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Old 12-21-2006, 12:00 PM   #1
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Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi All Thought I would open up another thread for the parents to come and offer support for one another. Of course any advice from experience from those who are Bipolar and were diagnosed in their teens would be quite welcome since it would be nice to see what is in store for our kids futures and what might be helpful in helping them find what we are all looking for....S T A B I L I T Y

Oh how we need to know that there is some hope and that this diagnosis is not the worst thing and that the future for our kids will be okay. IN any case it is wonderful to be amongst others who are going through the same thing, some a little bit ahead on this journey and others a little behind....either way it is a Godsend, at least for me, to know that I am not alone in all of this and coming here has been what has kept me going from day to day.....what a wonderful place to be.

Anyway...I know that there were some problems with the other thread and there is a way to read the new posts by doing a quick reply and then hitting advanced search and then scrolling down but I thought it might just be easier to just open up an whole new thread.

Hope ~ The things you are experiencing with the school is typical...don't take it personally there is always something or somebody else to blame so that they can rationalize not spending the extra money but you and Zac are entitled to whatever services are available by law and that is why you should get the classification and have him evaluated to determine his needs and the school will have to meet those needs and if not provide another way to and pay for it. Don't give up.....they are hoping that you will crawl away with your tail between your legs but we won't let you. Research and find a parent advocate from your local Mental Health or Child Help services to help assist you. Remember, it's the squeaky wheel that get's oiled!!!

Pippin ~ Thanks for stopping by and giving us an update. Here is what I wrote to you in the other thread....

Pippin ~ When it comes to hugs there are plenty to go around here!!! So pretend that we are all here gathered around you and take it all in big GROUP ((((((HUGS)))))))) are here for the taking, Pippin!!!

I am so sorry to hear about the lack of support you are getting from your family....I know it is difficult to see the ones that you would think should be supportive being such ignoramouses!! Shame on them!!! They will come around, Pippin. I remember when Erin was so chronically sick with esophageal reflux disease as an infant and I told my MIL that we couldn't come visit her because it would mean Erin losing all the weight that I worked so hard to get on her she thought I was just making excuses. Well it turned out that we had a family christening to go to and my MIL was with us and Erin would not sleep or eat she was miserable unless at home. My MIL volunteered to take her home and when I got home she apologized telling me that all this time she thought I was making excuses but saw firsthand how badl Erin did outside her own home. So you just try not to worry too much about your family's lack of empathy at this time.....you just focus on Erika and your marriage and your own health. We are your family that will carry you through so just take the support that is there for you and hopefully in time your family will come around.

So relieved to hear from you....I was really worried about you....don't do that again...okay??? You don't have to come here to support us.....we are here to help you through so please don't stay away....we need you and we are all in this together. PLEASE remember that.

Now for another one of those group ((((((HUGS)))))).....we all seem to be here tonight and there are an endless supply of hugs available here.

((((HUGS)))) to help carry your through ~ Goody


Hope everyone is doing okay with their Christmas plans and that we all remember that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel for our kids and together we will find it!!

Love and plenty of (((HUGS))) ~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 12-21-2006 at 12:12 PM.

 
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Thanks, Goody. I think the school was surprised with how much I knew and I did not let them off the hook! Time to be aggressive!

Here's what I wrote on the other thread (hopefully Tsohl can find this!!):

Hi All,

Yesterday was a really frustrating day. We spoke with the tdoc, who Zac loves and who has alot of experience with bipolar because of his son, but we couldn't help but feel that his bad experience has colored his thinking. Without meaning to, he painted a very dismal picture and we left confused and unhappy.

We then went to the school to discuss classification and they were very resistant (not surprisingly since classification represents a financial investment from them). The whole conversation was upsetting because I hate that feeling they exude which is that somehow Zac's challenges are in part because of our inferior parenting. They don't come out and say it, but it feels like there is an underlying current. Perhaps you haven't set enough boundaries, they ask? Perhaps you have allowed him to manipulate you? I feel like screaming! Zac started having emotional issues in the Middle School and there was not a single resource offered from the school. (and we are supposedly one of the best school systems in the state) I hate that feeling that our child has fallen out of their range of concern because they have to focus on the kids who are "doing what they are supposed to be doing". It's maddening!

I have felt so totally alone in this process (other than all of you), researching, trying to find the right pdocs and tdocs, investigating what's available, trying to figure out what's next, and never losing sight of Zac, the human being. And I feel like they sit in judgement of him and of us. UGH!

In any event, I'm venting again, but everytime we take a step forward, it feels like we take two steps backward and I am disgusted and appalled that the school is so difficult.

We are taking Zac to the primary care doctor to decide if he needs an EKG. His pulse was at 138 for about 6 hours the night he was having the problem and his chest stll aches a little. We thought about taking him to the ER, but my friend, the nurse, assured us he didn't need to go unless it jumped to 150 and our experiences at the ER have been less than satisfying. We don't want to be negligient, either, though.

2007 has to be better than this year. I'm thinking of all of you as the holiday draws closer and hope that you can all find peace and contentment.

