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    Old 10-30-2007, 09:44 AM   #31
    goody2shuz
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    I know how difficult it is to decide on a hospitalization,.....Erin had 4 before we got things right.

    Hang in there ~ Goody

     
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    Old 10-30-2007, 08:28 PM   #32
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Chelle,

    I am so sorry you are all going through this turmoil. I can only speak from the one experience our Amanda had being hospitalized and the first three days were very difficult as she blamed me for everything that she perceived had gone wrong. But when she came out of the hospital she was so much better. We all road a roller coaster of ups and downs for about the next 9 months afterwards until she finally reached stability. I think I remember you saying Amanda takes Seroquel. I would suspect that the doctor may increase that medication as it is an anti-psychotic. Our daughter also did lot of talking to herself and was so full of fear and internal turmoil. But I will say that if she can come out of the psychotic episodes, your daughter can too. Our doctor told us at the time that she was having rapid cycling psychosis. e Today she is able to function, has friends, is active in school and church.

    She has been moody lately and infact we were at the doctors office today for two hours. Before she would have run around the office screaming and hysterical. Today the doctor was able to reason with her and she left with a different attitude. She told me two years ago that Amanda would get better and she has. There was a small change in medication. I know well enough that this is a constant work, but in two years since diagnosis, she is in a completely different place. I know her being hospitalized was the key to her recovery.

    As hard as it is, keep the faith that your daughter will get better. Right now she is unable to process information because of the chaos going on in her head. That is what needs to be stablized. When I think of what our daughter must have been going through inside it breaks my heart. When I see where she is now, I am so immensely proud of her. I just know your precious daughter will get better. You are dedicated and determined to fight this and just like anyother illness will best respond to the early intervention and constant monitoring. One day you will have your daughter back, I just believe that so strongly.

    Keep writing. It really will help give you the strenth you need. I know you can do this.

    Cristina

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 08:30 PM   #33
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hi Chelle,

    I am sorry Amanda is not doing well. Even with her recent hospitalization it does sound like she needs more help. Hopefully, if she does have to go this time, they will be able to help her get a little closer to stability. Is there anything you could do to help prepare her if she has to go? How did she feel about the hospitalization last time?

    We have not had to hospitalize Drew. We have no coverage for inpatient psych so our docs have really worked with us to keep him home. I do remember times when we had to supervise him 24 hours a day just to keep him safe. My husband and I both took time off from work and we took turns sleeping so someone would always be awake with him. Those were very scary days. I also remember times when he would run away and serching for him being afraid I would never see him alive again. I may have been easier if he was hospitalized during those times. We probably would have gotten a dx sooner.

    Goody, I love your description of Erin. I think one positive thing about parenting a BP kid is that we can really appreciate and enjoy the normal teenage stuff.

    EYES, Thanks for your insight. One thing I see with Drew especially since he is a little more stable is that he seems to have lost some of his self confidence. He is just not sure of himself especially with his peers. Did you or your son ever have a problem like this and how did you deal with it?

    Drew was a little less edgy tonight especially after a two hour practice.

    Hope, thinking of you and hoping things are OK

    Lor

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 08:51 PM   #34
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hi Lor,

    I believe the loss of self-confidence is very normal. My son went through a similar thing, but in his case it happened when he was 23!! They feel like "damaged goods" and it takes a lot of patience to watch as they slowly build it back up. It is truly baby steps and the process cannot be hurried.

    The kids go through a period of mourning where they realize their life has been turned upside down and it is never going to be the same. I believe there is a period of grieving just as though they lost a loved one -- in reality, they did. They lost who they knew themself to be...after this period they slowly start to see that the meds are helping them to resume their life, but maybe they will have to change their hopes and dreams a bit -- maybe think about doing things slightly differently, etc.

    It will take awhile til he feels comfortable with his peers. Kids his age do not want to do anything to set themselves off -- so of course he feels like a fish out of water!! You have to help him learn to deal with the fact that he has an illness, just like some kids are diabetic.

    It's not easy --

    xx Tsohl

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 08:57 PM   #35
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Thanks everyone! She had a rough day today. She yelled at her Science teacher and cried in Choir and was all over the place when she got home. She had a Choir concert tonight and did well with that and once she got home she took her Seroquel and some cough medicine and went right to bed. She promised that if she woke up again that she would stay in bed and read until she fell back to sleep.

    She is excited about tomorrow because the Mentor program the school signed her up for is having a field trip to the YMCA and she will get to miss most of her core classes.

