs to achieve stability. Most bp kids need a cocktail eventually in order to have long term stability, unfortunately.

3. Yes, I think therapy is very important, a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy. Your child's therapist, if he or she is a good one, will be his/her life line when things get really rough, and yours too. Change is slow, so don't expect quick results. And as they grow, their struggles will change and so the therapy will adapt as well. Don't shuck it, just make sure the therapist is the right fit!

4. Yes, Caroline certainly does lash out at us her parents, especially if her meds aren't right, and sometimes even if they are. She can rage, cuss and scream if she is really off, and do damage to walls, doors, appliances, etc.

5. As far as the day to day battles go, they can tear you down if you allow yourself to be sucked into them too much. Avoid power struggles, and lower your voice whenever they raise theirs. Also, sometimes a car ride can calm them down, or a trip to a coffee shop to vent. I will take her away from her sisters and the house if she is bad off because sometimes things can escalate if the environment doesn't change. If this doesn't work, and she is really out of control, hurting other people or threatening to harm herself, drive her to the nearest ER or psych hospital for an evaluation. Don't second guess yourself if you are having weeks of crisis after crisis. Sometimes you have to remove them for their sake and for yours, as awful as it sounds.

Best wishes to you! Take care of yourself in healthy ways and know your limits or you will end of crazy too!

Megan said...

Terri-- Thanks for popping in. I am glad that you find my site helpful. Let me try to answer your questions.

1. Yes, the Depakote she took several years ago made her put on 15 pounds in three months. It turned out to be a bad drug for her, and we switched her to Lithium and she lost all of the weight fast. Seroquel made her gain 20 pounds in a few months also, but the addition of the Amantadine helped her to lose almost all of it. She is very athletic and works out every day so that helps a lot.
2. We certainly didn't start out with all of these meds. We started with just Trileptal, but over the last seven years we have had to add more drugs to achieve stability. Most bp kids need a cocktail eventually in order to have long term stability, unfortunately.
3. Yes, I think therapy is very important, a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy. Your child's therapist, if he or she is a good one, will be his/her life line when things get really rough, and yours too. Change is slow, so don't expect quick results. And as they grow, their struggles will change and so the therapy will adapt as well. Don't shuck it, just make sure the therapist is the right fit!
4. Yes, Caroline certainly does lash out at us her parents, especially if her meds aren't right, and sometimes even if they are. She can rage, cuss and scream if she is really off, and do damage to walls, doors, appliances, etc.
5. As far as the day to day battles go, they can tear you down if you allow yourself to be sucked into them too much. Avoid power struggles, and lower your voice whenever they raise theirs. Also, sometimes a car ride can calm them down, or a trip to a coffee shop to vent. I will take her away from her sisters and the house if she is bad off because sometimes things can escalate if the environment doesn't change. If this doesn't work, and she is really out of control, hurting other people or threatening to harm herself, drive her to the nearest ER or psych hospital for an evaluation. Don't second guess yourself if you are having weeks of crisis after crisis. Sometimes you have to remove them for their sake and for yours, as awful as it sounds.

Best wishes to you! Take care of yourself in healthy ways and know your limits or you will end of crazy too!