It is bad enough being bipolar, but if you have a young teenage girl, add in the emotional roller coaster of her monthly cycle, and watch out! As Caroline says, it is like PMS on steroids! Today I took her to a female gyn who specializes in balancing hormones in women using both all natural supplements as well as prescription medications. Caroline seems to be estrogen-dominant, maybe having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, exhibiting many of the symptoms, including a burst ovarian cyst at the age of 11 which required surgery! Poor girl. She has been suffering from terrible acne which, no matter what the dermatologist prescribed, wouldn't go away. So we got a prescription today for Loestrin 24 Fe, birth control essentially, but with the sole purpose of lightening up her cycles, making them more regular, and improving her skin. This med includes five tablets of iron to take during her period. Great idea! Except that iron can interfere with the absorption of some of her meds. So maybe we will skip those.
By the way, Depakote has been linked to developing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Caroline was taking Depakote before she suffered from the cyst. Coincidence, maybe, but still very suspicious.
The Rozerem didn't work that well last night. Dr. Parker says that if a female is estrogen-dominant, her sleep can be affected. Maybe if her hormones get straightened out, she will sleep better.
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.