    She did really well with the last hospitalization. She liked it for the first few days actually. She didn't start getting upset until she noticed that the other kids there went home after 3 or 4 days and on the 4th day when she didn't get to go home she cried, but after they talked to her she was fine. When I told her that she may need to go back she took it well, but something about the way she took it seemed to me that she wants to go. I can't tell if she wants to go because she knows it will help her get better, or if she likes all the attention she gets when she is there.

    I will talk with her pdoc when I call on Saturday and see what he thinks. They finally have one of her tests set up for next Tuesday. I think they said this would be the psychosocial.
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    Old 10-30-2007, 08:57 PM   #36
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hi Lor,

    I believe the loss of self-confidence is very normal. My son went through a similar thing, but in his case it happened when he was 23!! They feel like "damaged goods" and it takes a lot of patience to watch as they slowly build it back up. It is truly baby steps and the process cannot be hurried.

    The kids go through a period of mourning where they realize their life has been turned upside down and it is never going to be the same. I believe there is a period of grieving just as though they lost a loved one -- in reality, they did. They lost who they knew themself to be...after this period they slowly start to see that the meds are helping them to resume their life, but maybe they will have to change their hopes and dreams a bit -- maybe think about doing things slightly differently, etc.

    It will take awhile til he feels comfortable with his peers. Kids his age do not want to do anything to set themselves off -- so of course he feels like a fish out of water!! You have to help him learn to deal with the fact that he has an illness, just like some kids are diabetic.

    It's not easy --

    xx Tsohl

     
    Old 10-30-2007, 09:14 PM   #37
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lor60 View Post
    Goody, I love your description of Erin. I think one positive thing about parenting a BP kid is that we can really appreciate and enjoy the normal teenage stuff.
    Thanks, Lor....I think that when we all have been thrown into the abyss and are able to see the light again it is such a wonderful joy and nothing really looks the same again. Like being on this parenting board.....I don't know about you guys but the things that most parents experience, that are truly worrisome, to me don't seem worth worrying about!! I guess when you have been through hell and back again that is the way it seems...even when I hear some of my friends upset about some of the things that are going on in their kid's lives I sadly cannot see it as being a big deal because from what I have seen in Erin's life I only wish I could have had such little worries. Now it is a thrill to see her upset about the new pimple that has emerged or the earring that she lost. Even today when she discovered how I accidentally threw away a $50 pair of sneakers that I thought were a pair that were too small for her and she got upset....it wasn't the end of the world for either one of us!!! I apologized and told her I had made a mistake and we would somehow make it up to her but that she had two more pairs to make do with meanwhile. And she was perfectly okay with that!!

    Cristina ~ I can't help but think that the recent change in Amanda may be due to the seasonal changes...what do you think??? I too am seeing some changes in Erin latey like I did around the same time last year. They are subtle and I am keeping a close eye on it but can't help but see across the board some breakthrough symptoms with the BPers around this time of year. Just something to keep in mind. And what did the pdoc adjust in her meds?? I am thinking a slight increase in Erin's Lamictal may benefit her.

    Chelle ~ I am glad that our posts are helping you out. Please keep us all updated as to how things are going with you.

    (((HUGS))) ~ Goody

     
    Old 10-31-2007, 07:52 AM   #38
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lor60 View Post

    ............EYES, Thanks for your insight. One thing I see with Drew especially since he is a little more stable is that he seems to have lost some of his self confidence. He is just not sure of himself especially with his peers. Did you or your son ever have a problem like this and how did you deal with it?.........

    Lor
    Lor & all friends :

    Perhaps mothers may have to keen of an "eye" when it comes to observering their (BP) child's stability,and the changes that occur. Maybe, we as parents need to "look" beyond what we think we are "seeing". I think all of us BPers gain and loose self confidence & self esteam as we are trying to find "the way" to stability. There is no dought that peers can be a very big intimadating soure for BP teens. ( and teens without BP ).

    Finding that "way" to deal with building self confidence (self esteam), takes time and patience for any BPer (teen or adult). I found ( and also saw in my son), that one of biggest factors of building self esteam was to have success with "something" (sports);or with "somebody" ( a special friend ). It seems that the "fears" are reduced...then.

    One of my changes that I mentioned in my last post was to develope 'Responsibility for all my "actions". I think that BP Kids need to start "Acting Responsbale" as soon a they can,with loving parental support. When I started.....and I could "see" by my "actions"......that my self confidence flew as an "song bird"

    Carry On,

     
    Old 10-31-2007, 03:50 PM   #39
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    When you ladies get a chance, can you pop into the desperate father thread?I hope everyone is having a good day! I'm sick and since there isn't anyone else to do it, I'm off to take the kids trick or treating.
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    Old 11-01-2007, 07:12 AM   #40
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Thanks everyone for your input. I agree that Drew sees himself as different from his peers and this is a big part of the problems. I think he is especially self conscious around those who he opened up to in the past or who may have seen him at his worst. He was much more social on vacation this summer and met several kids who he still keeps in touch with.

