Daughter diagnosed with bipolar

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Some of you may recall that my difficult child was d/x'd very recently with bi-polar disorder. She was instructed to have some blood work done and, after the results were in, the psychiatrist would call in a prescripton for lithium.

    She did have the blood work done (they have to be sure there are no kidney or thyroid issues and get a baseline) but has not followed up with the psychiatrist. She claims that he is su pposed to call her (not true ..I was there when he gave her the instructions) and also claims that she hasn't heard back about the lab work. She went to our family doctor and they use a phone-in system for results.

    I haven't said much because she's been pretty stable. She really likes her job at Target and they seem to like her.

    Unfortunately, she is now in a pretty depressive state. She went to her dad's yesterday to watch the game (her dad was at the game and an uncle and some cousins were in from Virginia and planning to go back to his place afterward). She came home before the game ended and said she'd fallen asleep. She did not appear to have been drinking and she didn't smell like pot, but I suspect her boyfriend was over and they may have been smoking. I was VERY surprised that she didn't stay at her dad's to see her uncle and cousins. I asked about it and she said she was just too tired.

    Anyway, she went to bed (at 3:30 p.m.) and I went to my niece's. I returned at 9 and she was still sleeping. Went to bed at 11 - still sleeping. She had to work today at 4:00 a.m. and I heard her get up. She came home at noon and said she was exhausted ...didn't sleep well, had nightmares.

    She went to take a nap at 4:00 and said she was setting her alarm for 6:00 for dinner. She is still sleeping at 8:15.

    She is working tomorrow at 8:00 am and I wonder if she'll sleep through again or get up in the middle of the night.

    Believe me, I know this could be worse. I am glad she is working and I know that the early morning hours and occassional night shifts are a tough adjustment, but I sense there is more going on than sleep deprivation.

    It's hard to know what to wish for. This can't be good and, yet, the manic phase is even worse. I have no idea how she'll do on the medications and I can't force it on her.

    Just needed to get this out.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Dash...haven't been there done that but I have absolute confidence in your judgement and want you to know I am always on your team.
    Hugs DDD
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thank you, DDD. I only wish I had that kind of confidence in myself. Right now, i feel like a visitor on a different planet!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dash, lots of hugs..........I wish you peace......
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    My brother is bipolar, and even though he takes his medications every day, he still gets into depressive states where he sleeps for hours and hours on end, wakes up tired and groggy, and then goes back to bed. There is no talking to him when he's like that. He has no energy to think about anything.
    In your daughter's case, however, she's showing up for work, and working her entire shift. It may be draining, but she's doing it (you built up her stamina with all your projects around the house lol). If you wake up really early tom'w and have breakfast with her, can you tell her you are very concerned that she's not followed up with the doctor, and you know that her job is exhausting, but she can't expect stability without at least trying the medication. I'd tell her that she may be summoning all her energy to get through her shift at Target, but there may come a day very soon when she will not have the strength to go to work, and she may lose all desire to work, and lose her job.
    You can't force her, but if you phrase it that she's taking positive steps (initiating doctor visit, working steadily) and that you admire her tenacity. She may not have signed up for bipolar, but she has it, and you are confident that she can do what she is able to keep herself stable, and that you're behind her 100%. If, heaven forbid, she was diagnosed recently with a heart condition, you would expect her to follow doctor's orders...same goes for this.
    You're such a great mom - I admire you. She will come around to your way of thinking eventually...she resists initially, but sooner or later she does recognize you're always right!
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am extremely tired right now too. It may be a thing going around but I am also waking up in the middle of the night after I fall asleep fairly early the night before. I get tired in the middle of the day, wake up about 2/3 am then go back to sleep early am then could sleep half the day away again. Its awful.
  7. Dash - I would suspect that she is cycling into a depression. The sun is out less and less - so less vitamin D, this time of year can be the worst for mental health patients. I would agree with Calamity. I'd get up tomorrow and have a visit with her before work. Tell her you are concerned that she might be cycling into a depression and ask her if you can make a dr.'s appointment for her and take her to the appointment.

    She certainly sounds like she is trying to cope with whatever this is. Maybe she just needs your help. She is still early in the process of caring for her own mental health and may need your help for a while, at least.

    I would think about asking the doctor which to try first, given the situation, lithium or antidepressants. Maybe lithium for a week to rule out side effects and then introduce the antidepressants? Not sure. With my difficult child they are doing antidepressants first because that was the worst symptom for him and they still aren't sure about the bipolar because of his age.

    Thinking of you.
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    No time for talking before she left for work today. She got up at 7:30 for her 8:00 shift, and rushed out, seemingly in a fairly good mood. I know better than to wake her to have a conversation! She is off at 4:00 today and I will talk to her then. It sure can't hurt. Alls he has to do is callt he psychiatrist, and I will certainly do that for her if necessary. His office doesn't open until 4:00, so I still have today. WTWE, you might have a very good point about the shorter days. I hadn't thought of that and it could most certainly be a factor. This is new territory for both me and my difficult child. Thanks for all your caring words.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If shorter days are a factor - go buy full-spectrum (daylight) light bulbs. These are not the expensive machines used for treating SAD, but rather... ordinary light bulbs.

    I work in a basement, with no natural light, and it was starting to affect me. Switched to full-spectrum bulbs, and I don't get "down" after a few days of work. They ARE more expensive - you'll want to use them in targetted locations, like by difficult child's favorite chair, and wherever else she spends considerable time.
  10. dashcat

    dashcat Member


    I talked with her last night. She found out yesterday that they are keeping her on at Target (she was hired as seasonal help with the understanding that it was possible that they might keep her if all went well). I told her I was thrilled for her and that I was proud of her for working so hard. I was able to steer the conversation toward her sleeping so much and followed CJane's suggestion that at least trying the medications might help her to have energy beyond her shift. She listened agreeably and then told me she was going to wait until after the holidays. Her reasoning is that, if she's kept it together through the stress of the world of holiday retail, she will be just fine post-holiday. If she's not, she'll go on the medications. She was pleasant, but she's not budging. She pointed out that she is at work - on time- for every shift. Who cares if sheeps the rest of the time? This actually makes sense to her. Ugh.

    I think her reasoning is that, as long as she is not on medications, she really isn't bi-polar. I'm frustrated, but I know I can't do anything right now but wait. (and get new ligh bulbs!)

  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Dash,

    I'm so proud of her for working diligently and being hired as a regular employee - she's a hard worker, that's for sure.

    As far as the other stuff, you planted a seed, you were civil and now she will chew on it a while. She knows you're the voice of reason in her life. She may come around sooner than you think. In the meantime, go difficult child!