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The words tired-drained and exhausted seem completely insipid to describe what I feel today. I feel beyond all of that. My child sleeps with me. She is restless. I am a light sleeper. Do the math. She is terrified to sleep in her own room, as she has fears and hallucinations and night terrors. She is 13 going on 14 soon. I have no clue what to do, because I cannot continue accumulating "no sleep" I can feel and see the results, and none of them are good. Her psychiatrist has tried his best to change or add medications to help her overcome this, and her therapist has tried many scenarios and incentives. I have tried incentives. They all fail. She shows bad reactions to any new medication added to her regime so far. What do I do to fix this??? I have no idea where to go or what to do. I need help!!!!
Posted by anonymous via e-mail
When will teachers get it!
Yesterday my 11 year old daughter auditioned for the music teacher to play her violin during assembly, she practiced so hard and played her heart out to be told she’s not consistent or good enough! Well the child crumbled, came out of school upset, angry and in tears saying she tries so hard all the time and the teachers NEVER give her a chance! This music teacher has done this to her repeatedly and yet the child still keeps trying to impress her… her violin teacher says my child has such natural talent that needs to be nurtured – but how when the rest of society is so judgemental! I am so frustrated and want to blast the darn teacher, I heard what she said to my child and saw the childs immediate reaction - how could she not? Not her problem, but it soon enough becomes mine when I then bear the consequences of the childs moods, hysterics and picking up the pieces for the rest of the day. Today is a supper theatre auditions, child is singing, fingers crossed it is received better!
DaveLast night we met Dave. Now we have actually known Dave for some years already, but what we did not know is that Dave suffers from bipolar disorder, and has done so for many years. In fact he says from what he knows, he started displaying symptoms at the age of 3. Wow! I would never have said. He is the sweetest, kindest young man that has been a friend of our family for a long long time. The interesting thing about last night is that he connected with our two girls, and identified with them on a level that not even we, as the moms can. Or eleven year old paid intense attention to him, as he told her about how he felt as a child, and how he dealt with his feelings. Our thirteen year old paid scant attention of course, but she is a teenager after all, and already knows everything. Dave told us how he wanted to just go to sleep and not wake up. It's not that he wanted to die, it's just that he wanted to sleep and sleep and be in nowhere land forever. He recalls waking up and finding his distraught mother next to his bed, and coming to the realization that he was loved! That he was hurting his mom terribly. Friends that he did not even consider to be good friends, rallied around him, and encouraged him to live. It changed his life, he knew he was loved and cared about. He never tried that again.
Eleven year old cried, sat with tears in her eyes listening to him TELL her how she feels, and giving her some wonderful tools to work with, to deal with her daily stresses. She identified with him to such a degree we would not be surprised if she is in love forever .
The amazing aspect of Dave, is his total understanding and ability to communicate the feelings of being a bipolar child in a world that is largely unaccepting, and how he, with the intense love and support from his mother, managed to learn to deal with all his stressors and daily ups and downs.
I think last night could possibly have been the very best therapy session we have all ever had. Not from a learned psychologist, who are invaluable to us and our lives as well, but from someone who just KNOWS and has the capacity to share.
We are hoping to have Dave around for a long time, and he has kindly agreed to support us when a question is directed at us and we feel he is best able to answer. His insight is gold and diamonds. THANK YOU DAVE! We want you around us, sharing and being who you are. Perhaps you have no idea how valuable you are to the bipolar children of South Africa. We do. We saw. We witnessed. We appreciated.
YOUOne of the most importants aspects we neglect to look after when we have a bipolar child, is ourselves. I think it can only be the bipolar mother or in some cases the father, that really knows how taxing and exhausting it is to look after a child suffering from bipolar disorder. It is literally a 24 hour job, of ups and downs, stress and anxiety for us. Not to mention the rages that can and do, become violent. The threats of suicide, the self mutilation, punching and throwing things. YES...we know it is very difficult for the child, and we know the child suffers from this. But what about us? It's too easy to forget about us, and to forget that we also have an identity. To forget that we also have the right to have some quiet time and relaxation. So, as difficult and almost impossible as this seems; find some time for YOU. Do something that you enjoy doing for a change. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a high five for what you go through, and survive. Find time to be pampered and feel like a human being again. At all costs, DO NOT feel guilty because you have taken a little bit of time for YOU. If you want to meditate, sleep, read a book, paint the walls, go for a walk- FIND A WAY! If it means asking a family member, a friend, dad, anyone, to just be with your child for a certain period of time at least once a week, try your best to get this routine that you can be YOU. Forget that you have a child with bipolar disorder, forget that you have responsibilities and worries, even an hour at a time. "I am so tired" is a sentence I use with regularity and I must also assume that all you BP moms out there use it as frequently as I do. Right now, as I write this...all I can say is; I AM SO TIRED.