    As to success, sports have always been positive for him. His team qualified for a very competitive national tournament and he was selected as an alternate to attend a National training camp(40 kids and 15 alternates his age are selected from all over the USA and Canada). The thing is that when he is down he sees this as no big deal and although he still plays hard he doesn't really seem happy when he wins.

    Things have been a little rocky around here the past two weeks. Drew has been edgy, irritable, argumentative, difficult to get to sleep and more difficult to get up. He has been picking on his sister and just making things chaotic. He left yesterday afternoon for a 4 day trip with my husband, and although I feel guilty saying this, I am relieved. Our house is calm and I am looking forward to being able to spend some time with my daughters and my grandson. Hopefully, this break will be just what I need to recharge.

    Chelle, How is Amanda? Was halloween difficult for her? I think the excitement and candy just adds to our kids issues when they are going through a bad time anyway.

    Hope, I am thinking of you and Zac.

    Lor

    Last edited by Lor60; 11-01-2007 at 07:14 AM.

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 07:58 AM   #41
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Lor, congrats to Drew! Sorry he isn't do too well right now. I completely understand about being relieved. Enjoy the downtime!

    Amanda hasn't been too bad. She is always edgy, irritable and argumentative, but it's starting to become so common that it's the norm now *sigh*. I talked with my mom about the possibility of Amanda staying with her over Christmas break, and she doesn't feel she could handle her right now and would prefer to wait until she is more stable. Amanda LOVES Halloween. She wasn't happy that she had to stay with me and walk her brother to the doors. He was being a normal 4 year old and that was irritating her and she ran into some friends from school and wanted to hang with them and got mad at me when I said no. After I reminded her that I am sick (I have strep throat and can't afford to go to the doctor) and couldn't take Brandon she calmed down with me. When we got home she was perfectly friendly and ate as much candy as she could shove in her mouth and even shared with me! She took her eveing Seroquel when we got back, but couldn't fall asleep before 10pm. She had a hard time getting moving this morning and yelled a few times and almost missed the bus again, but nothing like a couple of days ago.
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    Old 11-01-2007, 09:33 AM   #42
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hi to all and thanks for continuing to keep me and Zac in your thoughts.

    Things here have been challenging but in a different way than usual. The good news is that Zac's moods have been good, his attitude has been good, he is not self-medicating, and he is engaged in his life. The not-so-good news is that he is having a torturous time concentrating.

    We went to the pdoc yesterday and he had a very interesting perspective. He said that when Zac was self-medicating, he was looking for external things to dull his pain. Now that he is more stable, he is looking internally and he is in a complete panic. (not a panic disorder - just pure and simple panic as he realizes what's in front of him) Add to this the fact that Zac continues to have major issues with sleep and it's not surprising that he can't concentrate.

    So, our first order of business is to address the sleep. He gave Zac a sleep med again, but thinks it will work better than the last time because Zac is more stable and said Zac is to go to bed, homework finished or not, the same time every night. What has been happening now, and the pdoc nailed it, is that Zac is exhausted, can't concentrate, stays up late to get work done, can't concentrate, can't sleep, tries to get work done again, can't concentrate, etc. and the vicious cycle just perpetuates everyday. We have no illusions that we are going to fix the sleep problems completely, but Zac is basically sleep-deprived right now. The only time he gets more than 2-3 hours of sleep is on the weekend and it's not enough. His all-time high of no sleep at all has been over 100 hours. But it's not high-energy, got-to-get-alot done wake time. It's an exhausted, barely functioning, but can't sleep wake time and so he's in the worst of all possbile worlds.

    We have a meeting with the school tomorrow and we are going to be nice, but firm. There is a reason he is classified and no matter how smart he is, he is not operating on the same playing level as his peers and they have to help him more than they are. In the past, it has been easy for them to focus on all of the things he "should" be doing, but now he is doing everything he can and it's still not enough. We are also looking at his extra activities (including therapy) and seeing what we can move around to give him more down time.

    This has been a different kind of hard. We see our son really, really trying to get his life back on track, but not being able to depend on the tools that always got him through. He is very concerned about the future, about college, about his life and we are trying to keep the balance for him. We are also looking into private schools as a back-up, but he currently does not want to leave his high school.

    So, that's where we are. I had a similar experience to Goody, though, when I looked at my son the other day. He is going to be 17 this weekend and just as she was looking at a new Erin with blown-dry hair and a French Manicure, I was looking at Zac and could really see the man he is becoming. His face is changing ever so slightly, he is smiling more so his dimples have reappeared (even though he is worried, he is not depressed), and I was amazed. He really is a young man now, not an adolescent. I will keep that glimpse of manhood in my mind as we continue to help him traverse these challenging times.

