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04/09/2012 06:54 AM

Would like some complete truth and honesty, please

juniper718
 
Posts: 127
Member

My 15 year old daughter was just diagnosed bipolar in November 2011. Since then, we've been trying to find the right combination of meds to help with her rapid cycling mood swings, severe depression and auditory and visual hallucinations. She's currently on 600 mg of lithium in the morning and 900 mg of lithium at night, along with 1.5 mg. of Risperdal at night. This combination has worked better than anything else thus far, with her hallucinations being eliminated for now. She is still suffering some rapid cycling mood swings, though, and periodically has these manic, agressive outbursts of anger and tears.

My question to those of you who have been dealing with this a while is this: Should I prepare myself for continued and drastic ups and downs like this from here on out or do the meds ever get the kids to a point where they live a pretty stable life with just "small bumps in the road?"

I can deal with anything as long as I know what I'm dealing with -- I just don't know what to expect for the future. I've asked her psychiatrist and her psychologist and they tell me that every case is different and hard to predict. I get that . . . I just want to know, from this group here, what is a common outcome.

Thanks, in advance, for your input!

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04/09/2012 10:16 AM
jjsmom
 
Posts: 443
Member

Well I first have to say your pdoc is right.All of our children are different some share symptoms.There are several here that have children in college and are doing well.There are also some that have smaller children and are also doing ok.I always say this disease is trail and error.I can't say things are going to a bed of roses.Which I'm sure you already know.Just keep in mind that there are good times coming.I can't say when,but the parents here have children that give me hope.I have noticed even with my on son(24)that around puberity(?)things can get more trying in the teenage years.Keep coming back this place has been a life saver for me.Some days I'd be so emotionally drained,I'd come here and several parents would give me my hope back.Hang in there.I wish there was a answer to the question,Will my child be ok in the future.

04/09/2012 11:00 AM
juniper718
 
Posts: 127
Member

Thank you for your words of support. Now, the next thing I'm going to ask isn't in any way meant to be flippant or sarcastic -- I hope it doesn't come out that way -- it's just that being new to all of this, I am wondering then . . . what good are the meds intended to do? I mean, there's the obvious answer -- my daughter is no longer having visual hallucinations and no longer hears people screaming in her head -- and for that, I am VERY grateful, but if she still has these mood swings, what is the ultimate goal of the mood stabilizer? Is it to reduce the severity of the mood swings? I guess I thought it was to eliminate them altogether, but maybe not?? Maybe it's just to help keep them from "swinging" too far in one direction or the other?? What is everyone's thoughts, or previous knowledge, about this?

Thanks!


04/09/2012 03:50 PM
meggsmom
Posts: 130
Member

With my daughter, I felt the same thing as you as far as whats the point with meds, if i am still walking on eggg shells? for us..it meant another hospitalization until the docs got it right. We are on the right road for now. She takes lithium 600mg 2x per day. Right now-my daughter is fantastic. If i look back 6 months, i was pretty much having a nervous breakdown from all the stress. So, there is hope-but everyones child is so different, and..i also know that at any point, the tides could turn and this nasty illness can change my daughter.

04/10/2012 12:54 AM
pmom
pmom  
Posts: 337
Member

i wish i could tell you different,your daughter has the same symptoms like my daughter sadly everytime she was stabilized with new meds it would only last for a little while as she got older she became very agressive and depressive she also became fearless and i spent most of my time triying to keep her safe after 8 hospitalizations and numerous physycal fights i decided to send her to a treatment center and shes not doing well i go to sleep praying and wake up praying for her every day any how i wish you the best of luck

04/10/2012 07:29 AM
juniper718
 
Posts: 127
Member

I thank you both for replying. If nothing else, this disease/disorder forces us to take one day at a time, doesn't it? Heck, it forces us to take one HOUR at a time! Smile

04/10/2012 08:11 AM
juniper718
 
Posts: 127
Member

I like your term "the new normal" very much! That's what I'm trying to find, too! My daughter is now going to school online. She missed so much of her 9th grade year in treatment, that there was no way for her to catch up. So, now she's doing the Keystone National Online High School. It's a good, accredited program and I'm happy with it, but even though she doesn't have to face the stress of daily school schedules and deadlines, she still finds it hard to muster up the energy and motivation to complete an assignment. So, I like you, don't know if she'll ever be able to study for a test again or handle a disappointment without it sending her into a rage or a depression.

My daughter is a "rapid cycler" too. So fast, sometimes, that even the social worker who leads her outpatient therapy group is amazed at how quickly her moods change in such a short amount of time during her group interactions.

I've read about bipolar folks who have weeks or even moths of depression or mania. That seems preferable to me -- at least I could have some time to get used to her mood before the switch flips again.

I love her so much and it breaks my heart to see her go through this. I would switch places with her in a second if I could, just to spare her the fight with this "dragon" as you so aptly described it!


04/10/2012 10:03 AM
pmom
pmom  
Posts: 337
Member

My girl lost a whole year of school also this would of been her graduating class. She had so many dreams now she doesnt even go to school where shes at she says the meds "igave her" messed up her brain. shes having a hard time accepting her illness. I don't blame her its also hard for me to let go of the beautiful loving, hyper, sporty,full of energy girl i once had.

04/10/2012 10:25 AM
juniper718
 
Posts: 127
Member

No, she hasn't self medicated . . . yet. Honestly, I think she was so freaked out by the visual hallucinations and the screaming in her head that she actually begged me to take her to get help. I had found her curled up in a ball in the shower one morning, crying and rocking back and forth with her hands around her head. Not knowing any better, I thought, then, that she was on some sort of drug even though she swore to me that she wasn't. It was after a 10-day stay in the hospital and months of day treatment that we got the bipolar diagnosis. However, now that I know more about the disorder, I can see that she showed signs of this since she was about three or four years old.

I am afraid that she will start self medicating, though, because she doesn't think the meds are doing enough for her. I am watching her "like a hawk" of course. We have no drugs or alcohol in the house and truthfully, she has no friends anymore and doesn't drive yet, so at least for now, I think the chances of her getting her hands on something are pretty slim.

Her big risky behavior is the hypersexuality. She has gotten on chat rooms in the past and has exposed herself to grown men. Also, before she got this diagnosis, as early as age 13, she was participating in oral sex with boys at school. Then, as soon as she did it, she'd come home, crying, feeling ashamed and guilty and telling me about it, saying "I don't know why I do this." She was in counseling then, for what they told me was depression. Obviously, it was much more than that!


04/10/2012 01:07 PM
pmom
pmom  
Posts: 337
Member

VERY TOUGH ,mine went through part time too it didnt last long so i kept her homeschool but a teacher only showed up once in 3 weeks and for an hour .She was eating her life away and yes she was like abear,so i tryed a non p[ublic school and that was the biggest mistake i ever made. Im still hanging on and will never give up.
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