If you have a female bp child who is on bc pills for acne (or whatever), and on the mood stabilizer Lamictal, and you accidentally run out of the bc pills and they aren't in her med mix for a few days, DON"T FORGET TO LOWER THE LAMICTAL DOSAGE FOR THOSE DAYS. I forgot, unfortunately, which meant that the Lamictal levels in her blood jumped above what they should have been and she began to get blurred vision, headaches and exhibited other signs of being "off" including extreme irritability and no focusing ability at all for school. I had heard about others having to do this adjustment, but I didn't think it would be so imperative, but it was. We retrieved the LoLoestrin from the pharmacist and now she is back on schedule, so hopefully the blurred vision and headaches will dissipate shortly. It is amazing how much of a balancing act this is for these kids between hormones, circadian rhythm changes and meds!!
I don't know how she is going to manage her meds on her own when she is no longer living with us. That is a scary thought. I am so in tune to her subtleties, but she isn't always in tune with subtle changes in her moods that might mean trouble ahead. I hope she can live near enough to us that we can always have a good feel as to how she is doing, if she taking her meds, if she seeing a good doctor, going to her psychologist on a regular basis, eating well, sleeping enough, etc. We will have to let her grow up and be an adult and take responsibility for herself in all of these ways, but we hope it will not be a rude awakening, but rather a gentle hand-off. Lots of prep time between now and then, that is for sure. I need to test her over the summer to see if she can start taking her meds without us reminding her, asking her if she took them, reminding her again, because she needs to care enough about herself to take them on time, every day, so she can be a functional adult someday.
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.
How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?
I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.