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!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dreading When Her Meds Poop Out

Caroline has been on her present med mix of Seroquel, Lamictal, Lithium, Trileptal, and Amantadine for almost a year and a half now and this has been the longest period of relative stability we have ever seen--not one hospitalization!  Amazing!  We are praying that this med mix won't need to be significantly changed anytime soon, but we know that most kids do end up needing different meds eventually when one of them poops out, so to speak. 


Warrior MAMA said...

Our daughter has been home from the hospotal for only a month and her moods are getting unstable again. The doctor today said if we can't stabilize soon at home, she may have to be readmitted. :(

How many times have you had to hospitalize your daughter?


Megan said...

Probably at least six and then the RTC too. A lot!!

Terri said...

What is the breaking point for hospitalization? What has to happen?
I feel like if I put my daughter in the hospital she will feel like I have given up on her. I could have put her in many times but I don't know when to say when. I don't understand what has to happen and for how long. One day is good the next day I am being kicked and spit on while she screaming threats for bodily injury. I just don't know???

Megan said...

Terri--I would say that if your daughter is having frequent rages, which sounds like she is, she is not stable like she could be if she were on the right med mix. It is possible to have more peace than this. Hospitalization, at the right hospital, can be a great gift in starting a child on the right meds in a quicker fashion than can be done out-patient. It is not giving up on her, but giving her the opportunity to get intensive help and for you to get a break from constant crisis. If she threatens others with injury, if she is a danger to herself, don't hesitate to get her evaluated at a hospital. If the best psych unit is an hour away, do the drive. Putting her in a sub-par unit can do damage, we know! Ask around and do some research before you are in a major crisis. Consult the CABF website for good recommendations on docs and hospitals. Let me know how you and your dd manage!

Terri said...

She is on Geodon, 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night. This is all new because I fired the last psychiatrist. The medication transition was from Abilify to Geodon which has taken some time. We do have melt aways now (Zyprexa Zydis Tabs 5mg) for the rages. Have you used these?

The psychiatrist has a medication treatment plan it just takes months to get to the right dosage. Luci is sleeping in class everyday from Geodon. As a hole it is helping since she raise the dosage the other day. But you know it is only a matter of time before that will not work. I know she is going to put her on a mood stabilizer soon. The rage is like a blackout that she does not completely remember, but I help her see the rage via video taping.

It is just so sad when she says sorry and promises not to put her hands on me and is going to be a good girl. Then a hour later in cognitive therapy she is hitting me in front of the therapist and is threaten with police intervention. Which of course doesn't stop her. The look in her eyes is just so strange and distant. I personally think this is more than BP, OCD, ODD, visual, and anxiety. I am not what it is but since we started this journey when she was three it really doesn't get better just change. Now we just live from day to day to see what pops up next.

Megan said...

Terri-it seems like there are some missing components to your daughter's meds. The usual protocol for treating pediatric bipolar disorder is one or two mood stabilizers first, and then an atypical anti-psychotic added. This cocktail often seems to produce the best results per many, many parents on the CABF support groups online. Anecdotally, Geodon made my dd worse unfortunately. Lithium was a miracle drug for her, as was Trileptal, another mood stabilizer. We tried Topomax before as well but it was very sedating. It is interesting that the anti-convulsants used for epilepsy are often used for bipolar disorder in kids, as their rages are often very seizure like. Your daughter may truly require one or two mood stabilizers like Depakote, or Trileptal, or the like, before she can achieve real stability. Do you have the book that I have recommended on this blog by Dr. Timothy Wilens on psychiatric meds for kids? This would be a great resource for you if you don't already have it. Caroline used to be so out of control, so violent, and that has really gone by the wayside since doing this cocktail of two mood stabilizers and an anti-psychotic. Hang in there!!

Megan said...

As a side note, no one like to medicate their kids. Sometimes we have to so they can be successful in life and actually have a life. So sometimes we as parents have to drop the guilt and just do what we may resist but realize that loving our kids means doing what is best for them however unpalatable at first.

Donna said...


This is a documentary on our Australian ABC. It's very interesting and I'm grateful that our kids don't have to endure this. (mind you sometimes, you feel like the DR is stuck in an archaic time warp)