About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Nurture or Nature, Genetics or Environmental Impact?
I often wonder about the origin of early-onset bipolar disorder, Aspergers, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and so on. In my extended family of four sisters, we have two nephews from two different sisters with Aspergers, another with Autism and a host of significant physical problems, my own child with early onset bipolar disorder and ADHD and learning disabilities, and a sensory processing disorder. My dad was exposed to nuclear radiation in the 1950s as a young Marine when he was assigned to watch nuclear explosions with many other service men in the desert in Nevada before any of his children were conceived. He died of CML leukemia at the age of 56. My younger sister and I were likely exposed to toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune when in high school, a problem stemming from practices that had been going on for decades before contaminated wells were shut down in the mid to late 1980s. So I wonder: were our genes somehow negatively affected by these exposures, or is this all a coincidence having this many brain "issues" within one family? We shall never know, I guess. And does it make all that much of a difference except that it might cause one to choose organic over pesticide-laden foods, or all-natural cleaners over chemicals, or purified water in stainless steel bottles over BPA contaminated drinking water in plastic? But the thought is interesting to consider. With the huge rise in autism in our country, I think there are environmentally related reasons combined with genetic predispositions that might be the cause of the explosion in diagnoses. Or maybe it is just caused by environmental factors like chemical or radiological exposure. Just a guess. What do you think?
Posted by Megan at 1:42 PM