Love,

Hope

 
Old 12-21-2006, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi,
I've found you. Are we abandoning the other thread? ~ Tsohl

 
Old 12-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hey guys....the other one was getting a little bit long so it may be a good idea to come here....Pippin should be able to find us or as the originator of her thread post on there if she doesn't find us here. I vote we stay here....we need a new road to tread on anyway since the New Year is almost upon us.

Besides...as far as I am concerned nobody ever is left abandoned on this wonderful board!!

Hope ~ You should push forward with that IEP so that things will be layed in place shortly after the New Year begins. There are wonderful resources available to guide you and wonderful people out there to help advocate for you if you should need them. Don't let this get you down....you will find the right education for Zac....how does he feel about returning to school??? I know that all of us have re-prioritized things since our kids have been diagnosed....right now I think we all would agree that our kids mental and emotional well being is at the top of the list and then we take it from there. Even if Zac receives education at home or an alternative program it will be much better than putting him in an environment that will only cause him mental and emotional stress. You will know when he is ready to go back to school and what provisions should be made for him. And you should expect nothing less.

(((HUGS))) ~ Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 12-21-2006 at 12:53 PM.

 
Old 12-21-2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hope,

i dont really feel like i should give advice, because we are battleling with this every day in our house too..The racing pulse and and chest aches can be anxiety..Believe me, my son has abused benzos like klonopins and xanaxs in the past so, im not big on them..but, they do help sometimes..to calm things down. If prescribed by his doc of course ,occasionally..i m pretty sure i read that you had an issue with zac and drugs..but think about asking his pdoc if its a good idea for you to have them in the house for emergencys like that..believe im not a fan of hospital emergency rooms either...and try my hardest not to take him there...3 days ago,he told me his chest was hurting and he felt his heart beating so fast..i did give him a xanax and he calmed down...just my thoughts!!

 
Old 12-21-2006, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hope,
I'm hear to tell you that it is my firm belief that many of these "Professionals" in the field of education and mental health do not know bipolarity nor do they understand it at all. We spent $13,000 plus airfare on a 4 week program in Florida that advertised and had the reputation of treating bipolar young adults. In reality they lumped it in together with the other "mood disorders" and I saw nothing to indicate they actually understood what it was all about.

I know how you feel about the "bad parenting" reaction. I don't know about "Classification" -- what it is, etc.

What did the tdoc say to you? Isn't his son doing well now?

I have to run for now. Hopefully will have more to add later.
best,
Tsohl

 
Old 12-22-2006, 05:20 AM   #7
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Ts, can you tell me the name of that place in florida? does it have the word "water" in it? i know florida has a ton of recovery centers.. i was researching one and am curious to know if thats it?

THANKS

 
Old 12-22-2006, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi All,

The tdoc's son is doing OK now, but he really is not the same kid at all. It sounds like he is functional, but had serious ramifications from drug use and is living a much more compromised life than any of us would want for our children. It makes it tough because I think the tdoc has seen one of the worst extremes and it colors his thinking. On the other hand, Zac likes him and he is well connected with the school and can help us there so we're staying with him for now.

Classification in the public school system gives us access to more services if we need it, but it has financial implications for the school and they resist it at all costs. (no pun intended!) I still don't understand everything about it, but I want it so I have options down the road. My sense is that Zac can go back part-time to the high school, but will have to have home instruction for a part of the day and classification helps with that. He is having tremendous issues with axniety, to Jules' point, and we have to tread carefully.

I do believe the racing heart is due to anxiety, but with the new med of Abilify, I want to make sure it's nothing more. The anxiety is becoming as much of a problem as anything else, as is the angry outbursts which seem to come from nowhere. He swings from anxious to even to angry very quickly, which tells me we are not yet where we need to be with the meds.

Goody, thanks for the postive reinforcement with the school system. My niece is a Vice-Principal at an elementary school in our state and she has volunteered to go with us to the next meeting. I am researching like crazy and rallying my resources. It is frustrating and time-consuming, but I know we'll get there.

Tsohl, how is your back?

Jules, when is next pdoc meeting for your son? Please make sure you let us know how that goes.

Happy Holidays to all!

Love,

Hope

Last edited by langlee; 12-22-2006 at 07:57 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2006, 11:24 AM   #9
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hey guys!! Glad everyone made the move to the new thread.

Jules~ No, that wasn't a part of the name. This place was in Clearwater and I would NOT recommend it.

Thanks for explaining more about the school issues, Hope. I missed all that. Our kids went to a private prep school and our son's two friends who needed more help eventually left as a private school is not able to handle kids with educational issues that fall too far off the norm. The one girl went to the school on the grounds of the private mental hospital which was really terrific for her, and the guy went to a public high school and was able to handle a regular school load. This may sound kind of crazy but our son played hockey at an elite level and I think it helped him manage whatever stress and anxiety he had. All through high school he had a rigid, busy schedule that he seemed to thrive on. I would notice a difference in him when he was in the down times when he wasn't skating all the time.(for the worse) I think he probably was burning off some of those feelings when he was skating. He didn't have much time to sit around and think about things. I may be totally wrong here, but I think he functions best when he has a task to accomplish or a goal to strive for.

