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Friday, January 16, 2009

Double Bipolar

Well, yesterday was DD's therapist appointment. We talked about the usual problems she has with her peers (an ongoing saga) and we talked about her bio mom, too. (I go to every therapy session, because I can explain the stuff that happens at home from a grown-up viewpoint, and also because it's as close to real "therapy" as I get.)

Nothing shocking there. So then we had an appointment with DD's pdoc. I started talking about the meltdown she had three weeks (or so) ago. We talked about the extra-nasty defiance we've been seeing for the last few months; "It's 9:00, time for bed!" "I'll go to bed in a little while." "No, it's bedtime. You need to put your stuff away, it'll be there in the morning." "I'M NOT GOING TO BED. MAKE ME!" etc.

To me it was just more of DD's "issues". I figured that we were just seeing a "more assertive" version of the issues because she's 15 now. And I don't know a lot of people who didn't sass back to their parents when they were 15. Or try to get away with breaking the rules. But the first thing the pdoc says after we talked about all this was, "Has she ever been diagnosed as bipolar?" Um, no.

Well, now she has been. She's been on Lamictal (100mg) for about two years now, because of her angry outbursts. I have known that was a bipolar drug, but it had been prescribed to DD in order to "stabilize her moods." Oh crap. You know, the more I try to explain to you that I had no idea she could be bipolar, and that they really weren't prescribing her Lamictal for bipolar-TYPE symptoms, well, I basically end up looking pretty foolish, because that's exactly what I should've seen, but didn't. So I'm shocked, but apparently, when I review all the things I knew beforehand, well, I guess I couldn't see the bipolar for the symptoms (or the forest for the trees!)

Anyhow, they doubled her Lamictal dose, and the pdoc is confident that we'll see some very nice changes in the next few weeks. I hope so, but really, I'm not all that confident that it's really bipolar.

Or is it that I just don't want it to be?

9 comments:

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

I felt the same way about myself. I just told myself I had extreme depression. My pdoc never discussed a diagnosis, so I didn't worry with it and just took my Effexor, Abilify and Klonopin.

Since you're already intimately familiar with the disease, I don't see how it could really hurt to wait it out awhile to confirm her diagnosis in your mind. It is more difficult in children. All I can say is, bless your heart. I can't imagine dealing with this monster when I was 15. My brain waited til I was 20 to turn on me.

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

docs are very reluctant to label a child with bipolar disorder. that's good, and that's bad. good because both of you will focus on the symptoms and not get lost in the label, but bad because it's hard to learn about it if it's not labeled. know what i mean?

thx for "following" me... i'll be stalking you now!

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

docs are very reluctant to label a child with bipolar disorder. that's good, and that's bad. good because both of you will focus on the symptoms and not get lost in the label, but bad because it's hard to learn about it if it's not labeled. know what i mean?

thx for "following" me... i'll be stalking you now!

Grace. said...

Carol, while the pdoc might be right, maybe not. How much do you know about your daughter's bio family? Childhood bi-polar is real, but it is also a trendy diagnosis right now. I have a severely disturbed 34 year old daughter who was recently told she was bi-polar. That's ridiculous--she has reactive attachment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as severe borderline personality--these have been diagnosed for years and she meets every criterion for these disorders. With bi-polar, not so much! Check out "The Bi-Polar Child" and see what you think. FAE can cause frustration that comes out as anger and leads to misdiagnosis. But I wouldn't be in a hurry to diagnose bi--polar unless there's a bio-family history of it.OK--enough from Dr. Grace!!

Accidental Mommy said...

Wow... I was in denial about my kids and RAD until recently. I still find myself up on that fence a little bit.

On the one hand, it is good to know if it is true, but on the other hand...

andrew said...

Interesting and thoughtful posts. I really do send you my best wishes. My thoughts are with you.
www.strayblackdog.co.uk

Larry said...

Thank you for your words. My name is Larry. I have just joined Bipolar Planet and am trying to look at as many of the other sites as I can. Yours is real good.

I have similiar issues with my wife. I hope you will read our site.
www.hopeworkscommunity.wordpress.com

perphila said...

Did we get on the same boat or something?

You are not foolish at all. I am going through something like this with my son and even though I KNEW there was potential there because of the family history I didn't see what was going on for months. At this point there is nothing firm about what is going on with him. Even is it isn't bipolar there is something going on but who wants to see that in their kids? You have been on the ball just even being their for the sessions. You can't be expected to notice everything. Just doing everything you are doing is amazing.

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