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!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forget It!

Well, in the middle of the night I had a complete change of heart about introducing the Loestrin into Caroline's med mix.  Her acne had gotten so bad and nothing topical was making much of a difference, which is why we went the route of putting her on bc pills.  But seeing how quickly she has become depressed with the dampening effect on the Lamictal levels in her blood, and that she is already depressed about how many pills she is taking, and that we don't know how long many weeks it would take to restabilize her with more Lamictal, we are taking her off of the estrogen.  This emotional roller coaster just isn't worth it.  And upon reading even further that during the five days that she would not be taking the pill that her Lamictal levels would shoot up and become possibly quite toxic makes us even more leary.  So we are going back to the dermatologist today to try to figure out another approach.  Accutane is out because it is known to cause psychiatric problems even in teens who are not bipolar.  Lithium can cause bad acne, but we can't take her off of this med since it is a big one in the stability factor for her.  I guess scarred skin is better than a severely depressed, suicidal teen.  I just hate that she has to go through this.  Everything seems unfair for these kids, doesn't it?  She is still beautiful and always will be, but I am sad that she has to endure bad skin on top of everything else.

14 comments:

marythemom said...

We've tried a topical cream, Retin A, (and an antibiotic), but neither one would take it for very long or on a regular basis.

Truthfully my kids are horrible about remembering to take meds (and really so am I). Things like brushing teeth, washing their face, and other personal hygeine stuff frequently gets forgotten and ignored. At a certain point there is only so much I can do so I let it go. My daughter is supposed to take Miralax daily, but we finally switched to a fiber pill twice a day because more pills was better than the alternative.

Wish I had better advice.

Mary in TX

carla said...

Have you tried some topical products? The fish oil is supposed to help as well, if that will help her to take the oil.

I support you not using the BC pill. I believe our kids have enough going on without manipulating their hormones as well.

Carrie Clogston said...

Has the doctor not recommended doxycycline? Worked beautifully here (aside from photo-sensitivity, yet now that it's fall, the sun won't be out so much). Also, topical Clindamycin and Differin?

Jessica said...

I have been put on Doxycycline (antibiotic) and EpiDuo for acne. It seems to be helping when nothing else ever has for me. Maybe it would be helpful for her too.
I have an 8 yr old son who was diagnosed as Bipolar this past summer, and I am to be evaluated myself as well. I stumbled upon your blog trying to find answers and help on how to best help my son. I really appreciate your blog. Thank you.

Meg said...

I know some people that have had really good results with Proactive (the one with the infomercials on tv). Has she tried that?

Fighting for my Children said...

your post made me recall that my Dr. told me birth control can cause mood changes for people with bi-polar. apparently it wasn't a great idea for my gynecologist to put me on them. Lucky we caught the mistake in time :)

Megan said...

Yes, we have tried Retin A, which she hated and wouldn't use because of how bad it made her skin peel. The Doryx, which is doxycycline, we used for months without any big difference. She takes fish oil regularly and a Hair Skin and Nails supplement with tons of Biotin which has cured her eczema and psoriasis. She is using something which is identical to ProActive with mild changes. Today the dermatologist gave her a prescription for EpiDuo and another medicine typically used for Rosacea and said to try this for a month along with a Cetaphil wash, and then we may have to look at chemical peels to reduce the scarring and breakouts. So, we hope that this will work much better for her. Crossing our fingers! Thanks for all the advice!!

CC said...

Oh boy, we are in the same boat right now. It's so frustrating and disappointing not to find anything to help with horrible acne.

MinkyDink said...

I understand your frustration completely. I have very severe acne. I also have chronic depression and a mood disorder. In high school (10 yrs ago) I did all the acne washes, topical prescriptions, oral antibiotics, etc. and nothing worked until I got on Accutane. It cleared my skin up beautifully. I'm not sure if it worsened any depression I had going on back then, but then again I had yet to be diagnosed so it's hard to know. Currently I take Lamictal and Wellbutrin. Over the past 2 years the acne has come back with full force, and once again I started the road of topical prescriptions and everything else, which of course still didn't work. So now I've been back on Accutane (which is actually a generic Isotretinoin, b/c Accutane is off the market)for the past 2 months. My dermatologist knows my depression history, and wants me to monitor my moods closely. She also said it is often the people without depression that have issues with Accutane, due to them not knowing what symptoms to pay attention to. As far as my moods, I can't say I can tell a huge difference. The weather affects me and grey skies and winter are setting in, so my moods/depression are currently fluctuating. But overall, when taking either course of Accutane I would have to say that I have not seen a dramatic shift towards depression. As far as the birth control pill goes, I've been on every kind in the book and always felt like a nut job, so condoms and then the copper IUD have really been the only birth control I can use (sorry if TMI, but it may be helpful for your daughter WAAAAY down the line). What's more, the birth control also did NOTHING to help my acne and sometimes I even wondered if it was getting worse. So it may not have hade any results for Caroline anyway. Sorry for the long response, and I'm not sure I helped any, but I just noticed the parallels between the meds I've taken and the acne and what has helped me and figured I would share, just in case any of this was helpful. Good luck!