    Lor, congrats on Drew's accomplishments. I know that he has been having a tough time and I think of him often. You, Jules, Tsohl and I have sons along the spectrum (14, 17, 21, 25) and I hope all of them will end up in the good place Tsohl's son is now.

    Love to all,

    Hope

    Last edited by langlee; 11-01-2007 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Took out the brand name of the sleep med

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 02:15 PM   #43
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hey, All.....looks like we have had alot of action around here.

    First things first, thank you, EYES for your continued support. You really help give us a great perspective on things in a very simplistic but meaningful way. I so enjoy your posts....they are so wise and valuable to knowing what will keep things stable for our kids as well as some milestones that they will need to master along the way and ways to help them through.

    Lor, I don't think you should feel guilty about the relief you feel with Drew away....I am sure any of us would be feeling the same and welcoming that opportunity to recharge after having some rough moments. I hope that you are having fun with your new grandbaby who must be growing by the minute.

    Chelle ~ I hope that you are feeling better and that the weather was mild by you as it was by us. You handled things well with Amanda....the past two Halloweens Erin hadn't participated in since she had lost them due to her poor behavior (getting suspended from school) etc. This year she went straight from school checking in every hour or so until 8pm when she and her BF came over for caramel apples and cake. It was a big step as far as trust goes on hubby's and my part. It was generally a nice time although Erin commented on how it wasn't such a great Halloween because her and her BF ran into two others who took some of their candy and left her irritated and frustrated. I think that all in all it was a long day for her and as she said her goodnights she commented on how she knew how she was more frustrated and took it out on me and her BF and she apologized. I told her that she needed to realize that too much of anything was going to turn things from good to bad and that she was going to have to realize how to prevent that for herself and that perhaps if she ended the evening a little bit sooner it wouldn't have been dampened by her increased frustration.

    I guess all we can do is point it out to them and hopefully when they encounter something similar that warrants some action on their part they will be able to take the initiative.

    Tsohl ~ glad to hear that your son can continue with his pdoc...what a relief that must be. Have you come to any final decisions regarding your surgery??? Please keep us all posted.

    Hope ~ Wow....Zac sounds like a wonderful young man who has come such a long way. I think as usual you are handling things so wonderfully for him. I think that your approach with the school is a realistic and fair one and I am hoping that they will work something out with you in terms of taking some of the pressure off of Zac so that he can go through the adjustments of this year without any setbacks. That is what we are striving for.

    I don't even remember Erin ever having such problems with her sleep to accummulate anything near 100 hours!! Wow....that is really sleep deprivation and I am surprised that he can even function with so little sleep!! I hope the sleep med allows him to catch up on good sleep so that he can concentrate better on things that need to be done.

    Well today was another good day in Goodyland. All is quiet and we survived Halloween with no events to speak of.

    I just wanted to say hello to all and let you know that I was thinking about you.

    (((((HUGS))))) ~ Goody

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 02:41 PM   #44
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    Hope, what sleep med is zac on? lack of sleep plays havoc on a body. its one thing that you truly cant catch up on. Zac sounds like hes coming along...maturity plays a huge part in this disease ,in my opinion.

     
    Old 11-01-2007, 04:13 PM   #45
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    Re: Parenting a Child Who Has Bipolar

    I shall pop in the thread for a minute.

    Hope -
    I can relate to the lack of sleep thing (though not to that extent)...and I can definitely relate to the having-to-go-to-bed-with-homework-unfinished thing...It drives me nuts sometimes, but I'm reallllllly trying to stay on a steady sleep schedule and try to tell myself that whatever I don't finish I can do in the morning. I think it might be hard for Zac to accept at first if he's anything like me worrying about getting homework done, thus sleeping restlessly, but if you can get him to a point where he is on a steady schedule, the work should be easier for him to complete in shorter time spaces because his concentration will be up...just my two cents. And if you search for bipolar world on a search engine, there's a really good site that has a section on school problems/study skills/etc...

    Goody, I'm glad Erin had a good Halloween. I haven't gone out Trick-or-Treating since I was about twelve - I prefer to stay home and greet the kids. We never have many so we never get much candy, but of course this year we had a ton so we had to turn the porch light off early! My sister and her friends went out, though, and they had fun.

    Lor, it's great that Drew got that position! If my sister gets to that point in Softball, I know I'd be absolutely tickled because she has the skills if she can get the chance to hone them outside of the softball season...

    ~~Paige
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    Last edited by Paige1989; 11-06-2007 at 09:48 AM.

     
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