For those who have not read my posts before, I am in the process of having my 13 year old daughter possibly diagnosed as bipolar and it has been frustrating. I have only been posting here for a short time, but here I feel like I am finally somewhere that I am understood. I wanted to share that I just received a great book called "The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child" in the mail. It has been the most informative item that I have ever gotten my hands on in this ever so long journey with my daughter. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is/or thinks they are dealing with a bipolar child. The book makes sense. It (as well as this message board) has let me know that I am not alone. I am ever so grateful to the angel on earth who sent this book out to me out of the kindness of their heart. Having the support from all of you on this board has gotten me through some very rough days, even if some days were just spent with me just reading other people's posts. It's nice to know that complete strangers can band together and support each other when even the closest family members want to run away screaming! Thanks for your ongoing support! It is truly appreciated!
Karen ~ I am also new here as they try to diagnose my 14 year old daughter and have to say that I too have been quite impressed with the gammet full of info I have found here as well as the friendliness and true comfort that everyone has to offer.
I hope that you get down to what is going on with your daughter. I know how it feels sitting in LIMBO until things are figured out. I looked up the book you referred to and may order it from ebay for myself to see if it applies to my daughter.
Just wanted to hop on board and cheer the people here for making us feel welcome and hold our hands as we wait it out.
I look forward to following your progress with your daughter. BTW.....does she go for any type of therapy??? My daughter is going and seems to be doing better with that until they adjust her meds.
Thanks for your post. No my daughter is not in any therapy. I tried to get her to go but the therapist said that unless she wants to be there it would be useless. I have asked my family to attend family therapy, but my husband is totally against it. I had asked both my GP and my pediatrician two years ago for a referral to a child psychologist and both gave me the song and dance about the waiting lists here in Ontario. Needless to say I did not get the referral and I am kicking myself now. My daughter can't make her way up a list if she is not even on it it the first place. I took her to a four day Pathways to Successul Living seminar in September which helps one deal with the past, work on the present and set goals for the future. It also teaches you how to ask for support, how to check out assumptions and to go outside of your comfort zone, take risks and express how you are feeling. I had hoped that it would help my daughter learn to express her feelings better and it did to a point. I have been involved with Pathways (they have seminars in New Jersey, and Chicago throughtout the year but come to Canada twice a year)for over two years now and it helped ME realize that the way my daughter is is not my fault and that I am not a terrible mother or a failure, which is how I have felt for over ten years. It also taught me that I cannot be a martyr which I have been very guilty of in the past. At the seminar, I had asked to speak with my daughter's group leader ,to be told that all she said in her small group was confidential, and I respected that. We had an episode while attending the seminar and the facilitator stepped in. This woman is absolutely phenomenol. She worked with my daughter one on one for over an hour and talked to me after. She told me that my daughter was afraid to share me with anyone and that she felt that she did not have enough time alone with me. I explained that I have two other children both with learning difficulties and both diagnosed with ADHD. My daughter practically goes everywhere with me, moreso than the other two do and I make sure I spend quality time with her. Part of my problem was that I did not have enough time for just me. I told the facilitator that the only way I could spend more alone time with my daughter was by moving out and getting an apartment with just her and I. I realize now, my daughter was/had been experiencing major separtation anxiety and unknowingly, I had been feeding it all along. Even though I never left her, she was still feeling that I did when I had to help my other two children. Pathways is the closest that I have ever gotten her to counselling. This week, it seems as if she is in a bit of a manic state. She talks non stop, laughs at everything even if it is not funny (usually her mania is mainly irritability, but this has been totally different) and her room is spotless. Normally she is a typical sloppy teenager and her room is a nightmare. My philosophy is she lives in it and if I don't like it, I can always close the door. As long as she does not eat in there or ask me where her stuff is, then I don't have a problem as it is her domain...a place she can call her own.
May I ask Goody, how did you get your daughter into therapy? Did she go willingly? Is it a cousellor or a psychologist? I want to find out what all my options are, and anything that I can learn will be very helpful and greatly appreciated!
Hi, Karen Initially my daughter went to therapy upon the recommendation of our Pediatrician 2 years ago when she started to cut herself. She went only 3 times and then refused after that. Presently, her behavior escalated to anger and irritability to the point of running away and not following rules, lying and manipulation and suicidal thoughts with more cutting. She was admitted twice over the past two months to an adolescent psych unit for evaluation and the doctors are leaning more towards a depressive disorder with a possibility of Bipolar II. They intially started her on Abilify and Celexa but those two meds only sedated her and caused her to black out a few times. So last week they started her on Zoloft (an antidepresssant) and after seeing the psychiatrist today we are going to slowly increase it over the next two weeks looking for signs of a triggered manic episode which is a risk not having a clear diagnosis on her. If this happens the doctors will lean more towards Bipolar. So we are in the diagnostic phase just like you are.
As far as seeing a therapist, that came about after her first inpatient hospital stay. She is seeing a psychiatric social worker on an outpatient basis who she seems to really like. You are right as far as your daughter wanting to see someone in order for it to be most effective but if you give her a choice she will not want to go. I would recommend your sitting down with your daughter and telling her how much you love her and want her to get through whatever is going on. Tell her that you want to take her to a person who knows how to help teens and tell her that you think it will really help her. If you can get her to go making it seem like something that you will do together she may warm up to the idea. Perhaps telling her that you will go out to get an icecream together afterwards she will agree seeing it as opportunity to do something with just you. Once she gets over the anxiety involved with talking to somebody it will go better. My daughter seems to look forward to seeing her therapist now and has been doing so for the past month. We increased her sessions from once to twice a week because she seems more agitated and stressed lately that led to a second hospitalization. I anxiously await the time that we find the med which will make her feel better. For now we are doing the best we can. I feel with consistent therapy, the right diagnosis and the right med we will be able to get through all of this.
It sure sounds as if you have your hands full with everything going on. I know it can be alot of stress on you and your marriage....try to take care of yourself and your husband. Your kids need your strength and will count on it to get them through. You and your family are in my thoughts & prayers.