Megan said...

Thanks Minky Dink for sharing your experience! I appreciate your wisdom. I am so sad right now that Caroline has some permanent indented scarring which we will try to fix with some chemical peels. I so wish we could do Accutane but she is so fragile chemically. I am really glad it has worked for you though!

Smile4532 said...

Hi Megan! I emailed you a long time ago when I found your blog. My 6 (almost 7) year old son is BP and we are really going through a tough time right now! He was on Depakote until 12/22 and we had to take him off and even ended up in the ER 12/23 and have had many ups and downs since. Are there certain triggers for Caroline? My son's 3 year old sister seems to be his HUGH trigger. For instance, he spent the ngiht w/ my parents last night and was great all morning, but when my husband dropped off my daughter for the rest of the day (they babysit while I/we work). As soon as she arrived, he was back to mean, irritable, kicking, hitting, name calling. He will walk up to her and just shove her down for no reason. The jealous is so fierce! Any ideas or suggestions? He does have an appt. w/ Dr. next week.

Anyway, the reason I'm commenting on this particular post is I'm catching up from August :/ and wanted to let you know that I've tried most creams, etc. except for the accutane and the antibiotic Bactrim (usually used for kidney/bladder) infections, etc. The way the NP who prescribed it for me explained it was that it's a different type of antibiotic (like type b instead of a), I can't remember excactly how she had it - it was over 10 years ago. I've been on it for several months at a time w/ no recourse.

Megan said...

Hi Smile! I am so sorry your son isn't doing well right now. What is he on now? Depakote was a bad drug for my dd. Triggers like siblings are standard. BP kids don't do well at all with irritating noise, whining, etc. especially when they are not stable. Caroline can't stand her youngest sister because of her immature ways of dealing with disappointment (crying, whining) and she will get extremely angry with her. I am glad you have a doctor's appointment soon. Hang in there!

Smile4532 said...

Hey Megan, sorry I haven't responded sooner, I forgot to check the box for the replies to email me! So now I have to go back through and figure out which posts I commented on. Go figure! Right now my son is only on Clonidine, .05mg 3x a day. We are still having bad days - not nearly as bad as before but still pretty darn bad. Thursday on the ride home from a restaurant (mad because his sister got to go home w/ my mom and not him), he threw 2 car seats 4x at me, empty soda bottle, books, his shoes, fists full of change 4-5 - you get the drift, all while I'm trying to drive and not wreck. I drove straight to my husband's work which is only a few minutes further than home and ended up switching cars with my hubby. DS threw his shoes out into the parking lot, so my husband threw them back in accidentally hit him in the head with a shoe and magically that broke him of the fit. Things like that happen A LOT - have you ever experienced situations like that where a good jar of some sort like hitting the head on the top of a bunk bed, head hit w/ a shoe will snap her out of it?

This morning he was just very mean to his little sister, pushing her down, grabbing her toys, hitting her, etc. etc. Luckily my parents live close by and came and got him for me. It's just best to keep them separate for the most part until we get him more stable.

The doc is talking about putting him on lithium when we go back this week, if we get to go due to the blizzard that's supposed to arrive.

I'm also bipolar and noises, movements, etc. bug me too!! During holiday dinners when people are eating the relish tray before the meal, I still have to remove myself from the room for a while. The lithium helped me out a lot with that - I'm on 600mg of lithium, 500mg depakote (1000mg made my hair fall out), and 100mg pristiq.

Megan said...

Hi Smile! Thanks for all of the comments. Your experience with your son in the car sounds all too familiar, especially when Caroline was younger. Stressful!!! I hope that Lithium will help your ds as much as it has helped our dd. And I wished we lived a little closer too! :)