One problem with the drug use is that I guess there isn't a way to know if the drug use was caused by the symptoms of bipolarity or if bipolarity is induced by the use of drugs. There seem to be two schools of thought on this, from what I've read. I personally believe our son's drug use intensified his bipolar issues. It was not until he totally quit all drug and alcohol use that the pdoc was able to find the drugs that stabilized him.

Hope all your kids are doing ok and will be able to find some joy in the approaching holidays! And you, too, moms and dads!! MERRY CHRISTMAS. regards, Tsohl

Last edited by tsohl; 12-22-2006 at 11:28 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2006, 01:20 PM   #10
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hope, your whole paragraph about zacs angry outbursts is exactly what we have here with my son..Coming out of nowhere..Its like hes wound very tight..and is suffering alot of anxiety too! His next appt. is dec 29 and his doc did tell him if he'd like, he should bring his mom..so ,im going too.

ts, the place i was talking about is in melbourne fla...thanks

 
Old 12-22-2006, 03:41 PM   #11
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Jules,
What type of program is the one in Melbourne, Fl? Is it a program for those with co-dependency?

How is your son doing? Will he "allow" you to go to the pdoc with him? I've never met a single one of my son's pdocs...but when he started down this road, he was living 1000 miles away and I didn't even know he had problems!
In a way, you're lucky that he's still living under your roof and you have some control over him. best, Tsohl

 
Old 12-22-2006, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Ts, yes i am very lucky that hes living in our home and i can see whats happening. But, sometimes i wish he didnt live home, because i see whats happening...understand? He says when hes 21 and gets a full time job he s moving out. we shall see. The place in florida is a recovery center for substance abuse,they have a team of psychitrists. its dual-diagnosis. The agreement we have here is that if he tests positive for drugs, he goes there or he moves out. Like i've said in the past, i cannot tolerate drug abuse,but, i would do everything in my power to help him with his bi-polar issues. I definitly see that hes not using drugs and hes taking his prescribed medications. Its just hard, because whenever i think hes doing well, something happens .like he has a violent outburst or gets very depressed.. so, everyday is still an adventure. I know until he takes ownership of all this he will never be fully stable. I just want to have a nice peaceful Christmas and have told him that...

 
Old 12-23-2006, 09:50 AM   #13
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Dear Jules,

I know how difficult this can be and I hear how weary you are. Try to pace yourself as best you can. This is so hard because we want our children to be well and to get on with their lives as best they can.

I am interested in the dual diagnosis facility in Florida. Do you live near there or was it recommended as the right place to go? We are investigating dual diagnosis facilities, just in case we need them. You said it was in Melbourne?

Hope the holidays are peaceful for everyone. We all deserve it, as do our children!

Love,

Hope

 
Old 12-23-2006, 11:27 AM   #14
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi ladies,
Keep me in the loop on your discussions of dual diagnosis programs as I might be able to help with suggestions of which ones to avoid! It is really really tough to find a good program. You really have to be careful. They will mostly focus on the addiction part of the dual diagnosis rather than the mental disorder as it is MUCH easier to "fix" the addictive behavior. Maybe that's not all bad, but it did surprise me when we were looking. Also many programs are located in Florida. Some pdocs who have more of an interest in lining their pockets in a sunny climate seem to congregate there! Sorry if I sound a tad cynical. I AM. It is also difficult to find a program that is not based on the 12-step program model. Unless your kids really need a change of environment and/or you want them to get away from a group of peers, etc., I don't know that it is worth sending them away. I think you can accomplish the same thing with a local program (depending on where you happen to live, I suppose). Anyway, I can give you a list of things to watch out for, questions to ask, etc. All stuff I didn't know when we were choosing a program!!! best, Tsohl

 
Old 12-23-2006, 11:27 AM   #15
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Re: Our Bipolar Kids ~ Finding The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi ladies,
Keep me in the loop on your discussions of dual diagnosis programs as I might be able to help with suggestions of which ones to avoid! It is really really tough to find a good program. You really have to be careful. They will mostly focus on the addiction part of the dual diagnosis rather than the mental disorder as it is MUCH easier to "fix" the addictive behavior. Maybe that's not all bad, but it did surprise me when we were looking. Also many programs are located in Florida. Some pdocs who have more of an interest in lining their pockets in a sunny climate seem to congregate there! Sorry if I sound a tad cynical. I AM. It is also difficult to find a program that is not based on the 12-step program model. Unless your kids really need a change of environment and/or you want them to get away from a group of peers, etc., I don't know that it is worth sending them away. I think you can accomplish the same thing with a local program (depending on where you happen to live, I suppose). Anyway, I can give you a list of things to watch out for, questions to ask, etc. All stuff I didn't know when we were choosing a program!!! best, Tsohl

 
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Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar goody2shuz Parenting Issues 142 11-29-2007 07:44 AM
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